In recent times, Cuphead has somehow fallen back into the “racist” narrative. The only popular game of 2017 that has no day one patch, no microtransactions, no cut-content through DLC or scummy practices is constantly in the spotlight for committing some sociopolitical crime. Although Studio MDHR’s Cuphead took a lot of effort to make, many people find the game to be racist and poisonous, and here’s why you should be vocal against the “Cuphead is racist” narrative or similar behavior exhibited by the media.
It was brought to my attention several times that the whole “Cuphead is racist” fiasco would go nowhere. Well, I, too, wish it went nowhere until I found out just recently that several big publication sites have reiterated to be careful of praising and following Cuphead due to its “artwork” and its “racist” origins.
First up we have the Unwinnable Yussef Cole’s article – Cuphead and the Racist Spectre of Fleischer Animation, then we have Kotaku or Kotaku AU Ethan Gach’s article – It’s Impossible To Separate Cuphead From The Era That Inspired It, followed by Techosmo, Trick5, and many others that regurgitated Gach’s article, which is followed by Game Bias‘ take on the whole thing.
The problem with this recent “assessment”, as it’s called, is that what do they want us to do after assessing a game that’s art style is now out of development? Stop playing the game? Continuing playing the game and feel magically enlightened or guilty in some form, fashion or way?
Wouldn’t it make more sense to make these so-called “assessments” before the game was about to go into development instead of well after it released?
The very problem I have with these so-called “assessments” is that when they do reach the publisher and developer(s), the team over the game that’s under fire often try to censor their work and in-turn butcher the game, turn loyal fans away, and lose overall revenue due to development costs and sending someone back in to “censor/fix” the game.
My point is that Cuphead took a long time to make and if Studio MDHR feels the need to kowtow to these “assessments” and rid the game of things “associated with racism”, it would only mean major financial problems and bad press in doing so.
The point is, Studio MDHR isn’t scamming people with shady practices and has delivered a solid game that still works after launch with no post-patches or DLC needed to fix the game. This is why it’s good to be vocal against these “assessments”, and why it’s also just as important to commend publishers and developers however you can when they’ve seeded a worthy game.
In short, if the game features this “racist artwork”, then don’t play it. If you feel that it has grown and is causing people to become affected in some way, then use the facts to point it out before the game releases and not well afterwards. If you don’t do the above, then your argument will come across as sounding insecure and like you’re easily offended, as noted below on Gach’s article:
(Image courtesy of Mrmeatman)