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Games Entertainment

Racial Issues Alleged In GTA San Andreas, Other Games 189

Posted by simoniker
from the allegedly dept.
Thanks to the New York Times (free reg. req.) for its article exploring possible racial stereotyping inherent in many videogames. The article alleges: "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas... underscores what some critics consider a disturbing trend: popular video games that play on racial stereotypes, including images of black youths committing and reveling in violent street crime." Partially, though not wholly related to a recently discussed article on 'street' videogames, it's also argued: "The issue, critics say, is not that the games' representation of racial and ethnic minorities is as blatantly threatening as the sort found at hate sites on the Web, where players are asked to gun down virtual black or Jewish characters. Rather, the racial and ethnic depictions and story lines are more subtle, and therefore, some say, more insidious."
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Racial Issues Alleged In GTA San Andreas, Other Games

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  • by kisrael (134664) * on Thursday August 12, 2004 @08:14AM (#9946394) Homepage
    Today's Slate featured piece was by a black woman lawyer called Racist Like Me [slate.com]...it raises some interesting points about how the accusation of racism tends to be a conversation- (and thought-) stopper, and how as a culture we should probably be more engaged in this kind of discussion.
  • by dorlthed (700641) <mxc511.psu@edu> on Thursday August 12, 2004 @10:20AM (#9947512)

    There's a United Negro College Fund. If there were a United Caucasian College Fund, these same people would be crying racist.

    It's not a dichotomy, in that there is no "white culture", and whites are not a minority, nor even are they one uniform group that could be construed as a minority if they were. More importantly, there is no NEED for a United Caucasian College Fund, in a cultural sense. Sure, there are plenty of needy white kids who need money to go to college, but the difference is that there is no decades-old, concerted effort to advance the standing of white people in society, nor does there need to be.

    The UNCF, for example, is a fund set up *BY BLACK PEOPLE* to support young members of their own culture. If there was a UCCF, would it be to support young members of the white culture? No, because there is no white culture. Keep in mind, however, that there are plenty of scholarships for Italians, Jews, etc, who DO have their own communities and cultures, and wish to advance the standing of their young people in society. They just don't have as much clout or publicity.

  • Re:USofAns (Score:3, Informative)

    by PainKilleR-CE (597083) on Thursday August 12, 2004 @10:33AM (#9947682)
    I'm going to take things out of order a bit, because the points are somewhat separated...

    How can I be a bigot? Whatever your race is, I certainly can feel related. Many Brazilians are in the same condition as I am, maybe I am more conscious (having done some extensive genealogic research) of my multi-ethnicity. When filling forms with "race/ethnicity", I usually seek for the "all of the above" option... :-)

    What appalled me in your link was the fact that this woman *is* in fact intermarried with a white guy and she fears and have nightmares with black folks. This is a sign IMHO that *she* has serious problems.


    The whole point of the piece was that people need to remember that racism isn't just a white problem, or homophobia isn't just a heterosexual problem, it's something that everyone needs to address. Additionally, just because you're black (or in your personal case, multi-ethnic) doesn't make you immune to being racist.

    But USofAns, more than European people, apparently segregate much more deeply, by race, by religion, etc. They don't seem to intermarry as commonly as down here.

    I really couldn't say, because I have never been to Europe. However, I would say that in the US the line seems to be much more along class lines than racial lines. Unfortunately, class and racial lines have a tendency to coincide to a large degree in the US. If you find that you're in a city in the US and the locals are primarily black or latino, there's a good chance that you're in an area where people make less money, and therefore in a lower-class neighborhood. If most of the people are white, you simply have to look at the size and maintenance of the homes to determine the class of the neighborhood, because there are white neighborhoods at all levels of the "class struggle".

    From my own experience, having lived both in California and Virginia (the latter having been the capital of the Confederacy), racial mixing (both in families and in neighborhoods) is actually more common in the south, where integration was actually forced into being in the last century, than in the west, where people generally don't consider segregation to be an issue (it's not that they believe segregation is ok, they simply don't believe, and many probably wouldn't, they'd have a problem if black or latino people moved into their neighborhoods). The lines are still drawn primarily by how much money you make on the west coast as they are in the south, but no one forced people to integrate along racial lines in California, therefore most of them never did.

    I grew up in a primarily white neighborhood in southern California, middle class (probably upper middle class now that housing prices have sky-rocketed), where the most common minority was latino, at roughly 5% (the white population being roughly 87%). When I moved to Virginia, sharing a place with a co-worker, we were literally the only white people on our block, and I'll admit that initially it made me nervous. However, I have to add that it wasn't just the fact that most of the people living around me were black that made me nervous, but it was also the fact that I could not possibly have found a place in southern California that was that cheap to live in without qualifying for government assistance (which is to say, living in welfare housing projects). This made me believe that I was living in what was probably a bad part of town, somewhere you might have to keep your car alarmed and possibly not leave your home unoccupied for too long, should someone decide to break in and either trash the place or steal all of your stuff.

    As I continued to live there, though, I realized that I was actually living in a lower-middle-class neighborhood and that housing was simply significantly cheaper anywhere in the state than it was in California. The people living around me primarily had jobs in similar areas (not computers, but working for similar companies; despite working as a software developer there are very few people tha
  • Re:Whatever. (Score:3, Informative)

    by fullmetal55 (698310) on Thursday August 12, 2004 @11:45AM (#9948545)
    now now, there are black people in the NHL, to name just a few Grant Fuhr (Goalie - Edmonton Oilers during their dynasty years in the 80s) Freddie Braithwaite (Goalie - Edmonton Oilers, St Louis Blues, and others) Mike Grier (forward) Anson Carter (forward) Jarome Iginla (forward) and many more whos names escape me at this point.
  • Yeah Right... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 12, 2004 @01:12PM (#9949763)
    I'm not a racist, but I do live in a major city and people have gotten shot and killed on my block, and I hate to say it, but it was black youths committing and reveling in violent street crime.

    People of all ethnic backgrounds murder people and commit violent crimes, but in American urban areas, the vast majority of these crimes are commited by african americans. I would have a problem if the stereotype didn't exsist in real life, but the fact is this is how it really is, and they are just drawing from it. Golly, people writing fiction based on fact, how shameful!

    You don't see people getting all miffed by the cops in GTA hanging out by the donut shops.
  • by vaporakula (674048) on Thursday August 12, 2004 @02:00PM (#9950455)
    Frankly, I would expect an american company, to have learned from its past and not promote these types of stupidity. .... Shame on you GTA producers.

    Hate to nitpick, but Rockstar North are the developers... and they're based in Scotland.

    Anyways - I believe your argument is flawed. It isn't the developer's fault that people are too weak to think for themselves, to look beyond a stereotype and make their mind up for themselves. Frankly, I'm appalled that you garner your world-view from things that corporations tell you.

    If people would choose to make up their own mind about things rather than have an opinion spoon fed to them, this world would be a much happier place.

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

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