Real-world references


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Post Thursday, 13th April 2017, 19:25

Re: Real-world references

I think there are three ways to interact with real world references that are worth unpacking separately:
1) References intended to comment on the real world. These references are deliberately making a statement about something in the real world, most likely something many people care about. They may well be considered offensive by some or even most, but that's not necessarily a reason to change them. They are deliberate commentary, even if the commentary is light-hearted and intended to be humorous, and they may rub people the wrong way. The good gods, Beogh, and Gozag more or less fit into this group.
2) References intended to reference but not comment on the real world. These are references for the sake of references -- maybe someone just read a Jules Verne novel and they really like the idea of adding a Captain Nemo unique to crawl. They are not intended to offer a perspective on the thing they reference, but they are a deliberate reference. If these references offend, there's a good chance that they should be changed, because they've entered into controversy by accident and may well be communicating something that even their creator doesn't intend. When there is a problem with these references, it might make sense to adjust the reference until the cause of offense is removed, since it's probably an accident of the specific mode of the reference; whether the reference adds to the game is certainly worth considering. The bow of Krishna "Sharnga" probably falls into this bucket.
3) Accidental references. These are specific real-world references that weren't made with significant intention -- perhaps the creator thought they were a general reference rather than a specific, or simply misunderstood the concept they're referencing. When they are problematic, these references should generally be removed, because in some significant sense the meaning of these references was never considered. The sword of Jihad, daevas, the ring of Shaolin, and lajatangs probably fall into this bucket.

Regarding the sword of Jihad specifically, I didn't personally rename it, but I did feel that it was a clear case where we were accidentally making a reference full of specific-case commentary, when the intention was most likely a general reference without commentary. Just to be clear, the sword of Jihad was removed not because anyone specific or generally was offended, but because it was an careless reference with a clear offensive potential. That specific case is not generalizable to Beogh, because Beogh is an intentional reference, whether or not you might find it offensive.

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Post Thursday, 13th April 2017, 20:39

Re: Real-world references

Lasty wrote:I think there are three ways to interact with real world references that are worth unpacking separately:
1) References intended to comment on the real world. These references are deliberately making a statement about something in the real world, most likely something many people care about. They may well be considered offensive by some or even most, but that's not necessarily a reason to change them. They are deliberate commentary, even if the commentary is light-hearted and intended to be humorous, and they may rub people the wrong way. The good gods, Beogh, and Gozag more or less fit into this group.
2) References intended to reference but not comment on the real world. These are references for the sake of references -- maybe someone just read a Jules Verne novel and they really like the idea of adding a Captain Nemo unique to crawl. They are not intended to offer a perspective on the thing they reference, but they are a deliberate reference. If these references offend, there's a good chance that they should be changed, because they've entered into controversy by accident and may well be communicating something that even their creator doesn't intend. When there is a problem with these references, it might make sense to adjust the reference until the cause of offense is removed, since it's probably an accident of the specific mode of the reference; whether the reference adds to the game is certainly worth considering. The bow of Krishna "Sharnga" probably falls into this bucket.
3) Accidental references. These are specific real-world references that weren't made with significant intention -- perhaps the creator thought they were a general reference rather than a specific, or simply misunderstood the concept they're referencing. When they are problematic, these references should generally be removed, because in some significant sense the meaning of these references was never considered. The sword of Jihad, daevas, the ring of Shaolin, and lajatangs probably fall into this bucket.


4) References being an object to an evolving geopolitical timeline. It's like removing Sword of Hitler from the game in 1946, after it being added during development in 1934. I mean, circumstances change. Removing it was a proper reaction.

Edit: typo
Last edited by Stopski on Friday, 14th April 2017, 00:22, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Thursday, 13th April 2017, 21:56

Re: Real-world references

It is interesting that the most egregious and obviously bad reference that comes to mind in connection with this thread, which was in the game for about 20 years as far as I can tell and where the error was compounded by adding the berserking mechanic in post-Linley versions, falls in the "accidental" category. Yet somehow the bad guys in all of this are people on the forum who got on the wrong side of this issue the day after a 20 year position was reversed, without apology or sign of contrition outside of a "well, we were just getting around to doing this ourselves" kind of commit message. No one who made it happen and no one who was complicit in letting it stand is responsible. Just an accident, not a reflection on anyone outside of players who were just a little too upset when it changed. It's not like something changed in the last 20 years of the relationship between "the West" and Islam that would change the calculus here. The reference has been pretty uniformly bad that whole span of time.

Is it so hard to say "Look, we were wrong, we're the guilty parties here, we made this look like it was okay when we knew it wasn't?" Certainly harder than making the bad guy some dude on a forum. Yeah, they were wrong. So were you until the day before.
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Post Thursday, 13th April 2017, 22:15

Re: Real-world references

I'm not sure what you're looking for here. There are something like 253 contributors to crawl, and I'm certain that none of the contributors involved in changing the name were involved in creating it in the first place. Do you want me to apologize because someone once made a bad choice? Do you want the dev team as a whole to apologize? Do you want us to track down who first added the sword and make them apologize? I'm happy to admit that crawl was wrong and I'm happy to have perhaps played a small role in making it less wrong, but I'm not going to go out of my way to abase myself because there was an element in a project I participated in that needed fixing, and I'm certainly not going to demand that of anyone else.

If you're blaming the dev team for not having fixed it sooner, I'm perfectly happy to shift that blame right back to you. We didn't fix it. Neither did you. You did absolutely nothing during the 20 years when the sword was a problem, just as I did. As you can see, all it took was one comment to get the thing changed. That could have been your comment.

As for "bad guys", I'm not assigning anyone a bad guy role, and I'm not sure why you think there has to be a bad guy here. There was a problem, someone pointed it out, and it got fixed.

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Post Thursday, 13th April 2017, 22:37

Re: Real-world references

I think Lasty's approach of "in good faith" classification of those references for purpose of consideration is fine. Our aim is not to call people out, but rather make a game with lore that's not trying to offend the community.

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Post Thursday, 13th April 2017, 23:50

Re: Real-world references

fr: put sword of hitler back into the game for the first time since 1946

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Post Friday, 14th April 2017, 00:22

Re: Real-world references

You know, three people were responsible for changing the Sword of Jihad: the original op, the non dev who created a pull request (me), and the dev who approved it. The majority of work came from outside the dev team. In contrast, you waited until this change was already made, and then wrote angry messages at people most sympathetic to making further similar changes.

I also disagree with your idea that the current Dev team is responsible for the actions of past members. If we were talking about a government or company I would believe in institutional responsibility. An open source project doesn't have enough coherence to have institutional responsibility.

Finally, accepting the PR to change the sword's name IS an acknowledgement the previous name was bad. The commit message couldn't apologise on behalf of the dev team because the dev team didn't write it.

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Post Friday, 14th April 2017, 00:52

Re: Real-world references

Yeah, that's a totally irresponsible perspective.
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Post Friday, 14th April 2017, 01:12

Re: Real-world references

archaeo wrote:This topic has always managed to engender a fair amount of sturm und drang when it gets brought up on the Tavern, but I always find the pushback confusing. What are good reasons not to try to avoid Eurocentrism in our fantasy game, or to stop taking culturally important names and using them for popcorn monsters? Given that the changes are "tiny" and/or "cosmetic," what principles are being trampled upon that gets under folks' skin?

I think it's mostly pointing out a problem that they don't consider to be a problem/hadn't considered makes them look/feel like they are backwards, insensitive, or thoughtless. Whether you meant to imply that or not, they feel that sting internally, and rather than trying to improve, they double on refuting the original issue being a valid concern at all. It can also be a case of people wanting to be lazy and not adjust to a changing world. I think this tends to come up a lot in discussions of trans people - people resist the idea of someone being able to change their gender/pronouns because now they have to remember people's preferred pronouns and can't simply assume them based on how that person appears.

This is, in my opinion, the primary reason why social change is so slow. There is a minority of people who will pause, reflect, and change their opinions on topics as they arise, but the majority resist change and a subset of those people outright refuse to change their whole lives (See: 80 year old heavily racist grandmother). So large social movements (civil rights, gay marriage, trans issues, etc) tend to take generations to have widespread social support.

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Post Friday, 14th April 2017, 01:28

Re: Real-world references

dpeg wrote:About avoiding offense: I could see how devout Christians might be offended by Beogh, say. (I've talked to actual Christians about this, and they weren't offended at all, but (a) that's just a small sample from Germany and (b) perhaps they just weren't devout enough.)


"Thank you for removing Beogh, that really means a lot to me. However, after talking to my minister, I have realized that roguelikes are Satanic and therefore I will not play Crawl any more...."

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Post Friday, 14th April 2017, 02:13

Re: Real-world references

so any of yall noticed that since this discussion is premised on the idea that the participants are (reading between the lines) atheist male westerners it is impossible for anyone who is not an atheist male westerner to contribute on the terms of the discussion without identifying their personal background

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Post Friday, 14th April 2017, 02:30

Re: Real-world references

me, an atheist female westerner: *swishes tail, knocking over flavour* oops hehe

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Post Friday, 14th April 2017, 03:00

Re: Real-world references

sure minmay
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Post Friday, 14th April 2017, 03:04

Re: Real-world references

okay all, this ran in the "actually kind of useful" channel for about as long as I think it's gonna. Other mods, feel free to unlock this, but we're getting more heat than light now.

Edit: unlocked by request. Please keep things on-track and respectful!
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Post Friday, 14th April 2017, 14:47

Re: Real-world references

pratamawirya wrote:I honestly don't really understand this whole concern about Crawl being "Eurocentric", but maybe you guys need to also gather opinions from non-western players on whether it is really such a problem at all. I myself, as an Indonesian, have never found anything culturally jarring in the game. Except maybe Sharnga, because it's such an important artefact in Indian mythology (and Khrisna is also a figure in Indonesian/Javanese mythology since we kind of imported a lot of stuff from India way back then) and there's no other references to Indian culture can be found in the game (though I might be wrong), so like... what's that famous bow doing in the dungeon, lol, it's kind of funny to see it just lying on the floor.

(My emphasis)
I think you forgot about Nagas. "Nagaraja" is one of the names of Shesha Naga, on who Vishnu is supposed to sleep. (Naga is also an ethnic group in India, but it doesn't have anything to do with Naga in Hindu mythology, or the Nagas in Crawl). Also Trishulas are a very common Hindu symbol, though they are very rare in-game.

I agree with your comments about gathering opinions, and I suggested as much earlier. I would just enter a caveat: It's better to solicit opinions in a private survey (perhaps the next DCSS survey, whenever that might be?), rather than a public forum. People who are active on Tavern may not be representative of the playerbase, and not everyone might feel comfortable about discussing such things in an open forum.

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Post Friday, 14th April 2017, 15:48

Re: Real-world references

pratamawirya wrote:This just came to my mind: Have you guys ever considered a god based on a philosophy instead of a religion? One interesting philosophy school is stoicism; we can have a stoic god who demands its followers to "control their emotions" and in exchange they get strong defensive abilities like damage shaving.
At least, I haven't. Although you could say that economy has become (alongside with science) the dominating philosopy. Then again, there's Mammon, the god of gold. :)

You could reflavour a bunch of Crawl gods. For example, one could say that Cheibriados captures one aspect of stoicism. Ashenzari and Ru feel quite philosophical to me, too: the common idea is that you forfeit something. (Religious self-mutilation is a thing, of course).

pratamawirya wrote:Of eastern religions, ancestor worship sounds interesting. [...] Actually, we already have one ancestor-based god: Hep. We could reflavor her into one based on Taoism or other ancestor worship religion. The piety gain system could be changed too: gaining piety would be both through exploration and through the aforementioned "ritual".
Yes, would be very interesting to inject some more theme into Hepliaqklana from such an angle. Currently, the god is inspired a lot by mechanics (which is good in itself), but having potential to strengthen the thematic link is even better.

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Post Friday, 14th April 2017, 16:09

Re: Real-world references

bel wrote:I think you forgot about Nagas. "Nagaraja" is one of the names of Shesha Naga, on who Vishnu is supposed to sleep. (Naga is also an ethnic group in India, but it doesn't have anything to do with Naga in Hindu mythology, or the Nagas in Crawl). Also Trishulas are a very common Hindu symbol, though they are very rare in-game.

Oh right, I totally forgot about nagas and trishulas, my bad. Though, whenever I see these two, "India" doesn't usually come to my mind (or at all, actually), probably because I've seen them multiple times before in fantasy games, so I don't normally associate them with the country. Khrisna, on the other hand....

bel wrote:I agree with your comments about gathering opinions, and I suggested as much earlier. I would just enter a caveat: It's better to solicit opinions in a private survey (perhaps the next DCSS survey, whenever that might be?), rather than a public forum. People who are active on Tavern may not be representative of the playerbase, and not everyone might feel comfortable about discussing such things in an open forum.

Conducting a private survey sounds good. It also sounds novel and progressive, and it can set a precedent for other games, open source or not. Though, we need to choose the right words to represent the issue, especially since many people might not even be aware that it's an issue at all.

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Post Friday, 14th April 2017, 18:22

Re: Real-world references

taoism isnt an ancestor worship religion, so please nobody in this thread rewrite any gods based on their idea of taoism

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Post Saturday, 15th April 2017, 13:48

Re: Real-world references

About Lasty's three reference types, I personally don't really get it. I mean, I understand how the three categories are built (by the will of the devs, essentially), but I don't get how the devs choose what to put in each of the three boxes.

What I mean is: Sword of Jihad = A religion calling on jihad causes its follower to become blood-frenzied = significant meaning worth being removed. Beogh titles = Apostles and Evangelists are followers of an evil god = not to be removed (?) because it's a deliberate statement. ??? Probably misreading?

Anyway, as a Christian, I find shooting Cherubs in the face(s) much more alienating than Beogh titles. There are some ways to rationalize it, even within Christian tradition, but it is distracting and detracts significantly from the fun. It could also be corrected very easily through a rename (e.g. fleet messenger for angels, towering messenger for daevas, great messenger for seraphs, burning messenger for ophanim, and vigilant messenger for cherubs, possibly changing the animal heads with something similar but game-related: a yak instead of an ox, a shrike instead of an eagle, a wolf instead of a lion, a variable player species for the human face...)
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Post Saturday, 15th April 2017, 14:36

Re: Real-world references

A fair question, since I could have been more clear: what I'm saying above is that references have different degrees of intentionality, and how questions like "is this reference offensive" and "does this reference belong in crawl" get answered will depend on which bucket of intentionality they fall into. In the first bucket, merely being offensive isn't enough to motivate a change; you'd have to change the mind of the person who thought it was commentary worth communicating -- or, in a project like crawl, convince enough other people to override them. In the second bucket, being offensive is, by itself, enough reason to change the reference, but not necessarily to remove it entirely, depending on context. In the third bucket, being offensive is sufficient to fully remove the reference, since there was no real reason for the reference to exist in the first place. Really the point I was trying to make was about how the varying levels of intentionality behind making references.

As to where I categorized each of the things above, it was a subjective take based on the info I have. I know that some of the gods that reference real-world religions are intentional commentary of a sort, so I put them in the first bucket. I know also that no one currently active in crawl dev seems to feel that "Jihad" was intentional commentary or in any way worth preserving, so I put in the third bucket, even though it's possible that whoever added it originally meant it to be a negative commentary on Islam. I'm comfortable with doing that because this is, in a sense, about the net intentionality of the crawl project, which can be thought of as the sum of the intentions of the active contributors.

Edit: let me clarify my point with an example: say there's a single developer creating a game, and in that game there is a sword of Jihad. Someone tells the developer why it is offensive, and the developer responds, "Oh, I'm sorry! I didn't realize how this would single out the Islamic faith. I'll change it right away," and let's say for the sake of this example that we believe the developer is being honest. The next day, the developer changes the sword to "the sword of Jesus" and leaves it otherwise the same, and in the commit notes the developer says that this is a commentary the specifically zealotry within Christianity. In this case, the reference started out in the third bucket, accidental reference, and then was changed to the first bucket, deliberate reference with commentary. Moving from bucket 3 to bucket 1 doesn't necessarily make it less offensive; in this case it probably makes it more offensive. But what has changed is what is required to remedy the situation. The developer knows that this is a controversial statement, so telling the developer that it is offensive will not make them want to change the reference. In order to get the reference changed, you would either need to convince the developer that this game is the wrong place for this commentary, or that the commentary should not be made at all.

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Post Saturday, 15th April 2017, 16:36

Re: Real-world references

Lasty wrote:I think there are three ways to interact with real world references that are worth unpacking separately:
1) References intended to comment on the real world. These references are deliberately making a statement about something in the real world, most likely something many people care about. They may well be considered offensive by some or even most, but that's not necessarily a reason to change them. They are deliberate commentary, even if the commentary is light-hearted and intended to be humorous, and they may rub people the wrong way. The good gods, Beogh, and Gozag more or less fit into this group.
2) References intended to reference but not comment on the real world. These are references for the sake of references -- maybe someone just read a Jules Verne novel and they really like the idea of adding a Captain Nemo unique to crawl. They are not intended to offer a perspective on the thing they reference, but they are a deliberate reference. If these references offend, there's a good chance that they should be changed, because they've entered into controversy by accident and may well be communicating something that even their creator doesn't intend. When there is a problem with these references, it might make sense to adjust the reference until the cause of offense is removed, since it's probably an accident of the specific mode of the reference; whether the reference adds to the game is certainly worth considering. The bow of Krishna "Sharnga" probably falls into this bucket.
3) Accidental references. These are specific real-world references that weren't made with significant intention -- perhaps the creator thought they were a general reference rather than a specific, or simply misunderstood the concept they're referencing. When they are problematic, these references should generally be removed, because in some significant sense the meaning of these references was never considered. The sword of Jihad, daevas, the ring of Shaolin, and lajatangs probably fall into this bucket.

Regarding the sword of Jihad specifically, I didn't personally rename it, but I did feel that it was a clear case where we were accidentally making a reference full of specific-case commentary, when the intention was most likely a general reference without commentary. Just to be clear, the sword of Jihad was removed not because anyone specific or generally was offended, but because it was an careless reference with a clear offensive potential. That specific case is not generalizable to Beogh, because Beogh is an intentional reference, whether or not you might find it offensive.


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Post Saturday, 15th April 2017, 17:12

Re: Real-world references

Please read my post above. That's explicitly not what I'm saying.

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Post Sunday, 16th April 2017, 02:41

Re: Real-world references

some shitlord sent a PR to make beogh use more neutral titles, so maybe we'll see improvement on that front soon

(edit: the shitlord is me. i sent a pr to make beogh use more neutral titles, so therefore i want christianity to not be mocked and thus am a shitlord by crawl subtext logic.)

i could also see beogh losing the evil flag since he doesn't seem really...evil? almost all of the gods kinda revel in wanton murder these days and even the good gods are blatantly racist
Last edited by Doesnt on Monday, 24th April 2017, 04:04, edited 2 times in total.

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Post Sunday, 16th April 2017, 02:47

Re: Real-world references

beogh is evil because how else would orc high priests summon demons? by drawing cards?

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Post Sunday, 16th April 2017, 08:57

Re: Real-world references

Beogh worshippers should be able to summon demons too but I guess that doesn't happen because of Makhleb...
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Post Sunday, 16th April 2017, 20:37

Re: Real-world references

Doesnt wrote:i could also see beogh losing the evil flag since he doesn't seem really...evil? almost all of the gods kinda revel in wanton murder these days and even the good gods are blatantly racist


The evil tag is only relevant in that it affects whether good gods dislike it. The good gods disliking Beogh is not an issue and is actually decent flavor given the number of heresies in Christianity's history.
Last edited by archaeo on Monday, 24th April 2017, 02:00, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Monday, 17th April 2017, 00:47

Re: Real-world references

Re: Eurocentrism
I think it's pretty clear that a lot of Crawl is based on Western Culture or, more specifically, Western Pop Culture. I mean, most examples of exoticism are either things Crawl cribbed from D&D, or stuff that's vaguely entered into the Western collective consciousness. Stuff like katanas and the Ring of the Shaolin. Whilst I certainly agree with duvessa on the whole "embarrassing Oriental mysticism" thing, I'm not sure I agree with those who say culling these references is the answer.

To me, the solution seems to be either to embrace the goofy pop culture origins of some of these things; or to make them feel more like they belong in Crawl. The latter would probably be the hardest, but ultimately the more rewarding. It'd involve cutting out the bits that exoticise certain cultures, whilst slowly adding in more non-Western references so things like the Autumn Katana don't stick out like a sore thumb. It guess it wouldn't so much be a deliberate, conscious project; but rather something for devs to be vaguely mindful of as new content was added in.


Re: Offensiveness
I think a lot of people have a black-and-white mentality when it comes to offensiveness. As others here have pointed out, when it comes down to whether something should be changed in the name of "political correctness" or whatever you want to call it, it comes down to personal judgement. It's not a case of "if someone says it's offensive, we have to change it". But, rather, "some said it was offensive; others said it wasn't; and someone, somewhere used their personal judgement". Though, I suppose with Crawl, it's a little more complicated as it's a team of devs, instead of just one person, but still.

To come up with an example. If there was a unique called Jesus. And part of his description said he was a popular guy, but everyone who liked him was a complete idiot. I'd say that's a pretty clear potshot at Christians. And, whilst I wouldn't be directly offended by it; if someone complained I'd be on their side for changing it. It's an obvious dig that kind of stands out and doesn't fit well with Crawl's tone.

Contrast this to, say, if there was a unique called Muhammad. He fights unarmed and was guaranteed to spawn with gloves. Now, there has been a semi-recent history of people making unflattering depictions of the prophet Muhammad to bait reactions from Muslims. However, if a Muslim complained that calling a unique Muhammad was, in some way, disrespectful to Islam; whilst I might be sympathetic to what they have to say, it's highly unlikely I'd back changing the name of the unique. Partially because there wasn't any intent to offend, and also because the offensive interpretation is a far less obvious interpretation than it being a reference to Muhammad Ali.

That ties in with why, to me, Beogh is far more acceptable than the Sword of Jihad. The references to Christianity in Beogh seem less obvious and more in keeping with Crawl's goofy tone. The Sword of Jihad is... well... it's called the Sword of Jihad. The word "Jihad" seems kinda inseperable from certain connotations these days.

Although, I suppose I'm far from objective on this matter, and my having grown up in a predominantly Christian culture may have desensitised me to references to Christianity; causing me to subconsciously make the assumption that all references to Christianity are natural, whilst references to Islam are abberant; which, in turn, would make me guilty of some kind of weird post-colonial attitude, which in turn underscores why any discussion of political correctness, inclusivity and offensivenes should include input from those whose cultures are affected; although, it must be said that that in turn, can be rife with certain patronising assumptions about the homogenous nature of— oh, sod it, this sentence has run on long enough; this is why I try not to discuss politics.

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Post Wednesday, 19th April 2017, 16:25

Re: Real-world references

Ever read Orson Scott Card's "Unaccompanied Sonata"? The best perspective is from the shoulders of giants. It's ultimately self-defeating to try to expunge all bias or cultural / religious references from a western perspective from this game.

You don't change things by renaming them. All you do is push them under the surface. As Hemingway said, "The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one ninth of it being above water." Even were you to create an entirely new pantheon of gods and invent multiple new cultures with their own histories and legends, they would be thoroughly influenced by your own culture, by elements as complex as what and where you worship to as simple as the food you ate when you were a child.

Due to this, Crawl will always have an evolving aesthetic based on the cultural experience and education of its developers. This is something you want - despite depicting radically different worlds from our own, fantasy writing only works when it strikes chords. Trying to make things otherwise demands an awful lot of effort from both the writer and the reader, and denies both of them the ability to draw from the common well that is the source of much of the wonder in our lives.

To use the parlance of our times (and avoid annoying you further with remnants of an ancient liberal arts education): It's great to encourage crawl writing to be more woke but don't freak out. Recognize it's an inherent strength and weakness of speculative fiction and try to not be uncool about it.

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Post Wednesday, 19th April 2017, 22:21

Re: Real-world references

Thanks for reminding us not to freak out, and to keep our wokeness modest. Expunging the word "exotic" from the Autumn Katana's description has really denied readers the ability to understand references drawn from the common well that is the source of much wonder in our lives.

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Post Thursday, 20th April 2017, 06:36

Re: Real-world references

Mod note: This thread was re-opened because it was felt that there could still be some substantive discussion about the topic in the OP. So if you're interested in that aim yet read something you disagree with in the thread that's at written in a reasonably polite way, please try to respond in-kind to avoid turning the thread into a snark-fest.

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Post Friday, 21st April 2017, 18:45

Re: Real-world references

chequers wrote:Thanks for reminding us not to freak out, and to keep our wokeness modest. Expunging the word "exotic" from the Autumn Katana's description has really denied readers the ability to understand references drawn from the common well that is the source of much wonder in our lives.


Whoa, zing!

That's a vast oversimplification and a reduction of both what I said and what this thread has been about.

Just in case you weren't being entirely sarcastic (with some people I have to think maybe even they can't tell), I was commenting on calling the devs "bad guys" and asking that names be named. IMO that's an overreaction sitting on a mountain of other overreactions, and it's fair to ask people who are offended by a lack of perspective in others to check their own as well. I'm sorry if you were offended or felt preached to, that was not my intention.

There's no other content in the post so you made it purely to try to bully me and belittle a contribution I made in good faith. I guess that's okay here? Anyway, I hope doing so made you feel good enough that you maybe weren't such a dismissive prick to the next person you communicated with.

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Post Sunday, 23rd April 2017, 03:41

Re: Real-world references

I was expecting this thread to be an incredibly painful read and it was far more productive and interesting than I thought. I have no intention to involve myself in the discussion except to ask, since when has "wucad" ever been theoretically correct pinyin? It certainly is not Mandarin, at any rate, since mandarin syllables never end in 'd'. Maybe you can change it to "wucan mu" and have the staff produce rations occasionally.

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Post Sunday, 23rd April 2017, 08:01

Re: Real-world references

i never had the impression that wucad mu was supposed to imitate a name in any particular language, it's just a weird old wizard name i thought

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Post Monday, 24th April 2017, 05:03

Re: Real-world references

The principle to wait until people with the particular cultural background actually complain is important, not because it is convenient, but because we don't get to decide what's offensive to others.

Before that, a good baseline, IMO, is to make a commutation test (as in linguistics): Would I feel offended, if the terms involved switched places within the structure? I (Westerner, European, German, born Rhinelander) could easily imagine playing a Japanese game taking place in a fantasised version of the Japanese middle ages. If I'd encounter a "bastard sword" classified as a "rare and exotic weapon imported from a far away land", would I feel offended? Certainly not. I would expect "European" to be exotic in this context and I'd feel anything between mild amusement and being actually pleased. Now, different cultures have different sensibilites, of course, but again: we don't get to decide what they are.

My limited exposure to Chinese culture has taught me that for them I as European/German am the exotic. That can be quite charming and somewhat flattering. Presumably, as long as one doen't feel in a marginalized position, struggling for recognition. But again: we don't get to decide who should when feel marginalized. There's actually a hidden paternalism in that, albeit with the best of intentions.

And there's a hidden eurocentrism in abstracting anything tangibly Western away from what still has to remain structurally Western, as this puts Western culture into the place of the abstract universal. The demand directed at this universal is essentially that it should remove the traces of its concrete on the side of appearance. It's far better, to sensitively deal with one's own inevitable centralism by remaining aware that one's own centre is another person's periphery.

(That doesn't mean that everything goes, of course. I'm unhappy with the reasons given for renaming the Sword of Jihad, since it seems that they cater more to Christian and post-Christian sensitivites than to Muslim ones. OTOH, it's clear that a lot of people strongly feel like they were offending Muslims and they wanted to be respectful. And, presumably, they didn't want to cater to Western stereotypes about Islam, which did, in fact, became a lot more dominant in public discourse in the last twenty years. And that's a good reason for renaming, whether it would have been perceived as offensive or not.)

(The OP, I think, is also about thematic consistency in crawl's flavour. Which seems to have gotten lost somewhat in this threat. I don't personally have a strong opinion on that, at this point. Also, the argument e.g. about Katanas and Lajatangs would have more impact, IMO, if it's about trying to broaden crawl's appeal, i.e. being less about cultural respectfulness than about widening the potential audience. I don't have a strong opinion on that, either.)
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Post Monday, 24th April 2017, 06:23

Re: Real-world references

Utis wrote:
Spoiler: show
The principle to wait until people with the particular cultural background actually complain is important, not because it is convenient, but because we don't get to decide what's offensive to others.

Before that, a good baseline, IMO, is to make a commutation test (as in linguistics): Would I feel offended, if the terms involved switched places within the structure? I (Westerner, European, German, born Rhinelander) could easily imagine playing a Japanese game taking place in a fantasised version of the Japanese middle ages. If I'd encounter a "bastard sword" classified as a "rare and exotic weapon imported from a far away land", would I feel offended? Certainly not. I would expect "European" to be exotic in this context and I'd feel anything between mild amusement and being actually pleased. Now, different cultures have different sensibilites, of course, but again: we don't get to decide what they are.

My limited exposure to Chinese culture has taught me that for them I as European/German am the exotic. That can be quite charming and somewhat flattering. Presumably, as long as one doen't feel in a marginalized position, struggling for recognition. But again: we don't get to decide who should when feel marginalized. There's actually a hidden paternalism in that, albeit with the best of intentions.

And there's a hidden eurocentrism in abstracting anything tangibly Western away from what still has to remain structurally Western, as this puts Western culture into the place of the abstract universal. The demand directed at this universal is essentially that it should remove the traces of its concrete on the side of appearance. It's far better, to sensitively deal with one's own inevitable centralism by remaining aware that one's own centre is another person's periphery.

(That doesn't mean that everything goes, of course. I'm unhappy with the reasons given for renaming the Sword of Jihad, since it seems that they cater more to Christian and post-Christian sensitivites than to Muslim ones. OTOH, it's clear that a lot of people strongly feel like they were offending Muslims and they wanted to be respectful. And that's a good reason for renaming, whether it would have been perceived as offensive or not.)


(The OP, I think, is also about thematic consistency in crawl's flavour. Which seems to have gotten lost somewhat in this threat. I don't personally have a strong opinion on that, at this point.)

In my opinion, the thread is (expectedly) talking about broader and/or different things than the OP. The OP is entirely talking about thematic consistency (insofar as it is about something). They are not talking about offence caused to some religion or culture etc.

Sharnga and ring of Shaolin were renamed recently, I'm guessing, based on this thread. There was nothing offensive about either reference; it's just that they were not found to be thematically well-suited to Crawl's flavour. The former was changed to reference an in-game god (Uskayaw) instead of a real-life god, while the latter was renamed to something generic and bland. There was perhaps, in the background, some concern about offence (I don't know what goes on in the mind of devs), but probably that was not the primary reason. I don't think there was any problem with either reference, but it's just "tiny and cosmetic changes".

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Post Monday, 24th April 2017, 06:35

Re: Real-world references

bel wrote:
Utis wrote:(The OP, I think, is also about thematic consistency in crawl's flavour. Which seems to have gotten lost somewhat in this threat. I don't personally have a strong opinion on that, at this point.)

In my opinion, the thread is (expectedly) talking about broader and/or different things than the OP. The OP is entirely talking about thematic consistency (insofar as it is about something). They are not talking about offence caused to some religion or culture etc.


Well, not entirely. Eurocentrism was mentioned, among other things. But, yeah, it would be good to disentangle these issues. Thematic consistency and cultural sensitivity are both important; they're rather perpendicular to each other, though. I'd love to see a discussion of the former.
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Post Monday, 24th April 2017, 06:46

Re: Real-world references

Well, yes. As I said before, I found the OP rather incoherent. But it has 16 thanks, so perhaps people did find something of use there.

The discussion about Eurocentrism in the OP is not necessarily about someone taking offence (at least I didn't read it that way, though I suppose one can do so if one likes). It's about some recent trends where names are taken from non-European languages or cultures (Bultungin is the most recent example) as a way of diversifying the Crawl reference base. The OP, correctly, said that this doesn't really do much; and it is jarring that names are taken from places which have no referent in Crawl, just because it sounds "exotic" or something.

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Post Monday, 24th April 2017, 08:01

Re: Real-world references

Well, whatever the origin of this thread's derailment, let's get it back on track. I still don't have a strong opinion, but I do find that part of the discussion interesting.

bel wrote:It's about some recent trends where names are taken from non-European languages or cultures (Bultungin is the most recent example) as a way of diversifying the Crawl reference base. The OP, correctly, said that this doesn't really do much; and it is jarring that names are taken from places which have no referent in Crawl, just because it sounds "exotic" or something.


I suppose, crawl like most games of its genre started by deriving its flavour from the D&D universe, which is eclectic in its nature (that's actually its appeal). Now, that moving away from this is an explicit goal (as I understand it), crawl has a problem. I do believe that this could, in principle, be solved even for a game with many contributors. Somebody(TM) would have to devise a "style guide" (as it's called in corporate design), or a "flavour guide" that gets approved by the dev team. It doesn't have to be the new Simarilion, but a general description of what kind of imagery the elements of crawl are supposed to conjure in the player's heads.

The game needs to have some real world references, implicit or explicit ones, otherwise players couldn't connect to it. "King of Dragon Pass" is the only game I can think of that consequently tried to make the player think like somebody from a different age and culture. And even that one had to draw from and conjure imagery relating to ancient Germanic and Celtic culture. A lot.

The problem, if there is one, with real world references in crawl is that they're all over the place, without rhyme or rthythm. Speaking of the Silmarilion: Tolkien just took Germanic mythology (e.g. the one ring is just Alberich's ring and Alberich's cap combined) and rearranged it from the perspective of his late 19th/early 20th century thinking. He was so obsessively thorough in this, that the result came out as something appearing to stand quite on its own.
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Post Monday, 24th April 2017, 13:42

Re: Real-world references

There's a pretty vast expanse of fiction to pull from that mostly or completely ignores Tolken. There's a similar wheat to chaff ratio when comparing the subgenre split so it's not like diverging from elves and orcs immediately improves content. Any game with fireball and a dice system is playing homage to D&D while D&D draws heavily from Tolken, cutting elements just for being tolkien is more likely to lower quality in this setting though there is no reason to shy from other sources. That said crawl is better suited to ye olde "everything will kill you horribly" folklore than it is to a classic Tolkien style.

For Crawls barebones style Glen Cook's work comes to mind as an example of "how to tastefully intigrate uncommon elements and pop-culture/real life references". This was mostly done by wholesale importing entire cultures rather than disparate elements.

There's no bar preventing a fictional world with random pop culture, jihad, kung foo, Tolken, and vikings from creating that nifty sense of suspention of disbelief. Unless you fail to consider the source or try extra hard to be sensitive without fully understanding the culture in question. That'll fucker it up real good.

------------------------------------

On the note of cultural appropriation", tropes, and east vs west. Samurai films vs kung foo vs cowboy films. Same thing. Kicked off by cowboy films. Great improvement in story over the real historical origins and meaning in all the cultures involved.

The sword of Jihad was pretty neutral. Nobody I know who is a muslim, has immigrated from, has family in, or who currently resides in the middle east cares about this word if used in the context of "really angry religious war" though some will explain the other forms of jihad in the same way your average jehova's witness will break out the pamphlets about their crusade. While the word itself translates ltteraly to "Religious struggle/war" it does have a lot of untranslatable baggage, also war is really angry, oftentimes randomly so. As for why I prefer Jihad to Crusade, Arabic culture, by western standards, is angry as fuck, so for a sword that sends you berserk all the time the Arabic word just works better.
Last edited by NhorianScum on Tuesday, 25th April 2017, 03:57, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Monday, 24th April 2017, 18:09

Re: Real-world references

NhorianScum wrote:Arabic culture, by western standards, is angry as fuck, so for a sword that sends you berserk all the time the Arabic word just works better.

this sentence is, to put it lightly, "fucked up"

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Post Tuesday, 25th April 2017, 03:44

Re: Real-world references

CanOfWorms wrote:
NhorianScum wrote:Arabic culture, by western standards, is angry as fuck, so for a sword that sends you berserk all the time the Arabic word just works better.

this sentence is, to put it lightly, "fucked up"


Make you a deal, ask 10 people what a word for "really angry holy war" is. The answer will never be crusade. This isn't a new thing, the word has been imported to other languages wholesale because it has an untranslatable context associated with it (also it sounded nifty and was mostly imported by polisci/polifan writers).

As for perceived cultural insensitivity... Seriously cultural divides are a thing, they go both ways. If you think that's fucked up you may be right. Personally I call our progress as a species from "mongrel heathen scum in the next village die tonight" to "Wow those dudes on another continent are angry" a pretty acceptable bit of progress given how hard wired most folks brains are into a pack/tribe mentality.

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Post Tuesday, 25th April 2017, 04:25

Re: Real-world references

If anything could convince me that removing the Sword of Jihad was a good idea, it's these posts. From the Muslim side, all I've ever seen was a post on Reddit by a self-identified Muslim who liked the Sword. But crawl shouldn't provide fodder for this kind of [ˈbʊlʃɪt] here.

Dude, you literally couldn't stop yourself from adding this [kɹæp] as an afterthought. I remember clearly that it wasn't present at first, since I considered answering positively to the Glen Cook reference. But you couldn't help yourself and had to add this nonsense in an edit, devaluing your contribution and derailing this thread further.

And. You. Seriously. Are so comatose as to attribute Holy War and anger ... to Muslims.
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Post Tuesday, 25th April 2017, 04:32

Re: Real-world references

NhorianScum wrote:Make you a deal, ask 10 people what a word for "really angry holy war" is.
solve the crossword puzzle for yourself, cheater

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Post Tuesday, 25th April 2017, 06:42

Re: Real-world references

Utis wrote:And. You. Seriously. Are so comatose as to attribute Holy War and anger ... to Muslims.


I have litteraly never done this.

My commentary was that Arabic root culture has influenced social norms in the Arabic speaking world in a way that lends incomperables to a word and is entirely seperate from the curent political climate. Changing the word in this sense in this game detracts from the flavor for me because I rather like this word. End of opinion.

My only inclusion of Islam was a neutral "folks I know are chill".

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Post Tuesday, 25th April 2017, 07:11

Re: Real-world references

Hi. A good time to remember a few things:

(a) Crawl is a video game and does not affect what goes on in the real world.
(b) Arabs are only about 20% of all Muslims. Most Muslims live in South/South-East Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. And not all Arabs are Muslims.
(c) It's ok to like one word over the other for flavor purposes. Horses for courses. Just like one may like vanilla or strawberry over chocolate (if you do: what is the matter with you?). But you don't need to engage in amateur sociology to justify your flavor preference.

-----------------------------------

Coming back to the topic:
Utis wrote:Well, whatever the origin of this thread's derailment, let's get it back on track. I still don't have a strong opinion, but I do find that part of the discussion interesting.

bel wrote:It's about some recent trends where names are taken from non-European languages or cultures (Bultungin is the most recent example) as a way of diversifying the Crawl reference base. The OP, correctly, said that this doesn't really do much; and it is jarring that names are taken from places which have no referent in Crawl, just because it sounds "exotic" or something.


I suppose, crawl like most games of its genre started by deriving its flavour from the D&D universe, which is eclectic in its nature (that's actually its appeal). Now, that moving away from this is an explicit goal (as I understand it), crawl has a problem. I do believe that this could, in principle, be solved even for a game with many contributors. Somebody(TM) would have to devise a "style guide" (as it's called in corporate design), or a "flavour guide" that gets approved by the dev team. It doesn't have to be the new Simarilion, but a general description of what kind of imagery the elements of crawl are supposed to conjure in the player's heads.
Spoiler: show
The game needs to have some real world references, implicit or explicit ones, otherwise players couldn't connect to it. "King of Dragon Pass" is the only game I can think of that consequently tried to make the player think like somebody from a different age and culture. And even that one had to draw from and conjure imagery relating to ancient Germanic and Celtic culture. A lot.

The problem, if there is one, with real world references in crawl is that they're all over the place, without rhyme or rthythm. Speaking of the Silmarilion: Tolkien just took Germanic mythology (e.g. the one ring is just Alberich's ring and Alberich's cap combined) and rearranged it from the perspective of his late 19th/early 20th century thinking. He was so obsessively thorough in this, that the result came out as something appearing to stand quite on its own.

Composing a "flavour guide" seems to be a non-trivial task to me. As I said before, the work involved and changes will not be "tiny and cosmetic".

One way to go about doing it is to rewrite most references to reference in-game lore instead of randomly referencing real-world cultures and religion. This method was used in the case of Sharnga; the reference was changed to, basically, "bow of Uskayaw" instead of "bow of Krishna". Of course, one has to get the initial lore from somewhere; but more thematic consistency could be maintained if one uses some kind of scheme like this. Again, it would be non-trivial to design and implement. For instance, how does one rewrite minotaurs to reference some in-game lore? I don't know if it is even desirable to do something like this; it's just an idea.

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Post Tuesday, 25th April 2017, 08:37

Re: Real-world references

@NhorianScum: Quite frankly, it sounded a lot like you did. But I‘ll take your last post as clarification.

NhorianScum wrote:My commentary was that Arabic root culture has influenced social norms in the Arabic speaking world in a way that lends incomperables to a word and is entirely seperate from the curent political climate. Changing the word in this sense in this game detracts from the flavor for me because I rather like this word. End of opinion.

My only inclusion of Islam was a neutral "folks I know are chill".


The association of “anger” with either Islam or the Arabic world is entirely a Western fantasy. Arabic people are generally as angry or chill as other folks in comparable situations of life. (The fact that there have been amok runners with a Muslim background in the West playing to this fantasy by declaring their deeds to be religiously motivated not withstanding. And obviously, I’m not talking about militant political Islam, either. Among normal people in the Arabic World there are just as many kind folks or assholes, open-minded people or narrow-minded ones as anywhere else.)

As you seem to know, modern Muslim thought interprets “jihad” as a spiritual quest. Historically the word has been associated with Arab expansion wars, sure. But associating even these with anything particularly “angry” (more angry than warfare in general) is a Western fantasy. If anything, it’s the West that has a history of being associated with or even valuing excessive anger in warfare, from the furor teutonicus of the ancient Germanic people to the berserkers of Scandinavia. So, associating the Franconian crusaders with anger would at least have that faint image of a shadow of historical plausibility.

The dominating discourse on either Islam or the Arabic world today has become completely pathological. Within the West, it’s impossible to not be understood within the coordinates of that discourse. (This situation was not as starkly bleak twenty years ago, so I believe the addition of the Sword of Jihad was completly innocent.) Personally, I like that word, too. Within the game universe, I even like that fantasy – I mean: I’m effectively playing a self-righteous mass-murderer on a killing spree anyways, so what does it matter whether I borrow the accompanying fantasy either from chivalric novels or from the Arabian Nights? Unfortunately, given the discourse in the West, the latter isn’t as innocent anymore as it should be. And arguments for the keeping it, let’s put it lightly, are in danger of locating themselves on the really wrong side of that discourse.

That’s for Westerners. It’s our context. For people elsewhere, especially Arab people, this is different, as they’re naturally more remote from this discourse. This is why I was unhappy with the reason given that Muslim people would be offended by the sword, without actually asking them. Here’s the aforementioned guy on Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/dcss/comments/ ... d_renamed/

tv1990 on Reddit wrote:i'm Arabic and Muslim and i just want to share my opinion :

I fucking love the use of Arabic or Muslim terms in my games, and wish there was more of that (the word Jihad appears in some FF game, and there are some Muslim terms in shin megaten franchise and i like that too)

now about the sword itself, let me tell you : the word "Jihad" just means Effort, like "fight with more effort" and that's it, that's why i find the sword's name and effect fitting


Ironically, it’s the removal of the Sword that exemplifies that crawl is a Western game. (I’m not arguing against the removal, though.)
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Post Tuesday, 25th April 2017, 08:48

Re: Real-world references

bel wrote:For instance, how does one rewrite minotaurs to reference some in-game lore? I don't know if it is even desirable to do something like this; it's just an idea.


Looking at centaurs, nagas and yaktaurs, minotaurs are the odd ones out, with the human lower part and animal head. Presumably, they were created by Trog in order to mock the "*-taur" fad that was then so popular among other deities. That explains their natural dispositions; though, being only a prank, they still aren't given any special consideration by Trog. Likewise, labyrinths were created by Trog as a challenge for those who were so proud of their intellect… with a surprise in the middle.

Along that line, the *-taur family could be expanded, and oklob plants could be reflavoured as "plantaur mages". For consistency, make involuntary lignification an item of Sif's wrath: plantaurs are those who managed to mightily anger Sif.

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Post Tuesday, 25th April 2017, 09:01

Re: Real-world references

bel wrote:Composing a "flavour guide" seems to be a non-trivial task to me. As I said before, the work involved and changes will not be "tiny and cosmetic".


As for the changes, these could happen over time. But still a “flavour guide”would be a non-trivial task. It’s doable, though, for a close group of one to two people to create a draft, I suppose.

As for real world references, I’m unclear on which ones are okay and which ones are not. I mean: it’s intuitively clear to me that the “Bow of Krishna” is something different than “Elves”(Germanic mythology), “Minotaurs”(Greek mythology) or even “swords”(European historical weapon). But conceptually, the demarcation line is unclear to me.

In her OP, duvessa also mentioned “lajatangs”. It’s clear, that these allude to Western fantasies of oriental weapons (in fact, until this thread, I actually assumed they’re real). I don’t know whether and why these might be problematic. Generally, as I wrote, believe that crawls flavour has to include allusions to (fantasies about) the real world on some level, even if it’s implicite and codified.

The way I understand it – and I’m probably understanding it wrong – the issue is that crawls flavour has it’s foundation in (modern fantasies about) the European middle ages with its swords and daggers and plate mails, but adds similar references to other cultures and ages only by way of picking only the most iconic cliches (from a Western perspective) here and there. Is that right? Would it be okay, just as a thought experiment, if crawl had a systematic armoury of traditional Indian weapons, for example?

***

EDIT: This part kept rumbling around in my head until something came up that I hope was worth writing:

bel wrote:Of course, one has to get the initial lore from somewhere; but more thematic consistency could be maintained if one uses some kind of scheme like this. Again, it would be non-trivial to design and implement. For instance, how does one rewrite minotaurs to reference some in-game lore? I don't know if it is even desirable to do something like this; it's just an idea.


It's quite possible to combine elements from heterogenous sources into something that appears as coherent and credible. Glen Cook does indeed manage this in some of his novels. Or Roger Zelazny. Or Jack Vance and probably many others. Conversely, drawing only from a single source doesn't just settle the issue: E.g. both J.R.R. Tolkien and Richard Wagner draw from Germanic myths and look how different they are. And how different they both are compared to the Edda.

Crawl comes across as a patch work, because that's what it is. Making Nagas, Orcs, Minotaurs and Tengu plausibly live in the same universe would be quite possible, IMO, by adding and being consistent in numerous little clues, most of which would normally escape the player's conscious attention. Again Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings has the Simarilion as its backdrop, lore and background story. For this reason, every passing reference to basically anything in this world, even if it's mentioned in the most innocuous way possible, comes across as being only the tip of the iceberg. Because that's what it is.

Just as a thought experiment (I know it's not possible, but for the sake of discussion): Let's assume crawl had its equivalent of the Silmarilion. I believe it would be a lot of work in many details, but it would not require drastic changes to make one forget that Minotaurs and Tengu come from very different sources. Crawl doesn't have the options a novel has, of course, but it has it's own little ways: for instances I find that flavour vaults work very well in conjuring up an image and a story without being specific. Unfortunately, there aren't enough of them.
"... while we / Unburden'd crawl toward death." -- King Lear I,1

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Post Tuesday, 25th April 2017, 17:06

Re: Real-world references

NhorianScum wrote:As for perceived cultural insensitivity... Seriously cultural divides are a thing, they go both ways. If you think that's fucked up you may be right. Personally I call our progress as a species from "mongrel heathen scum in the next village die tonight" to "Wow those dudes on another continent are angry" a pretty acceptable bit of progress given how hard wired most folks brains are into a pack/tribe mentality.

this isn't a matter of cultural divide. it's inappropriate to call any ethnic group "angry" and use that as justification to normalize negative stereotypes; that's straight up racism: "[to me, NhorianScum,] this ethnic group is angry as fuck compared to western standards, therefore it works better that we name an item in crawl [so that it matches my expectations of this ethnic group compared to this other group]"

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archaeo, duvessa, Lasty, neil

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Post Tuesday, 25th April 2017, 21:44

Re: Real-world references

CanOfWorms wrote:this isn't a matter of cultural divide. it's inappropriate to call any ethnic group "angry" and use that as justification to normalize negative stereotypes; that's straight up racism: "[to me, NhorianScum,] this ethnic group is angry as fuck compared to western standards, therefore it works better that we name an item in crawl [so that it matches my expectations of this ethnic group compared to this other group]"


We were done with this. I even let the fucking "amateur sociology" comment go.

A) Negative impressions of other countries or cultures rather than a specific ethnic group fall's under nationalism or xenophobia. Not racism. You... do realize that Arabic has meanings other than a specific ethnicity right? You are aware of just how many subcultures and ethnic groups occupy the part of the world that Arabic language and root culture got around in right? If you can't stop triggering I'd appreciate it if you could bring yourself to not perpetuate the cancerous stereotype that any fucking reaction aside from holding hands and singing kumbaya is discrimination, and that any discrimination is racism. Or just make any informed comment at all on this matter.

B) My culture uses certain movements in body language, and inflections of speech along with various other things to indicate anger. The base culture tied to the language of a decent chunk of a continent used different signals. That language mostly spread the uuuuh, old fashion way so the signals came along for the ride. While there has been a lot of blending over time my culture still finds residual cues "angry". This has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual emotional depth of the people who come from this culture. The specific motions and expressions just seem angry to me.

C) The area covered as a whole by the term Arabian evokes a lot of images you can prooobably blame on bad fiction, still enough are based on the actual folklore of the place that (because people are people) a fictional zerking holy swordswinging angerguy is just as fitting nifty and cool there as it is here. Also the political climate has been notoriously unstable for... longer than anyone in this discussion has been alive. I'm still confused as to why that crap makes it into the news at all, shits boring. Does not make individual people that are not part of specific kindafuckedupshit any less human.

D) I do not consider anger a negative emotion. It does not bother me that part of a culture looks angry. It's something different.

E) There is no reason to ever be an intolerant ass, but unless you are some kind of living saint or a specific brand of low functioning sociopath science (No really there are countless studies on this shit) says there will be an adverse reaction (that we learn to control and dismiss with practice) on meeting someone outside of or strange to your "tribe", it's a hardwired survival instinct. This can be a co-worker from a different department/shift, an odd looking stranger on the street, or yes anther country. Severity of reaction depends on a lot of things but the level of different is one of them and much like anger/fear/pain it's useful when you are in control and aware of what the reaction means (this would be why there are countless studies on this shit). Can we stop pretending a near universal human experience is horrible?

----------------------------------------

Your turn. Without using the word "racist" (objectively incorrect), and ignoring the current political climate (It's boring) explain why you give so many shits.
Last edited by NhorianScum on Tuesday, 25th April 2017, 22:37, edited 1 time in total.
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