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

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Insulting other members
Anyone equating the noble savage trope to anything resembling real life has a mind virus. The noble savage is an entertaining fiction. Nothing more. It has never, not will ever, exist. The superposition of stereotypes onto individuals is an offense worth of ridicule.

Oriental Adventures is not real life; real life is not Oriental Adventures. The inability to differentiate the two only demonstrates a moral or intellectual unreadiness to engage with fiction on its own terms.
 

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Because this ignored a little thing called "causality". Police brutality and other forms of racial injustice did not spring fully formed from the forehead of Zeus to trouble us in this day and age. These things are an evolution, one with a direct line tracing all the way back to American (both continents) chattel slavery, if not further.

Modern policing and imprisonment are absolutely direct descendents of the enforcement of slavery.

No. They are the result of either 1) intentional hatred or 2) poor epistemology on behalf of unqualified individuals working in job beyond their moral and intellectual pay-grade.
 

Dire Bare

Legend
Supporter
Not of Native American descent myself, so I recognize that I have no authority to judge either... but wouldn't that theoretically depend on whether or not the "noble savage" character specifically evokes a real-world nationality that has had that label applied to them? A clearly Native American-inspired character would therefore be a problem and should be avoided, but Conan, who comes from a completely fictional society, seems much less problematic. (On that count, anyway; there are of course other problems with Conan that aren't relevant to this question.)

No.

Imagine that you, as a DM, have created a race of "noble savages" but tried very carefully to not include any Native American signifiers. Now, you are lucky enough that a friend with NA or other indigenous ancestry has been invited to join your gaming group, and they are a first time RPG gamer.

First . . . good luck creating your noble savages without evoking Native American culture. I suppose it's possible, but . . .

Second . . . your NA player reads about your noble savage culture, and recognizes the exact same language that has been used to stereotype their people for centuries. They feel uncomfortable and unwelcome, but embarrassed to share their feelings with the group. They just leave, and likely do not return to the D&D hobby figuring . . . it's a hobby by white folks for white folks, it isn't for me.

So, no, deliberately using the noble savage trope is not okay. At all.
 

Azzy

Newtype
The noble savage trope isn't limited to Native Americans. I'm not sure why the opinion of a Huron is valid when discussing specific uses of trope, say in the case of Conan, while your opinion is unimportant. I find the idea that only certain groups of people are permitted to have valid opinions on some subjects to be ludicrous.
I didn't say it was thus limite, just using them as an example of a people maligned by this trope.

You may find it ludicrous, but you don't get to tell those that have suffered from such racist and imperialist views how they should feel. Seriously, your opinion carries so much less weight than thiers because you have never been affected by what they have. I mean, it's like telling someone that suffers from depression to "just try to think more positively". It's patronizing at best.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Anyone equating the noble savage trope to anything resembling real life has a mind virus. The noble savage is an entertaining fiction. Nothing more. It has never, not will ever, exist. The superposition of stereotypes onto individuals is an offense worth of ridicule.

Oriental Adventures is not real life; real life is not Oriental Adventures. The inability to differentiate the two only demonstrates a moral or intellectual unreadiness to engage with fiction on its own terms.
Insulting and questioning the mental health of people who disagree with you is (a) a weak debating stance and (b) not allowed on these boards. In other news, you’re now up to 6 warning points, so you’ve joined a ‘special’ list.
 


Azzy

Newtype
Anyone equating the noble savage trope to anything resembling real life has a mind virus. The noble savage is an entertaining fiction. Nothing more. It has never, not will ever, exist. The superposition of stereotypes onto individuals is an offense worth of ridicule.
Again, sure if you ignore facts.
 

Voadam

Hero
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.
I would say I was correctly saying what was off-putting to me. :)

The example in the article was trying to establish a baseline neutral situation of an objection then compare it to one involving claims of offensive material.

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

Actually, the example is just stating a dislike, but lets go with the perspective of the host when there is an explicit ask.

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?
Shifting from my use of "most" to "all"? :)

I can see a range of reasonable responses including acquiescing to the request, doing so after glancing around to see that others were not dancing to it or whatever, to politely declining, to being annoyed at the entitlement enough to to call them on it.

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.

I can see that response, just not as the only reasonable one, and not as a default one someone should feel entitled to expect.

Out of curiosity, as an objective third party to the hypothetical would you consider the request self-centered and/or entitled?

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.

Right, in his article Hodes said "If instead I told you that I didn’t like the song because I thought it was offensive, and you strongly disagreed, then you might be less likely to skip to the next track. I might have to beat you in a tiny debate first. I dunno."

I think this is rhetorically disingenuous, flipping from neutral feelings about the reasons for disliking the song to strongly disagreeing on the offensiveness of it.

If a host has strong feelings not related to whether the song is offensive or not they will also be less likely to skip to the next track and the requester may have to win an argument.

I do not see the situation as everyone unquestionably goes along with veto requests for a group unless it is about thinking something is racially offensive.
 

Sure, if you ignore facts and causation.

Each and every individual in that chain of causation has the ability to break it. In order for the chain of racism to continue 1) it must be correct (I certain hope that isn't the case); 2) individuals fails to use correct epistemological reasoning; 3) they exhibit irrational hatred; 4) they are too cowardly to speak up. In either any (assuming only propositions 2-4 are correct), each individual in the chain of causation is culpable.
 




And yet it hasn't been broken. There is a direct, unbroken line to the past that has shaped the present. Burying your head in the sand in regards to this fact doesn't change it.

I'm not arguing whether is has been broken or not. I cannot substantiate that claim one way or another.
 



Did you even bother to read the articles I linked?

Yes. I always read articles when asked. They showed how someone might go about mapping fiction onto reality. Which was fine. But they failed to explain how mapping fiction onto reality is a logical thing to do. Likewise, they fails to explain how integrating one's identity with that of a group is a sound premise.
 

Bertil

Villager
As I’ve written before, I’m all for disclaimers etc.

But when people actually argue for cultural isolation and segregation, with cultural consultant ”diplomats” being the judges of what cultural material - and in what form - are allowed to cross cultural borders, that makes me really scared.

It is the same rethorics that the alt-right parties here in Europe use, and I can’t understand how one at the same time can argue for anti-racism and cultural insulation with tight gatekeeping. In my opinion, a multicultural society, with free and open cultural cross-fertilization, is necessary to crush opressing structures, including structural racism, and create understanding between groups of people.

As for the four points to identify cultural appropriation from many pages ago, they would essentialy put a stop to all artistical endevours. The core of artistic work is the creative expression out of the artists total sensorial input over time. Today with streaming and social media, and (during non-Corona times) global travelling, it’s impossible to not get inspiration from many cultural expressions, and even more impossible to make a meticulous examination of every possible trace of cultural appropriation as from the four-point guide.

Under global capitalism, I can’t really ser how it even would be possible - or wanted - to regulate that.

Now, there are flagrant culturally expressed problems that reproduce and reinforce the bad situation for oppressed people. But in my opinion thats a material and political problem to solve, by both legislation, education and adequate funding for emancipatory purposes. The solution can never be to gag writers, musicians, painters, sculptors or poets. Or rpg makers.
 
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But happens all the time in the real world. All. The. Time.

The fact that it is worthy of ridicule does not mean it doesn't have an impact, and your assertion doesn't mean that they don't make lives crappy.

Yes. It does happen all the time, which is extremely unfortunate. Which is why I advocate for carefully assessing others' opinions before determining whether they contain knowledge, justified belief, or unjustified belief and then reacting accordingly on those grounds.
 
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MGibster

Legend
You may find it ludicrous, but you don't get to tell those that have suffered from such racist and imperialist views how they should feel.

Where are you getting the impression that I'm telling anyone how they should feel?

Seriously, your opinion carries so much less weight than thiers because you have never been affected by what they have. I mean, it's like telling someone that suffers from depression to "just try to think more positively". It's patronizing at best.

If my opinion carries less weight then it stands to reason my actions do as well. So I suppose I can just use the trope with impunity.
 

MGibster

Legend
First . . . good luck creating your noble savages without evoking Native American culture. I suppose it's possible, but . . .

Are the Cimmerians, the people from whence Conan hails from, anything like Native Americans? Would a Goth, Visigoth, or Gaul make an appropriate noble savage for a campaign centered on Rome or do they resemble too closely Native Americans?

Second . . . your NA player reads about your noble savage culture, and recognizes the exact same language that has been used to stereotype their people for centuries. They feel uncomfortable and unwelcome, but embarrassed to share their feelings with the group. They just leave, and likely do not return to the D&D hobby figuring . . . it's a hobby by white folks for white folks, it isn't for me.

Or he reads it, decides it doesn't interest him so he makes a wizard, sticks around, and has fun.

So, no, deliberately using the noble savage trope is not okay. At all.

Like all tropes, it just depends on how it's used. It's okay if you don't like it but that doesn't mean the trope shouldn't ever be used.
 

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