Well, I'm still working on my next book and promoting my new one "Squirrels & Puppies: Dark Morality Tales", but I've been taking a little breather for my favorite past time: video games. Recently, I've been playing a new video game called Grand Theft Auto Five. Now I've played GTA games in the past and enjoyed them thoroughly. Why? Why else: fun, gratuitous violence! Also GTA is what we gamers refer to as a sandbox game. That means the game allows you free reign as to what activity you can engage in within the confines of the game world. In GTA 5, you can street race, foot race, play tennis, play golf, watch TV, listen to the radio, save people, go to strip clubs, have sex with prostitutes AND strippers (you couldn't sleep with strippers before); oh yeah, and kill people. You can beat up, shoot, bludgeon, and murder all non-plot essential characters.
But since this game is easily the best selling video game franchise of all time, I can assume you already know this stuff. What I want to do today is prevent one of those funky messes that happened with the Black outrage against the video game "Enslaved". There was public outcry (amongst Black NON-gamers) that the game was racist because the main character was the slave of another game character and he moved like a monkey. No. That wasn't a racist game. Racist games do exist (Street Fighter, Tekken, Resident Evil 5), but this was not one of them. The main character in Enslaved was actually a visual reference to the monkey king, a Chinese mythological character who uses a pole and wears a crown, EXACTLY like the main character in Enslaved. Yes, video games have a lot of Far Eastern influences. Also, the main character was White.
I don't like misplaced Black rage.
GTA 5 is probably going to make some waves in the non-gaming Black community because the Black characters in GTA 5 use the word "nigger" A LOT. I'm not going to argue about which version of the word they're using because I personally believe that it's an ugly word that NO ONE should use. Then again, the Black character is a gang banger that lives in the hood and that is how gangbangers speak. The GTA franchise has been leaning towards a more realistic cultural experience. In GTA 3, there was a Jamaican gang called the Yardies who spoke in stereotypical patois. But in GTA 4, it is noticeable that all the Jamaican accents are not as overdone and spoken by actual Jamaican people. My Jamaican wife vouched for their authenticity. Thus, as a Black American who has spent more than five minutes around hood people, I can say that saying the N-word five times in one sentence sounds pretty realistic for a gangbanger. That being said, Black people can either stop using the N-word or calm the heck down.
Admittedly, the use of the word did start to wear on me after a while. I'm not a gangbanger. I wasn't raised in the hood, nor do I have the desire to go there. My family doesn't use the word, nor do my friends. The N-word is not part of our regular, speaking vocabulary. I am certain that there are other Black gamers out there who have similar feelings and I did find a solution to the problem.
I stay out of the ghetto.
The only people in the game that use the word are hood people, so if I stay out of the hood, I don't have to hear the word. Now, you can change between the Black character and the two other White characters, so another way to avoid the word is to only play as one of the two White characters. They don't use the word at all. The Black character refers to everyone as an n-word, but he does that a lot less when he's not in the hood talking to other Black people. Now the 3rd way to avoid the n-word in GTA 5 is way more reliable. It's called:
Not buying the game.
As I analyzed my aversion to that one word, I noticed that EVERYONE in GTA curses PROFUSELY. S-words, F-bombs, they even throw in the word "twat" just to increase the amount of curse words in the game. This isn't a new addition to GTA and as someone who's been playing video games for thirty plus years, I know this. So while I'm avoiding the ghetto like the plague (just like in real life), I'm learning that I need to quit worrying about one ugly word in a game that flaunts vulgar language...
And drug use.
If I enjoy doing these things in the confines of a video game, then I need to get over myself and have fun. Seriously. I killed a prostitute after having anal sex with her in the game. Yes, they have anal sex in this game. Why am I worried about the n-word again?