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Author Topic: Towards a more inclusive Sword & Sorcery  (Read 2581 times)

Stephen Tannhauser

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Re: Towards a more inclusive Sword & Sorcery
« Reply #30 on: October 21, 2022, 04:01:10 PM »
These are all actually the same genre: dark/gritty fantasy intended to rebel against the standard Arthurian/Tolkienesque romantic fantasy clich├ęs.

Well, much of S&S's classic stuff predates Tolkien, and Tolkien himself was in his own way rebelling against classical romance tropes by putting the solidly English lower-/middle-class hobbits front and centre as fish-out-of-water heroes. But you're right, it's always possible to deconstruct genre labels by pointing out that the things they differentiate between usually have more in common than not.

I'm not opposed in principle to the idea that a particular subgenre can get stale and that deliberately going beyond its stereotypical tropes can reinvigorate it. I just dislike the marketing approach which explicitly politicizes that process.
Better to keep silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt. -- Mark Twain

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jhkim

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Re: Towards a more inclusive Sword & Sorcery
« Reply #31 on: October 24, 2022, 02:53:40 AM »
I'm not opposed in principle to the idea that a particular subgenre can get stale and that deliberately going beyond its stereotypical tropes can reinvigorate it. I just dislike the marketing approach which explicitly politicizes that process.

Yeah, this sucks. What's worse in some ways is that I suspect that in the current environment, politicized marketing is far more successful than non-politicized marketing. So maybe he's not wrong in a business sense, but it still sucks and I dislike it.

BoxCrayonTales

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Re: Towards a more inclusive Sword & Sorcery
« Reply #32 on: October 24, 2022, 09:36:19 AM »
Yeah. E.g. I see stuff being advertised as New Weird and Slipstream, which are meaningless labels to me. Wikipedia's description is just meaningless word salad.

Visitor Q

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Re: Towards a more inclusive Sword & Sorcery
« Reply #33 on: November 03, 2022, 02:08:32 PM »
I think all of this misses the point that Sword and Sorcery (which I love) is generally quite a cyncial apolitical genre focusing on individuals who cleave their own path regardless of the hardships or hypocrisy the world presents them. The characteristics of the protagonists is secondary to their attitude.

jhkim

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Re: Towards a more inclusive Sword & Sorcery
« Reply #34 on: November 11, 2022, 02:02:40 PM »
I think all of this misses the point that Sword and Sorcery (which I love) is generally quite a cyncial apolitical genre focusing on individuals who cleave their own path regardless of the hardships or hypocrisy the world presents them. The characteristics of the protagonists is secondary to their attitude.

Regarding Sword & Sorcery, there was some interesting discussion about the Imaro books in a thread on the "Other Games" forum that had cross-over with this topic.

https://www.therpgsite.com/other-games/aragorn-race-swapped-what-the-literal-fuck/msg1233081/#msg1233081

The Imaro books are often classified as the progenitors of "Sword & Soul" which is sometimes considered distinct from Sword & Sorcery, or alternately a subgenre. I think Imaro exemplifies the individualist attitude of Sword & Sorcery protagonists.

Still, I also think that if I was pitching a game in the world of Imaro, I would probably qualify it more than generic Sword & Sorcery.

The Spaniard

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Re: Towards a more inclusive Sword & Sorcery
« Reply #35 on: November 12, 2022, 07:53:12 AM »
Yea, gonna rush right out and get this one...  Inclusive to these dummies really means Exclusive, spin it as they might.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2022, 07:55:17 AM by The Spaniard »

Trond

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Re: Towards a more inclusive Sword & Sorcery
« Reply #36 on: November 17, 2022, 04:38:12 PM »
Yea, gonna rush right out and get this one...  Inclusive to these dummies really means Exclusive, spin it as they might.

Just like "diverse". As in "we are only hiring diverse employees". What it really means is "not white men".