Latin American Culture in Video Games

By - 09 June, 2016

In the past few years we’ve seen Latin American culture making its presence felt in the realm of mainstream movies and music. But what about video games? Seeing as gaming is now one of the world’s most popular trends, it’s been interesting to see how the Latin American nations are taking to this vibrant and diverse culture.

One thing’s clear and that’s one of the fastest growing gaming populations with Latino Microsoft Xbox users in particular showing a surprising amount of enthusiasm for the gaming realm.

And it’s not just gaming at home that’s really taking off in Latin America as many nations are also taking to the rapidly-growing competitive gaming activity. 2014 saw Major League Gaming bringing their eSports franchise to Brazil in a bid to catch up with the already-impressive results shown by Intel Extreme Masters in hosting competitive gaming tournaments in Sao Paulo.


Despite the rapid take-up of gaming culture in Latin America, when it comes to the depiction of Latin Americans in video games, we’ve seen a few less impressive results. The likes of Luiz Lopes in Grand Theft Auto V managed to succeed thanks to the writing that had a good blend of humour and drama, but ultimately the character was little more than a murderous Puerto Rican drug dealer that has become something of a stereotype in the gaming world.


In addition to this we’ve seen tough guys like Domenic Santiago in Gears of War and even the infamous Vamp of the Metal Gear Solid series. However, there have been a few notable exceptions to the stereotype with the likes of Carmen Sandiego having been a successful introduction to gaming for many young players. And with over 30 years of experience, this master villain also recently made her mobile gaming debut in a global spy game for kids.

Even the rapidly-growing online casino realm has enjoyed a little Latin influence as the Gonzo’s Quest slots game at Mr Smith Casino gave a new lease of life to the Spanish conquistador Gonzalo Pizarro. And although we’ve seen this guy before trying to find the city of gold, we’ve probably never seen him in an online slots game!


And finally, it’s worth mentioning that even our renowned luchadors have also made an early entrance into the gaming realm with King of the Tekken series wrestling with a fearsome jaguar mask that shows just how far this iconic sport has reached on a global scale.

So whether it’s at an online casino site, or even in the latest open-world next-gen console game, it seems that Latin American culture is finally making its presence felt on the current gaming scene.

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