Tackling Supremacist Narratives in Game Design
July 27 @ 9:00 am - 10:00 am
Speaker: Farley Cherry from Rigs of Color at Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Join us for this fascinating deep dive into how supremacist narratives have thrived in the media landscape, and gain some insight into ways we can potentially tackle them.
Games are media, and media does not live in a vacuum; it is conversing with all other ideas created from ancient religious texts to other games of its genre. Some don’t believe all games are political, but games being political can mean they shape tomorrow’s politics more than politics are shaping them. Whose story gets told and whose point of view we give our audience matters in fixing a broken world.
‘Revenge’ is a game created by an Iranian game studio to combat ‘Call of Duty.’ This propaganda game would not exist if players were given the point of view of a brown-skinned security officer fighting terrorists. This is the same frame of logic behind the student-made game ‘Django Unplugged’, which is to have a narrative that explores the good fight from another perspective. When looking at games with Sanctioned killing like ‘Call of Duty’, we forget that the FBI and CIA say the biggest threat to National Security is White Nationalists, and we are yet to have a game that fights that group. Instead, we find that the game we make not only emboldens white supremacists, but they also use it as a recruiting tool.
In this talk, we can explore easy and not-so-easy ways to combat supremacist narratives in our contributions to the media landscape that shapes our thinking.