NBA 2K has been the most popular basketball simulator. It’s one of the most successful of all sports games in recent years, but developers may have gone too far in the latest adaptation.
Fans have admired the developers’ creativity and realism, especially in one of its more popular game modes titled “My Player.”
The “My Player” mode gives fans the chance to live their dream of being in the NBA by allowing them to create a player based on themselves and then take that character through an entire career.
NBA 2K decided to take it to the next level in this year’s copy titled NBA 2K16, by bringing in movie director Spike Lee.
Lee used his storytelling abilities and made the game mode into his own interactive feature film titled “Livin’ Da Dream, A Spike Lee Joint.”
In the story, a high school phenom (your character) nicknamed Freq, short for Frequency Vibrations, struggles with fame as he makes his way from the mean streets up to sudden stardom.
The story has the usual aspects of greed and betrayal, but also gives good life lessons of loyalty, family and dedication.
However, there’s a problem.
In the game mode, the player is able to create the character any way they see fit. Commonly it’s themselves that’s created.
That’s where the creativity ends this year.
When the story begins, you are plugged in as the aforementioned “Freq” character with two African-American parents and an African-American twin sister without the ability to change their appearance.
Personally, my reason for wanting the ability to change my family members isn’t out of racism.
My reason is because I’m Mexican and if I am going to play a game mode that is based on myself, I would want it to be as close to real as possible.
It just seems a bit awkward to be playing as a Mexican with a twin African-American sister and two African-American parents.
Would an aspiring non-black high school basketball player feel disconnected from the game if only given this option? Would it be enough to make someone not want to play? I don’t know, but it does seem comedic, like something from a bad comedy.
In my case, there would be a Mexican high schooler being raised by African-American parents to be a basketball star.
Is Lee pushing his agenda too far?
I understand the story that Spike Lee is trying to tell, but I don’t see the problem with allowing players to customize whatever they want.
For example, in Grand Theft Auto V, a player is able to go as far as creating his/her grandparents on the online mode.
I’m not writing this article to express displeasure towards the African-American community because I don’t have any displeasure, racial equality is important to me.
Some people may not even notice this element of the game. It just seems odd to me.
Racial equality is the reason I’m writing this, I want people of all races to be able to play this game to the utmost pleasure.
I also understand that the NBA is prominently made up of the African-American community, however, that’s not the case in the video game community.
People of all races play this video game, and they should be able to play their own story in a game mode that’s supposed to allow that.