Recently in gamer nonsense, Twitter has discovered multiple mods that are seeking to take the diversity out of video games, minimal though it may be to begin with. One modder, who touts himself as providing “Pro-White Analysis and commentary on Anti-White video games,” is seeking to mod all people of color out of Fallout 4, going so far as to replace the original voice actors.
Their tweet about the undertaking got 1k+ likes.
So, I'm making a mod that removes all POCs from Fallout 4. I'm almost done with the visual portion, but now I need voice actors to redo certain characters.
The biggest workload will probably be for Preston Garvey. Anyone think they can do it? pic.twitter.com/uOxoG5hOG8
The modder in question is seeking to create a host of other mods, such as turning Cait (Fallout 4) into a “male bostonian” because “her Irish accent is out of place” (Boston’s population has 22% Irish ancestry) and “there’s no way a skinny woman who was abused as a child would end up an arena fighter in Post-apocalyptic Boston.”
Cait is White, but her Irish accent is out of place, and there's no way a skinny woman who was abused as a child would end up an arena fighter in post-apocalyptic Boston. We're replacing her with a male Bostonian.
Get in touch, if you want to voice the replacement character. pic.twitter.com/VcbDrfN8Jx
The thing is, he could have a slight point in questioning whether Cait was designed with a bit more of the male gaze in mind than necessary—if that were actually the point he were making. But I’m pretty sure that making minor alterations to her design in that interest would be easier and less time consuming than just switching her out with a male character.
The fact that this is for Fallout 4, a game that actively critiques Cold War era America, is the cherry on top of the hypocritical sundae.
You're the reason memes like this exist about the Fallout fanbase pic.twitter.com/PvrCcYlGf8
This is the type of person to call a video game “woke.” To them, “woke” content is when something features a person of color or a gay character—like the new Star Wars or Lord of the Rings shows. They see a cast that isn’t all white and straight, and it tears them up.
While these mod plans still appear to be in the works, modders have also gotten themselves banned from NexusMods and ModDB over a mod that replaced in-game pride flags with American flags in the PC version of Marvel’s Spider-Man. The Spider-Man one is hilarious to me because America already has a ridiculous number of flags compared to other countries, so the fact that they went the extra mile to replace the pride flags with even more American flags is just hilarious.
Other gamers have found unintentional commentary in some of these mods, noting how changing out the pride flags to U.S. flags feels reminiscent of rainbow capitalism and how the “ally corporations” vanish with the ending of pride month, in favor of Fourth of July sales.
Still, I have to ask: Why?
According to Diamond Lobby:
79.2% of main protagonists in games are male, 20.8% female.
54.2% of main characters in games are white (Caucasian).
Just 8.3% of main characters in games are females of non-white ethnicities.
The amount of diversity in modern gaming is so minuscule that feeling the need to devote hours upon hours to create very involved mods removing the small amount that does exist just seems ridiculous and overblown, even if you are the kind of person who’s annoyed by such things in the first place.
It also feels bizarrely backwards. People were happy to watch films and play video games with POC characters when they were stereotypes or villains, and yet having a black side character in Fallout 4 is apparently too far? These misguided modders seem like the townsfolk from Blazing Saddles, unable to cope with change to the point they are made incapable of rational thought or function—or the type of people who complain a movie like Blazing Saddles couldn’t be made today, yet those same people would call it a “woke/PC sellout” if it were, because it has a black man in the role of Sheriff in a western.
But at the same time, this does underline a troubling idea that people who don’t like something can just deny its existence or try to make their own little bubble where it doesn’t exist. Or that they are somehow making these games “more realistic” by forcing them to follow their personal worldview.
I honestly guarantee that the people who make these mods and edits are 1000 times more offended than most actual POC/queer people/women actually are. Most of us are too busy dealing with things that actually affect us, like sexual harassment that’s prominent among both video game developers and players and the fact that female/non-binary game developers still make up less than 40% of the industry, despite major strides over the past decade.
It is worth noting that this is phenomenon isn’t exclusive to gaming. We previously reported on weird edits of Avengers: Endgame and The Last Jedi that cut out all women from the movies—and also anything “gay,” like two men … hugging.
Because nothing says “I’m a powerful straight man” quite like being unable to watch women do anything heroic or being so emotionally constipated that you can’t watch other men be bros.
This is the type of person to call a video game "woke". to them "woke" content is when something features a person of color or a gay character. Like the new star wars or LoTr shows. They see a cast that isn't all white and straight and it tears them up. pic.twitter.com/dITOsK9yJh
But I think this just highlights the fact that it’s this sad little fringe group that wants so badly to have things their way that they sound like children attempting to change the rules of the game mid-play to suit themselves.
Not every game or movie is for every person. I know myself well enough to know that I will probably never like Grand Theft Auto. That doesn’t mean I want to change the game to suit myself or that I can’t acknowledge its value to those who do like it. You don’t have to eat the green eggs and ham, but don’t whine about other people enjoying it, and definitely don’t go trying to take them off the menu.
To try otherwise just comes off as tasteless and overblown.
(featured image: Bethesda Softworks)
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Kimberly Terasaki is a Creative Writing graduate, fanfiction author, and intersectional feminist. She liked Ahsoka Tano before it was cool, will fight you about Rey being a “Mary Sue,” and is a Kamala Khan stan. She appreciates all constructive criticism and genuine discussion.
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