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Subject: The Gamer in me applauds, the Environmentalist cringes... rss

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Drew Heath
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Disclaimer: I have never seen this game in person, all I know about it is what's here on BGG.

/me dons flamesuit

This intro presents a theme:

Quote:
n the northwest corner of Nunavut, Canada, a formerly inaccessible bay off of the Arctic Ocean has become reachable through a secret inlet. Untouched by the hands of time and fed by both the ocean and warm fresh water springs, Ridback Bay is teeming with sea life. A remote, timeless bayside village is now being inundated by entrepreneurs awaiting the influx of the world's greatest fisherman to harvest this plentiful bounty. The docks and warehouses are being revitalized, and now it is time to begin the real adventure. Go build your Fleet and become master of the high seas!


that can only be described as rapacious.

Why does fishing get a pass here? What if we rethemed...

Quote:
In the northwest corner of Ontario, Canada, a formerly inaccessible valley off of Georgian Bay has become reachable through a secret pass. Untouched by the hands of time and fed by both the ocean and warm fresh water springs, Ridback Valley is teeming with animal life. A remote, timeless country village is now being inundated by entrepreneurs awaiting the influx of the world's greatest hunters to harvest this plentiful bounty. The furriers and meatpackers are being revitalized, and now it is time to begin the real adventure. Go bag your trophy bear, deer, and moose to become master of the high forest!


>_>

Can we maybe tweak it a little bit to say something like:

Quote:
A remote, timeless bayside village is now being inundated by entrepreneurs awaiting the influx of the world's greatest fisherman to harvest this plentiful bounty within the strict catch limits imposed by the Fisheries Service to ensure these new stocks maintain intact for generations of fishermen to come.


Ok, I admit it's not as thrilling when you say it like that, but still...

/conflicted gamer
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Jeff Kayati
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Um, yeah. Okay then....

Right, see the thing is...



Not to flame you too much, but it's this kind of idiocy opinion that makes people ignore environmentalists.
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Honestly, there aren't too many games I can think of that wouldn't upset someone if they thought about it enough...

But Kudos to you for gently voiceing your opinion about something you care about.

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Robert Forrest
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I see your point, agree, but also won't even think twice while playing the game.
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Brad Miller
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jkayati wrote:
Um, yeah. Okay then....

Right, see the thing is...



Not to flame you too much, but it's this kind of idiocy opinion that makes people ignore environmentalists.


'Cause we aren't overfishing the oceans or anything now are we?

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David Moffett
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Oh man... this again? Reminds me of the old slavery in Puerto Rico argument. Over fishing is a serious environmental issue, yes, I agree. Speaking as someone who does care somewhat about the environment (and likes to eat fish once a week and wants it to continue being available) it concerns me. But, and I can't stress this enough, it's a card game. It isn't going to convince someone that excessive commercial fishing is okay. If anything a concerned person could use it as an opportunity to help illustrate and naturally broach the topic (possibly to their children) of the gravity of the issue.
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Drew Heath
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Puerto Rico is a poor comparison. The core premise here is exploiting virgin resources not jumping into a situation already very much extant.

An appropriate comparison would be discovering a new country in Africa and thinking "my god, look at all these potential slaves!"

I by no means am making that comparison (I'm not insane). I'm just pointing out the inadequacy of your counterargument.

I think the theme would work wonderfully in an 18th century setting. It matches the general perspective towards Nature of that period.
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David Moffett
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The inadequacy of my counter argument? That wasn't my counter argument, it was a brief comparative statement which clearly illustrates that I am comparing the act of decrying a sensitive topic (slavery) to decrying another sensitive topic (over fishing) when it's used as a theme, or part of a theme, in a medium that is not attempting to make a statement on the topic. The nature of the two topics is entirely irrelevant. This game could have just as easily been about harvesting different types of hardwoods and converting them into furniture, which I'm quite sure would have rubbed someone, somewhere the wrong way. Deforestation being the problem that it is.

My counter argument, since you seem intent on ignoring the other three quarters of what I wrote, is that it's ludicrous to get bent out of the shape about a theme.
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Drew Heath
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I'm not bent out of shape, just myself surprised with my own reaction and was looking for a forum to discuss it. I bear no ill will towards this game. I think the replies I've received have been more passionate than my original post.
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Lyle Williams
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Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzsnore
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David Moffett
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My apologies, I'm a passionate person and I misunderstood your feelings and intention.

The wording and premise is a bit perverse, I'll agree there. A virgin, pristine habitat so what do we do? We exploit it. It would be like if the government released protection rights on a national park and the first reaction by the people would be to divvy it up for logging and mineral rights. They maybe could have worded it better.

*EDIT*
Maybe too because it hits pretty close to home, if this really did happen the back story for this game is pretty like to actually play out. But maybe that's just the cynic in me.

*EDIT 2*
Just realized that I apparently really like metaphors.
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James W
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Shad wrote:

Quote:
In the northwest corner of Ontario, Canada, a formerly inaccessible valley off of Georgian Bay



I don't know why the rest of you guys are so upset but this is the part that got me...

For someone who is actually from Northern Ontario (and no, I don't mean Barrie), this part always make me sigh...

Flip the map over!! There's another side to the Ontario map, you know!

Do you realize that if the roads existed you could drive for ANOTHER 24 HOURS North and still be in Ontario? =)

Just to contrast that for the Americans you can drive from there to Florida in the same amount of time and that is just in ONE PROVINCE!

Ra Ra Canada!
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Matt Riddle
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No worries shad, I appreciate the healthy discussion. We tried to be conscious of treating everything respectfully, like the Inuit fisherman for example. Thanks for the thoughts.
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Richard Sandberg
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With all the games themed after war, organized crime, and horror I am glad to see a new theme every now and then. And the way I read it, it is not saying the fishermen are intending to fish the area to extinction, they are just giving the other areas a break since this spot's resources have been untapped. I am not hating and everyone is entitled to their own opinion (after I played lunch money I decided that the demonic/sacrilegious nature of the theme was enough to turn me off to the game), but to me this just isn't a big deal. It does seem kinda odd to me though that someone would be offended by the theme of killing fish but not be offended by the theme of killing people.
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Brian Theissen
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took2long wrote:
It does seem kinda odd to me though that someone would be offended by the theme of killing fish but not be offended by the theme of killing people.

Whoa!! Any one who watches Sponge Bob would not agree with that. Fish are people too!
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Ocean Druen
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Interesting opinion.

I'm a pacifist and an avid wargame player and was asked recently how I can claim both titles. I never thought about this before, and to be honest because it never crossed my mind before so I did not know how to answer it - but here it goes.

Games are games, their purpose is for enjoyment. Wargames do not advocate violence, nor are they a violent activity. The same as Fleet (a game I am looking forward to) is not advocating overfishing or exploitation of resources.
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Chris Berger
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kingjames01 wrote:
Shad wrote:

Quote:
In the northwest corner of Ontario, Canada, a formerly inaccessible valley off of Georgian Bay



I don't know why the rest of you guys are so upset but this is the part that got me...

For someone who is actually from Northern Ontario (and no, I don't mean Barrie), this part always make me sigh...


I'm pretty sure that to those of us in the US, if it's not Toronto, it's Northwest Ontario. You know, assuming you've caught one of us who's actually heard of Toronto...

I live in Chicago (well, Northwest suburbs)... Anything south of I-80 is Southern Illinois. Sorry.
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Russ Williams
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DarkTori wrote:
Interesting opinion.

I'm a pacifist and an avid wargame player and was asked recently how I can claim both titles. I never thought about this before, and to be honest because it never crossed my mind before so I did not know how to answer it - but here it goes.

Games are games, their purpose is for enjoyment. Wargames do not advocate violence, nor are they a violent activity. The same as Fleet (a game I am looking forward to) is not advocating overfishing or exploitation of resources.

A difference is that most people agree (in principle, if not in practice) that War Is Bad. There's a lot of awareness of the terrible horrors and costs of war, so playing wargames doesn't reinforce some idea that war is a good thing.

But a lot of people are genuinely oblivious to the destruction of sea life from over-fishing, and a game where your goal is to fish as much as possible can psychologically normalize/reinforce the real life activity of fishing as much as possible, making it seem normal and acceptable, instead of making people conscious of the environmental damage.
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Ocean Druen
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russ wrote:
DarkTori wrote:
Interesting opinion.

I'm a pacifist and an avid wargame player and was asked recently how I can claim both titles. I never thought about this before, and to be honest because it never crossed my mind before so I did not know how to answer it - but here it goes.

Games are games, their purpose is for enjoyment. Wargames do not advocate violence, nor are they a violent activity. The same as Fleet (a game I am looking forward to) is not advocating overfishing or exploitation of resources.

A difference is that most people agree (in principle, if not in practice) that War Is Bad. There's a lot of awareness of the terrible horrors and costs of war, so playing wargames doesn't reinforce some idea that war is a good thing.

But a lot of people are genuinely oblivious to the destruction of sea life from over-fishing, and a game where your goal is to fish as much as possible can psychologically normalize/reinforce the real life activity of fishing as much as possible, making it seem normal and acceptable, instead of making people conscious of the environmental damage.


On a personal level it is the same. I'm against violence and still play wargames and that is one of my causes (I am also against the crass destruction of our environment and over-exploitation of resources). I didn't bat an eye for Fleet, looks like a good little game I Kickstarted it.

To put it another way, I don't feel that boardgaming is a means for a social platform (my personal view) so games do not advocate anything but having fun.
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Russ Williams
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DarkTori wrote:
To put it another way, I don't feel that boardgaming is a means for a social platform (my personal view) so games do not advocate anything but having fun.

In case I was unclear, I didn't mean that this (or any) game is advocating overfishing.

I just perceived a difference between this case and the case of wargames, in that one could argue that a game about exploiting a fishing region could (quite unintentionally) have an effect of psychologically normalizing the idea that it's normal/OK to overfish (since many people are not aware of any problems with fishing, in contrast with most people being aware of problems with war.) That's all!
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Kevin Shillinglaw
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arkayn wrote:
kingjames01 wrote:
Shad wrote:

Quote:
In the northwest corner of Ontario, Canada, a formerly inaccessible valley off of Georgian Bay



I don't know why the rest of you guys are so upset but this is the part that got me...

For someone who is actually from Northern Ontario (and no, I don't mean Barrie), this part always make me sigh...


I'm pretty sure that to those of us in the US, if it's not Toronto, it's Northwest Ontario. You know, assuming you've caught one of us who's actually heard of Toronto...

I live in Chicago (well, Northwest suburbs)... Anything south of I-80 is Southern Illinois. Sorry.


Chi-ca-go? Is that some kind of t-shirt?

EDIT: I apologize for not posting about the OP, but I couldn't resist.
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George Leach
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I note the OPs flag. I suggest that the good intentions brought to bear in analysing the potential dangers of this game be instead redirected to educating the Chinese that Tiger bones and Manta Ray gills serve no medical benefit when ground up and ingested. Also, that shark fins provide virtually none of the taste of shark fin soup. It's a thankless and difficult task but could be more effective in protecting our sea's resources.
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Drew Heath
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Jugular wrote:
I note the OPs flag. I suggest that the good intentions brought to bear in analysing the potential dangers of this game be instead redirected to educating the Chinese that Tiger bones and Manta Ray gills serve no medical benefit when ground up and ingested. Also, that shark fins provide virtually none of the taste of shark fin soup. It's a thankless and difficult task but could be more effective in protecting our sea's resources.


I have just informed my neighbor. That leaves 1,299,000,000 people for Saturday. I'll check back in here when I'm finished.
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George Leach
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Sweet, nice work Andrew
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Shad, you're great and all, but, c'mon. A cardboard game themed around fishing is rather unlikely to lull its players into thinking that overharvesting of fish in the real world is OK. You are, I think, reaching here just a bit. And I don't think the wargames comparison is invalid - there are certainly people out there who view wargaming as a niche hobby which sanitizes and glorifies war. You and I know that's not the case, and I'd extend the same 'benefit of the doubt' to Fleet - this game is not going to 'sanitize' or 'glorify' overfishing the world's seas.
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