Do orcs in gaming display parallels to colonialist propaganda? - Page 29
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  1. #281
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    Quote Originally Posted by pemerton View Post
    I've quoted this (1) because I agree (though I don't think that this is all that racism is), and (2) because it provides the context for the following quotes:




    It's nonsense that colonialism and race are deep topics that you need to be educated into. Young children of colour can and do recognise racism, directed at them and their parents; recognise privileged treatment enjoyed by white people; recognise obvious patterns of social domination and subordination.

    More generally, if it's not obvious to you what is conveyed by describing an "evil" race as dark and slant-eyed (with scimitars and bandy legs get thrown in for good measure), and furthermore by treating that description as sufficient grounds for inferring their evil (which is what happens between Frodo and the Southerner in Bree, as @Doug McCrae quoted from LotR upthread), then that's on you. If you need a microscope to be able to notice how that evokes and deploys racist tropes then that tells us something about you, but not much about JRRT's work.

    Perhaps this is what you are trying to do. Doug McCrae and others have already posted that they are not interested in what JRRT had in mind. The point is that he has dipped his pen into a well of ready-to-hand racist tropes and used them in his writing. End of story.
    Again, I just don’t think it is that cut and dry. And I don’t think I am bad or racist for questioning this fine comb approach.

  2. #282
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    Quote Originally Posted by pemerton View Post
    Most people who worry about colonialism aren't elites. They're trying to get out from being at the bottom of the pile. It's the colonists who were the elites.
    I think this is incorrect. Most struggling people are not worried about colonialist tropes. They are worried about things that directly impact their lives and about putting food on the table. Being able to spend hours pouring over academic theories about colonialist tropes is a luxury. And it is in-depth and it is complex. I know because I had to study colonialism and had to read stuff like Edward Said when I was in school. This stuff isn’t simple at all in my view. Not everyone is as steeped in these discussions and topics as you. And my argument is it is an elite concern that creates a gulf in the hobby between people with advanced degrees (or st least time to bond up on deep dubjevrs) and those without. It is pretty obvious the people who can navigate these discussions are usually very well educated..
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  3. #283
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bedrockgames View Post
    I get it isn’t being drawn out of thin air. I don’t think it is immediately obvious though either.
    Yet a lot of people are pointing out that it was quite obvious to them. Why it isn’t to you might be a call for introspection why this is so, not reflexive defense of the work or the person who created it.

    And I still think there is room for disagreement over whether the tropes are racist, or colonialist propaganda, whether it is a problem, and if it is a problem, what the best approach forward is.
    I think we would both agree that censorship is NOT the proper answer. I think we would both agree that future use of such tropes should only be used with great caution.

    We seem to disagree about what is racist (or otherwise demeaning), who decides what is racist, and what is problematic. To that, I say:

    1) if someone is telling you that something is bigoted toward them and those like them, listen. Appropriate initial responses are things like “OK.” And “It is? Tell me why.” Not anything like, “No it isn’t, because reasons X,Y,Z.” If you hear them out and still don’t believe/understand, you may still be wrong (or right), but you haven’t dismissed their concerns out of hand.

    2) if you are a member of the group allegedly being denigrated, you get to decide if something is an insult. If you’re a member of the group creating the salleged slur, you really just don’t have standing to assert otherwise.

    3) if people are telling you something is a problem, it’s problematic. The only question is one of degree.

  4. #284
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dannyalcatraz View Post
    Yer a lot of people are pointing out that it was quite obvious to them. Why it isn’t to you might be a call for introspection why this is so, not reflexive defense of the work or the person who created it.



    I think we would both agree that censorship is NOT the proper answer. I think we would both agree that future use of such tropes should only be used with great caution.

    We seem to disagree about what is racist (or otherwise demeaning), who decides what is racist, and what is problematic. To that, I say:

    1) if someone is telling you that something is bigoted toward them and those like them, listen. Appropriate initial responses are things like “OK.” And “It is? Tell me why.” Not anything like, “No it isn’t, because reasons X,Y,Z.” If you hear them out and still don’t believe/understand, you may still be wrong (or right), but you haven’t dismissed their concerns out of hand.

    2) if you are a member of the group allegedly being denigrated, you get to decide if something is an insult. If you’re a member of the group creating the salleged slur, you really just don’t have standing to assert otherwise.

    3) if people are telling you something is a problem, it’s problematic. The only question is one of degree.
    While I certainly think we should listen to people affected, that doesn’t mean being in that group automatically makes your reaction correct. I have to my due diligence and ask other people in that group beyond the forum (which I have by the way). And then I still need to use my own mind to make a decision. I just can’t accept the idea that people saying something is a problem makes it so. That seems quasi religious to me. People can be wrong, they can overreact, they can misunderstand.

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    Most struggling people are not worried about colonialist tropes. They are worried about things that directly impact their lives and about putting food on the table.
    How do you define “struggling” and “elitist”? These images and words affect everyday people every day.

    Leaving behind my own personal experiences in the US school system, I know my cousin came home from school (in MA) one day asking her Mom “When do I get to be white?” She wasn’t into double-digits yet, and had already noticed differential treatment of PoC in school, art, and media. It was eroding her self esteem.

    Do you realize how big a deal it was when minority kids started seeing action figures and dolls that actually looked like them and their family? Do you understand what kinds of conversations are being had at the dinner tables in minority American households when another depiction of minorities gets whitewashed? Or how tired we are of white saviors? Or Magic Negroes?

    Let me just say, if this is a field in which you need education, said education for minorites starts as early as kindergarten. (By that time, I already understood the words that had been painted on the side of our 450sq ft house.) Kids of all races in the USA start associating darker skin with “being bad” and lighter skin with “being good” early on: between 3-5 years of age, they start applying stereotypes.*



    * Erin Winkler (2009). Children Are Not Colorblind: How Young Children Learn Race. High Reach Learning. PACE 3(3) https://www4.uwm.edu/letsci/africolo...colorblind.pdf.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bedrockgames View Post
    While I certainly think we should listen to people affected, that doesn’t mean being in that group automatically makes your reaction correct.
    Which is why I said one good initial response would be “It is? Tell me why?” I mean, I said that in the section you quoted.

    I just can’t accept the idea that people saying something is a problem makes it so. That seems quasi religious to me. People can be wrong, they can overreact, they can misunderstand.
    Dude, if someone is honestly telling you that something is a problem, it’s at least a problem for them- like I said, it’s just a problem of degree. (Again, in the quoted section.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bedrockgames View Post
    I'd certainly be interested in Jackie Chan's interpretation of the character. Maybe they recruit Sammo Hung as Samwise. I'd feel a bit bad though given Jackie Chan's statements about how Hollywood handled him.
    A Hong Kong cinema version of LoTR with Jackie Chan as Frodo could be cool. I'd be much less keen on the Hollywood version.

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    @Dannyalcatraz - once again, I appreciate your strong posts on this topic. Although I am white, many of those to whom I am close are not. These issues around representation and racist tropes affect them every day, in just the ways you describe.

  9. #289
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bedrockgames View Post
    And my argument is it is an elite concern that creates a gulf in the hobby between people with advanced degrees (or st least time to bond up on deep dubjevrs) and those without. It is pretty obvious the people who can navigate these discussions are usually very well educated..
    I agree, many traps are laid for the ordinary folks, but unlike you, most people who don't feel up to navigating these mine-laden waters avoid engaging with discussions like this one (especially the last 19 pages or so).

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    When reading the products of different (even related) cultures, I think people should be a bit more wary of their first subjective impressions, and stop to consider what it might mean within the home culture.

    A common one I'm familiar with is that British people think they know about racism and what Americans mean by racism, but really most of us do not have any real experience with American racism, its strength and extent. British people who rely on Hollywood/US media and on possible experience of racism in Britain are culturally not really familiar at all with what racism actually implies in the USA (generally, something much stronger and more pervasive). To a lesser extent this is also true of regional variation within the USA, and even within the UK.

    A lighter example, I knew an American woman from California who visited Yorkshire in the late 1990s and decided she was being sexually harrassed by all the men who called her "Love". I explained they called me Love too - that the term had no sexual connotation in that culture. She preferred to prioritise her subjective experience - her feelings - ie she didn't listen. I'd say that was a mistake.

    Another example @pemerton might be interested in - I had an undergrad student, originally from east-central Europe (Romania, possibly) who took a sabbatical in Australia, working with Aboriginal people, providing legal aid. She came back telling me that "Even the white Liberal Australians are very racist - they kept talking derogatorily about the Aboriginal people, calling them Bogans!"
    I tried to tell her that Bogan was a derogatory term for the Australian rural white lower class - again she did not listen, as it did not fit within her existing mental frame.
    Last edited by S'mon; Sunday, 10th March, 2019 at 11:10 AM.
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