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Subject: Is Tales of the Arabian Nights offensive? rss

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Byron Campbell
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I am working on a write-up of Tales of the Arabian Nights and wanted to get a general sense of what people think of the game. I would like to avoid a flame war, so please, if you want to comment beyond voting in the poll, limit it to your own views and observations and not criticizing others'
Poll: Do you find Tales of the Arabian Nights offensive?
Do you find Tales of the Arabian Nights offensive?
I am Muslim or Arab, and I DO find the game offensive.
I am non-Muslim/non-Arab, and I DO find the game offensive.
I am Muslim or Arab, and I DO NOT find the game offensive.
I am non-Muslim/non-Arab, and I DO NOT find the game offensive.
      507 answers
Poll created by kittenhoarder


I posted this on the game's page. Because I expect most people subscribed to the game are fans, I am also posting this on the general games forum.
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Charles Boyung
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What do you think is possibly offensive about it?
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Pete
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Some of the paragraphs can be... but I voted that I'm not offended because while I can recognize them, they do not offend me. I'm not easily offended, though.

Pete (has to be on his toes when playing with his kids to quickly edit out some of the more r-rated content)
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Bryan
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It's based off of middle eastern folk tales, so I can't imagine what would be offensive about it. I've never heard of any backlash about Disney's Aladdin.
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Charles Boyung
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Iridium192 wrote:
It's based off of middle eastern folk tales, so I can't imagine what would be offensive about it. I've never heard of any backlash about Disney's Aladdin.


Ah, but if it came out in the past 5 years, you definitely would have
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Kurt
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I don't find the game offensive, but the sex change card preventing a player from winning seems pretty tasteless (or at least dated) in today's climate.
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Charles Boyung
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RustedTree wrote:
I don't find the game offensive, but the sex change card preventing a player from winning seems pretty tasteless (or at least dated) in today's climate.


I don't remember the specifics of that, but the similar "negative" effect of the sex-change card(s?) in Munchkin was addressed by Steve Jackson himself, I believe. Obviously not the same thing (that was a one-time negative) but there might be some insight there, if I could just find the post...
 
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maf man
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RustedTree wrote:
but the sex change card preventing a player from winning seems pretty tasteless

was that changed? I remember the sex change thing coming up in a game I played but I don't remember it making a impact on the game. We could have just missed a rule I guess.
 
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Kim Williams
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mafman6 wrote:
RustedTree wrote:
but the sex change card preventing a player from winning seems pretty tasteless

was that changed? I remember the sex change thing coming up in a game I played but I don't remember it making a impact on the game. We could have just missed a rule I guess.


The card itself says that you can't win while you have it - like a number of other cards.
 
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FFS.

No. No it is not.

Is this really where we are in 2018?
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kat costa
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I don't find it offensive; it's full of weird creatures from the old Tales of the Arabian Nights cards, full of storylines from those tales. I haven't noticed anything offensive against the Arab world or Arab peoples. Probably the most offensive thing is that you can beat people up as a player action.

I didn't used to like that you couldn't win with the sex-change card--it seemed like the game was saying that people who have had a sex change were freaks and not worthy of winning. But then in the game, your gender always changes as the result of an external event that you did not choose, so I try to think of it as "You can't win as sex-changed because it was done against your will and you yourself just can't be happy until you've changed back," and seen that way, that rule is no different than the other cards that prevent you from winning--Jealousy and so on. Plus, the game lets you choose your gender regardless of character card, and that separation of character from gender is something that not even modern games do very often.
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Timmo Warner
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motoyugota wrote:
Iridium192 wrote:
It's based off of middle eastern folk tales, so I can't imagine what would be offensive about it. I've never heard of any backlash about Disney's Aladdin.


Ah, but if it came out in the past 5 years, you definitely would have


When it came out on video lyrics were changed from the theatrical version in the opening song after complaints were made.
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kat costa
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TimmoWarner wrote:
When it came out on video lyrics were changed from the theatrical version in the opening song after complaints were made.


What lyrics were changed? What were they replaced with?
 
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Charles Boyung
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kataclysm wrote:
TimmoWarner wrote:
When it came out on video lyrics were changed from the theatrical version in the opening song after complaints were made.


What lyrics were changed? What were they replaced with?


"Where they cut off your ear if they don't like your face"

to

"Where it's flat and immense and the heat is intense"

I've listened to the soundtrack (original lyrics) countless times that watching the movie makes me cringe every single time I hear that garbage line.
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Mitch Renwick
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KPDooley wrote:
FFS.

No. No it is not.

Is this really where we are in 2018?


yes, though I suspect the orginal post was a troll.
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Charles Boyung
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motoyugota wrote:
kataclysm wrote:
TimmoWarner wrote:
When it came out on video lyrics were changed from the theatrical version in the opening song after complaints were made.


What lyrics were changed? What were they replaced with?


"Where they cut off your ear if they don't like your face"

to

"Where it's flat and immense and the heat is intense"

I've listened to the soundtrack (original lyrics) countless times that watching the movie makes me cringe every single time I hear that garbage line.


I do want to be clear, though - I don't think the original line is "good", but what they came up with as a replacement just sounds weird and out of place with the rest of the song, since the next line is "it's barbaric, but hey, it's home".
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Dale
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That looks like a bit of a landslide

You might want to consider a different topic for your thesis
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Timmo Warner
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motoyugota wrote:


I do want to be clear, though - I don't think the original line is "good", but what they came up with as a replacement just sounds weird and out of place with the rest of the song, since the next line is "it's barbaric, but hey, it's home".


I don't mind the new line. What I do mind is it's sung in a totally different manner than the lines around it making it easy to tell it's been inserted.

(Also, I'll make this my last comment on Aladdin so this can remain more on topic.)
 
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Pete
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RustedTree wrote:
I don't find the game offensive, but the sex change card preventing a player from winning seems pretty tasteless (or at least dated) in today's climate.
Assuming that you don't want your sex to change, how can you win if you are the wrong gender...especially given the lengths that transgender people go to to find happiness?

Pete (actually doesn't see that much a problem with that one given today's norms)
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Mitch Renwick
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RustedTree wrote:
I don't find the game offensive, but the sex change card preventing a player from winning seems pretty tasteless (or at least dated) in today's climate.


Two points:

1, If I recall correctly its a change, not necessarily to a male or female so it shouldn't be considered sexist if you're changed to a woman and cant win. It could just as easily be that you were a woman and changed to a man and cant win.


2, Its an unwanted sex change, or at least involuntary. Its a curse. If I'm a man and you make me a woman against my will, Im not going to be happy about it. How is the idea of the change itself offensive?
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Shoes wrote:
That looks like a bit of a landslide

You might want to consider a different topic for your thesis


It's only a landslide among non-Muslim responses. It will be more interesting after/if there are more Muslim responses. (I'm not saying they will go one way or another, but often you NEED two sets of responses regarding things like sexism or racism, or other things people may take offense at.)
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No middle ground answer? As someone who is a Non Muslim and a Non White person...I find some things somewhat offensive.

I did show this game to a teacher friend just the cover years ago, and she yelled out in a jovial manner "THAT'S SO RACIST!" I'm sure she found it amusing yet was appalling since she was teaching about race in Media at her college.
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Byron Campbell
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motoyugota wrote:
What do you think is possibly offensive about it?


I didn't want to bias the votes or discussion, but there are two major objections I can foresee:

"As a Muslim, this is cultural appropriation/exoticism/what-have-you."

"As a non-Muslim, I find the frequent references to Allah offensive."

I'm happy to see that both of them seem to be a non-issue for most players. I don't personally find any element of the game offensive, but I wanted to get a sense of whether either of those issues is even worth mentioning.

Not trolling, I promise. I'm just trying to be aware of my privilege blinders. :)
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Jordan S.
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I was unoffended by the "slave" cards in Five Tribes and I seriously doubt there could be anything in Tales of the Arabian Nights that could offend me.
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Daniel Blumentritt
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One could find the mashing together of "Islamic" and "Arab" in the OP to be offensive, I suppose.

Quote:
but the sex change card preventing a player from winning seems pretty tasteless (or at least dated) in today's climate.


If anything, in today's climate we should be thinking even more strongly that being involuntarily stuck with the wrong sex/gender would indeed be difficult to deal with.
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