Jimquisition: The FarCry Racism Adventure

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I wish people would just wisen up.
They need to stop pointing their finger at every single thing they see.

A little off topic, but did anyone else find it hard to pay attention to Jim because of the cutscene with the player almost drowning? It was intense enough that I lost focus.

When I first saw the box art, I assumed he was the villain. Black, white, or any other colour, an asshole is an asshole. This doesn't preclude the concept that he's a hero, but absolute dickishness is more commonly lauded in villains rather than heroes.

However, I am puzzled by the "he's not white" thing. The blond haired guy with fair skin and vague but European looking features isn't white? Maybe it's just my eyes, but I needed to blow up the picture and kinda squint to see anything that didn't look "white" about his face. I'm just saying, I can totally understand why people might assume he's white.

As far as games making us feel uncomfortable, I think there's an issue with that in the commercial market. People--at least,a large chunk of people--want power fantasy and they want a character that they can imprint on and that's hard when the character does despicable things. It is/was a complaint against the Saints Row series, that in a game about a power-mad sociopath with an arsenal that would give the Punisher wood, "you" were forced to kill civilians and do bad things.

It's hard to make despicable player characters in this environment, and people were likely worried they'd have to imprint on some racist sack of crap. In order to truly get to that "experience," we need to redefine gaming (At lewast mainstream gaming) as a whole. But then, would there be a market outside of the blockbuster crowd?

But, if Ubisoft doesn't say "the full story" (something we knew, and somehow find desirable for a first reveal) and some people jump to the conclusion that "the full story" is a racist one, doesn't that say more about those people that filled the blanks with their own bias than about Ubisoft?

I thought the cover was not racist because, in the lines of FarCry 3, it showed the villain in full cartooney villanry. At no point did they clarify that that was the bad guy and he is somewhat deranged, but I thought it was pretty obvious due to the situation.

Scrumpmonkey:
Part of the problem is there is a sub-set of people and sites who go out of their way to create these kinds of controversies. Places like Kotaku thrive on this kind of half-heard nonsense and many people seem all too eager to latch onto the next 'controversy' and wave some banners around without really thinking it through. The community also needs to learn that depicting controversial things is not automatically 'racist', just as the games industry needs to learn that if you are going to depict controversial things then it needs to be done with context and tact. It would be people like calling "12 years a slave" 'A racist movie'. It depicts racist actions yes but it does so in service of it's laudable goals.

It seems like everything is labeled sexist or racist by some people online. Like i said, i think this was largely due to a group of people who go looking for any kind of controversy online. I don't think a lot of those social justice warrior types know how to separate actual racism or sexism out anymore. It's banded about so often they get their hackles up over anything and everything.

Lastly i think that fact is making some people numb. It's the cry wolf effect, if you keep shouting everything is racist or sexist them you are just going to get tuned out. If you try and mobilize people over incredibly minor issues they are not going to want to associate with you when something worthy does happen. It cheapens the debate when people who just like controversy or want to look morally superior kick up dust over very little.

This attitude is what pushes me from most online communities, communities like /v/ will jump at any new information to hate the game because it could potentially cater to casuals and X type of person they hate. More Tumblr-type Social Justice sites will jump the first chance they gate to denounce the game as the white, hetero, cis men oppressing everyone. If you're excited by the game you get called naive sheeple, if you aren't excited you are a entitled manbaby. All this fight because of an announcement, just wait until the game comes out and you you have all the evidence to support your side.

Definitly helps to stop racism if everyone tries to find it under ever rocks.

It's the south park episode all over again. Once you stop seeing the "white man", the "black man", the "yellow man" and the "pink man with yellow stripes" and they just become these men, you're at the right spot.

I always find out about these "controversies" on the internet, because i just never see the issue.

Meh wahtever. The internet behaved like a rampaging hoard of baboons. News at 11.

Casual Shinji:
I gonna have to absolve Ubisoft of all the blame here.

The cover was clearly depicting evil/corrupt dude sitting carelessly on a throne while oppressing a native/henchman. They're apparently to blame for not spelling it out, which says more about the times we live in. Where unless we're given "the full story" our minds automatically conclude that it must be advocating racism.

Exactly, not all our minds I must say just a very loud minority of people who imagine are white ultra-liberals. The worst part is people get numb to this type of thing so when it is time to listen nobody wants to hear anymore.

Urh:
When Jim ended with "I'm not racist" I was expecting him to follow up with a "but...." Does that make me racist?

It just means you have pattern recognition.

Casual Shinji:

The cover was clearly depicting evil/corrupt dude sitting carelessly on a throne while oppressing a native/henchman.

You're not using "clearly" right. It's evidently not clear, nor can you blame people for being confused in an industry where sociopathy and heroism are often intertwined. Just because your assumption is proven correct doesn't mean it's clear he was evil.

Uriel_Hayabusa:
I suspect that Ubisoft's delayed explanation regarding the context of the boxart was intentional. Word of mouth is a great way to get free exposure, and controversy is just another form of that. You know what they say: there's no such thing as bad publicity.

It's also a great way to get your bottom line hurt and people fired.

GoodNewsOke:
I wonder if we ever reach the point where people look at a box art like FC4's and only see two humans instead of a "white human" and a "slightly darker skinned human".

I doubt it. There's still utility in "racial" descriptions. It wouldn't even be an issue if "race" wasn't historically used to mistreat other people. And while we might get to the point where it loses its relevance, it won't be in the foreseeable future, because it's still a raw enough nerve.

ron1n:

Been said a lot lately, but it's getting to the state where the more people cry racism, the more they're just proving it's still something people are obsessing over.

Uhhh....Yes? And that's kind of the point? That's basically an argument for "people are still thinking about racism because racism is still a relevant topic."

Exactly.

Scrumpmonkey:
Places like Kotaku

What does "places like Kotaku" even mean? It seems to describe just about all of gaming journalism, so why are they singled out so readily?

Zachary Amaranth:

Scrumpmonkey:
Places like Kotaku

What does "places like Kotaku" even mean? It seems to describe just about all of gaming journalism, so why are they singled out so readily?

Kotaku have had a few 'smoking gun' incidents where they have put their desire to stir up controversy above all else, in the case of Laura Dale they put it above her desire not to gain profile by publishing her name and the gripes she had talked about without consulting her first. They turned her into a very public victim, something she did not wish to be.

If you spend any time there you can pick out numerous controversy baiting posts and needless drama. It has become their M.O.

I hadn't even seen the cover before this video. Then, Jim showed the cover. And frankly, I didn't see it.

I can see how others would, but I didn't see it as racist. I just saw a guy trying to look gracious and above his followers. Sort of like a cult leader. Sure, he was paler than the other man. But, that was it.

I could see how some could jump to racism, but why is that a bad thing? Why can't games portray racism? It's only okay for games to portray zombies, dragons, and soldiers? For that matter, if you fight against people who are native to an area that the game takes place in, why is that racist? I never full got the Resident Evil 5 was racist argument. Now, there was that one village, that was sort of bad, but black people in Africa is not racist (hence why I said why I never "fully" got). Only having white people in Africa, would have honestly been more racist.

That all having been said, all Ubisoft had to say was, "Here's our new cover art featuring the game's villain and one of his minions." Problem solved.

Casual Shinji:
I gonna have to absolve Ubisoft of all the blame here.

The cover was clearly depicting evil/corrupt dude sitting carelessly on a throne while oppressing a native/henchman. They're apparently to blame for not spelling it out, which says more about the times we live in. Where unless we're given "the full story" our minds automatically conclude that it must be advocating racism.

The next time, we will hear that new Wolfenstein game is advocating nazis, cause "LOOK, A NAZI! THE GAME WAS MADE BY HITLER!!!!111"...sometimes I just hate the First World Countries

All human beings are born with an ingrained predisposition towards hatred and discrimination based on meaningless and inconsequential details.
It is an evolutionary consequence of having no natural predators except ourselves, and for having developed for thousands of years within limited and heavily inbred communities also known as "tribes".
Getting along as a diverse cosmopolitan society is what actually requires conditioning and education.
Yes, you read that right, babies are born racist.

bottom-line is: being Evil is Easy.

Steve2911:
Was that ending an incredibly subtle and delicate swipe at the #notallmen idiots? Or was it filmed before that shit happened?

Given how "not all men" has been a thing on the internet since 2001, I think it's safe to say that this was made after.

Though it is funny to see people complain about the term, then in the same breath claim that Tumblr doesn't represent feminism.

I'll forgive the box art if the main character isn't some random white guy suddenly becoming the worlds greatest killer and up showing all the locals who should be a lot better then him at fighting.

Zontar:

Steve2911:
Was that ending an incredibly subtle and delicate swipe at the #notallmen idiots? Or was it filmed before that shit happened?

Given how "not all men" has been a thing on the internet since 2001, I think it's safe to say that this was made after.

Obviously, but it was topical this weekend.

And it's not the term people 'complain' about. The problem is that some people's first reactions upon hearing about a mysoginistic killing spree is to point out to everyone that they're not like that. Because the most important thing in the world to these people is how they're percieved while others mourn and promote a positive message.

First I've seen of it. It doesn't look racist to me. It looks like a gay Patrick Stewart contemplating sodomizing a poor person. It's class conscious if anything.

This is a unwinnable topic

Cover with no non-white characters = not including minorities so RACIST!

Cover with white dominating non-white character = showing white as superior so RACIST!

Cover with non-white dominating white character = showing non-white as savage so RACIST!

Zontar:

Steve2911:
Was that ending an incredibly subtle and delicate swipe at the #notallmen idiots? Or was it filmed before that shit happened?

Given how "not all men" has been a thing on the internet since 2001, I think it's safe to say that this was made after.

Though it is funny to see people complain about the term, then in the same breath claim that Tumblr doesn't represent feminism.

Both "not all men" and "not all feminists are like that" are constantly used in a mocking sense at pretty much the same rate.

Zachary Amaranth:

Casual Shinji:

The cover was clearly depicting evil/corrupt dude sitting carelessly on a throne while oppressing a native/henchman.

You're not using "clearly" right. It's evidently not clear, nor can you blame people for being confused in an industry where sociopathy and heroism are often intertwined. Just because your assumption is proven correct doesn't mean it's clear he was evil.

No, there's isn't a mathematical equation that proves he's clearly evil, but the common sense is slapping one in the face with a mackerel. Even with all the sociopathy in games, I can't see how anyone could be confused over this cover unless they've been living under a rock for the past 10 years.

I might've seen this get blown out of proportion by Fox News, but to see games websites make such a fuss over this..? Games websites who I am very sure are aware this is a sequel to Far Cry 3?

So... wait, the pink suit guy isn't white according to Ubisoft? He looks pretty damn white to me.

Steve2911:

Zontar:

Steve2911:
Was that ending an incredibly subtle and delicate swipe at the #notallmen idiots? Or was it filmed before that shit happened?

Given how "not all men" has been a thing on the internet since 2001, I think it's safe to say that this was made after.

Obviously, but it was topical this weekend.

And it's not the term people 'complain' about. The problem is that some people's first reactions upon hearing about a mysoginistic killing spree is to point out to everyone that they're not like that. Because the most important thing in the world to these people is how they're percieved while others mourn and promote a positive message.

You have a point, though what I want to know (which I don't remember anyone else asking) is how someone in his mental state got their hands on a gun, or how he was so close to being caught before it all happened, but still got threw the cracks.

But hindsight is 20/20, and unfortunately that isn't going to change any time soon.

Zontar:
...how someone in his mental state got their hands on a gun...

I believe the term currently in vogue is 'Murica.

Eeeeeeehhhm, I have mixed feelings about your mixed feelings.

On one hand, yes, the secrecy of the games industry is ludicrous and needs to stop. In addition, the pre-order pushing is also stupid.

In this case, however, I can see how Ubisoft wouldn't even conceive that it would be taken the wrong way. When I and many others first saw the box art, we saw the villain instantly. It's just that simple. The guy on the cover is the bad guy. If it was that obvious to a certain sect of people, it's reasonable to figure Ubisoft would think it was equally obvious.

If anything, the fact that so many people instantly assumed he was the villain is a pretty damn good sign for society. When an audience sees an image and the man dominating another human is assumed to be the villain, we're moving in the right direction.

Now look, there are discussions to be had about racism in games, as with everything else. Absolutely. But this is exactly the kind of thing that strips the legitimacy from the race discussions that really do need to happen.
People acting on first reaction without thinking critically or waiting for context are stupid and cause this problem. It was the exact same situation when Suey Park made reasonable people look like morons because she failed to do even a cursory wikipedia search of The Colbert Report before leaping to conclusions and then screaming those conclusions from rooftops and social media. She, along with the people behind this controversy, represented people wanting to discuss race and they represented them in the poorest possible fashion.

Aw, and here I was, expecting Jim to talk about Ubisoft's latest fuckup with Watch Dogs, but I guess this other fuckup will suffice.

I personally didn't see anything racist about the cover, but I guess I'm being too naive to no think about it.

Who the fuck thought that guy was the player character? Are you just plain high? A player character never smirks on the cover art, not even Nathan Dranke, the smirkiest character in video games. Everybody knows only bad people smirk on cover art.

My reaction to the artwork: it looks really good. They know what made Fart Cry 3 stand out story-wise was the excellent portrayal and characterisation of Vaas. This guy has the same air of danger and insanity that Vaas had, so the artwork perfectly showed me what made me excited about FC4. Cannot blame Ubisoft here, they were just banking on their audience having an IQ above 80, but that apparently wasn't the case.

If the guy on the cover wasn't meant to be white they screwed that up, he looks whiter than me and I'm as honky as it gets. My first thought upon seeing a clearly villainous effeminate man in a pink suit was to go "Another evil gay man? Great."

Casual Shinji:
I gonna have to absolve Ubisoft of all the blame here.

The cover was clearly depicting evil/corrupt dude sitting carelessly on a throne while oppressing a native/henchman. They're apparently to blame for not spelling it out, which says more about the times we live in. Where unless we're given "the full story" our minds automatically conclude that it must be advocating racism.

I get that, I truly do, and people with some common sense and who have at least played a single assassin's creed game will know just from the disclaimer of the game the lenghts to which Ubisoft is willing to bend over backwards and stifle any ontions of political incorrectness.

That said, and I believe those are the points of contention here, their response to the controversy was tardy enough to give the speculation time to run amok. That Ubisoft delayed commenting even with a curt tweet certainly did not help.

That far Cry's previous iterations also dabbled on the subject walking a tight rope also doesn't help.

To me it's not about whether or not this cover is racist (and frankly, being european, I am seeing bad enough signs of real racism to actually be arguing this to take my mind of politics), but whether Ubi could have maintained a moral highground by simply saying "For fuck sake, the dude's the villain, and he's an asian with really, really tacky hair" sooner than they did.

I thought the guy on the throne was an Asian fella with died hair... whoops.

Neferius:
All human beings are born with an ingrained predisposition towards hatred and discrimination based on meaningless and inconsequential details.
It is an evolutionary consequence of having no natural predators except ourselves, and for having developed for thousands of years within limited and heavily inbred communities also known as "tribes".
Getting along as a diverse cosmopolitan society is what actually requires conditioning and education.
Yes, you read that right, babies are born racist.

bottom-line is: being Evil is Easy.

No natural predators, what about them cave lions!? I liked the rest of your comment though.

AlwaysPractical:
Who the fuck thought that guy was the player character? Are you just plain high?

You must be newly exposed to the mouthbreathing shitstorm churning hivemind of SJW's. Welcome to the internet.

grimner:

I get that, I truly do, and people with some common sense and who have at least played a single assassin's creed game will know just from the disclaimer of the game the lenghts to which Ubisoft is willing to bend over backwards and stifle any ontions of political incorrectness.

Even that won't save them. If they don't attach a PDF with a story recap to their screenshot, as well as a huge fucking red arrow over the guy's face disclaiming that "NOT THE PLAYER. BAD GUY. PLEASE PLEASE CAN WE KEEP THE COVER, WE LIKE IT, OR IS IT TOO INSENSITIVE?", then apparently they failed to provide "context". I feel sorry for them a little bit.

grimner:
I get that, I truly do, and people with some common sense and who have at least played a single assassin's creed game will know just from the disclaimer of the game the lenghts to which Ubisoft is willing to bend over backwards and stifle any ontions of political incorrectness.

That said, and I believe those are the points of contention here, their response to the controversy was tardy enough to give the speculation time to run amok. That Ubisoft delayed commenting even with a curt tweet certainly did not help.

That far Cry's previous iterations also dabbled on the subject walking a tight rope also doesn't help.

To me it's not about whether or not this cover is racist (and frankly, being european, I am seeing bad enough signs of real racism to actually be arguing this to take my mind of politics), but whether Ubi could have maintained a moral highground by simply saying "For fuck sake, the dude's the villain, and he's an asian with really, really tacky hair" sooner than they did.

I think it's already been said, but I'm sure Ubisoft kept quiet to get some buzz going, since all they had to show was a cover and a pre-order deal. Whether this worked out to their advantage is another matter.

The thing is, does a developer/publisher need to come out with a statement everytime something extremely obvious is taken the wrong way? Games are taken the wrong way by many mainstream news outlets all the time - Do they need to send out a clarification then too?

I already find that Assassin's Creed disclaimer pretty silly, but is this something that needs to be implemented in every game that features human characters, for fear of offending anyone who might take something out of context?

Good old Americans and their racism boogyman that lives in every closet. Nothing more American than assuming every other country creates content with their sensibilities in mind.

Casual Shinji:

The thing is, does a developer/publisher need to come out with a statement everytime something extremely obvious is taken the wrong way?

Well, no. Because when you take something extremely obvious the wrong way, then you are either fucking retarded (not an uncommon thing among SJW's) or you're misrepresenting it on purpose. Even if you ask for context, the thing is that a dev/publisher does not owe it to you. They owe you nothing. They will present and advertise their game by slowly releasing information about it over time, because that's what keeps people thinking about it and that works. If you brew a shitstorm when you lack information, contrary to what Jim claims in the video, no, it is not their fault for not providing it. It's your fault for brewing a shitstorm when you... you know... lack information. A bit too obvious? Yes, one would think.

The Internet Knights like to scream racism every time someone white looks like they MIGHT be 'oppressing' a not-white.

It's the whole Zimmerman vs Trayvon thing.
Zimmerman was half-white and half-brown.
But all anyone in the media and Twitter could do was call him a kiddie killing kracker.

Because, you know, mentioning that Trayvon wasn't a saint anymore than Zimmerman is racist.
And, only white people shoot black people.

Not gana lie...ANYONE who thought that this box cover PROMOTED racism believes that Ubisoft wants to PROMOTE racism. And anyone who believes that is a giant, massive, complete, total idiot moron dumb-face. Anyone who actually believes that this box cover PROMOTED racism should have their internet privileges revoked for forever and always. They are a toxic pollutant that is ruining everything beautiful about the internet.

And if you didn't think the box cover was PROMOTING racism, but instead DEPICTING racism, and you STILL got upset, you're almost as bad as the last group of people. No internets for you for forever either, but I won't call you dumb. Just a sensitive douche.

EDIT: I should probably just put a little disclaimer down here. I am not specifically calling anyone out as either a moron or a douche. Just putting it out there, in general. And if you needed this disclaimer to understand that...well...I got bad news for you.

It's honestly getting to the point where you can't even have a story with human characters in it anymore. You can't have a character of any ethnicity (be it black, Asian, or whatever) without people going over the character with a fine-tooth comb to find every reason why the story writers are racist, and you can't just not include them for the sake of not having the story get bogged-down in needless racial politics, because then you're being racist for NOT having characters of different ethnicities.

What are we gonna have to do? Make every character in every video game, movie, comic book, etc into furries? Oh, but then we'll be hearing about how there isn't enough equine representation, or "Of course the canine character growls anytime he gets upset, because clearly ALL dogs are like that", and "Gee, the villain is a cat, who saw that one coming from a mile away?".

Can we just accept that there's a difference between racism and telling a story that portrays racist characters? Of course, that was a rhetorical question, because otherwise Jim wouldn't have needed to make this video.

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