Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Racism isn't Real Anymore


            In the Real World magazine, I came across an article dealing with the concept of race in World of Warcraft, and it made me think about false racism in video games, and honestly, programming racism isn't really that hard. When I play my Dungeons and Dragons games or Pathfinder I always say that some things are going to be placed within the world at the beginning and it depends on the players to either avoid the cliché or take it in hand. That being the ideas of Dwarves hating goblins or Elves and Dwarves hating each other. In the Warcraft games, we can also see the apparent racism in whoever wants to use the lore and make the lore their own.  Honestly, this makes me wonder if through this specific element of the World of War Craft world or DnD or Pathfinder makes the world more real by adding in real elements of the world that we know. 
            As we know, the Medieval period, was not the most progressive when it came to racial or religious freedom, what with many of the Jewish people being killed at the massacre of Shabbat haGadol and various oppositions from warring factions in England and Ireland (protestants vs Catholics). I ask, is it right to just throw these elements into this world to give it some flavor text. Doesn't calling upon allusions to real hate crimes and real animosities trivializing the whole thing, or is it merely something completely and utterly fictional.

            Which makes me wonder about the simulated racism in the game. We never see a lot of hate crimes in games and if we do, the racism is usually front and center (Bioshock Infinite is a good example of this). So, is putting these quests and flavor texts in these games diminishing the idea of racism in the real world. Is the common trope of elves and dwarves hating each other a bit of an oversimplification of racist tendencies placed within the human consciousness since the birth of man and only relatively demolished (if that). Does placing these racist ideas inside the world make it more real to players, (in the text the people who enjoy the lore like acting out these tendencies) and does the inclusion of this racism make the inclusion of darker skinned characters a bit iffy (they do discuss how hard it is to make characters based on their race). How do we as individuals deal with this idea placed within the world? I want your honest opinion!

1 comment:

  1. I really like the aspects you talked about in this post. Do the writers mean to incorporate these racial points into their works? Are we, as Americans (and people really), automatically notice when these ideas are portrayed?

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