Fears of Being Represented

In this class I have been challenged to analyze the way games like Undertale and Stanley Parable give players “choices” that may not actually be choices and the way games like Assassin’s’ Creed are able to represent minorities and how that representation can be either good or bad. I think the question of representation is what stood out the most to me. I love reading, and whenever a black woman appears as a fundamental character I light up inside and immediately search online for various fanart and headcanons about her. As I have gotten older, a black woman has pretty much become a must in any type of media that I consume, and I rarely read books or watch shows that don’t have at least one. The only two exceptions to these rules are anime and video games. I never considered why until it was brought up that sometimes we prefer to NOT be represented if we know the representation will be bad. Though I never considered this before, I must wholeheartedly agree. In many video games that portray black women, they are never important characters and they are usually oversexualized, there only as “eye-candy”. And in most anime I have watched, the only black characters are usually male and very stereotyped, so I can only imagine how a woman would be portrayed. Because of this, I have preferred not to be represented in such media, because I feel like it gives a bad rep to actual black women and I am usually left feeling ashamed.

However, after considering it, I feel like this is the wrong mindset to have. Instead of not wanting to be represented, I should want representation so that I may better judge the media I am consuming. Instead of feeling ashamed or embarrassed by stereotypes that may be portrayed, I should use it as a guide for me to discern both which creators I should steer clear from as well as who is willing to accept these stereotypes and take them as reality. One should not let the way they are represented by others affect the way they feel about themselves, but instead they should let the way they are represented by others affect they way they feel about those doing the representing.

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