Very interesting analysis @physicalscience, I find the difference being that the medias white male stereotype is generally a positive one – and a reinforcement of America’s collective racial identity issue. The marketers are reinforcing what is culturally expected of a white male: a tall, handsome, cool, confident, smart, quick witted, always gets the girl, athletic, brown hair for some reason, alpha male who always has a plan and everyone else bows down to his inherent greatness because he is the white male. You can see this in any genre of American media, generally in the form of a white savior who is blessing the world with his whiteness and being naturally better than everyone around him for no other reason than being the chosen one (AKA. The white guy). It’s a stereotype that reflects an old view of white male dominance from old European “imperialist” or American “manifest destiny” way of thinking. It strips the white male lead of any depth and only leads a super alpha male husk that lacks any real depth. I think that’s why many of the video games white male lead characters are so flat. They’re either boy scouts, the annoying action lead with one liners or the anti-hero and lack any real depth.
Characters of color and woman get the worst rap but we all know that song and dance, look no further than Barrett from FF7 or virtually any female character in any game. Generally it only reinforces negative stereotypes for people of color and tries to put woman in their place as baby machines - it also puts unrealistic expectations for white males but reinforces that manifest thinking in our culture.
To me this stereotyping of all races is just lazy writing. Just plug in a stereotype character templates into the script and create an evil whatever trying to take over or destroy the world; and you have yourself a games story. Until game makers put as much effort into the backstory, characters, relationships and fictional world building as they do for frame rate then I think you would see a decline in this. It’ll still be there, because this is America and is systemic of a deeper racial problem.