Author Topic: Would you guys find this offensive?  (Read 4801 times)

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Offline Freespace Freak

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Would you guys find this offensive?
I just left an argument in another forum.  It's in regards to The Elder Scrolls series of games, some of you know Oblvion or Morrowind.  It's a fantasy RPG series of games.  You don't have to be familiar with the game to understand my question, I think.  You see there's this race, called the Tsaesci, who live on a continent never seen in any game, but it is hinted at.  Now this continent they live on, called Akavir, could be the TES equivalent of Asia.  Now in the game Oblivion, you actually see these Tsaesci.  They wear all Japanese-style armor, have Japanese-style weapons, and live in Japanese-style buildings.  Essentially the Tsaesci are the in-game equivalent to the Japanese.  In the game Oblivion, they appear human.  However, in certain texts, they're supposed to be vampiric, man-eating, snake-like monsters.  Recently, a dev confirmed that the humans encountered in the game are actually supposed to be snakemen.  Now they say they will be more in future games, and they will be montrous vampire snakemen, who eat people.

So the question is this.  If you, unfamiliar to the game, were to encounter this beings, who for all intents and purposes appear Japanese in their weapons, clothing and armor, and buildings, but physically appear as vampiric shakemen, how would you interperate that?  I mean, they really are the in-game versions of the ancient Japanese.  More specifically, how would you react if you were Japanese?  Would you interperate it as offensive?  Would you see this as an insult to the Japanese, hinting that the Japanese are snake-like monsters?  Or do you think nobody would see that parallel, including the Japanese?

 

Offline Flipside

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Re: Would you guys find this offensive?
I'd think they were paranoid, ask them to name one way in which it is possible to represent a human in any media format that doesn't have a nationality, getting uptight because it happens to be yours is stupid. How many 'White Anglo Saxons' have you shot in the course of playing various games? I don't hear an uprising about that.

 

Offline Mefustae

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Re: Would you guys find this offensive?
...It's a ****ing game. Honestly, I don't see how you could be offended by something so trivial. It's like a given person getting offended because another person purports that giant Crabs have appeared in Japanese history. It's just silly. :rolleyes:

Think of it like this; the body count for Germans in the collective spectrum of World War II games in recent years easily reaches into the millions, and i'm not aware of many Germans who find that simple fact offensive. The thing is that being insulted by a game is like being insulted by a novel; if you don't like it, put the damn thing down and refund it for a better one.

 

Offline Freespace Freak

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Re: Would you guys find this offensive?
No no no!  Let's say you see a vampiric snakemen.  He's evil, he wants to eat people, he's a guy you want to kill or get away from, right?  The thing is, these evil snake guys are completely Japanese in every concievable way except in physical appearance.  Would you, as a Japanese, find that offensive?  My personal feeling is that I would.

 

Offline Mefustae

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Re: Would you guys find this offensive?
Then you're taking it too seriously.

 

Offline Freespace Freak

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Re: Would you guys find this offensive?
...It's a ****ing game. Honestly, I don't see how you could be offended by something so trivial. It's like a given person getting offended because another person purports that giant Crabs have appeared in Japanese history. It's just silly. :rolleyes:

Think of it like this; the body count for Germans in the collective spectrum of World War II games in recent years easily reaches into the millions, and i'm not aware of many Germans who find that simple fact offensive. The thing is that being insulted by a game is like being insulted by a novel; if you don't like it, put the damn thing down and refund it for a better one.

Yes, but those are Nazis, not just Germans.  There's a big difference, to the Germans as well.

 

Offline Freespace Freak

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Re: Would you guys find this offensive?
Then you're taking it too seriously.

The question is, though.  Pretend you yourself are Japanese, and you saw all this Japanese stuff, Japanese culture, everything, being represented by evil vampiric snakemen.  Do you think a Japanese person might be offended?  I'm not offended, personally, but would a Japanese person?

 

Offline Mefustae

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Re: Would you guys find this offensive?
They fought for Germany, not the Nazi Party. It's not like they were all indoctrinated members fighting for the values of the Nazis, it's... let's just avoid this particular subject for now. The fact of the matter is that they are Germans being killed, and while the gaming world may dilute the fact with 'they're Nazis! Nazis!!' as a way of justifying the killing, they're still Germans, and thus my point remains valid.

The question is, though.  Pretend you yourself are Japanese, and you saw all this Japanese stuff, Japanese culture, everything, being represented by evil vampiric snakemen.  Do you think a Japanese person might be offended?  I'm not offended, personally, but would a Japanese person?
No, because every person i've met of Japanese origin has been smarter than that. These aren't Japanese people, they're artisically based on Japanese culture to give them flavour and flesh them out as a unique species in the Elder Scrolls universe. They don't represent the Japanese, and I sincerely doubt the developers have some grudge against the Japanese people. It's just a silly little game that over which only the easily offended will even bother batting an eyelid.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2006, 11:07:15 am by Mefustae »

 

Offline Freespace Freak

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Re: Would you guys find this offensive?
So you're saying that there's no way in hell that any signifigant number of Japanese people would take offense to it?  That anyone who see that will say "well obviously they're not saying anything bad against the Japanese by having these monsters dress and act like us."  You're saying that they would never be offended by that, ever?

 

Offline IPAndrews

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Re: Would you guys find this offensive?
The British are all evil in Star Wars. We got over it.
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Offline Dysko

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Re: Would you guys find this offensive?
Let's take into consideration another game and another nationality: GTA and Italians.

In GTA (but also in many movies, TV shows and novels) Italians are criminal people who brought the mafia in the USA, are corrupted and evil, would shoot even to their relatives if they betray them etc.

But I'm not offended by that, simply because:
1) It's a game (or a movie etc.)
2) There are really Italians like them, but I obviously condemn them for what they do
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Offline Mefustae

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Re: Would you guys find this offensive?
So you're saying that there's no way in hell that any signifigant number of Japanese people would take offense to it?  That anyone who see that will say "well obviously they're not saying anything bad against the Japanese by having these monsters dress and act like us."  You're saying that they would never be offended by that, ever?
I wasn't aware that most Japanese people dressed in elegant armour and lived the way of a warrior. :rolleyes:

Now, i'm not saying that nobody would  be offended, and in fact i'm sure that many might be offended. There are always going to be people offended by the smallest things, and I doubt this will be an exception. However, the idea that large numbers of Japanese people will find this offensive is, well, laughable at best.

The British are all evil in Star Wars. We got over it.
Excellent example. The bad guys are all white anglo-saxons with British accents [for the record, Grand Moff Tarkin is hands-down the greatest bad-guy ever], and yet i'm not aware of massive walkouts in British theatres showing the film.

 

Offline Snail

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Re: Would you guys find this offensive?
FS2 Command is black and he's stupid. How offensive...

Anyway, to the point...

Why is everyone so easily offended by simply portraying their people as vampire-snake men in a game. Hey, I'd be offended if it was something big like if some stupid politician said so, but I wouldn't go around screaming at people and calling up the local government to ban it. I mean, live with it people. Okay. You're Japanese and you're playing this game. It's supposed to be fun, so play it, have fun and ignore the fact that people who aren't Japanese are being portrayed as freakishly venomous-man-eating-snake-things. They aren't even Japanese people in the first place anyway! They're just people who seem like Japanese people but are actually venomous-man-eating-snake-things. If they were Japanese and they portrayed the Japanese as venomous-man-eating-snake-things, then that's just one reason to get angry at, but it's still not a big thing anyway. The whole Danish cartoon thing was also a big uproar but it was all in good fun - however their lifestyle is far different from ours in that there are rules as to how to behave and that you cannot draw God or anything, but this is different. Japanese people live only slightly different than us, and they don't wear veils (yet another big uproar) so they have little right to go around screaming at a game that portrays people who aren't even Japanese.

If you are offended, then maybe you won't mind me calling Japanese people Japs...

Also, there's a game in which you fight Japs in WWII and there are many cutscenes of them going around killing babies with blades. If that doesn't offend them then little will. Japanese people aren't completely sensative, but some people will get offended. BUT they have no right to get angry and go rambling on about how you shouldn't portray Japanese people as venomous-man-eating-snake-things.

 

Offline Freespace Freak

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Re: Would you guys find this offensive?
Okay, okay.  I'll trust you guys.  It doesn't feel right, though.  They way they're portraying these things as monsters, and how closely these monsters adhere to Japanese culture just doesn't sit well with me.  It feels like it's going much beyond what you guys are talking about, and it seems like a bad thing.  I'll let it rest for now, I just hope they are careful and considerate.  I have a feeling that if they let things go as they plan, that **** will hit the fan hard.

 

Offline IPAndrews

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Re: Would you guys find this offensive?
2) There are really Italians like them, but I obviously condemn them for what they do

So you don't mind GTA's treatment of Italian's because you agree with it. Well it's honest I'll give you that ;). I'm not sure it's a good analogy in this particular case though. Unless you're suggesting that the Japanese are actuallly flesh eating vampires.
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Offline Flipside

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Re: Would you guys find this offensive?
Heh, I'll just add it's like saying that I find the use of blond haired viking-like Vampires and Necromancers who attack me in the same game as offensive because Saxons have a long, diverse and rich social history. They do, but in Oblivion they shout and run at me with swords.

Three posts since I started typing....

 

Offline Snail

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Re: Would you guys find this offensive?
Relax, man! These venomous-man-eating-snake-things aren't even Japanese people in the first place. Burn the developers!!


 

Offline Dysko

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Re: Would you guys find this offensive?
Unless you're suggesting that the Japanese are actuallly flesh eating vampires.
Ops! Well, effectively it seems I said so... If any Japanese is reading this, sorry, I didn't meant that... ;)
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Offline Freespace Freak

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Re: Would you guys find this offensive?
So you don't mind GTA's treatment of Italian's because you agree with it. Well it's honest I'll give you that ;). I'm not sure it's a good analogy in this particular case though. Unless you're suggesting that the Japanese are actuallly flesh eating vampires.

I don't think anyone's explicitely or intentionally saying that.  I just feel that how they're portraying them makes it appear that they're saying that Japanese are fleash eating snake-eyed monsters, atl least to those unfamiliar to the series.

 

Offline Black Wolf

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Re: Would you guys find this offensive?
Ask yourself this - do you honestly think that in some game development studio somewhere some game designer was thinking "I really hate those ****ing Japs. I'm going to make a race of baddies that look like them"? If so, then you can get offended (you're also likely to be pretty stupid). If not, then no sane person has any reason to get offewnded. Just get over it.
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