GameTrailers recently received an alarming phone message referencing a Castle Crashers clip that the site had posted during PAX 06. A babbling voice was insisting that The Behemoth's upcoming Xbox Live Arcade title was racist, depicting "brown and black characters" being slaughtered by "pure-white characters." It sounds absurd -- it is absurd. But for someone who seems so obviously removed from mainstream gaming culture and the intentions of The Behemoth, could Castle Crashers be rationally interpreted as racist?
The message has since been overlaid on top of gameplay footage (see embedded video), giving us a chance to inspect its claim. Interestingly, if we suspend our understanding of the game -- that is, if remove this clip from the context of mainstream gaming culture -- we see what appears to be white figures mercilessly butchering brown and black characters. If we also take into account that a history of racist media and entertainment exists (often guised in cartoonish fashion), than the interpretation in question is actually not absurd. But the interpretation is, we must contend, inaccurate.