Envisioning a World Without Racism With Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Illustration for article titled Envisioning a World Without Racism With Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

It might be seven years old, but that doesn't mean commenter Cheese Addict can't find a positive racial statement lurking in the back alleys of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. It's never too late to Speak Up on Kotaku.


I've been thinking about racism in the media and racism in games, particularly since I finally started playing Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (I know, slowpoke.gif). Whenever the media tackles racism, it's always about how someone has to have their preconceptions corrected through some humbling experience, or simply using a racist character to demonstrate that it's wrong. There's also ironic (?) usage of racist stereotypes, like the triads' voices in GTA3. (What the hell are they saying anyways?)

Yet after getting to Zero's first mission, I'm starting to think GTA: SA's character interaction is the best example of how lack of racism can be portrayed: characters from vastly different backgrounds can speak to each other without moderating their slang or tone of speech, they understand each other completely, and make no comments whatsoever about each other's vocabulary, background or speech patterns. They just communicate as human beings.

In real life, two people like CJ and Zero wouldn't be able to talk to each other comfortably without all the racial baggage. It's cool to see what it would be like without it all.

About Speak Up on Kotaku: Our readers have a lot to say, and sometimes what they have to say has nothing to do with the stories we run. That's why we have a forum on Kotaku called Speak Up. That's the place to post anecdotes, photos, game tips and hints, and anything you want to share with Kotaku at large. Every weekday we'll pull one of the best Speak Up posts we can find and highlight it here.



I've never had any difficulty talking to my friends of other ethnicities. The only time it might become "uncomfortable" is when ethnicity topics come up, but even then, it's not really an issue. In fact, a lot of times, the conversation includes a phrase like "oh, wait, you're Indian!" Do some people actually have trouble talking to minorities?