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Subject: Plea to publisher—Rework the stereotyped art rss

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Nate Straight

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You need to drop the buck toothed Asian stereotype, now. It has a vile history and has no place here.
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Steve Weber
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i'm with you on this one, but i also think that you're aggressive tone could be counter-productive.

it doesn't come across as a plea, it's basically a demand, and i don't think it'll help things much.

explain your arguments and reasoning for you're plea in a calm and concise manner, and i think you'll have more chance of the publisher taking notice.

just my 2 cents.

having said that, the game is already available for sale, so don't know how much could be done anymore anyway.
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Ben Draper
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There is no room for "pleas" when it comes to racist caricatures. A demand is the appropriate approach to take, as frankly, the company should know better.
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Steve Weber
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well, that's the thing...yes they should know better, but judging by that cover they don't, do they?
now, giving them the benefit of the doubt that they weren't aware of what that image is, i really do think being calm and explaining to them why that image is wrong is a better and more productive way to go. if they respond in an unreasonable manner(or not at all)there is still time for demands.

but hey, that's probably just me.

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Nate Straight

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Nah, I don't buy that bunk.

Spielworxx's Uli Blennemann all but immediately took his company's remake of Die Macher back to the drawing board [literally] when it was pointed out that a game board redesign had a passing resemblance to a swastika. That's the bar for game publishers, and yes it is a high one, but it ought to be.

We all need to demand better.
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Nate Straight

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I did offer an explanation, just not a terribly detailed one.

The caricature of Asian people as being buck-toothed has a vile racist history (I suppose I should have explicitly said racist, but I didn't want to toss the accusation of active racism--which I did not intend to levy against anyone--around by inference).

That should be sufficient knowledge if you're a publisher, honestly.
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A Huynh
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I saw this listed on my OLGS for pre-order and I saw the cover and immediately came on here to see if anyone else saw this.

It immediately looked to me like a racist depiction of a "buck-tooth" Asian.

Can't believe the publisher or designer were okay with this.
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A Huynh
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If anyone else is interested in voicing their concern to the publisher here is their contact page:
https://www.blueorangegames.com/contact-us
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A Huynh
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The publisher actually wrote back quite promptly to my concerns with a genuine reply, it seems they are looking to change the cover art for the North American release.
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Nate Straight

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katanan wrote:
The publisher actually wrote back quite promptly to my concerns with a genuine reply, it seems they are looking to change the cover art for the North American release.
Wow. Thanks. I totally should have taken the time to do that step. I’ll send a direct note today, at least.
 
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W. Eric Martin
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NateStraight wrote:
katanan wrote:
The publisher actually wrote back quite promptly to my concerns with a genuine reply, it seems they are looking to change the cover art for the North American release.
Wow. Thanks. I totally should have taken the time to do that step. I’ll send a direct note today, at least.
New cover image for Dragon Market from Blue Orange Games:



I don't know whether the international edition will use the previous cover or this one, but copies that show up for sale at Gen Con 2019 will be the earlier edition since those have already been shipped and copies with this new cover haven't been printed yet.

Updated info from BOG on June 24: The previous cover was used only on copies of the game printed and sold in the EU, but this new cover will be used both in the EU (when the copies from the previous printing sell out) and in North America, with this new cover being present on copies for sale at Gen Con and elsewhen in North America.
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Nate Straight

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Joshua King
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I’ve just seen this advertised and was equally appalled/flabbergasted at the art work. Blue Orange have produced some fantastic games (eg Planet, Photosynthesis); I’m really disappointed that they thought this was acceptable. It’s great that they have responded to complaints (and well done to everyone who raised issues about this!) but it does make you wonder what on earth possessed them to think this was ever a good idea in the first place. Jesus Christ. Some older games have not stood the test of time well and make me cringe, but there is NO EXCUSE for new games to draw on these racist stereotypes. Very concerning.
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Luca Angiolini
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Just a question: this game will be abalible also in giant version like River Dragons? Thanks in advance
 
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W. Eric Martin
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chequered_gauntlet wrote:
I’ve just seen this advertised and was equally appalled/flabbergasted at the art work. Blue Orange have produced some fantastic games (eg Planet, Photosynthesis); I’m really disappointed that they thought this was acceptable. It’s great that they have responded to complaints (and well done to everyone who raised issues about this!) but it does make you wonder what on earth possessed them to think this was ever a good idea in the first place. Jesus Christ. Some older games have not stood the test of time well and make me cringe, but there is NO EXCUSE for new games to draw on these racist stereotypes. Very concerning.
Designer Bruno Faidutti has written on this topic, while not on this game in particular. In this 2016 post on his blog, he explains "that the same picture can be racist in the US and not in Europe, or the reverse, depending on what part of the representation of the other has become the accepted sign of racism, and whether the very act of caricature is considered insulting or not." He gives examples of changed artwork in two of his games, Isla Dorada and Waka Tanka, while also talking about Days of Wonder's changes to Five Tribes.
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If, like me, you arrived late to this thread and don't see what Nate is complaining about...



...is the original cover.
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Joshua King
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W Eric Martin wrote:
chequered_gauntlet wrote:
I’ve just seen this advertised and was equally appalled/flabbergasted at the art work. Blue Orange have produced some fantastic games (eg Planet, Photosynthesis); I’m really disappointed that they thought this was acceptable. It’s great that they have responded to complaints (and well done to everyone who raised issues about this!) but it does make you wonder what on earth possessed them to think this was ever a good idea in the first place. Jesus Christ. Some older games have not stood the test of time well and make me cringe, but there is NO EXCUSE for new games to draw on these racist stereotypes. Very concerning.
Designer Bruno Faidutti has written on this topic, while not on this game in particular. In this 2016 post on his blog, he explains "that the same picture can be racist in the US and not in Europe, or the reverse, depending on what part of the representation of the other has become the accepted sign of racism, and whether the very act of caricature is considered insulting or not." He gives examples of changed artwork in two of his games, Isla Dorada and Waka Tanka, while also talking about Days of Wonder's changes to Five Tribes.

Thank you for the read! He raises some interesting points. I certainly don't refute the idea of geo-specific, culturally constructed ideas of racism. And I can see why this potentially problematises game design when the game in question involves culturally sensitive issues that people may respond to differently. Still - if something has the potential to be offensive in one area or to a certain group, surely the best course of action is to just avoid it entirely (the design I mean, not the concept itself)? I'm not sure that, as we become increasingly globalised, the argument that Europeans and Americans respond to such things in very different ways holds much validity anymore either. If we're honest, lots of games have skirted around issues of representation and cultural sensitivity and this is not really acceptable anymore. Don't get me wrong, effort is being made, and the community is far more inclusive now. But it could definitely be better (and this covers lots of problems like inadequate representation of women and also disabled/queer identities too - as a gay man it would be fantastic to see more games with characters/themes that I could relate to in this way).

Also - in this specific instance, the depiction was flat out racist and I don't think anyone, anywhere, would have disagreed with that.
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W. Eric Martin
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chequered_gauntlet wrote:
Also - in this specific instance, the depiction was flat out racist and I don't think anyone, anywhere, would have disagreed with that.
Except that apparently the French branch of Blue Orange Games disagreed or else it wouldn't have used that artwork in the first place. It seemed to have realized that the artwork would be an issue only after the image was posted on places like BGG and people started responding unfavorably.
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Allen Cordell
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EYE of NiGHT wrote:
If, like me, you arrived late to this thread and don't see what Nate is complaining about...



...is the original cover.
It's barely any different!
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AJ Carruthers
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Except that the teeth are no longer buck-toothed and now look more realistic, which was the complaint. An entire rework of the artwork doesn't appear to have been required here.

Though that being said there is still a faint hint of the older cover in the front two teeth, but that perhaps wouldn't be as noticeable without knowing that the change had been made.
 
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Allen Cordell
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Fabricator wrote:
Except that the teeth are no longer buck-toothed and now look more realistic, which was the complaint. An entire rework of the artwork doesn't appear to have been required here.

Though that being said there is still a faint hint of the older cover in the front two teeth, but that perhaps wouldn't be as noticeable without knowing that the change had been made.
While yes, the teeth were incredibly racist, the depiction of the person on the left of the image is straight up offensive, and that hasn't changed at all.
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Nate Straight

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alphasixty wrote:
Fabricator wrote:
Except that the teeth are no longer buck-toothed and now look more realistic, which was the complaint. An entire rework of the artwork doesn't appear to have been required here.

Though that being said there is still a faint hint of the older cover in the front two teeth, but that perhaps wouldn't be as noticeable without knowing that the change had been made.
While yes, the teeth were incredibly racist, the depiction of the person on the left of the image is straight up offensive, and that hasn't changed at all.
]

UPDATE!

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Allen Cordell
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NateStraight wrote:
alphasixty wrote:
Fabricator wrote:
Except that the teeth are no longer buck-toothed and now look more realistic, which was the complaint. An entire rework of the artwork doesn't appear to have been required here.

Though that being said there is still a faint hint of the older cover in the front two teeth, but that perhaps wouldn't be as noticeable without knowing that the change had been made.
While yes, the teeth were incredibly racist, the depiction of the person on the left of the image is straight up offensive, and that hasn't changed at all.
]

UPDATE!

Awesome.
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alphasixty wrote:
NateStraight wrote:
alphasixty wrote:
Fabricator wrote:
]

UPDATE!
Awesome.
Yay!
 
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