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Subject: GMT cancelling the P500 listing for Scramble For Africa rss

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Alan Sutton
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Moruya
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I got an e mail today from GMT telling me they have removed this game from the P500 list.

I had not pre ordered this game and GMT did not offer any specific reasons for doing this.

Other than

"It's clear to me that the game is out of step with what most eurogame players want from us, in terms of both topic and treatment. Over the past few weeks, we've heard from a growing number of gamers who had concerns about both in regards to Scramble for Africa."

I am assuming that the topic of late Victorian Imperialism is now so politically incorrect that even a game cannot be published on the subject?

Also, the Euro Gamers are obviously on the march. What about the Wargamers?

As I said to Gene and GMT in my reply, that is their decision, but what does it say about what wars we can simulate?

Only the good ones?

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Simon Church
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I can see that it is a subject that many would find distasteful but wonder how that fits into the context of games on the conquest/colonisation of the Americas, the German invasion of Russia in WW2, etc etc or games on very recent conflicts such as Afghanistan, the ongoing war on terror etc. Obviously scale and time come into play but it makes me wonder what is and is not acceptable and how this is decided, and by whom.
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Ben Bosmans
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People giving in to social media pressure and hysteria.

I think it is all very telling these days so everyone should make his/her mind about it.

I decided to not acquire the few new GMT purchases I had in mind over the next 2 years. More than enough wargames coming. I also retracted an article that was going to be published on the GMT Insider.


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Peter Mogensen
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I don't get why people would contact a company like GMT and express "concerns".

I mean... I wouldn't play A Distant Plain, since I personally don't feel like playing stuff about actual ongoing conflicts. (not counting the Korea war).

But I understand other people feel different, so let them play the games they like.
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Łukasz
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Ben_Bos wrote:
I decided to not acquire the few new GMT purchases I had in mind over the next 2 years. More than enough wargames coming. I also retracted an article that was going to be published on the GMT Insider.


I would love to read your article but I do understand your point.

And no more GMT games for me, too.
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Ben Bosmans
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Or ... classify Root as an historical wargame and put it in the top 20 of wargames.

With cats and birds replacing red and blue.

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Eagle Farm
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A private business will do what makes commercial sense for them. GMT will have to trade-off the $$$ they would make on this game against the possibility of foregone sales on their other titles. I presume they have decided this game would make them peanuts, so even a small risk of some people not buying their mass sellers is not worth it.

This does not stop other companies making and publishing a game on this or any other topic. The topic has not been banned.

As an economist I do love watching the invisible hand in action... businesses working in their own selfish interests will reflect the ethical views (right or wrong) of their customers.

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Eddy Sterckx
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I also wrote a reply to that GMT email, just didn't hit the "send" button as I figured it would get a thread in here and I'd rather make a public reply.

I can understand why they caved in, I just fear it's just the start. Looking at what other games they publish, if ever there was a slippery slope ...

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Phil Dutré
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grouchysmurf wrote:
So we can play Germans killing American PoWs


Really? What game is that?

But anyway, the sensitivity and acceptablity of themes changes over the years. That’s the normal flow of things. If people are upset of certain themes or historical events not being deemed acceptable for a game, perhaps they should wonder why that is, instead of blaming political correctness and SJWs.

Games - and wargaming - do not operate in an isolated bubble.
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Stéphane Guilleaume
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Not buying anymore is my reaction too, in similar cases.
However I am puzzled here because I also appreciate that GMT are a small company and their business model remains a fragile one, leaving them little room for manoeuvre when they come under this type of attack.

But indeed, GMT must be aware that if they let this type of hysteria in, they are finished. As mentioned above, next there will be an outcry about this or that game...
What about the Coin game on Gaul? Do these people think that the conquest by the Romans was any fun? As a Frenchman I strongly object! And I conjure you, as a Belgian, to join me in this just fight.
And what about these games on car racing? Speed? Gas? Do GMT support the destruction of life on the Earth? And so on... ad nauseam...
Because there is no limit to ridicule if you leave Weltverbesserer have a go.
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Jim F
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Very sad to hear this. I hope another publisher takes the game up. It’s not because the game per se was pulled, but because GMT have shown such a lack of resilience. It will also embolden those who are frightened of their own shadow to put pressure on them about future titles.

If no publisher does take it on Kickstarter may be the way forward. I would certainly back it now although I didn’t P500 the original game.
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I was surprised to see GMT planning a game the point of which seemed to be to make African peoples punching bags and targets for acquisition for external powers, which is a process that is still raw and is even still playing out. I had already decided not to purchase it. It’s not just the colonial theme, because I have and play games like Struggle of Nations and Puerto Rico.

Edit: That should be Struggle of Empires.
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Christian van Someren
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I would recommend everyone check out the thread which (might have) prompted this announcement: [Scramble for Africa] I thought we were past this

There are some fairly persuasive arguments as to why this game (and not the subject matter) may be inappropriate. In short, it seems that a game which was more aware of the history being presented would have received a better reception.

I don't see how boycotting GMT will help, then there would just be less interest in (and publications of) the games you do enjoy.
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Peter Mogensen
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Christianv wrote:
There are some fairly persuasive arguments a...


Hmm... A thread with half the comments deleted.

Someone mentioned the invisible hand of the market a few posts up.

That's a good point. However, there are two ways to use that:
1) Refuse offers to play games you don't like. If enough people can't find opponents for playing Puerto Rico, it won't get played, won't get bought and publishers and designers will take note in the future.
2) Pressure publishers like GMT directly with your views of which games other people should play or not.

I'd suggest people consider using option 1.

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Andreas Johansson
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I spent 200 GG and all I got was this lousy overtext!
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Moruya23 wrote:
Also, the Euro Gamers are obviously on the march. What about the Wargamers?

Near as I can tell, the game isn't a wargame, so mayhap wargamers simply aren't the intended audience?
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Christian van Someren
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The comments which were deleted were off topic or antagonizing without adding anything to the conversation. If you read the posts which were not deleted you will see that many of us were having a real conversation about this game.
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Peter Mogensen
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Christianv wrote:
The comments which were deleted were off topic or antagonizing without adding anything to the conversation. If you read the posts which were not deleted you will see that many of us were having a real conversation about this game.


Well... I've seen comments deleted for merely suggesting to take the topic to the RSP forum. So, I guess it depends on the mood of the day.

Anyway... done is done.
I still think people should opt to just not buy and play games they don't like.
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Luke Phillips
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If I may give the SJW perspective.

The colonial period is a very shameful part of our* European heritage, we are all aware of the countless atrocities. It is not unreasonable to expect any game set in that era to treat the context honestly and fairly, and not to trivialise the suffering. We know very little about the actual game, beyond the theme, so maybe GMT felt that the treatment was not appropriate, or did not fit with their brand.

That is not to say that the theme is off limits it just needs to be respected properly. I'm put in mind of Freedom: The Underground Railroad which is universally lauded for it's treatment of the subject of slavery in the American south. It can be done, just not by this game perhaps?

If I had to guess I can see that the problem the theme would have compared to American slavery is that the slavers lost! The colonial powers on the other hand "won" so how do you tackle it without trivialising the human cost? I'm not saying it's impossible, just hard.

* I am making some assumptions about the population here on these boards but I certainly speak for myself
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Peter Mogensen
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lukerazor wrote:
The colonial period is a very shameful part of our* European heritage, we are all aware of the countless atrocities.


I don't think anyone disagrees with that. But that goes for a lot of games set in a historical context. Especially wargames.

So ... would you say that a game like Afrikan tähti respects it's theme properly?

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Brian Morris
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People deciding for you what historical topics you can and can not play. That is called censorship. Be the medium games or books it's the same thing.

People who never played the game, never read the rules and likely never played a historical wargame just decided what subject you are not allowed to play. I'm sure they will continue keeping a close tab on GMT in the future. Making sure they do not publish titles they deem inappropriate. Perhaps we can have a game burning.
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David Brown
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Quote:
The colonial period is a very shameful part of our* European heritage, we are all aware of the countless atrocities


And World war I and II weren't!

What Afria experienced is what most of the World has experiened at some time or another - the conquest and explotation by another people who are more military advanced and aggressive. Whether that was by the Romans, Mongals, Europeans etc. I don't understand why Africa has suddenly become off limits as a gaming situation.

Was this game going to (thematicaly) very different from Conquistador?

Unfortunatly the noisy minority have forced their opinion on others - sad times

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