SystemAddict: Cultural Sensitivity in Videogames

While not getting myself in the middle of this argument, I will say that it is a hot button issue that is showing no signs of going away anytime soon.

Recently, The Association for American Indian Development (AAID) launched a protest against Activision over the game Gun and its inaccurate and derogatory portrayal of Apaches. This situation has been compared to when the Haitian community launched its protest against Rockstar over derogatory graffiti found in GTA: Vice City. Gun itself has been described as a sort of GTA game that takes place in the old American West (you even hijack horses to get where you need to go), so the comparison is easy. The obvious question is: How seriously are we supposed to take a game where you rampage with unlimited ammunition and are unburdened by a need to reload? Let’s not forget that despite critical health conditions, Colton (the main character) may make a complete recovery through drinking from his flask. Obviously, video games are meant to satisfy fantasy only, but what happens when the fantasy happens to include a real, living, ethnic group? What is the game developer’s responsibility in regards to cultural sensitivity? [Read the rest]

[tags]activision,gta,cultural sensitivity,rockstar games,hijack horses,association for american indian development[/tags]