Oriental Adventures, was it really that racist?

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Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
ACLU definition

Censorship, the suppression of words, images, or ideas that are "offensive," happens whenever some people succeed in imposing their personal political or moral values on others. Censorship can be carried out by the government as well as private pressure groups. Censorship by the government is unconstitutional.

In contrast, when private individuals or groups organize boycotts against stores that sell magazines of which they disapprove, their actions are protected by the First Amendment, although they can become dangerous in the extreme. Private pressure groups, not the government, promulgated and enforced the infamous Hollywood blacklists during the McCarthy period.

Wikiepedia definition

Censorship is the suppression of speech, public communication, or other information. This may be done on the basis that such material is considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or "inconvenient". Censorship can be conducted by governments, private institutions and other controlling bodies.

Merriam Webster definition

transitive verb
: to examine in order to suppress (see suppress sense 2) or delete anything considered objectionable
censor the news
also
: to suppress or delete as objectionable
censor out indecent passages


The U.S. Constitutional First Amendment Rights deal with protection from the government.

Censorship is a broader concept than just government suppression of ideas. Government censorship is a subset of censoring.

Right. So if WotC pulls OA because it's the right thing to do, it's not censorship.

Of course, there are some people (the usual suspects) who would cry and scream about cancel culture, and WotC succumbing to pressure, etc. etc. /shrug
 

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FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Right. So if WotC pulls OA because it's the right thing to do, it's not censorship.

Of course, there are some people (the usual suspects) who would cry and scream about cancel culture, and WotC succumbing to pressure, etc. etc. /shrug
Just curious - Can a person legally transfer the rights of their pdf to another person or to a library to lend out? I don’t know the actually answer but it seems pertinent.

if a company sets themselves up as the only way possible to procure a work and then chooses to stop selling a digital copy, and none of those digital copies which were sold can be transferred individual to individual - then IMO that’s not ethical (regardless of whether you call it censorship). I don’t care whether they continue to sell it or whether the simply update their terms to allow the already sold work to be transferred between individuals (if it isn’t legally possible already).
 
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Random Task

Explorer
Right. So if WotC pulls OA because it's the right thing to do, it's not censorship.

Of course, there are some people (the usual suspects) who would cry and scream about cancel culture, and WotC succumbing to pressure, etc. etc. /shrug
There are books with actively malignant depictions of ethnic minorities that have been endlessly republished for hundreds of years. Seems a little overblown to be making these stop sale demands for something like OA, at least 1st edition (the one I'm familiar with).
 

Voadam

Legend
Right. So if WotC pulls OA because it's the right thing to do, it's not censorship.

Of course, there are some people (the usual suspects) who would cry and scream about cancel culture, and WotC succumbing to pressure, etc. etc. /shrug
If WotC as the rights holder decides to suppress OA from distribution because of its content, that seems to be a straightforward instance of private institution censorship.

It is within their legal rights to do so and does not infringe on anybody's first amendment rights, but it seems to be clearly within the definitions of censorship.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
I'm old enough to remember when "It's only censorship when the government does it" was a right wing talking point.
Pretty sure censorship via removal of service for thoughts and opinions by our utilities has been something everyone has been universally against.

the only new question for our times is how much large social media should be treated as public utilities.
 

gamerprinter

Mapper/Publisher
Because Bushido honor was truly an unachievable goal most of the time, in those rare instances where actions lead to Bushido honor uniquely appearing in history, it tied the concept intrinsically to the Japanese people as a whole, into their soul. The 47 Ronin incident really happened, and is probably the most Bushido honor moment in Japanese history - and it moved the entire nation.

Briefly put, a young daimyo from a rural province in northwestern Japan seemed a rube to the Shogun's magistrate who was leading a meeting of daimyo at the capital. These meetings have uniform colored garment requirements. The magistrate sent a message to the young daimyo that the colors of the next day were white, when they were going to be black, so the young daimyo appeared at the gathering looking like a fool. The magistrate chastised him, so the daimyo unsheathed his sword, but was immediately surrounded and arrested by the Shogun's men. Rather than granting him the honor of committing sepukku for his "crime", he was beheaded. The 47 samurai serving the daimyo awaiting outside the Shogun's castle, became ronin as soon as the master was slain. Everybody expected the ronin to attack and soldiers were ready in ambush, but their commander knew what was up and retreated from the Shogun's capital. They seemingly parted ways for two years, many gaining reputations as drunks in local taverns. All the while the ronin were gathering funds, having weapons and armor made in secret. Finally on a cold, snowy winter's night just outside of Kyoto, the ronin force gathered and marched to the magistrate's personal fortification, the ronin snuck over the walls and killed everyone in the compound including the magistrate. Then they left, appeared at a cemetery where they decided to all be buried and all 47 ronin committed seppuku.

I've visited that cemetery.

So, realistic or not, Bushido honor is intrinsically tied to the Japanese soul - and it's real in that way.
 
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aramis erak

Legend
That's... certainly an opinion. Not one I agree with, but, it's certainly one take.

But, I have to say, @aramis erak, if you are feeling attacked for holding certain views, there might be, just maybe, a problem with the views.
Myself? Only by the prior two responses... and I pretty much expected such.

I've no reason to listen to any particular group who's looking to be offended; they're going to, delusionally or not, find something. Nearly every time.

The impassioned defenses of "it's their modality that lead them to be wrong" isn't an excuse I'd accept; it is actually further condemnation - they've engaged in a practice that is going to lead to misattributtion of malice. At that point, there's literally nothing I'd trust from them as anything constructive.

AD&D 1E's OA wasn't great, but it was fun at the time. I'd not use it now, not because of the setting, but because the rules simply suck. At which point, the setting is nearly irrelevant.
 

aramis erak

Legend
I'm old enough to remember when "It's only censorship when the government does it" was a right wing talking point.
So, at least 10 years old. Got it. ;)
(I've heard it from politicians less than 6 years ago.)
That is, however, the legal situation in the US: censorship is only unlawful when done by the government. And even then, certain forms are allowed.

En World engages in censorship daily. Heck, in this thread we've seen it. (Not commenting on the moderation for quality nor reasons, only that it happened and is legit for En World to do so. It's a sucky task, but one worth the efforts. I'm not complaining).
 


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