Genocide: The Funtimes

October 16, 2011

Who remembers Patricia Wrede’s decision to erase all NDN folks from the Americas for her book?

Wasn’t that awesome? You know what else is awesome? Changing indigenious peoples into Orcs because having the players “accidentally” commit genocide is awesome. (warning: link is rage inducing. But I’d hope that’d be pretty obvious.)

And just a few years back, I wrote about how the language used to describe orcs was identical to the language used to describe natives historically

Let’s start with problem #1:

– main reasons to why relations between white settlers and indians went sour?

Having internet access and asking this question is rather disingenuous. A lot like “What went sour between Germans and Jews in WW2?” It’s a mystery!

But also: why would you ask this question on a gaming forum instead of a history site? Why would you lead off without mentioning the point until halfway through, if you didn’t actually think there was something problematic about it? What part of “Gotcha! You’re genocidal war criminals!” part of game playing is fun?

What mindset shifts the genocidal violence into “misunderstandings”??? That’s like saying someone got stabbed 87 times because my hand slipped.

There’s plenty of room for rpgs to deal with serious issues, but part of that requires honesty to the history and situation.

Again, though, people act as if native folks are extinct or mythical and not numbering in the millions, and keep reducing their lives and history to either appropriated exotification ala Ganakagok or absence such as the upcoming Into The Far West.

Basically, if the only way you can treat people is to either rewrite their history wholesale, make magical creatures that fit the same racist stereotypes used to justify genocide, OR simply not have them exist in your media…well, that says a lot about you.


At this point, the thread has pretty much revealed the whole racist situation going on.

1. Ask an “innocent” question.

2. Big reveal of racist bullshit for maximum drama
a) it’s clear he understands it’s problematic, which is why he didn’t come straight with it to begin with.
b) pretends it’s a hypothetical situation

3. 2nd Big reveal “I’ve been playing it already! And my (white) players aren’t hurt by it, therefore you all are stupid and my racism is totally ok and awesome” self-cockstroking.

Notice, at no point, is he acting in good faith to any conversation at all in that thread, but began it and proceeded, through the whole process, to lie for the sake of maximizing attention.

Like, he could have continued playing his game and not posted about it, but “Gaming Genocide is Awesome Let Me Show You” clearly was too much to resist.

And while roleplaying is a tiny sub-sub-culture, this attitude basically reflects the general issues of white supremacy elsewhere as well: “Let me explain to you why genocide (while regrettable) was totally understandable and re-rationalize it for you.”

White supremacy evangelism, basically.

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