Why Nintendo Needs to Stop Making Evil Characters Dark Skinned

“Ultra Street Fighter 2” wonderfully brought things home for franchise fans when it launched for the Nintendo Switch on Friday, but something about the game just didn’t seem right to some.

As players may have already noticed, the game brought back familiar faces, which of course deserve some virtual hugs.

Unfortunately, in this day and age, they arguably appear more like victims of racism than nostalgic treats. We’re talking about Evil Ryu and Violent Ken whom, according to Mic, have not been playable in nearly 15 years.

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For context, the two are simply alternate, evil versions of protagonist Ryu and his best friend/rival Ken. But what’s turning us off is the fact that their skin was made darker to serve the purpose of characterization.

This of course draws back to the old stereotype that assumes one only needs to have a darker skin to become a villain, or to say in the least, that darker-skinned people are bad people.

It must be noted that the original Violent Ken, who first appeared in a game called “SNK vs. Capcom”, had the same light skin as the real Ken. Apparently, someone somewhere introduced a darker skin tone of the character that has sadly stuck since.

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It may be because game developers wanted to retain the characters’ looks, but perhaps it won’t hurt to diversify things after more than a decade. It’s not just for the old fans, after all.

Screenshots via YouTube / Street Fighter

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