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  #1  
Old July 12th, 2008, 02:08 PM

MaxWilson MaxWilson is offline
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Default Real-world sensitivities and game names

(Strider said this topic was okay even if the previous thread went in a bad direction.)

Dominions relies heavily on real-world mythology, filtered through a fantasy lens. EA Ermor has clear parallels to the Roman Empire (including the name) around the time of Christianity, the monkey nations are clearly Indian (Rakshasas and Raksharajas), Hinnom draws on Hebrew mythology, Mictlan is the Aztecs and/or associated American tribes, etc. The game being what it is, most of these are not presented in a flattering light, at least with respect to modern sensibilities. (This isn't just stuff like blood sacrifice. Serfs and slaves abound.)

Especially when the historical names of these things are still in use (apparently Jews still call their priests Kohen) there exists the possibility that someone could be offended by the association with the darker aspects of Dominions. My question is twofold: 1.) Should we (as a community) care about this? What would constitute sensitivity? 2.) Is this a pragmatic or a moral principle? If we're just trying to avoid losing potential community members you can just avoid offending large groups who might otherwise play the game. (Large world religions, American rural Southerners, women.) We still might be making potentially offensive mods about Hittites and Aztecs, but the Hittites are all dead. Who do you try to be sensitive to?

My take on it is that you can't avoid offending everyone, and that if your intent is clean (hey! Kabbalistic mythology has cannibalistic giants--let's put them in the game and give them Hebrew names) a reasonable audience has no right to be offended. Some will anyway but that's not your problem unless you're trying to be pragmatic and increase sales, which is less fun than making cool stuff and seeing if anyone else thinks it's cool.

-Max
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Old July 12th, 2008, 02:21 PM
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Default Re: Real-world sensitivities and game names

Isn't this going to just be a repeat of last thread? Why bring it up again? Some people are offended, many won't be. Lots of arguments to defend each position.

Same with Shrapnel's dominions ads.

Same with praising the game vs. highlighting areas for improvement (or complaining, however you want to spin it).

Yada yada yada.

Now lets both go outside and enjoy the weekend.

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Old July 12th, 2008, 02:36 PM

Zeldor Zeldor is offline
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Default Re: Real-world sensitivities and game names

Me, Sombre and probably whole IRC channel think that Ulm should be banned. Namind commander Adolf? Man, that offends not only Hebrews, but whole Eastern Europe. And progressive nation of Germany too!
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Old July 12th, 2008, 02:42 PM

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Default Re: Real-world sensitivities and game names

Machaka might as well be called "Blaxploitation, Shaft in Africa"

;]

Seriously though I believe there are so few people that would be offended by dom3 (who would normally play fantasy strategy games) that it isn't worth thinking about. I am still surprised how people on these boards find it hard to play blood nations and so on though. And I don't mean for micro reasons.
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Old July 12th, 2008, 03:58 PM
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Default Re: Real-world sensitivities and game names

I'm actually very confused. Is this intended to be a serious discussion of whether or not Dom3 is PC enough? The entire notion of PC seems to just be another layer of American neo-Puritanism struggling to insulate "innocent" minds against the reality of the world. This isn't an indictment of you Max, you seem like a nice guy, and I see where you're coming from personally on this, not as some oppressor of freedoms, but just someone with a thought of how to get the game to appeal more broadly.

But I am going to argue, that while there is embellishment on the part of the devs, that there's nothing wrong with it, and that people who find something wrong with it, are simply finding something wrong with themselves. I mean, the sad part about the whole thing is that MOST of the gritty details that are included, are based directly on the past. Yes, some are exaggerated slightly, and some are simply made to look more sinister for the mood of the game, but it's simple - people did these things.

I know, you're not going to say that maybe history books would sell more if they kind of tidied things up - but there are people who take the concept to that extreme. Political Correctness is drawn directly from people's insecurities, and their denial of human nature, and mankind's past - AND present. And the wacky part is, most of these people are ultimately alright with the worst things that happen today, all they are really demanding is that we not have to see it.

We should refer to cannibalism as "having someone over for dinner".
We should refer to human sacrifice as "sending a messenger to god".
And we should refer to torture as "detaining indefinitely".


Now if they just made up all of these terrible things, I might agree that "maybe" they should just change the names around, so as not to be inflammatory - but all of this has its basis in recorded fact, so fault lies with the offended.

<3
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Old July 12th, 2008, 04:19 PM
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Default Re: Real-world sensitivities and game names

Actually, I am very active in many religious forums around the net.

I've seen much stranger things than someone going mad because a race of cannibal giants, inspired by the myths of his religion, calls its cannibal "priests" in his own language.
As I've seen people going crazy when you say that glue was proved to be invented 7000 years ago, because earth was created just 6000 years ago for them. And people claiming (2008) the evidence of the earth being flat.

Now, I am agnostic and I respect every religion. For me anyone can believe whatever he/she/it wants, until tries to stomp on my head, put his/her/its "truths" down my troath, violate someone's rights.

So now, if you ask me if the community must let s/o SAY "i got offended because a random name of an ugly Basalt Queen was the name of my gf", or something like that, I say yes, he has this right.

If you ask me, shall the devs change their art and intellectual work because someone can remotely see some improbable and barely offensive resemblance to his belief/society/friends/relatives? Well no way. No censorship, sorry, religious, political or whatever.

(sorry if some parts are kind of banalizing, but i like to put a little bit of sarcasm in almost all my speeches, i hope it transpires through the written words hey, i'm italian )
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Old July 12th, 2008, 05:01 PM

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Default Re: Real-world sensitivities and game names

Quote:
JimMorrison said:
Is this intended to be a serious discussion of whether or not Dom3 is PC enough?
More like a discussion of whether being PC matters. Specifically, since all the posters so far (including myself) think that being PC is a lost cause, I'm curious whether there is anybody that thinks otherwise and didn't speak up on the disappeared thread.

-Max
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Old July 12th, 2008, 05:12 PM

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Default Re: Real-world sensitivities and game names

No actual real world group is in Dom3, just a bunch of made up races that are kinda sorta like real world groups that exist or existed at one point. Seems kind of silly to get offended over that.
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Old July 12th, 2008, 05:22 PM

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Default Re: Real-world sensitivities and game names

Maybe my sarcasm detector is malfunctioning, but does anyone seriously get offended because of an ulmish commander named Adolph? Seriously? That's a real actual name that real actual people have in real life, just because the one guy ruined it for everyone doesn't make it less of an actual name that a random guy on the street could have.
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Old July 12th, 2008, 07:00 PM
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Default Re: Real-world sensitivities and game names

Maybe I'd get offended if a Marignon commander were named Liberace. >.>

Or get offended that my people, the innocent cave dwelling Agarthans, are depicted as one eyed freaks in this game. We have two eyes dammit, TWO EYES!

O.O

People who get offended by words, are a bit silly. Maybe if those words describe malicious action or thought, that might be offensive - but that means that Dom3 is either universally offensive in nature, or universally innocent.

I think we all agree there is no malice from the devs. But I think what what this whole thing comes down to, is whether or not we even WANT to bulk up the community here with a bunch of people who would currently consider the game's content to be malicious in nature. I'm gonna vote no - please god, don't let those people come and ruin this for everyone! <3


In truth, I think our only hope for those over sensitive neo-Puritans, is that we further saturate the creative media with things that they COULD find offensive. Eventually they will either all fly to the moon and leave us alone, or their children will grow up to see the error of their parents' ways, and we can all be happy and creative together.
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