It may seem silly to the young and hip members of our generation that there are any people anywhere who aren't as familiar with the five resident evil games as they are with hundreds of years of western history, but such people do exist. ... They're the people who aren't going to see zombies, even after you explain it to them. In their first impression of the trailer they're just going to see a bunch of creepy black people getting shot by a rampaging white guy.
Is there a reason Capcom should care about these obvious misguided/irrational and delusional people? The answer is of course no, aside from perhaps hurting their own bottom line, there isn't.
Wow, so anyone who hasn't played the Resident Evil series (or anyone who isn't a hardcore gamer) is irrational and delusional?
Game trailers are getting played in non-gamer targeted settings all the time these days. TV spots, pre-movie ads, it's happening all the time. Saying that everyone who matters will see this and immediately place it into the game series' context is ludicrous.
Plus, I just looked at the trailer again, and unless you recognize the name Resident Evil there is *nothing* to indicate that this is even a video game setting until the final XBox 360 screen (other than shit CGI graphics, I guess). (For that matter, since 'Resident Evil' has also been the name of two movies, the name alone isn't really enough to give it away to the casual non-gamer observer.)
It isn't foolish to see 'racist imagery' in the trailer, but it is foolish to still consider it 'racist' after understanding the context and even more foolish to say "Well I don't find it racist, but some people might. So they shouldn't have made it."
Which is what I find so disturbing about the whole debate. The constant undertone to the original article, that it is wrong to not alter your actions based on the most ridiculous and offensive prejudices of others.
Okay, keep in mind that we're talking about a piece of advertising here. This is not a game itself, or a novel, or a movie. We aren't talking about people coming with pitchforks and censors trying to stifle free speech because it pushes somebody's racism buttons.
N'Gai analyzed this from the perspective of whether or not this was good advertising.
And as advertising, the only thing that matters is whether this trailer is effective advertising for Capcom. That means not only "Does it sell RE5?", but "Does it help Capcom's image?"
If this trailer pushes people's buttons by seeming racist at first glance, it is not going to be effective at selling RE5 to those people. It's reducing the potential audience. It also makes Capcom look bad.
This is advertising - the bottom line is all that matters. And N'Gai wasn't saying, "They should not release this, it is immoral." He was acting as a games journalist analyzing the trailer for what it is - poor advertising.
That imagery still has a history that has to be engaged, that has to be understood. … If you’re going to engage imagery that has that potential, the onus is on the creator to be aware of that because there will be repercussions in the marketplace. - N'Gai Croal