Ethnic Stereotypes in Video Games

By: Tom Roes
On: September 27, 2006
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About Tom Roes


I managed to update an english wiki on the subject of my BA thesis. It’s been annoying me for years that racial stereotypes are widely studies in all media except for video games. Considering the’re very influential and played by millions of kids there should be a moral standard.

Foute moslim!

Some Video games, like the Grand Theft Auto (video game) series, also use ethnic stereotypes. A 2001 study[2] bij Children Now shows that most protagonists (86 per cent) were white males, non-white males were portrayed in stereotypical ways—seven out of ten Asian characters as fighters, and eight out of ten African-Americans as sports competitors, and nearly nine out of ten African-American females were victims of violence (twice the rate of white females). Finally, 79 per cent of African-American males were shown as verbally and physically aggressive, compared to 57 per cent of white males. Other games, like Command & Conquer: Generals stereotype Arabs, which are portrayed as vile, brutal and backward, in contrast to the morally and technologically superior western military.

Besides that you might notice a slight change at

6 Responses to “Ethnic Stereotypes in Video Games”
  • September 27, 2006 at 3:19 pm

    genius edit on …./media_en_cultuur

  • September 27, 2006 at 3:59 pm

    subtle and brilliant :)

  • September 27, 2006 at 7:18 pm

    Wrote a paper about this as well, sadly in dutch:

    “Rangers, Rebels en Red Guards: Propaganda in de Command & Conquer games.”

    i feel its one of my better pieces, wrote it for the RCI class two years ago. Its main focus is propaganda, but I feel the games accomplish this by ridiculing asian/arab stereotypes while creating a positive ‘white’ stereotype. Might want to translate it to English some time and see if anyone would warm up to it but my Dutch peerreviewers didn’t seem to impressed with it :(

  • September 28, 2006 at 12:07 am

    The a**holes put it on the remove list allready! Aaargh!

  • November 8, 2006 at 10:47 am


    Interesting topic… I’m working in this industry myself and I don’t agree about this in 100%, but I added your page to my bookmarks and hope to see more interesting articles in the future…

  • October 8, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    Well, I think it’s pretty difficult to take GTA and Red Alert as examples… These are games that capitalize on stereotyping main characters for either satirical (GTA) or comical (Red Alert) use. In a way it’s more stereotyping the vision that a lot of people have about different ethnic groups.

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