Valve has today hit back at claims that Left 4 Dead 2 is racist in it's use of settings and characters, dismissing such opinions as nothing more than pure insanity.

The rebuttal was made by Left 4 Dead writer Chet Faliszek, who was responding to comments made in a column from the Houston Chronicle last week. The column also implied that setting a disaster game in New Orleans might be a bit tactless for following on too soon after Hurricane Katrina.

"There are mixed races of zombies, there are all different races of zombies that you shoot, and since we placed it in New Orleans, that makes it racist?" said Chet in an interview with Destructoid.

"I honestly re-read the paragraph about five times ... but when two of the characters in your game are African-American, it's a weird thing to be accused of. We're like, 'how does this work'?"

"This is a videogame, those are real people's lives, we are not trying to make a statement with that," he said. "It's a place we love, it's dear to our hearts. We would not cheapen it."

The Houston Chronicle meanwhile maintains that setting the game in New Orleans was a bad move, claiming that New Orleans "was a scene of dead, bloated bodies" not so long ago and that "The city has had enough to deal with. Valve, you should have spared them, even if it's just a video game."

The blog post goes on to point the racist finger at other games too - Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood is singled out especially for casting players as Confederate soldiers in the American Civil War, even though the protagonists desert the army by the end of the first level.

Destructoid expresses the opinion that any perceived racism within the game is likely arising from over-sensitivity and a desire to make everything sterile with political correctness.

Left 4 Dead is far from the first zombie game to be accused of racism though - the same happened with Resident Evil 5 a few months back. What are your thoughts on the matter? Let us know in the forums and check out our own thoughts on the game in our latest Left 4 Dead 2 hands-on preview.

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