Oh Dear, the Resident Evil 5 Racism claims are back

2 min read


Way back in August 2007 Resident Evil 5 was hit by claims of racism and at that time I was solidly on Capcom’s side and just thought that people were finding problems where none exist.

However it seems that Capcom may have inadvertently, we hope, gotten this one very wrong indeed. According to a Eurogamer hands on the racist imagery in Resident Evil 5 goes above and beyond the whole “White man killing a black man” debate.

When you start the game you come across a gang of black men beating something in a bag who turn and stare at you menacingly… Ah but they are zombies you cry… well the problem is they are not, they are simply just normal people beating something up for no apparent reason.

And it just gets worse, according to Eurogamer

“Later on, there’s a cut-scene of a white blonde woman being dragged off, screaming, by black men. When you attempt to rescue her, she’s been turned and must be killed. If this has any relevance to the story it’s not apparent in the first three chapters, and it plays so blatantly into the old clichés of the dangerous “dark continent” and the primitive lust of its inhabitants that you’d swear the game was written in the 1920s.”

And if that wasn’t enough there are apparently even more outrageous images to be found later in the game but Capcom have asked that these not be released yet…

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I have a feeling we are going to be hearing a lot more about this and if the Eurogamer statements are correct then it does deserve to be heatedly debated.

Source: Eurogamer

Last Updated: February 6, 2009

Gavin Mannion

I for one welcome our future robotic overlords

  • It’s a zombie game based in africa.
    There’s LOTS of black people in africa.

    After more than 4 games with “white” zombies I’d say that’s pretty fair.

    I personally can’t wait for RE6, now in Iraq!

  • hilt_ctn

    Marketing 101. It’s brilliant.

    That aside. It’s just a game. This planet has become far too serious. Sneeze wrong and you’re offending someone. Bugger that for a joke

  • KKK Pete

    [Yeah I don’t think so – Racism is not accepted on the site] – Ed

  • Rob

    So what about all the games where gamers have been joyously killing white people all these years? Isn’t that racist against white people? Or what about all the poor aliens we’ve killed? Xenophobia anyone?

    Oh, wait, it’s a game. It’s not real. For a moment I took life too seriously

  • spl0it

    Noone moanded about FC2 , where you shoot black soldiers and Afrkaans mercs.

  • I think you are missing the point here.
    It’s not the fact that the zombies are black or the baddies are black, it’s that before they turn bad (infected) they are being portrayed as animals and rapists.

    In the previous RE games the white zombies were nice decent people before being infected, that is the difference

  • easy

    i was just gonna say that… its pedantic

  • vern

    Its always about racism,these people must grow up.Just play the damn game and stop running your mouth

  • These people? As in the Eurogamer reviewers seeing that it was them who brought it up this time.

  • janrik

    Ja this game is really stirring up everybody.

    Real pity when games get headlines for the wrong reasons.

    Or maybe game developers need to be more sensitive?

  • Being overly Politically Correct is gonna be
    the downfall of us all. Pretty soon we’re all
    gonna be brainwashed,emotionless zombies.
    Anybody seen Equilibrium?

  • I just think it’s stupid due to the fact that it’s
    an unavoidable trap in today’s society.
    If you have a white man killing a black man,the
    white man is racist. If you have a black man killing
    a white man,the white man is racist.It’s a lose-lose

  • Maybe they shoud start painting the people pink.
    oh wait…that would be racist against albino’s

  • hilt_ctn

    Where’s my dose ??!! 😉

  • RivaZA

    Yeah it is so untrue. Can’t even imagine where Capcom would have got that impression from.

  • RivaZA

    Come on, everyone know in the new PC society there is no such thing racism towards whites.

  • Mac

    I think the racsim claim has a point. Read the article on Eurogamer about how Africans have been depicted over the years and you will see their point!

    As for the game i am undecided. I played the demo and all though it looks great it plays not so great. The controls are frustrating and the fact that you cant run and shot still bothers me. The camera also seems all over the place which is annoying when you are having you head chainsawed of by a zombie

  • Thanks for actually reading the article. 🙂

  • Mark

    Yes, wake up you whining little b!tches.

    Read the article first, stop with your “white zombie” racist crap….

    They have a interesting point, how hard would it be to have a little empathy? :heart:

  • enx

    Well well the marketing wheels are turning, and I for one can’t wait for this to come out. I’m not sure where the line is on racism but I don’t really care…it’s a game not real life, and as long as the game is scary, I want it to come out untouched. I haven’t played it but from the screenshots, even randomly dropping white people into the mix has affected it adversely… why would they be there?

  • kab123

    Release a simple patch to make the main chars black. Can’t be more than a couple of megs. Then, everyone’s happy.

  • tourists?

  • You preach empathy,but call people whining little
    b*tches if they disagree? :whistle:
    I did read the article and although I agree that
    it might suck to some extent,I don’t agree about the
    whole fuss being made.Unfortunately it’ll take a
    whole essay for me to explain all the problems I find with the article 😉
    Everybody has an opinion.We’ll just have to deal
    with that.

  • BHW

    As a pigmentally challenged person who communicates in Afrikaans – I thought shooting Dutchman in FC2 was funny as hell – was not offended by the racial stereotyping in the slightest. I’m just waiting for some crackpot cult to complain about the unfair portrayal of our visitors from distant worlds in modern media.

  • Wither

    That would be seen as more racist… not to mentioned that one of the main characters was in the first Resident Evil and was white. Could possible be explained as a different scenario for the M Jackson syndrome??

  • Everytime some guy spoke Afrikaans in that
    game, I was cracking up :biggrin:

  • Wolfy

    No offense dude, every single other game, show white rapists and crap like that and we dont moan. Its like they always want something to fall back on like this idiot from last night on XBL kept on saying the N word but when somebody came along and called him one he got all offended. Pisses me off

  • Seriously show me a game with white rapists

  • Bboy

    Haha, I knew this was going to be a problem. :/

    I guess killing off eastern europeans previously wasn’t as touchy as black vs white… also, is the women that rolls with you black?

  • RivaZA

    Battle Raper.

  • Inferno888

    Show me where in RE5 a black guy rapes anyone… People make up their own minds just by assumption. That’s the problem

  • When the very first trailer was released, my initial reactions were 1) Oh man, this is going to be SO AWESOME and 2)Dear God, Capcom, what were you thinking? The first trailer already dabbles in semi-racist imagery, but you are able to justify it on a certain level (For example, the ratio of African’s to whites on the continent).

    The problem, as Eurogamer rightly put it, is the intent of the imagery. Wouldn’t the scene of the black men dragging off a white, blonde-haired woman (Come in, Stereotype Central, over) have been equally disturbing and uncomfortable if the woman was black? And what purpose does it serve to in the realm of the game, if no further reference is made to it later on? Every novel strives to make each word and sentence serve the overall plot; movies use framing, angle, colour and exaggeration to make a point.

    Games are more mainstream now than 10 years ago. With games being treated as a real and maturing medium (and rightly so) as opposed to everyone dismissing it using the “games are for kids” mantra – and the ideal of photorealism pushing it further into the Uncanny Valley – you’re going to have people critically analysing the games that are released. Despite the fact that they’re still entertaining, they’re not really “just games” anymore in the same way that Schindler’s List isn’t “just a movie” and To Kill a Mockingbird isn’t “just a book”.

    I’ll still buy the game. I’ll still enjoy it (Resident Evil, woo!). And I will expect those who look at games with a more analytical eye than myself to call Capcom on any bullshit it has tried to pull and to explain it’s reasoning behind the story and/or the imagery.

  • Apparently she is…but this time not black ENOUGH.
    So technically,that would make the person who wrote
    the article racist against coloureds,wouldn’t it? :unsure:

  • “If this has any relevance to the story it’s not apparent in the first three chapters”
    (which are the only chapters they got to play)

    My problem is this – this sentence comes across
    (to me at least) that they don’t know if it’s referenced
    or explained later on.Which means that they don’t know
    the whole story behind the game.
    The same goes for the “shocking
    images” from later on in the game.How can you make assumptions if you don’t know the story arc around said

  • Now I have to go watch it again when I get home

  • janrik

    Then it is tribal not racial.

    Even worse I suspect.

  • Mark

    Yeah, point taken about the “whining” bit.

    Not really sure that 10(ish) words could be considered a sermon.

  • I was replying to the comment and not stating that anyone gets raped in RE5.

  • Wolfy

    they actaully speak Afrikaans in Farcry 2??? this i got to see!!!

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