Saturday, 21 November 2020

Here We Go Again...


Wait, what?

Perceptions of racism in fantasy go back to the origins of the genre. Is it a coincidence that D&D’s dishonourable, dark-skinned elves come from a matriarchal society, or that its savage orcs bear uncanny resemblance to a traditionally white, western conceptualisation of barbaric peoples from the “uncivilised” world?

*sighs* More race-obsessives. They're everywhere now, in every type of hobby or pastime...

Take JRR Tolkien. On the one hand, he spoke out against Nazi race doctrine and has been heralded for “multiculturalism” in his work. Nevertheless, his stories are steeped in Eurocentric bias.

See? It's not enough for fanatics that you denounce things. They can always find something that makes you guilty. 

And if they can't they'll just invent it! 

One of the best – or worst – examples of a flawed understanding of history leading to perceptions of a racist representation is George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, seen on TV as Game of Thrones. Martin has said: “I wanted my books to be strongly grounded in history and to show what medieval society was like.” But the sexualising of young women, exoticising of non-white characters and white saviour storylines in the series are typical of the prevalent white-washing of medieval history.

And the 'pushback' against it leads to absurdities like a black Anne Boleyn. They might as well put a dragon in there too!

The pushback to structural racism in fantasy, be it fiction, television or gaming, comes in many forms. Starting conversations about diversity and inclusion in publishing is a start.

Aren't we all bored to tears with 'conversations about diversity' by now? The race-obsessives are the only ones who really care. 

“Dungeons & Dragons teaches that diversity is strength, for only a diverse group of adventurers can overcome the many challenges a D&D story presents,” begins Wizards of the Coast’s diversity statement. But in an unequal world, words such as “diversity” are loaded. Pushing past the legacy of colonialism is the only way to create a more level playing field; fantasy should not be an excuse for stories to perpetuate the prejudice that resulted from imperialism.
“Part of our work will never end,” continues the statement. In that, at least, it is right.

Well, there can be no more implacable and relentless foe in fantasy than the one in real life, that's for sure... 

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Things have just gone too far now, I used to take an interest in such matters but now I blank it out and just don't give a dam. You really can over to it and then people walk away from you in disgust.

Michael said...

This may be a surprise to these "Do Gooders" but D&D like all the other RPG's is a game encouraging such forbidden activities as "Imagination" and even worse "Fun". I played D&D back in the 80's and enjoyed myself immensely. I suppose I should pack a few bags for my trip to the Gulag? There was one SJW who tried to get His Toniness to ban wargaming etc but even he was not that stupid!

The Jannie said...

Just one more fart from the Mostly Shit Media. These opinionated balloons won't give up until their platforms are sanitised.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Indeed, this SJWery is really tedious.

Re this: "They might as well put a dragon in there too!"

My favourite dragon anecdote is when we were discussing the myth of St George and the dragon, and a colleague said "It doesn't make sense because dragons are extinct."

Doonhamer said...

The solution?
Publish books based on medieval history of the non-whites.
And far Eastern does not count.
Come on, there must be some.
What about the builders of Zimbabwe?
There must be something between little Lucy and when Honky and the A-rabs rocked up.