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Subject: Hidden meanings in Puerto Rico rss

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Joel Hedlund
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I'm fairly new to PR, having played only a couple dozen times with my family/kids. The strategy articles on this site are outstanding and have helped us to considerably improve our game.

I was trying to clear up some ambiguity concerning the supply rules in the Captain's phase by referring to the original German rules. I noticed to my surprise that the "Craftsman" in German is referred to as "Aufseher" which actually means overseer. Craftsman would be translated as Handwerker. Overseer probably has a more negative connotation in American culture. Have you ever wondered that the dark brown disks may represent slaves rather than colonists and that the colonist ship may be something more sinister? This is probably obvious to many of you, but I thought I'd throw it out there.

It's interesting to note that on the eve of the American Revolution Jamaica was a more profitable colony to Britain than the 13 Colonies combined.

jh
 
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brian
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Radgamer wrote:
This is probably obvious to many of you, but I thought I'd throw it out there.

Yes, it is obvious and has been discussed ad nauseum over the years.
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Ian Sergeant
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ColtsFan76 wrote:
Radgamer wrote:
This is probably obvious to many of you, but I thought I'd throw it out there.

Yes, it is obvious and has been discussed ad nauseum over the years.


I had never heard anyone mention the german before....
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Andreas Krüger
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There are a lot of rerferences and jokes here about slaves in PR, so yes, it was noticed :-). But you are right, the German version is a little bit more explicit about the "Aufseher".
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norman rule
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Radgamer wrote:
negative connotation


There are lots of games where negative connotations are glossed over for playability/marketability.

WWII games (playing the Nazi side and hoping to win), Civil War games (the loss of life during some of those battles was staggering), pirate games (brutal theft and murder), Jack the Ripper (serial killing), Roman themed (gladiatorial brutality, oppression & slavery)... all are common historical themes and they all provide a challenging conflict that lends itself well to game play. If you drill down far enough in almost any game, you'll probably find some aspect that has a negative connotation for someone.

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Eric Jome
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Radgamer wrote:
Have you ever wondered that the dark brown disks may represent slaves rather than colonists and that the colonist ship may be something more sinister?


I've enjoyed joking about this over the years probably more than I should have... but I think I'll step up now and say this;

I really don't think there is any intentional or hidden reference to slavery in the game. That the discs are brown I suspect is coincidence or merely a production choice based on costs. You use the same markers to work plantations as you do to run your office as you do to run your university as you do in your factory...

They are just markers. We like to think they might be slaves because it is fun to be naughty, but in reality, I don't think there is any real meaning to it.

I mean, you might as well say pool is a racist game because the object of it is to use the white ball to knock all the colored balls into place...

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Branko K.
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I was wondering when this discussion will rise again. It's been a while.

It's actually rather interesting to watch how people often think THEY are the first ones who saw the connection.

 
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Dan The Man
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And we refer to the little brown disks as "batteries."

Go figure...
 
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Joel Hedlund
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Lesson learned by a newbie poster. I didn't mean to imply something not thought of before or that PR's connection to slavery is bad. In fact, it gives authenticity and makes the game more interesting, not less.

mrorwell wrote:



WWII games (playing the Nazi side and hoping to win), Civil War games (the loss of life during some of those battles was staggering), pirate games (brutal theft and murder), Jack the Ripper (serial killing), Roman themed (gladiatorial brutality, oppression & slavery)... all are common historical themes and they all provide a challenging conflict that lends itself well to game play.



Good point. I remember playing War at Sea as a kid that denoted control with swastikas. Probably my favorite game is Twilight Struggle, where one way to win is to make the other guy blow up the world.
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B C Z
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http://www.boardgamegeek.com/spsearch.php?objectid=3076&obje...

 
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Tony Chen
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cosine wrote:
Radgamer wrote:
Have you ever wondered that the dark brown disks may represent slaves rather than colonists and that the colonist ship may be something more sinister?


I've enjoyed joking about this over the years probably more than I should have... but I think I'll step up now and say this;

I really don't think there is any intentional or hidden reference to slavery in the game. That the discs are brown I suspect is coincidence or merely a production choice based on costs. You use the same markers to work plantations as you do to run your office as you do to run your university as you do in your factory...

They are just markers. We like to think they might be slaves because it is fun to be naughty, but in reality, I don't think there is any real meaning to it.

I mean, you might as well say pool is a racist game because the object of it is to use the white ball to knock all the colored balls into place...


I doubt it was a coincidence.
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Waffles? Arooo!
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drunkenKOALA wrote:

I doubt it was a coincidence.


A) "Ok, so the workers are slaves, so lets make them brown to make it even more historically accurate!"
B) "Umm, I don't think we should call them slaves, that might offend a few people."
A) "Damn, you're right. Well, lets call them colonists instead then. But keep them brown so that everyone knows what we REALLY mean."

?
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Jeff Douglas
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ColtsFan76 wrote:
Radgamer wrote:
This is probably obvious to many of you, but I thought I'd throw it out there.

Yes, it is obvious and has been discussed ad nauseum over the years.

How is the weather up there?
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Tony Chen
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Luthrin wrote:
drunkenKOALA wrote:

I doubt it was a coincidence.


A) "Ok, so the workers are slaves, so lets make them brown to make it even more historically accurate!"
B) "Umm, I don't think we should call them slaves, that might offend a few people."
A) "Damn, you're right. Well, lets call them colonists instead then. But keep them brown so that everyone knows what we REALLY mean."

?

And they called it the Overseer without calling the workers slaves? Your point?

Save that emoticon for yourself.
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Branko K.
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This game is from Germany, which means it was further historically disconnected from the actual events, so it's really not so incredible that the german version is, well, more "historically accurate" with their terms. However, even in the german version those are "workers", not "slaves", and to say that the games promotes slavery or is tasteless or any similar thing is ridicilous. It is set in a certain historical period and it is as historically accurate as it could be while beind abstract and distanced enough from the actual events to avoid hurting or offending anyone. Still, some people will always enjoy controversies or just adore finding stuff that will offend them in some way.

The game promotes slavery as much as any wargame promotes armed conflict between nations and sending young men to their deaths. Hey, Cluedo downright promotes murder of the first degree! (although you have to do it in a very contrived way, of course)
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Richard Would
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Hidden meanings? I was hoping for some tie in with the Illuminati goo
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Sean McCarthy
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drunkenKOALA wrote:
And they called it the Overseer without calling the workers slaves?


Wait, did you actually think this one guy was processing ALL the goods on his own? Of course he's a freaking overseer. Overseer doesn't mean "slave overseer", by the way.
 
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Waffles? Arooo!
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drunkenKOALA wrote:
Luthrin wrote:
drunkenKOALA wrote:

I doubt it was a coincidence.


A) "Ok, so the workers are slaves, so lets make them brown to make it even more historically accurate!"
B) "Umm, I don't think we should call them slaves, that might offend a few people."
A) "Damn, you're right. Well, lets call them colonists instead then. But keep them brown so that everyone knows what we REALLY mean."

?

And they called it the Overseer without calling the workers slaves? Your point?

Save that emoticon for yourself.


A) "Ok, so the workers are slaves, so lets make them brown to make it even more historically accurate! And we'll call the role the "Overseer", because they have to reassign the slaves!"
B) "Umm, I don't think we should call them slaves, that might offend a few people."
A) "Damn, you're right. Well, lets call them colonists instead then. But keep them brown and keep the role as the "Overseer", so that everyone knows what we REALLY mean."

?

My point is: Did they really make the "slaves" brown to make things more representative of slaves at the time.
 
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Branko K.
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Well if they were black, you could raise the same point, with even more pronounced offensive stereotyping.

And if they were red, green or fluorescent yellow, certain people would still find the choice of depicted historical period offensive. So why not have chips the color that actually looks nice on the board?




 
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Eric
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To the OP, yes, this has been discussed before (and quite a bit), but you certainly don't need the snarky comments from others who, I'm guessing, no longer wish to discuss the issue. I've read a number of posts on this topic and never seen your point about the German term, Aufseher, before, so thanks for posting.
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Tony Chen
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Luthrin wrote:
drunkenKOALA wrote:
Luthrin wrote:
drunkenKOALA wrote:

I doubt it was a coincidence.


A) "Ok, so the workers are slaves, so lets make them brown to make it even more historically accurate!"
B) "Umm, I don't think we should call them slaves, that might offend a few people."
A) "Damn, you're right. Well, lets call them colonists instead then. But keep them brown so that everyone knows what we REALLY mean."

?

And they called it the Overseer without calling the workers slaves? Your point?

Save that emoticon for yourself.


A) "Ok, so the workers are slaves, so lets make them brown to make it even more historically accurate! And we'll call the role the "Overseer", because they have to reassign the slaves!"
B) "Umm, I don't think we should call them slaves, that might offend a few people."
A) "Damn, you're right. Well, lets call them colonists instead then. But keep them brown and keep the role as the "Overseer", so that everyone knows what we REALLY mean."

?

My point is: Did they really make the "slaves" brown to make things more representative of slaves at the time.

Your much appreciated point is that it's idiotic for anyone to think that they'd have made the pieces brown on purpose, when they were careful enough not to name the pieces "slaves." Which is just bollocks.

Quote:
Damn, you're right. Well, lets call them colonists instead then. But keep them brown and keep the role as the "Overseer", so that everyone knows what we REALLY mean.

Except that they did name the role as the Overseer. Or do you think that is just a coincidence also? Because if not, it's not so stupid to think that they would've made the workers brown on purpose now would it? Or are you not following the logic?
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DnaDan56 wrote:
And we refer to the little brown disks as "batteries."

Go figure...

Small, round, makes stuff work when you plug them in...
Yes I see the connection.

We call them "doods" or "doodors."

In any case, it's nice when they're a rich dark brown. It helps contrast them from the brightly colored buildings nicely, so you can easily count open spaces after a mayor phase, or spy who has whom where. Any other color besides black probably would not have worked as well in these regards.
 
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Paul
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"bollocks"

See? this is what I mean by sound different. I've never heard you say bollocks in real life.
 
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Rob M.
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cosine wrote:
Radgamer wrote:
Have you ever wondered that the dark brown disks may represent slaves rather than colonists and that the colonist ship may be something more sinister?


I've enjoyed joking about this over the years probably more than I should have... but I think I'll step up now and say this;

I really don't think there is any intentional or hidden reference to slavery in the game. That the discs are brown I suspect is coincidence or merely a production choice based on costs. You use the same markers to work plantations as you do to run your office as you do to run your university as you do in your factory...

They are just markers. We like to think they might be slaves because it is fun to be naughty, but in reality, I don't think there is any real meaning to it.

I mean, you might as well say pool is a racist game because the object of it is to use the white ball to knock all the colored balls into place...

My God. Its been right there in front of me this entire time and I have never noticed it before. I will never play pool again. Who is with me?! Let us all rally at the Pool Hall, hold hands and sing We Shall Overcome, maybe we can get Al Sharpton to show up.shake

 
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