I’m absolutely sick of the constant bombardment of complaints I’ve been hearing about certain video games recently. Recently, we’ve had people complain about the new Lara Croft, claiming that the game is “sexist” because of Lara’s role; had people complain about gay jokes and other “sophomoric” aspects of Hitman: Absolution, and NOW there are complaints about Far Cry 3 being RACIST. Just… why? Why do people care so much?
It’s like people can’t have any freedom with what they put in their games anymore. I’m not saying everyone should think it’s okay to put messages like “fuck women/ni**ers/gays” in their games, but it seems like that’s the kind of message people see when they complain about the content in games.
Let’s start with Far Cry 3 since it was a recent Kotaku/Rock, Paper, Shotgun article that spurred this rant out of me. The complaint is that you play as a white protagonist who basically saves the natives of the area and helps them by doing tasks such as “killing endangered species, find their missing daughters, etc.” Apparently, “the locals behave as if they’re helpless without you.” Yeah, it’s not like it’s a damn VIDEO GAME or something where sidequests and menial missions exist. No, it’s because it’s some white guy that it’s suddenly racist. So racist, in fact, that people have actually been stating that the game looks good, but they’re boycotting it because of this simple fact. Really?
Seriously, who gives a fuck? This whole issue bugs me because I really don’t care about skin color--especially when it comes to stories and entertainment. Part of it may be because I’m biracial, but the fact that I see so many people trying to point out these “racist” things just seems racist itself. Who gives a damn what color the characters are? Who cares that there’s a mystical native who helps you out? These are simple story tropes that have existed for as long as stories have been told!
Of course, this isn’t the first time an issue like this has come up. Years ago, people were ranting and raving about Resident Evil 5 and how you’re a white guy shooting black people. OH NO! Don’t shoot BLACK people! They’re different from everyone else! Let’s disregard where the story is taking us and the fact that nobody cared about shooting Spaniards in Resident Evil 4. (Though, perhaps people didn’t care because of the fact that Spain has a similar aggressive history to other European cultures, or perhaps their skin just wasn’t dark enough to offend. But, I digress…)
People have also been complaining about the new Lara Croft, the fact that she’s more vulnerable, that she’s nearly raped in one of the early cutscenes, and that the developer wanted to make the player feel like they needed to protect her. This sent feminists into a FRENZY. “What!? It’s because she’s a WOMAN, ISN’T IT?!” No. It’s the fact that she’s YOUNG and INEXPERIENCED and they wanted to develop a PARENTAL feeling between Lara and the player.
And then, of course, there’s all the jokes and whatnot in Hitman: Absolution. Once again, who honestly cares? Why is it such a big deal that they make a subtle gay visual joke? Oh, and there’s the whole sexy nun assassins thing. I get why people are upset, and yes, it was ridiculous, but seriously, this is just entertainment. It’s a world where fantasies and crazy, unrealistic shit can happen. But apparently, that’s not okay anymore. Developers apparently aren’t allowed to make an escape from the real world.
No, give men and women normal and realistic proportions. Give them realistic personalities, but don’t put them in realistic situations like rape attempts to develop character. And make sure you don’t make any women or minorities look silly or weak in ANY way.
I’m just exhausted with all this drama getting attached to video games. I just want to enjoy them and not have people ranting and raving about how short some character’s skirt is or what the hero's ethnicity is. I’m not saying I support any of it, but when there are women like my girlfriend who LOVES games like Onechanabara and Bayonetta, maybe it’s not as big of a deal as people make it out to be.
Maybe this drama comes from the whole “video games need to grow up” issue, but I think video games already have grown up. Once something reaches maturity, shouldn’t it be allowed to do whatever the hell it wants? Whether it’s a good or bad decision, it has the right to make it. If video games still have to grow up, then film needs to grow up. We shouldn’t have shit like White Chicks polluting theaters (which is pretty damn racist itself with its reverse Blackface, but people don’t say shit because it stars the Wayans Bros).
I really think, though, half of these complaints have stemmed from all the shit revolving around Anita Sarkeesian. You know, the lying, manipulative person who ran a Kickstarter, got a ridiculous amount of money despite being berated for her poor and sometimes uninformed statements; and who has YET to produce ANYTHING from her kickstarter beyond a photo of her and an enormous stack of video games she could have gotten at a fraction of the cost if she bought them USED. And despite being insanely behind in her milestones, she still has the gall to do lectures and BRAG about the money she made and how successful she was. Yes, of course the amount of harassment towards her was ridiculous, but I can guarantee you that not nearly as many of the people who attacked her were actually sexist. Plenty of MEN have gotten just as much harassment on the internet, but she implies it's women who get the most of it. She disregards any other possible reasoning for why she was attacked beyond her gender, and that's the same shit going on in most of these video game complaints. People zero in on ONE aspect, disregard everything else entirely, and call anyone who disagrees a sexist/racist/homophobe/whatever.
I get why people complain. I know that racism and sexism are still rampant. The problem is that these people who are trying to make a “better” society by addressing these issues are blowing simple things way out of proportion or creating issues where there are none and preventing people from actually moving past them. Numerous comedians have addressed this. You have to be able to comfortably talk about (and sometimes LAUGH at) these things if you want to move past them. If you continue to let them upset you or offend you, you’re only HINDERING society’s development.