Am I racist or is this game too woke?

Is MadVader a racist twat?

  • Yes, definitely.

    Votes: 15 46.9%
  • No, just a twat.

    Votes: 11 34.4%
  • I'm also uneasy about wokeness, but can't decide if this is really racism.

    Votes: 6 18.8%

  • Total voters
    32

Users who are viewing this thread

MadVader

Duhpressed
Duke
M&BWB
I've been playing State of Decay 2 for a few weeks now, and it's surprisingly good after having my expectations set low by player reviews (possibly because of all the DLC content that wasn't there when those reviews were made; also the many small improvements and balance fixes made in patches).

However, one of the first things I noticed and it bothered me, were your characters, the survivors you play. After playing for a few hours, my 5 or so survivors were mostly black, there was a white woman and a Latino man, but there was no single white guy. It was hard not to notice if you played SoD1 where almost everyone was white, just the main character was black, and one NPC was Latino, while women were well represented - this was perfect representation of northern rural America, I thought (although you need more Latinos depending on how south you are).

So, let's look at some hard data by race and gender to see if I'm racist or the game too woke.

There are four predefined couples of characters when starting a new campaign:
- The Surly Siblings: Black Woman, Black Man
- Old Buddies: Asian Man, White Man (<- here he is!)
- Perpetual Breakup: White Woman, White Woman (lesbians for extra wokeness)
- Odd Couple: Latino Man, White Woman
There are two predefined couples when you start the bonus Trumbull campaign:
- The Last Wilkerson: Two Black Women
- Searching for Santos: White (?not sure, maybe black) Man, Latina

Once you start the campaign you get random survivors to join and they can be of any ethnicity or gender, probably random. When I searched the internet to see if anyone else noticed black bias, it turns out they did, but it was, as in my case, a random blip.

My problem is still that it seems minorities are over-represented, making the whole American backwoods experience less authentic. I assume that new characters are generated equally by race/ethnicity (white/black/latino, although Asians are rare) and equally by gender. This is not how it is in the real world where blacks in the rural areas are at around 10%, Latinos depend on latitude, and Asians are pretty non-existent. At least according to my expectations, but let's also look at the hard data.

percent_of_rural_and_urban_populations_by_race_ethnicity_2018_450px.png

I don't get to watch many TV shows, but I'm aware that more alt-righty types complain about Netflix blackwashing and general over-representation of minorities, women and non-heteros. So, this is my first real experience with it and it was unpleasant and unexpected, as I'm always on the anti-racist side of internet culture wars.

What do you think?
It's possible that when you look at the racist abyss for too long (I browse meme sites with heavy alt-right presence), the racist abyss makes you more racist or at least sensitive to wokeness.
 
Last edited:
I don't know how much does the main cast impact the story, but it may be possible that it's difficult to squeeze something new and interesting out of 'white dude in zombie apocalypse' character. Seems like it's also a healthy mix for everyone to find something for themselves, good variety of characters takes priority over demographics in those cases, imo.

The random characters thing is probably just for convenience sake, too, so that people can more easily collect the crew they want rather than making do with what they can get. I know it wouldn't work like that in actual zombie plague outbreak, but thankfully it's just a game one.

Now, when lesbian character's only character trait is being lesbian, that's when I have an issue with that stuff.
 

MadVader

Duhpressed
Duke
M&BWB
I don't know how much does the main cast impact the story, but it may be possible that it's difficult to squeeze something new and interesting out of 'white dude in zombie apocalypse' character. Seems like it's also a healthy mix for everyone to find something for themselves, good variety of characters takes priority over demographics in those cases, imo.
There's no real story in the campaigns (maybe the Trumbull one has more story), they are sandbox, so the starting characters can be designed arbitrarily - there's no reason, for example, that all of the starting characters can't be white dudes storywise. Zombies also don't discriminate by race.
I get that argument as I use it myself sometimes: "this is modern entertainment, the initial characters are designed to appeal to modern [US] audience and there is something for everyone". But I couldn't find a pair I wanted to play (two white dudes, or a white man and a woman) as each pair had to be diverse, presumably by design.
I wonder if it's possible for game companies to give non-diverse options as part of their diversity design? :razz:
This is for us in monocultural European countries with no history of immigration from other continents, because our countries are less attractive.
 

Goyyyio

Regular
Woke in the first place is just a buzzword, on the other hand, well this is how it must feel to be black lmaoo, im gonna do some drugs have a gn fellas, this is just a game
 

Nodice83

Knight
WBWF&SNWVC
IDK, man. I guess we are all of the same colors when we turn into zombies!

I somehow see the nomenclature in your OP and the stat's descriptions you provided as non-coherent. Why blacks and whites but Asians and Latino/Hispanic. Is it culturally approved nowadays? Why different criteria - is it racist? What happened to Afroamericans and Caucasians?

I'd say the odds to create the team of various origins as stated in the OP is somehow possible. This 'mix' seems realistic at least in America. Any transgenders btw. ? It would be a bit off when placed in Eastern Europe, but here, noo..

The real victims of this game are Indian people as not represented here at all...
What do you think?
It's possible that when you look at the racist abyss for too long (I browse meme sites with heavy alt-right presence), the racist abyss makes you more racist or at least sensitive to wokeness.

I think you stirred enough in this soup and it's time to play Bannerlord where all the nations are equal "and there's no religion too...".
 

Adorno

Bedroom Assassin
Archduke
WBNWM&BVC
I think character choices in video games cater to the audience more than being a realistic representation of reality.
So the races will often be equally distributed so everyone feels demographically represented.
It's just not so obvious in RPGs with character creation generators where the player is completely free to choose.

I don't know State of Decay but it does sound stupid.
- Searching for Santos: White (?not sure, maybe black) Man
There's an idea. Just make characters racially ambiguous. They can be anything.
 

eddiemccandless

Knight at Arms
WBNWVC
Where in the US is State of Decay set? Percentages of minorities change a lot depending on where you are. To be fair though they did make a deliberate choice to go for that more than likely. I don't really see it as a problem myself, now you know how black people and others have been feeling for years playing games :smile:
 

Goyyyio

Regular
Hey, H.P lovecraft called, he wants the 100 year old almost schizo race paranoia back. How will they exterminate the "white race through breeding" in a damn videogame lmao, you guys see 3 or 4 example of different skin colored people in a media almost completely dominated by big white bulky dudes and women with overly exaggerated big titties and start making the most deranged conspiracy theories you can think of lmao
 
Last edited by a moderator:

MadVader

Duhpressed
Duke
M&BWB
Where in the US is State of Decay set? Percentages of minorities change a lot depending on where you are. To be fair though they did make a deliberate choice to go for that more than likely.
Actually fans figured out where were the 5 maps taken from, so here you are: North Cascades National Park in Washington, Wichita Mountains of Southwestern Oklahoma, Cascade Mountains of Oregon, Jackson Hole region of northwestern Wyoming, and the one from SoD1 in Washington state.
Now what are you going to do with this information? I thought it sufficed to state the general rural demographics in the US and take it as a measure of authenticity, as, for example, rural blacks are more present in southern states, than in the Midwest/Northwest (= most game maps).
I don't really see it as a problem myself, now you know how black people and others have been feeling for years playing games :smile:
Yeah, it serves me right to be hit by excessive positive discrimination in my entertainment, because I didn't have anything to do with racism and its causes. This is exactly why racists call this reverse racism, and they are not completely wrong.
It's counter-productive, as it may make non-racist people resentful.
 

Adorno

Bedroom Assassin
Archduke
WBNWM&BVC
I was referring to State of Decay. (You know, on topic.) In the list by MadVader the "black man-white woman" is not an option.
(Again, I haven't played State of Decay.)
 

Lord Grindelvald

Sergeant at Arms
WB
You are racist. Not exactly for noting that this happened in the game. But for having so many opportunities not to make a problem out of it and still doing so.

You noticing this in a videogame is not weird or uneasy or even slightly racist. It's just something that caught your eye. But it not only caught your eye, it bugged you. It upset you to the point that you collected data, went onto the forums of an entirely different game and posted a poll and thread about it, calling it unpleasant and unexpected.

My problem is still that it seems minorities are over-represented, making the whole American backwoods experience less authentic. I assume that new characters are generated equally by race/ethnicity (white/black/latino, although Asians are rare) and equally by gender. This is not how it is in the real world where blacks in the rural areas are at around 10%, Latinos depend on latitude, and Asians are pretty non-existent. At least according to my expectations, but let's also look at the hard data.

I don't get to watch many TV shows, but I'm aware that more alt-righty types complain about Netflix blackwashing and general over-representation of minorities, women and non-heteros. So, this is my first real experience with it and it was unpleasant and unexpected, as I'm always on the anti-racist side of internet culture wars.

You are, right now, an alt-right type complaining about blackwashing and over-representation of minorities. It is their race that is bugging you. I think that would define you as a racist.

Dont browse alt-right meme websites man. That is a sad, cumfilled, circlejerking cesspool of misery. It's a slippery slope down into an echochamber filled with incels. You'll wake up one day, in that same chamber, look around and become severely depressed and angry at yourself for having aligned yourself with such a sad bunch of miserable people. Because it isn't just fun, games and memes. Memes are the medium, sadness is the message.
 
There's no real story in the campaigns (maybe the Trumbull one has more story), they are sandbox, so the starting characters can be designed arbitrarily - there's no reason, for example, that all of the starting characters can't be white dudes storywise. Zombies also don't discriminate by race.
Well, now I'm just angry they didn't go with character creator for initial pair, then. If you're not telling a story of particular character you had in mind, just let me customize and roleplay it myself.
 

MadVader

Duhpressed
Duke
M&BWB
You are racist. Not exactly for noting that this happened in the game. But for having so many opportunities not to make a problem out of it and still doing so.

You noticing this in a videogame is not weird or uneasy or even slightly racist. It's just something that caught your eye. But it not only caught your eye, it bugged you. It upset you to the point that you collected data, went onto the forums of an entirely different game and posted a poll and thread about it, calling it unpleasant and unexpected.
I'm not going to argue too much in my defense, because that would be sus, but I went out of my way to collect data to check for myself whether I have racisty expectations or the game is woke, with some measure of objectivity and evidence.
Your argument is basically, "if you notice a game is woke and complain, you are racist". Maybe I am, I hope not.
 

Nodice83

Knight
WBWF&SNWVC
I'm not going to argue too much in my defense, because that would be sus, but I went out of my way to collect data to check for myself whether I have racisty expectations or the game is woke, with some measure of objectivity and evidence.
Your argument is basically, "if you notice a game is woke and complain, you are racist". Maybe I am, I hope not.
I think your very own studies will help us all to find true racism in ourselves... or not.
 
Top Bottom