Unfortunate Implications/Video Games

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Whirl Tour adds one more offense -- Hate crime!
"All those who feel that stereotypes aren't an issue when creating fictional groups for game purposes are free to take part in playtests for my new game Sambo: The RPG of Stealing Chickens and Eating Watermelons."
—JellyRoll Baker, in an RPG.net discussion of why one needs to be careful when dealing with fantasy counterpart cultures.

Important Note: Just because a work has Unfortunate Implications does not mean that the author was thinking of it that way. In fact, that's the point of it being unfortunate. So, please, no Justifying Edits about "what the authors really meant." The way an author handles a trope is an important factor here; handling a trope in a clumsy manner can certainly create unintentional impressions for readers. Likewise, if a work intends the offensive message (for example, a piece of Nazi propaganda about Jews), it wouldn't count. Also, for something that may not be offensive to you personally but may offend others in a different culture or time period, see Values Dissonance.


  • Super Robot Wars has an unintentional variant in the Super Robot Wars Alpha and Super Robot Wars Original Generation canons. The good guy mecha have a lot of German names, and the bad guy mecha (for the Balmarians) are in Hebrew. No more need be said.
  • The Legend of Zelda has Big Bad Ganondorf, revealed in Ocarina Of Time to be a Dark-Skinned Redhead. He is a member of the thieving Gerudo race, who have the same appearance. One of the most evil characters in the series came from the Fantasy Counterpart Culture to certain Middle Easterners.[1] The rest of the Gerudo are unfriendly, but seem to be on the side of good.
    • Phantom Hourglass has the blacksmith Zaus, who is also a dark-skinned redhead. He helps Link by forging the Phantom Sword. Also, the Gerudo-like Jolene is technically an antagonist who chases you around challenging you to duels, but she's not a completely bad person. Her real beef is that she's trying to get to Linebeck in revenge for stealing her treasure and because she's still slightly in love with him.
  • Resident Evil 5 features a white American who saves Africa from Scary Black Zombies with help from a very light-skinned African woman. And later in the game you fight your way through several African villages swarming with African zombies in grass skirts and clay masks howling incoherently while throwing spears. An in-game journal by one of the villagers before they were infected with The Virus attempts to justify this by pointing out the strangeness of this behavior, and it is actually one of the first signs that something has gone terribly wrong, but it still plays directly into stereotypes associated with Africans, and the message becomes that villagers would only act like traditional Africans before Europeans arrived if they were infected by a virus that brings out that reduces them to animalistic monsters. Not to mention the fact that they are all helpless and enslaved to a blonde-haired blue-eyed Social Darwinist, until said white American arrives to save the day. Even though he has a black African partner and another important black ally, it still reads like a typical Mighty Whitey setup.
  • In Dead Rising 2, the only Asian person in the story, Rebecca, is treated the worst by the narrative: she's kidnapped (twice), reduced to helplessness by injury, and ends up cold-bloodedly murdered by The Mole. By the same token (ha), another black main character is a gold-wearing, pimp-dressed, jive-talking stereotype who becomes the Big Bad and kidnaps two (white) women. One of the other black characters is a female survivor who can be encountered beating the crap out of zombies. However, her name is LaShawndra and she's basically a Fat Sassy Black Woman stereotype.
  • Warcraft III—The Horde's dialects are based on stereotypes of different races. The playable Trolls are Jamaican (with other tribes sounding Cuban) practicing vodoo voodoo, an Orc hero type uses pretty bad "urban" accents, and Tauren, while mostly unaccented, have blatant cultural commonalities with Native Americans. Thankfully, they had dropped most of the Exclusively Evil stuff before this.

"What do you mean what kinda' accent is dis? It's a troll accent. I swear, Jamaican meh crazy."

    • In World of Warcraft, this continues to the Alliance expansion race, the Draenei (Teutonic or Slavic depending on what the accent sounds like to whoever it is you're asking), while the expansion's Horde race, the Blood Elves, meet a different stereotype (metrosexual) -- more consistent with the Alliance original races' behaviors. This aspect of this may be a Justified Trope in that the Draenei and Blood Elves are supposed to be bastions of the opposing faction within their own ("human" Alliance versus "alien" Horde), in turn consistent with each of these races being the only race in their faction to have a class previously exclusive to the other. Both were pretty controversial.
    • The female blood elves have a different "problem". They're extremely thin, and some of their emotes are 'preppy cheerleader.'
    • It is, of course, hard not to notice that Orcs and Trolls in World of Warcraft have dance animations most associated with black performers, compared to Travolta-esque Saturday Night Fever moves displayed by Humans. Not so much an issue except that Orcs and Trolls are depicted as less-advanced, less-civilized, and often a few steps better than violent tribals (and in the case of Trolls, even cannibalistic). And there are other African influences on honor-bound but brutish Orc culture and architecture.
    • Apparently no one at Blizzard realized that pygmies are actual humans. Within the game, they're little more than racist caricature: Waist-height, overgrown chins and foreheads, unintelligible "ooga-booga" speech. The only reason Blizzard can get away with it is because most pygmies in the real world live in Africa (and scattered tribes in Brazil and Australasia), and they don't have any civil-rights advocates to speak out.
    • In Cataclysm, there is a new playable race, the cunning Goblins. They are sly, greedy former-slaves with large noses and almost all of their special skills are related to money and banks.
    • The Pandaren Monk pet takes things to hitherto-unprecedented levels. Dear Lord.

Possessing the diplomatic humbleness common to his reclusive race, the Pandaren Monk accompanies you on your journeys throughout Azeroth, returning any /bows he receives from other players.

  • Several examples in The Elder Scrollsseries:
    • In The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind lore says that the Dark Elves (Dunmer) used to be the Chimer, but their leaders offended the Daedra Azura and they were "punished" with ash-blue-gray skin and fire-red eyes. By the time of Oblivion, they're treated the same as any of the other races seem to be, but the racial implications are still there.
    • The Redguards look like average blacks and are treated in a mostly neutral light, but their ability score adjustments give them a bonus to strength and a penalty to intelligence. This puts Redguards and Orcs (who are called "beastmen") on equal footing for both stats. Unfortunate Implications, indeed. As of Skyrim, the Redguards are much less 'African' than Moors with a vaguely Aboriginal belief system.
    • Nords are a tall, generally blond haired and blue-eyed people who have a history of conquering all other races handily, are the originators of all human civilization and unity, and have have arguably the best statistic set-ups as Warriors and have a very, very Germanic culture. Along with a certain light coldness towards foreigners in Skyrm. In all fairness however, they're just this due to their warrior-culture, same as Redguards. And are Vikings and therefore full of awesome.
    • Non racial example: The presence, or lack thereof, of children in both The Elder Scrolls series and Fallout 3 has caused Bethesda and modders no end of headaches due to the cultural implications of putting kids in harm's way versus a world with no children. It's particularly bad in the modding community since a lot of popular mods emphasize violence and sexuality. The controversy led to another famous M'aiq quote.
      • Consider also Little Lamplight in Fallout 3, a town populated entirely by children. Whenever a resident reaches the age of sixteen, he or she is banished. The logical way for them to maintain their numbers would be plenty of teenage pregnancies, shortly followed by tearing the mothers away from their children once they reach the age of banishment. Come to think of it, no wonder everyone in the place is such an asshat.
    • The Khajit. They speak with Eastern European-style accents and tend to come in two varieties; Bandits and highwaymen or in traveling trading caravans (or as slaves in Morrowind). They also have racial bonuses that lean them towards thief/assassin territory. While the racial bonuses could be hand-waved by their nature as Cat People, the rest sounds an awful lot like common stereotypes of Roma. Hardly helps that their homeland is the source of one of the Elder Scrolls' few true narcotics.
  • In the original Star Control, most of the Alliance (or "good") species didn't look very alien to humans (beautiful humanoid women, furry vulpine-lupine-rodent creatures, pretty silicon-based life forms, pterodactyl-like organisms, etc.). The Hierarchy (or "evil") species were invariably ugly, except for the humanoid Androsynth, who had Turned Against Their Masters, so the use of What Measure Is a Non-Cute? was glaringly obvious. The sequel reversed this to some degree, since the player character had to ally with both cute and non-cute aliens, but none of the old Hierarchy species allied with him permanently, if at all. And even if you do agree that space aliens should only be allowed to have sex with humans if said aliens are attractive by traditional human standards, the accidental invocation of Bring Out Your Gay Dead was unfortunate.
  • Wham Bam Rock, from Kirby Super Star. In the DS remake he was redesigned [dead link] to look more like a Shakokidogu (an ancient clay figure from Japan with an extremely stylized female form) and less like a blatant Ethnic Scrappy. Good move, I say.
    • Wham Bam Rock's appearance, meanwhile, was switched over to Wham Bam Jewel, his on-steroids counterpart from "Helper to Hero". The lips are less massive, and he has three eyes, but he still resembles a blackface a bit too closely for comfort.
  • Valkyria Chronicles: The Valkyrur themselves. The legendarily angelic Valkyrur are responsible for the Darcsen Calamity and installed a traitor family of Darcsen as rulers, thus letting the shame of their betrayal become the incentive to keep their non-Valkyrur heritage (and thus the true identity of the Valkyrur as vicious conquerors) a secret. They're powerful, but they're also emotionally manipulative liars who used the pain they caused to elevate their own reputation. Guess which gender their One-Gender Race is.
    • And one of the two good Valkyria is a little girl who has the social graces of a wild animal until she's civilized by your team. Yeah. Ouch.
    • VC wasn't too warmly received in China because the Darcsens [dead link] look suspiciously Japanese. Their story of seeking recognition just don't sell in China.
      • Not to mention that the Darcsen function in the plot as an Expy for the Jews during WWII. Except they look Japanese and there's no Japanese Expy country or race, and so it gives the impression that the writers/character designers replaced the Jews with the Japanese for the purposes of the narrative.
    • An enemy soldier has a touching death scene in a chapter entirely designed to humanize the opposing army and help the player realize that even the bad guys are people. Squad 7 members who die have a brief, but tear-jerking and characterful last words scene. Selvaria and Faldio kill themselves after heartfelt speeches that show the player their plight. The entire Gallian Army is completely disintegrated. No one cares. Enemy Mooks are people, but ally Mooks are cannon fodder.
      • Well, that was a small problem in that, right after, a gigantic city-sized dreadnought was plowing through the Gallian countryside, right into the the capital city, Randgriz. Then said dreadnought is equipped with a mountain-destroying laser of death.
        • This is true, but Squad 7 is walking away from the blast and only barely stop walking to acknowledge it even happened, and even then, their major concern is whether Alicia is also capable of creating a blast like that. There are a couple of scenes between the two where you'd think somebody would express some concern, but since Selvaria is supposed to be sympathetic, we're not supposed to mind that she killed thousands of people who had nothing to do with her capture while she let the people who WERE responsible for her capture go free, and specifically had them removed from the danger zone as part of the terms of her surrender. The game does nothing to show that there's anything really wrong with it, either! We're supposed to feel bad that Selvaria committed suicide, not that she single-handedly destroyed the lives of however-many Gallian soldiers and their families. They don't matter, killing them isn't even presented like a sad reality of war like the enemy Mook who dies in Alicia's lap—they're literally only there for Selvaria to burn alive.
        • If fact you're supposed to feel good because she took out a number of the Jerkass higher-ups; remember that this is 5-15% of a nation being killed right there.
    • When Selvaria first steps out onto the field, she tells her men, "There lies Gallia. Claim her.", and they rush forward, but it says even uglier things about the Empire that it finds it appropriate to use rape metaphors to encourage its soldiers.
  • The early Ghostbusters video games had a maximum of three Ghostbusters, all white-skinned, as the playable characters, which means they forgot the black Winston. However, The Angry Video Game Nerd pointed out that for the NES game, this might have been a Fortunate Implication for Ernie Hudson, his actor.
  • Sony's Fat Princess looks like it's got a couple of issues...
    • Fat Princess also got in trouble with Japan, due to her artwork only having four fingers. While not having much to do with the whole Japanese 'Four Is Death' belief, it touches on the fact that the term 'yotsu' (four) is a discriminatory term for 'burakumin'--people who had lesser-jobs (like leather tanning), and were considered 'unclean', according to Shinto beliefs.
      • The four fingers thing also has something to do, apparently, with the fact that another lower-class job was fish cleaning, and there was the implication that people with such lowly jobs were unintelligent fools, likely to cut a finger off because they work with knives all day.
      • The Oddworld games had the same problem; poor Abe ended up conveniently losing a finger between Abe's Oddysee and Abe's Exodus. Although, I remember the offended lower-class workers being meat packers.
  • In Ys Online, one of the three playable races are the "Afrocans". Here is their description: "Afrocans tower head and shoulders over their cousins, the Eresians. Unlike Eresians; who prefer a more subtle approach, Afrocans like to conduct business with the sharp end of a battle axe. Of course, it helps that they are naturally muscular and seemingly carved from granite. It is not surprising that their enormous physical strength and power are ideally suited to combat and they often take part in fierce battles." Emphasis ours.
  • A large portion of Final Fantasy Tactics appears to be a rant against Christianity using a thinly veiled version of Jesus, implying that Jesus was executed not to die for mankind's sins but because he was evil. However, it's worth noting that St. Ajora was never so much a Crystal Dragon Jesus as a Dark Messiah. Instead of miraculously rising from the dead after his execution, he leveled a city. That was the miracle that inspired the existence of the Corrupt Church in the game. While the parallels between the Glabados Church and medieval Christianity are obvious, the game is not so much saying that "Jesus was evil" so much as "people are cowed by displays of power".
  • In the Atelier series: . There are a variety of "fairies" that you can hire in the early games to assist with labwork and whatnot and to help gather materials. Unfortunately, the least competent one... is the one dressed in black. And he's often depicted in supplementary material as having dark skin. Oh man...
  • In Metal Gear Solid 3, The Boss comes across Naked Snake disguised as Major Raikov (who is implied to be the lover of Colonol Volgin) and disdainfully asks why he is wearing a "fairy disguise" and mockingly warns him that it might "rub off on [him]". Hideo Kojima was clear in the director's commentary that she was actually talking about herself, but the translators decided to have some fun with the line.
    • You could also chalk it up to a deliberate case of Values Dissonance, since the game does take place in the early '60s when being gay was not nearly as accepted as it is today.
    • Every confirmed gay or bisexual character in the whole series is a villainous sadist. Volgin is a rapist, Ocelot gets off on torture, and Vamp is plain inhuman and wears a knife in front of his crotch (curiously enough, he was originally intended to be a female character, but was turned male fairly late in development). However, the gallons of Ho Yay between the heroic characters, the gay loves generally being portrayed as sympathetic relationships, and Snake calling out Raiden on being more disturbed by squicky gay relationships than squicky straight relationships do a bit to alleviate this. On the other hand in Metal Gear Solid 4, though, which depending on your view, presented a male/male "couple" as being incapable of raising children until a woman showed up and started cooking for them, which could be interpreted as a swipe against non-traditional families.
      • Possibly more a swipe against single dads regarding Otacon and Sunny. Sunny's personality and Otacon's attempted parenting fits the negative stereotypes of the single-dad relationship rather well: Sunny is allowed free reign of the ship, Otacon clearly has little to no control over her, and she spends all day unsupervised in front of the computer. The only foster dad/daughter bonding time the two have together is when doing traditionally masculine things (like building the Mk. II for Snake). Naomi arrives and teaches Sunny traditionally "feminine" things (art, fashion, cooking, kerotan alarm clocks) and when Naomi and Otacon become romantically involved, Sunny sees her like a surrogate mother.
    • Racial stereotypes: The DARPA Chief and weapons expert Sigint, the bomb disposal technician, two women who carry BFGs, the vigilante, and the arms dealer, are all black. The sweet, contrite, cute nerdy girl (with an aggressive, bolshy side) is Chinese.
    • Black Dude Dies First. In Metal Gear Solid, it was the DARPA Chief and in MGS2 it was Scott Dolph. The former's death is even more egregious when one considers that the DARPA Chief who dies on-screen is an impersonator and that the real dies before the events of the game.
      • MGS2 pulls this twice - the first Plotline Death of the second chapter is Peter Stillman.
    • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots also removed all of Vamp's sympathetic traits (like his noble goals and loyalty to Dolph's family) in favour of playing him for plain old gay panic with his Does This Remind You of Anything? fighting with Raiden.
      • Although Dolph and Fortune are both dead by the fourth game.
      • Not to mention Vamp's being Romanian and having some bizarre magical traits (you can explain the healing with nanomachines, but what about walking and dancing on water?)
      • To most players, Vamp's sympathetic side went out the window in MGS 2 when he murdered E.E. for no goddamned reason at all.
    • Peace Walker has a proud lesbian who denies even the slightest sexual interest in men - even Big Boss, widely considered in universe to be the sexiest human being ever - and yet at the end she gets paired up with a man. If there'd been any indication beforehand that she'd been bisexual, it wouldn't have been half so bad...
    • MGS2 almost had a character called "Chinaman". He was designed so that we feel bad for him that he was abducted, "adopted" by a family for the sole purpose of hating him and joined Dead Cell to show his contempt for America but come on, "Chinaman"? On second thought, his name isn't even the most problematic part.
  • In City of Heroes, all uses of the word "God" are censored by default.
    • In a really odd exception, one player character was named "Jesus Christ", was an Empathic Defender (ie, healer), dressed in white robes, had a beard and a pearly white aura. When told "I can't believe the devs let you go this long with that name" (he was level 50, the highest), his response? "Neither can I!"
      • This troper has seen Jesus Almighty, Mecha Messiah and Jumping Jesus, all above level 20.
  • In Clive Barker's Jericho, the Firstborn does not appear in its true form, but instead takes the form of a small black child. This has lead to a small number of people believing the game to have racist undertones.
    • Granted, it doesn't look perfectly human (it's eyes are grey with no pupils), but still...
  • The designers of Final Fight were told that it was a cultural taboo in America to show a male hero hitting women, so instead of female gang members, the enemy characters of Poison and Roxy were replaced by male characters Sid and Billy in the SNES version. Poison and Roxy were brought back in every subsequent adaptation, but since then they've been canonically depicted as shemales, possibly because Capcom thought it would be less controversial or because they just found beating up transvestites funny (or though Americans wouldn't mind beating up transsexuals where they would mind beating up women, which is also problematic). To add further confusion, Poison's and Roxy's genders have switched between being female or shemale depending on the localization. Both of them are still considered shemales in Japan, but Poison is now a post-op male-to-female transsexual and Roxy is completely female apparently.
  • Legend of Kay has rats as villians, and at several points speaks of them with hostility and refers to them as dirty. This wouldn't be too bad on ITS own, seeing as this is how rats are often looked upon... But unfortunately, they were given horrifically stereotypical chinese accents.
  • Golden Sun: The Lost Age has warmongering tribe Kibombo from Darkest Gondawan and their witch-doctor leader, though NPCs in the area lampshade and discuss the implications and the succession-crisis plot used to justify them (and Akafubu is hardly Magical Negro material).
    • Then there's Lemuria, where the Senate is depicted as a bunch of short-sighted conservative fools who refuse to believe that the world is withering away due to the seal on the power of Alchemy. Of course, the King is correct. Take That, democracy!
      • In fact, the leader of the King's political opposition is called Conservato. Also somewhat subverted by the fact that King Hydros is the oldest of the Lemurians (and by extension, the world).
  • In Final Fantasy VII, Barret appears to be the only black person in the entire world. (Rude of the Turks would seem to count, but Word of God specifies him as South American -- yes, on a planet without a South America.) The occupation of this person? Terrorist.
    • Regarding Rude, South American isn't even a race, and there are, in fact, many black people in that part of the world.
    • And the fact that he speaks with a 1:2 curse word to normal word ratio, or that he's almost always screaming, or that he replaced his hand with a gun didn't carry some other Unfortunate Implications?
    • Though there ARE black NPC models- a female in a green cap in Corel and also males and females in Costa Del Sol that surprisingly don't just look tanned. Barret is the only black person of importance to the plot, however and it is quite bad that all black people seem to be either poor, bodybuilders or beach-bunnies.
    • In Final Fantasy XIII, however, the black male is the Most well-balanced and well-adjusted member of the group. However, the black female wears traditional tribal garb and attacks with a spear. Talk about sidestepping a pot hole and falling off a bridge...
  • In the first Suikoden game, there are 108 Stars of Destiny who are characters that are the keys to stopping the evil empire and saving the world. All of these characters are light-skinned except for one who is Ambiguously Brown and named Blackman. Yeah, let that one sink in for a while.
  • Fire Emblem: The first obviously black character (not counting Dark Skinned Redheads or Blonds) of the series debuts in Path of Radiance. His name? Devdan. How'd he debut? As "criminal" forced to serve Duke Tanas as punishment. He talks in the third person, and he's a borderline retarded whose "crime" was loitering in the duke's garden admiring the pretty flowers. All this in a game that preaches that "racism is wrong." More like "racism against shape shifting Petting Zoo People is wrong, but racism against blacks? That's just funny!"
    • I can't imagine arguments against the idea of racism would have been made regardless of his back story. Any other possible incarnation short of personality-less knight would have had similar issues given your forces are mercenaries, rebels and former criminals. Also his supports in Path of Radiance show evidence of him Obfuscating Stupidity.
    • The Tellius games also featured the lovely Republic of Begnion, a cabal of evil senators destroying the country from within. And the only one who can stop them is... the heir to the theocratic royal family. To quote the Lemuria entry above: take that, democracy!
  • In Mega Man Battle Network, we have Raoul, a black Navi Operator who lives in the game's equivalent of America. Where does he live? In dark alleys, with other black people; he's also (apparently; he's mostly an NPC) not very polite. The anime improves it by making Raoul part of a rebellion against the corrupt mayor... although the rebellion also calls itself a "gang", which still has its implications. The game also has Dex, who is dark-skinned (though not really black per se), has big lips, and is shown to be Book Dumb and generally unpleasant (he becomes a Jerk with a Heart of Gold in the later games). And then there's the one black guy in Netopia who robs Lan...
  • Rogue Galaxy has only one planet with black people, who also turns to be the one planet devoid of technology (since the people have an aversion for it); the population is also savage, believes in human sacrifices, etc. Lilika (the one person from the planet who joins the party) is one of the most well-loved characters of the game, being sensate and at the same time a strong, independent woman. It's half a subversion, half played straight.
  • In Myst's Stoneship Age, the Black Ship flag symbol resembles the Islamic star-and-crescent symbol.
  • The enemies to be introduced in Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep were initially believed to be named the "Unbirths" due to a quirk of the Japanese language[2] and were given the official description of being "the opposite of human life". Abortion theories abounded. (They're actually called the Unversed, by the way.)
  • In Time Crisis, every character that deducts 1,000 points when shot (the other player character, Captain Rush from Time Crisis 4) has been male. Every character that deducts 5,000 (Christy Ryan from II, Alicia Winston from 3) has been female. Possibly justified with Christy, but 5,000 points seems a little harsh for Alicia, a rather competent soldier (as we get to see in the console-exclusive Rescue Mission mode in 3) who, in a series first, is a female who doesn't get kidnapped.
  • Long time popular franchise Super Mario Bros. has followed the same typical formular with each game, Bowser kidnaps Princess Peach and it's up to Mario and friends to save her. In 2005, Nintendo decided to shake up the formula by making Princess Peach the hero in Super Princess Peach. But, unfortunately, the first Mario game to focus on a female character, and her powers are controlled by her emotions, which led to fans referring to her as Super PMS.
    • Though the reason Peach is the hero is because she can control her emotions, while every other character can't. Subverts it rather well.
    • This borders on Fridge Horror for environmentalists, but in Super Mario World, note that all those paths that are essentially bulldozed through forests and bodies of water and such aren't there before Mario visits those places.
      • Since the paths Mario takes through the water are indicated by dotted lines that he still has to swim along, an alternate interpretation would be that the map is updated when Mario discovers preexisting paths at the end of the stage.
  • Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Selkies, despite their Celtic name, are clearly a Fantasy Counterpart Culture to the Gypsies. They're also portrayed by the other races as completely untrustworthy thieves. Then, if you play as one you can get a letter from your mother urging you to steal everything that's not nailed down.
    • At one point you visit a Selkie town. Talking to the locals will get you pickpocketed without any indication, other than checking your wallet to see that you lose a random, but small, amount of money per conversation. Of course, they don't do this to you if you're a fellow Selkie.
      • As with all first-time visits to important locations, it gets a mention in the yearly quest journal. Even if you're playing as a Selkie, it describes the sick feeling you got in the pit of your stomach when you realized you'd been pickpocketed. Even the Selkies don't like the Selkies...
  • One of the two Ambiguously Brown characters in the Guilty Gear series is a former slave. And this takes place in the future.
    • And the other is a depraved Shotacon. Go figure. And the boy he picks up in one ending is an orphaned ten-year-old version of his deceased (one-sided) love interest. Dammit Venom, how'd you go from level-headed assassin to instigator of creepy Replacement Goldfish / Hikaru Genji Plan mashups?!
  • The knockoff-version of Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 (Wii, DS, PSP, etc.) has a 'version-exclusive' part in the jailbreak level where you have to stop some regular prisoners. They're all black. All of them. Also, like the Resident Evil 5 example above, the enemies in the Wakanda level either pounce on you like beasts or use bows, arrows and axes. It doesn't take place in the jungle, by the way, but in the capital city, which should be more advanced.
    • Worse, the enemies in MUA1 that the pouncing enemies are based off of are from the Mephisto level. So, Wakandans are associated with the damned.
    • The PS3/360 version of Wakanda does have guards wielding pole-axes.
    • Well in the current comic continuity Wakandans use primitive weapons in order to be Closer to Earth, so at least there is some reasoning for the implications. It doesn't help much, but it softens the blow.
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 includes the infamous level "No Russian," where the player is allowed (but not required) to join in a civilian massacre of Russians. Civilians can also appear (and be killed) during the Rio missions. The Unfortunate part is that the latter part of the Americans' storyline takes place during a Russian invasion of the Washington D.C. metro area and there isn't a single American civilian to be found anywhere, save one dead VIP. Killing Russians and Brazilians on screen is apparently acceptable but not Americans.
    • Radio chatter in the level "Of Their Own Accord" (which is set in Washington D.C.) mentions that the Russians are firing on evacuation choppers full of civilians.
    • On the flipside, Americans are consistently protrayed in the series as either incompetent fools to cock everything up, unwitting patsies for the villains, or flat-out villains themselves. If you're the sort who looks for reasons to get offended, Modern Warfare will see your challenge no matter who you are.
    • In Modern Warfare 3, a child is killed by an explosion in London. As Yahtzee points out, other children probably died in the war, and the only one worth focusing on was the American tourist. Apparently, Americans can't identify with anyone but other Americans...
      • The framing device for the scene requires the characters to be videotaping themselves in downtown London, and tourists are much more likely to be doing that than natives. And if you want non-British tourists in Britain who still speak English, 'American' is first up on the list of possible choices.
  • In Pokémon Black and White, the villain team is Team Plasma. Their clothing is designed to evoke the armor of knights, and they even use a symbol used as a shorthand for Jesus's name as a symbol. And they allegedly want to "save" your Pokémon. Yep, the villain team are Christian radicals.
    • They plan to "save" the Pokémon by creating separate worlds for them. Not just Christian radicals, but an Animal Wrongs Group.
    • And if that wasn't offensive enough, Team Plasma - the team based on the Christian church - turns out to be a scam set up by its leader so he can become the most powerful Pokemon trainer in the world once everyone else is powerless. Not helped in that Ghetsis's robes make him look a bit like The Pope.
    • Also, the one guy who can actually talk to Pokémon sides with Team Plasma, but they're still shown as being wrong. Basically in order to progress in the game you have to ignore your best source of information on what Pokémon actually want. To help you feel better about this you keep running into trainers saying they love their Pokémon and would never want to hurt them. So, if you have power over people don't bother asking them what they think of how you treat them, as long as you mean well you must be doing fine. Somewhat mitigated when N later reveals that the player character's Pokémon said that they wanted to be with the player character the first time they met N, and other trainer's Pokémon have been saying similar things but the player character had no way of knowing this until they're pretty far into fighting Team Plasma.
    • Also, the games in general have been accused of "encouraging" animal abuse by pointing out similarities between Pokemon battles and "cockfighting"/"dog fighting".
    • Jynx is currently the only Pokemon who's physical appearance was changed because of this. Originally, she looked like this. Naturally, this caused many people to compare her design to that of "Blackface" . Nintendo soon redesigned Jynx's appearance so now it looks like this.
    • The Pokemon universe's only known Italian is a Mafia Don. Ouch.
  • Metroid: Other M: Several reviewers have taken issue with the fact that the game has Samus - a strong and independent bounty hunter who just happened to be female - now going on about her feelings, taking orders, and seeking approval from male authority figures. And she can't use her equipment until a man authorizes her, even if that equipment would save her lots of damage.
    • There was also the fact that Samus seemed to freeze up and lose herself when she discovered that Ridley had somehow returned from the dead, despite the fact that various other sources, even the Metroid Manga, which is what this game apparently directly used as source material, had Samus stop being afraid of Ridley.
      • Take also into account the fact that Samus has killed Ridley four times before Other M - and not frozen up on any of those occasions. The makers of Other M say they didn't take the stories of the Metroid Prime games into account, which still leaves two times. Defenders of the game claim that a) she thought that the last time, he was dead for sure, b) she was emotionally vulnerable after the events of Super Metroid, c) she realized that she was partially responsible for this Ridley's development, or d) some combination of the above.
    • Various reviewers accused the game of sexism, including Yahtzee of Zero Punctuation and Spoony. Others, such as Moviebob in his Game Overthinker persona, accused the critics of the game of being oversensitive or sexist. As you can probably tell, the issue is a bit touchy...
    • And to round out the Fan Dumb, the reviewer for X-Play, among others, was accused of hating the game simply because she was "a feminist". Yes, and? Why would that be pejorative?
    • Many of the people bashing the game often mentioned "Japanese culture" being a factor in the direction taken with the game. While Japanese gender relations are... complex, critics are using it both to attack the game's portrayal of Samus, while other critics are using it as a defense. The problem is, they're partially right. It can get even more uncomfortable if detractors say that Retro Studios should have stuck with the games not necessarily because they were more skilled with their handling of the series (a much more valid argument), but because their "American" approach automatically makes it better.
    • During a flashback, we find that Adam would end briefings by going (rhetorically) "any objections, lady?" Samus is the only female member of her squad, so Adam was deliberately singling her out by her gender. Repeatedly. Samus seemed to be the only person who found any problems with this (at the time), but somehow recollects it fondly, as Adam's little joke. Samus even notes that it would sound sarcastic from anyone else. There is nothing in the cutscenes to distinguish it from sarcasm or mockery. By contrast, Anthony's repeated use of "Princess" is clearly an affectionate nickname, and the game lets the viewers infer that they are Like Brother and Sister, compared to the ham-handed approach to the Adam-Samus relationship.
    • Other critics argue that the game's sexism and bizarre incompetency on Samus' part are merely parts of a greater whole: a romanticized abusive relationship between an otherwise capable bounty hunter and her surrogate father figure.
      • Some will argue that Samus wandered in based upon a distress signal later revealed to have been sent by Madeline and Adam made it clear she had no business on the station, which was Galactic Federation property and only later agreed to let her stay on the condition she follow his orders, making it more of a commander subordinate situation.
      • Many players were creeped out by how Samus kept referring to the Metroid hatchling as "the baby," and that the game kept using "baby" imagery.
  • In real life, the Sphinx and the Great Pyramids are found on the outskirts of Cairo, a throughly modern city. The Sims 3: World Adventures has you visiting the Sphinx and pyramids on the outskirts of what essentially appears to be a third-world village; China's vacation spot looks like it hasn't had contact with the outside world since the 1700s; even France's is best described as "quaint". All the vacation spots have you raiding tombs and digging up artifacts as if all those shiny trinkets automatically belonged to the first foreigner who came along. The destinations are implied to be tourist traps. The tombs refill themselves with jewelry, there are no actual workplaces in vacation worlds, there are famous landmarks displaced from where they should be (There's an Arc De Triomph in the game, but it was not used- and Paris is visible from the French city).
    • In addition, The Sims 3 automatically gives every pregnant woman a moodlet that basically guarantees she'll be feeling great for the duration. Even if she has the Dislikes Children and/or Commitment Issues trait. You'll spawn and you'll enjoy it, missy, whether you like it or not!
    • There's also the issue of marriage. In The Sims 3, the first game chronologically, same sex couples can "Marry". In The Sims 1, the second game chronologically, they can't get together officially at all. In The Sims 2, the third game chronologically, they can only have "Joined Unions".
      • That was probably just an oversight, since the chronology of the games obviously doesn't coincide with the order they were released in. Still kind of odd, though.
    • A social worker won't take away a teen-aged Sim and you can't adopt a teen Sim. Considering how many Real Life teenagers don't get adopted due to their age, and that no matter how neglected a teen Sim may be yet social workers won't come to their aid.. This comes off as more than a little unfortunate.
  • While the almost Lady Land nature of Touhou is most probably simple Author Appeal, it doesn't excuse the games' treatment of the few male characters. Either they are completely subservient subordinates to female characters (Genji and Unzan), missing and/or dead (Youki and Myouren), or lack any combat abilities and thus Stay in the Kitchen (Rinnosuke). There is also how humans are always, with a few exceptions, powerless and helpless against youkai and have to be constantly protected; those few exceptions are all female.
  • Doodle Devil comes across as very misogynistic since certain positive elements can be made using Man, but not with Woman. The only things Woman gets associated with bury the game even further into this trope.
  • Mass Effect's treatment of homosexuality is a bit questionable. In the first game the limited cast made even the presence of a Discount Lesbian a relatively positive sign, but when Mass Effect 2 came out with Loads and Loads of Characters with numerous chances of interspecies romances with very un-humanlike aliens the absence of male homosexuality has become uncomfortably conspicuous. What's even worse is that ME2 confirms that female Commander Shepard can indeed be lesbian with human women, but gives her the most shallow "romance" subplot (if it can be called that), and the game does not treat it as a "real" romance - it does not bring the Paramour achievement[3] and is not considered cheating on your ME1 partner, like every other option. Bonus points for a Depraved Bisexual Discount Lesbian serial killer in another subplot.
    • There's also the issue with Word of God saying a player may not choose to pursue a homosexual relationship because Shepard is too predefined a character, and his sexual orientation was decided. But players may decide upon the history, first name, appearance, gender, class, and personality of Shepard. Pretty much the only thing that cannot be chosen is the voice and that Shepard is going to save the galaxy. This does nothing to explain the fact that Female!Shepard can be exclusively lesbian. So it seems the only trait of Shepard's they decided to define is that he's no-way no-how gay. Ouch.
      • What makes this particularly odd is that the company that produces Mass Effect, BioWare, has included properly fleshed-out Gay Options in most of their other games, including titles produced years before Mass Effect. There are also indications from Dummied Out dialogue that more homosexual romance options were going to be included at one point, not to mention the huge amounts of Ho Yay that can exist between said characters and Shepard.
      • They seem to be trying to rectify this with the third installment, which will finally have a male homosexual romance option, though only adding it to the third one has its own issues. It's completely possible to have played a male Shepard as gay throughout ME1 and ME2, he'd just also be a Celibate Hero on top of being gay, but that just falls into this again.
      • Mass Effect 3 does dip into this with their treatment of bisexuals, continuing the tradition from Mass Effect 2. Of the three new love interests, one is a gay man, one is a lesbian, and one is a bisexual woman. The man and the lesbian are considered full love interest, have fleshed out scenes building the relationship, and full romance scenes to the end. The bisexual woman has no real conversations with Shepard beyond interviewing him(she's a combat reporter), and her "romance scene" is a kiss and a black out much earlier on in the game; she can't be invited back up afterwards, and she doesn't spend the night with Shepard before the last mission like the other romances do. This is even shallower than Mass Effect 2's bisexual love interest. Kelly is only upgraded to full love interest status in 3.
      • There are some really bad implications with the gay male LI in ME 3. At the beginning of the game, he's still grieving for his dead husband (you walk in on him listening to his final message and weeping) who died less than a year ago. By the end of the game, you're shagging. And Shepard is the one who convinces him to move on.
    • Jacob is the only black love interest in the series and he's the only one to cheat on Shepard and actually gets another woman pregnant at that.
    • Depending on how you interpret it, Mass Effect 3 has an even worse one because it's presented as a moral lesson. The Synthesis ending can be read as saying that differences between sentient races are insurmountable, which contradicts the game's own canon, and that working to remove those differences by making everyone part synthetic and part organic is the only way to cooperate. Yep, you can't work with your neighbors unless you each swap a kidney, it's the only way to work past your differences.
      • The change -of-tune is all the more egregious as, depending on the player, you can have already ended the only major conflict between organics and synthetics and befriended a synthetic AI.
  • NCAA Football 11 (sister franchise to Madden NFL) included some Bribing Your Way to Victory DLC like coaching advisors and such. Unfortunately this also includes the choice of outright buying 5 Star Recruits with real money. Someone probably should have reminded EA that buying college football recruits is heavily frowned upon.
  1. The crescent and star was on the original Mirror Shield found in the Spirit Temple, was bowdlerised for international release, aside from the whole "brown-skinned thieves living in a desert" thing
  2. More specifically, a similar problem to Japanese Ranguage, but using B and V instead of R and L.
  3. which, admittedly, is described as being for romances with squadmates