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Valve Responds to L4D2 Racism Accusations

Valve is apparently having issues with the upcoming game, Left 4 Dead 2. Granted the problems aren't from a developmental standpoint, the issues are no doubt annoying nonetheless. After the game's initial announcement, outraged fans gathered together to boycott the game, claiming that Valve needs to focus on the current version instead. Now the company is facing accusations of racism based on comments made by The Houston Chronicle's Willie Jefferson.

"I am disturbed by the growing trend of racist undertones that are cropping up in video games," Jefferson originally wrote. "One of the games that comes to mind is Left 4 Dead 2  ... Set in New Orleans, players will have to fight their way through hordes of zombies - with several of them who appear to be African-Americans. When I saw the first trailer for the game, all I could think about was Hurricane Katrina and the aftermath."

During a recent visit to Valve, website Destructoid asked the company how they felt about the accusations, however Left 4 Dead writer Chet Faliszek stepped forward with his opinion, claiming that it was utter insanity.

"There are mixed races of zombies, there are all different races of zombies that you shoot, and since we placed it in New Orleans, that makes it racist?" Faliszek told Destructoid. "I honestly re-read the paragraph about five times ... but when two of the characters in your game are African-American, it's a weird thing to be accused of. We're like, 'how does this work'?"

He also touched based on the Hurricane Katrina aspect, saying that the natural disaster is still taking place in New Orleans, however Valve is treating that aspect with utmost respect.

"Our CEDA thing is not some subversive commentary on anything," he added. "This is a videogame, those are real people's lives, we are not trying to make a statement with that ... It's a place we love, it's dear to our hearts. We would not cheapen it. It's not a brick-for-brick representation of New Orleans; it's a fictional version, and I love that city."

  • frozenlead
    Agreed. There are lots of races of zombies, all of which are being shot at in fictional towns and cities that look similar to a real-life city, just to be cool. This is just BS.
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  • techtre2003
    The game is set where 2/3 of the population is African American. What do you expect?
    How is that racist anyway? Wouldn't it be more racist to have the game set in New Orleans and everyone was White?
    Reply
  • IronRyan21
    I Agree with Valve. I guess only "crackers" can be zombies?
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  • krashnicki
    "One of the games that comes to mind is Left 4 Dead 2 ... Set in New Orleans, players will have to fight their way through hordes of zombies - with several of them who appear to be African-Americans"

    This is just nonsense. I personally feel it would be more racist to exclude African Americans as video game characters. I understand Zombies don't exist but if they did I am sure they would not all be white.

    And what the hell does Katrina have to do with Valve being racist. It was a terrible disaster that the government horrible mishandled but this is a fictional video game set in a very well known city. A city that is often associated with voodoo and magic in many fictional stories.

    Willie Jefferson is trying to make connections that don't exist. Does he expect people to exclude New Orleans from all works of fiction because of Katrina. I kinda feel that Willie may be the one who is racist.
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  • Ok so, in the first left4dead, thousands of white people are killed along with other races (Black police officer zombies, citizens etc etc.) And so a game set in the south (left4dead2), that yes, has a higher concentration of Black populace (Which, is not racist... they live there, lets just forbid people of a color living in a area more dominantly then another area...) its called demographics dur... And that makes it racist? So, apparently slaughtering thousands of infected white people is perfectly fine, but put another race in there... specifically in this case black... and its racist? I find it humorous that something only tends to turn into race when someone just magically decides its racist... Resident Evil 5... Set in freaking Africa... It's not like a bunch of white or Asian people live there... It's a continent dominated with Africans whose dominant skin color just so happens to be... you guess it... black... But oh no... it has to be racist because the people infected are black... I understand that some of the people in that game (this being Resident Evil 5 im talking about atm) might have been doing seedy everyday life things, but so does every other color (which has ZERO bearing on a persons character) do seedy things... argh stop with making everything racist when its not!
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  • Has anyone even considered the zombie population and their feelings? I find it funny how we discuss white and black, and leave zombies out in the cold. This makes me sick. Don't you worry though, i have a feeling the leader of the FZOA (Free Zombies of America) will chime in on this any day now.
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  • silversurfernhs
    So all the WWII Shooters must be racist for killing an infinite amount of white people... be them Nazis or not. Lets face it, we kill more white people in FPS games than black people. Valve is leveling the spread if anything;
    Oh, by the way... who cares!?
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  • duckmanx88
    but when it was hordes of white people in l4d it was ok. just like in gta vice city when it was a white guy shooting cops and prostitutes it was ok but in san andreas using a black character was racist. i just dont understand these people. i mean one of the characters you can use is black!!!!!!!
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  • RADIO_ACTIVE
    d1rkaHas anyone even considered the zombie population and their feelings? I find it funny how we discuss white and black, and leave zombies out in the cold. This makes me sick. Don't you worry though, i have a feeling the leader of the FZOA (Free Zombies of America) will chime in on this any day now.As a fellow zombie and member of the FZOA, I am also very upset about all the killing of my people. DAMN HUMANS!!!
    Reply
  • turboflame
    Willie Jefferson is a racist.
    Reply