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Cyber Racism 101: Have You Played the New Christopher Dorner Video Game?


Facilitated by the first-person perspective, the player can become a "black character," one that is really a "nigger" who fights the police (coded as the White establishment, White Authority, and White Power). But in the meta-narrative of the Christopher Dorner video game, the player is actually hoping that the police will kill the black character: here, suicide by cop becomes a means of reinforcing white supremacy.

In total, Christopher Dorner's defeat in the game is a White supremacist commentary and type of wish fulfillment for the political and social impotence of black people (men in particular, both literally and metaphorically). In the context of the video game, the "protagonist's" resistance is defeated by the inevitability of White triumph, and a return to a "natural" order of things in a White supremacist dreamworld wherein people of color are dominated, controlled, murdered, objectified, and submissive.

Play does political work. Pleasure, as derived from popular culture, is not politically neutral. Cyber racism, especially in video games, is especially potent because of the genre's interactive nature, and the ways that many young people across the colorline uncritically consume and enjoy it.

Mass media is not value neutral. The various technologies of race share that same quality: both advance a normative and specific understanding of the power relationship between whites and non-whites in society.

As I suggested here, Christopher Dorner's story will exist long past his time in this world. I was surprised at how fast this observation would come to be made real. In the virtual world, cyber racism has already made Christopher Dorner immortal.

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