Sign in to follow this  

Things to make you think

This topic is 4177 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

Have you ever noticed there has never been a black main character in a RPG (not counting GTA as one). views and ideas of why this is? (besides Japan just wanting to stick to only their race....well most of the time...but the still do no use black peopleffor main chracters)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Discounting games that do have a black main character, no, there don't seem to be any games with black main characters. But then, that's not particularly surprising.

EDIT: sorry, that sounded somewhat facetious, I think I should add some content to my post ;). Why would there be a need for a black main character? Moreover, why would it be preferred that the main character not be white?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by hymerman
Why would there be a need for a black main character? Moreover, why would it be preferred that the main character not be white?


First off! I am only talking about RPGs and I only stated the comment about GTA because some people believe it to be one also.

and to answer your question:

The same reason there would be a need for a white or Japanese character?! (that seemed kinda obvious)

Its all supposed to relate to the general public. So when I think of the general public I think of all the races not a few.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1) in many games you can custumize your character appearance and there you can change skin color for example: NeverWinterNights and BauldersGate (if Im not mistaken)

2) the classic RPG take to back to midevil Europe (Knights, dragons, mages, princess, etc...) and Tolkin stuff (elves, orcs, dwarves...) so blame Europe and Tolkin for the white heores

Iftah.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Theres nothing against black people/characters being the main character. It's just not the tradition that was built upon many, many years ago when we didn't have computers and people were playing pen and paper RPG's.

Role Playing Game. An Adventure within a fantasy based world. When I think about an RPG, the main character thats normally just pops into my head is a white burly warrior with a massive sword ready to take the fight to the enemy. Slaying dragons, hunting for treasures, etc. All deals with tradition and the 'norm'.

GTA wasn't a RPG.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In "olden-days" RPGs there not black because mainly they were slaves to the europeans so it was hard to be a hero, sorry if it sounds a bit... blunt, but its the 20th century.

Plus, a majority of RPG players tend to be caucasion, so that probably adds to the cause.

Also, I can imagine more Africans in futuristic or modern RPGs, since theres an equal chance to be a hero.

Edit: GTA is an RPG in part, you assume the role of a main character in a series of quests dont you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
People who identify as Black make up 13% of the US population.

In addition, Blacks have half the college graduation rate of Whites in the USA.

In Europe, Japan and South-east asia, people who identify as Black are even rarer.

These areas make up most of the market and produceres most of the game content.

People tend to make games about people like themselves. They also tend to make games that the largest availiable market will identify with.

So, not surprising.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
I would like to see more Mexican heros.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
much like the thread "what is rpg" i think you need to define if you mean classic sword and sccorcery rpg or any fps, adventure, whatever game that has rpg elements

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I bet Master Cheif is black, or at least not white, no one would expect that.

And as a black preson, I'd probably say the reason for less black characters is who the game is aimed at, I'm less able to identify with a non black hero seting out to save his village but apperently 80% of America might be able to fully. That and the fact that it's probably not that big of an issue, just something that kind of happens. In my game i dont plan on having all the characters to be white, but I don't plan on them all being black either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well most fantasy RPGs are based on euopean myths and legends. If we had a character that was of a differnt culture to that which the legends are based on it would, because of cultural bias, seem a little discontinious. Much teh same as if we had an RPG based around African myths and legends and used European looking characters.

I think that there is a large untaped resource of non european mythology that can be used to create plots for RPGs (and not just Japanese, Chinese, etc). There are amny cultural groups (and cultures in those groups) that have unique and interesting mythologies, legends, stories and histories.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree with the point made above that many Western RPGs like Baldur's Gate or to quote a newer example...Oblivion ... let you customise your character how you want. Which I think is a good idea for the future. If you can afford to put it in, why not -- of course, games like that result in you having a sort of generic storyline for where your character comes from etc, but they still seem to work pretty well.

Oblivion is a bit of an exception really, because many of the elderscrolls games incorporate black people through the race of 'RedGuard' -- interestingly, there was an elderscrolls adventure called 'Redguard' in which your hero was black.

Otherwise, I figure there's lots of little white kids playing games? Who knows -- some people prefer to play something/someone who is unlike they are in real life -- men who play as female night elf in WoW for example ;)

~Shiny, but-not-white.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LOL.....WOW....Ok where should I start...

1.I do not think GTA is a RPG (I said "some people believe it is"...that does not include me)

2.LOL ok....WOW Ok blacks being slaves back in the day has nothing to do with them being a main character in a rpg (unless you made a rpg in the slavery era). I do not know where you were trying to go with that point but...ok. Also what does the percetage of blacks going to colloge compared to whites have to do with it? I am also lost on what you are trying to prove there. Next allow me to set the record straight "Black people do play RPGs" I repeat "Black people do play RPGs" (I mean I am black and I play RPGs and I also know alot of other black people who aslo play RPGs)

3.Ok maybe I do need to clerify my question a little. When I say "you never see a black person in a game" what i mean is people tend to make games with just generaly whites and Japanese people. I understand the reason it started like this is because as humans we tend to model stuff off who we are first, but that does not mean you can not create a game with a black person as the main character because that is not that is not what the general population is. I am also NOT saying someone should just create a game with only blacks in it (that would be way too unrealistic). What I am saying it would be nice if a main character was black (that does not mean he has to act hood or any set way), mexican, or any other race of that matter.(this one is for you Mr.Anonymous Poster). People are people

(sry if this post is so long...I had to cover alot of stuff..whew)

(TWO THUMBS UP FOR PARENTHASES)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
also it really does not matter what type of RPG it is (as long as it does not pertain to some era where blacks are slaves or dont't really exist in mythology)and I am not talking about RPGs where you can customize your character. I am talking preset here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OH! I just thought of a way to explain it!

If Link had brown skin (I am not talking tanned...there is a difference), black hair, and brown eyes from the begining would that change the outcome of the game?

Fantasy is Fantasy

You can apply this to any other Fantasy RPG game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Natrone, I think you are VOLUNTARILY misunderstanding the main point here:

there is no or almost no black main character in most RPGs nowadays, because most of nowadays RPGs are based off Celtic, Norse, Greek and Roman Myth and Lore. And no matter how much you whine about that, you cannot tell me you have seen Sigurd being black, except in a parody, possibly.

You can also find some Mesopotamian lore in some games, but, mainly, it just reduces the problem to INFLUENCE!

Have the background influence of a limited population modify the perceptions or the lore of the rest of the population, and your character blends in with no problem. I've seen many RPGs where there was an animist religion not unakin to African, American Indian, or even, to some extent, to Japanese religions. And the characters were only vaguely recognizable as being, well, Manga-shaped. You can't be wrong with Big-Eyes-Small-Mouth. But you MAY be wrong when trying to superimpose a black skin on a character if said character evolves in a background completely devolved of ANY black-skinned-society reference. Trying to put a black skin on Shenmue's main character would have been completely ridiculous, since he is evolving within a Japanese society. Trying to have a black-skinned warrior in Dynasty Warriors would have been completely stupid, since the game is basde in medieval China, where black men were completely unheard of.

It's just a matter of self-consistency. If your basic world doesn't allow for the existence of black-skinned persons, then there is absolutely no reason why a black-skinned hero would happen to exist. And, once again, you can't really have a black-skinned person, even in the background, if your background is based off Norse Lore. It just won't do.

Then whine about how African Lore is left out of Worldly Mythological Conscience, and then, we'll talk about population proportions, and how it is relevant to try to catter to the largest possible audience.

I hope you get it, this time...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by zike22
I'm less able to identify with a non black hero seting out to save his village but apperently 80% of America might be able to fully. That and the fact that it's probably not that big of an issue, just something that kind of happens. In my game i dont plan on having all the characters to be white, but I don't plan on them all being black either.



Thats an interesting observation. Would you like a game better if there was an option to choose things like gender/ skin color? A lot of games have introduced gender to appeal to females and males (with the weird thing that 40% of females in WoW are played by men and only 3% of men played by females), but skin color or hair etc would allow you to "identify" yourself more with a game. I would probably identify more with a character that is like me 6"7 ;-) Although I would not fit in a formula 1 car that way. I have been looking at "customisation" as a usability pattern (there is a need to differentiate yourself from others in multiplayer games) but its also a good mechanism to increase the "accessability" or apealability (whatever quality you want to name it).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by eelke_folmer
Thats an interesting observation. Would you like a game better if there was an option to choose things like gender/ skin color? A lot of games have introduced gender to appeal to females and males (with the weird thing that 40% of females in WoW are played by men and only 3% of men played by females), but skin color or hair etc would allow you to "identify" yourself more with a game. I would probably identify more with a character that is like me 6"7 ;-) Although I would not fit in a formula 1 car that way. I have been looking at "customisation" as a usability pattern (there is a need to differentiate yourself from others in multiplayer games) but its also a good mechanism to increase the "accessability" or apealability (whatever quality you want to name it).


Don't forget that character selection might not be completely based on identifying with the character, but with sexual attraction. You might call this the "laura croft" factor. Simply put, if you're a man playing a game for hours, you might prefer to look at the curvaceous backside of a female - even a cartoon one - rather than a man.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by LessBread
Quote:
Original post by eelke_folmer
Thats an interesting observation. Would you like a game better if there was an option to choose things like gender/ skin color? A lot of games have introduced gender to appeal to females and males (with the weird thing that 40% of females in WoW are played by men and only 3% of men played by females), but skin color or hair etc would allow you to "identify" yourself more with a game. I would probably identify more with a character that is like me 6"7 ;-) Although I would not fit in a formula 1 car that way. I have been looking at "customisation" as a usability pattern (there is a need to differentiate yourself from others in multiplayer games) but its also a good mechanism to increase the "accessability" or apealability (whatever quality you want to name it).


Don't forget that character selection might not be completely based on identifying with the character, but with sexual attraction. You might call this the "laura croft" factor. Simply put, if you're a man playing a game for hours, you might prefer to look at the curvaceous backside of a female - even a cartoon one - rather than a man.


Exactly....I had two lvl 60 characters. A lvl 60 male rogue and a lvl 60 female priest, I got sick of explaining how I feel more comfortable with a female priest compared to a male one.


On a side note D&D does have "black" races - Dark Elves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by NotAYakk
People who identify as Black make up 13% of the US population.

In addition, Blacks have half the college graduation rate of Whites in the USA.

In Europe, Japan and South-east asia, people who identify as Black are even rarer.

These areas make up most of the market and produceres most of the game content.

People tend to make games about people like themselves. They also tend to make games that the largest availiable market will identify with.

So, not surprising.


I disagree with your last statement because I think it's not justifiable in todays society.. If I made an RPG with a black main character are you telling me the sales would be affected purely because the non-black population of gamers wouldn't be able to "identify" with my main character as much?

So what would they "identify" more with my game if I used a bloody great big green Orc instead?

I think the sheer fact that one of the best selling games to date, GTA:SA which not only has a black main character but the entire plot of the game centres around an african american "thug" culture (somthing which you probably wouldn't find in any other game using a white or non-white coloured protagonist..) shows that a gamer being able to identify with a games main character hold no direct correlation with the gamers appreciation for the game as a whole or whether or not they would buy it so to try and justify the race of your main character by this arguement is rather stupid in my oppinion..

I think players care more whether or not they're character looks "cool" than they do what particular race he/she is.. I'm sure, given the option, players would choose to align there protagonist's look with that of there own race (in KOTOR I made my chracter black but then I also made her female since I knew it would give me something a little nicer to look at for the next 60 hrs of play..)but in game's where such character creation systems are absent, I hardly believe anyone would care..

I personally agree with ildave1's explaination of why there aren't many black protagonists in RPGs but then I think it stands to reason since most japanese RPGs use either Japanese looking chracters or the perculiar Manga style look which they are so found of, and i'm pretty sure most western developers are predominantly white and so i'm sure when they sit down to start designing an RPG, the words "Hey! let's make the main character black just for the hell of it!" isn't the first thing on everybodies mind..

Lastly, their seem to be an much larger number of games in other genres where the main character is black (Unreal 2, GTA:SA, Crackdown etc) but I believe this is because of the whole black action hero picture painted by hollywood in so many american movies.. Afterall, games developers have to draw their inspiration from somewhere..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Heh, the main thought anyone would get thinking of an African american teenaged guy would be street gangster. It's hard to think of them in a fantasy setting. I don't think many Japanese people encounter Black people often in their lives. Even the white programmers in America would feel a bit strange trying to portray a Black protagonist, they'll be afraid of someone getting offended.

I noticed that when Japanese people do try to portray Black people, mainly the girls, they look soooooo Japanese. They're just wearing less clothes, slightly larger and have dark skin. I guess the people who are producing the game would have to be totally used to Black people.

Anyhow, look up Squaresoft's Tom Sawyer. Look how they portrayed Jim. Lucky they were in Japan cause that company would recieve so much hate if it were released here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
GTA:SA which not only has a black main character but the entire plot of the game centres around an african american "thug" culture (somthing which you probably wouldn't find in any other game using a white or non-white coloured protagonist..) shows that a gamer being able to identify with a games main character hold no direct correlation with the gamers appreciation for the game as a whole


I found the character in San Andreas very annoying and it was one of the main reasons I stopped playing, so I'd say it affected my 'appreciation of the game as a whole'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by Bob Janova
Quote:
GTA:SA which not only has a black main character but the entire plot of the game centres around an african american "thug" culture (somthing which you probably wouldn't find in any other game using a white or non-white coloured protagonist..) shows that a gamer being able to identify with a games main character hold no direct correlation with the gamers appreciation for the game as a whole


I found the character in San Andreas very annoying and it was one of the main reasons I stopped playing, so I'd say it affected my 'appreciation of the game as a whole'.


Quoted for truthly emphasis.

It wasn't that I didn't like the fact that he was black; I didn't like the fact that he was a dumbass thug. However, if he were a witty black guy who didn't feel the urge to swear unnecessarily every other word, I would've been able to identify with him much more readily.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This topic is 4177 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this