Yeah, we get it, South Park is all about irreverent and often tasteless humor no matter the celebrity or their race. However, the creators of the long-running animation series are introducing a new game, South Park: The Fractured But Whole (say it fast) in where increasing the difficulty meter turns the character into a Black person.
During the character creation section of the game, which you can see in the video below (skip to the five minutes and 40 seconds mark), you select the difficulty of the game. What’s interesting is the easier the difficulty, the lighter your character’s skin. Conversely, the harder the difficulty, the darker your character’s skin. It means if you want to play The Fractured but Whole on a harder than normal difficulty, you have to play as a person of colour.
During the process, South Park stalwart Eric Cartman will comment: “Don’t worry, this doesn’t affect combat. Just every other aspect of your whole life.”
Our Aoife Wilson and Chris Bratt, who captured the gameplay in the video, asked Ubisoft developers about this feature during a recent hands-on event. They were told the difficulty of the game affects the amount of money you receive and the way other characters speak to you throughout the course of the game. It is, quite clearly, a social commentary on racism in modern society, and as far as video games go, a pretty effective one.
While Eurogamer thinks this is a pretty cool feature, users on Twitter are taking a different stance. We’ve collected some of the response below and on the following pages. Do expect some headassery.
Photo: screen cap