Signal Boost – Justice Points – “Dragons Aren’t Real”

February 3, 2015

Justice Points is a podcast I just got into, but the most recent podcast has my friend Tanya talking about I Need Diverse Games.

Towards the end of the podcast, there’s a pretty great conversation about games that try to deal with discrimination, but then fail to understand that racism has particular experiences to culture – the racism of the real world, Post-Atlantic Slave Trade, is not the same kind of racism (such as dealing with colorism) you’d get in a setting dealing with racism against elves.   This is a common issue I find in media – these really ugly and clumsy attempts to do parallels to racism, but effectively still operate on real world racism without even understanding how/why that works.

The tabletop RPG example I think of the most is the Anima RPG, where in the history lore, it had a part close to “the people here aren’t enslaved despite having darker skin”…which the game had zero note about skin color to slavery previously.  Or the first edition of Diaspora which had “Kill the White Devil” Aspect applied to “Savages” (which, to their credit, the publisher apologized and removed).

It’s so jarring and weird when modern racism bits are inserted into games or settings which… basically have no reason for it otherwise.

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