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Pet Sins August 2000 Issue
Race & gender in Japanese video games

Video game characters both reflect and reinforce cultural prejudices. On the other hand, video games can be effective in challenging stereotypes.

What's the big deal? Why can't we just have fun anymore? Why does some PC nutcase have to spoil it for everyone? Here's why - children play this stuff, and older people too. We all internalized images if we see them often enough. None of us are invulnerable to social conditioning, and repeated visual stimulation is a particularly effective tool for indoctrination. So we do have to be conscious of the implications of our visual entertainment.

We can still have fun even if we question the stereotypes. We do ourselves a favor when we acknowledge they exist. By denying the presence of these stereotypes in our favorite games, we unconsciously accept them.