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

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Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
The fact that fiction doesn't have a moral directive to educate doesn't mean that it cannot do so. Fiction gets written for all sorts of purposes, including to educate the reader. And no, the list I provided are not forms of entertainment.
 

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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I think it is quite a feat to jump from "bring about distortion, misunderstanding or error" to "unfavorable, undesirable" and then "harmful".

What?

You think going from error, to undesirable, to harmful is a BIG leap?

That sounds to me more like... the normal path. Someone makes an error - that error has undesirable effects, which harm someone. That's like... life in a nutshell! A very normal path through human existence.
 

Danzauker

Adventurer
The fact that fiction doesn't have a moral directive to educate doesn't mean that it cannot do so. Fiction gets written for all sorts of purposes, including to educate the reader. And no, the list I provided are not forms of entertainment.

It can surely do so. But if I do not want to educate, why should I be forced to to it?

And what i wanted to tell, is that if you do something freely, because you like it, then it's entertainment. Some don't like to be scared. Some other people go see horror movies voluntarily.

And, well, being provoked and informed entertains me, otherwise I wouldn't be here of my will discussing with people with different ideas than my own.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
No one's claiming that we should make it now but eventually you're going to have to say don't like it don't consume it.

I mean what are you gonna do. Destroy/hide ever thing that's older than 5 years ago?

Diversity means exactly that. It also includes stuff you don't like.
I presume you meant to quote someone else? Because I'm not understanding your post in response to me answering Sadras' question of whether or not I found the kit name 'Savage' a stereotype or not.
 

Aldarc

Legend
@Danzauker, it may help you to think of your responsibility less as a function of education and more as an extension of the Wheaton Rule: i.e, “don’t be a dick.” This applies to people but also to their cultures. Sure the game world may be a piece of fiction but if it’s one where in an alternate real world or one with thinly-veiled earth cultures and your fiction goes about disrespecting those cultures, then you are being a dick to those people. So it may become a responsibility for you to educate yourself so that you’re not inadvertently a massive wang rod to other people.
 

Sadras

Hero
Absolutely. Because all the things you mention are aligned in our heads, like it or not, to only certain peoples in the world (via the tropes, media and stereotypes we as a society have created and been given to us over the centuries.) And guess what? That "Savage" identity? When we think of it, it doesn't evoke White people.

What do we call White people who are more inuitive with nature, takes issues with certain laws or customs, are untrusting of steel, and marvel at the sights (of presumably "cities")? They get called Druids. Not Savages. Funny how that works? ;)

Unless I make a conscious decision to roleplay a non-white non-male - that is going to be my default. So the Savage in my head is by default white. UNLESS I find a pic on the net which inspires me to go a different direction. So when I google for a portrait - I'm going to google a combination of SAVAGE, BARBARIAN, D&D, PORTRAITS...etc I will go with the most inspiring pic at the time.

And lets be honest, at one time or another the civilised of Europe thought of the uncivilised Europeans as Savages, Pagans, Heathens, Brutes, Unwashed...etc

I mean, name the one single "White savage" that you can think of right now. If I had to guess... most likely it was Tarzan. But what do we know about Tarzan? He was born the child of a civilized lord and lady and then found himself abandoned in the jungle. So the one instance of a White "savage" wasn't really a savage, he instead fell into it by circumstance. And if that's the only one we can come up with... then yeah, the identity of the "Savage" is stereotyped to be 'ferocious', 'brutal' and 'cruel' Non-White people.

Tarzan is one of those examples within the Savage kit.

EDIT: I'm not saying you wrong, that it is not viewed as a stereotype by some, but you have highlighted my point about generalisations, archetypes and stereotypes. They can be subjective.
 


Aldarc

Legend
Tarzan is a character with his own issues. People have been living in the jungle for thousands of years and surviving just fine, but one white boy gets marooned there and he's Lord of the Jungle? C'mon.
He also knows about five languages so it’s not as if he a wolf child or something. He’s also presented as a white savior figure.
 

Sadras

Hero
I am quite familiar with 2E and the kit system. I should perhaps have been more specific above that I was outlining classes in general. You have hit on an example, in the Savage, where there is indeed a stereotype of sorts at work. You can indeed play that character in a bunch of ways, but the kit itself is based in some slightly uncomfortable colonialist imagery of non-European cultures. A lot of that is loaded into the word 'Savage' which is undoubtedly a loaded term with racist overtones. The word 'primitive' also comes pre-loaded with a lot of negative connotations.

In both cases the issue is 'savage' or 'primitive' compared to what? With the answer generally being European culture, often specifically 'white' northern European culture. If you want to represent a culture like that without the racists and colonial overtones, then it should be described in its own terms, rather than in terms that implicitly index a pejorative comparison to some other, ostensibly superior culture.

Similar as what I answered @DEFCON 1, the initial image of Savage to me would be white male. I'm pretty sure most people's initial image is that of their own skin. Funny enough if I had to select the Samurai kit, that is the only time where I would immediately have a mental image of an Asian. Savage (despite all its negative historical connotations), still reminds me of the Gauls, the Ostrogoths, the Vikings - hence the image of white male - maybe because of all these Viking shows, maybe because my lens bends Eurocentric, maybe because of my upbringing - I cannot say.

But please do note I certainly can see and understand where you are coming from, hence my intial delve into this.
It was to highlight that what one may view as negative i.e. stereotype, another may not. I hope I'm making sense here.

Also, I'll point out that the phrase 'Noble Savage' is probably one you want to avoid. It's a specific term related to some pretty egregious racial stereotyping.

Thanks for this, didn't know about the term other than its mention within the CFH, will check it out.
 

Voadam

Legend
Really? I think he makes a decent point. If I was running a jukebox at my house, and a song came on that someone went "ugh, that song." I'd probably offer to change it. Maybe if it was a song I liked I'd ask "what's wrong with this song?" but I wouldn't be resistant to changing it. It is probably one of hundreds on tracks, what do I care if we skip this one for something else?

Really. :)

If I was at a party and a song came on that I felt was annoying or overplayed (as given in the example) I might want it changed as if I was in my car by myself. However by definition there are more than myself at this person's party. Musical tastes vary and someone else there might be feeling "I love this song!" There is a good chance the host chose it because they like the song or thought many of their guests would like it. Cutting out midstream on a song someone is enjoying would probably annoy them. These considerations cut against it being appropriate to act on my individual desire to change the song for the entire group just because I personally dislike it.

Also I would not generally think it appropriate to attempt to commandeer control of the entertainment provided at someone else's party.

In the example given the annoyed person has given zero thought to anybody but themselves and expects their veto preferences to be unquestionably met by others for the entire group.
 



Sadras

Hero
Tarzan is a character with his own issues. People have been living in the jungle for thousands of years and surviving just fine, but one white boy gets marooned there and he's Lord of the Jungle? C'mon.

Yes, Tarzan is a mess, Conan is a mess, LotR Orcs are a mess. Tintin is a mess, Asterix is a mess. All of D&D is a mess. We get it. None of that is helpful in this conversation if all one does is outrage. All I said was that Tarzan is one of the examples within the Savage kit. I believe that's one of the several tropes provided. It is not intended as a value statement.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
EDIT: I'm not saying you wrong, that it is not viewed as a stereotype by some, but you have highlighted my point about generalisations, archetypes and stereotypes. They can be subjective.
Of course. And for those who don't immediately have that stereotypical vision come to them when they hear it, I'd say they are lucky.

Unfortunately, if folks like you are the exception rather than the rule... the use of "Savage" in the context of a warrior kit will be considered problematic because more/most people will be unable to not align the word to the racial connotations behind it (because of the media and portrayals we were exposed to growing up.) The rest of us have to keep fighting against that negative portrayal so that it doesn't poison our thinking going forward. So you are right that it is subjective... but if more people fall on my side than of yours, then the desires/needs to try and change the portrayal will be greater. So the hope is that eventually no one (or at least most people) won't immediately have the racist connotation be the one that comes to mind. If we can get everyone to think like you, then that is positive progress.

But that can't happen unless we try and change it. Which means yes, you are being "punished" (if we can even call this a punishment) for being on the better side of this issue already because now you can't use it even in the non-racial way you see it as. But honestly... if you are already on the positive side, why would you want to stop the rest of us from joining you? I would think you'd want as many people to consider the term the way you do and thus would be happy to have things changed so that we can start the move in your direction?
 

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
What?

You think going from error, to undesirable, to harmful is a BIG leap?

That sounds to me more like... the normal path. Someone makes an error - that error has undesirable effects, which harm someone. That's like... life in a nutshell! A very normal path through human existence.
It is distortion, misunderstanding or error, not just error. And there is a place for oversimplified in the world. Newtonian Mechanics are an oversimplified model of physics, yet they are good enough to build almost anything we could need on human scale. The Daltonian model of the atom is oversimplified, yet good enough for middle school chemistry. And so on. I mean, there's a book -my favorite book- that I first read when I was seven. At the time I ignored many things and I misunderstood a lot of it, I ended up with a distorted notion of it, yet I loved it. Now I'm older and I get most of the original intended meaning, but I still prefer the more fantastical oversimplified version 7 year old me got when I first read it.
 

Voadam

Legend
Absolutely. Because all the things you mention are aligned in our heads, like it or not, to only certain peoples in the world (via the tropes, media and stereotypes we as a society have created and been given to us over the centuries.) And guess what? That "Savage" identity? When we think of it, it doesn't evoke White people.

What do we call White people who are more inuitive with nature, takes issues with certain laws or customs, are untrusting of steel, and marvel at the sights (of presumably "cities")? They get called Druids. Not Savages. Funny how that works? ;)
Or maybe Picts if they are not depicted as Conan's Native American Indian stand ins.



When I thought "White Savages" this is the image that came to mind.

In the picture they have metal swords but in most stories about Picts I've read they are more often stone weapons.
 

Danzauker

Adventurer
@Danzauker, it may help you to think of your responsibility less as a function of education and more as an extension of the Wheaton Rule: i.e, “don’t be a dick.” This applies to people but also to their cultures. Sure the game world may be a piece of fiction but if it’s one where in an alternate real world or one with thinly-veiled earth cultures and your fiction goes about disrespecting those cultures, then you are being a dick to those people. So it may become a responsibility for you to educate yourself so that you’re not inadvertently a massive wang rod to other people.

Please note that with these straitjackets to creativity we would not have 90% of literature, music and film in the world.

How would you treat Preacher, or The Invisibles? Or JoJo Rabbit and Iron Moon?
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
It is distortion, misunderstanding or error, not just error. And there is a place for oversimplified in the world.

Is there a place for it... when you are applying it to PEOPLE?

Newtonian Mechanics are an oversimplified model of physics, yet they are good enough to build almost anything we could need on human scale.

So, as a physicist myself, that's not how we think about it - we are very aware of the conditions in which it is valid, and in which it isn't, because stuff breaks and fails when we don't. And when we see that happen, we change our models.

Are humans that careful applying ideas to other humans? And, do we actually correct ourselves when stuff breaks... on a person? I daresay we are not very good at it at all, and if this were another forum, I could dump a ton of statistics supporting that statement.

So... if you want to use science as your analogy, I believe it is time for you to change your model, hm?
 

It can surely do so. But if I do not want to educate, why should I be forced to to it?

And what i wanted to tell, is that if you do something freely, because you like it, then it's entertainment. Some don't like to be scared. Some other people go see horror movies voluntarily.

And, well, being provoked and informed entertains me, otherwise I wouldn't be here of my will discussing with people with different ideas than my own.

"Some don't like to be scared. Some other people go see horror movies voluntarily."

Some people are entertained by misogynistic power fantasies. Some people are women.

Some people like to be entertained with stories of the Heroic American blowing up the bad guys and saving the native people. Some people would like America to stop assuming they can't handle their own problems.


Actually, I just thought of the perfect real life example of this. I had nearly scrubbed it from my memory. Here is the perfect example about why just saying "but I just want to be entertained" is not enough to justify actions.


I went to an organized con game for 7th Sea... two years ago. It was a group of people who all tended to play together. In fact, other than myself and another person sitting next to me, everyone at our table was part of this group, from the DM to the other players. I could tell we were the only two outsiders, because not having a character sheet already made up was a huge problem, because the DM forgot their materials, and we had to wait a half an hour to get sheets and books so we could make our characters to actually play.

I made an... I want to say he was a Venecian Fencer? Anyways, I liked the idea of him having this honor code, protecting women and children, and the pre-gen they handed me (yeah. they made a character for the first guy, I got handed a pre-gen because they DM didn't realize that both the new players asking about character creation needed a character) and was making him a noblish sort

After the first bit of action where I bravely... tried to get involved but rolled low enough initiative that I never got to act, we were assigned to a ship. Many of us were forced to work on the ship to help pay our way. Most people got, a sentence? Maybe two about how they were swabbing the deck or helping cook.

My character was forced (as in I asked not to be and was told I had no choice) to be in the bilge, standing in literal sewage and pumping. Oh, and I got a 10 minute scene of this. The DM and the other regulars taking great entertainment out of describing my character in the filth, with a dirty little man who wanted to make a game out of throwing turds at other turds, pumping the bilges. Actually, there was an attack on the ship while we were traveling... and I was basically told that by the time I would get out of the bilges, the fight was over.


The only thing that made this game enjoyable for me (it was a waste of $4 no matter how you slice it) was the very end of the game.

Our final scene was attacking a tower to disable cannons that would destroy our ship if we tried to cross. Again, I ended up not doing much of anything. The homemade characters with their stats and understanding of the system breezed through all three levels of the tower, with me desperately trailing behind trying to do something for the first time in 4 hours. Then, the final boss was holding a kid over the edge of the tower, threatening to kill him if we didn't let him go, and the tower was exploding anyways.

I told the DM that I dove for the kid, and that I was going to try and save him regardless of whatever the boss was going to do to my character (spiked mace to the spine in fact). The looks of shock on their faces, the complete and utter confusion as I even has other players telling me to just run and ignore the kid, were priceless. They had no clue what to do with a character who didn't care about his own skin.

After all, what did I have invested in this character? His only scene throughout four hours of gameplay and four dollars of my own money, was being the butt of their joke in the shitty bowels of a ship. They all found that very entertaining. They were very entertained. I wasn't. I found it degrading, pointless and stupid.

So, yeah, "What if I don't want to care about how other people feel, what if I just want to be entertained and have fun" is not a viewpoint I think most of us can get behind.


Really. :)

If I was at a party and a song came on that I felt was annoying or overplayed (as given in the example) I might want it changed as if I was in my car by myself. However by definition there are more than myself at this person's party. Musical tastes vary and someone else there might be feeling "I love this song!" There is a good chance the host chose it because they like the song or thought many of their guests would like it. Cutting out midstream on a song someone is enjoying would probably annoy them. These considerations cut against it being appropriate to act on my individual desire to change the song for the entire group just because I personally dislike it.

Also I would not generally think it appropriate to attempt to commandeer control of the entertainment provided at someone else's party.

In the example given the annoyed person has given zero thought to anybody but themselves and expects their veto preferences to be unquestionably met by others for the entire group.


See, you are going at this wrong, because you are coming at this from the perspective of the guest who is complaining. That wasn't what the tweet was saying.

You are the host, being asked by your guest to change the song because they don't like it.

Would you seriously have an arguement with them over how they are selfishly trying to commandeer control of the entertainment you provided them, that you picked because you thought they would all enjoy it... when clearly one of them doesn't?

As the host at that party, I wouldn't think the person was being entitled or selfish or trying to control the group. I'd think. "Oh, they don't like this one, next song" and move on.

But, the tweet goes on, if they brought race into it, they have to win a debate. They have to convince you that they are right and correct to want the song changed.

That was the point. Not how entitled they are for wanting their preferences, but that in some instances and phrases of entertainment, you wouldn't question the why even if it was silly, but if they bring up race or culture, they have to win an argument first even though those are powerful reasons to ask for something to be changed.
 

Bohandas

Adventurer
Assuming people live at least 50 years, that is the time of the current generations great-grandparents. That is still very recent.

Assuming that people live no more than 122.5 years at a maximum, that means that nobody who was alive then is still alive today. There is nobody left who was actually a part of it. It's very very unlikely that you'll even find someone whose parent was a part of it.

Do you really believe that people should carry a grudge over "what their great grandpa did to our great grandpa"? Isn't that just a blood feud?

EDIT:
More importantly, why should we talk about oppressions that were over centuries abo when there are oppressions HAPPENING RIGHT NOW that have nothing to do with slavery. Oppression like police brutality, wrongful conviction, uneven sentwncing. Worry about THOSE. Those are here, those are current. Fight that battle instead of refighting a bettle we already one 155 years ago! There are people TODAY who need your help!



Absolutely. Because all the things you mention are aligned in our heads, like it or not, to only certain peoples in the world (via the tropes, media and stereotypes we as a society have created and been given to us over the centuries.) And guess what? That "Savage" identity? When we think of it, it doesn't evoke White people.

What do we call White people who are more inuitive with nature, takes issues with certain laws or customs, are untrusting of steel, and marvel at the sights (of presumably "cities")? They get called Druids. Not Savages. Funny how that works? ;)

In real life they'd be called "hillbillies", or a variety of other pejorative names.
 
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