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Mirumoto Kuroniten

Dark-skinned people in Rokugan and fantasy worlds

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39 minutes ago, McDermott said:

I'm not the one advocating for a change in setting.  The burden is on you to prove that it improves the setting rather than dilutes it.  

There is no "burden of proof." This isn't a court of law. People are expressing their desires and preferences.

 

43 minutes ago, McDermott said:

 How can that NOT dilute the story of the 7 clans?

Again, you're assuming that we need to look outside the seven clans to include diverse characters, and that simply isn't so. As has been demonstrated in this thread.

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1 minute ago, BD Flory said:

People who want diversity are no less part of the free market than people who do not. The free market doesn't care why people buy a thing or not. Why should FFG feel pressured by anything other than the free market to *not* alter AEG's product?

No one here is arguing that FFG should be legally required to create a more diverse Rokugan.

I'm not, actually. The post I responded to claimed it was "entitlement" to have a preference for more diversity. That's no more true that it is "entitlement" than it is to have preference for less.

Tell it to Jane Elliott, Philip Zimbardo, or any Jew ever.

Are the people pushing for diversity the primary demographic? Are they a secondary demographic?  For the case of this product they may or may not make up a smaller portion of the market.  If no one here is arguing about legal requirements and I never said anything about legal requirements, then why are you bringing it up?

Yes, you did make an entitlement claim.  The post you responded to suggested that wanting prominence for the group in question where there currently is none "smells like entitlement", or an attitude of entitlement.  Whether that's a claim or not is immaterial. Whether the  OP feels entitled ( I don't believe that's the case) is irrelevant. Read your own posts.

Cool appeal to authority which has no bearing on the topic. If you're talking about the Stanford prison study, you're off base. That had nothing to do with diversity and everything to do with power versus powerlessness.  So because Jews are racially, ethnically, or religiously(close enough to ideology) different from people who oppress or revile them..this refutes my statement how?  

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1 hour ago, McDermott said:

There really is, whenever you advocate for changing something you kind of have to have a reason why it should be done.

 

Nothing beyond, "because FFG thinks people will like it," is required.

Actually not even that. FFG can do whatever they like, for whatever reason they like, with L5R. You are free to buy it or not.

No one has to prove anything, nor will they sway FFG with anything "proven" on an internet forum, because this is a tiny, tiny segment of FFG's market.

What FFG has demonstrated is that they care enough about inclusiveness and diversity to promote it in their games and explicitly have said as much. Whether that's because they think it will drive sales or they think it's the right thing to do is immaterial.

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14 minutes ago, BD Flory said:

Nothing beyond, "because FFG thinks people will like it," is required.

 

Far as i can tell they havent chimed in one way or another on this subject matter so if thats whats required....

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3 hours ago, Mirumoto Kuroniten said:

I love when that happens!

First of all, I like my L5R centered around Rokugan with Japanese-looking characters. However, I am open-minded, and hoped more people on this forum would be. Just because I am okay with something or even love it, does not mean I hate everything else. I would love to see stories with black heroic samurais but I still love and prefer Japanese looking dudes and women as samurai in my L5R.

Secondly, OP, that is I, never said there isn't enough dark-skinned people in L5R and / or in LotR. I challenge you to quote me. Moreover, what OP wants is for people to keep their words in their mouths and NOT put them in mine. What OP, still I, wanted was to answer a question asked by someone else, and I guess not many people went and read the thread where the question was asked (the forum has a search option). What OP wants is sharing his opinions about an interesting subject and hear thoughts of other people on this forum about.

Finally, about the entitlement: I am white, as in light-skinned... I genuinely believed it was unnecessary to specify it, because it does not change what I think. Yep, the colour of my skin is irrelevant to my ideas. If anything, I would be entitled to light-skinned heroic samurais from mediterranean and catholic descent, even though they are actually atheists.

1. As you said, there are already stories like Afro Samurai, Man with the Iron Fist and hope you enjoy the quality of storytelling there. If you want it in L5R setting, there Kokujin and the multiple part Enlightened Madness fiction but if that not equates to representation with you because he is a villain even though he was the focus of the story and very fleshed out then dont waste your time reading it.

2.  I focus on your challenge and I don't have to quote you because I am Scorpion and I cheat. When you start this thread (from another thread from a question already answered multiple times)with everything you just written, it does not take a genius to comprehend what you want to happen even if the story doesn't need it.

3. Sure it was unnecessary to specify your skintone not to further strengthen your argument because you know its irrelevant and I should be thankful for you for not pushing your idea the right way for someone of your skintone.

just as you said, completely unnecessary. Agreed.

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1 hour ago, qwertyuiop said:

Are the people pushing for diversity the primary demographic? Are they a secondary demographic?  For the case of this product they may or may not make up a smaller portion of the market.  If no one here is arguing about legal requirements and I never said anything about legal requirements, then why are you bringing it up?

When you speak of a free market, laws and regulations are intrinsically part of the conversation. FFG is free to respond to the market as they see fit. Customers and potential customers are free to respond to FFG's choices as they see fit. That applies both to people arguing for and against diversity. Your implication that ignoring diversity is a function of the free market while pursuing it is not demonstrates a basic ignorance of what a free market is.

1 hour ago, qwertyuiop said:

Yes, you did make an entitlement claim.  

I didn't say I didn't. You claimed I was confusing entitlement with preference, which is not the case.

You, or anyone, is free to hold any preference you wish. You are not entitled to demand FFG do or not do anything.

You are, however, free to purchase their games, or not, as well as discuss any social implications or the lack. As are we all.

1 hour ago, qwertyuiop said:

Cool appeal to authority which has no bearing on the topic. If you're talking about the Stanford prison study, you're off base. That had nothing to do with diversity and everything to do with power versus powerlessness.  So because Jews are racially, ethnically, or religiously(close enough to ideology) different from people who oppress or revile them..this refutes my statement how?  

I appealed to the authority of experts in the field we were discussing. It's entirely appropriate.

The name you ignored is directly on point. Jane Elliott ably demonstrated people are as ready to be prejudiced over eye color as skin color. All it took was her declaring to her children that those with blue eyes (or whichever color) were superior.

Zimbardo's work is on point, as well, because underlying racism and xenophobia are ideas of in-groups and out-groups and power that are socially constructed. There is no authority in that experiment unless you identify guards and prisoners, and treat them as such. Just as you might identify any privileged group in Rokugan. In particular, Zimbardo notes dehumanization and conformity, both elements of xenophobia and racism, and his work directly addresses its bearing on these issues, as well as on the exercise of authority.

I referred to the experience of Jews exactly because their experience points out the lie that xenophobia and prejudice can revolve only around skin color, which you claimed was silly. Jews can be of any ethnicity or ideology. It doesn't matter to the anti-semite.

I'm quite aware of what I wrote. You seem to be having trouble with some of your terms and concepts though.

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1 hour ago, McDermott said:

Far as i can tell they havent chimed in one way or another on this subject matter so if thats whats required....

It's helpful to read beyond the first sentence of a post if you intend to reply.

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4 hours ago, BD Flory said:

If this is true, why do you have such a problem with a more diverse Rokugan? After all, you just need to see yourself in relation to the elements of the story being told, right?

There's nothing mutually exclusive about diversity and the exploration of ideas. Indeed, properly exploring ideas requires many perspectives.

Because you want more diversity when it is already in existent in the story and setting just not represented in the skintone you want it to be represented.

Because AEG overcatered to fan service (Spider,introduction of Foreign Goddess, Seductive Taint) in the twilight of their run that the story has gone down in quality.

Because, the question of where the darkskin people are at was answered already but wasn't enough because people want them to be the focal point when it isnt warranted.

 

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I'm confused. I'm Oriental/East Asian and it's easy for us to get darker skin, so I think it won't really be an issue in the Rokugani setting. The longer we expose ourselves to the sun, the darker our skin becomes, and I'm not talking about just a tan. So I think it's common for Crab, Unicorn, Lions, some Dragons, and outdoorsy Phoenix. Cranes and Scorpion may tend to be more indoors (or move in the night) and have lighter skin. But if you're referring to anyone with African features, that's definitely gaijin.

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I'm Mexican: born, raised and still residing in Mexico. Suffice it to say that I in no way identify as white. So here are my two cents.

When people call for more diversity they usually mean "more non whites".

But what I find hilariously funny is that L5R is literally 99% based on a non-white non-euro-centric culture, and people are still crying because its shade of non-white is not dark enough?

I'm all for diversity and representation, but it has to be organic, genuine and sincere. If not it falls into token-ism and subtracts from the work instead of adding to it.

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7 hours ago, qwertyuiop said:

If you have to ask this, you missed the point of both the books and the movies. Maybe you should check out Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

Other than that, I like that you brought up the overall topic.

As for asking someone to quote you,  as you did above,  why are you playing in semantics instead of understanding the perception of intent? A reader could clearly assume that you have a desire to see more people with dark skin represented, whether or not it was your intent.

Are the authority on LotR? If you are, please show it and the references proving you are. If not, the point of the stories will still be served with dark-skinned characters. All right, then it is clear you are not an authority on LotR if you compare it to Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

I am glad. Really.

You seem able to grasp the idea that the perception of intent can be lost on some, that it can be misinterpreted, as your first paragraph shows. However, you are clearly unable to think that you or anyone else agreeing with you may be wrong. Even when faced with th facts you and / or they are. Selective blindness, always an interesting feature.

 

3 hours ago, Bayushi Bajie said:

1. As you said, there are already stories like Afro Samurai, Man with the Iron Fist and hope you enjoy the quality of storytelling there. If you want it in L5R setting, there Kokujin and the multiple part Enlightened Madness fiction but if that not equates to representation with you because he is a villain even though he was the focus of the story and very fleshed out then dont waste your time reading it.

2.  I focus on your challenge and I don't have to quote you because I am Scorpion and I cheat. When you start this thread (from another thread from a question already answered multiple times)with everything you just written, it does not take a genius to comprehend what you want to happen even if the story doesn't need it.

3. Sure it was unnecessary to specify your skintone not to further strengthen your argument because you know its irrelevant and I should be thankful for you for not pushing your idea the right way for someone of your skintone.

just as you said, completely unnecessary. Agreed.

1. See point number 2. / For non fictional characters: A reasonable amount of heroic dark-skinned samurai. Kokujin is one villain. Numbers, such a relative concept. Also, by your logic, you could create anything under the L5R banner and tell people not liking it just to do without it. That is some degree of fallacy I have rarely encoutered before. You are advocating against a change when you say that you can just set aside what you don't like, and yet you refuse to do so yourself. That is not even cheating, it iss the argumentative equivalent of shooting yourself in the foot given how illogical it is.
Edit: I realised you based your whole argumentation of this paragraph on the basis that I like Afro Samurai and The Man with the Iron Fists just  because I mentioned their existence. Clearly you have no logic.

2. If you are a fictional character, everything you say is invalid. Good. It will prevent any  further waste of time. / For non fictional characters: Nope, it does not take a genius and yet you completey missed every point. I would not brag about it if I were you. But then again, I am not a fictional character. Also, your second point is incredibly childish. Since it has been answered, there is no need to do so again. That's basically it. It is perfectly fine with questions requiring a definitive answer, like a rules question. It is completely invalid when talking about open questions about broad subjects. Then again, you are a fictional character who totally missed the point.

3. See point number 2. / For non fictional characters: It became necessary when people like fictional characters misunderstanding everything that is written and put words in my mouth. It became necessary when people spoke of entitlement.

For non fictional characters: Yep, completely unnecessary and yet it became absolutely necessary. Advocating for gender or racial or  anything equality does not make a member of said group, and therefore there can not be entitlement. I am glad the fictional character you are agrees with me, even though is completely unnecessary because it only shows entitlement from this character, thinking that one's agreement is necessary to validate someone else's point.

Edited by Mirumoto Kuroniten

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2 hours ago, daimaru said:

I'm confused. I'm Oriental/East Asian and it's easy for us to get darker skin, so I think it won't really be an issue in the Rokugani setting. The longer we expose ourselves to the sun, the darker our skin becomes, and I'm not talking about just a tan. So I think it's common for Crab, Unicorn, Lions, some Dragons, and outdoorsy Phoenix. Cranes and Scorpion may tend to be more indoors (or move in the night) and have lighter skin. But if you're referring to anyone with African features, that's definitely gaijin.

I am 100% behind this. I think people forget there is a range between white and black.

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10 hours ago, Mirumoto Kuroniten said:

Are the authority on LotR? If you are, please show it and the references proving you are. If not, the point of the stories will still be served with dark-skinned characters. All right, then it is clear you are not an authority on LotR if you compare it to Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

I am glad. Really.

You seem able to grasp the idea that the perception of intent can be lost on some, that it can be misinterpreted, as your first paragraph shows. However, you are clearly unable to think that you or anyone else agreeing with you may be wrong. Even when faced with th facts you and / or they are. Selective blindness, always an interesting feature.

 

Robin Hood added a dark skinned character and it did work just fine.  The LotR movies were intended to be as close to the source material as possible. The books themselves and the geographical region in which they are set are meant to focus on characters from people groups of western Europe. Am the authority on LotR? No am not, but can read good.

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12 hours ago, BD Flory said:

When you speak of a free market, laws and regulations are intrinsically part of the conversation. FFG is free to respond to the market as they see fit. Customers and potential customers are free to respond to FFG's choices as they see fit. That applies both to people arguing for and against diversity. Your implication that ignoring diversity is a function of the free market while pursuing it is not demonstrates a basic ignorance of what a free market is.

I didn't say I didn't. You claimed I was confusing entitlement with preference, which is not the case.

You, or anyone, is free to hold any preference you wish. You are not entitled to demand FFG do or not do anything.

You are, however, free to purchase their games, or not, as well as discuss any social implications or the lack. As are we all.

I appealed to the authority of experts in the field we were discussing. It's entirely appropriate.

The name you ignored is directly on point. Jane Elliott ably demonstrated people are as ready to be prejudiced over eye color as skin color. All it took was her declaring to her children that those with blue eyes (or whichever color) were superior.

Zimbardo's work is on point, as well, because underlying racism and xenophobia are ideas of in-groups and out-groups and power that are socially constructed. There is no authority in that experiment unless you identify guards and prisoners, and treat them as such. Just as you might identify any privileged group in Rokugan. In particular, Zimbardo notes dehumanization and conformity, both elements of xenophobia and racism, and his work directly addresses its bearing on these issues, as well as on the exercise of authority.

I referred to the experience of Jews exactly because their experience points out the lie that xenophobia and prejudice can revolve only around skin color, which you claimed was silly. Jews can be of any ethnicity or ideology. It doesn't matter to the anti-semite.

I'm quite aware of what I wrote. You seem to be having trouble with some of your terms and concepts though.

I never implied that ignoring diversity is a function of the free market. If the demographic is small enough to not be considered a factor in creating or marketing a product, it can and has been ignored. Not all products are meant to appeal to everyone.

 I'll give you the point on preference vs entitlement. I misread. I do apologize.

I ignored Elliot because her work has no bearing to the fantasy setting and warping the perspective of a child doesn't really stack up when selling the idea in a game for people with more agency. I don't think anyone would approach silly hats or eye color as a basis for exclusion seriously within the game. Race and belief structures are the most topical. There needs to be something relatable if the game wants to address it.  You're reaching with Zombardo. The titles of guard and prisoner imply a disparity in power based on common assumption without the need for  visible mistreatment.  There is no link to racism or xenophobia there. Power is not a requirement for racism nor xenophobia.    Your appeal to authority doesn't work because you're assuming I, or anyone, should just accept the authority.  I disagree with your attempt to link these things, but I can appreciate the thought process. Jews still don't really work because ethnicity or religion(close enough to ideology for the discussion) are the primary identifiers. The anti-semite is not going to be poring through genealogies to find links between mother and child to find Jews to hate. If you want to bring in Hasidic curls and hats, I guess you could.

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27 minutes ago, qwertyuiop said:

Robin Hood added a dark skinned character and it did work just fine.

Context is important here. While I unfortunately never saw the whole film with Kevin Costner (which I assume you are referring to) and can't speak to what exactly happens to the Islamic Arab in question, the fact remains that he has the features one would expect him to have as a descendent of that region. If you were to do the equivalent thing with L5R, it would be to introduce a gaijin from the Burning Sands to the Rokugan setting, but that's not what is being advocated in this thread. Rather, the argument is that native or naturalized Rokugani of darker complexion ought to be a thing.

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1 minute ago, Ide Yoshiya said:

Context is important here. While I unfortunately never saw the whole film with Kevin Costner (which I assume you are referring to) and can't speak to what exactly happens to the Islamic Arab in question, the fact remains that he has the features one would expect him to have as a descendent of that region. If you were to do the equivalent thing with L5R, it would be to introduce a gaijin from the Burning Sands to the Rokugan setting, but that's not what is being advocated in this thread. Rather, the argument is that native or naturalized Rokugani of darker complexion ought to be a thing.

Yeah, I probably could have explained it better. Robin Hood, classically tends to stick with European characters (or bears, if you watch the cartoon).  PoT went into the notion that Robin was in the crusades at some point... Hollywood magic ensues and we have Morgan Freeman as a primary character. And, whether or not you liked the movie, it worked.  Robin Hood as a folk hero has many, wildly different stories surrounding him.  LotR  doesn't really work because the movies sought to be true to the books and the books had their own specific purpose and reason for the characters being the way they were. The Hobbit movies do change this up (a little) with Lake Town being a lot more cosmopolitan than described in the books. 

 

L5R could very well include a more diverse cast of characters, but could FFG do it in an honest way that avoids creating token characters to check boxes?  Do people really want that? Do the people who are being advocated for in this thread even want this in game?  To reference other games, is there a clamoring for more representation by people of varying racial/ethnic backgrounds in games like Yugioh, Force of Will, MtG, or DBZ(wherever DBZ is)?  These are games which are already being played by people in the communities being advocated.

 

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Let's say we discover an alien racoon Mars.  They look similar to humans, but are all green... Is that bad?

Rokugan is not real (sorry) , and is not a realistic depiction of any time in humanity.  Don't treat it as such.

If they add different skin colors, fine.  If they don't, fine.  It's totally their call.  And to be honest, they are a business, and this may come down to what responds well with customers.  Again, that's fine.

There's something inherently wrong about forcing our view of humanity onto a fantasy setting.  And skin color would just be one of the elements... Not even started on sexuality, hair color, food choices, heights, etc.

Edited by slowreflex

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1 hour ago, qwertyuiop said:

To reference other games, is there a clamoring for more representation by people of varying racial/ethnic backgrounds in games like Yugioh, Force of Will, MtG, or DBZ(wherever DBZ is)?  These are games which are already being played by people in the communities being advocated.

 

To be fair Magic takes us to a different world each block, with an attention to diversity that would be difficult to achieve in most one-world fantasy settings.

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2 hours ago, Ide Yoshiya said:

To be fair Magic takes us to a different world each block, with an attention to diversity that would be difficult to achieve in most one-world fantasy settings.

It does and it is, especially the more sets come out. Wizards does a good job with diversity, but the "main" characters (planeswalkers, which do represent the MtG colors) are still mostly white. But, Mtg players also (at least in my area) have fairly proportional representation. Yugioh may be the better example.

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8 hours ago, qwertyuiop said:

Wizards does a good job with diversity, but the "main" characters (planeswalkers, which do represent the MtG colors) are still mostly white.

Well, more or less. While there is more white Planeswalkers, they started introducing more ethnic diverse characters*, a non-binary one and even changed Gideon Jura's ethnicity so he is not white anymore.

 

*I know Teferi is old. But the fact is that they made a new card for him instead of, say, Urza is significant, in my opinion.

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14 hours ago, slowreflex said:

There's something inherently wrong about forcing our view of humanity onto a fantasy setting.

There is someting wrong about every Doe trying to turn every product into something that fits his ideology. Even if he has no real interest on it. From a creator point of view, the creator should be able to define his fantasy setting as he desires and the consumer can either walk away or but it. I have a fantasy setting with technomagically advanced dwarves slaving humans and exterminating elves, vegan multiracial amazons trying to destroy all males while using magic to preserve themselves and "african" ex-slave racist feudal knights that wants to know nothing about outsider folk (alongside far more common and less controversial stuff in other areas of the world), where every faction is evil according to someone else. ^_^ But hey, my setting is not on sale so I have not to worry about potential customers "knowing better than me" and telling me how I should make stuff so they do not feel unconfortable and/or may spend money on my product.

FFG can alter Rokugan to add more variety (beyond thais... oh, dark-skinned people probably is usual person asking for african presence because black characters matter?) and as long as it would be done in a manner that it makes sense, it could be ok. But having non asians as a common thing running through Rokugan's landscape would seem a bit counterintuitive to an asian based game where globalization is not supposed to be a thing. Where they are not "enlightened like us"* and being different is an issue. But maybe in a new Rokugan, those things are not an issue and Unicorn loses that Gaijin Appearance disadvantage. Maybe also the new Rokugan can have more light-skinned characters too or FFG would be racists with their game, right? Diversity for all? White characters matter too? :P 

I miss card previews.

:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

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6 hours ago, Mirumoto Saito said:

Well, more or less. While there is more white Planeswalkers, they started introducing more ethnic diverse characters*, a non-binary one and even changed Gideon Jura's ethnicity so he is not white anymore.

 

*I know Teferi is old. But the fact is that they made a new card for him instead of, say, Urza is significant, in my opinion.

If we're looking at dark skinned planeswalkers, we have Koth, Kaya, and Teferi who lost his status.   Looking at Planeswalkers that have 3+ versions available....Tez and Ob are the only ones who aren't white.  Gideon did get a race shift..sort of. Ajani is a lion...and he's still white :P.  The planeswalkers most closely associated with the welcome decks and mono colors in general are Gideon/Ajani/Elspeth(?), Jace, Liliana, Chandra, and Garruk/Nissa.  As the planeswalker card type has taken off, we've definitely seen Wizards expand on diversity. Though, as Ide stated above, it's a lot easier considering the worlds are always changing.

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23 hours ago, Ide Yoshiya said:

Rather, the argument is that native or naturalized Rokugani of darker complexion ought to be a thing.

It seems to me there are many different things being advocated in this thread. Which is fine, I'm just saying it's more complicated than "status quo!" versus "change!"

Personally, I think it would be neat if Rokugani were more ethnically diverse. Rokugan is not small, and different regions are going to favor different inherited traits. Particularly because Rokugan is not just rooted in Japanese culture, but includes pan-Asian influences, it only makes sense. Unicorn were an example of this in the old game, to varying degree, over the years.

Addressing the issue by just saying, "Rokugani look Asian," pretty much ignores everything we know about heredity. Not a big deal on the surface, but it does tend to smack of, "they all look the same to me!" How much this matters also varies based on how representative the art is -- photorealism and anime-style art obviously have different standards. You're able to give Dragon ethnic Hmong features and Unicorn ethnic Mongolian features in photorealism, but it's harder to draw such distinctions in anime-style art, and easier to fall into the trap of caricature. This is why art directors are important, so they can use their judgment on each piece, and each artist's style, to decide what's appropriate.

Including, say South Asian or Middle-Eastern ethnic features in the ranks of the Unicorn makes sense based on what we know of the setting, although FFG is likely to tweak that part of the history. Just how much is too early to say.

As to other ethnicities, I don't think anyone is suggesting L5R be colorblind, or even include characters of other ethnicities on a level playing field. That would be silly.

But if Rokugan is part of a larger world, a wandering gaijin trader of some non-Asian ethnicity is completely appropriate. Maybe he brings your clan wealth at a price of honor or whatever. The more pragmatic clans might even recruit them into their ranks -- Mantis pirates were mentioned upthread as one possibility, along with Unicorn, already, mentioned.

This roots the world and makes it credible. You cannot *be* xenophobic without being xenophobic against someone. Creatures of the Shadowlands are literal monsters, so they don't really qualify.

The question is how and when (or if) FFG chooses to engage with this aspect of the world. It could be anything from Mantis Pirates to gaijin merchant, to a card that targets out-of-clan characters, and shows a bunch of gaijin lined up for execution.

People can ask for whatever they want to see, and support or not whatever they like when the box drops. This thread *is* the free market deciding, for those putting forth that argument. There is no inappropriate pressure being put on FFG. Posters are expressing what they want, and assuming FFG reads their fora (and they do), FFG can weigh that however they deem appropriate.

But once again, FFG has made it pretty clear where they stand on issues of diversity across multiple game lines. Nobody's perfect, but for my money, at least, it's great they're making an effort.

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