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WotC Dungeons & Dragons Fans Seek Removal of Oriental Adventures From Online Marketplace

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Dire Bare

Legend
Supporter
With WotC's recent statement on making the game more inclusive in regards to racial issues, I should have predicted this would happen next.

Dungeons & Dragons Fans Seek Removal of Oriental Adventures From Online Marketplace

The 1st Edition "Oriental Adventures" is probably one of the worst titles in the back catalog for its treatment of race and culture, but it is far from the only problematic title. Should WotC remove the 1E "Oriental Adventures" rulebook from the DriveThruRPG.com marketplace? How about the 3E version? Other products that built on Oriental Adventures? What other titles?

Personally, I don't feel that the book should be removed entirely, but something does need to be done to acknowledge the problematic aspects of the title. I'd take a page from the HBO Max streaming service. HBO Max temporarily removed the movie "Gone with the Wind" recently due to the world's current focus on racial issues. However, they have restored the film to the catalog with an introductory disclaimer basically saying the film is important in a historical context but, yeah, pretty racist.

I would like to see WotC do something similar with "Oriental Adventures" and other problematic titles. Add a disclaimer at the beginning of the digital book explaining explicitly the problematic elements of the book. I would also have all profits from the book's sales go to a charity, preferably some charity dealing with Asian American racial issues.

What do you think?
 

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Dire Bare

Legend
Supporter
An alternate way of dealing with problematic elements recently . . . .

Streaming platforms Netflix and others have removed the "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons" episode from the "Community" TV series. In this episode, one of the characters, Chang, shows up to the gang's D&D game in drow blackface. The other characters respond negatively to his choice, and Chang is known as an abrasive character. This episode actually deals pretty well with issues of bullying, and it was hilarious, apart from the questionable choice to use drow blackface.

So HBO Max keeps "Gone with the Wind" but with a disclaimer up front, Netflix drops an episode entirely from a TV show. Which is the better solution? Which model should WotC use regarding "Oriental Adventures"? Or is there a third path they should follow?
 


Nikosandros

Golden Procrastinator
So HBO Max keeps "Gone with the Wind" but with a disclaimer up front, Netflix drops an episode entirely from a TV show. Which is the better solution? Which model should WotC use regarding "Oriental Adventures"? Or is there a third path they should follow?
I'd rather WotC would follow HBO's example. Bundle a disclaimer with the download to the tune that "This product does not reflect WotC views nad may be offensive to readers".
 




Can this and the other Oriental Adventures thread be moved to RPG General?
Before widespread usage of PDFs....TSR’s Oriental Adventures had already been out of print.
Same with the 3e version.

At this point, do we here at EnWorld need to troll each other for another 120 pages, on something that is only tangentially related to 5e?
 

pukunui

Hero
Can this and the other Oriental Adventures thread be moved to RPG General?
Before widespread usage of PDFs....TSR’s Oriental Adventures had already been out of print.
Same with the 3e version.

At this point, do we here at EnWorld need to troll each other for another 120 pages, on something that is only tangentially related to 5e?
This forum hasn’t been just for 5e for a while now. It’s for all editions of D&D.
 



tommybahama

Adventurer
What do you think?
As an Asian, I stand with Margaret Cho: "I think what it is is that white people like to tell Asians how to feel."

From an editorial in the Chicago Tribune by J. Tsuchiyama: "As an Oriental, I am bemused. Apparently Asians are supposed to feel demeaned if someone refers to us as Orientals. But good luck finding a single Asian American who has ever had the word spat at them in anger. Most Asian Americans have had racist epithets hurled at them at one time or another...But Oriental isn't in the canon. And why should it be? Literally, it means of the Orient or of the East, as opposed to of the Occident or of the West. Last I checked, geographic origin is not a slur. If it were, it would be wrong to label people from Mississippi as Southerners."
 




So I was poking around and looking for the connection between Oriental and Orientalism and did not ever realize they refer to the Middle East just as much as they do Asia. When I hear Oriental, I have never thought of Persia or Turkey, only Japan or China or other east Asian countries. It also appears the terms did not really start having serious negative connotations until Edward Said, a professor and political activist, included it in a negative way in his books, including one titled Orientalism, published in 1978. Reading all that makes me wonder how the original release was called Oriental Adventures in the first place, seeing as it was published only 7 years later. Though with no internet to check on things like that, it is understandable that no one at TSR would have even known.
 



Sadras

Hero
As an Asian, I stand with Margaret Cho: "I think what it is is that white people like to tell Asians how to feel."

From an editorial in the Chicago Tribune by J. Tsuchiyama: "As an Oriental, I am bemused. Apparently Asians are supposed to feel demeaned if someone refers to us as Orientals. But good luck finding a single Asian American who has ever had the word spat at them in anger. Most Asian Americans have had racist epithets hurled at them at one time or another...But Oriental isn't in the canon. And why should it be? Literally, it means of the Orient or of the East, as opposed to of the Occident or of the West. Last I checked, geographic origin is not a slur. If it were, it would be wrong to label people from Mississippi as Southerners."
Thank you for this! I'm sick and tired of white outrage.
 


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