There Is Still an Absence of Asian Representation in Video Games, but Here Are 5 of Our Favorites.

A large percentage of the population’s leisure time is now devoted to playing video games. In recent years, the perception of interactive media has changed from mind-rotting wastes of time to actual works of art because of impressive images, cathartic music, and captivating storylines.

Because of the increasing popularity and ubiquity of Asian American characters in mainstream film and television, here is to highlight 5 Asian-American video game characters to celebrate as well as criticize the serious lack of representation in video games today. As a result, the characters on this list all fall somewhere along the spectrum of Asian representation in their particular games or franchises.

Alex Chen – “Life is Strange: True Colors”
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Alex Chen, an Asian-American adolescent, is still dealing with the effects of being separated from her elder brother, Gabe, for eight long years. Being honest with one’s feelings is something that many Asian families are uncomfortable with; this is how Alex deals with her own trauma and how she tries to assist other characters deal with theirs. Erika Mori does the voice work for Alex, while Mxmtoon handles the singing.

Jesse and Lev – “The Last of Us 2”

There are a lot of Asian characters in video games, but The Last Of Us 2 had many Asian characters who were crucial to the plot and whose identities were treated with respect and individuality.

In instance, Jesse was demonstrated to be a pleasant young man as well as a trustworthy buddy, whereas Lev felt and acted like a genuine teenager throughout the entirety of the story. The two guys are shown to have strong support systems, which might mean a lot to a player who relates with either character.

Marshall Law – “Tekken
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Marshall Law, a Chinese-American martial artist modeled on the legendary Bruce Lee, enters the King of Iron Fist Tournament in the hopes of earning cash and starting his own dojo in Chinatown. Jeet Kune Do-style combat and a range of attacks and throws reminiscent of Lee’s own movies make Law a brilliant homage to the Chinese actor, who has starred in several of his own films.

Emily Davis – “Until Dawn”

The most contentious character in “Until Dawn” is Emily. Emily, voiced by Nichole Sakura, is described as “bright, resourceful, and persuasive” throughout the game. It’s easy to detest Emily at first because of her blunt demeanor, yet she’s one of the game’s more capable characters. All survivors will be saved if players chose wisely, and Emily is their last hope. She withstands numerous wendigo attacks, and she manages to escape the mine that killed Hannah and Beth a year earlier. A Reddit AMA by the game’s developer revealed that Emily is the most popular character.

Wei Shen – “Sleeping Dogs”
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Sleeping Dogs is generally regarded as just another Grand Theft Auto clone, yet it truly expanded the range of Asian storylines in video games. ‘ Wei Shen is treated with numerous layers of intricacy and maturity rather than being mocked like many kinds of media like to do with Asian guys.

It also captures the unusual experience of being both at home and out of your comfort zone in Asian locations. It was refreshing to see a video game take a respectful look at Hong Kong’s vibrant expat community.