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Mirumoto Kuroniten

Dark-skinned people in Rokugan and fantasy worlds

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1 hour ago, El_Ganso said:

 

Yea, I guess I understand that.

In which case I would argue that Rokugan falls within the First Camp also. Intellectually I know that a society based on Feudalism is a society with shaky foundations, but like I said before, there is a certain level of Buy-In one must make in order to enjoy the stories being told about Rokugan.

The whole "Appeal to Tradition" when resolving conflicts, the outright denial of Facts in the face of an Honorable Samurai's Word, the systemic denial of land and property of the masses, and yes, even xenophobia, are all things one must accept as "par for the course" when dealing with characters and stories in Rokugan.

I guess the only thing that worries me are those people that can't see the flaws of Rokugan and actually believe it's some sort of utopia of Honor and Virtue. On the other hand, I have a bridge I would like to sell to those people.

The problem is, by and large, that's how Rokugan is shown in the context of the story,  because the focus of the stories is almost exclusively on the honor and virtue, with very little effort spent on showing those dark sides (that, yes, exist). Rokugan *could* be a crapsack world, but it rarely is, because the focus is on noble, honorable samurai.

It is, in short, the difference between bog-standard feudal fantasy/fairy tales (say, second camp) and Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones-style deconstruction (first camp). Rokugan has the potential to resemble the later, but spends entirely too much time believing its own propaganda that it is actually the former. 

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1 hour ago, El_Ganso said:

It is completely valid that FFG would not to target that same audience for L5R though. But when someone says "Hey, 40k doesn't have enough representation!", people just shrug and say "It's not supposed to".

This is part of why questions of representation are so difficult to address, and exactly why it's important to discuss it all the time.

It's a systemic and cultural issue. On the one hand, sure, a story focusing polish myths is totally legit, and it mighr make sense for it to focus on people of that ethnicity (particularly if it's being made in that country).

On the other hand, in the broad view, you have to consider why so many stories just happen to be about white people, or "need" to be about white people. Or why in a story inspired by Japanese culture, why so many characters pretty much look white, or indistinguishably "Asian" rather than Japanese or Chinese or Korean, or why it's perfectly fine to have a clan inspired by Mongolian culture and visuals, but not South Asian or middle-Eastern or even Korean (for example).

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Korea is the phoenix.

Indonesia is the mantis

Crab are a china/japan fusion.

Naga have a south asian (india/pakistan) theme to them

Dragon are tibetian/japanese fusion.

 

This is what i mean when i say you don't seem particularly well versed in the story and setting yet choose to play critic of it.

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5 minutes ago, McDermott said:

Korea is the phoenix.

Indonesia is the mantis

Crab are a china/japan fusion.

Naga have a south asian (india/pakistan) theme to them

Dragon are tibetian/japanese fusion.

 

This is what i mean when i say you don't seem particularly well versed in the story and setting yet choose to play critic of it.

What makes you think I'm not aware of all of that? It's a big part of why I'd like to see variety in ethnic representation, and attention paid to this by art direction.

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8 minutes ago, BD Flory said:

What makes you think I'm not aware of all of that? It's a big part of why I'd like to see variety in ethnic representation, and attention paid to this by art direction.

Well the things you choose to criticize followed by the rapidly shifting goalposts when someone points out how you're wrong about the setting make me think you're not aware of all that.

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1 hour ago, McDermott said:

Well the things you choose to criticize followed by the rapidly shifting goalposts when someone points out how you're wrong about the setting make me think you're not aware of all that.

People are commonly confusing what I'm criticizing with the straw man they're arguing against. So you may be confusing my responses to those arguments with what I'm actually saying.

ETA: Not necessarily saying they're your straw men, for the record. You might be legit responding to what I say in response to another poster, where I'm discussing their argument rather than what I'm advocating (possibly as part of a post that discusses both).

Edited by BD Flory

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If people want to see more women and dark skinned heroic characters in their card art, as well as player-led story interaction, then more people should look into Ashes: Rise of the Pheonixborn.

It's another game with a  similar release model to an LCG, and is very progressive in it's art and stories, and is also just a really good game. It's the first place I've seen many mechanics that seem to be becoming standard. Very good game. Currently, it's a great time to support the game too cause Plaid Hat have started putting out stuff for it again since they got bought by Asmodee.

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I think it is a false premise to argue that Rokugan is full of "white" samurai.

If you look at old Japanese paintings - before they were forcibly invaded by westerners - the people actually look pretty much white.  They are drawn tall, with fare skin.  The stylized form was different, but you can't look at classic Japanese paintings and tell me they imagined they had dark skin.  This is continued today as well.  If you play JRPG's you find a lot of characters that are "white" but aren't really white...  It's how Japanese people see themselves in art.  When I look at Hotaru or Toturi from their story releases it is exactly as I would expect a current Japanese character artist who is Japanese living in Japan drawing for the Japanese audience to design their characters as.

For example - these characters are all Japanese except the blonde one on the left.  Would you say they were "white" if you thought an American drew them?

lucky-star-mini17s-spot-23699548-2560-16

Edited by shosuko

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This was touched on earlier in the thread, but context matters, and part of that is art style. Expectations are different for art that strives to be photorealistic or even merely realistic, whereas something influenced by anime, or classical Japanese painting is more abstract or stylized, and doesn't draw the same distinctions in the same way.

Another piece of context that matters is that looking to historical Japanese (and more broadly, Asian) art for influence is fine to a point, but we also have to bear in mind who is ordering the art and who's actually making the art.

How Japanese artists represent their own heritage has different meeting than how white American artists represent that heritage, and both are different from how Japanese-Americans represent that heritage, even if each produces exactly the same piece of art.

It's similar to the argument that claims that because the story is set in a pseudo-historical milieu, we shouldn't worry about modern sensibility, ignoring the fact that we are modern artists speaking to a modern audience.

What a Japanese artist does in 16th Century Japan is one thing, and it reflects that time and place and culture. The same goes for a modern anime artist working in the Japanese film industry. As it does for an American company producing a card game in Roseville, MN or Ontario, CA.

The speaker matters, and changes the meaning of what is said.

Edited by BD Flory

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I for one am glad that the artists of this game are making the art they want in the style they want.

Frankly, I would just love it if people that whinge about crap like cultural appropriation would, as we say in England, Do One. Let people make what they want to make as they want to make it. Nobody is forcing anyone to buy, and if you're going to allow yourself to miss out on a game you like so that you can score points online with the SJW crowd, then we're better off without you.

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12 minutes ago, Daigotsu Steve said:

I for one am glad that the artists of this game are making the art they want in the style they want.

Frankly, I would just love it if people that whinge about crap like cultural appropriation would, as we say in England, Do One. Let people make what they want to make as they want to make it. Nobody is forcing anyone to buy, and if you're going to allow yourself to miss out on a game you like so that you can score points online with the SJW crowd, then we're better off without you.

oh man you gonna get crucified xd

Edited by BordOne

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6 minutes ago, Daigotsu Steve said:

I for one am glad that the artists of this game are making the art they want in the style they want.

Frankly, I would just love it if people that whinge about crap like cultural appropriation would, as we say in England, Do One. Let people make what they want to make as they want to make it. Nobody is forcing anyone to buy, and if you're going to allow yourself to miss out on a game you like so that you can score points online with the SJW crowd, then we're better off without you.

I'm also happy that FFG is doing the work they want to do, and that they're excited about the product. I'm excited to play it. What's your point?

If you're not interested in the subject, nobody is forcing you to read the thread, much less post in it.

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13 minutes ago, Daigotsu Steve said:

I for one am glad that the artists of this game are making the art they want in the style they want.

Frankly, I would just love it if people that whinge about crap like cultural appropriation would, as we say in England, Do One. Let people make what they want to make as they want to make it. Nobody is forcing anyone to buy, and if you're going to allow yourself to miss out on a game you like so that you can score points online with the SJW crowd, then we're better off without you.

Remember me when you come into your kingdom.

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41 minutes ago, BD Flory said:

How Japanese artists represent their own heritage has different meeting than how white American artists represent that heritage, and both are different from how Japanese-Americans represent that heritage, even if each produces exactly the same piece of art.

See here is the biggest issue that those who battle for "social justice" must always confront...  The anti-racism becomes racism paradox.

If the end result is the exact same piece of art - yet the only difference is that one artist is white and another is Japanese - isn't it racist to mark the difference?  How can one be "good" and another be "bad" because of who painted it, when you can't even tell the paintings apart?  Before you say "white power structure" consider that Japanese people are very much in power in Japan, and a white artist could be painting there, or could have been hired by them...

Here is another one for you - Of these characters only the blonde on the right is NOT japanese - he is french.

cd64a1a2-ca3b-4963-8879-eae39183fab3.jpg

Edited by shosuko

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4 minutes ago, shosuko said:

If the end result is the exact same piece of art...

The point is that it is impossible for it to be the same piece of art, even if it looks the same.

Art is more than just the physical artifact, and the meaning of art runs deeper than the surface.

Look at it from another angle. If a piece of art is on a trash heap, it has different meaning than the exact same piece of art would have hung in a gallery for sale, and a different meaning still if it were hung in a retrospective.

How we consume art changes its meaning. How we produce art changes its meaning.

I avoided terms like "good" and "bad" for a reason.

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22 minutes ago, BD Flory said:

The point is that it is impossible for it to be the same piece of art, even if it looks the same.

Art is more than just the physical artifact, and the meaning of art runs deeper than the surface.

Look at it from another angle. If a piece of art is on a trash heap, it has different meaning than the exact same piece of art would have hung in a gallery for sale, and a different meaning still if it were hung in a retrospective.

How we consume art changes its meaning. How we produce art changes its meaning.

I avoided terms like "good" and "bad" for a reason.

Yeah but graphics in anime and on cards are not modern art, we don't need to go into some deep philosophy of transfiguration of the commonplace. There is really no difference if it is Whitey MCWhite or Miss Qing Qiang Qiong drawing it if in the end it looks the same. So the paradox still stands. 

Edited by BordOne

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1 hour ago, BD Flory said:

I'm also happy that FFG is doing the work they want to do, and that they're excited about the product. I'm excited to play it. What's your point?

If you're not interested in the subject, nobody is forcing you to read the thread, much less post in it.

My point is that I personally applaud FFG for doing what they want, even though some of the people there must have known about how conversations like these were, very unfortunately, entirely predictable. I'll be sad if they buckle in a way that compromises their vision for their game and art.

I am interested in the subject. I like hearing what points low level people are making and the general vibe of the online presence. I'm also occasionally interested in providing an alternate view to this inane babble so that people don't get the wrong impressions of the general opinion on this stuff. Also, I like to challenge racism when I see it. And the fact is, I haven't once, not ONCE, come across an argument about cultural appropriation that wasn't essentially a bash of white people. Even in this thread the crux of the argument is that it would be completely acceptable for a Japanese guy to draw the art that some people here don't like, but a white guy doing it would be an affront. Balls to that.

Edited by Daigotsu Steve

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2 hours ago, Ide Yoshiya said:

What is the argument here? Kamalakar is gaijin. Says so right on the card. Nobody's saying dark-skinned people doesn't exist in this world, just that it's not a trait that is likely to show up in a samurai family bloodline.

 

Why are you looking for an argument here? I am merely syating the fact that the shifting goalpost here is confounding.

 

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1 hour ago, Daigotsu Steve said:

My point is that I personally applaud FFG for doing what they want, even though some of the people there must have known about how conversations like these were, very, very unfortunately, entirely predictable. I'll be sad if they buckle in a way that compromises their vision for their game and art.

What buckle? FFG has a stated and demonstrated concern for inclusiveness and diversity. The assumption that this somehow betrays their vision doesn't really hold up to scrutiny.

People keep talking about conversations that have happened elsewhere on the internet to justify what boils down to name-calling and bad behavior.

If you have a point to make, and genuinely want FFG to listen, maybe participating in the conversation being had here is a better way to be heard.

Shosuko and I obviously disagree, for example, and have very different perspectives on the nature and meaning and use of art. We seem to be able to discuss it without much in the way of acrimony.

Edited by BD Flory

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29 minutes ago, Bayushi Bajie said:

Why are you looking for an argument here? I am merely syating the fact that the shifting goalpost here is confounding.

 

At risk of misconstruing Ide Yoshiya's comment, I think their meaning here was more, "what are you saying?" than, "what are you fighting about?" :)

Edited by BD Flory

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1 hour ago, BordOne said:

Yeah but graphics in anime and on cards are not modern art...

No, it isn't modern art. Personally, I think it's a lot more important to pay attention to what pop culture, mass culture and other widely distributed modes of art says about the world than modern art.

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10 minutes ago, BD Flory said:

No, it isn't modern art. Personally, I think it's a lot more important to pay attention to what pop culture, mass culture and other widely distributed modes of art says about the world than modern art.

So how does the artwork on a piece of cardboard change it's meaning depending on what was the race of person that drew it?

There is no context in real world to speak of.

Again, it is not art in the gallery. 

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