Kuhraaayzee Search Terms and #Gamessowhite

It’s a shame that WordPress can’t log search terms from a lot of the most popular search engines; I’m always fascinated by some of the stuff that lands people at Cirsova, and there’s almost certainly a goldmine of weird in those thousands of “Unknown Search Terms”

The people who showed up on my blog looking for the following things probably left disappointed:

“up scurts of kameo the video game chrarter”
“Varg Vikernes Height”
“marie cachet height”
“peter pan nude”
“disney peter pan and wendy naked”
“giant boobs”
“bare butts peter pan”
“dracula’s dick”
“killing fantasies about women blogs”
“very edgy fantasies”
“nude character on gauntlet dark legacy”
“disney peter pan her buttock the”
“cat santa doesn’t exist”
“few examples of fantancy with your boyfriend”

I kind of wish I had time yesterday to rant about #gamessowhite and how cartoonishly stupid and false its base assertion is. It might end up being a flash in the pan, but I would not be surprised if major news outlets try to make hay out of it. From what I gather, it started off with some polemic on Polygon which claimed “straight white men are predominantly the main character in games” with no citation other than a link to a bunch of pictures of guys from games that I am unable to identify.

There is this strange notion that video games are oppressively dominated by white people and there’s just no diversity anywhere to be found in games. A lot of this assertion seems to be revolving around an attempt to stir up negative press for the Witcher games. I don’t know much about them and they’re not on my radar as far as games I want to play, but I think that Slavs have dealt with enough crap over the course of human history that you’d have to be some kind of an asshole to try to foist white guilt on them.

Are games dominated by white protagonists? I got to thinking about some of the games I’ve got and have played in fairly recent memory:

Morrowind – Pick your race!
Oblivion – Pick your race!
Kameo – Ambiguously light brown elf girl
Guardian Legend – Racially ambiguous battle-Gynoid
Q*Bert – Don’t know what he is, but I can tell you it’s not white!
Gauntlet Legends – Ensemble including women and non-white characters
Futurama – Play as a ginger, a cyclopean woman, a robot, and a jewish lobster man.
Xenogears – Stars a chinese man; diverse ensemble cast.
Parasite Eve – Aya Brea is white, but she’s a woman. Her partner’s basically Danny Glover, but that’s a rabbit hole we don’t need to go down.
King of Fighters 95-2003 – Well over half of the characters, if not 3/4 of them, are Asian, a few are hispanic, and at least one off the top of my head is black.
Street Fighter 1,2, and Alpha 1-3 – Again, diverse ensemble cast; some have pointed out that out of the first two games, there were only 4 “white” characters each. 1:Joe, Eagle, Birdie, Ken; 2:Ken, Zangief, Guile, and Vega (if you count hispanic as white)
Reboot – Enzo is green
Baldur’s Gate:DA – Human and Dwarf are caucasian, the elf lady is ambiguously shaded but could be called white maybe?
Norse by Norsewest – Okay, the viking dudes are pretty white.
GTA San Andreas – Play as Black man
Arkham Asylum/City – Play as Batman

Maybe my game shelf isn’t particularly representative, especially on account of how behind the times a lot of my tastes are, but it’s not like Madden is the sole balancing factor for diversity in video games.

So, devs are crapped on for cultural appropriation when they include stuff outside of their culture, they’re crapped on as bigots when they don’t include stuff outside of their culture, and actual diversity in video games is shoved under the rug because it goes against the “everything is racist/sexist” narrative. The issue with Rust (where devs updated to make character’s appearances random) is cited as proof that white people can’t stand the idea of playing a non-white character; to me, though, it seems more like people don’t like having the choice of character taken away and… wait a minute… You’re mad because people have said that they’d rather play as a character that looked like them while bitching about how players can’t play as characters that looked like them? Great job there, you goddamn stooges!

If you are so racist that you can’t stand playing as a white guy, there are plenty of other great games to choose from.  Those of us who aren’t grievance mongers who escaped into reality from some editorial page cartoon have been enjoying a wide range of diverse video game characters for years.

And for the record, I’m not black, but playing as Carl Johnson in San Andreas was awesome, and I’ve never heard of anyone who complained that they had to play as a black guy in a GTA game.