Featured, Pop Culture, Race & Politics

Mafia III Is Probably The Blackest Video Game Ever Made

If you’re rocking pearls, the disclaimer at the very beginning of Mafia III (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, MacOS) might make you clutch ‘em tightly.

Mafia III takes place in a fictionalized version of the American South in 1968. We sought to create an authentic and immersive experience that captures this very turbulent time and place, including depictions of racism…we felt that to not include this very real and shameful part of our past would have been offensive to the millions who faced – and still face – bigotry, discrimination, prejudice, and racism in all its forms.”

Indeed, playing through the game so far is like watching Rosewood or Django Unchained: all the racism makes you wanna bite your knuckles and keep playing just to see how many cracka-ass crackas you can take out with a dome shot.

Mafia III is essentially a historical revenge fantasy that shares DNA with Django: the game tells the story of Lincoln Clay, a black, decorated Vietnam War veteran who returns home from the war to a life as a mobster in a fictional version of New Orleans. He’s out to get even with the Italian mobsters who slew his surrogate family with the intention on taking their place as the N’awlins version of Bumpy Johnson.

I’m still in the incipient stages of the game, but it’s already in the running for the blackest-ass video game I’ve played in my 30-plus years as a gamer.

The beginning of the game conjectures at the protagonist’s mixed-race heritage, but he slightly resembles my father, a Creole boy from rural Louisiana who was just a couple years younger than Clay in 1968 (albeit with smaller muscles – sorry, pop). Clay isn’t Luke Cage-dark, but he’s Negro enough to be a problem for the southern whites.

In an early sequence, Clay is dressed as a Louisiana Federal Reserve officer to pull off a heist. An actual officer says to Clay’s undercover white colleague, “Sad day when a God-fearin’ white man can’t get a job, but any old nigger who staggers in is hired on the spot.” Clay is in earshot but says nothing, as was routine when a black man encountered egregious racism below the Mason-Dixon line in the 1960s.

White men openly question Clay’s choice of dress; white women passing by him pull their purses closely. I’m about to play through a sequence in which Clay squares off against a rebel flag-waving crew called the Dixie Gang – imagine how that shit’s gonna go down.

Mafia III doesn’t just handle racism with big-boy draws – it depicts black Louisiana with attention to authenticity. I’ve spent enough time in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and the small black river town where my pops grew up to recognize the game’s accuracy in distinguishing the accents of the rich whites from the poor blacks. Sammy Robinson, the ill-fated black mob leader and Clay’s surrogate father, is voiced with a thick West Indies accent that vacillates between English and French by an actual Jamaican actor.

It also doesn’t capitulate to potential critics by making Lincoln Clay some type of black savior; he’s our hero, but he’s a complex character and not exactly a good guy.

The game even takes us to history class, teaching us that the Haitian gangsters against whom Clay squares off are refugees who fled the bloody, mid-20th century presidency of Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier and his brutal Tonton Macoute paramilitary force.

Clay catches a lot of Haitian Creole profanity from the gangsters as they lick shots off at him; the boss fight with Haitian gang leader Baka is probably the closest thing you’ll ever see to Ox’s death scene in Belly; it is, without question, the single blackest shit I’ve encountered in any game ever.

And, of course, there’s the soundtrack, which will appeal to anyone with good taste for old soul and rock cuts; Jimi Hendrix, Otis Redding and Martha and the Vandellas round out a playlist that’ll bring your dusty-ass uncle in the room to watch you play; Dixieland jazz music scores the loading screens.   

Video games often get lost in the ever-evolving discussions concerning racism in the media, which is interesting considering gaming is roughly a $25 billion industry – the most popular games rival sales in all media. While the whole Gamergate fiasco forced the industry to confront its wanton sexism for the first time, there have been few conversations regarding the storied history of racial insensitivity in mainstream gaming.

When I was a boy pumping quarters into arcades in the 1980s and 1990s, the only black characters I saw were either real-life sports figures or chain-and-bat-wielding, muscle-bound bad guys for the white heroes to beat down in games like Double Dragon and Final Fight. I didn’t realize until I was older how groundbreaking it was to see a playable black protagonist in 1991’s Streets of Rage on Sega Genesis, but that didn’t exactly usher in a trend.

Even some of the most beloved gaming franchises have issues: though I got up in the ass of many a white boy using Dhalsim and Blanka on the Street Fighter II arcade, they’re both culturally insensitive depictions. All of the ethnic stereotypes in Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out would never make it out of a developer’s studio in 2016 (never mind Little Mac’s trainer, who arguably looks a little Bamboozled).

 It’s why I appreciate that an AAA video game (one with a high development and advertising budget) like Mafia III, created through a studio run by a bunch of white boys (as most are), tackles racism head on and not allegorically (Deus Ex: Mankind) or half-assedly (Bioshock Infinite). In a zeitgeist that demands we take a closer look at our media for aggressions micro and otherwise, I enjoy the idea of a bunch of gaming nerds forced to think about racism for 30-plus hours of a campaign.

Unfortunately, Mafia III as a game itself seems like an epigone of numerous open-world sandbox titles before it; its mechanics are decent and the gameplay fun, but if you’re a gamer, you’ve done this before ad nauseam, and you’ve done it in better games.

But unlike the last few episodes of “Marvel’s Luke Cage,” you won’t struggle to stay awake during the many cutscenes that unfold the narrative. It’s not the gameplay that keeps me coming back – it’s the unabashed black-ass story that I’ve been waiting for for more than three decades.

Dustin Seibert

Dustin J. Seibert lifts heavy weights and plays all his video games on hard mode to find peace. He has a better ear for hip-hop than anyone else you know. He writes like the English language is going outta style because the steaks in his freezer are dependent on it.

  • Sigma_Since 93

    How do we act as if GTA San Andreas didn’t exist. The game, the radio stations, and the hot coffee patch are epic Blackness

    • DM.

      With the main guy called Carl Johnson aka CJ. Stealing planes at the airport, going to strip clubs, Freeze Your Wanted Level cheat codes…Doesn’t get any blacker than San Andreas. Man, that game was life.
      I need to get mafia III though, i’m sold already

      • Sigma_Since 93

        Going to the barbershop to get your cesar done, doing to the gym to get your swole on and you would lose it if you didn’t keep it up, running the product from the valley to the bay…man listen.

        • mr. steal your costco samples

          I hated that you’d lose it and/or get fat.

          I often joke, in darker moments at the office, that the reason I play [X] (been Dragon Age recently, so) DAI is that the mages and templars and demons and dragons generally make more sense than these 2520s

    • Dustin John Seibert

      San Andreas is definitely a black-a$$ game. But I feel as if Mafia III takes a bit more effort to dig in to the blackness of recent history. The GTA games convey “urban” blackness that I think anyone who watched a few Ice Cube-produced films could replicate.

      • Furious Styles

        Thanks to DJ Pooh writing the story for both SA and Friday…

        • Dustin John Seibert

          Did he really? You gonna make me look this up.

        • Ille Jay

          Yo, I thought Cube did Friday…how he get away with that visual then in “Straight Outta Compton”?

          • Furious Styles

            I’m sure he contributed. But the movie (SOC) did make it sound like it wasvhis brainchild.

      • Scorpiogoddess??

        I c u on your IG model grind. What’s your booking info?

    • Brandon Allen

      And people love to say Vice City was better when it clearly wasnt.

      • mr. steal your costco samples

        San Andreas was so big it was a little off-putting though. Like I’d get lost in the country for a minute

    • Ille Jay

      What I was thinking!

  • Not a gamer but my daughter is… these games give me the creeps. I swear they create savages.

    • Sigma_Since 93

      you sound like a Republican but I understand. lol

      • TheCollinB

        She’s kinda got a point tho. Didn’t the “Knock Out” game come from GTA?

        • That way be dragons! Video games can’t make a kid do something he wasn’t planning on doing on some broad level. People are quick to blame the media, but slow to blame the adults around a kid.

          • Brooklyn_Bruin

            They finna blame rap music next

            • TheCollinB

              But….

            • I remember that era when rap music was mentioned in political campaigns. No, nope and nah! It definitely helped me develop my “trust” of government. That is if by “trust”, you mean “absolute blood hatred and belief that given a chance, they’ll criminalize wearing White after Labor Day by years in labor and reeducation camps”.

              • Sigma_Since 93

                That darn Tipper Gore is the reason why the explicit lyrics logo exits.

                • But people forget that crap when saying “Al Gore Got The Election Stolen From Him!” ™. Al Gore was behind a lot of BS, but people forgot that in the light of George W. Bush. Tipper Gore was a Bad Person.

                  • cyanic

                    I didn’t like Gore’s running mate. And the world would be quite different had fcuktry not gone down to give us the current shape of things. W’s administration did more damage than any paranoid schizophrenic could articulate.

                    • In hindsight, 2000 was the prequel for 2016. W did a lot of dumb ish, but there’s a real chance that a Gore administration wouldn’t be wine and roses either. Plus Al Gore has always struck me as not that sharp.

                    • cyanic

                      You honestly believe Bush has a higher intellect than Gore?

                    • Gore was smarter on intellect, but did a scary amount of dumb political mistakes. Hillary Clinton was a political genius compared to him. Plus, he pretty much needed help to win any election he’d ever won. Once he had to run the show, it was a disaster.

                    • cyanic

                      Only good that came from Bush II being elected was the black president that followed.

                    • Val

                      Who was his running mate?

                    • cyanic

                      Joe Lieberman.

                    • Val

                      Oh yeah, that guy. He is very forgettable.

                    • cyanic

                      He’s a Zionist wanksta.

                  • Ille Jay

                    Tipper Gores aren’t bad as a whole…they just need a “stikker” slapped on their foreheads too…”Caution” or some other…it’s like that Norf Norf rant woman…she MEANT well.

                • cyanic

                  Heffa’s still alive while the author of Darling Nikki is no longer.

            • Sigma_Since 93

              Where have you been. They pinned that on N.W.A. and Ice T years ago

              • Brooklyn_Bruin

                If by a few you mean almost 30…LOL

          • TheCollinB

            The ownus rest with the individual but there has to be an influence. It’s kinda like when they say never discuss the way someone commits suicide because you could give ideas to people that are suicicdal.

            • cyanic

              Mass consumer art certainly functions as an influence on the population. Whether it shapes an attitude or is used to justify an unjustifiable act.

        • Sigma_Since 93

          It did. I can’t recall the court case but the boy who murked some folks blamed violent video games for his behavior.

        • Brandon Allen

          And movies have been out since 1880, and books been talking about killing people since forever….people do what they want.

          • cyanic

            Does not divorce art from being an influencer on an otherwise dull mind.

            • Brandon Allen

              It doesn’t. That’s my point. Video games specifically don’t influence people poorly, all media does.

              • Blueberry01

                So, if ALL of it does, shouldn’t we be mindful of what type of messages are released through art?

          • TheCollinB

            Can’t co-sign this completely fam. Use something like the slam dunk contest for example. The main way people get ideas is from previous dunks. Rarely someone has an original idea. People are going to do what they’ve seen or heard of being done before.

      • LMNOP

        This seems like such a liberal, progressive position though. Why cant you win by helping people, not killing them?

        • mr. steal your costco samples

          man I can help people at the soup kitchen. I’m tryna slay dragons and / or pop shots

          • LMNOP

            This is probably why I’m not a video game designer. Or video game player.

  • Val
    • Other_guy13

      Not accepted

      • La_Dee_Da

        This is big though, right? How often do we hear denial that such a thing exist? So not only is this an “apology”, but it’s also an acknowledgement of a problem.
        I hope this changes the conversations of people who feel as though police brutality and other abuses is a “myth” (and yes, I actually saw a comment on Facebook that police brutality was a myth)

        • It ain’t big… we always seem to get excited when 2520’s acknowledge what we already knew to be true… About dayum time.

          • La_Dee_Da

            I can understand that. I am just thinking about progressing to better/improved race relations, which would first consist of an acknowledgement of certain trends and behaviors.

        • Other_guy13

          I’m tired of baby steps…i’m tired of going at a pace that is comfortable for them….stop it and stop it NOW. Sure….it’s big…it’s also like saying eating fried foods on the reg is unhealthy after the doctor just told me while i’m on the way to Popeye’s. Until I see change…I don’t accept anything 2520’s say to me or any POC.

          • YES!!!!

          • Blueberry01

            Though, I would like you to eat more leafy greens and cruciferous veggies, OG…

      • Val

        It’s a baby step, yes. But it’s a step in the right direction, IMO.

    • Let’s see if they can do something concrete to make amends. Let’s get some universal documentation so we can track the problems.

      • TheCollinB

        I’m for this although I think it would take the creation of an outside agency to independently monitor polic forces.

        • I think the FBI can do it. One, any challenges to issues would involve the Department of Justice anyway. Two, police departments already deal with the FBI in terms of statistics anyway. It wouldn’t take that much in terms of developing infrastructure save for hiring a few additional employees.

    • TheCollinB

      And 21 boko haram girls are released. A decent week socially for the globe so far

      • Other_guy13

        That’s a REAL win in my book…now can we just stop bombing kids, I mean….we so advanced and all….can we just pinpoint a freaking target.

      • Val

        I was happy to hear about that. That gives me hope that the other girls can be brought home as well.

        • Other_guy13

          200+ left right?

          • Val

            I think it’s less than 200 now. Others before this are home too.

            • Other_guy13

              I see….well…release them all….and now. Sick of baby steps.

    • HISTORICAL BUT NOT CURRENT… Ok dude.

      • Val

        I agree, it would have def been better had he included current actions.

        • Other_guy13

          Again…apology NOT accepted.

          • cyanic

            Who needs an apology when new policy should be enacted. Firing officers who shot first for nonwhite suspects. If they were shooting unarmed white persons everyone would join in the crusade.

            • -h.h.h.-

              If they were shooting unarmed white persons do everyone would join in the crusade.

              pretty sure the majority of citizens being killed by police gunfire are in fact 2520s…

              417/860 by one count – https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2015/jun/01/the-counted-police-killings-us-database

              • Negro Libre

                Yeah 5-0 don’t care.

                The issue is that black people care more about their rights than white people, because we’ve had to actually fight and die for them, historically speaking. It’s unlikely the white immigrants who came in the 1900’s would tolerate what their offspring tolerate from police today, but such things come from affluence and privilege I guess.

              • Nice to see that you are excluding the disproportionate number given the black population of this country is small as fawk.

          • EVER.

    • Negro Libre

      Eh, sounds like the typical “Iron Fist in a Velvet Glove” kind of thing:

      Quote:

      …Public Safety First itself, however, is largely funded by a different industry that’s unhappy about the legalization of marijuana: law enforcement. The revenue from waging the war on drugs has become a significant source of financial support for local law enforcement. Federal and state funding of the drug war — as well as the property police forces seize as a part of drug raids — have become significant financial supplements to local forces’ budgets. While these unions exert more influence at the local level (what state or local candidate doesn’t want the endorsement of the Fraternal Order of Police?), they have a presence in Washington as well. Every year since 2008 the National Fraternal Order of Police has spent at least $220,000 on lobbying efforts; the National Association of Police Organizations, $160,000; the International Union of Police Associations, $80,000; and the International Association of Chiefs of Police, $80,000.

      Source: https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2014/08/money-not-morals-drives-marijuana-prohibition-movement/

      Want to help, don’t lobby against citizens and people you are supposed to serve and protect. Then start, you know, start serving and protecting…

      • Word. In a lot of small town America, the War on Drugs either directly or indirectly funds the police department. Seizures are a major part of small town police budgets, since they can keep most or all the proceeds. In addition, they get money from state and federal governments for drug interdiction. Without it, a lot of towns wouldn’t be able to actually fund the police. And sadly, there is bipartisan support for this mess.

        • Negro Libre

          Well, hey, jobs right…no one reads the fine-print!

          A big problem in our economy today, especially in the public sector, is that success and achievement actually are curses. It’s why I quit working in mental health, you actually help people and get them out of the institution and able to live an independent life, you lose money. However if clients are escalating and getting more messed up, boom, more money for “prioritized care.” This kind of economic thinking, is spread all over the economy. Whether it’s actually reforming criminals, actually educating students…the list goes on and on.

          • Also, in a lot of small towns, the ability to afford municipal services is a major issue. The War on Drugs props up a lot of municipal governments who would otherwise have to kick government services to the county and state level.

            • Negro Libre

              Seems that Wall Street is not the only one living in an illusion due to easy money. A whole bunch of municipalities are on that heron, don’t even know it.

              • A lot of progressive city planners have said that large amounts of suburbia aren’t economically sustainable because the towns don’t have enough economic activity to ultimately pay the full cost of their infrastructure. Granted, they have their own flaws in trying to plan every single square inch of real estate, but they have a valid point there.

                • Negro Libre

                  I used to live in one of these white suburbs filled with upper class whites and old money types, who were literally willing to protest the building of a McDonalds in town, because they feared, it would bring in the “wrong type of people.” They ended building, guess what, the third Dunkin Donuts in town instead.

                  I’m so glad I bounced out of there as soon as I could. Spoiled Hipsters still get under my skin to this very day.

                  • That seems so classically New England that it needs a hashtag. Other parts of the country have gone in for their anti-development stuff, but there seems to be this huge impetus towards segregating towns by class up there. The sad part is that no one dares question it.

                    • Negro Libre

                      Liberals don’t check liberals, outside of academia and the magazines only academics and mostly stuck up people subscribe to get the actual magazines for: you know like the Atlantic, the Nation, Harpers etc.

                      Plus, the one thing about New England that stays consistent is cultural stagnation. Nothing significantly changes here. The segregation in Boston is so machiavellian and wicked that it’s borderline admirable.

                      But old well, that’s Old money, far more skilled and omnipotent. I remember reading one of these biographies about Trump and how, his whole life he’s been trying to prove to Old Money New York that he deserves to belong, only reason why he does all this crazy ish, is because he can’t get in, so he’s hoping he can make enough money to buy himself in. Wolf of Wall Street guy said the same thing in his book that he got rejected by that East Coast Old money and thus ended up building his network around low-brow New Money Jews.

                    • Old Money ONLY cares about pedigree and lineage… PIDD

                    • Negro Libre

                      They’ll bring in your kids, but not you if you’re new. Sheed, the Old Money in New England and New York turned down John D. Rockefeller.

                    • You better tell it. and qujiet as kept.. New England is WORSE than New York. They DO NOT PLAY IN MASS, CT, RHODE ISLAND, MAINE. New York may cut you some slack if their kids like you…lol

                    • Connecticut like a mfer. Lived there for 3 years. West Hartford.

                    • My ex-wife is from up there, so I’ve been up there over the years. The sad thing is that anyone with the heart to resist the BS leaves the state. And they wonder why population growth is so poor up there. Why would anyone hang around if they don’t have to?

                    • I actually loved it but I was a business owner so I played by my own rules.

                    • Hibiscus???

                      What lippie is that?

                    • It’s my brand.. :-) Fierce lipgloss on top of Hot Mama lipstick.

                    • Scorpiogoddess??

                      Hot Mama is the name?

                    • it’s both Fierce and Hot Mama and they are both my brand. ;-)

                    • Scorpiogoddess??

                      ??

                    • mr. steal your costco samples

                      oh word my girl from law school lived up in WeHa with a very short husband.

                    • I loved WeHa!

                    • kingpinenut

                      I gots fam in West H…..but I will *never* live in CT on purpose

                  • McDonald’s, bus lines to give folks access to better paying jobs in the burbs, no outzoning of school districts… everything that would help the disadvantaged..

                    • Negro Libre

                      It’s always been much easier to make big money as a black person in the South than in the North. In Jim Crow South, Alabama, A.G. Gaston was worth like 200 million, did business with the upper class in the south and everything, they just don’t want black people messing with the politics. In the North, they’ll get you a social service job, they just don’t want you around unless they’re doing a charity event or opening a new hospital/daycare center.

                    • THE TRUTH!!! I went to an affluent all girls high school in Michigan for 2 years… I learned exactly how to deal with the Dwights… that’s why I’m not accommodating at all… They try to divvy everything to you based on what THEY think you deserve.

                    • Word. TRM Howard bankrolled large parts of the Civil Rights Movement, and he’s largely forgotten.

                    • Hammster

                      That’s interesting because I’m from and still live in the south. I see things differently. I think the political structure of the south is so strong and detrimental to most blacks that it’s almost impossible to really make it here, unless you live in Atlanta, maybe. The south just doesn’t have the industry that the North or West has so it’s harder to make good money here. Just take any job and compare the pay to what you’d get up north or out west and they’re guaranteed to almost always beat southern wages. I know the cost of living is one reason why the pay is more elsewhere but we do tend to lag behind other regions when it comes to competitive pay amongst several other things that would make this comment longer than what it already is.

                    • Negro Libre

                      Hmmm, I don’t disagree. It’s a matter of big money vs. small money. If you’re looking for a job, then yes, it’s always easier to get paid better here in the North, if you’re well educated or well-networked. Amassing capital for a venture is generally easier in the South for a black person, since amassing it isn’t viewed as an assault on the political structure, and white folks in the south will pay for something big.

                      In the North, getting connected to the deep pockets is really difficult, because they tend to live in Neighborhoods and environments that are purposely secluded. I’ve been in some burbs in New England, where you know, just driving by, that they don’t want you around. You see trees for miles, with no sense of human life, outside the occasional person jogging, then bam, you turn your side and some massive estate just popped out of nowhere.

                      That’s New England Old money for you.

                    • Hammster

                      But this sounds a lot like the south. You have to be well networked here also in order to land the well paying jobs. The south loves networking and connecting with people of a certain hue with a certain income. In the south, connecting with people is disguised as tailgating at your local PWI or playing golf on a course that has recently discovered that the civil rights act of 1964 is a real piece of legislation.

                      I think you and I are talking about the same thing. It happens everywhere and there’s no escaping it in America. Nowhere is better.

                    • Negro Libre

                      Nah, it’s way easier. Plus the devils is in the details.

                      The old money in the South is different than the old money in the North. The upper class in the North, especially in the New England parts, have more in common with the British Upper Class than they do with even rich Americans – and in the upper class in Britain, money isn’t the point. You can be worth billions and still not be able to network with people in the old money in the North, because money isn’t what gets you in: it’s culture.

                      All the places you mentioned that are public, you wouldn’t find those types there. When I say it’s easier is it’s a matter of burden of entry. Either way, it’s not just simple, I definitely agree with that.

                    • The one thing they do have better in the NY area is the mass transit situation, and even that comes from some shady reasons. They don’t want the help living right next door, so they have a pretty extensive mass transit network linking the hood and the suburbs Still, they’ll block all that stuff, then have the nerve to complain about people wanting jobs. LOL

                  • LMNOP

                    I don’t really get the big difference between McDonalds and Dunkin Donuts.

                    • Hammster

                      ^ What I was thinking when I read NL’s comment

                    • Negro Libre

                      Def not from New England.

                  • kingpinenut

                    DD taste worse than NJ smells….

                    • Blueberry01

                      Ouch! But I do promptly roll up my windows when driving on the Turnpike and I pass Elizabeth.

                    • kingpinenut

                      Exits 9-11 is not the bizness

                    • Blueberry01

                      Nah, King, I’m good through the Garden State Pkwy exits. I’m talking about at how Exit 13, I am promptly met with a putrid odor.

                      I rebuke Satan all the way to the Holland Tunnel exit!

            • Ferguson would be a case study of this. Black communities have become a slush fund for small and mid-sized cities.

      • Val

        Yeah, profit has to be taken out of policing.

    • Janelle Doe

      And [also off topic] Delta airlines doesn’t seem to believe that Black women can be doctors :-/

      • Other_guy13

        Was that Delta?? Idk why I thought it was Trump Airlines…wait that doesn’t exist anymore….like many of his other businesses.

      • Val

        Right. And it happened twice.

      • They also don’t believe their ***king flights should leave on time either.

        • ha!

        • RewindingtonMaximus

          Damn sure don’t

        • Janelle Doe

          no lies told here

      • Hibiscus???

        They welfare queens, no?!

    • Tambra
    • kingpinenut

      f the police and they chiefs too

  • GTA4 does a great job of dealing with Blackness too, particularly the subtleties of Black New York. But I might have to find time for Mafia III. It seems like a great story.

    • Sigma_Since 93

      My xbox 360 won’t let me be great :(

      • Negro Libre

        Dude…

        I got an Xbox one for sale.

        • Sigma_Since 93

          I know they are on sale homie. Video game systems are an expensive and cumbersome item in the Sigma household. We have all of the systems and I haven’t been too keen on paying XBox a membership to play games on line when I already pay for internet services. I also haven’t been a fan of the security hacks Playstation has experienced (the kids play the PS3).

          Backwards comparability is a big issue for me since I’m stuck with the inability of playing many of my favorite games which means I have to keep the old system around if I want to play NCAA Football 07.

          It’s the principle not a cost thing.

          • Negro Libre

            Hmm, good point.

            XBox fumbled with the whole backwards capability thing, it’s why a lot of gamers stick with PCs.

            • Sigma_Since 93

              I’ve already maxed out video cards and cpu functionality in my current tower. I’m really considering buying a computer solely for gaming. I would be free of being held hostage to games that are only on one platform

          • RewindingtonMaximus

            It’s a bit different now Sig.

            For the same $60 you pay for a game, you can pay for the service, and get 4 free games per month, along with all of the benefits of being on the service.

            Economically it just works out better.

            The security has also been tightened up. Now you can use PayPal for purchases, so two levels of security is better than one.

            And the deals for the systems are so frequent, that I’m more than sure even before Black Friday, you can get the system with up to 4 games for like $299

          • mr. steal your costco samples

            backwards compatibility kills me on the PS4. I had so many dope PSX games for PS3 — Symphony of the Night, FFVIII, FFIX, Chrono Cross, aw yeah

  • Val

    Centipede is the Blackest video game ever. I mean, there’s an R&B song about it. That’s Black! The song is about the game, right? Lol Anyway, enjoy Rebbie! Side-note, I didn’t know this song was written by Michael until now. I also didn’t know he sang background vocals on it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8SdzwoIcwo

    • cyanic

      Martha Wash did the runs at the end of the song.

    • Also, Mcihael Jackson secretly wrote the music on Sonic the Hedgehog 3. An obsessed fan noted the similarities, tracked down the credited writers (who were long-time Michael Jackson collaborators), and exposed the whole situation. This link explains it all: http://testkitchen.huffingtonpost.com/michaeljacksonsonic/2/

      • He also wrote Do The Bartman.

        • Say word?

          • Yeah. He was a huge Simpsons fan. He was in one episode.

            • RewindingtonMaximus

              As Lisa’s jazz instructor

              • He was the crazy dude when Homer went to the asylum.

                • RewindingtonMaximus

                  Oooh you’re right

            • miss t-lee

              Yup. The crazy guy who believed he was Michael Jackson…lol

          • RewindingtonMaximus

            MJ did the background vocals to it as well

    • TheCollinB

      Michael McDonald singing background for Steely Dan will forever be the best instance of a singer showin their a s s with the vocals.

      • MJ also sang background for the Doobie Bros.

      • miss t-lee

        Well, don’t forget about Luther’s background singers. Plus Merry Clayton, and many, many others.

        • TheCollinB

          I forgot Luther sang background for Bowie

          • miss t-lee

            Yup. For a lot of folks before his solo career.
            Production too. I found a track of Aretha’s the other day that he produced.

    • THIS IS MY JAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAM!!

  • Buster Cannon

    Even some of the most beloved gaming franchises have issues: though I got up in the a s s of many a white boy using Dhalsim and Blanka on the Street Fighter II arcade, they’re both culturally insensitive depictions. All of the ethnic stereotypes in Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out would never make it out of a developer’s studio in 2016 (never mind Little Mac’s trainer, who arguably looks a little Bamboozled).

    Hmm, I’ve never really viewed instances like those as problematic. In general, franchises such as “Street Fighter” and “Punch-Out” generally take stereotypes and run with them for the sake of comedy. It’d be one thing if they were just making fun of minorities, but pretty much every country and nationality is satirized in some way.

    • All fighting games sans Virtua Fighter do it honestly.

      • Buster Cannon

        I keep forgetting that Virtua Fighter exists lol. Shame because I’ve heard good things about the games themselves.

        • The last one came out 10 years ago so it’s not surprising and the rest of them were either on the Dreamcast or Saturn.

          • Virtual Fighter was real. Besides Soul Calibur, Tekken, and Guilty Gear, there was no faking the funk with that game. A seasoned pro would always whip a rookie.

            • Buster Cannon

              Guilty Gear is such a good game.

              • My two go to characters were Ky and Slayer. Ky because he had basic moves that flowed into Roman Cancels well. Slayer because of his difficult- he has no projectiles and getting in close to do damage requires mastering his Dandy Step moves. My brother, a Sol Badguy master, hated that I would always own him with Slayer.

                • Buster Cannon

                  I use Ky too; I like his simple shoto-style and his corner game is fun. Slayer has trouble getting in but he hits like a bus once he gets started.

                  • Yeah. Ky also has a counter for every basic move in the gap. He struggles with more unconventional characters like Zappa or Zato, but I’ve rarely encountered who mastered those two to give Ky trouble.

                    My Sol vs. Slayer battles with my brother always followed this general pattern:
                    1) Him trying to use Dragon Install;
                    2) Me not letting him and winning.

                    • Bushido Brown

                      Zato was hard for me to learn and I still feel I haven’t mastered him

  • Brooklyn_Bruin

    Might just cop for the cause. Ain’t played a video game this decade.

  • Janelle Doe

    [hopefully on topic] Dustin, do you have any insights (See link below) what is this about?
    http://www.macleans.ca/culture/how-gaming-companies-co-opt-language-oppression/
    *Genuinely asking as a non-gamer but wondering if this has any linkages to gamergate

    • NonyaB?

      Yeah, fxck the gaming industry’s continued narrow and prejudiced lens, which results in all manner of fxckery. How come this industry’s lack of diversity results in collection of not just clueless wyt dudes but worst of wyt dudes perpetrating everything from oppression, all the bad -isms, r*pe culture, etc? Other industries suffering the same lack of diversity don’t have as disastrous effects.

      It’d be great to see new games that have not only new POVs (from historically ignored minority voices) but new ways of engagement that will attract new audiences, similar to how Netflix created a new market including non-moviegoers like me (online convenience, creating and releasing entire seasons all at once, etc). Very possible now with decreased costs of production but I suspect most creations from BP will come from outside the US.

      Interesting recent example with female creators: http://www.everjane.com/

      • RewindingtonMaximus

        See the problem with oppressed groups is their belief in the come-up. They sincerely feel because they were always on the outside looking in, when things finally go in their favor, it should stay that way. They never see that afterwards, you have to make room for others, just like room was made for you. Then they want to be all xenophobic and hold down the fort for themselves only.

        Which is why I got no sympathy for these little white kids, because they’re doing this to themselves. Only thing I want is for more Black people to go to school for unconventional careers so we can finally put ourselves in the driver’s seat of game development

        • I definitely agree. My problem with the anti-Gamergate crowd is that they’re acting like the video game crowd has more social power than they actually do. Both sides desperately needed to read more on intersectionality.

          • RewindingtonMaximus

            It amazes me that scores of men who don’t really interact with women very well actually have the galls to tell women who want to question video game misogyny to stay in their lanes…yet will be the first ones to complain about women not giving them any attention.

            • Negro Libre

              I think there’s a significant difference between gamers and people who just play video games. I went to a couple meetups with people who build games, a couple were women, and yeah, those people ain’t changing. Unlike the nerds of the past, who’ve all become cool and stuff, most people that are actually hardcore gamers i.e. make games, especially on the indie level (which is the core of the culture, not the people who actually make the big games for Rockstar, Sega, Electronic Arts etc), they’re not ish, and they ain’t probably ever gonna be ish. If they find women, it’s gonna be the women in that culture they hook up with, because nobody else can possibly get them.

              • RewindingtonMaximus

                That’s because these people turn the things they love into an obsession, and gain this elitist attitude afterwards that excludes them from connecting with others.

                I mean in a way, I get it. For hardcore gamers and indie developers, video games are their lives. It’s the sole love they have. They don’t have room for much else, because they’ve invested everything they have into video games. It’s no different from any other person who loves an industry so much that they sacrifice everything they have to remain with it.

                But the snobbish attitudes…it’s due to lack of maintaining communication and relationships with people outside of what they do.

                • Buster Cannon

                  Man, as a nerd myself, it’s funny and sad how inclusive some nerds can be. You can tell that their lives aren’t really balanced, and if you are remotely balanced then your authenticity might come into question. They end up limiting themselves because they refuse to connect with other groups.

                  • Negro Libre

                    True, these guys I met, had pretty much no ambition or desire to be known outside the indie gaming community. I remember one time bringing up the idea of making a commercial game and making some good money, I was the only black guy there. I’ve never felt so proud to be greedy, even though it probably ostracized me from the group. And a lot of those guys and gals were broke by the way.

                    Funny thing was it also reminded me that a lot of talented people don’t care much about money. If anything, they think money cheapens and corrupt them, especially in the tech field. There’s a lot talent that most of us will never get to see, partially because certain groups of people have an inherent contempt for humanity.

                  • NonyaB?

                    I think you meant exclusive. But quite true; the more balanced/social ones are viewed with suspicion by the more “remote” ones. This geek has been around a lot of them in various tech sectors including gaming.

                  • RewindingtonMaximus

                    Exactly, it can be extremely polarizing but i know there are alternatives like myself…just few and far in between unfortunately

        • NonyaB?

          What is needed is a shift in mindset: I want BP in the US to open their minds to the possibilities already here. With abundance of internet and free tools (especially per virtual goods/services), no good reason not to.

          Sure, more people should go to school for unconventional careers but with the prevailing hyperconservative/hesitant mindset, they’d do that only to go work in some company without exploring creating as their own company or even creating while employed elsewhere, with plans to leave when their project takes off.

          • RewindingtonMaximus

            I agree with you there.

            I remember seeing a meme yesterday that Myspace has us coding before it could net you six figures, and Facebook made us forget it all so that only a few could keep those six figures.

            I want our people to be as creative, pragmatic, and expansive as can be with their beliefs of where to put their talents. I’m literally disgusted with myself for having a regular government job at this point because it’s just not ME. It’s not who I am on the inside.

            You’re right, it makes no sense for people to build themselves up just to work for someone else and watch their talents be manipulated, while they slowly toil away.

        • Janelle Doe

          This comment reminds me of Masters of None dude asking Asian parents to let kids put down the violin in his award acceptance speech @Emmys.
          Would poc game developers get access to capital also? the intersections of lack of $$ in what we try to do is real. But maybe this can be where Oprah, Will S and Tyler Perry fit in. ( Or Jay-Z and Kanye’s new hustle?)

          • RewindingtonMaximus

            It’s like any other business venture Black people strongly need to get down on. If we put ourselves out there, the money can find a way to come to us. There are so many cities out there that give financial incentives to build game development companies there.

            But I don’t know if celebrities backing us is going to get the job done.

      • Janelle Doe

        thanks for the links

  • That Guy

    They made a new Punch-Out! in 2010. All the ethnic stereotypes are there, although I found them more amusing than offensive. YMMV. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVDq1Z27XjU Game developers are finally stepping it up when comes to including original black heroes. The new Watch Dogs will have a black protagonist and they even had a black female hero in an Assassin’s Creed game.

  • Brandon Allen

    Afro Thunder is most important black video game character in history.

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