EA just dropped its first trailer for, and one thing left some gamers shook: women and people of color fighting on the virtual front.
This isn’t even the first time women or people of color have been represented in the Battlefield franchise. In Battlefield 1, the two main characters you could play in a single-player campaign were 1) a member of the Harlem Hellfighters, a group of African-American soldiers who fought with the French on the Western Front, and 2) Zara Ghufran, a female Bedouin fighter on the Arabian Peninsula.
Where Battlefield V differs is that those men and women of color will finally be selectable in multiplayer. But that choice of selecting a gender or race of a multiplayer avatar was near-instantly met with shock and scorn by some gamers who were apparently expecting to see nothing but straight white dudes from John Wayne movies.
Yes, the armed services were segregated during the war, but there were numerous groups of people of color fighting for the Allies in World War II — for instance, the Tuskegee Airmen, the 442nd regiment of Japanese Americans, and the Navajo Code Talkers jump immediately to mind. Women also saw service in the Russian army and the French Resistance.
Hell, there was even a Korean soldier serving in the German military at Normandy Beach on D-Day.
The only new thing Battlefield V is doing, politically, is recognizing those men and women’s service and allowing people the choice of representation.