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Racism in RPGs: Dragon Age & Mass Effect

#21Nintendological(Topic Creator)Posted 11/29/2012 4:48:44 PM
donwallo posted...
But "culture" is "like a nature". What is wrong with this view and what is the alternative the author prefers?


The problem with the assumption that culture and nature are the same, is that a multiracial society will perpetuate segregation if there is an unwillingness to accept that people can share a culture regardless of racial affiliation.

In Dragon Age, the Dalish elves are the few elves remaining to keep alive what remains of the Elvhen history and culture that was lost through slavery and racism. If you choose a mage origin elf, you discover that your character knows nothing of their elven heritage (this is possible by speaking with another elf in the castle). In fact, your character only knows of the common culture of the kingdom. If culture is natural, then even an elf that is not Dalish will be rejected as a member of the hegemonic culture.

It is like assuming that every Mexican you meet knows the Spanish language, until you encounter one that was born and raised in America, is third generation, has never been to Mexico and is proficient in English. However, the assumption that nature and culture is the same prevents one from allowing such a possibility from being their first thought when they meet a Mexican.

Dillon360 posted...
This is enough to prove that most people aren't racist anymore


A recent myth. Racism is alive and well and rising.

Racial attitudes have not improved in the four years since the nation elected its first black president, an Associated Press poll finds, as a slight majority of Americans now express prejudice toward black people whether they recognize those feelings or not.

In all, 51 percent of those surveyed expressed explicit racist attitudes toward black people, compared with 48 percent in a similar 2008 survey. When measured by an implicit racial attitudes test, the share with racist sentiments jumped to 56 percent, up from 49 percent during the last presidential election. In both tests, the share of Americans expressing positive attitudes toward black people fell.


http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2012/10/27/poll-majority-harbor-prejudice-against-blacks/5Tj42nmGdF8e4iF0FQ0aNK/story.html

America is predominately racist. A Black president matters little and has only exacerbated the issue. While it would be nice to believe that we are a unified nation where culture trumps nature, it sems that we are far from that ideal. To that end, it is like the Elves and the humans. A long sordid history of slavery and racism, followed by segregation and a desire by the second class to integrate. Even though on the surface, there appears to be equality, lingering hate still remains.
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Your uncle was so dumb he paid the full price of a new PS2 to rent it for a week? Your family tree must be a straight line" - Finlandia
#22Dillon360Posted 11/29/2012 5:03:02 PM
If you noticed, I said most people. Not all.

Sadly, there are still racist, biased, ignorant, cowards out there...

=/

All we can do is beat the racist out of them!
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#23Nintendological(Topic Creator)Posted 11/29/2012 5:31:55 PM
donwallo posted...
"Culture" in the sense the author used it is that which functions exactly like nature but is not nature. Culture is supposed to be whatever constitutes a human being that does not come directly from his inborn biological nature.

In fact the older and better understanding of the phenomenon that the notion of culture intends is the Greek nomos, meaning convention (the sum total of law, tradition, education, and habit imposed upon a human). And an ancient Greek writer famously described the habits that nomos instills as "almost a second nature".


I don't know how I missed this post. Sheer brilliance. This is what I feel the author is getting at in their criticism.
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Your uncle was so dumb he paid the full price of a new PS2 to rent it for a week? Your family tree must be a straight line" - Finlandia
#24Nintendological(Topic Creator)Posted 11/29/2012 5:33:27 PM
Dillon360 posted...
If you noticed, I said most people. Not all.

Sadly, there are still racist, biased, ignorant, cowards out there...

=/

All we can do is beat the racist out of them!


As humorous as that post is, the evidence shows that as much as 56% of the nation is racist, and at least, 51% (implicit racism vs. explicit racism). Either way, that is the majority.
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Your uncle was so dumb he paid the full price of a new PS2 to rent it for a week? Your family tree must be a straight line" - Finlandia
#25TyrannicalPosted 11/29/2012 11:46:30 PM
All RPGs are racist, as almost always the non-human characters conform to narrow stereotypes.
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Me: I didn't think you needed one anymore.
#26JDGFootman1234Posted 11/29/2012 11:49:59 PM
F*** Elves. Get off my buses.
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I suppose you could never explain to the most ingenious mollusk that such a creature as a whale existed-Emerson
#27Nintendological(Topic Creator)Posted 11/30/2012 12:59:30 AM
Tyrannical posted...
All RPGs are racist, as almost always the non-human characters conform to narrow stereotypes.


To what stereotypes would they conform?
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Your uncle was so dumb he paid the full price of a new PS2 to rent it for a week? Your family tree must be a straight line" - Finlandia
#28cup_a_soupPosted 11/30/2012 3:12:02 AM
I think the only racist ones are the TC and the person who wrote the article.

Seriously, you're being really childish.
#29Aribar_HunterPosted 11/30/2012 3:53:10 AM
Was gonna leave a comment then realized it was a year old. Heh.

Fantasy racism is a pretty well-embedded cliche, and I agree with his points about Dragon Age (especially 2). In the first game I recall at least two arcs that can end with "genocide opposing faction".

Mass Effect... Not sure if I agree with what's written. The second game doesn't even concern the Citadel and there's still quite a bit of dissent between the different species, You can definitely reach more diplomatic solutions in Mass Effect than in Dragon Age, though. I'm not sure if I agree with calling the different species monocultures, especially for the reasons in that abstract. I think that's simplifying their positions far too much.

The last paragraph is odd. I'm not sure how group combat mechanics come into this. Relationship mechanics, maybe. Even then, I don't see how the "mulltiracial companions" are any more sensitive than the others. The characters are designed to have sets of likes and dislikes. I suppose if someone developed a set of metrics, went through all the dialogue options, and did the research then one could stick to that note, but from just reading the abstract and playing the games it really rings false.

In the end I'll say it has some neat ideas, but seems rather flawed. At least that's what I got from a twenty minute musing.
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#30Dragon NexusPosted 11/30/2012 8:01:38 AM
From: Dillon360 | #009
A BLACK GUY IS THE ****ING PRESIDENT. THIS IS PROOF THAT NOBODY REALLY GIVES A **** ABOUT RACE ANYMORE. Millions of WHITE PEOPLE even voted for the guy. Millions of WHITE PEOPLE think it's OK for a black man to run the country, to be the face of our country. This is enough to prove that most people aren't racist anymore...


Plenty of Black people said they only voted because there was suddenly a black candidate.
But apparently that kind of racism is okay.
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