xenologer: (cocky Kamina)
Tumblr brought me a thing. I am not bitchy enough to actually use this as a signature on RPG-Directory, but I thought about it and smiled.

As far as roleplaying settings are concerned, The Mysterious Orient is populated entirely by samurai and ninja. All women are courtesan-assassins and all men are blushing stammering uke.

There might be an option for player characters from the Generic Dark People Country, but nobody will play one because it might require learning to tell POC apart well enough to select a PB.

You might see an Arab character now and again, but they will all be played by Italians.

Date: 2013-01-28 12:29 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] mfb
mfb: (e_e)
*notices the world of Elder Scrolls is not entirely immune to this map*
*flips table*

I always wasn't sure what to think of the fact that all the Black People in Tamriel came from a Far Away Land (long since destroyed). And pretty much all the same culture.

Date: 2013-01-28 06:00 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] elf
elf: Life's a die, and then you bitch. (Gamer Geek)
They could potentially fix it in the new edition... but they probably won't.

Date: 2013-01-28 08:02 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] sylvaine
sylvaine: Dark-haired person with black eyes & white pupils. (Default)
... Oh wow, I never made that connection with the dwarves. O.o And I hate how accurate this is. (here via [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith)

Date: 2013-01-27 11:30 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] fragmentedsky.livejournal.com
Here is a lovely resource post to point to people who might need it. Includes help on writing female characters and LGBTQ characters, but mostly centers on how not to write fantasy like a giant honking racist.

Another interesting article, If Tolkien Were Black.

Date: 2013-01-27 11:34 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] virginia-fell.livejournal.com
Totally. Another really good one is PSA: Your Default Narrative Settings Are Not Apolitical (http://fozmeadows.wordpress.com/2012/12/08/psa-your-default-narrative-settings-are-not-apolitical/), which I talked about here (http://virginia-fell.livejournal.com/395612.html).

Really, though, a major problem with places like RPG-D is that a lot of people don't want to think about "politics" when they RP, which is code for "I don't want to think about people whose lives are politicized," which can turn into some really really shitty behavior on their part when those people do things like try to talk to them. Consequently, I haven't actually waded in there to try and do any educating in quite a while. It was enough trouble to get them to realize that anti-Roma racism is a real thing and "gypsy" is a racial slur that they shouldn't use. I'm pretty sure they're not ready to learn what Eurocentrism is and why it's bad.

Date: 2013-01-27 11:45 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] fragmentedsky.livejournal.com
Yes, I posted that in my journal when you first posted it and accredited you with finding it, it is my favorite eeeeeever.

And bleeeeegbh. Most of my RP has been very contained with people I was already friends with, and this makes me glad of it. Because the article is right - it's not apolitical. Just because something is fun doesn't mean it shouldn't expand your horizons. I tend to think expanding horizons is required homework in order to maintain one's Humanity Club card.

Date: 2013-01-28 12:11 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] ariseishirou.livejournal.com
Oh dear lord, so many of my old RP worlds were exactly like this back in the day. If you'd called my grade school self out on making an orient full of mysterious ninjas and a desert full of scimitar-wielding zealots, she would have just stared blankly and responded "but that's just how it was". Medieval europe? Knights and dragons. Asia? Ninja and samurai. The Middle East? Veil-clad desert warriors and harem girls.

...My older, much more educated self is thoroughly ashamed of that and my fantasy worlds look nothing like that now, but hell if I don't see where everyone is coming from.

Of course, they could always take the third option, and just say "fuck it, everyone's white" and make a whole world full of different shades of white people.

Date: 2013-01-28 01:20 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] charlycrash.livejournal.com
I personally just find it a bit boring, tbh. If I like sci-fi and fantasy most of that is because it transports me to another alien world full of new and interesting things. Every time some Not-Actually-X-Group-Of-Earth-People-Honest pops up I find it just sort of.. crap. You can put anything you want in these worlds! Do something new! :P Y'know?

I guess it sort of works in the Conan books (which I haven't read, but as I understand it they're set in a poorly-defined period of Earth prehistory), although it is a bit eyebrow-raisey that the cultures of however many thousands of years ago were basically the same as they were a couple of hundred years ago, when we know just from recorded history that that isn't so.

Date: 2013-01-28 01:24 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] ariseishirou.livejournal.com
I really couldn't agree more, these days. Though the Medieval Europe fantasy analogue's still more overused than most.

I do find that fantasy is oddly conservative for what it is. I mean, in theory, it's the genre with the most authorial freedom. Even sci-fi is largely bound by the plausible rules of science (excluding those sagas that are basically fantasy in space, obviously). The rest are bound to the real world of the past or present. Why is it always the same farm boy from Medieval Europe with Elves and Dragons (TM J.R.R. Tolkien)?

Date: 2013-01-28 01:30 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] charlycrash.livejournal.com
I guess the hackneyed nature of a lot of it is sort of its point in a way, in as much as a lot of it seems to be trying to mimic a certain sort of mythic story, so anything that feels like it has mythic gravity to it tends to get chucked in.

Krull seems to be generally regarded as a pretty lousy movie, and I can see why, but I like the fact that it tried to mix it up a bit whilst using the same old mythic fairytale clich├ęs.

Actually Legend did something pretty interesting as well. I like how dark and weird it feels.

Date: 2013-01-28 11:09 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] fatpie42.livejournal.com
I do find that fantasy is oddly conservative for what it is. I mean, in theory, it's the genre with the most authorial freedom. Even sci-fi is largely bound by the plausible rules of science (excluding those sagas that are basically fantasy in space, obviously).

I'm not sure I agree that fantasy has more freedom (though this may be me being cynical about fantasy). You note that Medieval fantasy is the most common. Well that's because it's all based on "Lord Of The Rings". Basing your fantasy on "Lord Of The Rings" is pretty damn limiting. I enjoyed the Dragonlance Chronicles series when I was young, but what I didn't realise at the time was that it was pretty much "Lord Of The Rings" all over again with less songs.

The only rules that sci-fi is bound by is that good sci-fi (i.e. if it's not fantasy in space) has to in some way reflect real themes. In fantasy I suppose that anything can happen (within the world in which it is all set), but the various macguffiny machines and odd premises have to represent something to do with real life. That being said all GOOD fantasy will have to do this too. - So I don't think one is in a better position than the other.

How is a future sci-fi world where people have superpowers (e,g. X-Men) different from a fantasy past where people have superpowers (e.g. Avatar: The Last Airbender)? I don't really think that one is more limited than the other.

Genuinely interested in your response. I may have missed something important. :D

Date: 2013-01-28 11:12 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] ariseishirou.livejournal.com
What many people think separates fantasy from science fiction is that science fiction is beholden to the known (or theorized) laws of science. Everything else is future fantasy, space opera, or generic speculative fiction. A "future sci-fi world where people have magical powers" is just fantasy, to many.

Date: 2013-01-28 11:21 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] fatpie42.livejournal.com
But... time travel is completely OPPOSED to the known laws of science... isn't it?

Is that fantasy then? *scratches head*

Date: 2013-01-29 01:46 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] ariseishirou.livejournal.com
I think time travel is generic "speculative fiction" - maybe something that tries to deal realistically with the consequences of time travel or offers a plausible explanation, like Primer or Steven Baxter's work, could be sci-fi but most of it, not so much.

Date: 2013-01-29 06:10 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] fatpie42.livejournal.com
I always thought of Douglas Adams as a science fiction writer, but from the sounds of what you are saying he's "speculative fiction" too. After all, none of the devices he imagines, such as the "total perspective vortex" have anything to do with the laws of science.

And I think Isaac Asimov's stories about robots don't really fit into science fiction on this basis either.

Are you sure about this?

Date: 2013-01-30 01:09 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] ariseishirou.livejournal.com
How do Asimov's not? Robots with the intelligence of (or greater than) humans are entirely plausible if one extrapolates upon the technology we have right now.

Also, without that kind of a standard, how do you separate science fiction from fantasy that takes place in the future? Star Wars and Dune have guns and space ships, but they also have what effectively amounts to magic.

Why is past/present/future the dividing line between "science" fiction and "fantasy"?

Date: 2013-01-30 07:37 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] fatpie42.livejournal.com
How do Asimov's not?

Asimov's writing used ideas about robots to talk about human beings. Whether he was accurately describing plausible technology was irrelevant.

What's more, your reasoning her rejects Douglas Adams' HHG books which are dredged in the sci-fi genre, yet would accept Orwell's "1984" which was mainly meant as a political allegory and only by chance is filled with plausible inventions (many in actual use today) which were out of reach in the 1950s.

Douglas Adams himself had a solution to the problem. He notes that within his own sci-fi, the robots are a means to describe something about modern life and about human beings. Whereas in Star Wars, a robot simply is a robot. It's when the robots become a means in themselves, fantasy beings just as much as a goblin or a dwarf, that the story becomes fantasy rather than sci-fi. (Arguably pushing "Dune" into the fantasy camp.)

Of course, there's no past/present/future dividing line between fantasy and sci-fi, because fantasy doesn't take place in any kind of era. Whatever era you try to pigeonhole it into, there always tends to be some kind of anachronism. You're absolutely right to note that we cannot separate the genres on the basis of the time period in which they are set.

Date: 2013-01-30 07:47 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] ariseishirou.livejournal.com
Whether Asimov was using the robots to represent human beings or Orwell's work was political allegory is irrelevant to their being scientifically plausible (as both were).

Date: 2013-01-30 10:02 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] fatpie42.livejournal.com
I don't think being scientifically plausible is necessary for something to be sci-fi. Implausible science doesn't make HHG2G fantasy. On the other hand, I'm not aware of "Dune"'s devices seeming particularly implausible, yet I would still say that was more fantasy than sci-fi.

Then again, perhaps I'm odd in seeing "Groundhog Day" as sci-fi. It has no device whatsoever for the time travel and yet it explores the concept of time travel in a much deeper way as a result.

Date: 2013-01-28 02:16 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] inverarity.livejournal.com
ext_402500: (Default)
You don't even want to know what my "international" superhero teams looked like back when I was a teenage Champions GM...

Date: 2013-01-28 03:43 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] ariseishirou.livejournal.com
Well if they were anything like mine it was a party full of white people and maybe an Asian or two, the latter always being a ninja or technophile.

EVEN THOUGH ONE OF THE PLAYERS WAS BLACK (who usually played Asian characters) AND ANOTHER WAS NATIVE (who always played white ones). What the shit was up with that, I just can't even begin to know. I never thought to ask. It never occurred to me. I never noticed at the time at all. Of course they're playing white people and Asians! Why wouldn't you?

...I guess I played a Native Canadian character once. It was a game of Werewolf and he was, er, a lupus. ~Inclusivity~ (Everyone else was white, and hominid.)

We're a lot better now. A lot lot better. Currently playing a game set in Afghanistan and there is precisely one white character. Everyone else is from Asia or the Middle East and most of them are Muslim and they all did their research first and... oh I could cry, thinking back.

Date: 2013-01-28 12:56 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] charlycrash.livejournal.com
Something kind of ugly you never see mentioned is that more often than not orcs/orks are basically horrible classist stereotypes of the English working class. Crass, violent, stupid, threatening and usually even speak in Cockney/Estuary English (both considered exclusively working class accents over here), including in the LotR movies and Warhammer 40,000.

Date: 2013-01-28 01:09 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] charlycrash.livejournal.com
Also.. this is sort of irrelevant to your point but I kind of fuckin' hate how knights are always shown in fantasy as these incredibly noble righteous dudes. In reality they were somewhere between the world's most sociopathic jocks, Crips and members of Hamas. Really, really not at all nice people. They were pretty much exactly what you'd imagine you'd end up with if you got horribly privileged white boys, trained them from birth to use a variety of lethal weapons and gave them the sort of harsh genocidal piety that only Osama bin Laden could love.

There's a particularly awful story from the 14th century, the exact details of which I can't remember, but was somehting like the following: a party of knights head to Dover to sail across the channel. The weather is awful so they're forced to wait until it clears up, and decide to do it at a local nunnery, where being bored, young and macho, they proceed to get gradually more and more wasted.

The nuns start to get a bit worried, given their nunnery is full of very well-armed super-privileged homicidal maniacs who just to top it off are now all trashed, and go and lock themselves in their dormitory. The knights smash their way in, rape them all, and drag most of them off. They bust into a nearby church where a wedding is being held, trash everything, kill half the wedding party and continue on their merry way.

The weather having cleared up, they board their ships complete with a load of nuns they've kidnapped and start crossing the channel, but the weather turns bad again. So, to lose some weight, they throw all the nuns overboard.

Extreme behaviour even for the time, but it gives you more a flavour of how knights actually behaved.

Date: 2013-01-28 01:13 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] charlycrash.livejournal.com
Incidentally, the above is one of a few reasons why I laugh bitterly every time some dickwad Nice Guy says how he just wants to be a chivalrous knight saving damsels and how that Isn't Appreciated Any More.

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