As I expand my gaming library, I’ve come across a unsettling trend in blockbuster video games. It would seem that a lot of games often feature white protagonists. Take for example, the Gears of War series, the only black character, Augustus Cole, is a token black sidekick character. Throughout the game he serves as a comic relief, often diffusing intense situations with comical comments. In the Final Fantasy Series, there are only two black characters, Barret Wallace and Sazh Katzro. In both case they serve as a secondary character not as a main character.
The lack of a strong black character in major titles is a bit alarming to me. More often than not the black characters seem to be a comical foil or fit a prejudiced cookie cutter formula. Game developers need to develop a more racially equal landscape of games. For Ubisoft, the Assassin’s Creed series could serve a great example of exploring other cultures. In AC: Ascendence, a short film, Ezio Auditore comes in contact with the Chinese Assassins. This was widely speculated to be the focus of the next AC game, unfortunately they’ve decided to focus on France. I look forward to games that focus with a strong multiethnic lead character.