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After “Resident Evil 5” Controversy, Capcom Promises Increased Cultural Sensitivity

After “Resident Evil 5” Controversy, Capcom Promises Increased Cultural Sensitivity  (photo)

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“Resident Evil 5” was one of last year’s biggest games. It re-invented the survival horror franchise by moving the action to a bright, sun-drenched setting and introducing co-operative play. That new setting was a fictional country called Kijuju and the way that the infected citizens were portrayed in the game made a lot of people uncomfortable, myself included.

A controversy raged about whether the game was racist or not. For my part, I’ve written elsewhere how the bugged-out eyes and animalistic savagery of the zombie attackers in “Resident Evil 5” reminded me of racist imagery used to perpetuate stereotypes and ignorance about black people. I chalked part of that up to some level of cultural disconnect that happened in the game-making process. Capcom’s a Japanese company–best known for its “Street Fighter” and “Mega Man” franchises–that made a game for global consumption but RE5 exposed some serious tone-deafness.

Now, representatives from the company’s U.S. branch are talking about how to avoid such problems moving forward. From an article at Gamasutra, Capcom’s Senior PR Manager Melody Pfeiffer said the following:

“Since the RE5 controversy, we have become much more aware of how important it is that we are part of the asset creation process early on so that we are able to have a say in the end product,” Melody Pfeiffer, senior PR manager for Capcom, said.

“We are also designing a lot of our own assets from this side of the pond so that we are able to make strategic pieces of content that make sense for our market. We are working really closely with our producers in Japan to construct these materials for the West and they are open more then ever to hearing our thoughts and ideas for assets.”

This kind of jibes with my take on the Kijuju fiasco. I wrote the following more than a year ago:

We don’t live in a world where racism’s been wiped out. We don’t live in a world where demeaning stereotypes never existed. The only way to get there is to reckon with things that refer to those legacies — consciously or not — when they pop up.

I don’t even care if they’re good guys or bad guys, shallow or deep characters. But I do care if they remind me of ugly, racist stereotypes, even if that wasn’t the intent.

It’s good to see that Capcom will be thinking about the ripple effect their games might have moving forward.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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