Racist Game Justifies Murder of Mexicans and Indians
A mobile game that pits a white, 19th Century sheriff-like figure—one who brandishes a pair of pistols—against stereotypical images of Mexicans and Indians has prompted opposition by both Native American game developers and educators.
The game, designed for iOS and Android systems, is aptly titled “Clash of the West Cowboys Shootout.” The objective of the player, or “Black Jack Ketchum,” is to kill or leap over the Mexicans and Indians in his path. For $1,000, which comes in the manner of bags of money and gold bullion peppered across the ground, the player can upgrade to “Buffalo Bill,” who brandishes a shotgun in place of Ketchum’s six-shooters.
In the game description, the Mexicans, who are illustrated as both lanky and corpulent, and the Indians, who are portrayed as dull-eyed and dopey, are referred to as “a gang of criminals who are violently committing crimes.”
Elizabeth LaPensée, an Anishinaabe and Métis game developer and researcher, said the game “couldn’t [be] more racist” and that it justifies the historical murder of Mexicans and Indians.
“Games like these portray Native people as fodder to be killed,” she said. “They’re representing them as lazy, as evil, because they justify the shootout by saying that these ‘Indians’ are in a gang and that their acts are making the situation.”
Version 1.0 of the game, created by EMax Inc Enterprise—a 4-year-old software company, was created on August 27, 2013, but its design is anachronistic, said LaPensée, and a throwback to the early days of Nintendo-like technology.
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