Representation Matters

Anyone Can Be A Hero

Edward Varnell – Twitter: @thatretrocode

Anyone can be a hero. No matter what race, gender, sexual preference, age, or level of supernatural power they have (or not), the will to bring justice can come from anyone. This can also apply to villains. The one thing most of us will notice from the past that a lot of criminals were white males that still a current trend of today in media. Now, that may seem wrong to say but take a look at a lot of comics, movies, and even real-life where a lot of evil that is done is Caucasian.

In this modern age though, villains and their minions have come from various parts of the world. It could be from a military terrorist organization to a revengeful entity that wants a world to feel its pain that they themselves have endured. It has gotten a little stale with just fighting Russians and Islamist looking enemies in a lot of First Person Shooters but its quite satisfying seeing KKK members in games. A change of design that they have a mission in Mafia 3 and Red Dead Redemption 2. Knowing that these vile and vulgar folk are being used for plot points or just in that time era, it’s a huge deal to know that their existence can be taken seriously.

Even when Resident Evil 5 had its controversy with African American infected were getting shotgun blasted in the face. As gamers didn’t feel comfortable with a white male and black female taking them down, this same sentiment wasn’t shown when Grand Theft Auto San Andreas was released and we shot up gangs, cops, and other races in it. It was a game that felt that in order to fit that time period, having a black representation of the projects and its music, showcased a time that movies from certain black directors could work in gaming form. Even with Grand Theft Auto V, it seems that no matter who was shooting at them, the objective was to shoot at you and take you down. There can be more useful with black organizations as villains if given a great story, gameplay, and look.

I think that its good to see the diversity in The Division 2 that women and men are working together to kill the agents. They can improve with more women representation by being tanks or psychotic when need so. Even with Far Cry New Dawn having twin sisters Mickey And Lou, African American females, who brings anarchy to the settlement called Prosperity.

Of course, there are the Yakuza series, Sleeping Dogs, True Crime, Rise Of Honor, that contain a lot of Asain villains. Nothing like seeing Goro Majima tumultuous self create some of the best mayhem in the series and outright shine his craziness.

We do need more representation from a lawless queer community and even disabled characters. Not to use them as a prop or anything but to have an unexpected challenged villain bringing annihilation to the world should be welcome. Uncomfortable? It could be when it comes to villains, though that actual person doing the act doesn’t care.

So I hope more different representation of villains shows up. Having that diverse group of people wanting to destroy you can bring us joy and madness. Seeing cliche plots done in various ways by unsuspected characters and their crew. It shows how important to us to see evil represented in a way that matters.