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  #181  
Old 05-28-2015, 04:37 PM
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Lyrai Lyrai is offline
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Was waiting for an appropriate time to drop this fantasy racism story of my own in but #tt says now is as good a time as any

For those of you who remember your Warcraft lore, Night Elves are kind of tremendous douchebags. Xenophobic racist assholes, to the point where one of their leaders defects to the "Kill all sons of bitches" side. If you played WoW anywhere near a roleplay server, however, you'd be forgven for thinking all Night Elves are mary sue futanari twee motherfuckers who are just so nice and special to everyone.

A friend, a huge WoW nerd, rolled up a Nelf to play a class (WoW used to limit your class based on which race you were) and got fed up at people shitting all over this, so he signed up with one of the roleplaying guilds, and played Nelf as per the lore -pure unmatched xenophobic hatred towards anyone not a night elf.

P. much everyone lost their minds at this and got really offended and upset when he pointed out that yes, Night Elves really are like this, they're not your moon porn fantasy ladies.
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  #182  
Old 05-28-2015, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Nich View Post
If someone is actually doing/saying genuinely racist shit
Read the first half of my sentence.

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Originally Posted by Gæira View Post
So what you're saying is, when presented with the sentence: "Hey <x> are people, too, and deserve our consideration," you don't think "FUCK YEAH, THIS IS A GREAT IDEA"?

What are you thinking?
"Well, duh. Are you implying that I thought otherwise?"
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  #183  
Old 05-28-2015, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by madhair60 View Post
I would greatly appreciate it if you would simply explain yourself. I am clearly not am intelligent person, and what you wrote came across to me as a quite cruel accusation, as does the cryptic "How telling" followup. It is extremely distressing for me to be accused of being racist. I figure distress was the intention? It has very much worked. I'm in the relatively hellish situation I'm currently in because of racism. It has a direct and destructive effect on my life and I would never engage in it. I shouldn't have joined the thread at all and will probably delete all my posts in the morning
This entire conversation came about because some people thought it was bad that a game introduced multiple racial models (at this point limited to white AND black) for its characters, and a fair chunk of the playerbase was aggravated that they weren't consulted in this random change in a game full of random non-player controlled events INCLUDING CHARACTER CREATION. This change included (in the words of the author) the inclusion of racially-charged slurs that hadn't been present in the game prior and racially biased harassment of portions of the newly-black playerbase.

"What is telling" is that most of the people complaining about this have been asking 'why' instead of 'why not'. The skin tone bears no mechanical considerations within the game itself, it was just an addition on the part of the developer to try and make the game reflect the real world a bit better (and act as a bit of a social experiment). This sudden backlash strongly indicates that systemic patterns of racial discrimination still persist in modern society despite protestations otherwise, because it indicates that some of the players still attach such a strong negative value to being "black" that a simple cosmetic change causes radical changes in their behavior.

So:

Quote:
I wasn't aware that treating black people equally was a controversial subject you needed to opt out of.
is just a simple statement of disbelief, really. That you took it as snark is telling because you've been defending people who are being reflexively racist in a video game while not thinking of the baseline "why is it a big deal that you can now be a black guy in a video game when you couldn't before in that same game?" If the answer to that question isn't "it isn't a big deal" you should probably think a bit on how you react to things like that, because this isn't about conscious directed action, this is all reflexive and systemic stuff.

If you've lived in a first-world American or European country for most of your life, you've been marinated in racism that entire time and it warps people. Even otherwise nice and friendly people. It's not enough to merely combat conscious displays of racism like the KKK and whatever, you have to combat the systemic problems, the products and systems of culture that program people of all races to react in certain ways with certain people in certain situations. It's why police are more likely to shoot black suspects than white, why black people are far more disproportionately arrested for a variety of crimes and then imprisoned and a whole host of other societal ills and problems.

It's not enough to not consciously be racist, you need to be able to think about why you act the way you do when you react to things. And that applies to everything in life, not just this subject.

You and madmachine have been rhetorically sticking your heads in the sand this entire conversation because we keep questioning the assumptions both of you are making about this game and the wider culture surrounding it and the both of you are either refusing to think about it or don't want to because it conflicts with your worldviews.
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  #184  
Old 05-28-2015, 04:54 PM
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Zombie U also dropped you into a random avatar (even with a tiny bit of backstory!) and i thought that was one of the most interesting parts of that game.

If the game never gave you a choice of avatar then i think the continued not giving you a choice with a random set of defaults is interesting, and the butthurt it seems to have generated is as enlightening as it is hilarious.
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  #185  
Old 05-28-2015, 04:55 PM
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let's take a step back for a second. if the game's hero was blue, for instance, and the designer flipped a switch to make some number of them red, do you think there would be an outcry similar to what has happened with turning a white dude black?
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  #186  
Old 05-28-2015, 04:56 PM
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This thread got real ugly real fast. Step back, think about what you're typing and what accusations you're making, and consider if there's a kinder way to conduct yourself. Your pithy retorts are probably really satisfying, but they're not actually helping anyone.
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  #187  
Old 05-28-2015, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by shivam View Post
let's take a step back for a second. if the game's hero was blue, for instance, and the designer flipped a switch to make some number of them red, do you think there would be an outcry similar to what has happened with turning a white dude black?
on the internet you will always find people to bitch about it.
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  #188  
Old 05-28-2015, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shivam View Post
let's take a step back for a second. if the game's hero was blue, for instance, and the designer flipped a switch to make some number of them red, do you think there would be an outcry similar to what has happened with turning a white dude black?
Gamers being gamers I'd expect some to complain they aren't allowed a precise shade of chartreuse. But no, I wouldn't expect angry backlash or slurs.
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  #189  
Old 05-28-2015, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Madmachine View Post

"Well, duh."
All well and good.

Quote:
"Are you implying that I thought otherwise?"
And here's right where you take the entire idea and turn it into a thing about yourself.

I'm not saying it's just you, lots of people are like this. But the thing is: it isn't about you. It never was. It never will be.
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  #190  
Old 05-28-2015, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shivam View Post
let's take a step back for a second. if the game's hero was blue, for instance, and the designer flipped a switch to make some number of them red, do you think there would be an outcry similar to what has happened with turning a white dude black?
Well, like I mentioned on Twitter, there is a history of hatred and abuse against "red" people. But assuming an unrealistic shade of, I dunno, apple red or something, some non-melanin represented color that few racists would be offended to be represented as? No, of course not. And in fact, weren't there comments that were like, "why can't we just have purple avatars instead?"

Which is, I think, shivam's point, if I'm not mistaken? There are people who would much rather be represented in-game with some non-realistic skin tone than to have the shame and indignity of having brown skin (or being a woman, or queer, or whatnot). Like, in their race to show you how totally color-blind they super-duper are, these people would rather have alien skin than dark skin.
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  #191  
Old 05-28-2015, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nich View Post
The difference between Animal Crossing (the experience for whom madhair's nephews was shared by Austin Walker) and Rust is that Animal Crossing is all about player choice when it comes to their avatar, except in this one inexplicable instance. You can customize everything about yourself, from eye and hair color to every piece of clothing you wear, except the color of your skin. This is unfair to a certain percentage of the player base who want to model their avatar after themselves but can't.
Tangentially related to the whole Rust thing, but man, thanks for sharing Austin Walker's post, that really hit close to home for me, except for replacing African-American with Asian-American, and switching out some stereotypes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shivam
let's take a step back for a second. if the game's hero was blue, for instance, and the designer flipped a switch to make some number of them red, do you think there would be an outcry similar to what has happened with turning a white dude black?
Even if there were some large outcry, it'd probably be based around aesthetics, just like every time a character gets redesigned.

I hope if nothing else, that this whole Rust experiment at least has most players taking a moment and realizing how frustrating it can get playing games where the main character doesn't look like you, when you have to spend much more time and effort to make a character that looks sort of like you, or when there's just something in a game that takes you out of the experience because there's a disconnect between how you see your character and how an artist was obviously designing for a specific artist (my goto example here is Dragon Age 2 which, until they patched it, had a glove set for Mages that would change the skin tone of your hands to white, because they didn't think about how the equipment system would interact with skin tone or Dragon Age: Origins where your parents, no matter what, were always white).
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  #192  
Old 05-28-2015, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by gahitsu View Post
Which is, I think, shivam's point, if I'm not mistaken? There are people who would much rather be represented in-game with some non-realistic skin tone than to have the shame and indignity of having brown skin (or being a woman, or queer, or whatnot). Like, in their race to show you how totally color-blind they super-duper are, these people would rather have alien skin than dark skin.
It'd be interesting to randomly assign a sexuality to your character, even if, like race in Rust, it had no mechanical application within the game.
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  #193  
Old 05-28-2015, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gahitsu View Post
Well, like I mentioned on Twitter, there is a history of hatred and abuse against "red" people. But assuming an unrealistic shade of, I dunno, apple red or something, some non-melanin represented color that few racists would be offended to be represented as? No, of course not. And in fact, weren't there comments that were like, "why can't we just have purple avatars instead?"

Which is, I think, shivam's point, if I'm not mistaken? There are people who would much rather be represented in-game with some non-realistic skin tone than to have the shame and indignity of having brown skin (or being a woman, or queer, or whatnot). Like, in their race to show you how totally color-blind they super-duper are, these people would rather have alien skin than dark skin.
well, my point was more 'if blue turning red doesn't bother you, why does white turning black? and maybe think about that a little?'
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  #194  
Old 05-28-2015, 10:33 PM
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Part of me wonders if the game was originally released this way what the reaction would have been. How many people who rolled a black PC would just have accepted that that was the way the game always was without realizing, at least at first, that some games played with a white guy?

E: I haven't actually played Rust before, and I just saw that you encounter other players, so nevermind.
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  #195  
Old 05-28-2015, 11:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McClain View Post
Part of me wonders if the game was originally released this way what the reaction would have been. How many people who rolled a black PC would just have accepted that that was the way the game always was without realizing, at least at first, that some games played with a white guy?
Desktop Dungeons isn't quite as high profile, but they started off with only male adventurers. They later added female adventurers, and when you generate a character, their gender is randomly decided. I don't think it caught quite as much flak since this happened during development rather than after it already officially released. And I'm sure some people still complained, but hell if I can bother myself to go look that up.

Incidentally, they made a blog post about why they did it, if anyone cares to read it.
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  #196  
Old 05-29-2015, 01:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Büge View Post
It'd be interesting to randomly assign a sexuality to your character, even if, like race in Rust, it had no mechanical application within the game.
Rogue Legacy does that.
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  #197  
Old 05-29-2015, 04:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Lyrai View Post
For those of you who remember your Warcraft lore, Night Elves are kind of tremendous douchebags. Xenophobic racist assholes, to the point where one of their leaders defects to the "Kill all sons of bitches" side. If you played WoW anywhere near a roleplay server, however, you'd be forgven for thinking all Night Elves are mary sue futanari twee motherfuckers who are just so nice and special to everyone.
I remember being distinctly impressed when WoW first launched at how it generally seemed like the people with the least grounding in the series as a whole/the plot of WC3 in particular gravitated to humans and night elves, and those inclined towards roleplaying just took it as read that the horde races were all brutal baby eating monsters.

Which, accidentally, left them totally properly in character for the background they took.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalir View Post
I don't think it caught quite as much flak since this happened during development rather than after it already officially released.
Nope, Rust is doing the whole "early access, you are playing a rough alpha as we build it up" thing. The big change in question here is from "we are no longer sticking every single player in the game with a 100% identical copy of the sole placeholder character model in the game."
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  #198  
Old 05-29-2015, 09:08 AM
Madmachine Madmachine is offline
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If it's an early access game, the choice is much more understandable. Thank you for that clarification.
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  #199  
Old 05-30-2015, 04:21 AM
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Originally Posted by McClain View Post
Zombie U also dropped you into a random avatar (even with a tiny bit of backstory!) and i thought that was one of the most interesting parts of that game.

If the game never gave you a choice of avatar then i think the continued not giving you a choice with a random set of defaults is interesting, and the butthurt it seems to have generated is as enlightening as it is hilarious.
For some reason this is sort of a thing with zombie/survival games because State of Decay does the same thing. At least I'm pretty sure it does. I think your starting character is always randomized, at least in appearance.

re: roleplaying as minorities - I should do more of that in my fantasy games. Technically I did that in WOW with the horde, but that's because their horde races are pretty much racist caricatures themselves.

But like in FF14, I play a white dude when I am a white dude. Though to be honest, I wish I was black and I've always identified more with other cultures, at least that I can understand. Probably in more subtle ways I am totally down with the white oligarchy and don't even know it, because that's how systemic oppression works.
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  #200  
Old 06-17-2015, 05:00 AM
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Extra Credits on the Rust thing
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  #201  
Old 02-21-2019, 11:50 AM
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Now this is some serious real talk about coded racism in the fantasy genre.
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  #202  
Old 02-21-2019, 12:07 PM
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Mendez Hodes does great work; he's among the people responsible for making the 2nd edition of 7th Sea as good as it is.
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  #203  
Old 02-21-2019, 12:09 PM
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I saved it to Instapaper, looking forward to reading it soon.
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  #204  
Old 02-21-2019, 03:51 PM
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That was such a great read, thanks.
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  #205  
Old 02-24-2019, 02:22 AM
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Orcs are pretty troubling if you give them even the slightest amount of thought, but I didn't know just how deep this rabbit hole went.
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