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Why are we still struggling with racist NPCs?

PBS Game/Show has a way of starting with a topic that can make the viewer initially defensive, but then host Jamin Warren gives you plenty to think about, even if you may disagree with the episode's central thesis. And this episode is a big one: Why are NPCs in games so often racist?

His examples are strong, and many, and it's clear that in gaming representation is only one part of the issue. The rest of the problem in gaming comes down to agency: Are these characters shown as human? Are they shown as having some impact on the world in which they exist, or are they just placeholders there to serve some aspect of the hero's journey?

The hero who is, of course, overwhelmingly male, white and straight.

This is a great question to ask, and I'm looking forward to the conversation in the comments. I want to play my games in worlds that include all sorts of people, with their own motivations and reasons to be there. Putting up a cardhboard cutout of a human being with cringe-inducing racial stereotypes does everyone a disservice, and actively makes the game weaker.

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