N’Gai Croal’s RE5 Follow-Up

Last week, N’Gai Croal was on 1UP’s Listen UP podcast on 20th March, and during part of the podcast he discussed race, racism, and Resident Evil 5 with the other guests. A transcript of this part of the podcast was posted over on the Iris Gaming Network. Below are some quotes from N’Gai Croal.

N’Gai Croal (emphasis mine):

I interviewed Takeguchi, Jun Takeguchi the producer of the game, he said that the team went to, uh, north Africa, in … you know, three years ago, to do research for the game. I asked him what country he went to and he couldn’t tell me. I don’t–and again, let me be clear, I’m not saying he’s not telling the truth, I’m just saying it’s interesting he couldn’t remember which countries they went to visit.

I get that, it’s going to be in Africa, it’s set in Africa and you’re going to have African characters or whatever, but Africa is a continent, it’s not a country.

That’s the assumption. But, again, you know, so to put on tribal garb, which consists of tribal masks, tribal shields, spears, and grass skirts. And so, to me, again, for people who sort of defend it, “Well, of course there are people who dress like that in Africa!” Well, yes, but WHERE in Africa? WHERE is the game set? All these things, and on top of it, are we saying that anything in the game can be excused by a fig leaf of “there’s an infection that causes them to do this”, I don’t have the answer to that, but the people that are defending it on those grounds, don’t seem to be asking those questions at all.

Takeuchi pulled from all of these influences, some, you know, mostly modern, some, you know, less modern, but without a full understanding of what–when you put all of that in the brew, what all of that is going to turn into, and that’s what’s unfortunate, is that there was no one in the studio, and there was no one at Capcom in the United States, to sort of say “Wait a second, what is it that we’ve actually created? Have we lost control of the message?” And I think that’s what happened.

And I think you’re right, I think it’s mostly inadvertent, I think it wasn’t deliberate, but I think that’s one of the things that need to be challenged, and what I’m not saying–to me, it is in some ways almost immaterial, whether or not–what does it mean to say that the game is “racist”? That’s not what I’m saying, but I think the idea that what’s required is intent, something malicious on the part of the creators, I mean you can create something that turns into something else.

The rest of the transcript is well worth reading. For people who listen to podcasts, the racism discussion starts at 1 hour, 10 minutes in and there is more discussion after a break.

Thank you to Eleniel for taking the time to transcribe all of that!

[Transcript Part 1 and Part 2 via Gamers of Color]

  1 comment for “N’Gai Croal’s RE5 Follow-Up

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