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So @Eero_Touvinen made a game that’s pretty good (or w/e, quality of the game not really the point) with a pretty fucked up name Miscegenation of the Ancients.
When I first read it I didn’t know it was Eero; I was reading through the entire collection of OPD’s from that year. Ever since I reread it and saw Eero’s name, I’ve been feeling guilty. Is my own online pal someone who puts out games with fucked up names? Should I talk to him about it, should I not? Then on top of that guilt (the guilt of inaction), now I can add the guilt of me bringing it up in a passive-aggressive and snipey way.
Anyway. Cat’s out of the bag now and Eero encouraged me to make this thread.
So what I wanted to say about this game’s name is that words can have fucked up connotations beyond the intended semantics.
I’m skirting close to breaking my life vow (“Don’t argue semantics”) here, but in this case, the connotations’ associative strength are pretty darn unambiguous.
Now I can’t speak for any Americans from the African diaspora. Not a member of either group and, consequently, not the intersection either.
But my best guess, and it’s with all humility that I’m saying I’m just guessing here, is that seeing a name like that could you feel pretty darn unwelcome or voiceless in the D&D community.
Now, I know how some depictions of sexualized, male-gaze’d women make some of us go “Yes, what a role-model, I love the sexy, so good&cool!” and some of us go “I’m so stressed out over the hypersexualization because I want to be looked at, and interacted with, as a person and my hotness (and/or my lack of hotness) gets in the way of that”. And I know that trotting out a specific person who had one reaction isn’t a good counter-argument to a specific person who has the opposite reaction and vice versa.
Not saying whether or not there is objective truth, just saying that my experience with that particular type of media (sexy chix in RPGs) it’s hard to find out what’s the truth is— is it good b/c we love getting to be sexy or is it bad b/c we hate having to always be sexy? Kinda need to step out of both of those perspectives to look at it from all angles and I don’t really know how to do that, being so wrapped up in my own emotional reaction.
Just making the point that a single persons reaction isn’t enough to know if the work is a net good or net bad. Maybe what’s “good” for one group is “bad” for the other or vice versa and you’d have to make some sorta utilitarian calculation of what’s the least harmful or most beneficial or w/e (I’m not really into utilitarian philosophy).
But, that’s scantily clad axe barbarians or w/e.
And that’s not what this is. This isn’t something that has some of the subjects depicted saying “hey cool” and some of the subjects depicted saying “eeew no thx”.
This is a name where using that word, which frankly pretty much never means Simic style animal Wuzzles mashups (hey, I play UG myself, so I get the appeal) and pretty much always means racist shit, seems pretty fucked up.
As far as I can tell.
Now since I’m a basic white priv b____, with pretty much no black friends, maybe that audience is sitting there thinking STFU Sandra stop trying to speak for us" or w/e. I get that. I deserve that.
All I’m saying is that I thought the name was fucked up. As in, a lot.