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Two Major Dissappointments from PAX Unplugged

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19 minutes ago, TheItsyBitsySpider said:

I INCREADIBLY doubt this, almost entirely. I actually would argue happily that the opposite is true. If ANYTHING people outside of strict non-Japanese Asian communities will associate Banzai with parties and celebrations since that is where it shows up most often in the Anime that is flooding the western market or as an actual Samurai shout as seen in older samurai flicks. But I'm not in that community so I simply don't know.  

Lets tone down on making terribly sweeping statements without any real backing up of information. 

The "Honor and Glory" chant really isn't anything bad in English, I hear **** like that each time I visit my local Renaissance fair, its when it is translated into German that the problems arise, because it sounds like something that country's culture really doesn't want to hear right now.  

The issue is, a poster claiming Asian ancestry stated he found the Banzai offensive. It is NOT offensive to the majority in this community, instead a minority. Indeed it has been used for 20ish years without a real peep in the CCG era, but now this complaint reared its head.

In response, because having even the slightest of controversy in a game's release can be incredibly damaging to the brand, FFG immediately changed it to their current one, a more complicated chant. Unlike "Banzai" which was relatively easy to say no matter language or country it is said in, this new chant has to be translated, making this offensive to the german player base, also a minority in the community.

So the new chant is JUST AS OFFENSIVE to a new minority as it was to the old. If the goal is to make the game as welcoming as possible and wanting to respect the feelings of its players then trying to argue that one is more offensive or less is actually pretty bigoted no matter where you go.

I simply think the Chant needed to be something completely neutral and easy to say internationally. They could have made the chant "Rokugan!" three times and there would have been less problems. But FFG, whether people like it or not, made a decision any logical company would make in that moment, and as long as they follow through with that they have no qualms with me. 

I'm just waiting for my Shadowlands faction so I can shout "For Fu-Leng!" like ALL rational people should be doing. :rolleyes:

Ok, that makes the initial complaint make even less sense.  Now it's not even the chant that's offensive; it's a translation of the chant that's offensive.  So, translate it slightly differently and you can solve the problem without it saying anything one way or another about the original, English chant.

Also, I would just point out that anime was one of the things I was thinking of when I mentioned "those who know more about Japanese culture".  Anime may be gaining popularity, but it's hardly something the majority take part in.

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As a member of the Non-Japanese Asian community, I've never found Banzai offensive. Silly, yes, but it served as a rallying chant for players to say: "We are L5R players, hear us roar!"

I miss it but I understand why it had to go. Personally, I find people going "I don't care Banzai can be considered offensive, I want Banzai anyway!" more concerning than a bunch of players yelling Banzai at the top of their lungs in the heyday of L5R.

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4 minutes ago, Hordeoverseer said:

Personally, I find people going "I don't care Banzai can be considered offensive, I want Banzai anyway!" more concerning than a bunch of players yelling Banzai at the top of their lungs in the heyday of L5R.

The problem with this line of thought, innocent as it may be, is that literally anything can be offensive to someone.

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5 hours ago, JJ48 said:

Again, it's cultural.  Think of the vast majority of people, who don't really study history or other cultures.

If you say "Banzai", most people will associate that with Imperial Japan during WW2.  Only those who know more about Japanese culture would understand the broader usage.

If you say "Honor and Glory", most people won't really associate that with anything in particular.  Only those who have studied WW2 extensively could draw any sort of connection to fascism.

So on the one hand, you have the masses viewing one as bad and the other as neutral.  On the other hand, you have a minority realizing that both are benign.  The way I see it, those claiming that "Banzai" is offensive are doing so out of ignorance.  Those claiming that "Honor and Glory" is offensive are doing so knowing full well that it's not, and therefore out of malice.

I find either chant irritating, but not offensive.  However, I find it very hard to sympathize with the anti-H&Gers as long as they keep intentionally acting like they're at the anti-Banzaiers' level of ignorance.

I suppose I do expect more from people who know about an issue than from people who are clueless.  You may call that a double standard if you wish.

Most people don't find Banzai offensive.  Most people recognize it as a Japanese cheer or war cry.  Its depicted across all media as just a normal thing Japanese people do - and funny enough, it IS a normal thing Japanese people do.  There really isn't push back on this.  Try googling the N word, and then google Banzai - you'll see the difference.  No one cares about Banzai.

People who are getting worked up over Honor and Glory are no more genuine then the person who got worked up over Banzai.  No one really finds Honor and Glory offensive but the same pretense used to appeal for removing Banzai applies equally as strong for the removal of the Honor and Glory chant.  Its not that people are offended at Honor and Glory, they are offended that they would lose Banzai to some contrived social justice check only to get something completely alien that would fail the same check.

Edited by shosuko

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8 minutes ago, shosuko said:

No one really finds Honor and Glory offensive but the same pretense used to appeal for removing Banzai applies equally as strong for the removal of the Honor and Glory chant.  Its not that people are offended at Honor and Glory, they are offended that they would lose Banzai to some contrived social justice check only to get something completely alien that would fail the same check.

Very much this.

As I admitted, I would love to see the return of Utz-Banzai!. However, the main point I wanted to get across is that by their own "standards", the new chant is also unacceptable to FFG and should be changed/removed. There was one public objection to Utz-Banzai! and FFG responded in a week. Giving them a pass for the holiday, it's been 5 days now. I am not the only one in this thread who has expressed concern for the new chant. We'll see where we go from here on this matter.

Sadly, at this point, the best possible solution would probably be to remove any and all "official" chanting by FFG and leave it to the community to continue any traditions they want to. It is pretty disheartening to know we will never get another official Utz-Banzai at GenCon again. It's ironic that FFG wanted to start a new tradition with the players, but in doing away with Utz-Banzai!, they instead brought division to the community of players.

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1 hour ago, Vlad3theImpaler said:

There sure are a lot of claims about what "most" people think (on multiple sides) without anything to actually back it up...

Considering the general lack of concern for something even online where speech is as free as it can be is a pretty good signal that most people don't care about something.

If I were to ask 100 people randomly on the street what they thought of the word Banzai, I would probably get more blank stares than responses, and certainly not an outpouring of grievance against Japan. 

Edited by shosuko

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20 hours ago, JJ48 said:

If you say "Honor and Glory", most people won't really associate that with anything in particular.  Only those who have studied WW2 extensively could draw any sort of connection to fascism.

Well, I don’t really wanna join this discussion because I don’t care about it, but just going to answer this little bit. 

I’m from Spain, and we got out of a totalitarian regime relatively not so long ago. Franco’s dictatorship ended just 40 years ago. Luckily we managed a peaceful transition from that to democracy, but that also meant a lot of people from the regime were forgiven, and they openly show their appreciation to our old dictator. As of today I still hear some people (more than I like) say “We lived better with Franco”. 

If I’m walking in the street and I hear a group shouting “¡Honor! ¡Gloria!” (which, incidentally, has happened) I’ll probably assume is an extremist right-wing group. And everybody in Spain will do the same, and 99% of the time we’ll be right. You don’t have to have studied WW2 extensively to draw that conclusion.

That being said, this weekend is Madrid Kotei, and I doubt any problem will arise from the chant, although at first it’ll probably be weird from a non-L5R fan point of view. 

Edited by Tabris2k

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I have a friend who is Japanese and I don't tend to talk to him about L5R because he finds the whole cultural appropriation and magical katana worship squicky.  He knows I love the setting, I know he doesn't (we both agree that magical katana worship is silly but that is by the by).  He plays lots of other card games but won't play L5R, to each their own however I asked him about the banzai chant kerfuffle and he said as a Japanese person, he doesn't care but he would expect Chinese people to get really offended by it and for good reason.  It reminded me that the people who are probably offended or upset by this type of thing are not L5R players; one of the reasons they are not L5R players though is that they probably do not feel welcome by the players or respected by the game and its setting.  Rather than harrumph and guffaw about how other people should change/stop being so sensitive/stop ruining our whatever, maybe *we* as a community should realise that we should do more to include people, to use the fresh start of the -NEW- LCG L5R to cast off the previous external perceptions of casual racism, historical ignorance, gross cheesecake art and bring more people in, show them how much fun the well developed card game is and let them enjoy the background too if they are willing to engage with it.  Making more gamers feel welcome into a game never hurts the game, it only improves it.

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On 12/2/2017 at 5:48 AM, DarkHorse said:

Rather than harrumph and guffaw about how other people should change/stop being so sensitive/stop ruining our whatever, maybe *we* as a community should realise that we should do more to include people, to use the fresh start of the -NEW- LCG L5R to cast off the previous external perceptions of casual racism, historical ignorance, gross cheesecake art and bring more people in, show them how much fun the well developed card game is and let them enjoy the background too if they are willing to engage with it.

I added the underlines because I wanted to address these three things.

I don't want to overreact to the "previous external perceptions of casual racism", so I would like to ask if you can elaborate on this so that I understand where you are coming from.

In terms of "gross cheesecake art", I think I can safely leave this one alone, as everyone's individual taste in art is unique and subjective. Every game has it's "questionable" art, so I don't see this as a negative. I'm pretty sure there are people out there who find the new art in the current lcg "questionable" for whatever reason. It's not a fault of the artist or the game, just a person's individual taste.

As to "historical ignorance", I would argue that the new guard is failing so far.

This is what I don't understand:

1. "Utz-Banzai!" was dropped because ONE voice on the internet assigned a negative connotation to it and FFG decided to take it as sufficient evidence that the word "Banzai" was a bad thing.

2. MULTIPLE voices on the internet have assigned a negative connotation to the new chant, based on it's own similarity to Nazi war and propaganda chants from WWII. And that is chants in plural, as in more than one.

3. Anything pro-Nazi is bad. Anything associated with pro-Nazi is also bad.

Given all these, why are those who are concerned with not offending Asian cultures who suffered under Japan NOT calling for a change or end of the new chant? The new chant seems to be getting a "pass". Why is that?

And why does it seem that FFG is ignoring this? Do they not read their own message boards? Do they really not see Nazi values being just as bad or worst than imperialistic ones? You would think that in today's climate, they would act quickly to move away from any such connections. They were quick to address the concerns of one individual over Banzai. Why are they ignoring the concerns from multiple people over their new Nazi chant?

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Why do people let simple little chants get their attitudes all bent out of whack?

Why would people think the designers, that are just young adults, would have known they would have to navigate the waters of a bunch PC non-sense when creating a card game?

Why are people associating all this negative crap with a simple card game?

Why do people think that they can fulfill social injustices on a forum for a card game?

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1 hour ago, akodobanzai said:

This is what I don't understand:

1. "Utz-Banzai!" was dropped because ONE voice on the internet assigned a negative connotation to it and FFG decided to take it as sufficient evidence that the word "Banzai" was a bad thing.
 


Do you work for FFG? Were you involved in the decision-making process? Because you're stating things as facts here that it would certainly look you have absolutely no genuine knowledge about if that's not the case.

I've known Steve Horvath for almost two decades now. I know the passion and love he has for the game and the IP. He's a huge part of why it's back at FFG, and why it gets the support it does. To suggest he would allow a decision to be made on the flimsiest of pretenses is utterly ridiculous.

I don't agree with their decision regarding the Banzai chant, but I respect it, and accept it was a carefully considered and reasoned decision that was always going to end up catching them a huge amount of flak, whichever way they went. I have neither seen nor heard anything that makes me think such a monumental decision was made on a whim or as a kneejerk reaction to a single complaint.

 

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27 minutes ago, Hinomura said:


I don't agree with their decision regarding the Banzai chant, but I respect it, and accept it was a carefully considered and reasoned decision that was always going to end up catching them a huge amount of flak, whichever way they went. I have neither seen nor heard anything that makes me think such a monumental decision was made on a whim or as a kneejerk reaction to a single complaint.

 

That's the thing, though - there did not appear to be widespread outcry over "Banzai!". One guy wrote a review of the London Honoured event, mentioning the chant as an addendum, and one person ardently objected to it in the comments.

Far more people pointed out the way it brought people together during old5R, that no-one voiced any objection to it on the day, and that (to our knowledge) no-one had raised a complaint during the 20 years of the game.

And yet... we lose an (organised) tradition over this one voice. Who knows what the guy would have been pushing for when he found out there was a "Banzai!" card within the game itself. I'm glad there was an unofficial Utz! Banzai! at the event attended by the OP, though I was hoping people would spoil the "official" change by using Banzai as a response.

There have been more examples given of how the new chant is a bigger problem - heck, I appreciate that anecdotes aren't the same as data, but the described response by the people in the OP should be a concern for FFG when it comes to their European market. 

Would I prefer we went back to "Utz! Banzai!"? Sure. But, at this point, I'd rather we ditched an official chant than kept the soulless one that has been created by FFG.

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When you capitulate to anonymous online outrage you will never win.

Any person who would be offended at the banzai chat will also be offended that there were not enough Asians on the design team or the art team or the story team.  Or even more simply that a bunch of non-Asians are playing an Asian themed game.  They will not play or be part of that community anyways.  They merely want to assert control over something and watch people dance to their commands.

I put these people on the same, but opposite side of the coin I put trolls on.  They are looking for the reaction and don't care about the impact.

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43 minutes ago, dysartes said:

That's the thing, though - there did not appear to be widespread outcry over "Banzai!". One guy wrote a review of the London Honoured event, mentioning the chant as an addendum, and one person ardently objected to it in the comments.

Nick, firstly, you're mixing up your complaints - the ardent objections in a comments section were in the Shut up and Sit Down review of L5R. The review of Hono(u)red was a separate thing.

Secondly, what appeared to us as the general public isn't the same as what FFG saw or heard. Again, i highly doubt this was a kneejerk reaction to one or two instances of complaint. We don't know what research FFG did, who or how many people contacted them, how extensive their internal review process was...all we know is that they reached a difficult and contentious decision, and it's a more logical conclusion that they didn't do that lightly, rather than they massively overreacted to a 'single' complaint.

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5 minutes ago, Hinomura said:

Nick, firstly, you're mixing up your complaints - the ardent objections in a comments section were in the Shut up and Sit Down review of L5R. The review of Hono(u)red was a separate thing.

Secondly, what appeared to us as the general public isn't the same as what FFG saw or heard. Again, i highly doubt this was a kneejerk reaction to one or two instances of complaint. We don't know what research FFG did, who or how many people contacted them, how extensive their internal review process was...all we know is that they reached a difficult and contentious decision, and it's a more logical conclusion that they didn't do that lightly, rather than they massively overreacted to a 'single' complaint.

Evening Mark,

You may be right there - I seemed to recall his L5R review and Honored write-up being the same article, with the "Banzai" bit being an addendum on the latter aspect of the article. Apologies if I was conflating two different pieces. General point about one... person in the comments being the problem still stands, however ;)

All I can say is that the SU&SD piece and comments are the only places I recall seeing this "controversy" about Utz! Banzai! rear its head - and that was after some online research when this all kicked off. 

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I don't mean to go around in circles with you my friend, but just to be clear - the Shut Up and Sit Down review and L5RHonored write-up are by two different people, and what we've witnessed in the public sector isn't necessarily what FFG/Asmodee have been privy to. FFG are unlikely to go into any more detail about their decision-making protest than they already have, so it ultimately comes to what each individual wants to believe. I'm willing to give them credit for approaching the matter with considerable thought and professionalism. I totally get that some may be skeptical about doing the same.

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On 12/6/2017 at 3:06 PM, Silverfox13 said:

Why do people let simple little chants get their attitudes all bent out of whack?

Why would people think the designers, that are just young adults, would have known they would have to navigate the waters of a bunch PC non-sense when creating a card game?

Why are people associating all this negative crap with a simple card game?

Why do people think that they can fulfill social injustices on a forum for a card game?

Unfortunately, FFG opened up this pandora's box when they decided to allow "negative crap" to be assigned to their "simple card game". They let Banzai become a bad word, despite centuries of use that prove otherwise.

But if Banzai is bad because it was used by imperialist Japan in WWII, then they can't ignore the fact that Honor and Glory meets the same criteria, since it was used by Nazis in the same war.
 

23 hours ago, Hinomura said:

Do you work for FFG? Were you involved in the decision-making process? Because you're stating things as facts here that it would certainly look you have absolutely no genuine knowledge about if that's not the case.

I do not work for FFG. I was not involved in the decision-making process. I have as much genuine knowledge about this matter as you do.

For reference, my statement was: "1. "Utz-Banzai!" was dropped because ONE voice on the internet assigned a negative connotation to it and FFG decided to take it as sufficient evidence that the word "Banzai" was a bad thing."

Now, let's take a look at what we DO KNOW. In August of this year, "Utz-Banzai!" was used as part of their game launch ceremonies at GenCon. It was also a tribute to a person who is no longer with us. Now, in memorium or not, I highly doubt FFG would have allowed "Utz-Banzai!" to be any part of their launch if they had any concerns or reservations about negative real-world associations. To me, this signaled that not only were they ok with Banzai, but that they planned to continue the tradition moving forward. This was further confirmed by FFG, as you will see in a moment.

In September, the SU&SD review comes out. The review itself is positive, as are most of the comments at first. Then one individual tied the "Utz-Banzai!" chant to something negative and the comments section spiraled from there.

In October, FFG released a statement that they were putting an end to the Banzai chant and replacing it. This further proves that up until this point, they planned to continue the Banzai chant. The reason they gave for the change was that Banzai had "
real-world historical context of similar phrases" that "connected a number of negative associations to this chant". They took a word that is used to express joy and celebration and defined it as something bad. And since we know, based on available evidence, that they were ok with it up until this point, we can infer that those ties to negative connotations came from external sources.

So, looking back at my statement, I stand by it. If I am misrepresenting anything, it could be that it was only one voice that expressed concern. For all I know, it could have been more than one. But the reason they gave for the change was that some people view Banzai as bad, so they decided to view Banzai as bad.

And now we are here. Based on FFG's own reasoning, the new chant does not pass their test. Multiple people have pointed this out. So where do we go from here? Can we feel confident that FFG is looking into this matter and planning on making the appropriate changes? Is this forum a loud enough space for them to hear this concern? Or do people need to start posting about this topic on public review sites and blogs to see any reaction from FFG?

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Well you have to give the person who complained a ton of  credit for fighting the good fight for these past 20+ years that L5R players have be doing the Utz/Banzai chant.  All their hard work has finally paid off by getting the chant changed, and in the process healing all wounds of the people that suffered at the hands of the Japanese.....................

Just the other day my aunt, who is half-Japanese, half-Chinese, was telling me how the removal of the Utz/Banzai chant has allowed her to finally come to grips with the internal struggles she has been having over her heritage.  She thinks the person that made this happen should be honored as a Hero of Humanity for their efforts.

.............unfortunately there exists no emoji that can accurately demonstrate the amount of sarcasm I am using here (my aunt is half-Japanese and half-Chinese, she just doesn't give a flying flop about some fantasy card game that a bunch of nerds play)

 

Can we just make it Utz / Hantei from now on?  that way those of us that still want to shout Banzai can do it secretly, like the time I wanted to name my dog Dude, but my wife didn't like it and I convinced her to use Duke.............guess what I call the dog.

Although it doesn't matter much to me either way because I always scream

FU-LENGGGGG!!!

 

 

 

Edited by Ishi Tonu

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