Being Black in Video Games

Being Black in real life isn’t super easy. Sure you always have company whenever you go shopping, even if you started alone. You’re more likely to have a living will or healthcare proxy (at least you should). Because Black folks are dropping dead like it’s Jim Crow again.
South Park’s new game recently introduced a slider that was labeled “Difficulty” and changed the character’s race. The darker you are the “harder” the difficulty. It’s funny because it’s true.

At least Fractured But Whole lets you be a person of color if you really want to. Or if you just really want to see a person of color as a hero in a video game. Continue reading “Being Black in Video Games”

Why minorities will survive the apocalypse

Young Fresh Multiracial Group - Peel and Stick Wall Decal by Wallmonkeys
Young Fresh Multiracial Group – Peel and Stick Wall Decal by Wallmonkeys… Why you want a multiracial group of strangers giving the thumbs up stuck on your wall is beyond me; but you can have it for $33.99.

In most popular media about the apocalypse minorities are pretty much Red Shirts— there because someone needs to die so it might as well be them. This was highlighted in a PinkRayGun article recapping the season finale of Falling Skies.
The Black Dude Dies First is a well trodden trope in almost all mediums, especially the post-apocalyptic genre. Terra Nova did it. The Walking Dead has championed the token minority trope— but at least they get to live. However these tropes don’t take into account the stereotypes and facts that would actually keep minorities alive in apocalyptic times.

Black people are fast and carry guns

Taboo: Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports And Why We're Afraid To Talk About ItIf Black people are faster than the rest of the people then they’re the most likely to get away. It’s like that saying/cartoon/adage[1. To be honest, I don’t know where it came from. It’s just a thing people say.]: You don’t need to outrun the bear, you just need to outrun the other person running from the bear. In this case, “Bear” would be “Zombie.”
Congrats, Black people, all you have to do is live up to the hype and you won’t be the minority for long. And if all else fails, just whip out your standard issue gun and slow some folks down like our favorite Deputy Dickbag [2. SPOILER – I’m talking about Shane from The Walking Dead.].

Asians are smart and have super-human muscle memory.

Top of the Class: How Asian Parents Raise High Achievers--and How You Can Too
While I might be in a minority of people still watching America’s Next Best Dance Crew, I’m sure if someone else had been watching they’d notice the disproportionately high number of Asians (then blacks and then Hispanics). It’s similar to the disproportionately high number or Asians in the Math, Science, and Engineering schools on college campuses.
These people[3. Yes, I see what I did there.], if they have the aptitude they’re assumed to have, will be able to out survive their majority friends. They’ll build lifesaving tech, and bust out some mind-bending dance/fighting moves to confound the enemy then scurry away through a tiny air vent that the more privileged and more obese can’t fit it.

Hispanics are shifty and travel in uncountable numbers

Latinos, Inc.: The Marketing and Making of a PeopleSurprise, Bitches! Little Jose isn’t alone.
As soon as the bandits get comfortable confronting him, sixteen dudes with chains and bats start creeping slowly from around corners. What the What?!
If Hispanics truly travel in deep, secretive numbers as it’s suggested they do, they’ve got the element to surprise built into their social culture.
We saw it on season one of The Walking Dead, there was one little boy. Then five(ish) dudes that he ran to for safety. Then a community of, like, 67 people running a co-op as though it wasn’t the apocalypse at all… Okay.

Minorities expect the worst

Passing for what you are not--whether it is mulattos passing as white, Jews passing as Christian, or drag queens passing as women--can be a method of protection or self-defense. But it can also be a uniquely pleasurable experience, one that trades on the erotics of secrecy and revelation. It is precisely passing's radical playfulness, the way it asks us to reconsider our assumptions and forces our most cherished fantasies of identity to self-destruct, that is centrally addressed in Passing: Identity and Interpretation in Sexuality, Race, and Religion.Being a minority doesn’t just mean you have super powers, it also means you’re persecuted on some other make-believe shit.   Sometimes that’s in the form of actively being hunted. Sometimes that’s verbal assaults. Often that physical violence. In Carriers (2009) there’s a scene where a bunch of redneck thugs in a pick-up truck string up an Asian man with a sign that reads: Chinks brought it.
This constant persecution and threat of violence has bread a more cautious mindset into many minority cultures. Not simply, the choice to “stick with your own kind,” but a self-preservation instinct that identifies others as not only actual, but also statistical enemenies.
By default, if you’re The Black Guy you expect to be the first to go down. The Hispanic Guy should expect to not be trusted and eventually turned on. And the Asian can expect to die second because no one will get his back.
From Nazis to the Ku Klux Klan to the Westbro Baptist Church, rightness and facts have never been the first choice for those who prey on minorities. And consistency has never really been the first choice of wrirters portraying minorities.
Maybe one day the apocalypse will come and and everyone will flood the local ghettos (because that’s where you find people of color) in a desperate attempt to recruit a few good minorities into their party. Or, maybe, one day we’ll realize minorities aren’t this amalgas concept of “people of color” as much as they’re just people. Not embodiments of concepts, standards of measurement, and especially not cannon fodder.

What to do if The Apocalypse Comes While You're at Work (or School)

 
Well, If I was at work when the apocalypse hit I’d probably run right out into the street to die. Or, I’d sneak myself into the building next door and say I’m the temp who just started that morning[1. Hmm, I think I’ll keep that one in my back pocket. Just in case.].

Most movies give us the impression that the apocalypse will hit when we wake up at 10am on Saturday morning. Upon seeing carnage in the streets or feeling tremors shake our house, we’ll pack up our families and our prized possessions. Then we’ll get in the car and frantically loot the well stocked stores nearby and team up with a nurse, criminal, and police officer at the local mall.
That’d be nice…
Unfortunately, most of us spend about thirty percent of our week getting to or being at work. If you’re in college then you could be any number or places on or around campus, but colleges do have amazing hideout potential (some even underground networks).
If you find yourself at work during the apocalypse and choose not to exile yourself, your first priority is saving yourself. Your second priority, however, is choosing your role. Not what you were at work, but what you want to be in this situation. It might be to your advantage to play up some stereotypes or lie a lot about who you are and what you’re capable of.
Continue reading “What to do if The Apocalypse Comes While You're at Work (or School)”