Well it’s St. Paddy’s Day, and as usual that means everyone will be celebrating their ambiguous Irish "heritage" by getting bollocksed on beer and green food dye, saying “Erin Go Bragh” for no reason, and wearing plastic green bowler hats. To celebrate this light-hearted, semi-racist holiday we’ve assembled a list of gaming’s most offensively stereotypical Irishmen, and identified which of the many stereotypes they’re guilty of portraying.
Super Punch-Out!!/Punch Out!! Wii
Above: "They were after me Lucky Charms so I put em in me gloves!"
While he’s less offensive in the SNES version, Aran Ryan is a gibbering mad man in the Wii version, and a cheater to boot. The man weights his boxing gloves with his horribly outdated “lucky” horseshoes, rocks a shamrock on his shorts, and generally just acts a fool. Even so, the Irish get off easy in Punch-Out!! for Wii; the Frenchman in the game explodes croissants everytime he gets hit.
Offensive stereotypes: Boxer, violent, shamrocks, lucky, wearing green
Above: When he's not murdering, kidnapping, robbing or drinking, Packie is a really nice guy.
One of the more visible Irish in the current console generation, Patrick and his whole clan are a bunch of violent, corrupt, drunk criminals and jailbirds. They’re also fairly dull, which removes the aspect of charm that usually makes people sympathize with misanthropic Irish criminals and murderers.
Offensive stereotypes: Violent, drunk, criminal, big family. wearing green
Above: "Hmm should I get tanked and yell at the wife or go eat some corned beef and cabbage?"
Sean Devlin may be little more than a collection of obvious stereotypes, but he’s a badass and the star of his own game, which makes him slightly less offensive. Even so, he’s almost as cliche as a leprechaun pounding a Guiness; Sean is a violent, whiskey loving car racer who wears a flat cap and most offensively, actually says things like “Top o' the morning”, a phrase that’s never actually been spoken by an Irish person.
Offensive stereotypes: Violent, drunk, flat cap, awful lingo
Above: This Irishman put down the bottle just long enough to become a sociopathic power monger
Potential stereotypical Irish jobs include: mad bomber, boxer and pub/bar owner, all of which are proudly represented in this article. Colin is, of course, a pub owner in the town of Megaton who tries to chisel money out of you before he’ll tell you where your father is. While it’s nice he’s not a drunk, the clever Irishman is Megaton’s crime lord/pimp/drug dealer/slave owner, eager to keep the town under his thumb. In his own words: “I keep these yokels knee deep in booze and poon they keep me knee deep in caps, it’s a fair trade if you ask me.” Lovely.
Offensive sterotypes: Pub owner, violent, criminal
Above: "Oi got me black eye boxing for me bomb money!"
If there’s one character who manages to hit almost every stereotype imaginable, it’s Farcry 2’s Frank Bilders. A criminal who boxed for money before going to prison for racketeering and aiding the IRA. Frank is the worst of all worlds; he’s even portrayed in a green rugby jacket just in case you didn’t realize HE’S IRISH.
Offensive stereotypes: Violent, mad bomber, boxer, IRA member, criminal, wearing green
Final Fantasy XII
Above: The real Cuchulainn
While this one falls into the same territory as getting mad at Dante’s Inferno for reducing a piece of classic literature into a meathead beating up dead babies, Cuchulainn’s portrayal in FFXII is almost as bad. Cuchulainn is a true Irish badass; he’s a character from a series of popular folk tales called the Tain. Wait! Don’t fall asleep!
In the books Cuchulainn is a spry young warrior lad with a massive spear, the Gae Bulg, who single handedly murders armies when he goes into his “warp spasm”. It’s kinda like a medieval Limit Break. In fact, he’s such a badass he kills one of the greatest warriors in the land by throwing an apple core so hard at him it splits his skull. Given all this sweet lore to work with, Square Enix decided to use his name and make this:
Above: Japan gone wild
While representing Cuchulainn as a fat green blob may somehow make sense to SquareEnix, this is akin to making an Esper named George Washington and portraying it as a talking pink scooter in a wig.
Offensive sterotypes: Wearing green, woeful misappropriation of Ireland’s greatest folk hero
Mar 17, 2010