Asian Characters in Video games
I believe that Video games plays a big part in media. Many people play Video games for hours and hours. With these countless hours of video game play images and views gets embedded into the players way of thinking without notice. There are a large variety and many Asian Characters fall into some sort of fighting game genre. There are not many main characters that are Asians. Even video games represent Asians some sort of martial arts fighter.
I remember playing a number of games with Asian characters which had one thing in common, Fighting . Even though I don’t play video games as much as I did when I was younger, I still remember few games that had Asian Characters in them. A few games that I remember playing with Asian Character were Mortal Kombat, Tekken, Street Fighter, and Dynasty Warriors. All these have one thing in common, Fighting. Mortal Kombat had Liu Kang which was also a direct representation of Bruce Lee’s fighting style and it even made the sounds affects that Bruce Lee made when he fights. Tekken had a few variety of asian characters with different fighting styles. Chung Li is probably the most well known Asian characters in video games. Dynasty Warriors took place when there were many different Asian empire trying to take over other empire’s territories and you were in charge of an army and making allies as you go along. There are not many video games with Asian characters in any genres besides fighting games. Many games have the Main characters as Caucasian and Asian aren’t really represented as anything else than a fighter, typically Kung Fu.
There was a game that I remember playing when I was younger and it was called Parappa the Rapper. It was music game about a character named Parappa and he wanted to become a rapper and a few challenges he faced as he tried to become a rapper. Besides that point he wanted to learn Kung Fu and the master’s name was Chop Chop Master Onion. He had an Onion as a head, the Fu Man Shu Mustache, waves that came from his head representing that smelt bad, and a typical martial arts robe. The representation of the master was very stereotypical of an Asian, knowing Kung Fu, spoke a broke English accent, the mustache. What I never thought before that struck me now was the stinky waves coming out of his head. I thought why would they put waves(representing that he smells bad) and why an Onion head? The way they represented the “Asian Guy” was nobody really likes him (Not many people typically like onions by it self) also he smelt bad which I believe that makes him like an outcast, weird, or even feared because of who he was(an onion). The most obvious thing was the name Chop Chop Master Onion. Just try to imagine a picture just based on the name. What pops in your head? You probably imagine the same image that the game developers drew up. This game was made in the late 1990’s and I’m just appalled that I never really noticed this until taking this class. I can’t believe this representation of Asian actually existed in a Video Game.
It is pretty shocking with all the representations in the media of any particular group. Since we see images repeatedly in media we tend to feel more accepted to the ideas of those who created those images. These images subliminally force us to believe in it and most of us typically won’t challenge it. A few words and/or relations shouldn’t be able to completely define an individual’s culture and beliefs.
A video clip of the game of Chop Chop Master Onion http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6eZcV1UuUzI