Delayed Responsibility

I Shouldn't Be Gaming Right Now… But I Am!

Capcom, Showing Us All How it’s Not Done

Posted by deckard47 on March 12, 2009

Wow. Normally I’m not an early morning blogger, but this blew me away. As is traditional, Resident Evil 5 will ship with a ton of unlockables. Like, a ton. It’s why I loved the so-so RE Zero, for its Leech Hunter mode, and resultant unlimited ammo double-barreled shotgun. It feels good just to write that. Anyway, one of the unlockable/buyable costumes for Shiva has been revealed. And revealed is the right word, because she’s wearing some kind of “tribal” outfit that covers about 10% of her body. And no, I am not making this up, by “tribal” I mean she’s wearing what is essentially a cheetah print bikini, body paint and feathers. Wow Capcom. You just took sexist objectification and antiquated racism and rolled them up into a  sandwich, didn’t you? I guess you guys are thinking there’s nowhere to go but up from here? I’m suddenly worried that there’s even worse, hidden away in the game. I guess we’ll all find out soon. I hope that this makes people stop and pay attention, because if most people who buy their games don’t hold them responsible for this bullshit, then why should they care? Again, will enough people care? I hope so.

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6 Responses to “Capcom, Showing Us All How it’s Not Done”

  1. Simon Ferrari said

    We got lucky and found a thread on Kotaku where at least half the people agreed with this. The best dissenting view was “She’s African, it’s her heritage.” Which was enlightening, because I didn’t know African culture was half Brazilian, half Native-American.

  2. deckard47 said

    And half Cheetah! Surprise!

  3. Brendan said

    Is there at all a possibility that this is a tongue-in-cheek reference to all theaccusations of racism during the games production. A kind of “wot? me racist??!?! nah!!” lame joke?

    I know it probably isn’t and probably just very bad taste, but I hope it truly is a bad joke..

  4. deckard47 said

    I dunno, I think that Sheva was initially (and has become more so), to whatever degree, a way for them to deflect the racism/bigotry/whatever you want to cal it charge. I think the way they’ve designed her and characterized her only solidifies my understanding of their complete inability to own up to and correct the mistakes they’ve made. Instead of changing the way the game presents people in “fictional West African Nation” (as everyone keeps on telling us) to be less offensive, they’ve included whole levels of “primitive zombies” (no really, check out the Gametrailers review for their authentic outfits), and now they’ve dressed Sheva up in what an ignorant 5-year old might think “tribal Africans” dress like, if that child had only ever read Tintin in the Congo. It’s pretty fucking bad, and there’s so many little problematic elements to every part of the game, it’s hard to isolate a single one of them. It’s like that scene in Venice with the giant 10/X from The Last Crusade, it takes a while to realize the extent and depth of the wrongness. No matter how simplistically wrong it seems from the surface, this game’s sickness runs pretty deep, and it’s also peculiarly insidious in its popularity (and will become more so, as it sells a zillion copies here and in Japan).

  5. Sam said

    So I pulled that image up in the king’s college grad lounge with a bunch of PhD candidates hanging around, including a guy (Yale undergrad!) who was working on something gender studies related. Let’s just say I blew their minds. Academics need to play more video games.

  6. deckard47 said

    Wait, did you really? Or are you just being funny? Tell me how or vacation is going.

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