FFD: Are we all becoming too sensitive?

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Almost every day, there’s some new controversy about games and other media not being inclusive enough, or somebody becoming offended by some or other thing. I actually champion the inclusion of more people in to gaming’s fold, so I have no problem with people wanting games featuring homosexuals, strong female characters, racial diversity or any other lifestyles and cultures. Yes, I’m tired of playing games featuring white bros with guns too – but is there a point where people look for controversy where none really exist?

The latest bit of storm in a teacup controversy comes courtesy of Paste Magazine’s review of Mario Kart. they’re a little upset that 8 iterations on, and Mario Kart doesn’t offer enough skin colour diversity.

“The other notable omission is in the cast of characters’ diversity,” says Casey Malone “After 30 years there are still zero Mario characters of color, a problem that Mario Kart 8 highlights by lining up all the characters on a single screen. When it comes to human characters, Mario Kart 8 is overwhelmingly white.

Of the 29 drivers, 14 are human (including Toad and Toadette), and every single one of them is white. While it’d be atypical of Nintendo to introduce new characters into a Mario Kart game, it’s also where the deficit is the most obvious, and during play I found myself disappointed that Nintendo’s stable of characters so painfully fails to reflect the diversity of its audience.”

Firstly, half of them are baby versions of themselves, and since when is a mushroom a human, plus you can race as your Mii, and that allows you to be whatever skin colour you choose – but I digress. Yes, Nintendo does have it’s problems with not embracing diversity, but I’m not sure a Mario Kart review is the right platform.

I’ve never once even contemplated the racial make-up of the Mushroom Kingdom – but maybe that’s the problem. Is it my (not really) privileged (not really) white cis-gendered mentality getting in the way, or are people just becoming too damned sensitive about everything?

Last Updated: May 16, 2014

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.