Gaming Stereotypes Done Right

Posted on August 22, 2010

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Stereotypes in gaming is most definitely a topic that is difficult to discuss. Gamers, like a lot of different audiences, are happy with the games they play. There’s a lot defensiveness seen from gamers who they feel that their hobby, their pastime, is being attacked. We saw that with the uproar over the Resident Evil 5 trailer, or the Mass Effect and Fox controversy.

It is a question that is vital to the health of the industry, though. Too many people think of video games as entertainment, something you play and don’t necessarily think about. Like sports, or the Beatles.

How much longer are we going to rely on the bald space marine against the alien horde, or the Elven female warrior whose armor barely covers her breasts? There’s a greater wealth of potential if stereotypes are approached consciously and responsibly. Games can be both thought-provoking and successful. The Grand Theft Auto series is a great example.

The people over at Rockstar have a talent of taking stereotypes and putting them into contexts that make them work. This is a far cry from the walking catchprase-machines games are generally known far. And the great thing is, nobody thought that a game with a black main character would sell well. But, lo and behold, it ended up being the most popular title in the entire GTA series.

Not that Grand Theft Auto is all that fresh and exciting nowadays. By the sixth game in the series the game mechanics and overall experience became a dime a dozen. Now, the games seem to be more about being cool than about being innovative and new. Like the Beatles.

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