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Author Topic: Racialist Propaganda RPGs are Always Stupid  (Read 3360 times)

Shasarak

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Re: Racialist Propaganda RPGs are Always Stupid
« Reply #150 on: April 07, 2021, 12:27:46 AM »
I'm sure other people have asked this before but why do you write all of your posts like emails?

Dear This Guy

I guess it is just habit at this point.

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RPGPundit

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Re: Racialist Propaganda RPGs are Always Stupid
« Reply #151 on: April 07, 2021, 04:31:11 AM »
RPGPundit, how would you classify Rifts China and Rifts Japan? And where do you draw the line between "racialist propaganda" and "fanboy authors"? AKA, in games like Legends of the Five Rings or Bushido or those Rifts books, the authors are clearly enamored with the subject matter and back when those books were written, we just called their exuberance awesomesauce, but how would they be seen if published today?

RIFTS China is better than a lot of asian-themed products. But the Palladium Mystic China is incredibly well researched. That one was written by the late Erick Wujcik.
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Re: Racialist Propaganda RPGs are Always Stupid
« Reply #152 on: April 07, 2021, 04:33:40 AM »


But as "revenge fantasy"? That's claiming "I live out a fulfilling life and never see my attacker" is a personal revenge fantasy.

The fantasy is "If it hadn't been for the civilization that invented Democracy and Human Rights, we would have actually been vastly superior to them in every way: intellectually, spiritually, morally and technologically".

If you prefer, you can call it a "resentment fantasy", or just a "hate fantasy".
« Last Edit: April 07, 2021, 04:38:11 AM by RPGPundit »
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wmarshal

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Re: Racialist Propaganda RPGs are Always Stupid
« Reply #153 on: April 07, 2021, 05:17:46 AM »


But as "revenge fantasy"? That's claiming "I live out a fulfilling life and never see my attacker" is a personal revenge fantasy.

The fantasy is "If it hadn't been for the civilization that invented Democracy and Human Rights, we would have actually been vastly superior to them in every way: intellectually, spiritually, morally and technologically".

If you prefer, you can call it a "resentment fantasy", or just a "hate fantasy".
It’s a fantasy that has as a key component avoidance of ‘pollution’ by other races and cultures. That’s a pretty standard racist trope that would be widely recognized in this instance if it was not coming from Native Americans, but whites instead.

Brad

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Re: Racialist Propaganda RPGs are Always Stupid
« Reply #154 on: April 07, 2021, 09:01:24 AM »
I can't be the only fan who wanted a TNG epsiode where the Enterprise D runs into the Iotians, who now are crusing around the galaxy in TOS era uniforms and gear.

I want a piece of that action!

DocJones

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Re: Racialist Propaganda RPGs are Always Stupid
« Reply #155 on: April 07, 2021, 11:44:11 AM »
While no one can control what end users do with a product, there will be specific instructions and guidance given to Native and non-Native players in the book.

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Re: Racialist Propaganda RPGs are Always Stupid
« Reply #156 on: April 07, 2021, 01:11:41 PM »
seems like a game about maya and the americas in general would be about runes and scalping, not to mention wounded knees (the classic courtney means kneecourt). i haven't checked out the game in a long time but it seems like you couldn't get further from an exalted-esque western than neumenon. i'm not too read up on kant but the silhouette rouge has just enough of that cthulhu-inflected abstraction to be akin to a lazer hatchet, a bricolage of distance rules. the key diff is that locomotion would be really interesting in the sense of insects while in the west they'd be plagued with dust-bowl like conditions before money was really a thing. gotta make that hatchet a gold one and invite montezuma into the picture, allowing for the discussion of oppressed groups in the americas while ignoring oppression elsewhere. it's the classic philosophical aside: colonialism is what you make of it, if you bring it into the picture are you supporting it / what is colonialism in the context of war. and in the west there's a plethora of proto-wars to justify a brutality unparalleled outside of blood meridian, which was a recent book selection for our book club. amazing read, depends on whether you think that colonialism is structural or sandboxy.

crkrueger

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Re: Racialist Propaganda RPGs are Always Stupid
« Reply #157 on: April 07, 2021, 01:57:09 PM »
seems like a game about maya and the americas in general would be about runes and scalping, not to mention wounded knees (the classic courtney means kneecourt). i haven't checked out the game in a long time but it seems like you couldn't get further from an exalted-esque western than neumenon. i'm not too read up on kant but the silhouette rouge has just enough of that cthulhu-inflected abstraction to be akin to a lazer hatchet, a bricolage of distance rules. the key diff is that locomotion would be really interesting in the sense of insects while in the west they'd be plagued with dust-bowl like conditions before money was really a thing. gotta make that hatchet a gold one and invite montezuma into the picture, allowing for the discussion of oppressed groups in the americas while ignoring oppression elsewhere. it's the classic philosophical aside: colonialism is what you make of it, if you bring it into the picture are you supporting it / what is colonialism in the context of war. and in the west there's a plethora of proto-wars to justify a brutality unparalleled outside of blood meridian, which was a recent book selection for our book club. amazing read, depends on whether you think that colonialism is structural or sandboxy.

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jhkim

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Re: Racialist Propaganda RPGs are Always Stupid
« Reply #158 on: April 07, 2021, 02:07:59 PM »
To a certain extent its just sad that Wakanda and stuff like it became such a massive racially charged cliche.

Like holy hell, this sort of story was a cliche in 1961 when Wakanda was first written:
Quote
Black Panther: 'To me he was more than a father, he was like a god!'
Ben: 'Look kiddo, why don't you save yourself the trouble? I know the rest of the story by heart! Everything was hunky-dory until the greedy ivory hunters made the scene!
Wakanda wasn't actually secreted away, hidden utopia through all of history. It was revolutionized by the Black Panther after foreign invaders were driven off by him and he reverse-engineered their technology (Klaw). Also, the black panther was a genius who revolutionized his nation by his very words 'For a lark'. And they made money by TRADING vibranium. Its not the core technology for everything in the friggin world. And then at the end of the story he becomes a superhero in the service of all mankind.

It was an anti-colonialism story to be sure, but it was one with a twist and a whole lot less bitterness that was attributed to it later to fit our more bitter times.

Do you really think that the 1960s had less bitterness around race in the U.S. than modern times? I find that kind of hard to fathom. It seems to me that the 1960s were a high point of racial violence and division within the U.S.

Regarding Wakanda - it's true that the original Fantastic Four story has a ton of details that were changed in the later comics - but most of those changes were overseen by the original co-creators Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in the 1970s. It's still true even in the 1961 Fantastic Four story that Wakanda was (a) not conquered by whites, (b) highly isolationist and secretive, and (c) a superscience land of wonders. In the Fantastic Four story, the superscience happened within one generation - but that was changed to happening over centuries. Also, in the later revisions, Wakanda was more clearly *not* a utopia - while in the original story there was no sign of internal problems, the Black Panther comic shows more internal divisions and problems.

Personally, I'm a fan of the Black Panther comics, especially the 1990s run by writer Christopher Priest. What I especially disagree with is the idea that even the *concept* of a fictional isolated nation like Wakanda is racist. It is anti-colonialist, as you say, but that doesn't make it racist. Wakandans aren't implied better because of genetic superiority - they have the advantage of superior circumstances from their country's natural resources.


The fantasy is "If it hadn't been for the civilization that invented Democracy and Human Rights, we would have actually been vastly superior to them in every way: intellectually, spiritually, morally and technologically".

If you prefer, you can call it a "resentment fantasy", or just a "hate fantasy".

It’s a fantasy that has as a key component avoidance of ‘pollution’ by other races and cultures. That’s a pretty standard racist trope that would be widely recognized in this instance if it was not coming from Native Americans, but whites instead.

wmarshal - You haven't been explicit about this, but do you also agree that Wakanda is racist, because it is an isolationist country that developed without pollution by other races and cultures? Your claim is that any fictional isolation of cultures is racist, which I disagree with. Sure, racist fiction often includes less intermingling of races and cultures - but that doesn't mean that any isolation of races or cultures is *inherently* racist. I also cites various "Lost World" fiction which has humans developing in isolation. Do you think those are inherently racist as well?

To me, complaining about the isolation seems disingenuous.

Suppose a setting gives fictional advantages to non-whites like vibranium or psychic powers, but does *not* isolate them from Europeans. It seems to me that this is far more likely to read as a revenge or hate narrative, since it means that there will be war between whites and non-whites where the whites are conquered. There could be a narrative of "oh, if we couldn't slaughter the Native Americans, then we'd live in peace with them and nicely give them our cultural advances" - but that is unrealistic to both European culture and Native American culture.

wmarshal

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Re: Racialist Propaganda RPGs are Always Stupid
« Reply #159 on: April 07, 2021, 02:30:36 PM »
seems like a game about maya and the americas in general would be about runes and scalping, not to mention wounded knees (the classic courtney means kneecourt). i haven't checked out the game in a long time but it seems like you couldn't get further from an exalted-esque western than neumenon. i'm not too read up on kant but the silhouette rouge has just enough of that cthulhu-inflected abstraction to be akin to a lazer hatchet, a bricolage of distance rules. the key diff is that locomotion would be really interesting in the sense of insects while in the west they'd be plagued with dust-bowl like conditions before money was really a thing. gotta make that hatchet a gold one and invite montezuma into the picture, allowing for the discussion of oppressed groups in the americas while ignoring oppression elsewhere. it's the classic philosophical aside: colonialism is what you make of it, if you bring it into the picture are you supporting it / what is colonialism in the context of war. and in the west there's a plethora of proto-wars to justify a brutality unparalleled outside of blood meridian, which was a recent book selection for our book club. amazing read, depends on whether you think that colonialism is structural or sandboxy.

I think an AI got loose.
I was thinking the same thing. The writing style is certainly different from the user’s earlier posts. He no longer uses capitalization or paragraphs.

wmarshal

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Re: Racialist Propaganda RPGs are Always Stupid
« Reply #160 on: April 07, 2021, 02:34:19 PM »
@jhkim: I’ll try to reply later. I’m at work, and your quoting two different messages in the same post makes it difficult for me to untangle using only my phone.

jhkim

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Re: Racialist Propaganda RPGs are Always Stupid
« Reply #161 on: April 07, 2021, 02:40:50 PM »
@jhkim: I’ll try to reply later. I’m at work, and your quoting two different messages in the same post makes it difficult for me to untangle using only my phone.

No problem. I'll try to keep in mind simplifying for a phone interface in future posts.

Ghostmaker

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Re: Racialist Propaganda RPGs are Always Stupid
« Reply #162 on: April 07, 2021, 03:58:49 PM »
seems like a game about maya and the americas in general would be about runes and scalping, not to mention wounded knees (the classic courtney means kneecourt). i haven't checked out the game in a long time but it seems like you couldn't get further from an exalted-esque western than neumenon. i'm not too read up on kant but the silhouette rouge has just enough of that cthulhu-inflected abstraction to be akin to a lazer hatchet, a bricolage of distance rules. the key diff is that locomotion would be really interesting in the sense of insects while in the west they'd be plagued with dust-bowl like conditions before money was really a thing. gotta make that hatchet a gold one and invite montezuma into the picture, allowing for the discussion of oppressed groups in the americas while ignoring oppression elsewhere. it's the classic philosophical aside: colonialism is what you make of it, if you bring it into the picture are you supporting it / what is colonialism in the context of war. and in the west there's a plethora of proto-wars to justify a brutality unparalleled outside of blood meridian, which was a recent book selection for our book club. amazing read, depends on whether you think that colonialism is structural or sandboxy.

I think an AI got loose.
I was thinking the same thing. The writing style is certainly different from the user’s earlier posts. He no longer uses capitalization or paragraphs.
He stated he was smoking weed in a prior post. My guess is he's been into the ganja, and will wake up a few hours later with the munchies.

Shrieking Banshee

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Re: Racialist Propaganda RPGs are Always Stupid
« Reply #163 on: April 07, 2021, 04:07:42 PM »
Do you really think that the 1960s had less bitterness around race in the U.S. than modern times?
Less bitterness in the writing. In the writing of the specific comic.

Quote
I find that kind of hard to fathom. It seems to me that the 1960s were a high point of racial violence and division within the U.S.
Bitterness is a thing you can generate however and keep it going for whatever ideology hucksters make money off of this.
Gender relations for instance get embittered by the decade despite increasingly more concessions and placations.

As to bitterness, the kind of race stories told have indeed become more bitter (for mainstream audiences anyway).

Quote
What I especially disagree with is the idea that even the *concept* of a fictional isolated nation like Wakanda is racist.

And I didn't say it was. I listed many many multiple times how I don't have a problem with the idea, just in relation to Crow & Coyote it's pretty clearly made as a product of spite, revisionism, and intersectional desires.

If it didn't take itself so seriously, and the creators didn't state their intent of 'You must be this native to make up tribe stuff' I said I would have found it downright commendable.

jhkim

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Re: Racialist Propaganda RPGs are Always Stupid
« Reply #164 on: April 07, 2021, 05:04:05 PM »
It was an anti-colonialism story to be sure, but it was one with a twist and a whole lot less bitterness that was attributed to it later to fit our more bitter times.
Do you really think that the 1960s had less bitterness around race in the U.S. than modern times?
Less bitterness in the writing. In the writing of the specific comic.

Gotcha. Your original phrasing of "our more bitter times" sounded like it wasn't just about the specific comic. I would agree that the Fantastic Four comic in question had little bitterness.


What I especially disagree with is the idea that even the *concept* of a fictional isolated nation like Wakanda is racist.

And I didn't say it was. I listed many many multiple times how I don't have a problem with the idea, just in relation to Crow & Coyote it's pretty clearly made as a product of spite, revisionism, and intersectional desires.

If it didn't take itself so seriously, and the creators didn't state their intent of 'You must be this native to make up tribe stuff' I said I would have found it downright commendable.

OK, fair enough. I think I may have associated your criticism of Wakanda with some of what Pundit and/or wmarshal said. We can agree to disagree about some specifics of Black Panther, but I agree with most your points quoted below:

I think its pretty respectable to want a game with natives just doing 'native' stuff with somekind of magic/sci-fi skin or whatever. It explicitly doesn't have 'The evil army of invading white men'. I find that a very respectable goal to celebrate your own culture or iterate on it with kitsch fun stuff, without needing to depend on an oppressor / oppressed narrative.

I'm not nordic but imagine like....'Vikings IN SPAAACE!' type story. What happened to the rest of the world? Doesn't particularly matter. Why are nords from the 600s a society that became a stellar empire? I donno. And that's fine.

It's actually a product where there is outright no victim/dominator mentality. That's incredibly refreshing. And very not SJW.
And to a certain degree, I don't see a problem with some level of revisionism for the harsh truths. You don't need every setting to go into the graphic details that underpin the horrific serf conditions if its about a mystical royalty for example.
I don't think LOTR is an advocate for eugenics because it's a setting where there just are bloodlines of royalty that are more important/ better.

The only real eye-rolling part of this it plays into intersectionality crap, and its still a product largely made of spite.

This mostly fits my points. That it's "made out of spite" seems like a subjective judgement of the author's emotions - which seems tricky to argue in any case.

Out of curiousity, are there any examples of similar concepts other than Fantastic Four #52 that you like - or specifically that you don't think are bitter/spiteful?