'Wargroove' Dev Responds to Criticism for Casting White Actors to Portray Characters of Color

Wargroove, a pretty great Advance Wars-inspired strategy game from earlier this year, is getting some downloadable content soon. That downloadable content, dubbed Double Trouble, also includes some new characters to enter battle with. Part of Wargroove’s charm is that its characters are full of personality, fueled by the voice actors bringing them to life. That continues with Double Trouble, which is why the game’s developer, Chucklefish, published a tweet highlighting the folks joining the game’s roster recently:


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/vb55y8/wargroove-dev-responds-to-criticism-for-casting-white-actors-to-portray-characters-of-color

I really, really wish the story about not paying contributors came out before the release, because I just feel more and more sick about having given these assholes money.

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*removes Wargroove from Switch wishlist and walks away*

Oh gee I’m shocked the company that profited off the free labor of teens is saying things like this

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We have people voice acting characters that aren’t their gender or age group, an adult woman voicing Bart Simpson is a perfectly normal thing. Maybe these voice actors will do an amazing performance and because of that we’ll have more cool black characters to think of in video games?

The reason adult women often voice boys (and teens/children in general) is because hiring children for long term voice work always comes with the risk of voices changing. This does not mean young men are not adequately represented in media.

Because of bias in hiring practices, this has resulted in a pool of voice actors that are predominantly white (in regards to western game development and shows). This means poc are losing the chance to represent themselves in media and also see themselves represented, often in positive ways. There are plenty of stories about actors of color pulled in to voice/play stereotypes, while white actors get a full range of roles.

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Patrick touches on this in the article also:

In casting these characters for Wargroove , Chucklefish said it reached out to an external casting agency to avoid having “unconscious biases impact who we hired to work on Wargroove , and to handle the auditions blindly.” In other words, they chose the actors based on the samples they submitted, without looking at who they are or their specific background.

Such an approach falls neatly in line with the common refrain and excuse given for a lack of diversity in all manners of employment: it’s about finding the “best person for the job.” Such approaches often incorporate biases in how they define “best” and conveniently ignore how difficult it is for marginalized groups to even be in a position to be considered to be the “best person for the job,” and so the cycle continues. In this case, the process determined that the best people to voice and help bring to life Black characters were white people.

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Thread by Wargrooves casting director.

this thing I don’t get is how, in November 2019, you would think this tweet with photos of your white voice actors alongside your poc characters would possibly go down well? like. obviously you don’t do that. right?

(to be clear, obviously: don’t cast white voice actors in the first place! but they did that and then decided to like, make incredibly clear that they had done that. which just seems like a really bad PR move, you know)

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