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Is Far Cry 4′s box-art racist? Not according to its creative director

Wednesday, 21 May 2014 10:42 GMT By Dave Cook

Far Cry 4′s box art has caused a bit of a backlash in some gaming circles over claims of racism, but creative director Alex Hutchinson has sought to put those fears to be on Twitter.

far_cry_4

It follows these first details on the Far Cry 4 plot. In the game you play as a person travelling to Kyrat to fulfil your mother’s dying wish.

The furore began after the box art, which depicts a white, blond-haired man resting his hand on the head of a darker-skinned soldier – who some believe is the player-character – was dubbed racist by some outlets and fans.

Responding to the matter, Hutchinson said on Twitter:

So the blonde chap isn’t white, and the kneeling man isn’t the player-character. It’s still unclear who he is exactly or what’s he’s up to, but we’ll have more as it transpires. Stay tuned.

Far Cry 4 will be available November 18 in the US, November 20 in Europe and November 21 in the UK for PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

Via IGN.

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34 Comments

  1. chuckyj360

    GTFO Politically correct police are every where. Turns out the characters on the cover had to have color. This is not a racist cover and it’s stupid that this is even broached in a gaming forum/discussion.

    #1 12 months ago
  2. Legendaryboss

    Box art? This is a far better representation of Far Cry 4′s box art.

    As for racism? Please.

    #2 12 months ago
  3. artusamak

    Internet: the land where it’s easy to offend someone and even easier to get offended by almost anything!

    #3 12 months ago
  4. Gheritt White

    DAT’S LAAAAACIST.

    #4 12 months ago
  5. Fin

    As a heterosexual 24-32 year old privileged white male living in the west, I am outraged that someone else could be offended by something I’m not offended by.

    #5 12 months ago
  6. Blackened Halo

    so my god ..thats insane!! the picture isnt racist, at all! but notice this what Alex Hutchinson said – “He’s not white and that’s not the player”. He is not WHITE, so it isnt racist, but if he was, the pic would be racist? what does it mean, to be white automatically means to be racist? insane world!

    #6 12 months ago
  7. Rosseu

    people make a big deal about everything

    #7 12 months ago
  8. Dave Cook

    @Rosseu Agreed. I don’t see anything racist with that image.

    Internet….

    #8 12 months ago
  9. Joe Musashi

    This remains one of my favourite bits of racial over-sensitivty in the realm of videogames.

    JM

    #9 12 months ago
  10. Llewelyn_MT

    Isn’t considering the situation differently based upon the race of people depicted racist in and of itself?

    The Hawkeye Initiative has it right and should be applied to racism here.

    #10 12 months ago
  11. Joe Musashi

    Oops. Fubard my tags didn’t I?

    Here we go.

    JM

    #11 12 months ago
  12. PwnedHaxor

    i am brown and let me tell you, being brown is actually a great thing. we have beautiful people and we have ugly people. just like any race. I for 1 am a great person, have great friends, and i take care of every one that is in my life and i am glad to do it, and for that i have people that love me around me. also, brown parents are one of the best parents you can have. sometimes they can be really strict, but they will take care of you no matter what, and they will buy you what ever it is that you need. as long as your not a selfish ****head. Also, we all have great jobs, lots of money and a family that we all love and take care off

    #12 12 months ago
  13. johnapocalypse

    Would the people who call the box-art racist if the races were reversed?

    #13 12 months ago
  14. ManuOtaku

    Well, this is like the frase in the eyes of the beholder, people see their own feelings and believes through projecting. Maybe the ones that see it racist, is because they are.
    I keep Saying, this cover has a lot of saint row vibe, in a good way, hope they keep it.

    #14 12 months ago
  15. Sciva

    Asian man putting his hand on an Asian man’s head like he owns him is racist? I think the meaning of the word has gotten lost somewhere. (Looking at you, UK politics)

    #15 12 months ago
  16. POOhead

    “He’s not white and that’s not the player.” game confirmed to have some shit fight club twist

    #16 12 months ago
  17. stretch215

    Even if he were “white”, I still don’t think it would be racist.

    #17 12 months ago
  18. Panthro

    A game like this would actually benefit from some racism in my opinion.

    I’m not racist, I don’t think ACTUAL REAL LIFE racism should ever take place but racism in the context of a game like this would make sense.

    Trying to topple a psychopathic racist dictator? Sounds awesome and it would add something to the game other games don’t have instead of a 2D psycho like Vaas was, he was cool and all but all he was was a psycho, and I’ve been fighting villains like that in games my entire life.

    #18 12 months ago
  19. LisciousOne

    you can’t win lol. If the guy on the chair was a “person of colour” it would have been stereotypical portrayal of 3rd world/african dictator. If the guy is white..its’s rascist whites looting the “people of colour’s” resources etc. We just need to get over it. theres so many ways at looking at this that its impossible to win.

    #19 12 months ago
  20. Rafa_L

    @5 Fin, I think you hit the point, these people are “offended” because other people got offended over something they are not and are calling those overly sensitive… talk about ironic.

    @12 “brown parents are one of the best parents you can have” wtf are you talking about? Race doesn’t make anyone good or bad.

    I don’t think the image is racist, and I don’t think it should be changed. But it’s an opportunity to understand why it bothers some people and change that. What bothers me personally is how flamboyant he looks, I imagine it’s another mentally ill gay villain for people to take down. I’m bothered by a whole life of seeing gays portrayed as flamboyant for humor or to annoy.

    #20 12 months ago
  21. budoshi

    i never thought of it as racist, just very ugly and a bit gay.

    #21 12 months ago
  22. fearmonkey

    Ahh the PC “i’m easily offended and I want everything to change to my way of thinking” police are in force. Only South park seems to get away with it anymore, we wont probably have another movie like Blazing Saddles ever again sadly.

    #22 12 months ago
  23. TheWulf

    Hm. The blond fellow’s face reminds me oh so much of Craig Charles in a wig, it’s funny. I’d say he’s got a mixed ethnicity thing going on, there. He’s caucasian in part, yes, but not purely so. I’m not sure what that makes this, and I don’t care to speculate.

    I’m inclined to lean towards the creative director’s view, here, and support it. I just think that if this were intended to be racist on some level, even subconsciously, they would have gone with a more… stereotypically Aryan representation of a white man. It definitely lacks the alarm bells that would have the small hairs on the back of my neck stand on end.

    And I’m not one to support Far Cry games, either.

    Is it racist because this man is part caucasian? Does that introduce more complex racial issues and undercurrents? I don’t know. That’s for people who’ve felt prejudice to decide, and I’d be interested to hear from that perspective. I’m more inclined to hear what they have to say rather than what I think, since it’s not a form of prejudice I’m quite so acutely familiar with.

    I’ve experienced many others, but… I don’t feel like I can speak from a position of authority, here. I could see how it could go both ways. I could see someone saying that they gave him a mixed heritage just so that they could pull racist shenanigans. But I don’t know.

    Hm.

    #23 12 months ago
  24. TheWulf

    @21

    I would actually really love to see a gay villain in a video game, honestly, just so long as they weren’t stereotypical or homophobic about it. That would amuse me no end. I’m not exactly straight, myself, and I tend to feel that other sexualities are under-represented in all roles.

    #24 12 months ago
  25. TheWulf

    @20

    I like the way you think. That’s what I think, too. I don’t know whether this is racist, but I like hearing from people who’re hurt/offended by things because it stops me from being a provider of further emotional pain in the future. I think that for people who’ve lived through a lot of pain (and I’m one of them), being an extension of that pain only serves to alienate them further. I have a very profound understanding of this, because I see so many people as being so ready to provide pain to those who’ve been persecuted that I can’t see them as anything more than trash.

    I really don’t like people like that, and they could use some of their own discrimination just so they know what it feels like.

    I also agree with your view on gay villains in the most part, that’s what I was talking about in regards to doing it in a way that isn’t stereotypical or homophobic. I just didn’t want to stir the pot too much by saying that I find this to be a bit… well, homophobic. I do, I can’t help the way I feel. The thing is though is that you could have a totally sane gay villain who has very good reasons for what they’re doing, so it’s more of perhaps an ethical quandary rather than them being made out to be mentally ill.

    That’s something that video games need more of.

    I’ve been watching Star Trek: Voyager lately, and I came to the conclusion (which some friends who were sharing in the experience agreed with) that part of the reason that Voyager is hated is because it goes over the heads of the masses. I mean, in prior Treks you had submissive women, butch/macho men, black & white scenarios, and so on. Voyager was the opposite of that on all counts. One of my favourite episodes is the water world, where Tom Paris decides to try to blow up an (evacuated) oxygen mining facility in order to save the marine species living there.

    His action was driven by the knowledge that in 5-10 years, if that facility had continued to exist, the water world would have dissipated and killed all the unique marine life within. Janeway knew that these people had created a home for themselves, here, and it was up to them to change their destiny to continue to co-exist with their world. She felt that you couldn’t just take their home from them, a home that they’d lived in for so long. To her, that simply wasn’t right.

    Do I agree with Janeway or Paris?

    I still don’t know!

    And I’d love to see a gay villain in that sort of situation, where they’re only a villain because they disagree with the ethics of the player character, or the person that the player character is working for. As opposed to, you know, making them mentally ill and thus turning it into a very black & white affair. It would be nice to have players more often question whether they really are the good guy in a game, games need to be more intelligent, more open-minded in my opinion.

    I want to see a game that puts the player through ethical turmoil, rather than simply having a faceless bad guy whom they are to slaughter because bad man is bad.

    I know I keep coming back to this, but the gamer reaction to the Reapers shows just how far gamers are gone. The Reapers were slaves to, basically, a programming error. A stupid, lazy coding bug that lead to an AI (the Catalyst) going insane. The only people at fault, there, are the creators of that AI — the Leviathans. I remember, years ago, long before the Leviathan DLC came out, theorising that some ancient race likely created the Catalyst and flummoxed the code. Turned out I was right.

    So, the player is presented with three choices.

    Free the Reapers and provide everyone with an exotic future — a mutiny against natural selection so that all of the species can take charge of their own destiny; brainwash the Reapers so that they can’t ever be a threat again; slaughter all of the Reapers mercilessly, and commit genocide against another species while you’re at it.

    And what do most choose? Genocide! Genocide! Genocide!

    That shows how simplistic gamers are with their thoughts and ethics, and why I have such a low opinion of people in general. I chose Synthesis as an ethical intellectual, because that was the best possible future out of all those provided. The Reaper technology could provide transhumanism, morphological freedom, freedom from age, from disease, and more to those who wanted it; and for those that didn’t, they could just go on being human.

    Most didn’t even realise that the glowing circuitry was just symbolic, and a lot of what’s shown in the ending is a metaphor for how we could progress in a good way, rather than just forever being slaves to our genes.

    But hey, most people… too dim-witted to realise that it was a metaphor, that there was symbolism involved. They took it literally. Sigh.

    I don’t know. Where am I going with this, again?

    Well, I guess it’s that I want more games which aren’t so stereotypical. I’d be okay with a gay villain, I like the idea of a gay villain. I’d just like to see the gay villain in a setting where you’re not actually sure whether he is the villain or not, since it would be easy to see it from his point of view. I want a character that could almost, damn nearly convince me that he’s right; so much so that I’d have trouble playing the game without stopping to analyse and process the information presented to me.

    Perhaps even have the option to switch sides. I remember with Morrowind there was a lot of ethical ambiguity with the supposed villain, there, and I was actually surprised that you couldn’t switch sides.

    That’s the kind of game I want.

    I guess it’s more that I find black & white, stereotypical, dim-witted things more offensive than anything else? I don’t find that box cover offensive in that the character may be gay, but that the character is so stereotypically gay. A flaming gay, and mentally ill. That just makes me sigh. I can’t even work up the energy to be offended by it because I’ve seen it so much that I’ve just come to expect this as human nature, most people are just automatons obeying their genes, anyway, so obviously they’re going to push for genetic purity — thus resulting in racism, homophobia, and worse. Of course that’s going to be a thing. I can’t be angry about that any more. I’m fed up, I wish people were better, but I’ve come to expect it as the standard.

    But I can wish it wasn’t the standard, right?

    I don’t understand where we went wrong. I keep… turning this over in my head. Around the late ’90s and early ’00s, we were becoming more inclusive of sexualities, ethnicities, and genders. Voyager was a fantastic example, with strong women and subdued men, just like you might find in reality! But with the rise of the Internet, something went horribly wrong, and now we’re cascading, barrelling backwards to the ’60s, ’50s, ’40s… and it’s happening at such a speedy rate that it terrifies me.

    Did the Internet really give a voice to people who were always like that, anyway? Or is there some other phenomenon going on, here? Could it have been that with the ability to band together, they keep reinforcing their own negative biases, without any positive influences to help ease them away from that and into humanity?

    Yeah, be a hateful automaton, brah. It’s all about the propagation of the genes. Embrace the manosphere! Be an alpha male!

    And… really?

    I’ve gotten to the point where I use Voyager as a check to see whether a person is someone I’d want to talk to. Voyager was a ship of open-minded nerds, a bunch of whom were introverted, and a place where complicated ethical issues came up frequently. If a person hates Voyager, it’s because they’re too dim-witted to appreciate the complexities, or they’re threatened by strong women, or they feel insulted by subdued men, et cetera.

    And it’s silly that I need such a check.

    You’d think we were moving beyond that kind of thing. So whilst I like seeing gay characters in things, I would like it if they were just a touch less stereotypical? That’d be nice. I’d appreciate that. I’m not expecting it, but I’d appreciate it. I’m not even expecting the lead, main ‘good guy’ of something to be gay, I know that most of the autonomous herd aren’t ready for that, yet. But could we perhaps try to start weaning humanity off of stereotypes? Just like Voyager tried to do?

    #25 12 months ago
  26. TheWulf

    @13

    Interesting point.

    In that case, it might actually be therapeutic to see a white man in the submissive, subordinate position. I imagine that some of the ire is that we have a person with at least some caucasian blood in a dominant position over a person of a more pure-blooded ethnicity. Whether that’s something to get offended by, I don’t know.

    My personal inclination is that it’s not so bad because the stereotypical bad guy does have a mixed heritage, so there’s that, but that doesn’t stop people from feeling hurt by something if they feel hurt. And I don’t think you should dismiss them, because what you do if you do that is you show that you believe yourself to be superior to them. White supremacy is an ugly thing, and according to my experiences, all too ingrained in the mind of the average straight, white cis-male person.

    So, who finds this hurtful (rather than offensive) and why? That’s the most important thing to consider to, and we should listen to them, and take their feelings into consideration.

    If the box art were reversed, and it was a pure-blooded non-caucasian ethnicity in a dominant position over a person with caucasian blood, then that might make those who rarely ever experience discrimination feel it, and they need to feel it a little bit to be able to empathise with those who’ve had to deal with it their entire life. I feel that ‘privilege’ is a poor word to describe that particular status quo effect, because it puts the incorrect sorts of images in the minds of people. That those responsible are rich, well off, pampered, and so on.

    But there can even be middle-class people who’re struggling a bit who’re horribly racist, homophobic, et cetera because they’ve never experienced discrimination; thus, they don’t understand how hurtful discrimination can be. How damaging.

    So whilst I agree with the creative director that the bad guy isn’t white, he does clearly have some caucasian blood (in my opinion), and there is a sort of a message, here. This game might actually deal with the notion of discrimination, rather than embracing it as so many other games have (hello Uncharted). It might actually consider the plight of those who’ve had to deal with racism, and put the player in a position where they’d be exposed to that.

    Will Far Cry be that brave? I doubt it, but I can hope. I like having some shred of hope.

    But yes, if the position was reversed, there would obviously be a lot of very loud complaints, because as I said, the average white, straight, cis-male person isn’t used to discrimination, discrimination is alien to them, they haven’t experienced the emotional damage it can cause to be perceived as inferior by a majority view. And because they don’t understand, they’re all too happy to continue propagating that discrimination.

    But what if it were a white, straight, cis-male person being treated as the inferior creature within the scope of a game? That’d be something. It’d finally provide those people with the perspective they need to understand the hurt of others, to empathise. Why that’s not happening all ready is beyond me.

    #26 12 months ago
  27. TheWulf

    @14

    Well, this is like the frase in the eyes of the beholder, people see their own feelings and believes through projecting. Maybe the ones that see it racist, is because they are.

    Or, maybe, less arrogantly it’s entirely possible that those who’re seeing it as racist are those who’re so used to being discriminated against that they’ve come to expect it. And what does that tell you about the status quo? It’s not just other straight, white, cis-male types complaining about these issues, you know? The world isn’t you. Sometimes those who complain are those who’ve been emotionally damaged by depictions of inferiority.

    If the bad guy were a pure-blooded caucasian with a dominant position above someone of another ethnicity, I’d be raging too. The mixed heritage of the stereotypical bad guy takes the edge off of it, but it’s still not perfect, and I’m in a position (a less arrogant position) where I can take the feelings of those who’ve been discriminated against into account.

    You’ve never experienced discrimination, have you?

    I keep Saying, this cover has a lot of saint row vibe

    No, no it really doesn’t. There were never D/s depictions on Saints Row covers. Well, not on III/IV, anyway, and those are the only ones I acknowledge.

    #27 12 months ago
  28. TheWulf

    @17

    Even if he were “white”, I still don’t think it would be racist.

    You wouldn’t see a depiction of a pure-blooded caucasian having a dominant position over a grubby, inferior minority character as racist?

    You’ve never experienced discrimination either, have you? You lucky baby, you.

    #28 12 months ago
  29. ManuOtaku

    @TheWulf agree with you, i was not trying to be arrogant, sorry if thats what i did transmited with that post. i do believe that there is an x amount of people, of those who call for racisim or complain about this cover being racist, that are racists themselves. Also I do believe some of that amount, are part of the people that has been expose to racism, like you rightly and brightly put it.thats also why did use the word maybe.

    I had felt discrimination my whole life, but i do also felt the hipocrisy of people, thats why i said it is in the eye of the beholder, it is based on peoples experiences, feelings, and methods Use by people to wear different masks, etc.

    #29 12 months ago
  30. YoungZer0

    @TheWulf

    What an ignorant comment to make, but what else could we expect from you?

    #30 12 months ago
  31. Gheritt White

    @TheWulf Jesus CHRIST you’re a twat, aren’t you?

    #31 12 months ago
  32. eTitan

    @YoungZer0 I’ve stopped reading them, it’s always full essays.

    #32 12 months ago
  33. Joe Musashi

    CHOOSE ONE AND ONLY ONE:

    Vote UKIP
    or
    Agree with everything TheWulf says

    Whoever wins, we lose.

    JM

    #33 12 months ago
  34. budoshi

    To 14 & 29, interesting, one can think that the persons that made this cover perhaps didn’t even think for a second that someone would find it racist and never intent the cover to be just that, because they wouldn’t think about it that way simply because they themselves, aren’t racist? or the opposite, they are racist and somewhat openly made a racist cover? i really believe they made that cover with no intention in mind of racism,, i’m sure it never cross their minds. a poor task for sure ,but racist? nah.

    #34 12 months ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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