Opinions and Culture

Video Games: Brain Gain or Drain?

Jayne Gackenbach Ph.D.

Video Games: Brain Gain or Drain? – Racial representation and gaming

My interviewee this time is André Brock from the School of Library and Information Science at the University of Iowa. His recent article in Games and Culture called ‘‘When Keeping it Real Goes Wrong: Resident Evil 5, Racial Representation, and Gamers” was the topic of our conversation. Brock writes that, “videogames’ ability to depict cultural iconographies and characters have occasionally led to accusations of insensitivity. This article examines gamers’ reactions to a developer’s use of Africans as enemies in a survival horror videogame, Resident Evil 5. Their reactions offer insight into how videogames represent Whiteness and White privilege within the social structure of ‘‘play.’’ … Videogames construct exotic fantasy worlds and peoples as places for White male protagonists to conquer, explore, exploit, and solve. Like their precursors in science fiction, fantasy, and horror, videogame narratives, activities, and players often draw from Western values of White masculinity, White privilege as bounded by conceptions of ‘‘other,’’ and relationships organized by coercion and domination.”