Resident Evil

  • Anderson P
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Abstract

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.’’ Omi and Winant’s (1994) racial formation theory notes that race is formed through cultural representations of human bodies organized in social structures. Accordingly, depictions of race in electronic spaces rely upon media imagery and social interactions. 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.

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Authors

  • Paul W. S. Anderson

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