The game, while its premise of North Korea invading and occupying the US is INDEED as silly as the Russkies coming for us in the 80's film Red Dawn, it is no more racist than that film was (wasn't), either. The choice of North Korea is no more mysterious than the fact that this is the CNN enemy of the hour, not out of some racist hatred of the Korean people. The fact that NK is even the enemy of choice, given how ridiculous the idea of NK attacking and occupying the US actually is, reflects just how little basis in reality this game is based.
And for as much history should come to light about the Korean War and American involvement there, the post-80's, Korean left-wing argument that America being in operational control of the military on the peninsula = full knowledge and responsibility for Korean military actions (including the Kwangju Massare) is as simplistic and problematic as saying the US bears NO responsibility for anything.
This is the same left wing historical argumentation that in the same breath castigates the US for NOT having inexplicably come to Korea's rescue when Japan took away Korea's sovereignty in 1910 (apparently, the Taft-Katsura memorandum is the smoking gun proving some secret American-Japanese conspiracy to sell out Korea, not the fact that the Japanese empire was far too powerful for even the US to trifle with, the US had no particular reason to enter into a battle with the entire Japanese empire over Korea, decades-old friendship Treaty or no, and the US was just happy to keep the Japanese out of the Phillipines, or that decades later, it would take the entire industrial and military might of a wartime US to even push the Japanese empire back out of the Pacific) but then at the same time complains that the US violated Korean sovereignty when it came to South Korea's aid during the Korean War.
And despite the geopolitical/commercial accident of the video game in question choosing the Norks as the enemy-du-jour, any secret histories of the US military's involvement in atrocities on the peninsula echoing the obviously ridiculous images of North Korean military regulars massacring American civvies in the streets constitutes at most some rhetorical irony, but in the end is a real stretch.
It's giving the video game makers much more credit than they deserve.
From what I know about the game, and from what I've seen, they're essentially the standard Call of Duty/Modern Warfare enemy, except intead of the enemy being a group of Russian ultranationalists who take over the missile silos and codes and launch a nuclear strike against the United States, invade Washington and our protagonists end up in firefights inside the White House and Capitol Building after the nuking of Virginia (riiiiiiiiight...), they've been watching a lot of CNN and have rendered green North Korean uniforms on the bad guys, probably cooked up some unlikely scenario of how North Koreans could occupy the continental US without nary a nuclear whimper, and are mowing down Americans in the streets.
But unless there are ongoing racist patterns of representation in the game, categorical racial demonization of Korean people in general, or anything of the sort, I'm not crying "wolf" on this one. Shooting a video game Russian ultranationalist doesn't make me hate Slavic peoples, the existing nation of Russia, or any people from former parts of the Soviet "Union." I didn't find that game "racist" nor, from anything I have seen from the game, is there anything to indicate that this equally silly backstory and premise involving North Korea is so, either.
The game's ridiculous premise reflects more a lack of imagination and ignorance of actual geopolitical possibility than some slight against the Korean people. And the alleged connection between the images of mass murder of Korean civilians (with the argument that since the American military is in technical control of the military, through the faulty assumption that there was active American knowledge and endorsement and even material support for all actions taken by the South Korean military, government, insurgent forces, and extremist military/political groups from 1950 to 1980, say) is a weak, rhetorical one at best, based more on the commercial accident that the enemy is supposedly really North Korea, rather than a bunch of video game sprites that happen to be drawn olive green and have a big red star on their hats and helmets.
I'm all for revealing the history of American involvement in secret military horror shows, the history of American empire, and all of the negative things the US has done, so that the truth be told and we don't do such things again. I've blogged about everything from My Lai to Abu Graib here, from the Native American Holocaust to the horrible decision to go to war in Iraq.
But this is the kind of limp-brained, knee-jerk, left wing argumentation that makes us smarter progressives look bad, and seeps our power away when REALLY important issues to fight against come up.
This article is WEAK SAUCE, dude.
Certain people need to go back to history and reboot the societal contexts that were active when white Californians were hanging "heathen Chinee" from the rafters or the government was rounding up Japanese Americans into concentration camps. Or even the inevitable-but-regrettable racialization of the Asian enemy that happened in the islands of the Pacific, or later on the Vietnamese penisula, which was a tragedy far less inevitable but degrees more regrettable.
This video game and fears of a nuclearized North Korea, in stark contrast to the US and the rest of the West enjoying Korean pop music, dramas, and movies, as well as close ties to its consumption-obssessed, capitalist star pupil, doesn't constitute allegations of being part of some new pattern of anti-Asian or even Korean racial sentiment, the vilification of an entire group of people, or any of that.
And the author needs to read up on what the "Yellow Peril" was argued to be, on a deeper cultural level, in terms of the degree of perceived threat and what brought that kind of nasty, pervasive ideology into existence. And I don't think American culture is anywhere close to the middle of that. Sure, some images from the game might be reminiscent of some scenes from the Korean War, and sure, the accident of the party in question being Korean might make it seem like there's some relationship beyond one with a mere rhetorical (and in the end, political) use.
But it just seems that way, and on a superficial level, at that.
As Freud didn't say, sometimes a dumb video game is just a dumb video game.
Actually, most of the time, that's the case.