I really wish people would understand pointing out things does not equal looking to be offended. Or crying racism for lol’s. For example, I shared this image from Hellblade on the I Need Diverse Games tumblr as well as on twitter, along with follow up text & table flip gif:
Everyone is talking about the perma-death in Hellblade game. We’re damn tired of a tribal aesthetic and locs as signs of [savagery]¹. But can we get a black character with good natural hair in a game? Nope, but non-humans, and white folks in a dystopian setting sure can.
It was not long before the you’re looking to be offended! You’re the real racist chorus started up. Get a new tune. I didn’t even know the game existed until the perma-death chatter lit up my TL. A friend was streaming so I checked it out. I notice the white fem lead with locs, the pseudo tribal aesthetic immediately. After playing HZD I’m even more aware of these things. I will say, Hellblade looks fucking amazing. I’ll give credit where it’s due. Much like HZD it’s a beautiful game, but very dark.
However, a game is manufactured by people. Who had to make design decisions for the protagonist, the world etc. So it was a choice. They could have not gone with locs. Any choice but that. Easily identifiable braids, a short pony tail, anything else but that. Oh and of course I got the but Celts! But Vikings! Uh, no. What they had were not locs as we know them. Have a link and come back after you read that post.
They also ignored the other point which was; its tiring seeing black hair styles on everyone but black characters. Those locs actually look good, that’s what makes me annoyed. Clearly game makers can put hairstyles like locs in games & do it well. They just don’t take that extra step and actually make them available to humans. But a white lead in a dystopian setting? Sure! Seeing this stuff over and over is exhausting. No one is out here looking to be offended or tracking down racism for fun.
I don’t know why people have this idea that marginalised folks are out here just looking under rocks for shit to bothered by. We’re not.
I’d rather not spend time on it, but hey the industry keeps failing me so I’m going to keep pointing it out. Maybe someone will listen. So when people bring up these issues? Maybe hear what they are saying instead of slotting in your preconceived notions on the topic?Or if you open your mouth with some “you’re just looking to be offended” bullshit, don’t be surprised at the resulting block on twitter, tumblr or refusal to engage with you; especially if “just want to ask a question”.