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Subject: "Stealing daughters" isn't just gross and abhorrent, it is ahistorical. rss

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Donald Acker
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Many posters in this thread do a good job of explaining what is wrong with the victory mechanic in the game from a moral point of view.

The defenders of 'stealing women' inevitably claim historical accuracy as their main defense. I mean, they kind of have to: they can't say "I like it because I like the cute, scared, defenseless fantasy viking slave girl pictures." So they say "This is how it really was, so the game isn't exploitive."

Here's the problem: It isn't particularly true, let alone clear cut. The sagas are full of stories of up-and-coming raiders demanding tribute and establishing alliances with old clans. But these deals are not sealed with theft and hostage-taking, generally. Instead, we see myriad accounts of alliances formed by raiding together (against foreigners like the Finns), by giving large tributes of treasure or land or ships, by marriage (proper marriage, with personal and familial consent), and other more reasonable, less dramatic maneuvers.

Women feature prominently in Norse sagas, not as chattel but as characters. They inherit and hold property, they fall in love with visiting men, they reject suitors. They are often involved in the rivalries of warlords, but not as tokens. They go to battle themselves and fight and win glory in their own names (see, for example, Freydis Eriksdottir).

To get to the heart of the matter: Sometimes in the sagas, a spurned suitor will kidnap a Norse woman, or go to war against her family. But such men are not the heroes of the stories! Rather, they seek to marry into a large inheritance, or to seize land and treasure with a failed courtship as an excuse.

They are rapists and gold-diggers and bloody-minded opportunists, and the writers of the sagas largely portray them in this light.

So this game does not reasonably portray the society of the Vikings. It portrays the villains and scoundrels and recasts them as the protagonists. It portrays the exceptions and presents them as the rule.

"Collecting daughters" is as historical as horned helmets. Without the fig leaf of made-up history, one must ask why this imagery is so central to the game, and why so many will bend over backwards to defend it . . .


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Andres Cervantes
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BRAVO, Sir!
BGG needs more men like you.
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Maciej Teległow
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It is fantasy based version of viking world.
There is sea monster, valkyrie as hero you can have on the ship, cards that depict gods interventions.

Vikings were known for taking slaves, it was normal practice.
In Sagas it is described.
Hoskuld (Icelandic boendr - rich and influental person) took high born women from continent and had a son with her (Olaf Peacock) who was well known and had big esteem in Iceland. He was made free. I do not remember directly but it is described in one of Icelandic sagas.

I have, as some other people here, graduaded in history and described Icelandic society basing at Icelandic sagas.

This game is not history lesson !!!
I have never said that.
It is vision of Vikings based on sagas, edda and other sources with some changes to make it a game.
As I said there is sea monster and other things which are mythical and not historical for sure.

If you do not like it, do not buy it and not play it.

There are a lot of games where such themes are depicted (Spartacus for example) and many games where there is some vision of past, or fantasy past, which is not precisely what is known form history books. Look at any rpg about Vikings and you will see that they are not history lessons.

There is really not much known about a lot od aspects of Viking society and habits cause there are no historical written sources earlier then 9th or 10th century which would describe norms and behaviour of Vikings.
American historiography even deny Icelandinc sagas as historical source and I am talking about Njals Saga for example.

And the best sources are not about raiders but about communities established in 9th and 10th century which really do not describe viking raids but daily cases of their lifes.

But if you read about Egil in saga about him you would know that one of his deeds was killing king son and his young friends when he has atacked training longship with youngsters of Norway nobles. He has done that because he was apset by king of Norway.
And he was a respected godi in Iceland after that without a problem.
The bigger problem for community was that he was known to be berserk.
But even then he was asked to be judge during tings.
So please do not tell that sagas are only about heroes as we see them.
Egil was not for sure. He was berserk, killer and raider and also skald. He was known to fight and pillage in Northern Brittain and for making bloody atacks even at tings he was not invited to (at continent).
The same about Hoskuld, I have written before.
Njal is depicted as honest and praised man but his sons was known for blood feud execution even if father forbid them. It is also writren is sagas.

Yes I agree that many woman are depicted as strong characters in sagas.
Halgerd was even one of most evil characters I found there. She was responsible for many feuds and especilly for death of her two husbands.

All thans daughter in the game are treated as HEROes ruleswise.
They behave exactly like the heroes in the game.
The only difference is that they are MOST priced hero in the game and that you take them not from action cards deck but to get them you have to sail to their village. But in the rules they behave like any other hero in the game.
The action when you put daughters from longship to jarls war camp is called a feast. They are welcomed when you get them to your camp.
If it is any problem just rename action pillage to negotiations for taking a bride for wedding. The game would not change.

In this game are Jarls and Thanes so we wanted to make it earlier then written sources, when crowns were not established yet.
It is a vision of Vikings society.
There are known 3 centers of power in the Viking society not 4 so you could also say that game should be up to 3 players.

And believe me, Vikings took a lot of slaves during their raids, sometimes for themselves and sometimes they sold them.

Halgerd in Njals Saga captured herself and escaped to her uncle who was known as a sorcerer. But everybody believed she was captured. And even made a try to fight her back but they finnished unsuccesful.
About Hoskuld slave wife I have written before.

Last time: This game is not a history lesson. It is a game. Game made to depict possible vision of Vikings fighting for power in fantasy version of viking lands.
And please do not write that taking daughters of nobles is is not possible in viking history or especially fantasy history.
We know so little about precise aspects of their life in 6th, 7th, 8th and even 9th century that saying anything for sure is an absurd.

What we know for sure is that they TOOK slaves and that slaves where one of the part of their society.

But nobody said that daughters are slaves in the game. They are taken from communities as heroes as the only VP in the game.

You have to have them healthy in your camp to win.
You can iterpret it as an insult or the opposite.

There is even card seasickness in the game and when daughter is sick you have to make her healthy before make a feast to welcome her in your camp.

If it helps you just tell other players that daughters are viking princes who loves jarls but their fathers do not want to give them to their male lovers. That is why they have to be captured.

We wanted this game to be fun.

If for anybody it is not fun, please do not buy it.









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Homo Ludens
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It also undermines the 'it is historically accurate' defence when you add sea monsters to your game.
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Maciej Teległow
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I said that prctice is not ahistorical for sure, from my point of view is very probable.
The game is a vision of viking fantasy. It was obvious form the start cause it was shown and written that there is monster and other magical things in the game.

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Donald Acker
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MacTele wrote:
It is fantasy . . .


This is, I suppose, the other half of my point. Of course it's fantasy. We all get that. As you said, the little plastic sea monster kind of gives it away.

I don't think there's anything wrong with fantasizing about sea monsters or valkyries or the wilder myths of the berserks or even, really, fantasizing about raiding and fighting and killing, as in maybe half the games on this website.

But I do have a problem with fantasizing about kidnapping young women. Whose fantasy is that, exactly? It isn't mine. I hope it isn't very common on this site.



P.S.:
On Egil's saga, I think we would actually agree. I agree that the sagas portray sometimes-violent characters who fail any modern defintion of 'heroic good guy'. But Egil did not cement his prestige among the other lords by kidnapping Norse women of status. That just wasn't done. Hence my attack on the historicity defense.
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Maciej Teległow
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Egil did not.
Because he was in love in his brothers wife.

We would not agree here.

Taking woman or man as hostages or slaves was normal practice in middle ages.
If it is insulting for you, do not play it.
It is a game not a philosphical statement or political one.
I am really surprised that for you games about killing masses of people for VPs are not insulting and taking woman as high praised hostage is.
Please just not buy it.

For me much more insulting are games suggesting (even in title) that SS were heroes but maybe it is because of my place of birth. But I have not seen atacks at such games. Maybe for you it is accaptable to depict mass murderers as heroes but taking hostages is not.

Play games you like and have fun.
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Maciej Teległow
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And what about games you throw atomic bombs at cities.
Better ?
I would never understand that.
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Donald Acker
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OK, quick detour into politics:

Ideas don't exist in a vacuum, or merely as theories. They are powerful or powerless based upon what is happening in the world.

You mention atom bombs. Today, virtually everyone in the world (except perhaps in parts of India and Pakistan) considers nuclear weapons to be unthinkably dangerous and evil. A game about nuclear bombing (like the forthcoming Fail Safe) has little connection to popular, far-reaching ideas. Even though it glorifies and normalizes nuclear warfare, it has little connection to how masses of ordinary people think.

But in the 1950s and 1960s, that was not true. The novel, Fail Safe, was made into the famous nuclear-war comedy, Doctor Strangelove, in the early '60s. It was considered terribly controversial, and even outright dangerous to poke fun at nuclear annihilation. And perhaps this fear was well-founded: later studies show that the American military leaders constantly made serious plans for preemptive attacks on the USSR. Nuclear warfare was less of a decided question then. Now, there is something of a consensus against it, and we can take jokes and what-ifs more lightly.

But violence against women, and objectification of women, is alive and well throughout the world. It is a powerful idea from which few can escape. It is fair then to take special offense at casual portrayals of kidnapping and rape as entertainment. It is a real-life crime of unthinkable scope. And the ideas underlying it are strong, and well-supported by consumer capitalism and many world religions.

So I will keep questioning people who see sexual violence as fantasy and entertainment.

P.S.: No, it is not acceptable to me to depict mass murderers as heroes. There are few countries that had it worse than Poland in that war. But I do live in one of them. Though I'm a wargamer, I have no desire to game the SS or NKVD or any of the Imperial Japanese forces at all whatsoever. I am deeply unhappy with how gamers tend to portray the SS. The only wargame I've ever felt got it right is this one. But I still don't want to play it.

P.P.S.: You may notice I just praised a game though I find its subject matter too distasteful to play. I can in fact tell the difference between a matter of taste and a moral question.
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Maciej Teległow
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The WAR is usual in our world.
The same as violence against women.

There are always wars going on. There are many people in the world thinking that violence and war is what they should do.
There is war in Syria now, there are a lot of states with a lot of arms and more then wanting to attack. The only thing what stops them is possible intervention of bigger fishes. Israel would be in permament war if not protection from US for example.
Saying that war is understood as bad and violence against women not is simply not true.
In most civilaised countries both are known to be bad things. But, this countries do not hesitate to start wars. There are a lot of examples for that in our very near past.
There are many countries where people are violent against women and againt men. They shoot, kill, and so on.
Really I can not see any difference here.
But games are games.
As books.
I love Games of thrones even if it depicts horrible scenes.
Is it advocating or promoting such violence?

 
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Eduardo Guimarães
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And you give Chaos in the Old World a 9? Fantasizing about 4 evil gods, killing, raping and slaving is ok then? Shame on you shake
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James Clarke
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Andr0ss wrote:


BRAVO, Sir!
BGG needs more men like you.


Really? I'm seeing the endless clap, but not hearing much.

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Kristoff Bergenholm
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The larger the protest threads, the more likely it is that I'll get the game. I love you guys!
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It's just a ride...
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PC Nazi rage is always fun to watch.
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eduguima wrote:
And you give Chaos in the Old World a 9? Fantasizing about 4 evil gods, killing, raping and slaving is ok then? Shame on you shake


You must own, or have played, a different copy of Chaos in the Old World to me - there's no slaving, or raping mentioned anywhere in my copy.


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Yugblad wrote:
eduguima wrote:
And you give Chaos in the Old World a 9? Fantasizing about 4 evil gods, killing, raping and slaving is ok then? Shame on you shake


You must own, or have played, a different copy of Chaos in the Old World to me - there's no slaving, or raping mentioned anywhere in my copy.




It's implied... devil
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Søren Staugaard
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MacTele wrote:

I love Games of thrones even if it depicts horrible scenes.
Is it advocating or promoting such violence?



Game of Thrones shows the true consequence of violence, namely that it is horrible.
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Guido Gloor
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Magentawolf wrote:
The larger the protest threads, the more likely it is that I'll get the game. I love you guys!

I got Barbarossa because of all the protest threads, didn't make it a better game though and I eventually got rid of it
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Modern popular ideas about the Vikings are themselves pure fantasy already.

Anyway, this seems like the Slavery in Puerto Rico discussion all over again.



Yugblad wrote:

You must own, or have played, a different copy of Chaos in the Old World to me - there's no slaving, or raping mentioned anywhere in my copy.


"Chaos in the Old World makes you a god. Each god’s distinctive powers and legion of followers grant you unique strengths and diabolical abilities with which to corrupt and enslave the Old World.

Khorne, the Blood God, the Skulltaker, lusts for death and battle.
Nurgle, the Plaguelord, the Father of Corruption, luxuriates in filth and disease.
Tzeentch, the Changer of Ways, the Great Conspirator, plots the fate of the universe.
Slaanesh, the Prince of Pleasure and Pain, the Lord of Temptations, lures even the most steadfast to his six deadly seductions.

Yet, as you and your fellow powers of Chaos seek domination by corruption and conquest, you must vie not only against each other, but also against the desperate denizens of the Old World who fight to banish you back to the maelstrom of the Realm of Chaos.

Chaos in the Old World features three ways to win, and gives you an unparalleled opportunity to reshape the world in your image. Every turn you corrupt the landscape, dominating its inhabitants, and battle with the depraved followers of rival gods. Each god has a unique deck of gifts and abilities, and can upgrade their followers into deadly foes. Summon forth living manifestations of Chaos, debased and hidden cultists, and the horrifying greater daemons - beings capable of destroying near everything in their path."


Nope, nothing at all morally wrong with that theme





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Alex Rockwell
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I think this was a great blog related to this topic:
http://boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/20136/gaming-trent-daily-4...
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Gary Tanner
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If we really want to get technical, was there any such group of people, culture or race as Vikings?

Viking was an action, not a noun. I post, but I'm not a 'Poster', I'm Irish.

As to the concept of this game, having studied extensively the European middle ages, many cultures of it and practices, I'm completely okay with it.

Had they portrayed the daughters as being dragged away from burning villages by their hair and roughly thrown into longboats, I'd be having second thoughts. There's really nothing I've seen that implies violence towards the women. I wouldn't go for that at all. I think those implications are in the mind of the viewer. I agree with the poster who said that he sees the women in those poses as how they would be at home, not how terrified they'd be if an enemy were attacking.

Just like other games, where the characters are depicted with their casual looks, or most magnificent poses, but you know they wouldn't look that way in the heat of battle, which is being played out in the games.
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Russ Williams
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MilesF wrote:
If we really want to get technical, was there any such group of people, culture or race as Vikings?

Viking was an action, not a noun. I post, but I'm not a 'Poster', I'm Irish.

Although I see your point that etymologically, "viking" was the name of a raiding expedition (as opposed to a specific race/nationality), I don't get how your conclusion (that no such group of people existed) follows.

Plenty of cultures and groups are defined by a common activity instead of by a common racial/national heritage. E.g., we use BGG and we ARE BGG users. (I suppose we'd agree that "BGG users" exist, right?) Similarly "Christians" and "Linux users" and "Esperanto speakers" and "marathon runners" and "world travelers" and "scientists" and "traveling salesmen" and "writers" and "furniture makers" etc etc exist (and lots of people label themselves as being part of various such groups defined by a common shared interest or activity.)

As far as I understand it, the people who went on those viking raids had a conscious sense that this was part of their self-identity, and they had common knowledge and traditions and history concerning these activities - it sounds like a culture to me, so yeah, it seems like of course there was a culture of Viking people. Culture doesn't have to depend on being from the same race/nationality; it can depend on other shared activities/interests/lifestyles/religions/etc.
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Magentawolf wrote:
The larger the protest threads, the more likely it is that I'll get the game. I love you guys!


Edgy.
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D F Visker
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It's just a boardgame with really good artwork. Don't make a big deal out of it. I definitely do not find this game offensive what so ever.
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Marc Mistiaen
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pigasuspig wrote:
I don't think there's anything wrong with [...] fantasizing about [...] fighting and killing [...]
But I do have a problem with fantasizing about kidnapping young women.


How can anyone still give credit to this guy after that is beyond me.
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