Make your own free website on Tripod.com

The All American Fighter

Home
Articles
Ryu
Sakura
Pictures
Fanfiction
The Games
Links
FAQ
Guestbook

10/10/05
 
Ken Masters...Terry Bogard...Alex...Ryo Sakazaki...Benimaru...Paul Phoniex...  what do all of these men have in common?
 
They are all American or part american, they are the main american representatives in their fighting games, they are either the main character, costar, or a huge supporting character...
 
And they are all white, male, and blonde...
 
At first, this didn't upset me cause I really didn't pay attention.  But after you've played a bunch of fighting games over the years, you start noticing things...
 
What kind of bullshit is this!?
 
Why is the "Blonde White Male", the representation of what America is supposed to be about?  Who came up with this nonsense?
 
It's very dissapointing, that with all the trading and deals that Japan and America do with each other that they would continue to follow this sterotype...
 
I mean, think about it...Name one fighting game (not including Mortal Kombat cause it's American made) where there is a white male from America that isn't a blonde, and is either the main character or plays a huge supporting role.  I'll even help you out a bit...
 
Street Fighter
This is the game that introduces us to costar Ken Masters.  Ken is a blonde, as is Joe the kickboxer.  Sure, we have another American called Mike (the prototype for Balrog), but nobody really gives a damn about the " token black" guy.  Now as for Ken, some of you will use the argument that Ken doesn't count since he is 3/4 Japanese and dyed his hair.  True, but Ken is still 1/4 American which is enough to count as a "European-American".  And he still dyed his hair blonde...
 
Street Fighter 2
We still have Ken, and Guile gets added to the list.  Now what is Guile's hair color and race?  Mike also returns as the first boss (and with a name change in America, Balrog), but once again, nobody cares about the "big black guy".
 
Street Fighter 3
Alex is added and becomes the new "main character" for the series.  What color is his hair and what is his race?
 
Street Fighter Alpha 1-3
We get Charlie in Alpha 1 and Cody is added in Alpha 3.  Cody was also the main character in Final Fight One, while Charlie is one of the main supporting characters in the Alpha games.  What color is their hair and what are their races?
 
Need some more proof?  Let's leave Capcom and go to SNK, who has made a bunch of Street Fighter spinoffs during their lifetime.
 
Terry Bogard is instantly recognizable to SNK fanboys.  He is the main character in the Fatal Fury games and is also one of the main supporting characters in the King of Fighter's series.  Ask that question.  What color is his hair?  His race? 
 
In Garou: Mark of the Wolves, Terry shares the spotlight with his protege, Rock Howard, son of his rival Geese Howard.  What color is Rock's hair?  What is his nationality?
 
Art of Fighting.  This is perhaps the main Street Fighter rip off game of SNK.  The main character of this series, Ryo Sakazaki is half Japanese, and half white-American.  And just what color does his hair happen to be?
 
Anybody remember Samurai Showdown?  One of the main supporting characters was an American named Galford, who had a puppy and an attack called "Plasma Blade!".  But...what color was Galford's hair? 
 
King of Fighters...SNK's main meal ticket.  One of the main supporting characters is Benimaru.  He is half Japanese and half white American.  But once again, what color is his hair?
 
And then we leave SNK and go to Namco's fighter, Tekken.  While it's debatable who the main character of the series is, it's definitely a fact that one of the main supporting characters that has a crucial storyline to the plot of the game is Paul Phoniex.  He's American, he's white, and he's blonde...
 
So after all of these games...we still have the same blonde white American male.  Now this is where I'm really getting pissed...
 
First of all, why is the white male considered to be the "default" race of America?  That is an insult when you consider that America is not the original home of whites, but Europe (If you're white, you are officially a European-American).  The original inhabitants of North America are the Native Americans.  Sure the Native Americans may take a back seat while building a casino or two, and whites were for the most part, in America long before the latinos and asians arrived, but what about blacks?  When whites made it to the new land, they did not arrive alone, for they stopped at places like Africa and Haiti first to pick up some "assistance".  Blacks were in America the same time whites were, so as far as "seniority" goes, they have just as much right to claim the title of "default" race as the whites do (If anybody should be the default race, it's Native Americans, they were here first).  In addition, what most people don't realize is that America is what it is because of people from different countries and continents!  That's all America really is, when you stop to think about it, a country full of immigrants.  And America is the only continent like that.  You won't see diversity in Asia, Africa, or Europe like you do in North America.   So basically, it is kinda unjust to claim the white male as the representive of America since this country was built on every race.  Why can't we have a character from America with a major part that isn't a white male?  Why can't he be named something like...I don't know...Josue Garcia?  Or how about a...Michael Jenkins?  Or to make things interesting, how how about a woman?
 
Racism...
If an American that is not part white or asian is put into the game (Asian American doesn't count...), they always end up being comic relief, having horrible movesets, and are not important enough to the overall storyline of the game.  They are pretty much expendable and are only put in to add "diversity".  So to every black person, every latino person, and every native american person, if you want an american representive in a fighting game that has a good moveset, isn't simply comic relief, isn't expendable, and is popular enough to get websites devoted to him/her as well as some fanfiction, then you are living in a fantasy world. Japan is basically telling you to stop getting your hopes up, cause it will never happen.  Japan is pretty much giving all of you the finger...
 
Sexism...
Since you want to go white, why not make it a woman?  Why can't the main character from America be a blonde white "woman"?  So simply because she is a "chick", she isn't capable enough to have a lead (And once again, Mortal Kombat doesn't count cause it's American made)?  Hey, I'm all for equal opportunities...
 
And here is what is really annoying...
 
Why does the white american (man or woman) always have to be blonde?  Why is blonde the image of America? 
 
So even white men and women that aren't blondes have something to complain about.  Basically my non-blonde caucasian friends, Japan is saying, because you aren't a blonde, you are no fun and we don't want you.  Screw you.  Fuck off.  Blondes have more fun.  Blondes are what America is about.  And the sad thing is, Japan really has an image that "blonde" equals America.
 
Now do you see why I'm upset?  Japan's image of America is more then just a "black or white" thing, it's something that affects everyone.  I am sick and tired of seeing the "All American representive" be a blonde white male in nearly every major fighting game I play!
 
Now some of you are probably already saying stuff like "If this bothers you so much, then don't play the game!"  or "Stop whining, you baby!", or "You are a stupid noob!", or "This isn't a big deal!  It's just a game, stupid!"
 
If this is just a "game", as you put it, then why are all the white american males blonde?  Why are there almost no black or latino fighters in fighting games?  And why is it that out of the few that are available,  almost all of them suck so bad, and are unpopular?  This is not a coincidence, I tell you...
 
 
Asian characters pretty much rule fighting games.  They are the majority.  They outnumber everyone, and are always the coolest, the best fighters, and most popular.  And while there are differences between a Philipino and a Thai person (in terms of facial features), the similarities are enough that sometimes one can be mistaken for the other.
 
For you whites,  caucasian fighters are also very good characters.  Very popular, very handsome/beautiful, great fighting styles, and great storylines.  They also come packaged with blonde hair.  Now if there is a character with a different hair color then you, it's no biggie...Just take the hair dye and change your hair color!  Problem solved!  Great for parties!
 
But...if you are black or latino...then things are different.  For starters, there is no "dye" to change the color of your skin.  Next, almost none of them are made to look attractive (especially the black characters).  Then, some of them are given a sterotypical or negative storyline that either is insulting, or makes no sense. And unlike our video games, there is no reset button to try and choose a different race.  It's a one shot deal. From the moment that you are born, your fate is sealed, and you are immediately treated accordingly based on what nationality you are (Chicken or Taco: Take your pick!). 
 
Now some of you are probably saying that I'm making too big a deal out of this.  I beg to differ...I put up with enough crap already in the real world.  The last thing that I want to do is deal with the same issues in my video games!  I am entitled to have fun just as much as every race, right?  Why should the same crap that I'm trying to fight against in real life be thrown at me when I go to my arcade or pop a game into my system?
 
If you still don't see my point, then let me give you an example.  What if I made my own video game, but made all the asian male characters have buck teeth, glasses, be extremely short,  and speak in broken English?  And that's just the guys.  What if I made all of the Asian female characters speak provocative broken English such as the infamous "Happy Ending?  Me love you long time..."  
 
 
 
 And what if I made all the white characters trailer trash rednecks that used dialect such as "I reckon Im'a gonna kill dat boy!  Hey Ma!  Get me my shotgun!"
 
It's 2005.  Street Fighter was made in 1987.  It's been nearly 2 decades since then, and nothing has changed.  Come on video game developers, you are always trying to be innovative.  Well here's an idea for you...
 
Stop making the same damn characters over and over again...