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Subject: Keeping things Politically Correct rss

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Steve Wood
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As I wander through this crazy industry, I am learning all kinds of new things that I never would have thought about before. It's easy to create the game (more or less) but when it becomes a business there are a LOT of things that must be taken into consideration.

One thing that is tough to do is to include everyone.

I went back through my Rulebook and eliminated all of the "his" and "he"s and "him"s, replacing them with "their" so as not to alienate my female customers, regardless of how small a percentage they may be. I appreciate every sale, and yeah, I would be annoyed to read a Rulebook full of "she" "her" etc. It would make me feel like I was playing a game that was not meant for me.

Now, some people have remarked that I did not include any minorities in my Crewmates expansion. All Crewmates are white with the exception of one guy from Singapore. The reason for this is because the cards feature the people who paid for the right to be on them. If 18 African American customers had bought those slots, you would see 18 African American Crewmates.

Question is what can I do to add more races of people to my game?

Would it be considered rude or unorthodox to host an "affirmative action" contest where 5 lucky minorities can win a place on an upcoming card set? I think it would. Not only is this not fair to any white person who wants to enter, it is potentially insulting to everyone else.

Should I create "fake" Crewmates on the next batch, even though it is my intention to let the fans buy in on those cards? I suppose it wouldn't hurt anything but it would just feel sort of wrong and forced.

I just want to appeal to everyone and make sure that everyone has a place in the Gunship universe. The Fleet believes that everyone should have the equal opportunity to die in the name of the Supreme Commander, regardless of their race, creed or genitalia.

Has anyone else encountered this or heard anything noteworthy when it comes down to race, gender and gaming?

Discuss.

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Dan Williams
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You can create grey people, like all the ones you see in ads and commercials these days. Not quite white, not quite anything... Must be generic people.

So, a generic person, a generic person, and a generic person walk into a bar(organic, shade grown, living wage, ocean lowering, etc.)

Sorry, can't go any further for fear of offending someone.
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Eric Etkin
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People bought in the way they bought in. You can't change the ethnic distribution of who contributed what. Any guilt or concern you feel about this, IMO, you're completely absolved of. Sleep well.

And I also believe that often what we intend to be politically correct in some ways can end up more condescending and insulting than just letting the cards lie the way they were dealt. This is a case-by-case situation, determined by the specific game and theme.

But that said - a sci-fi game should have a more diverse ethnic makeup. Space is going to be a destination for all racial and religious types. perhaps you can address this by including a diverse picture or two of a crew on your site, rulebook, or box?
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Liam
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I think you have to honour your original commitment, perhaps plan to put out an expansion that offers people and aliens from more backgrounds. An interesting design issue.

Does your current crew include any women?

Quote:
races
Ethnicities. There is no such thing as race.

Quote:
Would it be considered rude or unorthodox to host an "affirmative action" contest where 5 lucky minorities can win a place on an upcoming card set? I think it would. Not only is this not fair to any white person who wants to enter, it is potentially insulting to everyone else.


Oh boy...

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Ed G.
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Not all input need be acted upon.
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CJ
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Escape Pod Games wrote:
Now, some people have remarked that I did not include any minorities in my Crewmates expansion.


How much money are you getting from some people?
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Steve Wood
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monkeyhandz wrote:
Quote:
races
Ethnicities. There is no such thing as race.

Quote:
Would it be considered rude or unorthodox to host an "affirmative action" contest where 5 lucky minorities can win a place on an upcoming card set? I think it would. Not only is this not fair to any white person who wants to enter, it is potentially insulting to everyone else.


Oh boy...


You are correct of course. Race has just been used so much that it is what came out as I typed.
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Steve Wood
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Ursus_Major wrote:
Not all input need be acted upon.


Understood. I just like to cover as many bases as I can (so mine not belong to you) and also, I just like to create threads like this to see how people feel in the hopes that others won;t have to create similar ones later on.
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Steve Wood
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elgin_j wrote:
Escape Pod Games wrote:
Now, some people have remarked that I did not include any minorities in my Crewmates expansion.


How much money are you getting from some people?


At first I did not get this. Now that I do, it offers much wisdom.
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Walt L
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Escape Pod Games wrote:
One thing that is tough to do is to include everyone.

Question is what can I do to add more races of people to my game?


Why do you have to include everyone? Seriously, why?
It's YOUR game, do it YOUR way, that's what this country was founded on. People have forgotten that and look what it is doing to us. Now, don't get me wrong, if you want to include everyone, please do, but don't ever feel like you have to!

People are ALWAYS find something to complain about don't like the loud minority control what you do.
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Steve Wood
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Wdljr wrote:
Escape Pod Games wrote:
One thing that is tough to do is to include everyone.

Question is what can I do to add more races of people to my game?


Why do you have to include everyone? Seriously, why?
It's YOUR game, do it YOUR way, that's what this country was founded on. People have forgotten that and look what it is doing to us. Now, don't get me wrong, if you want to include everyone, please do, but don't ever feel like you have to!

People are ALWAYS find something to complain about don't like the loud minority control what you do.


I don't really feel like I have to do anything, and have not planned to do anything. I am more or less gauging whether or not this is a non-issue. I do feel that it is a smart marketing move to try to include something or someone that everyone can relate to. This is evident in just about every entertainment media but not sure if it holds true in gaming.
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Escape Pod Games wrote:
The Fleet believes that everyone should have the equal opportunity to die in the name of the Supreme Commander, regardless of their race, creed or genitalia.


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Scott Wheelock
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Escape Pod Games wrote:
One thing that is tough to do is to include everyone... I just want to appeal to everyone and make sure that everyone has a place in the Gunship universe. The Fleet believes that everyone should have the equal opportunity to die in the name of the Supreme Commander, regardless of their race, creed or genitalia.


It's unfortunate that you put "politically correct" in the subject, because that is such a loaded term these days (especially, it seems, on the internet). You're bound to get responses that aren't much more than soapbox rants.

However, the above paragraph is great, because you've identified a goal. Completely leaving aside whether political correctness is right, wrong, etc., you do want to make buyers feel like they can see themselves in the game, or at least that the game doesn't exclude people like them (deliberately or otherwise).

That means that nobody in this thread will debate political correctness, they'll only offer in-topic advice! Hurray!

Quote:
I went back through my Rulebook and eliminated all of the "his" and "he"s and "him"s, replacing them with "their" so as not to alienate my female customers, regardless of how small a percentage they may be. I appreciate every sale, and yeah, I would be annoyed to read a Rulebook full of "she" "her" etc. It would make me feel like I was playing a game that was not meant for me.


Lots of texts switch from male to female and back. Some use 'they/their', which is awkward because it doesn't differentiate from the plural. Some use one gender and include a prefacing statement to the tune of: "We at Escape Pod Games recognize that both women and men enjoy our games. For the purposes of clarity, however, while writing these rules we used ____ pronouns only."

So, you have lots of options. As long as a real effort is there, I think that you'll be in good shape.

Quote:
Now, some people have remarked that I did not include any minorities in my Crewmates expansion. All Crewmates are white with the exception of one guy from Singapore. The reason for this is because the cards feature the people who paid for the right to be on them. If 18 African American customers had bought those slots, you would see 18 African American Crewmates.

Question is what can I do to add more races of people to my game?


Well, on the one hand, you're right; these people paid for their image to go on the cards. That ties your hands to some extent. It raises the interesting question of whether those 18 people are a good representation of your game's audience. Even if they are, though, you've expressed a desire to make the game more inclusive, so it's a little moot. Interesting, though.

Quote:
Would it be considered rude or unorthodox to host an "affirmative action" contest where 5 lucky minorities can win a place on an upcoming card set? I think it would. Not only is this not fair to any white person who wants to enter, it is potentially insulting to everyone else.


Yes, especially if you call it an "affirmative action" contest.

Quote:
Should I create "fake" Crewmates on the next batch, even though it is my intention to let the fans buy in on those cards? I suppose it wouldn't hurt anything but it would just feel sort of wrong and forced.


Yes, you should. Or, at least, you can't just run the same type of promotion, since the result would probably be largely the same, and you'd be further behind than ever on making the game inclusive.

So, you need to think of other options. You could create diverse crewmates with no fan input, saving promotional buy-ins for other aspects of the game. You could give backers the opportunity to contribute names, backgrounds, input into game mechanics, etc., just not alter the art. You could have an artist contest; instead of getting your image in, you get your art in. Something.

Anyway, I respect your wish to make your game diverse and welcoming to females, african-americans, asians, etc., and I hope it goes well for you.
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Christopher Dearlove
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Escape Pod Games wrote:
Race has just been used so much


To provide a games spin on that, it's used in D&D, for things that even if you accept the word, just wouldn't be that. Lots of commentators use it of Blue Moon, though the rulebook only uses the word people. (There's a question in the FAQ list because this bugged me.)
 
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David Sevier
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swheelock wrote:

Quote:
Should I create "fake" Crewmates on the next batch, even though it is my intention to let the fans buy in on those cards? I suppose it wouldn't hurt anything but it would just feel sort of wrong and forced.


Yes, you should. Or, at least, you can't just run the same type of promotion, since the result would probably be largely the same, and you'd be further behind than ever on making the game inclusive.

So, you need to think of other options. You could create diverse crewmates with no fan input, saving promotional buy-ins for other aspects of the game. You could give backers the opportunity to contribute names, backgrounds, input into game mechanics, etc., just not alter the art. You could have an artist contest; instead of getting your image in, you get your art in. Something.


I really like the idea of a contest where you have people fill in the background to a crewmember (but not have the art based on them). While it's neat to have yourself in a game, it's also pretty neat to have your character in a game. I would imagine a lot of people would still enjoy the contest if they got to name the person, filled out the bio and background, etc. You might get some really neat stuff!

Although...you'd need to put in a disclaimer that you guys don't HAVE to use whatever someone submits, just in case you get a horribly offensive character or something.
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August Larson
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If you're going to try and be perfectly politically correct, you will have to include more than just ethnicity and gender differences. You will have to include wheelchair-bound crewmates, blind crewmates, deaf, mentally handicapped, short people, tall people, LGBT, Mormons, Democrats, Republicans, dogs, cats, zombies, Cthulhu, orcs, etc.

I personally think that political correctness is taken too far nowadays. People are typically offended only because they WANT to be offended. Their lives are too boring that they have to feel like they're "contributing" something to the world. Don't worry about it and just make the game. If people want to complain that you didn't put enough or any [insert ethnicity here] then they should pay to get that represented.
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tim kelly
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How about, it's your game, you will do what you want?
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Nate K
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tekay44 wrote:
How about, it's your game, you will do what you want?


But what if what he wants is to please as many people as possible?
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Brook Gentlestream
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The eight-foot tall Lizzzard warriors of Dalgona VII seem horribly underrepresented on my Gunship...
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My personal preference for rule books is they and their, however, I can easily see the value of using exclusively the female pronoun (if women have been able to live with it for hundreds of years, I'm sure men can learn to live with it as well). The alternating male one paragraph, female the next, has always been the most confusing for me, which is to say, not really confusing, so it's a legitimate third alternative.

I think an affirmative action drive so that marginalized people can get on the cards is, well, a bad idea. Not because, horror horror, white men will be excluded from something, but just because, well, it lacks imagination and seems forced to me.

However, if you determine your cards in the same manner again, you will get the same results. So if you want different results, try something different.

As to whether some people provided money deciding whether or not some people should be on the cards, well, that's a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy. I exclude you representationaly from my game, so you don't buy in,so I exclude you again... and so on and so on.

However, if you truly have a game that is only played by white men, then I don't really see how you can have representational imagery if you only want imagery of your players.

If your player base is more diverse, then I'm quite sure you can think of a way for your game to reflect that.
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colmustard21 wrote:
If you're going to try and be perfectly politically correct, you will have to include more than just ethnicity and gender differences. You will have to include wheelchair-bound crewmates, blind crewmates, deaf, mentally handicapped, short people, tall people, LGBT, Mormons, Democrats, Republicans, dogs, cats, zombies, Cthulhu, orcs, etc.


Horsepucky. This is textbook reductio ad absurdum, akin to "if gays marry, next thing you know, people will marry dogs," or "what's next after concealed carry laws, defending yourself with an RPG?" Making your media diverse doesn't mean attempting to represent every facet of humanity. Steve wants to reduce the 'all-white' factor, and he can do it.

Quote:
I personally think that political correctness is taken too far nowadays. People are typically offended only because they WANT to be offended.


Yeah, that's right. "Hey, a stereotypical mincing gay on T.V.! I thought I was never going to get to feel alienated and ridiculed this week!"

You can't assume you know why people are offended.
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Dan Williams
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Gil Scott-Heron anticipated this situation...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qW4Fv7bs2j8&feature=youtube_g...
 
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Make the game itself good, avoid any overt anti-whateverness, and it'll sell.

Skimp on game design, but makes sure it's "politically correct", and it'll bomb.
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chearns wrote:
As to whether some people provided money deciding whether or not some people should be on the cards, well, that's a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy. I exclude you representationaly from my game, so you don't buy in...

That's quite a charge. I'd be curious to hear how he took that first exclusionary step.

chearns wrote:
If your player base is more diverse, then I'm quite sure you can think of a way for your game to reflect that.

He's soliciting advice. Being coy isn't very helpful, especially since his heart seems in the right place.
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Gary,

Nice to see that even if I disappear for a few months, I can still count on you stalking me when I get back.
 
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