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Is it Racist for White Gamers to Kill Black Zombies?

March 11, 2009

The Wall Street Journal raises a few concerns about the racial implications of “Resident Evil 5,” a video game where a white male traipses around The Motherland blasting the un-living dogshit out of zombified natives.

Opponents of the new game will have plenty of ammunition. Although there are Arab zombies in “Resident Evil 5,” the majority of the undead are Africans. As a player, you are often forced to use a machete to hack your way through your attackers, using the same kind of weapons that were used in atrocities in places like Rwanda and the Congo over the last two decades. Killing African zombies can earn you gold treasure — in addition to the loot you find in barrels and vases in the different African villages. And while Chris’s partner, Sheva Alomar, is from the region, she’s light-skinned with straight-hair, and is introduced to players during a cinematic sequence highlighting not her face, but rather, her rear end.

Defenders of the video game point out that it can’t be racist because the white guy was mowing down Spaniards in “Resident Evil 4.” Hm. Here are some ways the creators could have avoided this unwelcome controversy:

  • Mix in a few Spaniard zombies — or at least describe the undead legions as “of Moorish descent.”
  • Instead of bullets, you squirt doses of delicious palm wine and launch hunks of hearty flatbread.
  • Turn the zombies into NYPD officers and the protagonist into Larry Davis.
  • Rather than killing the Africans, the player rounds them up and brings them over to America to start a prosperous new life in the cotton industry.
  • Possibly refrain from making a video game that traffics in imagery that instantly conjures up centuries of horrible shit.
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