D&D General (Anecdotal) conversations with Asian gamers on some problems they currently face in the D&D world of RPG gaming

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
...you're missing the point. WotC explicitly said they will try to be more culturally sensitive with their products, and therefore it's hypocritical of them to continue to make money off a book like OA. whether or not they remove it what matters is they, the company who owns the rights to it, no longer make money from it.

That is disingenuous, as that is not the point.

The original tweeter explicitly (emphasis as in yours) became more agitated when the price was lowered (therefore, less profits).

And, when someone said that it should not longer be sold at all, and instead be free (NO PROFIT AT ALL), Mr. Kwan was completely incensed:

"You think making a racist product even more accessible is better than removing it?"

In other words, despite the people claiming falsely that this is not a call for a ban, this is, in fact, exactly what is desired.

This point has been made repeatedly, in multiple threads. Now, if you are in favor of banning (removing something completely) a historical product that now causes offense, that is fine. At least own it.
 

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Panda-s1

Scruffy and Determined
That is disingenuous, as that is not the point.

The original tweeter explicitly (emphasis as in yours) became more agitated when the price was lowered (therefore, less profits).

And, when someone said that it should not longer be sold at all, and instead be free (NO PROFIT AT ALL), Mr. Kwan was completely incensed:

"You think making a racist product even more accessible is better than removing it?"

In other words, despite the people claiming falsely that this is not a call for a ban, this is, in fact, exactly what is desired.

This point has been made repeatedly, in multiple threads. Now, if you are in favor of banning (removing something completely) a historical product that now causes offense, that is fine. At least own it.
okay fine, then remove it. I disagree with him on this point, but I still stand by the idea that WotC shouldn't be making money from this book.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Some pointed out that Masataka Ohta, Akira Saito, Hiroyasu Kurose, Takafumi Sakurai, and Yuka Tate-ishi were those who were involved with critiquing and even writing part of the original Oriental Adventures, and in fact, are some of the ONLY credited Asian individuals to EVER be credited on ANY OFFICIAL D&D release for direct contributions (apologies if I didn't get the names exactly right, I tried spelling them correctly, I apologize if I made any mistakes on it).

I think that's an important thing to note, but we also need to be careful with this. It's similar with the whole, "But Hattie McDaniel won an Oscar for Gone With the Wind, so we are really honoring her, right?"

I think you have an interesting and nuanced point, and it gets to a fundamental issue that is often ignored; who gets to speak for a community? In the past threads, we have seen Asian, and Asian-American, gamers say that they have (or have not) felt some, none, or a lot of offense.

Is the relevant community the Asian community, whose culture is being appropriated? If so, is it a mistake to say all Asians and fall into the same Orientalism trap that the book does (given that, for example, Korean culture and Indian culture is not being appropriated). Or is this really about the offense to Asian-Americans, given the primary market and the issues of discrimination in the West, which are very different than, say, issues of discrimination in Asia (in other words, there are different issues in Japan than America, as it should go without saying).

I say that not to engage in "whataboutism." Americans are familiar with a certain Washington football team that spent money and sponsored ... well, interesting and divisive polls in an attempt to say that a racist name wasn't really racist to the relevant community!

Instead, it's only to note that these issues can be complicated.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
okay fine, then remove it. I disagree with him on this point, but I still stand by the idea that WotC shouldn't be making money from this book.

The marginal amount of money the Hasbro, as an entity, makes on this is approximately zero; it's less than a rounding error. Do you support the removal (ban) of the rest of the products from the 70s and the 80s as soon as someone gets around to reading them and realizes what they contain? You know about the misogyny, racism, and colonialism, right?

Are you in favor of the removal (ban) of HP Lovecraft? Conan stories? Tolkien? Star Trek, TOS (which models imperialism)?

EDIT: Finally, what is your threshold for this? One tweet? One tweet and a long and rambling podcast?
 

Thanks for posting, I think it's a worthy contribution to the debate.



This is something to bear in mind when people say things like "I've never had any complaints". I think often members of groups that face discrimination choose not to complain about discriminatory behaviour for a wide number of reasons. That doesn't mean the behaviour is not a problem.
Cannot be overstated. Asian friends are raised to be quiet. To not make scenes. To keep their head down and work hard. To be model citizens. Even when abused. Even when questioned about their origins. And their allegiance.
Just because they do not complain much. Does not mean they have no complaints. Or they do not get hurt by it.
Keep that in mind.
 

Panda-s1

Scruffy and Determined
Cannot be overstated. Asian friends are raised to be quiet. To not make scenes. To keep their head down and work hard. To be model citizens. Even when abused. Even when questioned about their origins. And their allegiance.
Just because they do not complain much. Does not mean they have no complaints. Or they do not get hurt by it.
Keep that in mind.
man, my mom is fairly Americanized (she moved here when she was only eight), but yeah even I remember her always telling me, a loud person, that the loudest person will get blamed.

actually now that I think about it, my loudness was always an issue of contention, but that was more a personal than cultural thing, anyway....
 

dave2008

Legend
So basically you are not allowed to use fantasy in a fantasy RPG (number 5).
And when only Asian humans are allowed to use Asian themed classes in game the next step will be that only real life ethnic Asians are allowed to play those Asian humans as someone else playing them would also be white washing/cultural approbation
Ya, that was not my perspective of that post at all.
 


Sadras

Hero
...you're missing the point. WotC explicitly said they will try to be more culturally sensitive with their products, and therefore it's hypocritical of them to continue to make money off a book like OA. whether or not they remove it what matters is they, the company who owns the rights to it, no longer make money from it.

Argument 1
Why?
Because it is offensive.
To who?
A monetizing youtuber and some Asians
So not all Asians?
No, but they have been brought up to grin and bear it.
So their opinions on this matter are false or disinegenous?

Argument 2
Why?
Because it is offensive.
To who?
A monetizing youtuber and some Asians
So not all Asians?
Yes, but does it matter. It is deemed offensive and D&D needs to be inclusive.
Ok. How many people must be offended before something requires removal or ammendments?

EDIT:
Argument 3
Why?
Because it is cultural appropriation -a commercial power dymanic.
You do realise that the entire population of China ALONE far exceeds the sum of the populations of Europe, USA, Canada and Australia and that China is viewed as an economic powerhouse.
 
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Aldarc

Legend
As if these YouTubers are the only people of Asian descent who have voiced opposition to the content of OA... 🙄 I suppose it’s easier to dismiss contrary opinions when you ignore DECADES of dissenting, critical voices.

And I suppose if just one YouTuber of Asian descent praised OA as a non-problematic book in a five minute video, I suspect it would be hailed as authoritative evidence that OA is not racist.
 

Sadras

Hero
As if these YouTubers are the only people of Asian descent who have voiced opposition to the content of OA... 🙄 I suppose it’s easier to dismiss contrary opinions when you ignore DECADES of dissenting, critical voices.

And I suppose if just one YouTuber of Asian descent praised OA as a non-problematic book in a five minute video, I suspect it would be hailed as authoritative evidence that OA is not racist.

So no real answer just more rhetoric.
 


Immeril

Explorer
As if these YouTubers are the only people of Asian descent who have voiced opposition to the content of OA... 🙄 I suppose it’s easier to dismiss contrary opinions when you ignore DECADES of dissenting, critical voices.

And I suppose if just one YouTuber of Asian descent praised OA as a non-problematic book in a five minute video, I suspect it would be hailed as authoritative evidence that OA is not racist.

I suppose it's easier to whine about a 35 year old book for 26 hours straight and how WotC is still profiting from it (seriously?! How many people are still playing 1e?) instead of, I don't know, giving WotC a list of suggestions with which to create a non-offensive 5e successor.
 



Are you in favor of the removal (ban) of HP Lovecraft? Conan stories? Tolkien? Star Trek, TOS (which models imperialism)?

I think there's some muddled thinking here Snarf, that I'm slightly surprised to see from you!

Lovecraft and Howard are out of copyright. There is no possibility of them being "removed from sale", because you can just download them, and they're historical artifacts at this point. Further, Lovecraft has rather been reclaimed in quite a cool way by minority artists, often from the very minorities who he treated as so alien and subhuman and so on, because I think in part there's a peculiar innocence and almost a lack of normal malice to his pretty extreme racism, and because what he wrote was sufficiently bizarre and peculiarly inspiring that it still had value.

You say "when people realize", but people realized long, long ago. Lovecraft Country is a TV show premiering next month, with a black showrunner and black central characters, about racism in the South, but also about the Cthulhu mythos.

So you can stop worrying about Lovecraft. People read it with a critical eye, and even actual racists find it's racism so odd that I doubt they get many thrills from it. Especially when, say, Lovecraft is painting the Scots and the Irish as drunken heathen degenerates with subhuman levels of intelligence. I know that even reading it as a kid in say, 1990, the racism was more mind-boggling than anything else. This made it very distinct from a lot of other stuff written in the 1920s-1950s where the racism seemed more malicious and sneering, and usually had a "superior" white man in some way lording it over darker-skinned people (who were discussed in less bizarre but somehow more nasty terms).

Conan is not terribly popular today and tends to be seen as a historical artifact. Plus Howard upbraided Lovecraft for being super-racist in at least a couple of letters, which plays well for Howard being an artifact of his time and not particularly extra-racist. The racism in his work is certainly not remarkable, nor does it seem to paint everyone with dark skin as inferior or dangerous or the like (exotic, sure).

TOS weakens your argument, because any fule kno it was progressive as heck for the time, and it's depictions of "imperialism" as you put it are mild as all-get-out, and further, completely obliterated by TNG and the stressing of the Prime Directive and the general open-minded curiousity and friendliness of TNG. Plus TNG has its widely-condemned super-racist second episode for everyone to talk about (even the cast condemned it, and way before it was cool to do so).

It seems like the only one which aligns at all is Tolkien. Tolkien does contain problematic and somewhat remarkable racism (in that, literally all the dark-skinned people in LotR are baddies, entire races of them are baddies, and so on). Tolkien, is still, I believe, in copyright, and still profited from and has made tons of money. However, as you probably not aware, because hardly anyone is, most of this profit goes into the rather secretive/quiet Tolkien Trust (which holds the copyrights/royalties). A charity trust which then redistributes large amounts of money to other charitable causes, all of them ones which the broad left and most of the right will approve of. Charities often aren't allowed to say that they got money from Tolkien in public (some are), hilariously, but if you're involved with charities in the UK this is a big deal (and some other parts of the world too). If a big backlash against Tolkien's brief-but-definitely-racist stuff came out I suspect they might become a bit less secretive and point out how the money has been used.

I also can't help but notice all your examples are from the 1960s and earlier, whereas OA is from the mid 1980s. I don't really agree with Kwan that it should be removed from sale and not even given away free, but I do think it is reasonable to point out that if you profit from something like that, whilst claiming to be progressive, that is kind of a bit much. I would suggest making it simply donate 100% of the cost to anti-racism charities focused on anti-Asian racism, and adding a health warning to it's DM's Guild page (if it doesn't have one already).
 

giving WotC a list of suggestions with which to create a non-offensive 5e successor.

Why should OA have a "5E successor" at all? I mean, serious question? That seems like a weird suggestion.

It seems like address the points the OP made would be much more valuable than trying to create an "unoffensive" version of something that's a dubious concept to start with.
 

Sadras

Hero
Real answer to what? Your loaded presentation of three various arguments? How does that entitle a real answer?

Edit: I would suggest attempting to understand and present the dissenting voices with greater fairness and good faith of you expect people to treat what you are saying as insightful.

I presented the arguments in the way that I see them. The circular tangents are really not that important. That is where we are whether you like to admit it or not. I have even been so kind as to not question the justifications for the offense which are by many accounts ridiculous, and have accepted them at face value. (Seriously Kwan goes on forever about comeliness, chop sticks and proficiencies).

EDIT: Rephrase the arguments if you must to something acceptable to you.
 
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Immeril

Explorer
Why should OA have a "5E successor" at all? I mean, serious question? That seems like a weird suggestion.

It seems like address the points the OP made would be much more valuable than trying to create an "unoffensive" version of something that's a dubious concept to start with.
What's wrong with WotC doing a sourcebook in the style of Islands of Sina Una?
 

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