There are some games that attempt to tackle the heavy subject of racism by exploring how it affects those who are subjected to it, though worryingly there are also some that seem to have an undertone of racism in their subject matter or treatment of in-game characters, whether intentional or otherwise.
In video games, racism is often represented in terms of species, such as humans and elves or aliens and robots, in order to avoid controversy, though the discrimination found in the game world is most often based on real-life racism.
Content Described as Racist
In Square's Tom Sawyer, the black slave character Jim is portrayed as having giant red lips, pitch-black skin, a bright orange afro and small white eyes, consistent with mocking caricatures of black people in many cultures. The potentially offensive nature of this depiction to audiences outside Japan is one of the reasons why the game was never released in English, despite being based on a novel by Mark Twain.
Resident Evil 5 famously became the center of a brief uproar, when some members of the mainstream press commented that the white Chris Redfield shooting dozens of zombified African villagers was suggestive of racial superiority and ethnic cleansing.
MadWorld drew accusations of racism for its exaggerated depiction of a stereotypical African-American pimp in the Black Baron character.
Themes of Race Relations
Though set in a fantasy world with monsters and magic, The Witcher often addresses racial themes. In the world of The Witcher, dwarfs and elves are looked down upon at best and shunned from society at worst, driving some of them to take up arms to fight this inequality and lack of freedom.
In the World of Darkness setting where the Vampire games take place, vampire mythology talks of the "Time of Thin Blood" supposedly preceding Armageddon. This leads to young vampires of unclear lineage being regarded with suspicion and hostility, particularly by the superstitious.
In BioShock Infinite, the issue of racism is dealt with more directly in real-world terms; Columbia's culture is white attitudes towards blacks, Native Americans, Chinese, Irish, and other "foreign" ethnicities in early 20th century America.