As a socially conscious video game publisher, Rockstar has been championed as one of the first companies to create a black main video game character. This was celebrated in the early 2000s as a victory for POCs, and it definitely was, at the time. Most games were centered around white men and some occasional skinny white women, but rarely was there a time when young, impressionable kids were able to see life as another skin color within the video game world.
However, as social awareness grew over the years, it was realized by many that the black criminal main character of Grand Theft Auto, CJ, was helping to further racial stereotypes as well as become the perpetrator of racism against POCs. If the only black-centric game a young white person ever played was one in which the black person was a criminal, how would this ever allow that child to see POCs as well-rounded, smart, capable individuals?
Rockstar has decided to combat this in spectacular fashion. The POC main characters of the past are now seeing the errors of their ways, and much like the game Scarface, the black characters will no longer bend to the gamer’s will when asked to steal a car or punch someone on the street who doesn’t deserve it. Instead, he will gently remind the player that he is not a criminal, and to find a better way to solve the problem.
This revolutionary new style of POC gaming will help young white people to come to terms with their racist expectations of black main characters. We must move forward as a society and end these awful stereotypes in places where POCs should be held up and championed for their strengths.
Stay safe and fight back,
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