FIFA 14 Discriminates Against White Men With Beards

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Posted October 14, 2013 by Ciaran Allen in Articles, Editorial, Features, Opinion, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One

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I jest, of course; FIFA 14 is quite likely made by white men with beards, so that’d be a bit silly now, wouldn’t it? When I say that FIFA 14 discriminates against white men with beards, what I really mean is that any male with facial fuzz who would like to put his unconventionally handsome mug in the game as a Virtual Pro, via the Game Face web application, will be left with an odd coloured neck purely because of his hairy face-warmer.

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It really does pain me to see a character bearing a resemblance to my (arguably) lovely face with some sort of bacteria surrounding the entirety of his throat. No matter how many times I’ve remade my character – different lighting, multiple photos and so on – it still looks horrendous. As a result of this, whenever I download and apply this stranger’s Game Face to my Virtual Pro, I am left with a character whose skin colour is reminiscent of the Sunny Delight scare of the 1990’s. It’s actually illuminous.

There’s no arguing with the quality of the software that EA Sports and FIFA 14 players have at their disposal. Beard issues aside, my virtual pro is quite spookily spot on (uncanny valley, anyone?) but it is disappointing when a product that has had years of testing and perfecting is not entirely up to scratch. The discrimination stretches even further than my just my noggin, too. I’ve seen multiple skin tone sufferers online during drop-in matches and we’re all on the verge of cartoonism, completely contradictory to the realistic ambitions of the game we’re meant to be a part of.

In years gone by I would have been completely engrossed in Pro Clubs at this stage, but now I’m a free agent and have only just played my fourth Virtual Pro game. It probably correlates that in those years that have past my Virtual Pro was pretty much spot on, boxer’s nose included, but now the unavoidable bright orange skin colour and dodgy neck shade is putting me off this mode altogether.

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It ruins any possible sense of verisimilitude and immersion that EA Sports have attempted to create when you look at your carefully constructed Virtual Pro footballer, a source of online pride for many, and instead see a sunbed queen in his place. I’ve come to the conclusion that the unaffected Virtual Pros that I encounter on Xbox Live must think that I have some sort of skin condition in real life, possibly brought on by excessive exposure to Sunny Delight or radiation, and so I may now refuse to persevere with my Virtual Pro’s beard related problems until a facial hair fix has been found.

Or until I get bored of Grand Theft Auto V (which is, like, never?)…





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Ciaran Allen


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