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Comic for: February 20th, 2007
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Woody & Ted: "Apparently"
Posted: Tuesday February 20th, 2007 by

In a recent two part article at Black Voice News (part1, part2), writer and comedian, Richard O. Jones, dicusses the unfair portrayal of black and latinos in videogames. Mr. Jones expresses his concern over men of color being typecast as violent criminals because of the effect it could have on "black youth". Initial trepidation aside, Jones goes on to encourage african americans to actively pursue positions in the gaming industry, the idea being that if the ratio of black to white designers and devolpers evens out then the stereo-typing is likely to subside.
Source: GamePolitics [ more info ]

For the sake of this comic/writeup, I choose to ignore those items regarding stereo-typing in videogames. Where I consider Mr. Jones' evaluation pertinent and worthy of concern, I feel his scope might be a touch limited. That leaves us with the question of ethnic disparity amongst designers/developers and the relative absense of non-white characters in games.

Mr. Jones readily admits that the disparity amongst game designers/developers is not the fault of the gaming industry, indicating that the industry is motivated by money not skin color. So, the best designer for the job will get the job regardless cultural heritage. This disparity could very well be responsible for the overal lack of colored individuals in video games as a whole. Digging through my mental inventory of the games I've played over the years, I could not easily remember having played any black, latino or asian main characters. This aspect of the games I've played shows through in my work however. There is a severely disparate amount of white folks in my comics.

So, I decided to poke fun at myself by introducing a character that's supposed to have always been there, though neither Martin nor Ted seem to be aware of the pre-existing relationship.

Now before someone says something silly: no, I'm not feeling any pressure from any source to include a black reoccuring character in my comic. It's just a little jab at Mr. Jones, the industry and myself. But, the dynamic interests me, so we may well see Martin again in the future.

Today's Pimpage: Ted is wearing "The Optical Illusion Kid" shirt and Martin is wearing a "Limb" shirt from Threadless.Com.

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