Gears of War reinforces casual racism

Written by Joe Martin

April 11, 2008 // 10:38 a.m.

Tags: #black #cole-train #crystal-dynamics #gears #gears-of-war #gow #racist #resi-5 #resident-evil-5 #zombie

In a series of interviews with black people in the games industry, Crystal Dynamic's Senior Producer Morgan Gray has accused games like Gears of War and the upcoming Resident Evil 5 as enforcing black stereotypes.

In comments made during an interview with MTV, Morgan said that the Cole Train character in Gears of War was nothing more than black stereotype.

"I am sick of playing the average white dude character. I’m just done with it. And I’m sick of playing a black stereotype," Gray, who is currently working on Tomb Raider: Underworld stated.

"There's no reason that Marcus Fenix in Gears of War couldn't have been a black guy... Cole Train on his own, no harm no foul. But what is Cole Train? Cole Train is basically like every other effin’ black character in a video game. Like here comes the urban stereotype...Where is this 1990s - not even 2000 - black slang, where does this fit in this futuristic world that doesn’t even take place on Earth? They go really far to do a lot of fictional justifications for this culture that they’ve built, and they go right back to this urban stereotype for the black character."

Gray was quick to point out that his comments were not an attack on Epic and said that he did love the game utterly, but that the lack of thought served only to reinforce casual racism - "It’s almost like, 'Cue the drum beat, here comes the black character.'"

Gray also levelled some blame towards Japanese developers, saying that black people were nearly always portrayed as ultra-hip 70's pimps or straight-up thugs.

Whether you subscribe to Gray's views or not, you have to admit that he makes an interesting point - black characters are very much a minority for most games. Tell us what you think in the forums.

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