Which, unfortunately, dates back to the same novels that brought us Orcs - Lord of the Rings.Where I believe that became problematic is when artists and writers started to illustrate those "baser instincts" using elements of real-world ethnicities.
Pondering how Frodo Baggins should at last arrive at Hobbiton, JRR Tolkien sat down one day in 1948 to plan the end of The Lord of the Rings. He decided his homecoming hobbits would see a troublin…
And you don't have to take anyone's word for it, Tolkien himself said orcs in a movie should look like:
"squat, broad, flat-nosed, sallow-skinned, with wide mouths and slant eyes: in fact degraded and repulsive versions of the (to Europeans) least lovely Mongol-types."
Note Mongol refers to what we'd call "East Asian" here, he's using it in the old racial sense (which even people my age may have seen in textbooks when they were very young, though it's gone now).
Worth noting that culturally the orcs aren't like that - in fact they seem to basically be the worst of human nature, as you say, albeit expressed in a peculiarly "working class soldier" kind of way. The fact that orcs basically sound like working-class southern English people, specifically maybe Cockneys is not likely to be an accident (though I think it's probably a harmless bit of classism - and I am technically a Cockney).
Yup, it was U6, the first Ultima game I played, and it BLEW MY TINY MIND when I realized the Gargoyles were actually being perfectly reasonable and not evil. Admittedly I was like 11 or 12, but that was powerful and effective - just because it looks scary and acts in opposition to you, doesn't make evil, pay more attention!Years ago, I remember playing the Ultima games. For most of the games, gargoyles were viewed as "evil." However, one of the games turned that idea on its head, as it was revealed that their culture was simply different -and they had been attacking you because actions taken by the protagonist (you) had been harming them.
I wish I could remember which entry in the series that was. It's a game containing ideas which I believe would be applicable to this discussion.
EDIT: I think it was Ultima 6: The False Prophet.