British Columbia

Racial stereotypes in video games: researcher

Some video games are perpetuating racist stereotypes with their portrayals of Asian characters, says a student researcher at the University of B.C.

Some video games are perpetuating racist stereotypes with their portrayals of Asian characters, says astudent researcher at the University of B.C.

Robert Parungao has examined four popular games that span two decades of video gaming — Kung Fu, Warcraft 3, Shadow Warrior and Grand Theft Auto 3.

He saysthey can leave impressionable young players with negative views of people from Asia.

"Asian characters have been seen more or less in the exact same way as the hokey Kung Fu artist, or the faceless mass or the ruthless killer," he said.

"There isn't much variance in the imagery of how Asian characters are portrayed in video games."

Parungao says negative Asian stereotypes have mostly disappeared from motion pictures, but notes video games haven't kept pace.

He says most of the criticism of video games has notbeen centred onrace. Instead he says critics havefocused on violence, the addictive nature of games and negative images of women.

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