Fantasy Online and Race

Tanner Higgin in his article “Blackless Fantasy TheWorld-Of-Warcraft-Logo disappearance of Race in Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games” he talks about how the representation of a black avatar in the MMORPG’S is non existent and focus on the white characters. As well as the preconceptions about black masculinity and the fact that it is not something that the game makers want to put into the MMORPG. He talks about the fantasy aspect and how this based on medieval European ideas and removing the black race from that to not change the image of a fantasy world.


The genre of fantasy has certain expectations like magic, castles, knights and mystic creatures. Because of this medieval feel with the castles and knights and princess this automatically sets it in Europe, just because the world here that long ago looked very different in the USA then it did in Europe. Thus because of this Medieval European set up in the genre there would not be different races represented in Fantasy.


Not until very recently has the genre of fantasy in other mediums like film used a black male as the hero in the story. Probably because in the written versions they were never depicted as such and it was a matter of tradition. However this tradition was controlled by white owners who would not have wanted to see a black as the knight in shining armor. Because their limited representation in film the makers of the online games and their ideas of MMORPG’S would not create a black avatar for a user to play as.


The nature of the online role-playing games requires the user to spend several hours a day as their character advances through the story line and achieves goals moves on to the next goal moving through the story which takes time. The more time the black users would spend playing as a white avatar, with no choice but to do so, they would have to accept eventually that ideas about black hyper masculinity as Higgin puts it is not something that is a negative part of culture.


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