Bao Phi, Indie Haven, And Asian Representation In Video Games

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Photo by Min Enterprises Photography LLC

Caught a good article on Indie Haven:

Sheva: As I’ve researched this topic, your name pops up over and over; you’ve written about this on a lot of different sites many different times. I suppose my first question would be: why do you think more people don’t write about it?

Bao: By and large, the burden of bringing up, and writing about, race seems to be placed on people of color. Race is still a very touchy subject in all media and all spheres of life. And concerning Asian and Asian American representation, I think there’s also this assumption that, since there are Asians working in game development, it’s a non-issue. That assumption is wrong in several ways: 1) Asians working in game development in Asia don’t necessarily have the same experience and lens regarding representation as we do in the U.S. 2) Just because you have Asian bodies does not mean you have an Asian politic 3) If it’s a non-issue because Asians work in the industry, why don’t we see more Asian playable characters? Some of the most well known Japanese franchises – Metal Gear Solid, Mario, Zelda, Resident Evil, many of the games in the Final Fantasy series, etc – feature white characters or characters with Anglo features.

Read it in full.