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Subject: Offensive theme? rss

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Carl Gordon
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I don't want to be that guy.. but I feel like this is something to point out for the sake of the hobby. From what I can tell this hobby is growing very quickly. I can understand a game using a theme like this for a very specific historical event or occurrence, but I guarantee you there are LOTS of people who would be offended by this theme as it is. The actual history involving conquistadors and most other imperial colonizers is often disturbing and violent. The negative effects of much of these events is still felt today by many people. Dark times in history should not be forgotten but they also should not be turned into games we play for fun. I'm sure most of you will think I am taking this too seriously. The point I'm making is this is 2018, and these sorts of themes, especially for the younger generations, will not be well received if this hobby is to grow out into the main stream. And since I already opened the box, I think game designers need to also be more aware of cultural appropriation in gaming. Again, LOTS of the younger generation folk are very averse to this type of thing and I would hate to see a good game designer/s with good intentions set back by something of the sort. Not trying to start a debate. Thoughts? surprise
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I agree with you for the most part, but many people on this site will not.

I think you are wrong though about young people being averse: I teach, and the majority of my students are still fairly indifferent to these issues unless they have a more direct connection to them (for example, they are First Nations/Native American).
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Tim Schmitt
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For more debate on the topic of the theme of colonialism in Santa Maria (including, I believe, some input from the designer), see this thread.
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Duarte
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Offended by history? Nowadays everything might be offensive to someone. Anything!
Just let it go. Let's not get into this again..

If someone feels that way, they should just stay away from it and let those who don't enjoy the game.
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alive123 wrote:
I don't want to be that guy.. but I feel like this is something to point out for the sake of the hobby. From what I can tell this hobby is growing very quickly. I can understand a game using a theme like this for a very specific historical event or occurrence, but I guarantee you there are LOTS of people who would be offended by this theme as it is. The actual history involving conquistadors and most other imperial colonizers is often disturbing and violent. The negative effects of much of these events is still felt today by many people. Dark times in history should not be forgotten but they also should not be turned into games we play for fun. I'm sure most of you will think I am taking this too seriously. The point I'm making is this is 2018, and these sorts of themes, especially for the younger generations, will not be well received if this hobby is to grow out into the main stream. And since I already opened the box, I think game designers need to also be more aware of cultural appropriation in gaming. Again, LOTS of the younger generation folk are very averse to this type of thing and I would hate to see a good game designer/s with good intentions set back by something of the sort. Not trying to start a debate. Thoughts? surprise


Well, you are being that guy, even if you don't want to...

This is turning into a decease, no one can do anything without some one else being offended!

Have you even tried the game? If so, did the gameplay do something to offend you or someone at the table?

Yes, the background theme as to do with colonialism and that is a sensitive issue but it's part of history and it should not be forgotten, most of the big problems humans had across time were precisely because they forgot about the past!

I don't think designers should have to be censor, either by you or anyone else.
I'm pretty sure you wouldn't like if I came here and said that I live in a country that had a dictatorship state for many years and that what people could read, write or see was heavily censored... that people were put in prison and tortured if they wrote or did something that the government didn't like.
So, because of that, I could say that you post that is condemning and trying to put barriers to what a game designer can or can't do offends me, and you wouldn't like if I told you to stop making these kind of posts and that this one should be deleted because it offends me and it would offend anyone from my country that knows our history and/or was affected by censorship... I could tell you that this type of post, if seen by a younger generation could cause an adverse reaction on them!

I will not do any of that but I have to say that this is getting ridiculous!!!

I've played this game and at no point did I feel I was enslaving and killing tribes to make profit... it's simply a game, could it have a different theme? yes it could... should it have a different theme? It's up to the people that design it, it's not up to you or me to say what they can or can't do...

If you don't like don't play it, don't buy it... if no one buys it the designer gets the message that what they have done isn't good and probably next time they'll try something different.
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Jorge Guedes
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As Paulo and Duarte said, this is starting to be ridiculous. When a creative starts to make allowances about theme based on how many people he will irk, something isn't right.

You are from the land of the free. freedom of speech, religious belief and sexuality. But everywhere in America (and to a lesser degree in Europe)there are those that will ALWAYS feel offended about stuff like this. The problem is that they are the vocal minority so the problem just bloats and bloats...

If we start down this road, great movies would not have been made. Great books wouldn't have been written. Even great music. We are in an age of kitchen sink moralism. That usually spells something for the society we are a part of...
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Muse23PT wrote:


Well, you are being that guy, even if you don't want to...

This is turning into a decease, no one can do anything without some one else being offended!

Have you even tried the game? If so, did the gameplay do something to offend you or someone at the table?

Yes, the background theme as to do with colonialism and that is a sensitive issue but it's part of history and it should not be forgotten, most of the big problems humans had across time were precisely because they forgot about the past!


I don't think that is the OP's point though. His/her point is that the theme of colonialism is being "cleansed" by making it cartoony and fun, with no room made for the indigenous people that the colonists were colonizing. We pilot these colonial endeavors without thought to the impact on marginalized people.

So I think the OP would agree with you: history should not be forgotten. But it should be real history, not Disney-fied cartoon histories with white heroes "discovering" new lands. You say history should not be forgotten, but these game "forget" indigenous people often (if those indigenous people could be said to be "remembered" in the first place!)

Not to criticize you, or any other Europeans here, but I have noticed a general trend on this topic where most Europeans respond in a similar way to what I see you writing. (Anecdotal evidence based on maybe 8 similar discussions; there are also some Americans who express similar opinions.) It is also often European designers that choose this theme. I wonder, then, if our discourses are different (Europe vs. South/North America) because Europe does not wrestle with the same legacies that people in the Americas do.

For example, I teach indigenous students who are directly affected by the legacy of residential school and overt government racism (the voting franchise, military service). Of course I'm going to see Santa Maria in a different light from you, Paulo, and that doesn't make the other side wrong. More importantly, it doesn't make the opposing view ridiculous, which you seem to be implying.

I don't think you can sit beside an indigenous person who is crying as they tell the story of their mother in residential school and not come away thinking about these issues differently.
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Jorge Guedes
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familygaming wrote:
Muse23PT wrote:


Well, you are being that guy, even if you don't want to...

This is turning into a decease, no one can do anything without some one else being offended!

Have you even tried the game? If so, did the gameplay do something to offend you or someone at the table?

Yes, the background theme as to do with colonialism and that is a sensitive issue but it's part of history and it should not be forgotten, most of the big problems humans had across time were precisely because they forgot about the past!


I don't think that is the OP's point though. His/her point is that the theme of colonialism is being "cleansed" by making it cartoony and fun, with no room made for the indigenous people that the colonists were colonizing. We pilot these colonial endeavors without thought to the impact on marginalized people.

So I think the OP would agree with you: history should not be forgotten. But it should be real history, not Disney-fied cartoon histories with white heroes "discovering" new lands.

Not to criticize you, Paulo, or any other Europeans here, but I have noticed a general trend on this topic where most Europeans respond in a similar way to what I see you writing. It is also often European designers that choose this theme. I wonder, then, our discourses our different (Europe vs. South/North America) because Europe does wrestle with the same legacies that people in the Americas do. For example, I teach indigenous students who are directly affected by the legacy of residential school and overt government racism (the voting franchise, military service). Of course I'm going to see Santa Maria in a different light from you, Paulo, and that doesn't make the other side wrong. More importantly, it doesn't make the opposing view ridiculous.

I don't think you can sit beside an indigenous person who is crying as they tell the story of their mother in residential school and not come away thinking about these issues differently.


You have a point, of course. But if we go down that road not a single WW2 wargame would be made.

I truly dont believe we are white washing any of the events that happened throughout history by playing a game. Or by watching a movie.

I love Mombasa. I dont for one second agree with the exploitation that went on in Africa in that time period. But I can play my games for what they are: games. They don't implicitly make me feel any less empathic about real history, colonialism, slavery, sexual exploitation, you name it.
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Paulo Renato
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familygaming wrote:
Muse23PT wrote:


Well, you are being that guy, even if you don't want to...

This is turning into a decease, no one can do anything without some one else being offended!

Have you even tried the game? If so, did the gameplay do something to offend you or someone at the table?

Yes, the background theme as to do with colonialism and that is a sensitive issue but it's part of history and it should not be forgotten, most of the big problems humans had across time were precisely because they forgot about the past!


I don't think that is the OP's point though. His/her point is that the theme of colonialism is being "cleansed" by making it cartoony and fun, with no room made for the indigenous people that the colonists were colonizing. We pilot these colonial endeavors without thought to the impact on marginalized people.

So I think the OP would agree with you: history should not be forgotten. But it should be real history, not Disney-fied cartoon histories with white heroes "discovering" new lands. You say history should not be forgotten, but these game "forget" indigenous people often (if those indigenous people could be said to be "remembered" in the first place!)

Not to criticize you, or any other Europeans here, but I have noticed a general trend on this topic where most Europeans respond in a similar way to what I see you writing. (Anecdotal evidence based on maybe 8 similar discussions; there are also some Americans who express similar opinions.) It is also often European designers that choose this theme. I wonder, then, if our discourses are different (Europe vs. South/North America) because Europe does not wrestle with the same legacies that people in the Americas do.

For example, I teach indigenous students who are directly affected by the legacy of residential school and overt government racism (the voting franchise, military service). Of course I'm going to see Santa Maria in a different light from you, Paulo, and that doesn't make the other side wrong. More importantly, it doesn't make the opposing view ridiculous, which you seem to be implying.

I don't think you can sit beside an indigenous person who is crying as they tell the story of their mother in residential school and not come away thinking about these issues differently.


Hi Jeremy,

I of course understand what you said but what the OP conveyed from is post is that the theme chosen offends some people and for that reason it shouldn't be made...

What I say is that if that mentality prevails then we won't get anything done ever because something is always bound to offend someone else, so where do we draw the line?!?

This is a game, so approach it like a game, it's not life changing, it's not going to impose ways to act, morality or laws into anyone's life... It's not an essential commodity that people need to be able to live their lives.
No, this can even be considered a luxury, it's a completely superfluous thing and as such, to me, it should be treated like that and not give it the importance it doesn't have!

Obviously that theme is important to any game, and it should be obvious that you should evaluate if the situation you are in is appropriate for the game you are going to play.
So, let's say I was you Jeremy and I wanted to provide a gaming session to my students, I most certainly wouldn't present them with Santa Maria or Endeavor for example, not because they shouldn't exist but because those games wouldn't be appropriate for the situation... that's all.

People have to be sensitive towards one and other and the situation they are on...

It's not the creative process that should be censored and limited, it's the situation your are in that should settle the boundaries of what should be presented to be played or not.

If I'm in a room with 7 or 8 persons I know I would probably say we could play Secret Hitler because it's a fantastic game for that number of people and it's fun and creates great interactions.

If I'm in a room with 7 or 8 people I don't know I probably won't say we could play Secret Hitler because I don't know if the subject matter of the tittle of the game would be problematic for anyone.

If I'm in a group with 7 or 8 people and I know some of them or all of them are Jewish people I would never even think of saying to them to play Secret Hitler... they might not even have a problem with it but it wouldn't be appropriate and considerate of me to propose that without knowing them and if they are ok with it.

So does this mean Secret Hitler shouldn't exist because people might be offended? To me it's obvious that it should be allowed to exist...
It's also obvious to me that some people will be offended by it, so I won't ask them to play it with me.

My whole point is that these are games... these are superfluous things that no one needs to survive... there's no game that will be for everyone in the world.

So taking all that into account and considering the HUGE amount of amazing fantastic games that exist, if a theme on a game is not for you, if a theme on a game offends you, if a mini on the game shows to much cleavage, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc... just don't buy the game! Don't play the game! It's not vital for your life to do so!!!! There are so many others that will bring you joy and good times so why waste your time complaining about something that isn't vital or required for you to have an happy life and also bothering others that don't have the same issue with something as they have?

That's all! Live and let Live!
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Ted Morris
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If the game was an actual simulation of colonialism, I can see being offended. It's not though, it's just a game set in a certain era with a very thin theme. It's not supposed to be historically accurate. Unless all games are set in fictional settings, someone is bound to be offended by something.

The simple answer is to not play games with themes you don't like. If you want to be more impactful you could contact the publisher or designer and tell them why you won't be buying their product. It worked for the slave cards in Five Tribes after all.

The bottom line is, these games wouldn't sell if people found the theme universally offensive. Is it a generational thing? Who knows, but I doubt it. Maybe the younger generations I know just aren't particularly "woke" but none of them give much thought to colonialism.

It's like people who complain that Barbie dolls set unreasonable expectations for beauty standards. They aren't supposed to represent real women, they're just dolls.

Games with colonial themes aren't going to keep gaming from going mainstream. They're just a fraction of the total game output.

I think you do want to be that guy and you are trying to start a debate. Don't shy away from that! But please don't insult our intelligence by saying you're doing it "for the sake of the hobby". It's worth discussing for its own sake.



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In the Netherlands some people apparently are offended by a decades long tradition around our version of Santa Claus, who traditionally arrives per ship, from Spain, accompanied by blacks. The blacks are supposed to crawl through chimneys with boxes of presents for the children. And if you were not good, Santa will read aloud what you did wrong, and if you were real bad, you get put into the sack and deported to Spain, never to return.

A year or three ago, people got so offended that no helper is allowed to have black appearance. It's so stupid. Just like taking just a box with cartboard to something that may or may not have happened in the past.

I was quite addicted to Colonization the pc game, never felt guilty or anything.
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Curt Carpenter
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alive123 wrote:
Not trying to start a debate. Thoughts?

My thought is that you're trying to start a debate.

And that you either missed where this was already discussed, or saw that it was locked and wanted to do it all over again.

Edit: Link fixed.
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Muse23PT wrote:
This is a game, so approach it like a game, it's not life changing, it's not going to impose ways to act, morality or laws into anyone's life... It's not an essential commodity that people need to be able to live their lives.
No, this can even be considered a luxury, it's a completely superfluous thing and as such, to me, it should be treated like that and not give it the importance it doesn't have!


Going back to the example of my students (the best example I can use, since it is my every-day-context) : normalizing white conquest and economic power by having it appear over and over and over and over in eurostyle games implicitly marginalizes other people groups. If you students were 55% Canadian First Nations/Native Americans, the proliferation of white European themes (especially colonialism) could make you feel "left out". I know for a fact that some of my students (not all, admittedly) do feel left out.

It's like a conversation where the biggest groups decide the language of discourse, and can't be bothered to include people who don't speak the language, and can't be bothered to learn another language themselves. Not a perfect analogy, but I'm trying to give you some sense of of what my students (and their parents) have told me it is like.

It's not the job of any one publisher or designer to fix this, I just thing it is unfortunate that it has been a norm of game publishing for so long.
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alive123 wrote:
And since I already opened the box...


Want to sell it? I'm having trouble tracking down a copy and it looks like a fantastic game.
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Tim Schmitt
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For my part: I am not offended by this game. But I can understand why some people might be. Colonialism can be a sensitive topic, and so if that is the choice of theme for the game and it is not treated with sensitivity, it makes sense that it will bother some people.

I am a member of a privileged class, a white American of Northern European ancestry. But if I take a moment to imagine that my ancestors were systematically deprived of their culture, land, possessions, and even their lives and quite possibly I and my people are still marginalized -- sure, I might be bothered if I see anything (not specifically a game) on the topic of that historical episode that makes it a light-hearted affair and sidesteps the topic of the people - my people - that were so drastically wronged.

So I support raising the question and discussing it. In short, I support the posting of the OP.

But having said that, it is a heritage I can only imagine, and not experience. I am not particularly offended; I think the game has some really fascinating mechanisms, and I will probably purchase it when it becomes more widely available.
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Justin R
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familygaming wrote:
Muse23PT wrote:
This is a game, so approach it like a game, it's not life changing, it's not going to impose ways to act, morality or laws into anyone's life... It's not an essential commodity that people need to be able to live their lives.
No, this can even be considered a luxury, it's a completely superfluous thing and as such, to me, it should be treated like that and not give it the importance it doesn't have!


Going back to the example of my students (the best example I can use, since it is my every-day-context) : normalizing white conquest and economic power by having it appear over and over and over and over in eurostyle games implicitly marginalizes other people groups. If you students were 55% Canadian First Nations/Native Americans, the proliferation of white European themes (especially colonialism) could make you feel "left out". I know for a fact that some of my students (not all, admittedly) do feel left out.

It's like a conversation where the biggest groups decide the language of discourse, and can't be bothered to include people who don't speak the language, and can't be bothered to learn another language themselves. Not a perfect analogy, but I'm trying to give you some sense of of what my students (and their parents) have told me it is like.

It's not the job of any one publisher or designer to fix this, I just thing it is unfortunate that it has been a norm of game publishing for so long.


I think you make a great point. Now that I think about it, I should cancel my planned game of Pandemic tonight...one of my group had a relative who died from the plague 400 years ago.
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You are that guy and you know you are. Why not just let people decide what is appropriate for them instead of getting up on a soap-box and screaming the latest cultural correctness reminders?

Most people are offended by something, but it hasn't been until the last couple of years where some try to guilt others to be offended along with them. These posts are more about the vainglory of the poster than it is about the game or the subject matter.

I'm tired of these posts. They are infecting BGG, a place where most of us come to escape the ugliness and insanity of the world we're surrounded with every day.

Let it go. We're intelligent enough to make these decisions for ourselves.
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JJRR_Esq wrote:
familygaming wrote:
Muse23PT wrote:
This is a game, so approach it like a game, it's not life changing, it's not going to impose ways to act, morality or laws into anyone's life... It's not an essential commodity that people need to be able to live their lives.
No, this can even be considered a luxury, it's a completely superfluous thing and as such, to me, it should be treated like that and not give it the importance it doesn't have!


Going back to the example of my students (the best example I can use, since it is my every-day-context) : normalizing white conquest and economic power by having it appear over and over and over and over in eurostyle games implicitly marginalizes other people groups. If you students were 55% Canadian First Nations/Native Americans, the proliferation of white European themes (especially colonialism) could make you feel "left out". I know for a fact that some of my students (not all, admittedly) do feel left out.

It's like a conversation where the biggest groups decide the language of discourse, and can't be bothered to include people who don't speak the language, and can't be bothered to learn another language themselves. Not a perfect analogy, but I'm trying to give you some sense of of what my students (and their parents) have told me it is like.

It's not the job of any one publisher or designer to fix this, I just thing it is unfortunate that it has been a norm of game publishing for so long.


I think you make a great point. Now that I think about it, I should cancel my planned game of Pandemic tonight...one of my group had a relative who died from the plague 400 years ago.


Some of my students have parents who were in residential schools. It is very immediate, actually, to the point that I have been with people who have been brought to tears describing their experiences.
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familygaming wrote:
Muse23PT wrote:
This is a game, so approach it like a game, it's not life changing, it's not going to impose ways to act, morality or laws into anyone's life... It's not an essential commodity that people need to be able to live their lives.
No, this can even be considered a luxury, it's a completely superfluous thing and as such, to me, it should be treated like that and not give it the importance it doesn't have!


Going back to the example of my students (the best example I can use, since it is my every-day-context) : normalizing white conquest and economic power by having it appear over and over and over and over in eurostyle games implicitly marginalizes other people groups. If you students were 55% Canadian First Nations/Native Americans, the proliferation of white European themes (especially colonialism) could make you feel "left out". I know for a fact that some of my students (not all, admittedly) do feel left out.

It's like a conversation where the biggest groups decide the language of discourse, and can't be bothered to include people who don't speak the language, and can't be bothered to learn another language themselves. Not a perfect analogy, but I'm trying to give you some sense of of what my students (and their parents) have told me it is like.

It's not the job of any one publisher or designer to fix this, I just thing it is unfortunate that it has been a norm of game publishing for so long.


Seems to me that you are failling to see my point... I'm not saying that people can't be offended or shouldn't be offended by this or any other game... People have the most varied reasons to be offended and that's what I say... If you can't do something because someone will be offended than nothing gets done!

My point is that if you are offended don't try to be censor, don't try to impose your will... In this case simply choose to not buy and not play the game and stop doing these kind of posts that are just divisive and accomplish nothing but putting people against one another...

Stop trying to be a public bastion of morality and get of whatever white horse you are mounted on and live your life the way you want and let others live their lives the way they want (as long as no one breaks any laws).

I'm sick of paladins fighting battles in these forums
(these last words weren't meant for you Jeremy, are for the people that create threads like this one)
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Whangdoodle wrote:
For more debate on the topic of the theme of colonialism in Santa Maria (including, I believe, some input from the designer), see this thread.


I'm all for discussions about themes in gaming in general and for this game in particular, but I think the previous thread pretty well covered all the bases.

All I'll say is that freedom cuts both ways. Those who want the freedom to play "just a game" should let others be free to express their reservations about said game. As long as nobody is advocating authorities get involved to outlaw this and that, what's the harm?

"Don't like the game, then don't play it" gets thrown around a lot. The flip side of that coin is "don't like the discussion, then don't get involved." If you ignore the discussion, your enjoyment of the game will continue undiminished by external influences.
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MentatYP wrote:
Whangdoodle wrote:
For more debate on the topic of the theme of colonialism in Santa Maria (including, I believe, some input from the designer), see this thread.


I'm all for discussions about themes in gaming in general and for this game in particular, but I think the previous thread pretty well covered all the bases.

All I'll say is that freedom cuts both ways. Those who want the freedom to play "just a game" should let others be free to express their reservations about said game. As long as nobody is advocating authorities get involved to outlaw this and that, what's the harm?

"Don't like the game, then don't play it" gets thrown around a lot. The flip side of that coin is "don't like the discussion, then don't get involved." If you ignore the discussion, your enjoyment of the game will continue undiminished by external influences.


Like I said in here previously and I'll say it again:

People have all the right to be offended and create posts about it and express their opinion, just don't say things like: "this shouldn't exist", "This shouldn't have been made" etc... that's censoring and it's a much bigger problem than a theme in a game.
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Dundy O
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MentatYP wrote:


"Don't like the game, then don't play it" gets thrown around a lot. The flip side of that coin is "don't like the discussion, then don't get involved." If you ignore the discussion, your enjoyment of the game will continue undiminished by external influences.


If people continue to ignore threads like this because they don't like and/or don't agree with them will find an increasing amount of threads like this. It will become harder to find threads on just the basics of a game.

This type of thread doesn't belong in the general section of BGG. Use the RSP threads to voice your opinion on these matters. These threads are always politically charged, culturally charged, and religiously charged.

They pollute what is a board gaming website.

RSP it. It is a sub-forum, and people go to it knowing they're about to read and/or write opinion pieces.

Keep BGG about gaming.
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Wister wrote:
MentatYP wrote:


"Don't like the game, then don't play it" gets thrown around a lot. The flip side of that coin is "don't like the discussion, then don't get involved." If you ignore the discussion, your enjoyment of the game will continue undiminished by external influences.


If people continue to ignore threads like this because they don't like and/or don't agree with them will find an increasing amount of threads like this. It will become harder to find threads on just the basics of a game.

This type of thread doesn't belong in the general section of BGG. Use the RSP threads to voice your opinion on these matters. These threads are always politically charged, culturally charged, and religiously charged.

They pollute what is a board gaming website.

RSP it. It is a sub-forum, and people go to it knowing they're about to read and/or write opinion pieces.

Keep BGG about gaming.


Gaming is bigger than rules and mechanisms. Otherwise we'd all be playing abstracts. AFAIK discussions about the theme of a particular game are entirely appropriate in said game's forum. The mods will decide what belongs in RSP. I've seen similar threads veer too off topic and get banished to RSP while others stayed more on topic to the game in question and were allowed to stay. I think the last thread remaining where it is is an acknowledgment that the discussion was mostly on-topic, except for the personal attacks that got the thread locked.

Anyway, I've probably said too much already. Like I said, we pretty well covered the topic in the previous thread.
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Dundy O
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MentatYP wrote:
Wister wrote:
MentatYP wrote:


"Don't like the game, then don't play it" gets thrown around a lot. The flip side of that coin is "don't like the discussion, then don't get involved." If you ignore the discussion, your enjoyment of the game will continue undiminished by external influences.


If people continue to ignore threads like this because they don't like and/or don't agree with them will find an increasing amount of threads like this. It will become harder to find threads on just the basics of a game.

This type of thread doesn't belong in the general section of BGG. Use the RSP threads to voice your opinion on these matters. These threads are always politically charged, culturally charged, and religiously charged.

They pollute what is a board gaming website.

RSP it. It is a sub-forum, and people go to it knowing they're about to read and/or write opinion pieces.

Keep BGG about gaming.


Gaming is bigger than rules and mechanisms. Otherwise we'd all be playing abstracts. AFAIK discussions about the theme of a particular game are entirely appropriate in said game's forum. The mods will decide what belongs in RSP. I've seen similar threads veer too off topic and get banished to RSP while others stayed more on topic to the game in question and were allowed to stay. I think the last thread remaining where it is is an acknowledgment that the discussion was mostly on-topic, except for the personal attacks that got the thread locked.

Anyway, I've probably said too much already. Like I said, we pretty well covered the topic in the previous thread.


Talking about a game's theme IS normally kept more abstract. Has long been kept more abstract. I've been here for years. Theme is mostly connected to mechanics in discussions. These political/cultural/religious opinions in the game forums are a recent thing.

Throwing everything on the moderators is excusing your own behavior. If a moderator doesn't come to a thread, you then think it's fine? No. That isn't the way communities work. When law enforcement comes, a wrong has already been committed.

BGG hasn't flourished because of the moderators. It has flourished because a world-wide audience has come together to talk about the joys of gaming.

BGG has provided it's readers with an outlet for these discussions. RSP is easy to get to, easy to engage others, and it was created so more controversial conversations don't clog up this great bastion of gaming.
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familygaming wrote:
JJRR_Esq wrote:
familygaming wrote:
Muse23PT wrote:
This is a game, so approach it like a game, it's not life changing, it's not going to impose ways to act, morality or laws into anyone's life... It's not an essential commodity that people need to be able to live their lives.
No, this can even be considered a luxury, it's a completely superfluous thing and as such, to me, it should be treated like that and not give it the importance it doesn't have!


Going back to the example of my students (the best example I can use, since it is my every-day-context) : normalizing white conquest and economic power by having it appear over and over and over and over in eurostyle games implicitly marginalizes other people groups. If you students were 55% Canadian First Nations/Native Americans, the proliferation of white European themes (especially colonialism) could make you feel "left out". I know for a fact that some of my students (not all, admittedly) do feel left out.

It's like a conversation where the biggest groups decide the language of discourse, and can't be bothered to include people who don't speak the language, and can't be bothered to learn another language themselves. Not a perfect analogy, but I'm trying to give you some sense of of what my students (and their parents) have told me it is like.

It's not the job of any one publisher or designer to fix this, I just thing it is unfortunate that it has been a norm of game publishing for so long.


I think you make a great point. Now that I think about it, I should cancel my planned game of Pandemic tonight...one of my group had a relative who died from the plague 400 years ago.


Some of my students have parents who were in residential schools. It is very immediate, actually, to the point that I have been with people who have been brought to tears describing their experiences.


Their experiences with colonialism?
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