A representation of social realities that are currently at an all time high of being exposed, or outright racist due to further progressing notions that “lighter skinned” people are granted privileges? That is the question when considering South Park‘s new video game that alters the difficulty of gameplay based on your character’s complexion.
While avatars with lighter complexion are set at an easy level of difficulty in gameplay, avatars with a darker complexion are set at a very difficult level. During character creation South Park’s local trouble maker, Cartman, chimes in on the matter informing players that
“This doesn’t affect combat. Just every other aspect of your whole life.”
Gameplay only proves this statement correct in that the color of the avatar’s skin does affect how much money they make throughout the game, but does not affect combat. The game also both gives the option and reacts to, gender identification, which allows selection of male, female, transgender, and cisgender.
While South Park is known for being one of the most controversial cartoons of all time, have they finally pushed the envelope too far in that characters are not given an equal gaming experience? Or are they shedding light on the reality of the central, most controversial social issue today in their own weird kind of way rather than emulating the likes of *50’s and 60’s media tropes that simply swept matters under the rug through providing false notions of equality?
*At the very same time in which television shows began to display people of darker complexion in a factionalized environment in which they were considered equal (i.e.: The Nat King Cole Show) African American children in Arkansas were faced with major resistance when the attempt was made to integrate schools. The inequality and injustice that what was occurring, in what we consider the “real world,” was not being properly represented.