On Thursday the 8th of September Hanli Geyser presented a research paper at the Wits School of Arts Research Seminar series. The paper, "Representations of Africa in Resident Evil 5", was co-authored with Pippa Tshabalala. The paper will be presented at the 2011 Digital Games Research Association conference: Think Design Playon the 15th of September 2011.
"Representations of Africa in Resident Evil 5"
Darkest Africa, the imagining of colonial fantasy, in many ways still lives on. Popular cultural representations of Africa often draw from the rich imagery of the un-charted, un-knowable ‘other’ that Africa represents. When Capcom made the decision to set the latest installment of its Resident Evil series in an imagined African country, it was merely looking for a new, unexplored setting, and they were therefore surprised at the controversy that surrounded its release. The 2009 game Resident Evil 5 was accused of racially stereotyping the black zombies and the white protagonist. These allegations have largely been put to rest, as this was never the intention of Capcom in developing the game or selecting the setting. However, the underlying questions remain: How is Africa represented in the game? How does the figure of the zombie resonate within that representation? And why does this matter?