July 24, 2006

UBC Study on Race in Video Games

Filed under:Race, Videogames — Lake Desire @ 4:57 pm

A recent study at the University of British Columbia Finds Top-Selling Video Games Rife with Racist Asian Stereotypes. UBC grad Robert Parungao, who conducted the study, says:

These images have gone unchallenged for the past 20 years or more. Parents, government and media watchdog groups have protested the widespread violence and sexism in video games, but the blatant racism has gone largely unnoticed.

I think Parungao brings up a good point: even images the mainstream would acknowledge as racist are ignored in favor of critiquing violence and sexism in video games. All are valid criticisms of video games.

I’m still trying to sort out racism in video games. I play games with roots in Japan and the United States. I don’t know how race is constructed in Japan, but regardless of origins video games join the rest of the media that contributes to our perceptions of race. Something apparently harmless in Japan may carry entirely different connotations when translated for a North American audience.


1 Comment »

  1. Am I the only one who thinks it’s strange that in the linked article, the hero of GTA is listed as the white hero? When I played he seemed more hispanic than white.

    Comment by Jason (1) — December 7, 2007 @ 11:37 am

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