Racism isn't always obvious. From time to time, a number of blatantly racist video games are released, and everyone goes apeshit. There are rare situations, however, when the racism isn't as obvious. These are the situations in which thoughtless stereotypes are used, or when games touch upon inflammatory topics. You'd be surprised by the sheer amount of unintentional or hidden examples of racial insensitivity found in what are believed to be the most family-friendly titles.
1. LocoRoco (PSP, 2006)
|LocoRoco's Moja characters|
You'd never expect such a cute and cheerful game to be considered
racist, huh? Prior to the release of this Japanese PSP game, however,
blogger Alejandro Quan-Madrid
compared the game's Moja characters
and said the game is an example of "institutionalized racism that needs calling out."
should be noted that this accusation of racism came only a few days
prior to a similar accusation against Sony for its white-colored PSP
, showing a white woman violently holding the face a black
2. Street Fighter (Series) (Various Platforms)
According to Street Fighter
fiction, M. Bison, the leader of the mysterious crime syndicate known as "Shadaloo," sponsors the World Warrior Tournament and threatens the peace of the land. What do the Street Fighters do about this? They travel across the world, beating up stereotypes from each country.
Just about every racial stereotype is represented in the Street Fighter
series. There's the motorcycle-riding obese American, an Indian man who breathes fire and wears a necklace made from shrunken skulls, a Native American who wears a feather headdress, a sumo wrestler from Japan, and a primitive, beast-like man from Brazil. With the exception of the obese American, the stereotypes portrayed in Street Fighter II
falsely generalize people from various countries.3. Spanish for Everyone (Nintendo DS, 2007)
The best way to prevent racism is through proper education. Not in this case, however. What is supposed to be a fun and creative way to learn Spanish ends up becoming a collection of racial stereotypes of Hispanic culture. The story of this game begins with a Hispanic friend taking off with your Nintendo DS, fleeing the police as he heads for the border. Luckily, a flirtatious señorita
gives you a ride to Mexico and tells you that she "can teach you many things, and Spanish is definitely one of them." Isn't edutainment great?
You can watch the hilariously politically incorrect video here
4. Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! (NES, 1987)
Little Mac has to take on challengers of numerous ethnic groups and their stereotypes in the Punch-Out!! series. Soda Popinsky
(known as Vodka Drunkenski before Nintendo censored the name) is a drunk Russian who wears a red Speedo similar to Street Fighter II
's Zangief. There's also a weak French guy, a jive-talking Jamaican and a Japanese guy who says, "Sushi, Kamikaze, Fujiyama, Nipponichi." It's shamelessly politically incorrect, but Punch-Out!!
wouldn't have been so memorable without it.