Friday, July 7, 2017

News:: Is Marina from Splatoon 2 Nintendo's first Black leading lady?

I've talked to a lot of people who've worked for Nintendo, and when it comes to race, they've all said the same thing about the company - they don't want anything to do with it. That doesn't mean that Nintendo doesn't want anything to do with minorities. Rather, it means that when it comes to their games, Nintendo wants to stay out of the "race conversation" as much as possible, not unlike how they wanted to avoid "being political" with Tomodachi Life and the "gay marriage bug."

This is probably why most Nintendo characters appear Caucasian or Asian, depending on who you ask. Link looks pretty white to me, but a lot of Asian folks I've talked to have said that he looks Japanese. A lot of anime characters are designed the same way. You're supposed to see yourself in them, or at least, see them as a familiar face. Problem is, if your skin is darker than beige, it's a lot harder to see yourself in Link, and just about every other Nintendo icon for that matter.

My guess is Nintendo doesn't want it to be that way. They'd like to make characters that look like everyone everywhere, as that could only work to bring in more paying customers. Since that's not possible, and because People of Color make up such a small part of Japan's population, they likely just stick to what they know, valuing inclusion of the many over the desired inclusion of the few. That could explain why out of the 133 amiibo currently released worldwide, only one of them is a Black dude, and he's not even an original character. He's a gosh darn repaint.

Is Marina from Splatoon 2 Nintendo's first Black leading lady? screenshot


via destructoid