The Cole Train isn't a stereotype says Cliff Bleszinski

It’s not uncommon to hear Gears referred to as a hodgepodge of racial stereotypes, especially when speaking of the boisterous Augustus “Cole Train” Cole. Cliff Bleszinski, lead designer behind Gears 3, takes exception to that thinking, though–Cole isn’t a stereotype at all, he says.

“And those of you citing Cole as some bad stereotype – guys, that’s just Lester being Lester. We introduced Jace as a more laid back character as a contrast to Cole’s enthusiasm (which, after playing his sequence, is his way of overcompensating for not being the centre of the universe and having to risk his neck for a can of beans now along with some aches and pains).”

Lester Speight, for those of you that don’t know, is the voice actor and inspiration behind the Cole Train. Speight used to be a football player for Morgan State University, who is especially famed for his hilarious Terry Tate commercials for Reebok.

Personally, I’m not particularly concerned over whether Cole is a stereotype inasmuch as I am concerned about his mental health, if the Thrashball section of Gears 3 is anything to go by.



  1. gtwalsh

    I love the Terry Tate commercials! I never knew he was the voice of Cole in the game though.

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  4. Mao Tze Chekov

    Sorry for any mispellings

    It becomes obvious from watching Lester Speight in the Terry Tate Reebok spot. It is easy to see what Epic saw ( and heard ) a voice actor with explosive presense. That transends what one in a million voice actors can accomplish! Easily one in a million people mic’ed at the same time would just melt away into a puddle in the carpet.
    And what is particularly nice, about the spot is how the spot leverages the full weight of his talent where success is dependent on the suttle contradictions that emphasize the explosive behavior.
    No matter how talented the editor, the spot is not simple “zanyness” ( although it is probably easy to dismiss the complexity of the associative psychological play, the suttlties of inspired timing, his deadpan deliveries and more apparentlty the just inspirational levels of body energy… and because Lester achives as much seemlingly without effort ) If Epic had instead, produced this televised advertising spot, I do not think anyone would have second guessed their intentions. ( That much brainstorming easily shows of good work. A good piece of work. )
    That is probably the determinating factor when attempting to do “a Character Piece” like this.

    In which case you can not simply dismiss when a particular arm of a race tell you that u have hurt them. ( and perhaps that is how we should word such grivances ) With as much dimensionality Reebok has put into their character piece. One could still percieve an unjust treatment. And Whose to say what they percieve that slap in the face ti be demeaning, dehumanizing pain where your character reduces one to a caricature. In which case, I believe Reebok can use the dimensionality of their character work to show an “aspect” of respect. ( Because the nice thing about complexity is that it comes with more pages to present you respectful case within )
    Personally, I have always found this to be the case. As an Asian I can easily forgive “good work” with a mountain dinky, gook brand Cocal Cola filled to the brim with pee pee razer blades slicing my eyes and my ears…
    Just as long as it’s A epic Conrad tale of Darkness in Apocalypse now…
    or a long irritating legacy of having to have my children put up with a cruel me soo Horney chourus line for the rest of ther life reminding them that they are the clownish monkeys of popular media and locker room nightmares is easily well worth it for good important work like Full Metal Jacket. That level of complexity makes it more than alright. It makes me a stark raving mad fanboy of such work.
    Where much of my family have been slaughtered by machine gun fire in comparatively recent times has it been even safe to come out of hiding. These works are extremely imortant even if there are akward gaffes. They have surpassed the threshold where I would second guess their intentions.

    It’s a tough call, with many demeaning stereotypes that are being celebrated which are painful to a large population. Still, u have misogynistic rap music being defended as if it were Battleship Potemkin. In the case of Epic, where Cliffy is impressed enough with a talented actor to want to use him. I would like to hear more about what is it about the Cole Train character that the offended are not “getting”?