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J Garcia
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Arizona
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I bought this game and two expansions last week. The game itself is a blast, but the majority of the characters are white male and females. The only exception are Asians, which are only included as ninjas. The only characters with diverse ethnicities are featured in the background and are reduced to gross Stereotypes.

I emailed the developers and received the following response:

Hi Justin,

Always good to hear from a fan! We appreciate your feedback and will take it into consideration.

Thanks for your support of Smash Up!


Tiffany C.

I encourage consumers to email the company at the following link:
https://www.alderac.com/smashup/support/

You may include the following message:

To whom it may concern,

Alderac's game "Smash Up" has a lack of characters from diverse backgrounds. The majority of human characters featured on the card sets are white male and females. The few characters of diverse backgrounds are either background images or portraying gross stereotypes affiliated with their ethnic background. Individuals of African, Asian South Asian, and Latino decent are misrepresented in this game

As a consumer in the 21st century, I encourage Alderac to add more diverse characters in their products.

Thank you,

A Concerned Customer

Spread the word and hopefully we can help make a change in the mindset of the business. I highly doubt that the exclusion is intentional, but hopefully they'll be more mindful in future expansions and products.
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Scott O'Brien
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Jmgarc25 wrote:
I bought this game and two expansions last week. The game itself is a blast, but the majority of the characters are white male and females. The only exception are Asians, which are only included as ninjas. The only characters with diverse ethnicities are featured in the background and are reduced to gross Stereotypes.

I emailed the developers and received the following response:

Hi Justin,

Always good to hear from a fan! We appreciate your feedback and will take it into consideration.

Thanks for your support of Smash Up!


Tiffany C.

I encourage consumers to email the company at the following link:
https://www.alderac.com/smashup/support/

You may include the following message:

To whom it may concern,

Alderac's game "Smash Up" has a lack of characters from diverse backgrounds. The majority of human characters featured on the card sets are white male and females. The few characters of diverse backgrounds are either background images or portraying gross stereotypes affiliated with their ethnic background. Individuals of African, Asian South Asian, and Latino decent are misrepresented in this game

As a consumer in the 21st century, I encourage Alderac to add more diverse characters in their products.

Thank you,

A Concerned Customer

Spread the word and hopefully we can help make a change in the mindset of the business. I highly doubt that the exclusion is intentional, but hopefully they'll be more mindful in future expansions and products.



or hopefully NOT change it.

Authors should not feel the need to modify THEIR works just to make everyone feel that racial diversity is important and needs to be reflected in everything!

A product is the result of the authors vision, not the product of its intended audience... The authors vision should be left alone, pure, unadulterated. It should only be placed where it make sense, and only where the author intended it to be.

If you don't like that this particular game is not racial diverse... rather than try to influence and change it... I welcome you to GO CREATE YOUR OWN ORIGINAL GAME and sell it on the market.

Racial diversity JUST FOR THE SAKE OF ITSELF is purely contemptible.
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Ollie Hunt
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There are characters of ethnic minorities in some expansions. Most characters are non human but there are certainly minorities included. There are a lot of expansions so perhaps you jumped to conclusions.
 
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Matt Brown
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Somebody opened an alternate account.
 
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maf man
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yeah! These robots are quite clearly windows only! where the hell are my mac-bots!
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J Garcia
United States
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sao123 wrote:
Jmgarc25 wrote:
I bought this game and two expansions last week. The game itself is a blast, but the majority of the characters are white male and females. The only exception are Asians, which are only included as ninjas. The only characters with diverse ethnicities are featured in the background and are reduced to gross Stereotypes.

I emailed the developers and received the following response:

Hi Justin,

Always good to hear from a fan! We appreciate your feedback and will take it into consideration.

Thanks for your support of Smash Up!


Tiffany C.

I encourage consumers to email the company at the following link:
https://www.alderac.com/smashup/support/

You may include the following message:

To whom it may concern,

Alderac's game "Smash Up" has a lack of characters from diverse backgrounds. The majority of human characters featured on the card sets are white male and females. The few characters of diverse backgrounds are either background images or portraying gross stereotypes affiliated with their ethnic background. Individuals of African, Asian South Asian, and Latino decent are misrepresented in this game

As a consumer in the 21st century, I encourage Alderac to add more diverse characters in their products.

Thank you,

A Concerned Customer

Spread the word and hopefully we can help make a change in the mindset of the business. I highly doubt that the exclusion is intentional, but hopefully they'll be more mindful in future expansions and products.



or hopefully NOT change it.

Authors should not feel the need to modify THEIR works just to make everyone feel that racial diversity is important and needs to be reflected in everything!

A product is the result of the authors vision, not the product of its intended audience... The authors vision should be left alone, pure, unadulterated. It should only be placed where it make sense, and only where the author intended it to be.

If you don't like that this particular game is not racial diverse... rather than try to influence and change it... I welcome you to GO CREATE YOUR OWN ORIGINAL GAME and sell it on the market.

Racial diversity JUST FOR THE SAKE OF ITSELF is purely contemptible.


The point is that stereotypes portray individuals in a negative light. Look at franchises like Star Wars, Marvel, and DC comics. They've added plenty of diverse characters based on their own research and on customer feedback. They're even known for being I inclusive. It's not like having mostly white characters is an artistic decision. It would be a simple change that would reflect positive business ethics. Having a product that reflects a single type of person is an outdated, offensive move.

It's such a minute change that is has virtually no negative effects.
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Austin Andersen
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There is no problem here.
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Justin Schuber
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Think someone is either trolling or is just really bored.
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Pete
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The Monster Smash expansion features people of color, specifically green, purple, and wolf blue.

Pete (knows he's not helping)
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Tony C
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- It's a company's/designer's right to make the product they want, that fits their artistic vision.
- It's a consumer's right to buy/not buy, and provide feedback on that buying decision, to the company/designer, and react as they see fit.
We do that all the time here, on Kickstarter, other game forums, etc, and praise the designer when they listen and respond to us about inconsequential stuff like "bigger minis!"

An author's vision that is entirely pure and unadulterated rarely sells.

I haven't played in while so I am not able to comment on the exact gender, racial, and demographic makeup of the cards, either base or expansion.

But as a counterpoint - in the absence of a compelling creative reason, why NOT be diverse? I believe, in general, that inclusivity is better than exclusivity. (There certainly are exceptions where the race/gender/demographic selections are integral to the creative work.) I don't see that being the case in Smash Up (generally) though of course I would yield to the designer's and artists' vision.

I don't think this is a problem on par with, well, most of the other problems in the world; but it's also an easy way to express a more inclusive attitude.

Flip side, of course - how much is enough? There are currently a ton of demographic identifiers a person can check off on a census form, and some that aren't there yet; it is likely impossible to ensure equal in-game representation of all of them, and ensuring that might not be the best use of a game artist's time.
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Garth Tams
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I think the biggest concern is people are playing Smash Up! when the game it wants to be is soooooo much better in every possible way.
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Pete Goch
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sao123 wrote:
Jmgarc25 wrote:
I bought this game and two expansions last week. The game itself is a blast, but the majority of the characters are white male and females. The only exception are Asians, which are only included as ninjas. The only characters with diverse ethnicities are featured in the background and are reduced to gross Stereotypes.

I emailed the developers and received the following response:

Hi Justin,

Always good to hear from a fan! We appreciate your feedback and will take it into consideration.

Thanks for your support of Smash Up!


Tiffany C.

I encourage consumers to email the company at the following link:
https://www.alderac.com/smashup/support/

You may include the following message:

To whom it may concern,

Alderac's game "Smash Up" has a lack of characters from diverse backgrounds. The majority of human characters featured on the card sets are white male and females. The few characters of diverse backgrounds are either background images or portraying gross stereotypes affiliated with their ethnic background. Individuals of African, Asian South Asian, and Latino decent are misrepresented in this game

As a consumer in the 21st century, I encourage Alderac to add more diverse characters in their products.

Thank you,

A Concerned Customer

Spread the word and hopefully we can help make a change in the mindset of the business. I highly doubt that the exclusion is intentional, but hopefully they'll be more mindful in future expansions and products.



or hopefully NOT change it.

Authors should not feel the need to modify THEIR works just to make everyone feel that racial diversity is important and needs to be reflected in everything!

A product is the result of the authors vision, not the product of its intended audience... The authors vision should be left alone, pure, unadulterated. It should only be placed where it make sense, and only where the author intended it to be.

If you don't like that this particular game is not racial diverse... rather than try to influence and change it... I welcome you to GO CREATE YOUR OWN ORIGINAL GAME and sell it on the market.

Racial diversity JUST FOR THE SAKE OF ITSELF is purely contemptible.


People can attempt to influence whatever they want to attempt to influence. Isn't that the point of a free market economy? If people want to buy games that represent racial diversity then publishers should welcome input in the games they release. After all, it can only help them sell more games if they can better serve their market. The less they hear from their potential customers the less they know and the more they have to guess.

Telling people to pipe down and not make their desires known is what I find contemptible.
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Eric Chiriboga
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sao123 wrote:

Racial diversity JUST FOR THE SAKE OF ITSELF is purely contemptible.


Severely disagree, here.

Racial diversity that creates logical inconsistencies is bad. For example, Scythe is set in 1920's Eastern Europe. So, while I'm sure there were a small percentage of black people in Eastern Europe, it wouldn't make sense to have them prominently feature as playable characters. Lots of other examples like this.

However, if it's all fantasy and not really based on anywhere or any group of people in particular, then I think it's ridiculous to say "putting in racial diversity is contemptible." There's no reason for all of the characters to be white. Racial diversity will make your product for inclusive and palatable to the masses, particularly when white people are are a disproportionate focus. If the setting is fantasy, sci-fi, or anything else that just portrays people with no context and somebody says "Hey, don't you think it's pretty messed up that everyone's white?" and your response is "Putting in more nonwhite characters just for the sake of putting in nonwhite characters is wrong," then I think that's problematic, because it implies that white is the default and you NEED a reason for characters to be dark-skinned.
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Snowless11 wrote:
sao123 wrote:

Racial diversity JUST FOR THE SAKE OF ITSELF is purely contemptible.


Severely disagree, here.

Racial diversity that creates logical inconsistencies is bad. For example, Scythe is set in 1920's Eastern Europe. So, while I'm sure there were a small percentage of black people in Eastern Europe, it wouldn't make sense to have them prominently feature as playable characters. Lots of other examples like this.

However, if it's all fantasy and not really based on anywhere or any group of people in particular, then I think it's ridiculous to say "putting in racial diversity is contemptible." There's no reason for all of the characters to be white. Racial diversity will make your product for inclusive and palatable to the masses, particularly when white people are are a disproportionate focus. If the setting is fantasy, sci-fi, or anything else that just portrays people with no context and somebody says "Hey, don't you think it's pretty messed up that everyone's white?" and your response is "Putting in more nonwhite characters just for the sake of putting in nonwhite characters is wrong," then I think that's problematic, because it implies that white is the default and you NEED a reason for characters to be dark-skinned.


Would you have the same stance if there was a fantasy-based game set in ancient China and say "Hey, don't you think it's pretty messed up that everyone is Asian?".
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maf man
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Jmgarc25 wrote:
The point is that stereotypes portray individuals in a negative light. Look at franchises like Star Wars, Marvel, and DC comics. They've added plenty of diverse characters based on their own research and on customer feedback. They're even known for being I inclusive. It's not like having mostly white characters is an artistic decision. It would be a simple change that would reflect positive business ethics. Having a product that reflects a single type of person is an outdated, offensive move.

It's such a minute change that is has virtually no negative effects.

pulled from a NPR interview:
Quote:
Superheroes in general and Superman in particular is so American — you know, Superman's supposed to fight for truth, justice, and the American way, We wanted to take these values and stick them into a different cultural context. So we want to show how some of these things that define the original Superman might be particular to American culture and some things might be universal.
-one of the new superman writers


they're not just shoehorning in diversity, its a massive change that's not about pandering to their audience but expanding to make for a better story
 
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Eric Chiriboga
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Neojames82 wrote:
Snowless11 wrote:
sao123 wrote:

Racial diversity JUST FOR THE SAKE OF ITSELF is purely contemptible.


Severely disagree, here.

Racial diversity that creates logical inconsistencies is bad. For example, Scythe is set in 1920's Eastern Europe. So, while I'm sure there were a small percentage of black people in Eastern Europe, it wouldn't make sense to have them prominently feature as playable characters. Lots of other examples like this.

However, if it's all fantasy and not really based on anywhere or any group of people in particular, then I think it's ridiculous to say "putting in racial diversity is contemptible." There's no reason for all of the characters to be white. Racial diversity will make your product for inclusive and palatable to the masses, particularly when white people are are a disproportionate focus. If the setting is fantasy, sci-fi, or anything else that just portrays people with no context and somebody says "Hey, don't you think it's pretty messed up that everyone's white?" and your response is "Putting in more nonwhite characters just for the sake of putting in nonwhite characters is wrong," then I think that's problematic, because it implies that white is the default and you NEED a reason for characters to be dark-skinned.


Would you have the same stance if there was a fantasy-based game set in ancient China and say "Hey, don't you think it's pretty messed up that everyone is Asian?".


No, because that has a historical setting. Even if it's not a specific historical time being directly portrayed, it's still using China as a setting.
 
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Ian Williams
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Snowless11 wrote:
sao123 wrote:

Racial diversity JUST FOR THE SAKE OF ITSELF is purely contemptible.


Severely disagree, here.

Racial diversity that creates logical inconsistencies is bad. For example, Scythe is set in 1920's Eastern Europe. So, while I'm sure there were a small percentage of black people in Eastern Europe, it wouldn't make sense to have them prominently feature as playable characters. Lots of other examples like this.

However, if it's all fantasy and not really based on anywhere or any group of people in particular, then I think it's ridiculous to say "putting in racial diversity is contemptible." There's no reason for all of the characters to be white. Racial diversity will make your product for inclusive and palatable to the masses, particularly when white people are are a disproportionate focus. If the setting is fantasy, sci-fi, or anything else that just portrays people with no context and somebody says "Hey, don't you think it's pretty messed up that everyone's white?" and your response is "Putting in more nonwhite characters just for the sake of putting in nonwhite characters is wrong," then I think that's problematic, because it implies that white is the default and you NEED a reason for characters to be dark-skinned.


No one said "putting in racial diversity is contemptible". They said to do it just for the sake of itself, as in, just being racially diverse to tick that racially diverse box, is contemptible. Which is a stronger word than I'd use, but there you go.

Personally... Complaining about a lack of racial diversity in itself sounds like whining to me, when done without context. "This Tarzan game set in Africa has no black playable characters" has context, because it's about the setting. "I wish this game had more female characters because I'm a woman and I like to play as characters like myself" has context, because it's personal. "I want racial diversity because... You should do it" is just noise to me.
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Snowless11 wrote:
Neojames82 wrote:
Snowless11 wrote:
sao123 wrote:

Racial diversity JUST FOR THE SAKE OF ITSELF is purely contemptible.


Severely disagree, here.

Racial diversity that creates logical inconsistencies is bad. For example, Scythe is set in 1920's Eastern Europe. So, while I'm sure there were a small percentage of black people in Eastern Europe, it wouldn't make sense to have them prominently feature as playable characters. Lots of other examples like this.

However, if it's all fantasy and not really based on anywhere or any group of people in particular, then I think it's ridiculous to say "putting in racial diversity is contemptible." There's no reason for all of the characters to be white. Racial diversity will make your product for inclusive and palatable to the masses, particularly when white people are are a disproportionate focus. If the setting is fantasy, sci-fi, or anything else that just portrays people with no context and somebody says "Hey, don't you think it's pretty messed up that everyone's white?" and your response is "Putting in more nonwhite characters just for the sake of putting in nonwhite characters is wrong," then I think that's problematic, because it implies that white is the default and you NEED a reason for characters to be dark-skinned.


Would you have the same stance if there was a fantasy-based game set in ancient China and say "Hey, don't you think it's pretty messed up that everyone is Asian?".


No, because that has a historical setting. Even if it's not a specific historical time being directly portrayed, it's still using China as a setting.


Is not 1920's Eastern Europe a historical setting as well?
 
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Eric Chiriboga
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Neojames82 wrote:
Snowless11 wrote:
Neojames82 wrote:
Snowless11 wrote:
sao123 wrote:

Racial diversity JUST FOR THE SAKE OF ITSELF is purely contemptible.


Severely disagree, here.

Racial diversity that creates logical inconsistencies is bad. For example, Scythe is set in 1920's Eastern Europe. So, while I'm sure there were a small percentage of black people in Eastern Europe, it wouldn't make sense to have them prominently feature as playable characters. Lots of other examples like this.

However, if it's all fantasy and not really based on anywhere or any group of people in particular, then I think it's ridiculous to say "putting in racial diversity is contemptible." There's no reason for all of the characters to be white. Racial diversity will make your product for inclusive and palatable to the masses, particularly when white people are are a disproportionate focus. If the setting is fantasy, sci-fi, or anything else that just portrays people with no context and somebody says "Hey, don't you think it's pretty messed up that everyone's white?" and your response is "Putting in more nonwhite characters just for the sake of putting in nonwhite characters is wrong," then I think that's problematic, because it implies that white is the default and you NEED a reason for characters to be dark-skinned.


Would you have the same stance if there was a fantasy-based game set in ancient China and say "Hey, don't you think it's pretty messed up that everyone is Asian?".


No, because that has a historical setting. Even if it's not a specific historical time being directly portrayed, it's still using China as a setting.


Is not 1920's Eastern Europe a historical setting as well?


I think you misread my initial post. I said that by setting his game in 1920's Eastern Europe, it would be detrimental to the theme, and therefore the game, to shoehorn in diversity. I drew a distinction between that and the lack of diversity in games that don't have specific settings.
 
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Eric Chiriboga
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celdom wrote:
Snowless11 wrote:
sao123 wrote:

Racial diversity JUST FOR THE SAKE OF ITSELF is purely contemptible.


Severely disagree, here.

Racial diversity that creates logical inconsistencies is bad. For example, Scythe is set in 1920's Eastern Europe. So, while I'm sure there were a small percentage of black people in Eastern Europe, it wouldn't make sense to have them prominently feature as playable characters. Lots of other examples like this.

However, if it's all fantasy and not really based on anywhere or any group of people in particular, then I think it's ridiculous to say "putting in racial diversity is contemptible." There's no reason for all of the characters to be white. Racial diversity will make your product for inclusive and palatable to the masses, particularly when white people are are a disproportionate focus. If the setting is fantasy, sci-fi, or anything else that just portrays people with no context and somebody says "Hey, don't you think it's pretty messed up that everyone's white?" and your response is "Putting in more nonwhite characters just for the sake of putting in nonwhite characters is wrong," then I think that's problematic, because it implies that white is the default and you NEED a reason for characters to be dark-skinned.


No one said "putting in racial diversity is contemptible". They said to do it just for the sake of itself, as in, just being racially diverse to tick that racially diverse box, is contemptible. Which is a stronger word than I'd use, but there you go.

Personally... Complaining about a lack of racial diversity in itself sounds like whining to me, when done without context. "This Tarzan game set in Africa has no black playable characters" has context, because it's about the setting. "I wish this game had more female characters because I'm a woman and I like to play as characters like myself" has context, because it's personal. "I want racial diversity because... You should do it" is just noise to me.


I'm just saying that logic like that is the reason there's a problem, to feel like you need to justify diversity. Wanting to see representation of oneself is a valid reason enough and it must be frustrating to want that and constantly be told (for example) "Well, there's no REASON for there to be black people in this fantasy game, even though there's 12 playable characters and they're all white."

Because rarely does this go the other way (not saying never, but rarely by comparison); it's not often that a game with a non-historical setting that could have people of any skin color at all features mostly or only nonwhite people. Ergo, why people see this as a problem.
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J Garcia
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Neojames82 wrote:
Snowless11 wrote:
sao123 wrote:

Racial diversity JUST FOR THE SAKE OF ITSELF is purely contemptible.


Severely disagree, here.

Racial diversity that creates logical inconsistencies is bad. For example, Scythe is set in 1920's Eastern Europe. So, while I'm sure there were a small percentage of black people in Eastern Europe, it wouldn't make sense to have them prominently feature as playable characters. Lots of other examples like this.

However, if it's all fantasy and not really based on anywhere or any group of people in particular, then I think it's ridiculous to say "putting in racial diversity is contemptible." There's no reason for all of the characters to be white. Racial diversity will make your product for inclusive and palatable to the masses, particularly when white people are are a disproportionate focus. If the setting is fantasy, sci-fi, or anything else that just portrays people with no context and somebody says "Hey, don't you think it's pretty messed up that everyone's white?" and your response is "Putting in more nonwhite characters just for the sake of putting in nonwhite characters is wrong," then I think that's problematic, because it implies that white is the default and you NEED a reason for characters to be dark-skinned.


Would you have the same stance if there was a fantasy-based game set in ancient China and say "Hey, don't you think it's pretty messed up that everyone is Asian?".


Generally, no, depending on the context of the game (as some content could reinforce negative stereotypes). Assuming that the developers of that kind of game didn't add in anything offensive, that would be totally fine. In this games context, the only Asian characters I've seen are ninjas. Asian characters could easily be added in other factions without taking away from the "historic" factor.
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Snowless11 wrote:
Neojames82 wrote:
Snowless11 wrote:
Neojames82 wrote:
Snowless11 wrote:
sao123 wrote:

Racial diversity JUST FOR THE SAKE OF ITSELF is purely contemptible.


Severely disagree, here.

Racial diversity that creates logical inconsistencies is bad. For example, Scythe is set in 1920's Eastern Europe. So, while I'm sure there were a small percentage of black people in Eastern Europe, it wouldn't make sense to have them prominently feature as playable characters. Lots of other examples like this.

However, if it's all fantasy and not really based on anywhere or any group of people in particular, then I think it's ridiculous to say "putting in racial diversity is contemptible." There's no reason for all of the characters to be white. Racial diversity will make your product for inclusive and palatable to the masses, particularly when white people are are a disproportionate focus. If the setting is fantasy, sci-fi, or anything else that just portrays people with no context and somebody says "Hey, don't you think it's pretty messed up that everyone's white?" and your response is "Putting in more nonwhite characters just for the sake of putting in nonwhite characters is wrong," then I think that's problematic, because it implies that white is the default and you NEED a reason for characters to be dark-skinned.


Would you have the same stance if there was a fantasy-based game set in ancient China and say "Hey, don't you think it's pretty messed up that everyone is Asian?".


No, because that has a historical setting. Even if it's not a specific historical time being directly portrayed, it's still using China as a setting.


Is not 1920's Eastern Europe a historical setting as well?


I think you misread my initial post. I said that by setting his game in 1920's Eastern Europe, it would be detrimental to the theme, and therefore the game, to shoehorn in diversity. I drew a distinction between that and the lack of diversity in games that don't have specific settings.


Think I get what you are saying.

Anyway, I'll just say this. If you are going to add more diversity to any sort of game, fine. Just make sure that the creators are the ones that want to do it and let it come naturally and not force it because people are screaming at you to fill in a racial quota. Honestly, a game idea I have does plan to have a African British woman in it and she will be awesome, but it was because I WANTED to put her in the game, not from some internet group or anything like that. And I feel that is the best way to go about it. Because if you just tack on some other characters just to satisfy a small group of people, how are they going to help promote the group you are trying to show in a positive light when they are lame and forgettable characters?
 
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Casey Lent
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What does it say for the authorial vision where white people can be anything, and Asians can be ninjas?
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Andrés Santiago Pérez-Bergquist
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Ah, yes, another thread in which someone points out that a form of media is severely lacking in non-white people, and a bunch of white people reply that it's not a problem and that including people of color would be pandering and compromise the author's artistic vision.
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Santiago wrote:
Ah, yes, another thread in which someone points out that a form of media is severely lacking in non-white people, and a bunch of white people reply that it's not a problem and that including people of color would be pandering and compromise the author's artistic vision.


I don't see a bunch of black people here posting about this being an issue, either.
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