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Mirumoto Kuroniten

Dark-skinned people in Rokugan and fantasy worlds

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2 minutes ago, BD Flory said:

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 should the free market decide the story?  To an artist, that's ludicrous; to a corporation, that's business.  Ultimately, though, works of fiction are generally deemed an artistic as opposed to commercial endeavour, with the latter being viewed as "uncouth".  I don't want to shackle an artist with the burden of having to please everyone with their story; if you have a great idea for a story, write it.  If it's diverse, great; if it's not, whatever.  As long as you are upfront about it, it shouldn't matter.  It's only when corporations get involved that diversity seems to matter to anyone.  Want to write a story about 5 Norwegian women stranded on an island?  Go ahead, it's your story, I'm sure it could make for compelling reading.  It truly is a product of the entitlement of western culture that we feel we should even have any kind of influence on the story to begin with.  If you want a story to go a certain way, write your own; stop trying to pressure others to write it for you.

Personally I think it would be interesting if the story did in some sense mimic Japanese history to some degree, simply because I enjoy history.  Start off with a very isolationist culture that has plenty of internal strife and politics (so very little diversity) and eventually be forced to evolve into a more open culture by outside pressures as the internal struggles begin to resolve (more diversity, cultures).  That would appeal to me, but if the story takes a completely different turn, I will likely enjoy that also.  I want an artist to feel free to express their ideas in whatever manner they choose.

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5 minutes ago, Casanunda said:

But should the free market decide the story?

It's a commercial enterprise, and the story is part of the product. It has influence, whether we like it or not.

It shouldn't be the ultimate arbiter, of course. It should be weighed with other factors. What is FFG's vision? What can they afford? What is their responsibility, and to whom? And so on. Those are all questions only FFG can answer, and only FFG knows their market assessment.

I mean, I do story for a living. It would be foolish of me not to consider the audience in my creative choices, because my livelihood depends on it.

I'm not the one that brought it up, though. My point in that regard is mainly that consumer pressure *is* part of the free market, and various posts that suggest a decision to support diversity is bowing to some kind of pressure external to market forces is silly.

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On 6/4/2017 at 10:19 AM, qwertyuiop said:

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.

Of course you did. I commend you to your post:

...which brings up the "free market" directly in response to my argument that FFG is serving a modern audience, and their modern game should reflect that. In a direct response, under quoted text, you asserted FFG shouldn't feel pressured by anything other than the free market. Your implication was clear, though perhaps not intentional.

On 6/4/2017 at 10:19 AM, qwertyuiop said:

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

It happens, no worries. :)

On 6/4/2017 at 10:19 AM, qwertyuiop said:

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.

Rokugani were children once. When do you think they learn outsiders are bad? When do you think racists learn to be racist?

Would you prefer hair color? Red hair, in Christian Europe, was considered a sign of Witchcraft, and people were advised not to have redheads as advisors, nor to place them in positions of power. People can and will discriminate over anything and everything that marks someone as different. Skin color is just one of many possibilities. If I'm not mistaken, the term Blue-Eyed Devil was coined in post-war Japan.

Again, I'm not advocating that FFG's Rokugan include people of all colors on equal footing. This is strictly arguing against the premise that Rokugan must be homogeneous in terms of skin color, or even ethnicity, in order to be "properly" xenophobic. Xenophobia is fear of the outsider, and who is an outsider and who belongs is a social construct that can be predicated on any of a million different factors.

On 6/4/2017 at 10:19 AM, qwertyuiop said:

Power is not a requirement for racism nor xenophobia.

Racism requires power for its exercise. It's part and parcel. Power is required to define a category of people as less than. Racist slurs are such because a group with sufficient power loaded them with negative connotation sufficient to give them power.

Xenophabia is linked to power in the sense people are talking about here because it is institionalized. Rokugan's xenophibia, at least in AEG's Rokugan, is (has been?) inscribed in actual law. That both requires and grants power.

On 6/4/2017 at 10:19 AM, qwertyuiop said:

Your appeal to authority doesn't work because you're assuming I, or anyone, should just accept the authority.

That's true, but it isn't a logical fallacy to cite an expert, and assert that person's expertise is relevant. You're free to debate the relevance of Zimbardo. "Appeal to authority!" isn't a magic phrase that makes you correct.

As noted, part of what we're discussing is in-groups and out-groups, and how those are defined. Dehumanization is a part of that process Zimbardo discusses his work, both in the Prison Experiment and in other contexts. It's part of what allows Rokugani to see outsiders as less than they, so when their Lord tells them to scour the countryside for gaijin and execute their mongrel offspring, they are able to do so.

On 6/4/2017 at 10:19 AM, qwertyuiop said:

The anti-semite is not going to be poring through genealogies to find links between mother and child to find Jews to hate. 

At risk of invoking Godwin's law, the Nazis did exactly that, and it wasn't limited to Jews. They also judged who was more Aryan in part based on genealogy. They even went so far as to sieze children of sufficient German heritage from mixed-Slavic parents and place them with German families on the premise that Germans were more Aryan.

America did it, too. The one-drop rule defined anyone with even one drop of African heritage as African-American. It's a legal and social idea that recurs throughout history. I don't know of one in particular, but I'd bet money that feudal Japan has similar examples.

People aren't just making this stuff up. It's real. It happens, and continues to happen today.

It's totally reasonable not to want darkness like that to be introduced in your fantasy setting. Escapism, after all, is the name of the game for some. On the other hand, you can't claim to want xenophobia and racism in your Rokugan and ignore what that actually means.

Edited by BD Flory

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26 minutes ago, BD Flory said:

It's totally reasonable not to want darkness like that to be introduced in your fantasy setting. Escapism, after all, is the name of the game for some. On the other hand, you can't claim to want xenophobia and racism in your Rokugan and ignore what that actually means.

I really didn't want to post on this because I find the topic stupid, and I didn't want to throw fuel on the fire, but the self-righteousness dripping from this post is just too much.
Tell us, what exactly does it mean?  That they want to play a game with greater historical accuracy?  This is why I hate this sort of discussion.  It turns from a question on a subject of the game in question into an argument of people trying to one-up each other's moral high-ground.  From what I can see, you're making the very board claim that someone wanting a game to maintain a willing suspension of disbelief in regards to ethnic diversity is actually a racist person exercising desire for racism (by the way, the racism requiring power to be racism is bubkis, to put it politely).  You're already making the conversation a personal attack on someone.

No, playing Rokugan as an isolationist state it not racist nor does it show racist intentions on the parts of players, any more than violent video games turn people violent (by the way, studies are showing more and more that they can actually have the opposite effect, making people more morally minded and less violent; go figure).  It simply shows a preference  for the world's setting.  Rokugan is a caste-system based world where those of lower castes can be killed by people of higher castes without anyone batting an eye, based basically on a cult of personalty around the Emperor, with a warrior culture that glories war and death, and shuns capitalism or any other system that makes it possible for people lower on the social latter to better themselves.  I don't see anyone on this forum or at any of the conventions supporting such ideals, except perhaps as esoteric joke.  Neither are players wanting to keep Rokugan clean of filthy gaijin supporting racism (before anyone says anything, I'm being esoteric and satirical about gaijin being fithy).
It's called ROLE PLAYING for a reason.  We're emulating ideas, concepts, and thoughts that we don't possess.  We're actors, and Rokugan is out stage.

Edited by Samurai Fox

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24 minutes ago, Samurai Fox said:

Tell us, what exactly does it mean?  That they want to play a game with greater historical accuracy?

You can prefer whatever you like, which I've said several times. You misunderstand my point, which is this:

If you cite "greater historical accuracy" as a reason for the empire being isolationist, greater historical accuracy also demands that we see the causes and effects of isolationism, each of which trace several observable patterns both in historical Japan and in other times and places. They go hand in hand.

Isolationism or xenophobia is less historically accurate without violence and hate.

Again, not wanting to deal with that darkness is perfectly fine. Just don't justify it as historical accuracy, because it isn't.

50 minutes ago, Samurai Fox said:

From what I can see, you're making the very board claim that someone wanting a game to maintain a willing suspension of disbelief in regards to ethnic diversity is actually a racist person exercising desire for racism (...).  You're already making the conversation a personal attack on someone.

No, playing Rokugan as an isolationist state it not racist nor does it show racist intentions on the parts of players...

Again, I don't think anyone here is arguing against a willing suspension of disbelief. I don't recall any poster saying FFG should toss in characters of any and all ethnicity in equal measure regardless of verisimilitude.

Everyone posting a desire for additional diversity, when they've made specific suggestions, has done so with a great deal of respect for the setting. What they and you are willing and able to suspend disbelief to accept obviously differs. Why that's so is your business.

I haven't claimed that anyone is racist, nor that anyone has racist intentions. Most racism isn't intentional. It's simply careless. Many, many people who do racist things have no idea, and that almost certainly includes me.

People certainly can be intentionally racist. You might program a computer with demographic data to discard every resume with a name that's statistically likely to belong to a black person. Most of the time? People who review resumes by hand don't even think about the impact the name at the top has on them, and the judgments they make on a subconscious level. Yet applicants with "black-sounding" names but identical resumes are more likely to have those resumes discarded. It's racism, but that doesn't mean it's intentional or conscious.

Whether or not anyone here is racist, consciously or otherwise, really doesn't enter into it. I'm not a mind reader, and I don't pretend to be. I'd love it if everyone arguing here had only the best intentions.

People who want their Rokugan to be historically accurate, for example, may not realize what "historical accuracy" really means, particularly in the context of isolationist cultures and xenophobia. Maybe they want something else that isn't historical accuracy (given it's a fantasy world, this seems likely). Maybe it's just a careless turn of phrase. It's not presuming malice, nor is it a personal attack, to point out "historical accuracy" comes loaded with other meaning, which may indeed not be intended.

I think it's worth taking a moment to commend qwertuiop for discussing issues, and not presuming an attack where it isn't warranted. They're a good example, as far as I can recall, even though we quite obviously disagree.

1 hour ago, Samurai Fox said:

(by the way, the racism requiring power to be racism is bubkis, to put it politely)

Racism without power is prejudice. It is also not a good thing, but neither is it the same thing.

There are many kinds of power, and not all power comes from law. For example, if I sling a racial epithet, it has no meaning without the power to imply a universe of meanings. See also, "taking back," words. It's a group trying to exert social power to redefine the meaning of a slur. Different groups can have power in different ways.

1 hour ago, Samurai Fox said:

It's called ROLE PLAYING for a reason.  We're emulating ideas, concepts, and thoughts that we don't possess.  We're actors, and Rokugan is out stage.

Sure, but it's not *just* yours.

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11 minutes ago, BD Flory said:

You can prefer whatever you like, which I've said several times. You misunderstand my point, which is this:

If you cite "greater historical accuracy" as a reason for the empire being isolationist, greater historical accuracy also demands that we see the causes and effects of isolationism, each of which trace several observable patterns both in historical Japan and in other times and places. They go hand in hand.

Isolationism or xenophobia is less historically accurate without violence and hate.

Again, not wanting to deal with that darkness is perfectly fine. Just don't justify it as historical accuracy, because it isn't.

First off, there is a difference between wanting "greater historical accuracy" and "perfect historical accuracy."  Perfect accuracy is probably impossible, for reasons that few people want to play that and it would be very hard to speak in a way that no one speaks anymore (perfect accuracy would require using their dialects and languages after all), and it wouldn't even be fun.
Greater historical accuracy would actually require very little mention of xenophobia, because unlike our life, it isn't even brought up or cared about.  In a game set during the 100 Years world, everyday Brits don't give a hoot about those dirty cowardly French; they just do their everyday lives.  Rokugani don't even pay flithy, soulless gaijin any thought whatsoever unless they're at the boarders or they're the Unicorn, and even then it's complex.  The typical L5R game, from a role play standpoint, will never have a gaijin.  Those that do can explore the dynamics of it, and that's fun enough.  I've GMed for that before.  But that was once out of many games.  It isn't a concern for everyday Rokugani or L5R players.  So why even bring it up without need?

21 minutes ago, BD Flory said:

Again, I don't think anyone here is arguing against a willing suspension of disbelief. I don't recall any poster saying FFG should toss in characters of any and all ethnicity in equal measure regardless of verisimilitude.

Everyone posting a desire for additional diversity, when they've made specific suggestions, has done so with a great deal of respect for the setting. What they and you are willing and able to suspend disbelief to accept obviously differs. Why that's so is your business.

I haven't claimed that anyone is racist, nor that anyone has racist intentions. Most racism isn't intentional. It's simply careless. Many, many people who do racist things have no idea, and that almost certainly includes me.

People certainly can be intentionally racist. You might program a computer with demographic data to discard every resume with a name that's statistically likely to belong to a black person. Most of the time? People who review resumes by hand don't even think about the impact the name at the top has on them, and the judgments they make on a subconscious level. Yet applicants with "black-sounding" names but identical resumes are more likely to have those resumes discarded. It's racism, but that doesn't mean it's intentional or conscious.

Whether or not anyone here is racist, consciously or otherwise, really doesn't enter into it. I'm not a mind reader, and I don't pretend to be. I'd love it if everyone arguing here had only the best intentions.

People who want their Rokugan to be historically accurate, for example, may not realize what "historical accuracy" really means, particularly in the context of isolationist cultures and xenophobia. Maybe they want something else that isn't historical accuracy (given it's a fantasy world, this seems likely). Maybe it's just a careless turn of phrase. It's not presuming malice, nor is it a personal attack, to point out "historical accuracy" comes loaded with other meaning, which may indeed not be intended.

I think it's worth taking a moment to commend qwertuiop for discussing issues, and not presuming an attack where it isn't warranted. They're a good example, as far as I can recall, even though we quite obviously disagree.

Ugh, what is this even all about?  That racism is bad?  We know that, why feel the need to cite any of this when it has nothing to do with the subject at hand?  You're just virtue singling, and most of what you said is debatable at best, which I won't do because it has NOTHING to do with the subject at hand.  We're talking about why a setting is or is not ethnically diverse, not how aware you are of your evil habits.  This is why I hate this subject; it turns off topic into soupbox contests.

29 minutes ago, BD Flory said:

Racism without power is prejudice. It is also not a good thing, but neither is it the same thing.

Power is a relative concept with no objective definition, and I've only seen that phrase used to justify racist actions by people becoming what they hate.  All I'll say is be careful because I've always seen that way of thinking lead right down to the slippery slope, and leave it at that.  (Saying this out of real concern and experience, not mockery.)

32 minutes ago, BD Flory said:

Everyone posting a desire for additional diversity, when they've made specific suggestions, has done so with a great deal of respect for the setting.

Considering one of the major themes of Rokugan is that life isn't fair, the system is broken and unjust, and there's nothing you can do about it, I'd say it's easy to argue that they have little or no respect for the setting; it is outright written in several times in the RPG books (sometimes in bold), and explored in the fictions.  Legend of the Five Ring is the prefect game for a tragedy, after all, hence why it uses so much Japanese culture (Next to the Greeks, I find Japanese culture has the best works/setting for tragedy).  Unfairness is one of the best parts of the game; its a world of arranged marriages and death because someone of higher status orders it.  You're not considered really part of the world until you lose a character you cared deeply for, in many circles.
However, people can respect the setting and not care for that part of it, I suppose (I was saying I could just argue they had no respect for it).  But I've also seen plenty of examples of people demanding identity politics be pushed into things they are not part of, and it's becoming a trend.  Marvel bent over backwards for such demands (and insulted their fans repeatedly rather than listen to their side of the argument), and it ruined their comic sales (they're currently making money on the movies and the comics could be called just advertisements for them).  L5R suffered heavily in its last days with AEG because they alienated their biggest fan-base in favor of going in new directions the fans hated.  I don't want that to happen again.  A fanbase is built on the setting and love of the game.

46 minutes ago, BD Flory said:

Sure, but it's not *just* yours.

Hence why I said 'we' and 'ours'.  I'm speaking for most of the old fan-base that saw the setting we loved burned to the ground...literally! (the old story ended with the bad guy winning and destroying Rokugan because all the players really devoted to the game got tired of the story's direction and abandoned ship (sometimes with AEG members begging for them to stay).
Everyone is free to play as they want; that's cool.  You want a Rokugan where gaijin are the in-thing?  Might I suggest doing the alternate story-line where Shinjo becomes Empress, because that would be the most accommodating story-line (story-line is what I value most).  But I don't see people saying "live and let live" here.  I see people demanding the game be changed, and soup-boxing when others say why it shouldn't.  Wanting to add diversity into your game is your business.  But demanding Fantasy Flight do it is forcing everyone one else to accept it as well, and frankly, I think I speak for most everyday people in that we're so utterly tired of having to deal with politics in every aspect of our life.
Rokugan isn't mine, it isn't yours, it isn't any one person's; it belongs to everyone (I know it legally belongs to FF, but bare with me). 
Anyway, just two posts of this has drained me and left me frustrated.  I'd rather not keep beating a dead horse, so I won't be posting on this thread again.  Thanks, and good day.

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On 04/06/2017 at 6:48 PM, qwertyuiop said:

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.

As Ide Yoshiya already said, this is a completely different thing from what is argued here. Having one character that is archetypal and not the hero of the story is different from having a faire amount of heroic characters that do not stand out every time they come up in the story. Also, Ide Yoshiya is right, Morgan Freeman character checks all the boxes for an Islamic character.

However, regarding LotR, I fail to understand why you would oppose this story to Robin Hood, diversity-wise. I am genuinely interested as to why for you the story would not be close to the original if some main characters were of a skin colour other than light / white, whatever you want to call it. I do not remember the skin colour of the charactercs, except elves, being such an important part of the story, although I may be wrong.

5 hours ago, Samurai Fox said:

But demanding Fantasy Flight do it is forcing everyone one else to accept it as well, and frankly, I think I speak for most everyday people in that we're so utterly tired of having to deal with politics in every aspect of our life.

That is interesting because nobody on this thread demanded anything from FFG or anyone else for that matter. Those you argue against merely express an opinion on a subject. Also, if you are tired of politics, given the title of the thread, you should just ignore it. It is a forum where ideas are expressed, not some truths being shoved down your throat and ears. You can't complain about too much politics if you read and post in a thread where it is obviously heavily political.

 

12 hours ago, Casanunda said:

But should the free market decide the story?

Hell no! However, whether the artist lives off the story or whether it is only a free hobby will have an impact. BDFlory, explained it perfectly actually.

Moreover, I find it interesting that it can be an argument for both sides. If an author started writing a L5R story full of black, one-legged, women samurais, even if that were perfectly implemented, I believe the audience would rise to denounce it, giving power to the free market as you call it. The fact is, unfortunately, that as soon as it becomes a product artists and companies have to compromise. Even Leonardo da Vinci had to compromise.

I would gladly live in a world where that is not the case, however we are far from it now.

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I would like to express something more clearly as I failed to do it, in light of some posts.

 

This thread is NOT a plead for any change in the L5R setting, nor any other setting. It is merely a thought exercise on why are there so few main characters whose skin colour is not light in L5R AND in other fantasy settings, and how that could be changed. The L5R partr is only a starting point, stemming from a question asked in another thread.

I also wnat to express that not every setting, fantasy or otherwise, would benefit from such a change, and that is only my opinion.

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Rokugan is a big place. There should be a range of skin tones and ethnicities. Feudal Japan after all also had more than one ethnic group (the Ainu come to mind) and that was a small island. There would be nothing weird about it, and it would imho not detract anything from the setting.

It is after all already an aspect of the setting. There is an entire Great Clan who struggle against these xenophobic tendencies. I can not imagine the Mantis and the Tortoise to share the exact same ethnic background either. 'Gaijin name' has been a disadvantage in the rpg since forever. Courtiers, especially the Crane who live in the north try to avoid getting tanned so we can expect a light skin tone to be the culturally determined racial 'ideal', which also means it is something many fail to achieve.

Is this represented in the card art? Not really. I would welcome somewhat more diverse art, as it would give the Clans more of an identity and make the world look as big as it seems to be, with a different climate in the different parts of the Empire, and people originating from different tribes. Everyone in the art looks vaguely caucasian actually, which is a bit silly.

Is all this a big theme in the fictions and rpg setting? Not really. Should it be? It could be in the rpg if an individual tables wants to explore it, all the elements are there to play with, but it really shouldn't be the focus of the overall story-arc. Let us please mainly focus on samurai drama, that's what we're here for.

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6 hours ago, Mirumoto Kuroniten said:

As Ide Yoshiya already said, this is a completely different thing from what is argued here. Having one character that is archetypal and not the hero of the story is different from having a faire amount of heroic characters that do not stand out every time they come up in the story. Also, Ide Yoshiya is right, Morgan Freeman character checks all the boxes for an Islamic character.

However, regarding LotR, I fail to understand why you would oppose this story to Robin Hood, diversity-wise. I am genuinely interested as to why for you the story would not be close to the original if some main characters were of a skin colour other than light / white, whatever you want to call it. I do not remember the skin colour of the charactercs, except elves, being such an important part of the story, although I may be wrong.

 

It has more to do with the types of story.  Robin Hood stories are a collection of folk tales.  Other than the general notion of him being a robber along with other recurring themes, the stories vary quite a bit. This inherent variability lends itself more toward revisions and expansions in future retelling. And while Morgan Freeman's character is more archetypal and does at some point fall into the "magic *****" or "token black" trope, he's still very memorable and doesn't feel shoehorned into the story.  He feels natural for that version of the tale.  LotR is more rigid and meticulous in its original telling. There's not a lot of room to play with it as a work. The reason race shifting characters doesn't really work is that it doesn't stick with the author's intent or the part of the world he wanted to create for himself or his foreseen audience. It wouldn't feel natural.  The story is about a mythologized and more civilized version of ancient Western Europe.  Skin color and other physical features are attributed to the various people groups in Middle-Earth, with an emphasis on the elves to show their surpassing beauty and agelessness. Characters with darker skin colors would need to be explained as their races are covered in the Southrons and Easterlings, both of which are portrayed as antagonistic to the West for different reasons.  The audience needs convinced these characters aren't tokens even if they are. All members of the Fellowship are basically tokens except for the hobbits. Aragorn, token Dunadan. Boromir, token regular man. Gandalf...token angel/wizard. Gimli, token dwarf. Legolas, token elf.  The diversity is already there. The movies wanted to be as close to this as possible. They did add some diversity in making Arwen a bigger character and it generally worked.  This was tried again in the Hobbit movies...to mixed reception.  Opening up Middle-Earth to side stories and other properties is fine. MECCG did, and I'm not sure how or if the LotR LCG has (outside of more female characters). 

Note I haven't really criticized anything you've had to say about L5R. While I do think you're virtue signalling and trying not to give that appearance, and you may not have as much L5R lore(me either) at your fingertips, it's a decent enough question to ask. It just doesn't bear linking to LotR.

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Can we please not parrot insulting ideas like "virtue signaling" or "looking to be offended" and just accept that people actually believe what they say and aren't saying it out of ridiculous ulterior motives?

Assuming good faith should be a basic rule of internet discussion. 

 

(Also the problem with Tauriel in Hobbit wasn't the inclusion of a female character ; it was the bit where, y'know, they both a)forced her into a romantic plotline that ate up all her character development, and b)ballooned out of proportion into taking up way too much of the film)

Edited by Himoto

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I've been keeping quiet on this and seeing what everyone else has said, but I feel ready enough to put my thoughts out here.

Based solely on the setting from the past, in many cases, a darker-skinned character (meaning of Indian/Arab/African descent) would not be appropriate, due to the isolationism of Rokugan. In the terms of the Unicorn and Mantis, these characters are more easily explained from their travels/trade, and would not bother me to see them in the setting, as it makes sense.

As was mentioned earlier, using the same 'Asian' characters as before, but giving them a darker skin tone reminiscent of South Asia, say for the Crab, Mantis and Unicorn, possibly the Lion due to being in the sun, would also make sense due to the outdoors aspect of these clans.

In an Asian-inspired setting, adding racial diversity just to have it doesn't make much sense to me, especially when you have a diversity of the Asian cultures/race that you can bring to Rokugan to create variety. Most people, I believe from reading this thread, would not be 'opposed' to diversity in believable aspects, but I don't think that having a member of the Crane clan be dark-skinned just to have it is the best idea, as in the setting and in the culture of the Crane, it would not be the most believable move.

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18 hours ago, BD Flory said:

Of course you did. I commend you to your post:

...which brings up the "free market" directly in response to my argument that FFG is serving a modern audience, and their modern game should reflect that. In a direct response, under quoted text, you asserted FFG shouldn't feel pressured by anything other than the free market. Your implication was clear, though perhaps not intentional.

It happens, no worries. :)

Rokugani were children once. When do you think they learn outsiders are bad? When do you think racists learn to be racist?

Would you prefer hair color? Red hair, in Christian Europe, was considered a sign of Witchcraft, and people were advised not to have redheads as advisors, nor to place them in positions of power. People can and will discriminate over anything and everything that marks someone as different. Skin color is just one of many possibilities. If I'm not mistaken, the term Blue-Eyed Devil was coined in post-war Japan.

Again, I'm not advocating that FFG's Rokugan include people of all colors on equal footing. This is strictly arguing against the premise that Rokugan must be homogeneous in terms of skin color, or even ethnicity, in order to be "properly" xenophobic. Xenophobia is fear of the outsider, and who is an outsider and who belongs is a social construct that can be predicated on any of a million different factors.

Racism requires power for its exercise. It's part and parcel. Power is required to define a category of people as less than. Racist slurs are such because a group with sufficient power loaded them with negative connotation sufficient to give them power.

Xenophabia is linked to power in the sense people are talking about here because it is institionalized. Rokugan's xenophibia, at least in AEG's Rokugan, is (has been?) inscribed in actual law. That both requires and grants power.

That's true, but it isn't a logical fallacy to cite an expert, and assert that person's expertise is relevant. You're free to debate the relevance of Zimbardo. "Appeal to authority!" isn't a magic phrase that makes you correct.

As noted, part of what we're discussing is in-groups and out-groups, and how those are defined. Dehumanization is a part of that process Zimbardo discusses his work, both in the Prison Experiment and in other contexts. It's part of what allows Rokugani to see outsiders as less than they, so when their Lord tells them to scour the countryside for gaijin and execute their mongrel offspring, they are able to do so.

At risk of invoking Godwin's law, the Nazis did exactly that, and it wasn't limited to Jews. They also judged who was more Aryan in part based on genealogy. They even went so far as to sieze children of sufficient German heritage from mixed-Slavic parents and place them with German families on the premise that Germans were more Aryan.

America did it, too. The one-drop rule defined anyone with even one drop of African heritage as African-American. It's a legal and social idea that recurs throughout history. I don't know of one in particular, but I'd bet money that feudal Japan has similar examples.

People aren't just making this stuff up. It's real. It happens, and continues to happen today.

It's totally reasonable not to want darkness like that to be introduced in your fantasy setting. Escapism, after all, is the name of the game for some. On the other hand, you can't claim to want xenophobia and racism in your Rokugan and ignore what that actually means.

It's funny that you're trying to hard to conjure a nonexistent implication about the market(maybe to justify your attempt to insult my understanding of the buying and selling of goods works?) yet you refuse to see the clear implication that the silliness of your hat/eye/hair reference is limited to this fantasy game.

Power is not needed for the exercise of racism. Belief of superiority based on race requires no inherent power. Belief that one has power is also not the same as actually having power.  Maybe it does in the sociology classroom. That's not to say that power cannot be obtained after the fact and used later, but that's still not the same as being a prerequisite. 

Your claim that the expertise of an individual is relevant does not make it relevant to the discussion of this fantasy game simply because you want it to. I liked PSY100, too.

Are Nazis the anti-semite, an anti-semite, or an organization with anti-semitic values?  Your prior statement indicated either an individual or a blanket statement meaning all anti-semites. Which is it? 

What was the one-drop rule targeting? Hats? Hair and eye color?  Race? Was it race? It was race. 

I am aware you may not be using the word "you" to assume that I claim to want xenophobia or racism in L5R, but, again, as this is a fantasy game, of course the implications can be ignored.

If you want to respond, you can, but I'm done discussing this with you. You clearly have some stake in feeling correct, so feel free to get in the last word if it helps you.

 

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2 hours ago, Himoto said:

Can we please not parrot insulting ideas like "virtue signaling" or "looking to be offended" and just accept that people actually believe what they say and aren't saying it out of ridiculous ulterior motives?

Assuming good faith should be a basic rule of internet discussion. 

 

(Also the problem with Tauriel in Hobbit wasn't the inclusion of a female character ; it was the bit where, y'know, they both a)forced her into a romantic plotline that ate up all her character development, and b)ballooned out of proportion into taking up way too much of the film)

You're definitely allowed to make the request. But people are also free to perceive posts as they may. If the content appears to be false advocacy, it runs the risk of being called out.

Assuming good faith in internet discussions might have been a basic rule in the past, but it can't be accepted as a given now.  If bad faith communication weren't so prevalent (in general), maybe.

Where did those problems with Tauriel's character come from? The inclusion of a nonexistent character could be one. The inclusion of a character to check a Arwen/Eowyn(tough lady with taboo/unrequited love interest) box could be one. There were a lot of previous trilogy boxes being checked, too.  It could just be that Tauriel is a bad character, or a bit character that got too much screen time. It's open to opinion, but there was a definite point to include a tough female character in the movies (which is fine)

"Philippa Boyens: To be honest, the very first motivation(to include Tauriel) was that there were no female characters in the book at all really… You really feel the weight of that. We knew that you would especially feel the weight of it in terms of a movie. We wanted to find a way to introduce a female character in a meaningful way that had a role to play that felt truthful to the world. This character came into being when we were sitting down literally trying to structure the film and talk about how we thought we’d tell the tale. Once we said, “OK, we’re going to do this,” we needed to think about, “Well, is it a woman of Lake-town? Is it a female Hobbit?” What we found was one of the pieces of the storytelling that felt like it could hold this was the story of the Elves, mainly because they’re kind of mysterious."

Edited by qwertyuiop
qft

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1 hour ago, qwertyuiop said:

You're definitely allowed to make the request. But people are also free to perceive posts as they may. If the content appears to be false advocacy, it runs the risk of being called out.

Assuming good faith in internet discussions might have been a basic rule in the past, but it can't be accepted as a given now.  If bad faith communication weren't so prevalent (in general), maybe.

Why?

What harm does it do to address the argument as if it was given in good faith? The only thing you deny yourself is the ability to resort to what's essentially a form of namecalling (ie, actually calling things "virtue signaling".

Is that such a terrible loss for treating other people with respect? 

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22 minutes ago, Himoto said:

Why?

What harm does it do to address the argument as if it was given in good faith? The only thing you deny yourself is the ability to resort to what's essentially a form of namecalling (ie, actually calling things "virtue signaling".

Is that such a terrible loss for treating other people with respect? 

Because people in a free society can say and think what they like.  

Why should anyone feel the need to address something they don't see as genuine as if it were? Do you want people to lie to themselves or remain silent if they take issue with something when they are afforded the opportunity to speak?  Is it worth one's self respect to hand out false respect? 

Thinking something is less than genuine and saying something about it isn't the same as reviling or berating the person who said it. (Though I admit I did take a cheap shot at the OP's grammar a page or so back) 

I know this doesn't delegitimize the spirit of your request, but can you tell me you've never addressed someone in a similar manner on these forums?

 

 

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It's not reviling, but it's certainly namecalling. You use a label for them designed to evoke a negative impression (that they're not arguing honestly). 

And yes, you are a in free society where you can say what you like. But just because you have the right to say something, doesn't mean that thing is the right thing to say. Sometime, there are better ways to phrase t hings. Sometime, it may be best to stay silent and ignore something you feel is not genuine rather than hurl labels that may well be wrong at the poster. 

You don't *have* to, and neither do anyone else. I can't force you, and even if I could I probably wouldn't. But I will say that, in my opinion, if everyone made an effort toward assuming good faith on the part of others, we'd have more interesting, less hostile discussions. 

And I'm addressing it here because I don't read every thread and your post was the first significant example of it I noticed around here. Perhaps there were others I didn't notice because they were used in situation that had less impact on me personally ; in which case I'm sorry I missed them and failed to address them. But in any event, this was the first case that really jumped out at me. 

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6 hours ago, qwertyuiop said:

 Opening up Middle-Earth to side stories and other properties is fine. MECCG did, and I'm not sure how or if the LotR LCG has (outside of more female characters). 

Interestingly enough, LotR LCG is currently in the middle of a story arc that takes place in the southern lands, and which introduced Haradrim allies with a matching hero.  I think they managed to introduce them rather well, in a way that didn't feel shoe-horned or reduce them to token characters..

Edited by JJ48

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15 hours ago, Himoto said:

Can we please not parrot insulting ideas like "virtue signaling" or "looking to be offended" and just accept that people actually believe what they say and aren't saying it out of ridiculous ulterior motives?

Wow! Thanks for clearing that out. I sincerely did not understand what the sentence meant, probably because it is the first time I heard about virtue signaling. At least, it shows the hypocrisy of the poster, who asks others to prove what they say when he or she is perfectly content with just imagining things.

 

On 03/06/2017 at 9:18 PM, qwertyuiop said:

Cool. Show us actual evidence of the degree of which women feel welcome in the gaming community based on art style vs other factors.

Show any specifics relating users you presume to be men to an expressed fear of losing images of unspecified fictional females you've labeled "eye candy". Funny choice of words on your part.

Or just make more lazy statements.

Individual responses and anecdotes aren't necessarily evidence.

If your starting premise is that whatever anyone else says that does not conform to your ideas is a lie they tell themselves, there is absolutely no point in debating. I sincerely hope you will understand and learn the lesson.

 

Edited by Mirumoto Kuroniten

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People keep talking about the Mantis and Unicorn clans. Which are the obvious choices. Even scorpions. But there are other options that could be fun. Crab Clan wouldn't mind if some big ol giant if a gaijin wanted to join them on the walls. And the Dragon clan monks are incredibly inclusive. Those would be a lot of fun to watch grow into the world. Give them a reason to be there and watch their children join the world. 

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16 hours ago, qwertyuiop said:

It's funny that you're trying to hard to conjure a nonexistent implication about the market(maybe to justify your attempt to insult my understanding of the buying and selling of goods works?) yet you refuse to see the clear implication that the silliness of your hat/eye/hair reference is limited to this fantasy game.

Own your words. I provided a link to the post I was referring to, which provides the context of your free market comment.

I myself pointed out that the hat example was silly. That's why I chose it, and I said as much. I have been absolutely consistent, and I have provided real world examples to illustrate my points.

But, well, hats isn't that silly if you look beneath the surface. Not all that different from the stars forced upon German Jews who in many cases looked no different from their neighbors.

Of course, this is all a bit of a tangent, rooted in my point that skin color isn't the only way to discriminate, or even to define race. Italians weren't white in early America, until they were.

It follows that Rokugan's xenophobia doesn't require Rokugani to be homogeneous. That was the extent of my argument.

That Rokugan is a fantasy world is beside the point, because it's still about people. That they are also magical samurai doesn't change that.

Now, that shouldn't be confused with an argument that FFG should just throw in any and every ethnicity into Rokugan, on even footing. The only people putting forward that argument are the ones arguing against it. It has never been anyone's actual position in this thread.

16 hours ago, qwertyuiop said:

Your claim that the expertise of an individual is relevant does not make it relevant to the discussion of this fantasy game simply because you want it to. I liked PSY100, too.

That's correct, my claim doesn't. I cited specific areas of relevance, easily found in his work in a field in which he is an authority.

If you prefer something more approachable, "The Lucifer Effect," is a decent read. A good chunk of it's an exhaustive account of Stanford (which is pretty fascinating in its own right), but he examines the issues we're discussing here in the balance of the book, citing his own research and others'. I invite you to read it.

17 hours ago, qwertyuiop said:

Are Nazis the anti-semite, an anti-semite, or an organization with anti-semitic values?  Your prior statement indicated either an individual or a blanket statement meaning all anti-semites. Which is it? 

What was the one-drop rule targeting? Hats? Hair and eye color?  Race? Was it race? It was race. 

If you review the post to which you're responding, the answer to these questions is quite clear.

These are only a couple examples (among several cited in this thread) of discrimination directed toward people over something other than the color of their skin. Which, let's remember, was what I posited in the first place.

I specifically did not use the term race, because race is socially constructed and defined by cultural context. The one-drop rule didn't "target" race. It defined it, legally and socially.

I don't particularly have a "stake in being correct." I have a stake in the discussion, enough to pay attention to what people write and address the points they are actually bringing up, and to expect the same in return.

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15 hours ago, Mirumoto Kuroniten said:

Wow! Thanks for clearing that out. I sincerely did not understand what the sentence meant, probably because it is the first time I heard about virtue signaling. At least, it shows the hypocrisy of the poster, who asks others to prove what they say when he or she is perfectly content with just imagining things.

 

If your starting premise is that whatever anyone else says that does not conform to your ideas is a lie they tell themselves, there is absolutely no point in debating. I sincerely hope you will understand and learn the lesson.

 

 

Not really sure how you linked my statement to the words you clearly wanted to say.....but you're reaching. By my thinking that you are virtue signalling, I do not begin with the idea that you're lying to yourself, but rather the idea that you want to appear virtuous to the rest of us for your own sake and not for the sake of the idea you're trying to promote. I never said your assertion or presentation was lazy, only that it appeared to be less than genuine.  It appears obvious that enough people thought this that you edited your original post with a disclaimer. 

Now, the quote you looked for was definitely an example of me calling someone out for this behavior instead of pointing out a suspicion of it.

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I'm confused about something: Why is the default position automatically assumed that Rokugan does not have varying different shades of skin tone throughout the Empire?
If we're talking about different physical features, such as you might find in other far away lands (ie: the difference between Northern African and Asian features) then that is very easily explained as Rokugan is an isolated Empire that is very heavily xenophobic and intolerant towards any outsiders, regardless of race, color, or creed.

If we're simply talking about how much sun the Rokugani may or may not get, there's really two considerations:
1) There are varying shades, and if card art doesn't depict it very well that may be because card art represents a sample size of a few hundred citizens in an Empire that numbers in the millions. (And before you assume this argument, you might want to go looking through old card art, because not every Rokugani has been depicted as smooth-skinned and super pale - ie: not every Rokugani was drawn by Wibisono. :P )
(Edit to add: Also, throughout most of fantasy art's history, artists have been notoriously bad. Artwork has seen a SERIOUS jump in quality in the past several years.)
2) The Empire may not be as big as people are assuming. Maybe there really isn't as much space, globally, between the North and the South to warrant drastic changes in skin tone (we've seen the Empire, but we've never seen it in comparison to it's surrounding lands).

Edited by Bayushi Tsubaki

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