This week’s group that stood out to me was the last group who presented The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim. I felt their overall presentation sparked an interesting debate, as to whether Skyrim perpetuated racism or not. I think the end of class discussion became a little heated when the group gave a disclaimer. They had mentioned that they did not believe that the game was racist, however several people strongly disagreed.
Now, I’m not a huge gamer but from what I gathered is that Skyrim is an open world action Role Playing Game. The player of the game creates a character of their own (not pre-determined) who is a denizen of this world. They then explore, fight and inevitably uncover parts of a story. Some stories involve their character directly. They have the Nords in the game who resemble humans and they often spit out racial slurs depending upon what your character looks like. For example, they call Argonians “Lizards” and Khajiit a “Cat.”
I do agree that there were very prejudice comments being made throughout the duration of the videos. Calling Argonians a “lizard” is very similar to calling a certain race an “Ape.” Yes, some may argue that humans are technically “apes” but it is still an incredibly rude and offensive remark to make.
On the other hand, I can see what appears to be the end goal here. I’m not a huge gamer, but when I was a little kid I used to play N-64 games. I remember when I played Pokémon stadium, the character I was battling would say cheesy things to provoke me. Nothing extreme of course, but usually something along the lines of “You call yourself a Pokémon trainer punk?” Or something in that nature. Now I know saying racial slurs are a quantum leap from calling someone a “punk,” but I do understand that they make those statements to get you riled up and to want to win more. So I’m assuming the negative racial comments on Skyrim are to stimulate the character to want to succeed in the game. I just wish they could’ve gone about it in a different way. Especially for adolescents who do not know any better.