So I just purchased the new GTA. By the nature of the work I do, I need to stay up on the latest games, gaming consoles, gaming trends, etc. So I was really excited about GTA. Well it's been loading for hours now, which is cool, and it's given me a chance to write this!
I'm concerned already. They have a cool slideshow streaming while the content is loading. And of course, the women are still super uber sexy (hypersexualized), the Black imagery is still stereotypical, and there are no women of color. Now keep in mind, this is just the opening visual credits while loading (I haven't even started the game).
Didn't Rockstar learn anything from San Andreas? Oh yeah, they learned that exploiting certain cultures makes money, so in turn, it makes sense! But I'm tired of seeing this narrative deployed! But let me fill you in for those who haven't purchased the game yet. One Black guy has a bandanna (sp), the other black guy has a mean dog with a chain around his neck, a gun, and the words "LIQUOR" are featured prominently behind him.
Now I would have no problem with this - as we know this reality exists in some small segments of inner city Black culture. But this is the ONLY narrative deployed in video games of Black life! The racial project continues.
As Leonard (2003) further explains, ‘‘video games are not just games, or sites of stereotypes, but a space to engage American discourses, ideologies, and racial dynamics’’ (p. 3).
These cybertypes (similar to stereotypes) are dangerous. This kind of ‘‘pixilated minstrelsy’’ (Chan 2005) continues the deployment of race and racialization in these genres in that race, racial imagery, and identity depicted in this manner lead to the continuation of hegemonic whiteness and masculinity. This allows for continued racial inequalities within games and virtual gaming communities (Gray, 2012). As Nakamura (2009) suggests, gender, class, and race hierarchies have been carried onto the Internet, and video games are inclusive of this phenomena.
Ok, it's done loading and I'm done preaching (for right now). I have a feeling I'm going to be doing a lot of 'preaching' on this one!
Zip it in and Zip it out!
Manifest...My Reality: Seeing the World through the eyes of the 'other'