What We Lose When We Eliminate Controversial Content

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So why even bring it up? Why have it floating around in your head as a possibility, if it's something that literally hasn't happened in 40 years?
Because it is a PC issue, just as is PC death, and TPKs, which have occured much more frequently. At some point PCs are going to encounter the remains of NPCs taken alive, after all, and hear of more such incidents. The world is rolling along as the campaign goes on, and the news in any genre is seldom cheery.
 

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There are an infinite number of colors out there. Losing one color still means there's an infinite number.
But why lose colors?

A game not having slavery--or not having some other topic--isn't less of a game, and it's not limited. It's just different. And it could very well be better and more accessible for not having that topic in it.
But it is less, and limited, by definition. And again: why? It smacks of discrimination at the very least. Or denial.
 

Bagpuss

Legend
There are an infinite number of colors out there. Losing one color still means there's an infinite number.

Perhaps in reality, but not in a box of crayons they are finite.

Or are you saying we can get rid of slavery in our story telling but the we, but just have a different tone of slavery, say indentured servitude, or judicial system that imprisons people and then forces them to do labour (might even disproportionately target a particular race).

At which point why not just use the Red Crayon instead of the Cranberry Crunch Red Crayon?
 

Exactly my point. Why was the need to discuss the treatment of the victims of slavery within game, meanwhile we don't demand the same thing from the game when sons, fathers and husbands are lost within a devastating war leaving behind a gutted society and destitute & torn apart families?

That can be explored, though! That's totally something people do, and they can get critiqued on it! This is just a strawman acting like people don't sometimes want to look at those things. It all depends on the context. The difference here is that slavery and sexual assault always unjustly victimize. The same is not always true for the things you describe.

Because you keep going in circles.

That is literally not an answer to what I said, just as you misinterpreted @Faolyn 's slaver comments.

Neither myself nor Faolyn mentioned the word ban in our discussion. Are you strawmanning?

No, you're just being obtuse. Your entire argument is "Where does it end?", when we can just say "Well, it ends here for the moment". These hyperbolic slippery slopes are just not honest because they assume that this can't be stopped, that all things must and will be judged the same way each time.

Who is doing the murder, theft, arson = Bad Guys + possibly Good Guys
Who is doing the slavery and sexual assault = Bad Guys

You said no Right Justification exists for slavery and sexual assault. I agree.
What is the Right Justification for murder, theft and arson for the Bad Guys? Because remember they also leave victims behind.

You're right, and that is more likely to be explored by games because exploring slavery often goes into mundanity that RPGs don't get into. You don't get the see the stuff behind the curtain because it's just set-dressing. But people see the harm of the actions you talk about all the time, people can participate in helping rebuild after those things...

Simply put, sudden instances of violence are easier to show the results of than large, grinding systems of violence. They are easier to deal with, easier to explain than said systems and easier to explore in this sort of setting.
 

Hussar

Legend
I am missing the connection....

How many Mythical Russian products versus references to bears?
You asked what stories can be told now that couldn't be told ten years ago. Well, Mythical Africa is a perfect example. Fifty years, thousands of products and not a single product devoted to an entire continent. Yet, on the other hand, we have dozens of products, if not over a hundred, with slavery included. If we had all those colors to use for all this time, how come we only use green? Maybe if we were to take away green, then we could start seeing other colors being used.

To torture your analogy.

This seems like a bit of an odd connection to make: that the presence of slavery is the cause of the absence of African, as if those things are intrinsically oppositional. It is both the case that Black people are bigger than the worst thing that ever happened to some of them, and that some of histories most famous Africans sat atop slaver societies: Mansa Musa and Ramses the Great, for instance.

Again, missing the point. We've had thousands of D&D products over the years. And dozens if not hundreds of products, including many which are very well known in the hobby, featuring slavery as a theme. But, zero Mythic Africa. Again, if we've had all this freedom for all this time, to produce any product we could think of, then certainly there should have been a couple that spoke to a Mythic Africa. After all, everything is supposed to be equal right? Free speech and all that.

The claim is that by removing something like slavery, we would lose creativity. Seems to me that creativity hasn't exactly been promoted by including slavery, but rather the opposite - retreading the same tired old tropes and themes over and over again.
 

Hussar

Legend
Perhaps in reality, but not in a box of crayons they are finite.

Or are you saying we can get rid of slavery in our story telling but the we, but just have a different tone of slavery, say indentured servitude, or judicial system that imprisons people and then forces them to do labour (might even disproportionately target a particular race).

At which point why not just use the Red Crayon instead of the Cranberry Crunch Red Crayon?
But therein is the point. We've had this box of crayons for FIFTY YEARS. And yet, red keeps getting used over and over and over again. Why not see what happens when we take that red crayon out of the box, mostly because people in the hobby, people who love the hobby just as much as you do, feel that including that red crayon is making them feel unwelcome.

For all these claims about how unrestricted speech leads to greater creativity, there seems to be a very decided lack of actual evidence that this is true. What does seem to be true is that unrestricted speech leads to lazy writing, and endless retreads.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
If this cancel culture continues...

Mod Note:
And, here we go, someone stepping right into the inclusivity policy. And I quote:

"You MAY NOT ... use pejorative terms and buzzwords or dogwhistles including but not limited to "social justice warrior", "political correctness", "wokeism", "virtue signalling", and "cancel culture" to dismiss the opinions of those you disagree with...."
(bold added for clarity)

The thread's done pretty well without this, so let's not start adding it, folks. Thanks.
 

SteveC

Doing the best imitation of myself
It seems to me that we're talking about slavery as an issue because of the recent Dark Sun kerfuffle. It is certainly not the only issue that people find problematic: virtually any feature of history that people find problematic has a group that wants to remove it from gaming. If you look at pretty much any polarizing political issue, there are people who want to remove it from being fair play to have as a part of gaming. Enworld has a ban on politics still (I think so, right?) so I'm not going to bring them up but ... take a moment to think about political controversies and then ask "what form would they take in a fantasy universe," and then you'll have your answer about what's next. And not even what's next: what else is being removed right now.

I don't think anyone is saying that every campaign needs to focus on slavery, it's just a specific recent example that applies to topics that some thing should be removed from gaming. And it's something that's part of campaigns for characters to fight against. To make positive change in the world by getting rid of.

Can't we just get rid of this one bad thing? Of course we can, but we all know that slavery is one of many horrible things that exist in fantasy. This whole discussion makes me want to ask "why is murder okay to have in fantasy, when it affects so many people in the real world?" The answer is simple: you have things like murder in a fantasy game as something bad happening that you have to stop or somehow make right. That's the same answer for any controversial bad thing in an RPG: it's something bad guys do and we can make it better in the game world.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
It's certainly capable of frightening away high profile creators.

Corporate entities do not have emotions like individual people do. To ascribe things like "fear" to them is misleading.

They are not "frightened" away. They are not quaking in their boots. They are not feeling anxiety, the increased heart rate, the rush of adrenaline, flight or fight, or anything like that. They are not in an emotional state over this. Larger entities are far more calculating about it. They simply see it as more profitable, for them, in their position, to not use some tropes in their works.
 

Bagpuss

Legend
Again, missing the point. We've had thousands of D&D products over the years. And dozens if not hundreds of products, including many which are very well known in the hobby, featuring slavery as a theme. But, zero Mythic Africa. Again, if we've had all this freedom for all this time, to produce any product we could think of, then certainly there should have been a couple that spoke to a Mythic Africa. After all, everything is supposed to be equal right? Free speech and all that.

The claim is that by removing something like slavery, we would lose creativity. Seems to me that creativity hasn't exactly been promoted by including slavery, but rather the opposite - retreading the same tired old tropes and themes over and over again.

I think that has very little to do with slavery being mentioned in products or not, but who's been writing RPG content for much of its history and their backgrounds and interests. People write what they know and what they are passionate about. You've not seen a huge number of PoC writing fantasy until recently, and now you have significantly more PoC writing fantasy and involved in RPGs you are seeing a large number of Africa influence RPG products.
 

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