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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

BME - 'Negative' Game Characters Critiqued

An article in Black Voice News has been published, offering a highly critical view of the videogame industry’s portrayal of minorities. Penned by Richard Jones, the article begins, “Negative video games reinforce poor self-images in Black youth.” It points out the overwhelming majority of games-makers are white, while surveys suggest that African American and Latino games players spend more times with consoles than White players.

Kansas State University psychologist John Murray is quoted, "If Blacks and Latinos are always portrayed as the villains, or as the victims who get killed often and easily, that is code for powerlessness. These image persist because too few minorities are in the industry. Roughly 80% of video game programmers are White.”

The author, who criticizes the Grand Theft Auto series (pictured) adds, “The video game industry is all about money. No one really cares about your skin color or gender if you are a well-trained video game designer or illustrator. The problem is that our youth and adult players see themselves as players and not designers or illustrators. Therefore unless they're motivated to get on the business end versus the player end of the video game phenomenon they will continue to be portrayed in a negative light and also miss out on a ten billion dollar a year industry.”

via Joystik, and Next-Generation

Article here. Spotted by Joystiq.

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