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View Full Version : Racism against African-Americans in Deus Ex is a Red Herring



Pinnacle
12th Oct 2011, 20:49
A while ago a Times article mentioned that Deus Ex was racist, citing in particular a character named Letitia and the treatment of Africans (ie "black people"). There was a bit of a controversy, Eidos/Square Enix responded that there was no intention to negatively portray any group, and the whole thing blew over.

Now that I've taken a closer look at the game, I've realized that that whole "racism against Africans" angle is a red herring. The game isn't guilty of portraying black people in a bad light - in fact, its portrayal of black people is fairly balanced. There are plenty of awesome Africans in the game - African-American Jenny Alexander being a prominent example - and even some of the antagonists, like the hacker Van Brugen, who are clearly anti-stereotype characters.

What it DOES distract people away, from, however, is that the game DOES portray a certain group in a negative light.

But that group isn't Africans. It's the Chinese.

Go through the game. Take note of every Chinese male you find. From the hacker proxy Van Brugen uses to Tong to Lee Hong to Chan to the bartender Bobby Bao. Every single one of them is an "evil douchebag," as someone above me put. There is, in fact, not a single Chinese male in Deus Ex that is portrayed in a positive light. The best it got was "Anonymous X," the insider who helps you with Lee Hong's case, and even he's portrayed as some stupid hypocrite.

The worst part is, none of them are even "redeemable." Whereas the Mexican-American veteran-turned-purist you meet at the beginning of the game has, at least, some redeeming qualities, such as his soldier's honor, the Chinese characters are portrayed as just general scumbags who have no qualms about what they're doing whatsoever. You get the sense that their villainy is rooted in their very being, and that there is no reason for them to be bad, except to be bad.

Chinese females get a slightly better treatment, but not by much. Again, go through the entire game and take note of every Chinese female you find. They will fall into one of three classes:

1. Victims
2. Whores
3. Treacherous, domineering b*tches (ie Zhao)

In that order.

It's one thing to portray the political and social situation in China 2027 realistically - which, I think, the game does a reasonable, albeit pessimistic job, of. Another to portray every single Chinese character in the game through a negative stereotype. That, in my opinion, is not just an accident, but reflects some deep-rooted ideas about this particular group of people.

Honestly, I think this is a modern media issue (and since Deus Ex is a portrayal of modern day American society, albeit projected 15 years in the future, and made by a company in North America - albeit Canada, not the US - this is relevant), that a single negatively portrayed African character can raise a ruckus, but obvious and consistent negative portrayal of Chinese characters does not.

In my opinion, racism against Africans has become so part of the public consciousness through repeated reminder that people are aware of it, and try their best to avoid it. Anti-Chinese stereotypes, on the other hand, are so common in the news and media that people subconsciously integrate it into their thinking, and never even notice that they're partaking in it.

Thus, I'm not accusing Eidos Montreal of being "deliberately anti-Chinese," but rather that they are engaged in a sort of negative stereotyping that should be pointed out and should be brought to attention. This is the reason for this post.

jeyeichkey
12th Oct 2011, 21:04
Great thread.

I would also like to point out (perhaps once again?) that in the year 2027, wouldn't you think there would be more male whores? If there necessarily has to be a bunch of female whores, why not male ones? In a report made in Sweden about prostitution last year (2010), men who sell sex for money/things is greater than that of women selling sex for money/things.

Perhaps a little more balance both in ethical and in gender occupations.

Agent Denton
12th Oct 2011, 21:05
Let me run this by you as far as Asian stereo typing. Are there any Asians wielding Excel spreadsheets and calculators? No? Then they are not stereo typing Asians. I suggest you play through the Detroit section of the game again b/c there was a black prostitute that was bias against augs. As far as Leticia's character being racist it isn't even close. Go talk to a hobo and you will see there are some that are like that. I have engaged the homeless community where I stay and b/c one is portrayed as kind of over the top does not mean there aren't any out there like that. You should have seen this guy's reaction when I threw him a pack of smokes. He was as happy as a kid in a candy store. And your three arguments 1) Anyone can be a victim. Dr. Reed's mother was a victim and she struck me as someone who was on the higher side of the class ladder 2) Detroit had it's fair share of prostitutes and was fair in their ethnicity. 3)Treachery has no single race or face that you can apply it to. I for one think Hillary Clinton is treacherous, does that make me a racist ? No. In the China stage of course a majority of the women are going to be Asian just like in Detroit a majority of the women were American. Take it one step further I don't see black people as African Americans. That is a media coined term that they now use to apply it towards them as almost to subconsciously plant a seed that they are lesser in some way. I don't buy into that train of thought at all. Hell I would say a great majority of so called "African Americans" have never seen Africa nor would want to. If you start treating people like and referring to them as individuals instead of protected or special classes we will eventually break the shackles and we will win that fight. Just my two pennies.

If you want to touch on racism/stigma in the game look at what Adam has to go through. There are people he talks to that assumes he became augmented by choice and they make ignorant statements towards him. "Why would you do that to your precious body God gave you?" with out even realizing they are not even close to knowing what happened to him. May not be racism directly per say but it is still a form of social stigma.

jjc
12th Oct 2011, 22:46
No, to this thread.

Jibbajabba
12th Oct 2011, 22:53
Some people just put too much thought into ... Well ... Anything really. I suppose if you want then you can find something racist in anything. Heck you could argue that 'Kinder' chocolate is racist because they always use a white boy on their packaging.

Pinnacle
12th Oct 2011, 22:59
Let me run this by you as far as Asian stereo typing. Are there any Asians wielding Excel spreadsheets and calculators? No? Then they are not stereo typing Asians. I suggest you play through the Detroit section of the game again b/c there was a black prostitute that was bias against augs. As far as Leticia's character being racist it isn't even close. Go talk to a hobo and you will see there are some that are like that. I have engaged the homeless community where I stay and b/c one is portrayed as kind of over the top does not mean there aren't any out there like that. You should have seen this guy's reaction when I threw him a pack of smokes. He was as happy as a kid in a candy store.

There are both positive and negative stereotypes associated with various groups in the modern world. For example, for African Americans, there's the positive stereotype that they are athletic and music savvy. On the other side, there's the negative stereotype that they are poor and have an affinity for crime.

With Chinese, there is indeed the positive stereotype that they are "good at math." But there is also the negative stereotype that they are sleazy, treacherous, and cold. The latter stereotypes are what characterize the Chinese characters in Deus Ex.

The most effective treatments subvert stereotypes altogether - but all else being equal, I think people would rather be portrayed through positive stereotypes than negative ones.


And your three arguments 1) Anyone can be a victim. Dr. Reed's mother was a victim and she struck me as someone who was on the higher side of the class ladder 2) Detroit had it's fair share of prostitutes and was fair in their ethnicity. 3)Treachery has no single race or face that you can apply it to. I for one think Hillary Clinton is treacherous, does that make me a racist ? No. In the China stage of course a majority of the women are going to be Asian just like in Detroit a majority of the women were American. Take it one step further I don't see black people as African Americans. That is a media coined term that they now use to apply it towards them as almost to subconsciously plant a seed that they are lesser in some way. I don't buy into that train of thought at all. Hell I would say a great majority of so called "African Americans" have never seen Africa nor would want to. If you start treating people like and referring to them as individuals instead of protected or special classes we will eventually break the shackles and we will win that fight. Just my two pennies.

Your approach poses two problems:

1. There isn't a single major American character in Deus Ex that looks "Asian," despite Asians being a sizable portion of the American population. Instead, "Asians" are represented by Chinese nationals and/or expats who possess all the negative qualities I listed above.

2. I am perfectly willing to treat people like individuals, but when you purposefully identify a particular group in your game via the way they look, the way they speak, etc., and then make all characters belonging to that group share similar vices, that is not very individualistic. In fact, my post criticizes the lack of individualism in Deus Ex in the treatment of certain groups - ie "all Chinese are the same."



If you want to touch on racism/stigma in the game look at what Adam has to go through. There are people he talks to that assumes he became augmented by choice and they make ignorant statements towards him. "Why would you do that to your precious body God gave you?" with out even realizing they are not even close to knowing what happened to him. May not be racism directly per say but it is still a form of social stigma.

But again, "augments" are portrayed in a balanced manner in the game, with both positive representatives (ie Adam himself, if you choose to play him that way), and negative representatives (ie the "mercs"). Take the character of Bill Taggart as an example - he could be portrayed as an evil douchebag to emphasize the "ignorant redneck" asepct of anti-aug ideology, but the game avoids this caricature and instead portrays him in a relatively neutral light.

By contrast, you won't find a Chinese male who is portrayed with anything close to the same amount of nuance and finesse. Instead, you get evil caricatures like Triad boss Tong, sleazy douchebag Chan, and murderous playboy Lee Hong.

Locutus of BORG
12th Oct 2011, 23:07
DXHR is a pretty neutral game in terms of race, nationality, etc...

As far as the Asian portrayal goes, I mean, a part of the game is set in a very seedy part of Asia, just as another part is set in a really seedy part of the US, so really you'd expect to meet seedy people there - which is exactly what happens.

Otherwise, the game's rogue list has everything - a redneck (Barrett), an East-European-who's-also-mute (Federova), a Jew (Namir), a Dragon Lady (Zhao), her Indian henchman (that TYM dude after Bruggen), etc. etc. So really, there's nothing outright discriminatory about anyone in DXHR.

... Unless you count the guys who working behind the scenes, who are predominantly white. :stirspot:

Pinnacle
12th Oct 2011, 23:20
Great thread.

I would also like to point out (perhaps once again?) that in the year 2027, wouldn't you think there would be more male whores? If there necessarily has to be a bunch of female whores, why not male ones? In a report made in Sweden about prostitution last year (2010), men who sell sex for money/things is greater than that of women selling sex for money/things.

Perhaps a little more balance both in ethical and in gender occupations.

Heh, indeed.

But don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that a game should be "politically correct." You can't always have both a good and a bad character from the same ethnic/racial group. Trying to force every game into having an even balance of ethnic representatives isn't practical and is far from the point of my post.

Yet, when a third of your game is spent in China, and you go through the agonizing details of actually having your Chinese characters speak Chinese, and in portraying an actual city there (as opposed to just an organization of bad guys or whatever), you'd think that your developers would at least try to have a bit more nuance in their treatment of the region and its people? Apparently not.

I mean, compare Deus Ex with a similar stealth/action game that released last year - Alpha Protocol - which also dealt with China (or at least Taiwan) on a significant level.

In that game, too, you had your Triad gangsters, your Chinglish accents, and your Oriental prostitutes. But you also had strong, sympathetic characters like Omen Deng and the Taiwanese President. Even the portrayal of Muslim terrorists in that game was more nuanced than Deus Ex's treatment of Chinese males.

Pinnacle
12th Oct 2011, 23:25
DXHR is a pretty neutral game in terms of race, nationality, etc...

As far as the Asian portrayal goes, I mean, a part of the game is set in a very seedy part of Asia, just as another part is set in a really seedy part of the US, so really you'd expect to meet seedy people there - which is exactly what happens.

Otherwise, the game's rogue list has everything - a redneck (Barrett), an East-European-who's-also-mute (Federova), a Jew (Namir), a Dragon Lady (Zhao), her Indian henchman (that TYM dude after Bruggen), etc. etc. So really, there's nothing outright discriminatory about anyone in DXHR.

... Unless you count the guys who working behind the scenes, who are predominantly white. :stirspot:

The difference between Deus Ex's treatment of Detroit and its treatment of Hengsha is that Detroit, despite being seedy and corrupt, is actually home to some good, upstanding, and most importantly - sympathetic - characters like your old police buddies, the two guys who smuggle Neuropozyne to the masses, Megan Reed, etc.

Hengsha? It's all douchebags. Not a single good Chinese male in sight.

Agent Denton
12th Oct 2011, 23:28
There are both positive and negative stereotypes associated with various groups in the modern world. For example, for African Americans, there's the positive stereotype that they are athletic and music savvy. On the other side, there's the negative stereotype that they are poor and have an affinity for crime.

With Chinese, there is indeed the positive stereotype that they are "good at math." But there is also the negative stereotype that they are sleazy, treacherous, and cold. The latter stereotypes are what characterize the Chinese characters in Deus Ex.

The most effective treatments subvert stereotypes altogether - but all else being equal, I think people would rather be portrayed through positive stereotypes than negative ones.



Your approach poses two problems:

1. There isn't a single major American character in Deus Ex that looks "Asian," despite Asians being a sizable portion of the American population. Instead, "Asians" are represented by Chinese nationals and/or expats who possess all the negative qualities I listed above.

2. I am perfectly willing to treat people like individuals, but when you purposefully identify a particular group in your game via the way they look, the way they speak, etc., and then make all characters belonging to that group share similar vices, that is not very individualistic. In fact, my post criticizes the lack of individualism in Deus Ex in the treatment of certain groups - ie "all Chinese are the same."



But again, "augments" are portrayed in a balanced manner in the game, with both positive representatives (ie Adam himself, if you choose to play him that way), and negative representatives (ie the "mercs"). Take the character of Bill Taggart as an example - he could be portrayed as an evil douchebag to emphasize the "ignorant redneck" asepct of anti-aug ideology, but the game avoids this caricature and instead portrays him in a relatively neutral light.

By contrast, you won't find a Chinese male who is portrayed with anything close to the same amount of nuance and finesse. Instead, you get evil caricatures like Triad boss Tong, sleazy douchebag Chan, and murderous playboy Lee Hong.


Starting from the top. I have never heard the stereotype of Asian's being sleazy and treacherous. I have heard of them being nerdy and good with numbers(feel free to throw me a link). Hell, I even attempted a Google Auto Complete me search starting with ARE ASIAN'S ... and the first result was SMART?
http://i70.photobucket.com/albums/i119/Lyricron/asians.png

Again that is me not playing into this BS. And as far as stereotyping in general I believe people would rather not be stereotyped, period. As far as your claim that Asians are a sizable part of the US population let's see what the demographic breakdown of the Asian population. The breakdown of the US population chart puts California and Hawaii as the two largest states with the highest % of Asian people living there. Here are the numbers for MI:

Michigan 9,883,640 with only a whooping 2.4% Asian population.

Not sure if EM took that into account, but even if you factor population growth up to 2027 the increase would be miniscule. So don't be upset that no Asians were shown in Detroit. Knowing this, my argument holds weight regarding American women being portrayed in the same manner as Asian women as far as prostitution so the race card has no merit in that aspect. As far as Taggart goes he was far from neutral as you could get. He was straight anti aug and was not trying to hide this fact. If he had his way people who need the technology, like in Adam's case, would die rather than be given a second chance at life. Who the **** is he to make that decision for people? Tong was a triad boss, so I would not expect him to be portrayed with finesse. Have you ever heard of an ethical criminal? He was just that, a criminal. He could have been anybody. Hell I thought the dirty cop in Detroit was more offensive of a character than Tong, because he hid behind the shield of the law. How come nobody talks about that? There are more cops like him out there than I could imagine. As far as Lee goes, he was running a dirty business. That happens here in America all the time. Ever heard of the bunny ranch in Las Vegas? I am sure it's owner is very ethical and follows the law to the letter. Just saying.

thedosbox
12th Oct 2011, 23:33
Go through the game. Take note of every Chinese male you find. From the hacker proxy Van Brugen uses to Tong to Lee Hong to Chan to the bartender Bobby Bao. Every single one of them is an "evil douchebag," as someone above me put. There is, in fact, not a single Chinese male in Deus Ex that is portrayed in a positive light. The best it got was "Anonymous X," the insider who helps you with Lee Hong's case, and even he's portrayed as some stupid hypocrite.


http://deusex.wikia.com/wiki/Wing

Pinnacle
12th Oct 2011, 23:37
Starting from the top. I have never heard the stereotype of Asian's being sleazy and treacherous. I have heard of them being nerdy and good with numbers(feel free to throw me a link). Hell, I even attempted a Google Auto Complete me search starting with ARE ASIAN'S ... and the first result was SMART?
http://i70.photobucket.com/albums/i119/Lyricron/asians.png

Then you're not very familiar with the stereotypes surrounding them, especially the "Yellow Peril" and "Fu Manchu" parts of it.


As far as your claim that Asians are a sizable part of the US population let's see what the demographic breakdown of the Asian population. The breakdown of the US population chart puts California and Hawaii as the two largest states with the highest % of Asian people living there. Here are the numbers for MI:

Michigan 9,883,640 with only a whooping 2.4% Asian population.

Not sure if EM took that into account, but even if you factor population growth up to 2027 the increase would be miniscule. So don't be upset that no Asians were shown in Detroit. Knowing this, my argument holds weight regarding American women being portrayed in the same manner as Asian women as far as prostitution so the race card has no merit in that aspect. As far as Taggart goes he was far from neutral as you could get. He was straight anti aug and was not trying to hide this fact. If he had his way people who need the technology, like in Adam's case, would die rather than be given a second chance at life. Who the **** is he to make that decision for people? Tong was a triad boss, so I would not expect him to be portrayed with finesse. Have you ever heard of an ethical criminal? He was just that, a criminal. He could have been anybody. Hell I thought the dirty cop in Detroit was more offensive of a character than Tong, because he hid behind the shield of the law. How come nobody talks about that? There are more cops like him out there than I could imagine. As far as Lee goes, he was running a dirty business. That happens here in America all the time. Ever heard of the bunny ranch in Las Vegas? I am sure it's owner is very ethical and follows the law to the letter. Just saying.

A third of the game took place in Hengsha, depicted as one of the key port cities in the region of Shanghai (considered to be one of the most developed parts of China). Compared to Detroit, Hengsha was a total wreck, both in terms of the morality of its society, and in terms of the sheer evil-ness of the characters inhabiting it.

Pinnacle
12th Oct 2011, 23:43
http://deusex.wikia.com/wiki/Wing

Wasn't this the doctor who ordered you to kill the mercenary hunting down the corrupt government officials who used him and his team? How is he a positive figure?

thedosbox
12th Oct 2011, 23:53
Wasn't this the doctor who ordered you to kill the mercenary hunting down the corrupt government officials who used him and his team? How is he a positive figure?

He wanted the mercenary stopped from doing "terrible things", didn't talk about killing him.

Agent Denton
12th Oct 2011, 23:54
Wasn't this the doctor who ordered you to kill the mercenary hunting down the corrupt government officials who used him and his team? How is he a positive figure?

Depending on what conversation route you want with him, you can make him see that he and the merc were similar in ways.. He gives you a praxis kit too so he is ok in my book. :D

sonicsidewinder
13th Oct 2011, 01:06
http://i70.photobucket.com/albums/i119/Lyricron/asians.png


Are Asians Aliens?

LMFAO, get that in an Ancient Aliens episode.

Odysseyalien
13th Oct 2011, 01:29
This is a good thread and fortunately, with intelligent, respectable posts...AMEN to that.

I sensed a racial bias with Asians in the game but not so much the ideas presented in this thread, though the ideas in this thread are compelling. What bothered me was that 98% of the Asians didn't LOOK Asian enough. Rather, they tended to look more like Caucasians or bi-racial at best.

HERESY
13th Oct 2011, 01:53
Tong looks as if someone slapped a blonde wig on his head.

the.raven
13th Oct 2011, 02:51
Jensen says to the bouncer in the Hive that they all look the same, ROFL.

rokstrombo
13th Oct 2011, 02:53
A third of the game took place in Hengsha, depicted as one of the key port cities in the region of Shanghai (considered to be one of the most developed parts of China). Compared to Detroit, Hengsha was a total wreck, both in terms of the morality of its society, and in terms of the sheer evil-ness of the characters inhabiting it.

Lower Hengsha was controlled by a corrupt private police force (English), it was heavily overcrowded and there was no daylight because the wealthy built a giant sun-blocker over the entire city just like Mr Burns. Half of the accessible area was a night club district. There was a filthy capsule hotel between a construction site and an open storm water drain. A gang of organ harvesters kidnapped people and pulled them apart in a nearby parking complex. The entire area is blanketed with air pollution. This isn't the place where you would expect to find nice people thriving, and I think the prevalence of powerful evil characters reflected that. There were only three factions in this area, after all.

There were good people in Lower Hengsha, but they were broke and powerless. Adam was a stranger to all of them.

Pinnacle
13th Oct 2011, 04:52
Lower Hengsha was controlled by a corrupt private police force (English), it was heavily overcrowded and there was no daylight because the wealthy built a giant sun-blocker over the entire city just like Mr Burns. Half of the accessible area was a night club district. There was a filthy capsule hotel between a construction site and an open storm water drain. A gang of organ harvesters kidnapped people and pulled them apart in a nearby parking complex. The entire area is blanketed with air pollution. This isn't the place where you would expect to find nice people thriving, and I think the prevalence of powerful evil characters reflected that. There were only three factions in this area, after all.

There were good people in Lower Hengsha, but they were broke and powerless. Adam was a stranger to all of them.

Detroit is in the same situation, more or less, and yet there's still plenty of good people here, male and female, from a variety of class and racial backgrounds.

I get what you say about there being a (in-game) reason for why the people in Lower Hengsha are how they are, but there's plenty of opportunities for having sympathetic characters in a place like Lower Hengsha. It's not the absence of "nice, respectable" people that bother me (you're right, such people wouldn't be found in Lower Hengsha), but the absence of Chinese males over the expanse of the entire city demonstrating the bare minimum of humanity required to make me think they're redeemable or worth saving.

I mean, when the best candidates you can find are people like Anonymous X and Dr. Wing, neither of whom demonstrate any traits that make you particularly sympathetic to them, you have to admit - this game really does portray Chinese males in a pretty negative light.

Pinnacle
13th Oct 2011, 05:00
This is a good thread and fortunately, with intelligent, respectable posts...AMEN to that.

I sensed a racial bias with Asians in the game but not so much the ideas presented in this thread, though the ideas in this thread are compelling. What bothered me was that 98% of the Asians didn't LOOK Asian enough. Rather, they tended to look more like Caucasians or bi-racial at best.

I figure they just cut some corners and reused a lot of models.

One thing that perplexed me quite a bit during my play through is why the Chinese females shown in the game, outside of Zhao and a few others, were so dark in complexion. Even the well-to-do ones you find in the Upper City.

At first I thought it was the smog or some other pollutant, or maybe the devs were just making a statement about how poor people are darker than their rich counterparts, but then I noticed that it didn't apply to the males - the Chinese males looked much lighter than their females which, as far as I know, doesn't make any sense, especially in Chinese culture which values lighter complexion in females.

It could be a deliberate projection of the tanning fashion in future China.

Or it could just be too much model reuse.

jeyeichkey
13th Oct 2011, 08:16
@jtr7
Why should they care? They are japanese, the NPC's are chinese.

@Agent Denton, sonicsidewinder
I liked the part "bad drivers" and "really bad drivers" just as a final nail into the coffin.

@Pinnacle
You brought up the whores in your first post. I figured I'll have my share of the view in this matter. And it is as you say, not possible to be PK in every matter. Hence the situation in Hengsha will probably not be solved. On the other hand, had you said that a subtle PK should be in order, that might have changed things.

CloserFR
13th Oct 2011, 08:26
Taking that logic, why should anyone care? Eastern versus Western, was more the angle.

give me a chance... im not "that super-fictional"................................

.
.
.

someones are beating the beat here... :mad2:

jeyeichkey
13th Oct 2011, 08:29
@jtr7
I'm not the one pointing out the racism. I never noticed anything like that myself. Thought there were both "white and black" people going through the trash. Adam included. :^)

Kvltism
13th Oct 2011, 09:30
Wasn't this the doctor who ordered you to kill the mercenary hunting down the corrupt government officials who used him and his team? How is he a positive figure?

He did no such thing. Ideally, Wing wanted you to convince Zelazny to turn himself in. The reasons for Jensen being asked to handle the legwork: Zelazny would probably be more receptive to a fellow aug, and Jensen would be able to defend himself if things got violent. Wing didn't have sinister motives at all.

Agent Denton
13th Oct 2011, 13:41
Jensen says to the bouncer in the Hive that they all look the same, ROFL.

I think he was referring more to henchmen and lackeys all looking alike to him. But yeah I still chuckled at that comment.

TheYouthCounselor
13th Oct 2011, 19:23
Yeah, I noticed this aspect when it came to the depiction of the Chinese and I laughed out loud from Letitia as well. As much as I can see how this can be offensive, I didn't get offended and was quite humored.

Deus Ex 1 had a problem with (hilarious and unrealistic) stereotypes but it always made sure to give balanced and fair depictions of all ethnic and national groups. Whether you were in the States, China, or France you met the good, bad, and in between. In Hengsha we got mostly the ugly. Another thing to note is that the game has at least one character (off the top of my head Zeke Sanders) casually call an Asian a chink and allows Adam Jensen to make a racist jibe at a Chinese character.

hGKCMED6dhY

Also many Chinese characters constantly call Adam a gwailo which is a slur against white people. (It's constantly mistranslated as foreign devil and misconstrued as a slur against any foreigner. It always peeved me when in DX1, Max Chen would add a S to use gwailo in plural and refer to my black JC Denton as one when the grammar and usage was incorrect.)

Yet when confronting a character of any other race, Adam won't use racism to antagonize. This was also present in Mafia II where the protagonist Vito would make racist comments against Chinese characters but never anyone of another race. There seems to be some sort of double standard that racism against Europeans or Asians isn't as bad as racism against another ethnic group.

Pinnacle
13th Oct 2011, 20:05
Yeah, that's what I'm talking about, TYC. And even if we are to accept that Dr. Wing is a relatively positive portrayal of a Chinese male, that's still just one character out of the dozens in the game.

Ultimately, I think it comes down to Western society not being attuned to the potentially offensive nature of their negative Chinese stereotypes. With blacks and Latinos, there's a long history of civil activism and plenty of watchdog organizations making sure that media producers are held responsible for their portrayals. But with the Chinese, and also with Muslims, though that's not the subject of this thread, there's a double standard, perhaps because politically speaking these two groups are considered rivals and/or even enemies of the West.

Something to think about.

Agent Denton
13th Oct 2011, 20:19
But with the Chinese, and also with Muslims, though that's not the subject of this thread, there's a double standard, perhaps because politically speaking these two groups are considered rivals and/or even enemies of the West.

Something to think about.

Muslims I would agree with your statement. It is unfair the way the media always attacks them and how they are perceived in the US. Some of the fault lies on those who spin public opinion, the rest of the fault lies with the dumbed down American public for not educating themselves further than what they hear on FOX, MSNBC, CNN, BBC, etc. As far as China goes, they are the US biggest creditor. (I don't agree with how the government borrows ans spends). There is also a Chinese flag being flown on Constitution Blvd in DC. Which in my opinion is disgusting. But they are not looked upon as an enemy. Not yet anyway.

JCpies
13th Oct 2011, 20:33
"You all look the same to me" - That's kind of a dick move, but then again, he could be talking about character models.

Agent Denton
13th Oct 2011, 20:51
"You all look the same to me" - That's kind of a dick move, but then again, he could be talking about character models.

"You all look alike to me. Kinda hard to tell one lackey form another in here." - He was talking about differentiating henchmen. It is still very funny though.

ColBashar
14th Oct 2011, 22:57
In the lexicon of many Americans, racism is defined specifically as a white majority's discrimination against a black minority. This division is so deeply rooted in American culture, from the time of the nation's birth, through the civil war of the mid-19th century, to the civil rights movement of the mid 20th century, to the election of President Obama, that I have heard the term "reverse racism" used inappropriately as a reference to black discrimination against whites, either inter-personally, culturally, or institutionally through affirmative action. That's not to say other, broader, more appropriate forms of racism don't exist, but that culturally America is so focused on that one narrow definition that it's very easy to lose sight of the bigger picture.

The best example I can give you of this is the term "******", which, if used by any non-black will immediately brand the individual as a "racist". This effect is so pronounced that I recall a US legislator several few years ago compelled to apologize for using the word "nigardly", a term attributed by some to Chaucer to imply extreme parsimony, just because it rhymes with the n-word. (note: I have left the censorship of this forum intact rather than adjust them all to "the n-word" as an illustration of just how strongly it is embedded in our cultural consciousness)

By contrast, if you look at early 20th century British litarature, you'll see the word "******" used commonly by such progressive authors as George Bernard Shaw and Leonard Woolf without any negative connotation, in just the same manner we in this thread refer to "blacks". Agatha Christie published a novel entitled "Ten Little ******s", after a nursery rhyme, which was alternatively published "And Then There Were None" in North America. The UK version would eventually be retitled "Ten Little Indians" as American semantics finally crossed the Atlantic. In further evidence of political correctness, the 2007 PC game adaptation replaced the Indians with Sailors, yet another, and thus far the least offensive, version of the original rhyme.

I'm not trying to to marginalise the impact of racism or the effectiveness of political correctness in combating it. My intent here is to illustrate that the general perception of racism in America is so pervasive, and such a lighting rod topic, that it has spread national borders. The British didn't use the n-word as a slur but as a bastardisation of "niger", the Latin term that literally translates as "black". The nation of "Nigeria" could be translated as "land of the blacks". But over time, the negative connotation Americans have instilled in the n-word made it inappropriate not only amongst themselves, but for anybody who wants to do business with them. I would never call an "African American" a "******" where I have no compunction as to calling him "black". Though the two terms have the same literal meaning, the cultural significance of the former is such that I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole.

How does this apply to the conversation at hand? I agree that there is a double standard in how blacks are represented in popular culture but I don't read into it the same conclusion that many here seem to try to make. Racism is usually defined by a threat. In the plantation culture of early American and the west indies, the threat at hand was that the slaves would revolt and overthrow their masters, whom they outnumbered by a substantial magnitude. In turn those masters used oppressive measures to insure the slave population remained docile, dependent, and subjugated. That was the origin of racial tensions between whites and blacks that took more than two centuries to combat.

Today in the post-slave society, the threat that defined racism took a different, broader, less obvious form than skin-colour. As successive social upheavals took their toll around the world, America was faced with an influx of immigration. This influx was perceived negatively by the existing residents. As the Irish arrived on the shores of the American east coast, they upset the existing Anglo and German natives whose jobs they were willing to perform for less money. The same prejudices were seen on the west coast, directed toward the Chinese and enmeshing in American culture the "Fu Manchu" stereotype another had mentioned above. When the Irish had established themselves, they were in turn threatened by the Italians, the Italians by the blacks, the blacks by the hispanics. While the clash of black and white has always been in the forefront of American consciousness, the fiercest rivalry in America has traditionally been between its two poorest demographics. An aside, that Barak Obama is in the White House marks to me a change in the fabric of American values and identity; not because he is (half) black but because hispanics voted for him.

At present, the Asian demographic simply isn't perceived as a threat. As has been pointed out, they represent only a small fraction of the American demographic. Of that slice of the pie, they are not particularly poor. This has not always been the case, as noted, but the stereotypes in the form of Fu Manchu (who is surprisingly well represented for a villain) or Charlie Chan (who is surprisingly mis represented for a hero), who had been prevalent in the days of George Bernard Shaw or Leonard Woolf are now obsolete in modern culture. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if this thread was not the first exposure some readers have had to these fictional characters.

So while I may be willing to admit a disparity in the portrayal of asians and blacks in Human Revolution, I don't take that as implying that asians are facing greater prejudice. Only that in our culture of political correctness that the asians are less threatening. I have met many people who were ignorant of the fact that "chink" is a racial slur, who used it with the same neutral connotation of "black". I know many, many more, including myself, who do not take offense at being called a gwailo. I have no notion of what the literal meaning of gwailo is though I assume it not to bet flattering. Nevertheless, the word has no impact on me. Contrast that to the n-word which, while literally harmless, is one of the most offensive terms in the American lexicon.

This is where I must make criticism of political correctness. I am dismayed by how I perceive so much energy being spent toward covering up the labels of racism without addressing the cause of it. Like a baby playing peek-a-boo, some people seem to believe that if prejudice is not apparent that it doesn't exist. Instead, hiding it under a layer of euphemism and neutrally-perceived terminology only serves to distort semantics, making the problem even more difficult to perceive.

Part of this stems from the popular tendency to take offense even one none is offered. It seems to me that we could develop more quickly as a society by focusing less on the perceived prejudices of others and spending more time identifying the prejudices that lie within ourselves. Toward that end I firmly believe in healthy and free discussion like that in this thread than the news and blog articles that seem more interested in pointing fingers.

The scene with Letitia, I will be honest, shocked me. Not because I was personally offended by her portrayal but because I was culturally conditioned to reject it. I have had the good fortune of being able to meet people from a wide variety of walks of life. I know that there are blacks (and others who "try to be black") who speak like Letitia because I bear personal witness to them. But I also know that she does not represent the norm and I think this is in turn effectively represented by Josie Thorp. Personally, I think the addition of Letitia was a bad move, but only because I think it was a poor decision on Eidos Montreal's part to rock the boat. Never risk alienating your consumers unless you have a specific reason to do so, i.e. to progress the story.

The treatment of asians, specifically Chinese, in Human Revolution by contrast doesn't press any hot buttons in the American psyche. As a result in this hyper sensitive culture, it not as easily noticed, either by the developers producing the material or the observers playing it. Chink or gweilo just don't have the same impact as the n-word, they don't generate the same, automatic backlash because people don't take the same level of offense, or are not loud enough when they do. (note: heck, they're not even censored by the forum) In short, I don't think Eidos Montreal is prejudiced against asian people, I just think they don't really care. More importantly, and as this thread points out, do they have a reason to?

As for "they all look the same", this is true of any occasion an individual raised in a certain culture perceives another, foreign culture. It's not specific to white's perception of asians. Anybody who sees big differences is less inclined to note the smaller ones. This extends to language, as well. Americans and Canadians can readily tell one apart by the manner in which they speak, the inflections of voice, choice of words. For those who are not acclimated to North America, though, the nuance of "abowt" versus "aboot" can be easily missed. That's not racism, they really do "all sound the same" to a non-English speaker looking in.

Deus Ex impressed me by how even handed it was in terms of racial inclusion. Starting with Leo Gold, a freedom fighter who has one of the most quoted lines in the game, to Morgan Everett, would-be eminence grise of the world, to Parisian guerilla Chad Dumier and even the Afro-Austrialian bartender of the Lucky Money. I appreciated the level of diversity of Wan Chai's denizens whereas in Hensha the only non-asians were either Belltower or mostly ignorant tourists. Ion Storm -did- care, even when they didn't have to, and it shows. It neither hid racial disparity or throw it in our face but instead made it so natural that it ceased to be relevant.

Human Revolution didn't do this. Sarif is white, Pritchard is white, Megan is white, Darrow is ultra-white, and Malik looks pretty white to me. Not only is Taggart white, but his stooge is hispanic. Heck, even Adam is white. What happened to getting a choice of skin-tone? And where were all the scientists and entrepreneurs who escaped the West's democratic moralism to research in the safe confines of the PRC's liberal autocracy? That's one of the central themes of Deus Ex, albeit an obscure one, yet while Human Revolution makes mention of it, there's little evidence even after you reach the upper city.

In conclusion, I don't believe the Eidos Montreal team are racists. I do, however, accuse them of allowing ethno-centrism to be projected in their product. While that may be a contributing factor to racial discrimination, it's not the same thing, and it's not that different from the norm. Games from Japan or Korea can be just as much a reflection of their own culture. For that I'm glad because I think diversity is a good thing. We all have something ot learn from one another and I'd rather risk being innocently offended than whitewash global culture by forcing everyone to conform to the same mores.

pukster
14th Oct 2011, 23:23
...Now that I've taken a closer look at the game...the game DOES portray a certain group in a negative light...the Chinese.

This reminds me of that guy (http://www.gamesradar.com/portal-is-the-most-subversive-game-ever/) who totally misunderstood Portal as being pro women's rights movement.

MaxxQ1
14th Oct 2011, 23:47
First off, good post. I agree with pretty much everything you said. With that said...



I'm not trying to to marginalise the impact of racism or the effectiveness of political correctness in combating it. My intent here is to illustrate that the general perception of racism in America is so pervasive, and such a lighting rod topic, that it has spread national borders. The British didn't use the n-word as a slur but as a bastardisation of "niger", the Latin term that literally translates as "black". The nation of "Nigeria" could be translated as "land of the blacks". But over time, the negative connotation Americans have instilled in the n-word made it inappropriate not only amongst themselves, but for anybody who wants to do business with them. I would never call an "African American" a "******" where I have no compunction as to calling him "black". Though the two terms have the same literal meaning, the cultural significance of the former is such that I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole.

When I was in second grade (back in 1970) we got a new student. When he came in, I said, a little too loudly, "Darn, he's black." My reasoning for that was because I had been picked on since kindergarten by black classmates. The school was a good 50/50 mix of white and black kids, but because it was black kids that picked on me, I didn't like them. Anyway, the teacher overheard my comment, and proceeded to ream me a new *******. Just because I called him black. It had nothing to do with the *reason* I said what I did, or the tone I said it in - it was just the fact that I used the word "black".

After that, for years, I never knew what to call them (I know they should just be called "people", but we're talking about a kid 7, 8, 10 years old in the '70's), as I already knew ****** wasn't the right word, and now "black" was apparently on the taboo list as well. Even now, I'm uncomfortable with using "black" as a description, but feel that "african-american" is too wishy-washy - no one calls me irish-american, even though I'm only third-gen irish, or german-american (I'm 1/2 german, 1/4 irish, and 1/4 hungarian). I'm also not offended when someone calls me (a) "mick", but that's mainly because I'm pretty easygoing about it. I've also been called "cracker" by some black co-workers. I usually laugh right along with them. I understand it hasn't got the same negative connotation as ******, but it's still a racially-based slur against a group of people.






Human Revolution didn't do this. Sarif is white, Pritchard is white, Megan is white, Darrow is ultra-white, and Malik looks pretty white to me.

I have to disagree here. Even without having heard her name, when I first saw pictures of Malik, my first thought was, "Cool... a middle-eastern character shown in a good light."

OTOH, I have issues with Federova being russian. I may be wrong, but my impression was that blacks (true, she's a mix, but it's still fairly obvious what a major portion of her ancestry is) are extremely rare, if present at all, in russia. <shrug> Maybe that's changed since the wall came down...

PugPug
15th Oct 2011, 01:20
A "red herring" is a deliberate diversion.

HERESY
15th Oct 2011, 04:15
@ColBsher, excellent post. Just curious, are you familiar with Tim Wise?

satan claus
16th Oct 2011, 01:24
Its just a game. Who cares?
Germans is a most killed in a variety of games, but no whine from them.

HERESY
16th Oct 2011, 04:54
Its just a game. Who cares?
Germans is a most killed in a variety of games, but no whine from them.

German citizens or Nazi soldiers?

I'd also say Russian soldiers are the most killed.

drunkrussian9
16th Oct 2011, 06:20
OTOH, I have issues with Federova being russian. I may be wrong, but my impression was that blacks (true, she's a mix, but it's still fairly obvious what a major portion of her ancestry is) are extremely rare, if present at all, in russia. <shrug> Maybe that's changed since the wall came down...
She's russian?! Although the name kind of gives it away...

There are black people in Russia, as well as chinese... Russia is very diverse, a friend of mine was always being mistaken for being hispanic...

As to the topic, I couldn't take racism seriously after I saw Gran Torino.

Jason Parker
16th Oct 2011, 09:31
Gran Torino.

That movie is pure awesomeness.

glyph07
16th Oct 2011, 09:55
Maybe I'm too simplistic...but I always thought that videogames worked by stereotypical images not to promote any social/political idea (either generally thought "good" ot "bad") but merely because the limit of time frames + the complex intersection of story lines + the necessity to make the player empathise fast, or not, with characters required clear cut personalisations. I never got upset to see in games Italians portraited always as "salame and guns"; I take it comically. Besides, is really people so stupid as to inform themselves over other cultures by playing games instead of getting real experiences? :hmm:

MaxxQ1
16th Oct 2011, 23:19
She's russian?! Although the name kind of gives it away...

There are black people in Russia, as well as chinese... Russia is very diverse, a friend of mine was always being mistaken for being hispanic...

As to the topic, I couldn't take racism seriously after I saw Gran Torino.

Yeah, the official strat guide says she was born in 2001 in the former Russian state of Georgia.

Pinnacle
17th Oct 2011, 06:01
In conclusion, I don't believe the Eidos Montreal team are racists. I do, however, accuse them of allowing ethno-centrism to be projected in their product. While that may be a contributing factor to racial discrimination, it's not the same thing, and it's not that different from the norm. Games from Japan or Korea can be just as much a reflection of their own culture. For that I'm glad because I think diversity is a good thing. We all have something ot learn from one another and I'd rather risk being innocently offended than whitewash global culture by forcing everyone to conform to the same mores.

I do think that the perceived bias against the Chinese is a latent, rather than intentional, product of the modern cultural environment, in which Asians are generally not perceived as a demographic "threat" and therefore almost inconsequential in terms of political correctness.

Nonetheless, I'd argue against the idea that it is "harmless," especially as America appears to be headed towards a political collision with China. While whispers of anti-Chinese legislation and/or internment are alarmist, it seems likely that persistent negative and/or hostile portrayals of China and Chinese in the media will affect public perception at a time when political policy is most sensitive to such perceptions. The negative qualities exhibited by the Chinese and their often hostile attitude towards the (white American) protagonist in Human Revolution seems a simple continuation of this trend.

Of course, Human Revolution is but a drop in the bucket and not likely to be the main vehicle for political sentiment. But regarding your astute observation that Eidos Montreal isn't racist - just indifferent - and your question of "why should they care?" - the best answer I can give is "why not?"

It isn't that difficult to conceive of a more nuanced depiction of the Chinese and other Asians, and such constructions need not be driven by political correctness, but simply by the acknowledgment of a common humanity, as (ironically) Adam admonished Dr. Wing to do for Zelazny and his mercenaries.

The desire for more three-dimensional characters and groups in games is also, I'd argue, in many if not most cases a desire for better games. It is easy to fall into the trap of simple generalizations, especially those that reinforce existing attitudes, but when a game manages to transcend those generalizations, that is when it becomes something more than mindless entertainment, and begins to approach a portrayal or projection of the human condition, which in many ways is what Deus Ex aspires to be.

glyph07
17th Oct 2011, 06:21
(...)The desire for more three-dimensional characters and groups in games is also, I'd argue, in many if not most cases a desire for better games. It is easy to fall into the trap of simple generalizations, especially those that reinforce existing attitudes, but when a game manages to transcend those generalizations, that is when it becomes something more than mindless entertainment, and begins to approach a portrayal of the human condition, which in many ways is what Deus Ex aspires to be.

Y would u ever want contents games to get such a weight of responsibility? Entertainment is entertainment, comedy has always been played on cultural stereotypes and games should be taken this way. Their aim is to have fun and not to inform. I'm quite scared of the idea that young (and not) people are going to use resources of info misunderstanding the quality of the media content. In a way is already happening with movies. Reality and fiction are 2 different world. The second can be based on the former but it is never the same.

Daedatheus
17th Oct 2011, 06:53
It had nothing to do with the *reason* I said what I did, or the tone I said it in - it was just the fact that I used the word "black".

Wow. If even now, after all these years and having grown up, you still can't understand why what you said wasn't wrong just because of the word you used, but because it was racist, then that's a problem.

If someone comes into the class and you start with "Darn," it's implying you're worried/disappointed/annoyed that the person has the quality you're about to mention. Without even knowing anything about the kid, you're already saying that he's going to be a problem... just because he's "black." Not because of anything he did, or said, or anything you know about him - no, just because of the colour of his skin, suddenly the new kid is a problem for you.

That is racism in essence - judgment on nothing but skin colour, and it is the ultimate idiocy. Now obviously you're a lot wiser over the years, but please, don't insult your own intellect. What you said back then was clearly not a problem because of the word you used. It was the phrase that clinched it. Replace "black" with any race, or any means of saying any race, and the problem is still there in the phrase "Darn, he's _____."

Strange that "black" seems to be a problem term where you are, though. It's generally acceptable in my experience. "African-American" just screams trying-too-hard, and there's nothing historically offensive about "black." Call me "white" and that's okay. Let's of course avoid the n-word(s), and avoid "cracker/honkey/uncle tom" and the rest is all good.

MaxxQ1
17th Oct 2011, 07:17
Wow. If even now, after all these years and having grown up, you still can't understand why what you said wasn't wrong just because of the word you used, but because it was racist, then that's a problem.

If someone comes into the class and you start with "Darn," it's implying you're worried/disappointed/annoyed that the person has the quality you're about to mention. Without even knowing anything about the kid, you're already saying that he's going to be a problem... just because he's "black." Not because of anything he did, or said, or anything you know about him - no, just because of the colour of his skin, suddenly the new kid is a problem for you.

That is racism in essence - judgment on nothing but skin colour, and it is the ultimate idiocy. Now obviously you're a lot wiser over the years, but please, don't insult your own intellect. What you said back then was clearly not a problem because of the word you used. It was the phrase that clinched it. Replace "black" with any race, or any means of saying any race, and the problem is still there in the phrase "Darn, he's _____."

Strange that "black" seems to be a problem term where you are, though. It's generally acceptable in my experience. "African-American" just screams trying-too-hard, and there's nothing historically offensive about "black." Call me "white" and that's okay. Let's of course avoid the n-word(s), and avoid "cracker/honkey/uncle tom" and the rest is all good.

I figured someone wouldn't actually read what I wrote. Pity it had to be you, since I kinda respect some of your posts here. As I stated, I was 6 or 7 years old. I didn't know what racism was. I was picked on by black people at school nearly every day, coming home with bruises and bloody noses. Don't you think that after a couple years of that, you might start to develop something of a Pavlovian response to people with certain recognizable traits?

"Black" isn't really a problem term where I am - it just happened to be a problem term with that particular teacher. Unfortunately, the reaming she gave me in front of the entire class has stuck with me to this day, to the point that I'm still uncomfortable using the word as a description of a person. The reason I know that it was the *word* rather than any supposed racism, was because she pulled out a sheet of black construction paper, and a sheet of white paper, and proceeded to lecture me that the black construction paper had no resemblance to the color of the new guys skin, so I was wrong for calling him "black". Conversely, I was not "white" because I sure as hell wasn't blending in with the sheet of white paper she held up to my face.

Look, I feel terrible about that whole thing, not just because of the reaming, but also because later on, when I was old enough to actually understand the issue, I remembered that incident with a lot of shame. I'm not proud of it, but it's part of my history. Call it racism if you want, I really don't care. I'm not that way now, but of course, you probably won't believe me. I could go on about how I have many black friends (I don't, because I really don't have *any* friends, aside from a few acquaintances that I don't really hang with), or how I almost married a black girl (she felt that a mixed marriage would upset her mother - oh, the irony), but now that you have already labelled me racist, none of that will matter. So, believe what you want.

Yisha
17th Oct 2011, 09:40
I made an account just to comment on this thread.

The point of the 'racism' in DX:HR is mostly part of the character development. Looking forward to 2027, the story assumes that racial tensions are high. As people become poorer, they generally tend to stick in groups. Let's say you're Chinese, living the the pod hotel, and you see this white guy with these amazing augs walk in. The first thing you would think is this guy must have money. He's white. He must be my enemy. Immediately, they go on the defensive.

Same in the poorer African-American areas. But I loved how Adam seemed to move between the communities, and try to communicate the way they did. (Saying RIP for the MCB's brother, using Spanish swears with Zeek Sanders).

All in all, the game didn't feel racist. It felt like what it would be like to go to downtown Detroit, or China in several years.

Daedatheus
17th Oct 2011, 13:18
... but now that you have already labelled me racist, none of that will matter. So, believe what you want.

Oh no, sorry man that's a misunderstanding. I wrote that post last night very late and tired, and didn't bother to read it after writing it.

I don't accuse you of being racist, you were very young at the time and certainly that would have gone over your head and wasn't a case of purposefully attacking the kid. That was then, this is now, and I don't mean to make any judgment on your character based on an event when you were too young to understand a lot of these things as you do now. In my mind it's certainly excusable because yeah, in your experience you simply saw black kids as aggressors, it was your only experience of people of that particular skin colour, so naturally at that age you'd have such a response without thinking. Kids do that kind of thing and simply learn over time as you have.

All I meant to say was that I believed the teacher must have called you out not because of the word, but because of the phrase itself - but now that you reveal more of that story (with the construction paper), I'm inclined to think otherwise. Which certainly makes her lecture to you a bit foolish :nut:

So anyway, hope that clears it up! Cheers.

MaxxQ1
17th Oct 2011, 15:44
Oh no, sorry man that's a misunderstanding. I wrote that post last night very late and tired, and didn't bother to read it after writing it.

I don't accuse you of being racist, you were very young at the time and certainly that would have gone over your head and wasn't a case of purposefully attacking the kid. That was then, this is now, and I don't mean to make any judgment on your character based on an event when you were too young to understand a lot of these things as you do now. In my mind it's certainly excusable because yeah, in your experience you simply saw black kids as aggressors, it was your only experience of people of that particular skin colour, so naturally at that age you'd have such a response without thinking. Kids do that kind of thing and simply learn over time as you have.

All I meant to say was that I believed the teacher must have called you out not because of the word, but because of the phrase itself - but now that you reveal more of that story (with the construction paper), I'm inclined to think otherwise. Which certainly makes her lecture to you a bit foolish :nut:

So anyway, hope that clears it up! Cheers.

Yeah, I owe you an apology as well. I was also a bit tired and took what you wrote a bit too seriously.

breakdown234
17th Oct 2011, 16:32
wtf??

yall must be bored to hell to digg up the ol same retarded history of racism , racism exists since the beginning of time ....who cares?

nobody!!!!! its always existed and always will be , black , yellow , white , blue , brown whatever ...oh boy , how could yall discuss this in a even half way serious manner without contradicting eachothers views ...lol ...seriously ..(facepalm )

id suggest close the thread or else this will turn into a flame war xD, my 2 cents , stay fresh

MaxxQ1
17th Oct 2011, 17:12
wtf??

yall must be bored to hell to digg up the ol same retarded history of racism , racism exists since the beginning of time ....who cares?

nobody!!!!! its always existed and always will be , black , yellow , white , blue , brown whatever ...oh boy , how could yall discuss this in a even half way serious manner without contradicting eachothers views ...lol ...seriously ..(facepalm )

id suggest close the thread or else this will turn into a flame war xD, my 2 cents , stay fresh

Actually, this thread has been pretty reasonable, except for a couple of misunderstandings that have already been cleared up. So, if you don't think this thread is going to go anywhere but down in flames, why don't you just not read it? If it gets locked down, it'll get locked down. I don't think it will, though, unless somebody decides to make it their business to *get* it locked down...

HERESY
17th Oct 2011, 18:11
Did any of you hear some of the racial slurs in the game? I know I heard "peckerwood/peckawood" several times.

Jaykarus
25th Apr 2012, 18:39
...her Indian henchman (that TYM dude after Bruggen)...

WHA-?
Narhari Kahn is Indian?:nut:

I never noticed that he's a fellow countryman.Are you sure?

*notices date of post* lol Looks like I'm a bit late

JCpies
25th Apr 2012, 20:43
Apparently he's British, and I'd say he looks 'black' rather than Asian. I don't know the origin of his name, so I'm not sure where he may descend from.

Jaykarus
26th Apr 2012, 05:13
Well,you ARE from England so obviously you can differentiate between English accents better than me :D

Now that I think about it...yes,he is English.
Belltower HQ is supposed to be somewhere in England.
As for his origins,I dunno.

Happy
26th Apr 2012, 15:54
Interesting thread.

Maybe a little off topic - but anyone else play Adam as a theif? At the start of the game when I'm investigating various offices chasing down the "who is stealing the neprozene (/sp) drug, I found myself taking every credit chip, energy bar, and bottle of whisky i could find, i.e. stealing.

Same thing in missions on Sarif owned property - I am, in fact, stealing from employee's desks and from the company itself.

Jaykarus
26th Apr 2012, 16:20
You're not alone,bro.
I'm pretty sure a lot of people stole stuff from the offices of Sarif Industries.Well,at least everybody I know did...(including me) :lol:

m G h m u o s
26th Apr 2012, 16:34
lol yeah I ended up hacking every office and stealing everyones stuff.. XD I've been telling myself to take nothing everytime I start a new playthrough, to see if people still say a thief has been sneaking around the offices, but I end up forgetting and stealing peoples things out of habit xD

Sorta on the topic though, I found some of the Hengsha Harvesters had some a strange accent, on my first impressions, like.. I thought they were English at first or something O__o I can't remember/put my finger on it now though

Jaykarus
26th Apr 2012, 17:01
Harvesters? NAWP!
They definitely have Chinese accents.

The only guys with British accents are Hugh Darrow and Narhari Kahn(My favourite NPC to do a takedown on).
:D

m G h m u o s
26th Apr 2012, 17:20
Harvesters? NAWP!
They definitely have Chinese accents.

The only guys with British accents are Hugh Darrow and Narhari Kahn(My favourite NPC to do a takedown on).
I suck at telling accents, even though I'm English I sometimes have difficulty distinguishing them. All I know was one of the Harvesters made me think "wtf is that accent"

Jaykarus
26th Apr 2012, 17:37
Yeah well,from all the movies I've seen and the stuff I've read about England,I hear there are a LOT of dialects.
So...no pressure lol

OMGITSJASON
26th Apr 2012, 23:53
I look for stuff like Racism naturally. I swear I didn't notice any in that game.

Youlun
27th Apr 2012, 20:16
I know that this is an old topic, but I just finished my first playthrough of HR (I haven't played any other Deus Ex games yet, sadly), and wanted to add my 2ยข.

Personally, I didn't sense very much racism in Hengsha during my playthrough, except at the very beginning. The red flag for me was that after only minutes in China, I was running into stereotypical Chinese prostitutes, and the missions from Mei Suen seemed to be a "weak, oppressed Chinese woman waiting for a strong Western man to rescue her" kind of thing. Though maybe you could argue that this plays into the role-playing aspect of Deus Ex...there are always people asking you to do tasks for them in RPGs.

As for the rest though...


A third of the game took place in Hengsha, depicted as one of the key port cities in the region of Shanghai (considered to be one of the most developed parts of China). Compared to Detroit, Hengsha was a total wreck, both in terms of the morality of its society, and in terms of the sheer evil-ness of the characters inhabiting it.

I don't really think that the immorality in Hengsha is too much of a stretch, especially considering how corrupt the Chinese government in the game seems to be. The U.S. has David Sarif, who, at least on the surface, to care about society the rest of society, but in China the Illuminati is almost completely in charge. I claim that Zhao Yun Ru is such a ***** because she's controlled by the Illuminati - their influence is more of a factor than her Chineseness. If HR was set in another country then the leaders there would probably also be evil *****es; giving the player someone to hate helps the story progress.

Plus, the kind of situation where the entire government is controlled by a shadow organization and where a corrupt military force is hired to police the streets would definitely breed plenty of gangsters and thugs, as others have said. Perhaps HR should have had a few more Wing-like characters to balance things out, but it makes sense that most of the characters that you interact with in a corrupt city are themselves corrupt.


Also many Chinese characters constantly call Adam a gwailo which is a slur against white people.

I think that this is inaccurate. I could be wrong, but I didn't hear any Cantonese at all in Hengsha. Tons of NPCs call Adam a laowai (Mandarin for foreigner), but I don't remember the word gweilo being used. I don't speak Cantonese, and can't fully compare laowai and gweilo, but laiwai doesn't have the "foreign devil" baggage that gweilo does. In normal speech most Chinese don't consider laowai derogatory. So having characters call Adam a laowai is pretty realistic; if you go to China today, and are not ethnically Chinese, you will almost certainly hear people call you laowai.

I thought that the Chinese NPCs were pretty balanced overall. You get some xenophobic people who just want you to go away, or mock you for not being able to understand Chinese (which is an understandable sentiment since other expats seem to only be interested in partying or finding prostitutes), but you also find people who make an effort to communicate with you about current affairs, or who are just excited to practice their English with you.


And where were all the scientists and entrepreneurs who escaped the West's democratic moralism to research in the safe confines of the PRC's liberal autocracy? That's one of the central themes of Deus Ex, albeit an obscure one, yet while Human Revolution makes mention of it, there's little evidence even after you reach the upper city.

This is an interesting point. My best guess at a response to this is...well, how many expats in STEM fields do you see in China today? Maybe things haven't changed very much in 15 years. Perhaps the high-paying jobs are elsewhere. Or maybe Zhao Yun Ru just doesn't trust foreigners to work for her company. The only part of upper city we got to see was inside Tai Yong medical, after all.



Very good thread, overall. I can kind of see ColBashar's argument that perhaps Eidos had a bit of an ethnocentric view while making HR, but I simply didn't pick up on most of the things that others have mentioned in this thread. I thought that the Chinese people in Hengsha were pretty nuanced, but maybe Eidos could tweak some things if they decide to revisit China in a sequel, like adding a few more 'good' Chinese characters.