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Joys of political correctness

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  • #16
    Originally posted by EverKing View Post
    In rebuttal to the above (or, at least, some more food-for-thought on the topic): https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/b...s-arent-racist

    So drop a juicy bomb and run? Haha. This is juicy enough for a closer read. My first impression is that the key arguments are 1) part of the problem is the conception of orcs as a race. 2) it doesn’t really matter because there is no real life racism that results. 3) framing this as a problem makes fools of the people who do it.

    have to give this a closer look.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Doc View Post

      So drop a juicy bomb and run? Haha. This is juicy enough for a closer read. My first impression is that the key arguments are 1) part of the problem is the conception of orcs as a race. 2) it doesn’t really matter because there is no real life racism that results. 3) framing this as a problem makes fools of the people who do it.

      have to give this a closer look.
      Far as I can tell the arguments have nothing to do with the originally posted article. WOTC wants to depict orcs and drow as "culturally complex" and I've chimed in that it's of a piece with allowing a wider range of playable races, which is itself, something the wider community has been doing for about 40 years.

      The article does not state that WOTC are dropping the racist stereotypes in order to stave off a future wave of racist violence from impressionable Dungeons and Dragons players. Instead it's presented as part of a drive toward greater diversity, of various sorts, in the game.

      In true Kirk fashion, I submit. To you. That. Whatever other reasons WOTC has. They know. There's. Much. More. Money. To be made. By not turning people. Away from their product. By. Using. Stereotypes. That offend or otherwise bother them.

      On a more meta-fictional, story telling, RPG game playing, level, an argument can be made that morally and culturally complex orcs and drow who are free to decide who they are and what they do make for better games than the ones where they are one dimensional mooks who exist pretty much solely so players can slaughter and rob them without a second thought. Nevermind that that sort of behaviour is kind of creepy.
      Last edited by Heresiologist; 08-07-2020, 09:43 PM.

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      • #18
        As for Tolkien and his orcs, I don't think anybody posting here has been wrong about them. They are all the things each of us has claimed, and more.

        As for the original "Joys of political correctness" topic, there's no there there. That's why we've veered into the weeds of Tolkien and orc minutiae. But back on topic:

        What's so terrible about more complexity in orcs and drow, or a consultant who is a member of the real world inspiration for a fantasy people? At the end of the day it's still just people playing elf games. The more the merrier, which is essentially what WOTC is trying to encourage.

        Is anybody here seriously attached to keeping the name of the Eskimo Nebula? How many even knew about it before that last sentence or the posted link?

        And Daniel's favourite pearl from the "crazy" feminist. Really? How much political power does this person represent? In the grand scheme of the Covid 19 era I'd guess somewhere on the order of the square root of sweet fuck all.

        What's the point of trying to gin up anger or mockery of these well nigh inconsequential things? Each item looks like a point culled from the summer issue of a newsletter by somebody like Robert M. Price.

        All that said, I suggest if anybody sincerely wants to continue The Great Orc Discussion, start a dedicated topic over in the Genre Discussions sub-forum.
        Last edited by Heresiologist; 08-07-2020, 09:35 PM.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Heresiologist View Post

          In true Kirk fashion, I submit. To you. That. Whatever other reasons WOTC has. They know. There's. Much. More. Money. To be made. By not turning people. Away from their product. By. Using. Stereotypes. That offend or otherwise bother them.

          On a more meta-fictional, story telling, RPG game playing, level, an argument can be made that morally and culturally complex orcs and drow who are free to decide who they are and what they do make for better games than the ones where they are one dimensional mooks who exist pretty much solely so players can slaughter and rob them without a second thought. Nevermind that that sort of behaviour is kind of creepy.
          It seems like D&D, regardless of ownership, has always exploited the devotion of its players. I firmly believe that TSR really cared about the product, but ultimately failed because they cared about the money more. While I could (and maybe should) criticize that, another problem is they were just bad business people. At least WOC has figured out how to keep printing money with the intellectual property. That is not written in admiration for them, btw. It’s more a cynical statement on businesses. They’re going to do whatever it takes to make money from the fan base who will always offer it up.

          On the two-dimensional evil and slaughter- when I played AD&D as a teenager, we would almost always immediately attack evil aligned creatures without provocation. And of course looted everything. Someone finally stated the obvious and said “uh... aren’t we the one’s being evil?” It was (seriously) a moment of moral
          clarity to adolescent me. Writing a “good” alignment on a character sheet didn’t make you good, and it certainly didn’t give you a right to preemptively kill anything in the name of righteousness. There was a broader lesson there.

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          • #20
            For some reason I feel the need to explain one aspect of my earlier Tolkien criticism. Even though I may have problems and certainly don’t like the dogma surrounding everything Tolkien adjacent, I get why so many people appreciate his work. He creates a rich world. As a linguist, he was more concerned with cultural history than story. I actually really like the story of LOR, but would have liked it in about 250 pages.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Heresiologist View Post
              As for Tolkien and his orcs, I don't think anybody posting here has been wrong about them. They are all the things each of us has claimed, and more.

              As for the original "Joys of political correctness" topic, there's no there there. That's why we've veered into the weeds of Tolkien and orc minutiae. But back on topic:

              What's so terrible about more complexity in orcs and drow, or a consultant who is a member of the real world inspiration for a fantasy people? At the end of the day it's still just people playing elf games. The more the merrier, which is essentially what WOTC is trying to encourage
              I think that was really Z’s original point? )I don’t want to speak for anyone. ) Like a cigar is sometimes just a cigar, sometimes a game is just a game.

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by Doc View Post
                It seems like D&D, regardless of ownership, has always exploited the devotion of its players. I firmly believe that TSR really cared about the product, but ultimately failed because they cared about the money more. While I could (and maybe should) criticize that, another problem is they were just bad business people. At least WOC has figured out how to keep printing money with the intellectual property. That is not written in admiration for them, btw. It’s more a cynical statement on businesses. They’re going to do whatever it takes to make money from the fan base who will always offer it up.
                Regardless of how you feel about WOTC's extruded fantasy product, they're currently still printing the old stuff and (far as I know) standing by the Open Game License that allows for all manner of smaller TSR-like companies to operate. The products of many of those companies are obvious labours of love.

                Agreed on the cynical statement on business. As with all too many such large operations the apparent tendency is to be late to the table and bring only anodyne announcements of do-goodery, while doing as little actual action as possible.

                Originally posted by Doc View Post
                On the two-dimensional evil and slaughter- when I played AD&D as a teenager, we would almost always immediately attack evil aligned creatures without provocation. And of course looted everything. Someone finally stated the obvious and said “uh... aren’t we the one’s being evil?” It was (seriously) a moment of moral
                clarity to adolescent me. Writing a “good” alignment on a character sheet didn’t make you good, and it certainly didn’t give you a right to preemptively kill anything in the name of righteousness. There was a broader lesson there.
                If complex orcs means even one less, fun stopping, argument at the table about whether or not to kill the orc children (i.e. "why not? they're just going to grow up to be evil"), I consider it a win.

                Incidentally, from the department of some things are different now, during the game I played last week the players were on the wrong side of the seaport when they were accosted in a dark alley by a big thug who attempted to violently mug them. Since the thug emerged from a pile of refuse, one of the players (an 8 year old) almost immediately asked the others if they thought they were about to beat up a homeless person. They were all concerned that maybe they should feel sorry for this guy and certain that this was not a heroic look for their characters. So, when the thug ran (due to losing half his hit points) they all were quick to state their character let him get away. They're all getting full XP, plus a bonus, for that.
                Last edited by Heresiologist; 08-08-2020, 09:31 PM.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by Heresiologist
                  Is anybody here seriously attached to keeping the name of the Eskimo Nebula? How many even knew about it before that last sentence or the posted link?
                  I am happy to see you are not angry about this, as you said, you kind of look angry a few times but I will try to take the tone with this note about your rhetorical type. I am not sure if you remember I once told you are a pretty good writer and when you get into this debate mode you do bring real good arguments but as I had remarked earlier I don't want to upset you and a few times you even help me change my mind.


                  Originally posted by Heresiologist
                  And Daniel's favourite pearl from the "crazy" feminist. Really? How much political power does this person represent? In the grand scheme of the Covid 19 era I'd guess somewhere on the order of the square root of sweet fuck all.
                  Well, although it is a rare event, you can see on the page I linked she has many followers. But it was not the point to make a generalization. In retrospect, It has been my aim to discuss specific issues that kind of worry me.

                  Originally posted by Heresiologist
                  What's the point of trying to gin up anger or mockery of these well nigh inconsequential things? Each item looks like a point culled from the summer issue of a newsletter by somebody like Robert M. Price.
                  I don't think there is anger addressed towards anyone except perhaps those that don't think "all piv is rape." ;-)
                  But anyway, there has been a set of lectures here in Brazil about science fiction and fantasy and the only thing they said about the participants was that "you can watch of course if you are a white straight male guy but not being the lecturer". Although it may seem that I am singling out a few cases to create a generalization but the more I see the revisionism made under the idea of creating more < politically correct - for the sake of a better word, words are just words sometimes although they have extreme power > versions the less serious I take them because sometimes the aims are far fetched and I have seen them more often than if they were just a rare event. But that goes under a real huge IMO.
                  "From time to time I demonstrate the inconceivable, or mock the innocent, or give truth to liars, or shred the poses of virtue.(...) Now I am silent; this is my mood." From Sundrun's Garden, Jack Vance.
                  "As the Greeks have created the Olympus based upon their own image and resemblance, we have created Gotham City and Metropolis and all these galaxies so similar to the corporate world, manipulative, ruthless and well paid, that conceived them." Braulio Tavares.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Heresiologist View Post

                    Agreed on the cynical statement on business. As with all too many such large operations the apparent tendency is to be late to the table and bring only anodyne announcements of do-goodery, while doing as little actual action as possible.
                    It’s interesting in the context of this thread, too. There are so many businesses who would have you believe that they have been crusaders for equality and social justice for decades, but have only showed up recently, with public statements offering support for causes like BLM after focus groups tested the messages relentlessly and market research showed it that it was good strategy.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Heresiologist View Post

                      If complex orcs means even one less, fun stopping, argument at the table about whether or not to kill the orc children (i.e. "why not? they're just going to grow up to be evil"), I consider it a win.

                      Incidentally, from the department of some things are different now, during the game I played last week the players were on the wrong side of the seaport when they were accosted in a dark alley by a big thug who attempted to violently mug them. Since the thug emerged from a pile of refuse, one of the players (an 8 year old) almost immediately asked the others if they thought they were about to beat up a homeless person. They were all concerned that maybe they should feel sorry for this guy and certain that this was not a heroic look for their characters. So, when the thug ran (due to losing half his hit points) they all were quick to state their character let him get away. They're all getting full XP, plus a bonus, for that.
                      This is good role modeling (along with being good DMing). Maybe the positive lessons stick.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by zlogdan View Post
                        Well, although it is a rare event, you can see on the page I linked she has many followers. But it was not the point to make a generalization. In retrospect, It has been my aim to discuss specific issues that kind of worry me.
                        Many followers? There's only seven comments. Two are about how it's a copy/paste (ironically enough, without permission), one says the author is crazy and another is an ad from a bot. The actual author's post has 22 comments.

                        Anyway, fair enough, but I have little doubt Tom Cotton has way more followers and far more political clout and he's been on about how slavery was a necessary evil. But WOTC changing rules that essentially bake race wars against goblins into a game is a slippery slope to some vague threat?

                        Nevermind that the sex angle of the PiV article is absolutely outshone by the world's king of political incorrectness using the most politically powerful bully pulpit in the world to praise a person who thinks demons are using astral projection to have sex with people, plus other assorted terrors straight out of the Malleus Maleficarum. But you think people should worry about a feminist separatist whose follower total instantly goes to zero when divided by the number of people who adore and follow Individual One?

                        Moving on to more hypothetical matters, let's pretend NASA in their infinite wisdom are thinking about renaming the Middle Class Brazilians are Dunderheads Nebula. Would you be in favour or would you be concerned it might lead to some nebulous (ha!) bad thing somewhere down the line? Because, excepting that my invented nebula is less offensively named than the one in your link, the analogy seems pretty close. BTW, in the parallel universe where you are trying to get that nebula's name changed, I support your effort.

                        However, despite all the preceding, I do thank you for encouraging some Dungeons and Dragons talk. Can't say I liked your back in the day play story, but appreciated you sharing it.

                        Damn. That horrible play example reminds me of something sort of related to the Orcs Can't Be Racist article. I don't remember the specifics but there was something of a scandal some years back involving a group of World of Warcraft players that included lots of out and out racists who were using orc in their in-game chats as code for... well take a guess. Bet everybody here can get it in one.

                        Now, I don't think this is some big gotcha card or anything like that. Racists are going to be racist. But if it's that easy for them to connect the orc and racist dots, maybe it's time to admit there might be something to the idea they carry at least some racist baggage.
                        Last edited by Heresiologist; 08-10-2020, 12:44 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Doc View Post
                          This is good role modeling (along with being good DMing). Maybe the positive lessons stick.
                          I think the chances are good, especially since I'm just rewarding choices they're making on their own. They do like the thrill of rolling 20 siders for combat, though.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Heresiologist View Post
                            Moving on to more hypothetical matters, let's pretend NASA in their infinite wisdom are thinking about renaming the Middle Class Brazilians are Dunderheads Nebula. Would you be in favour or would you be concerned it might lead to some nebulous (ha!) bad thing somewhere down the line? Because, excepting that my invented nebula is less offensively named than the one in your link, the analogy seems pretty close. BTW, in the parallel universe where you are trying to get that nebula's name changed, I support your effort.

                            However, despite all the preceding, I do thank you for encouraging some Dungeons and Dragons talk. Can't say I liked your back in the day play story, but appreciated you sharing it.
                            I would not really be so offended should they do that, it would be at least a kind acknowledgment that we exist. But as I said words are merely words. Do you remember when I told you about the "I hate the middle class" video from Marilena Chaui? That is kind of offensive for me, the action, the speech ( and the fact I had to read one of her books when I was in college was the worst of course ). Ok, if they name a star "fat ugly Brazilian Daniel Star" it wouldn't still be offensive. But if they write an article saying "that guy Daniel, he is an idiot. We think all he did in his life was stupid".
                            I have a friend who is a psychologist and he was telling me once about his research and usually referred to subjects as "the crazy" and I was kind of puzzled by the that and explained to me that at least here in Brazil the word crazy just got that bad connotation with the years.
                            Please again place all this under a big IMO.

                            My story about the group of pervert nerds playing GURPS was meant to illustrate the same point. I actually couldn't face those guys for months and inevitably it made me stop playing RPGs, something I did love and still love. After that, it was 1994, the only times I got to play games have been twice when I mastered a game ( Dungeoneer ) to my roommates ( they did not like RPGs at all ) and to my kids a few years ago. While I played those games, I was always asked why I played the neutral good character range, because that has been the only thing I could bear.
                            Last edited by zlogdan; 08-10-2020, 06:31 AM.
                            "From time to time I demonstrate the inconceivable, or mock the innocent, or give truth to liars, or shred the poses of virtue.(...) Now I am silent; this is my mood." From Sundrun's Garden, Jack Vance.
                            "As the Greeks have created the Olympus based upon their own image and resemblance, we have created Gotham City and Metropolis and all these galaxies so similar to the corporate world, manipulative, ruthless and well paid, that conceived them." Braulio Tavares.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Doc View Post

                              So drop a juicy bomb and run? Haha.
                              Yes, Sorry about that. We are doing some renovation around the house that has kept me pretty busy and away from the computer except in short bursts.

                              Without going back and quoting everyone who has added to the conversation specific to D&D (AD&D in my case) I'll express my take on the issue. I, personally, like the idea of diversity in species/race within the game and have ran my games as such for decades. For example, I once presented the players with a band of Gnolls (hyena-men) who had raided a caravan. They tracked the raiders back to their village and immediately set about completely destroying it--male, female, children, elderly, and all. Needless to say, that prompted a pretty harsh negative reaction from the party Paladin and the temporary loss of powers for the Good-Aligned Cleric. It was a good lesson for the players to begin seeing the "monstrous" humanoid races as something more than just mindless monsters.

                              As such, I don't have an issue with WotC/Hasbro trying to re-imagine races such as Orcs and Drow as something other than pure evil so long as it is in service to the quality of game itself. I do, however, take issue with the aspersions that the traditional portrayal of the these as monsters was somehow inherently racist. Looking at the roots of the game and the attempts to keep it a mythic Good vs. Evil struggle where the PCs were the agents of good there needed to be as hard a line for the identification of Evil to avoid the moral trouble of homicide.

                              "In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro"
                              --Thomas a Kempis

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Heresiologist View Post

                                Damn. That horrible play example reminds me of something sort of related to the Orcs Can't Be Racist article. I don't remember the specifics but there was something of a scandal some years back involving a group of World of Warcraft players that included lots of out and out racists who were using orc in their in-game chats as code for... well take a guess. Bet everybody here can get it in one.

                                Now, I don't think this is some big gotcha card or anything like that. Racists are going to be racist. But if it's that easy for them to connect the orc and racist dots, maybe it's time to admit there might be something to the idea they carry at least some racist baggage.
                                Tom Cotton was playing in that party... (I always want to reinforce any mention of his overt racism. )

                                And racists are going to be racists. Worse, it’s much safer now to be one and act on racism than it has been for years. I feel like I’m back in the Chaos USA thread, but we’re at a point where people encouraged to say the quiet stuff out loud. And somehow calling someone out in their stuff makes you in the wrong. Anyway...

                                Words aren’t just words. Except when they are. Sigh.

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