Anonymous asked: You know that game's racist right?
Actually no, I don’t think it is.
This is one of the problems I have with a certain mindset pertaining to race and racism which is more prevalent on Tumblr than I’m entirely comfortable with. What you’re probably referring to is the overall theme within the game of Columbia being a place of purity, with various propaganda posters and lines to that effect:
These can be admittedly a bit uncomfortable to look at, but accusing the people who make the game of racism is I think missing the general point of why they are ultimately there. Now, the images themselves, are quite racist and upsetting, that much is ultimately true and I am in no way making an argument against that. The point I am making is that they are there to paint the people in power in this story as being terrible in their beliefs. The enemy in this game is a man who believes in racial purity. You are supposed to hate this man, so every bit of propaganda and disturbing imagery in the game is meant to paint him in that light, and ultimately show that the racism the villain is presenting is a bad thing.
The reason the mindset of this kind of reaction to such a thing bugs me is because, in my opinion, what would be far more troubling would be if they set a story in 1920’s America, with African American characters that didn’t address what they were going through in that time period. When you see most movies made in the 50’s-70’s set in the Antebellum South, they all look like this:
Everything is perfect and hunky dory. This is Americana right here, fishing in streams and catching rabbits out in the garden. It paints a picture that this is the kind of time we all wish we could return to, a time of innocence and family values.
In my view of things this is WAY worse than the examples above. To me, if you set a story in a time period, and it’s not in some fantastic land, or someplace where there is a legitimate reason for such things not to be an issue, it is your duty as a storyteller to at least address the terrible things that go on during that time period. It’s a bit like setting your story during WWII in the middle of London and no one even vaguely mentioning the war, instead going out for icecream and cookies and eating fish and chips in the picture of health and contentment.
This is the problem I have with the mindset that simply bringing up the fact that racism is a thing, is racist in and of itself. No, to me, trying to bury any notion that the discrimination and hardship of the past existed, in favor of showing a perfect image of the time period, is much worse. To me that is disrespectful of all the people who had to live through those times and fight those fights. If the things above are hard to look at, that’s because the time period was hard to live through, and that should be known. That should be known so we know the terrible things that have happened, so we can go forward without them happening again.
Now, Bioshock infinite does have some other issues as far as the balance of characters is concerned (But that’s a whole other topic). As far as it in and of itself being racist? I don’t think that is ultimately correct.