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Sat, 21 Aug 2004 20:51:50 -0400
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MAC Members:
A research opportunity.

Linda Florence Callahan
Immediate Past Head, MAC
NC A&T State University
Department of Journalism and Mass Communication
Greensboro, NC 27411
(336) 334-7221 or 334-7900

-----Forwarded by Dr. Linda Callahan/NCAT on 08/21/2004 08:44PM -----

To: MMTC Scholars List H-P <[log in to unmask]>
From: David Honig <[log in to unmask]>
Date: 08/20/2004 05:01PM
Subject: Scholars Needed to Conduct Research on Video Games

Dear Colleagues,

MMTC has received a request for scholarly assistance from our friends at
the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights  As described below, LCCR needs
scholars to perform an investigation of racial stereotypes in video games.
This is a worthwhile project that is profoundly worthy of consideration.



David Honig
Executive Director
Minority Media and Telecommunications Council
3636 16th Street N.W. #B-366
Washington, D.C.  20010
Tel:  202-332-7005
Cell:  202-669-4533
Fax:  202-332-7511
[log in to unmask]
August 20, 2004


FROM:  Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

RE: Video Games

August 20, 2004

As you may know, video games have become wildly popular over the last
several years. What you may not know is that these games are widely
accessible and often contain deeply racist, sexist, homophobic, and violent
images and themes. For example, in one of the games I recently previewed,
an African American male character is shot, urinated on, set on fire, and
then the announcer makes a remark about fried chicken and about African
Americans all looking alike. In another game, a female character is
violently assaulted and then urinated on.

A coalition of organizations has recently been formed to address the
proliferation of video games that promote hate crimes.  Partners Against
Hate, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Anti-Defamation League, the
Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, NAPALC, the Minority Media
and Telecommunications Council, the Interfaith Center for Corporate
Responsibility and a local law firm, are working together to develop a
strategy to address this problem.  Current plans include putting pressure
on the creators of the games and the executives of the stores in which
these games are sold.  A letter of concern has been drafted and the
coalition came to the conclusion that the letter will be more effective if
specific examples of racial, sexual, and religious discrimination are

Therefore, a thorough study of video games currently on the market is
needed.  Such an investigation will explore the racist and discriminatory
images, commentary and actions utilized for entertainment marketed to
youth, and will provide a report of specific examples which will be used in
subsequent correspondence and to educate the public about this growing

The product deliverable will be a report which will include:

identifying the video game (creator, rating information)

detailed descriptions of racial, sexual and religious stereotypes
(character features, accents, etc.)

actions against a particular race, gender or religion (i.e. shooting
persons of color, engaging in sexual actions with women)

audio commentary perpetuating discrimination, stereotypes (i.e. after
setting fire to a black target, commentary has included, "how's that for
welfare reform?" and "who says 'they all' don't look alike?")

marketing information, if available (popularity of the game, purchased by,

The logistics of the project are open to discussion.  The goal is to have
this report completed by November 15, 2004.  Please contact Jamie Dunchick
at the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
([log in to unmask], 202.662.8334) if you are interested in
performing this investigation.