This episode had me smiling all around and I enjoyed the topic of reviews until he began to speak about people only being able to afford one console, he states that this is what creates fanboys, which I guess makes some sense. He loses me at the very end of his video monologue when he refers to “being white enough to afford all of the consoles”, I have to say this comment really sat with me badly and shone an ugly light on an otherwise great episode.
I can only hope that Yahtzee had some kind of temporary lapse in judgement or his statement is not translating well, because to me this statement screams racist. We joke about a lot of things, but never racist remarks, to say that luckily he is “white enough to afford all of the consoles” is a slap in the face to any non-white person that plays video games or listens to his show.
Video is available in the post. First off, I should say that this does seem like a reasonable and measured post to me. The writer will probably end up the subject of a lot of highly critical vehement disagreement, and that’s a shame. That said, I don’t really see it in this case. I think Yahtzee’s more making a crack about the economics of racial inequality. Having more money isn’t the same as having earned more money. I took it as a shorthand for "I’m white, so I have more economic privilege."
Zero Punctuation does pointedly skirt controversy by often being fairly insulting and actively "edgy." I do think some of his jokes about homosexuality tend to at very least skirt the line, although I think he’s getting better on that. On the other hand, his discussion of "Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune" gave him some credit for noting that the game seemed to be all about killing people of color.
So, make of it what you will. Loot Ninja certainly has every right to be bothered by the statement. But since I do watch Zero Punctuation, saw this in Evil Avatar, and have blogged before about the intersection of race and games, I figured it is worth noting for better or worse that I don’t always see it. Best of luck against the hordes Loot Ninja.