Larian Studios

R&D + Sensitivity Readers

Posted By: MCPolecat

R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 12:27 AM

As one who lost their community of D&D playing nerds with WotC's Adventurer's League, I am incredibly eager to experience D&D 5th Edition through the digital experience of PC gaming. There is a part of me that is worried about the state of game development as an industry and the role of qualitative research within the development process given the number of creatives working hard in a collaborative setting. The tabletop RPG has long been the most queer friendly gaming experience as the rules came down to whatever best serves the group. Dragon Heist and the upcoming Tasha's Cauldron of Everything represent WotC responding to research and criticism into the state of D&D today. With Beamdog's Enhanced Edition of BG, Dorn was a reasonable shot at opening up the world to frames of desire beyond the normative experience of the original.

On the level of narrative development, I was wondering how Larian handles the sheer multiplicity of experiences required in gaming. The fiction literature community makes use of professional sensitivity readers to provide development criticism of how a narrative responds to the representation of marginalized communities. There is also a sizable community of game studies scholars researching games and communities focused on gender, race, and sexuality. With a game as big as BGIII with a property as big as D&D, my concerns are primarily circulating around diverse voices and experiences that are particularly paramount for me. A part of me is worried that such research and editorial work is not standard practice in game development and with everything else involved in development, such concerns do not get addressed because it is not a developmental priority.
Posted By: Raze

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 04:23 AM


The gaming community has generally been very open and inclusive, since before that phrase became a buzzword.
There are people working at Larian from all over the world, with many different backgrounds and experiences.
Early Access should provide better feedback than any special interest focus group.
Posted By: Warlocke

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 05:00 AM

Originally Posted by Raze

The gaming community has generally been very open and inclusive


I want to live in your timeline.
Posted By: Raze

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 05:15 AM


Were there any qualifications required to join the forum? Has anyone challenged anything you've posted on the basis of any inalienable characteristic, or even cared about that?
In high school in your experience were gamers the exclusive clique and anyone could join the jocks and cool kids? That wasn't the case back when parents were being warned that playing D&D probably meant their children had joined a satanic cult.
Posted By: Warlocke

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 05:19 AM

Originally Posted by Raze

Were there any qualifications required to join the forum? Has anyone challenged anything you've posted on the basis of any inalienable characteristic?
In high school in your experience were gamers the exclusive clique and anyone could join the jocks and cool kids? That wasn't the case back when parents were being warned that playing D&D probably meant their kids had joined a satanic cult.


My experience with lots of gamers online has been a lot of casual racism and misogyny, and I don’t think I’m alone in that.

Edit: I’m going to expand this to include unwarranted hostility and immaturity.

This forum generally isn’t so bad for the most part, but we weren’t talking about this forum but the broader gaming community in aggregate. And I wouldn’t even go so far as to say most gamers engage in puerile behavior. Buuut, too often have I seen somebody start to say terrible things and then most everyone else just let’s it happen and pretends not to hear or pretends that it doesn’t matter, and I don’t call that an inclusive community. Just my 2 cents.
Posted By: Iamblitzwing

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 05:23 AM

Originally Posted by Warlocke
Originally Posted by Raze

Were there any qualifications required to join the forum? Has anyone challenged anything you've posted on the basis of any inalienable characteristic?
In high school in your experience were gamers the exclusive clique and anyone could join the jocks and cool kids? That wasn't the case back when parents were being warned that playing D&D probably meant their kids had joined a satanic cult.


My experience with lots of gamers online has been a lot of casual racism and misogyny, and I don’t think I’m alone in that.

Are you a gamer? Then you're the problem.
Posted By: Warlocke

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 05:28 AM

Originally Posted by Iamblitzwing
Originally Posted by Warlocke
Originally Posted by Raze

Were there any qualifications required to join the forum? Has anyone challenged anything you've posted on the basis of any inalienable characteristic?
In high school in your experience were gamers the exclusive clique and anyone could join the jocks and cool kids? That wasn't the case back when parents were being warned that playing D&D probably meant their kids had joined a satanic cult.


My experience with lots of gamers online has been a lot of casual racism and misogyny, and I don’t think I’m alone in that.

Are you a gamer? Then you're the problem.


How so?
Posted By: Raze

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 06:06 AM

Originally Posted by Warlocke
My experience with lots of gamers online has been a lot of casual racism and misogyny

How many is 'lots'? Online gaming is still a small fraction of the gaming community, and if you are referring to trash talk in competitive games, I would discount that anyway.
Literally everything is racist or misogynistic (air conditioners, weather, etc), and those terms have been thrown around so much that they are practically meaningless.

Again, has anyone here required your race or gender, etc, to determine how to interact with you, or referenced that at all?
A statement can be generally true even if there are exceptions (which is why I wrote 'generally' rather than 'universally'). Compared to other real groups, gamers are among the most open and inclusive.
Posted By: Warlocke

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 06:23 AM

Originally Posted by Raze
Originally Posted by Warlocke
My experience with lots of gamers online has been a lot of casual racism and misogyny

How many is 'lots'? Online gaming is still a small fraction of the gaming community, and if you are referring to trash talk in competitive games, I would discount that anyway.
Literally everything is racist or misogynistic (air conditioners, weather, etc), and those terms have been thrown around so much that they are practically meaningless.

Again, has anyone here required your race or gender, etc, to determine how to interact with you, or referenced that at all?
A statement can be generally true even if there are exceptions (which is why I wrote 'generally' rather than 'universally'). Compared to other real groups, gamers are among the most open and inclusive.


I edited my first post to clarify “lots.”

I don’t see why somebody calling me n***** or f** in a competitive game should be discounted. At what point did we decide there is ever a time or place when that is an okay way to treat a stranger?

I’m not going to argue on whether racist and misogynist are over-applied labels because I don’t need to. I’ve seen enough unequivocally bad behavior that I don’t need to reach for dubious examples. Calling somebody n***** is racist, so the term hasn’t lost its meaning.
Posted By: Raze

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 06:52 AM


If someone in a competitive game knew calling you a scholar and a gentleman would throw you off your game, there is a very good chance you would be called a scholar and a gentleman.

There are still things that are racist and misogynist. As descriptive terms, they can not be used to impart any meaningful information without specific context, since they are very frequently used when they are not applicable, or as generic insults.
Posted By: Nyanko

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 07:09 AM

I personally don't care about these issues. My only concern is if the game is fun and has a compelling story.

And as a writer, I usually detach myself from my readers concerns because it is generally the best way to compromise, and compromise is a creativity killer.
Posted By: Warlocke

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 01:16 PM

Originally Posted by Raze

If someone in a competitive game knew calling you a scholar and a gentleman would throw you off your game, there is a very good chance you would be called a scholar and a gentleman.

There are still things that are racist and misogynist. As descriptive terms, they can not be used to impart any meaningful information without specific context, since they are very frequently used when they are not applicable, or as generic insults.


Just because calling someone n***** or f** is likely to throw them off their game in no way makes it okay. Ends don’t justify means when the stakes are that low. It’s not okay to use racism and bigotry as a tool just because it works. What a terrible sentiment.

And being called those things never threw me off my game. But the effectiveness or not of the casual bigotry doesn’t dictate its propriety.

AND it’s not as if I only encountered this in competitive games, either.

Before I was somewhat ambivalent on the OP’s point, but you’ve convinced me that maybe Larian should hire sensitivity readers. You are doing a terrible job representing them. 😂
Posted By: LoneSky

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 01:57 PM

I'm still sure the majority is fine, and the vocal minority of haters shouldn't define a "community" of any kind, they will always be there, just like the dirt in the house; both needs continuously cleaned up, fought back and ignored until the time is right.
Life is both a heaven & hell, it's up to us to not let bad things get inside.

Let's not forget the "nameless heroes" who still kept the light on, and thanks to them, those negatives couldn't stop us having fun. My friend lists are always far larger than the temporary block lists, even in the darkest PvP games. Hope is still there, it's worth fighting for and every new day is a gift that will be spent making only friends.
Posted By: Sordak

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 02:23 PM

And this is why i dont want Tashas cauldron of everything to be in BG3.

If you cannot feel included without a product that has been pandering to your demographic for ages now (ToEE had one of the first gay romances in video games for games. BG3 specifically features a gay vampire, bisexuality and cuckoldry which are all progressive favorites. And then holy shit all the fucking stuff Crawford put into 5e, if you say the product doesnt specifically try to include youthen you win gold medal in mental gymnastics) beeing changed fundamnetally then maybe the problem is not with the product but with your expectations.

Youre a crybully.
Thats what you are
You are demanding that everyone else change their Product to placate your demands. Demands that are so poorly defined that they can never be met.

Goalposts specifically set so they can be easily moved.


Professional fucking sensitivity

Just fucking write a video game. You dont need a gender studies degree to write people sucking each other off. The Over intellectualization of victim narratives are the death of creativity.


also

>People trashtalking you in competetive video games
Hmmmmmm i wonder...
ever heard of mindgames?
People will find your weaknesses and exploit them. You think these people stalk you and find out your specific identity? they call you names and they keep taunting you with what sticks. because it makes you play worse.
If that didnt work theyd have said theyd fucked your mom. Whatever worked to get under your skin.


And even so.
Even if the gaming community was full of casual racists. How does this impact you playing a single player RPG? Or playing with your friends?
If youve got a problem with casual racism in your single player games maybe the problem is the people you surround yourself with.
but lets not kid ourselves.

This entire argument is constructed specifically as to not require any proof. its just assumed that people on the internet are mean.

You know what?
How about you make a sales pitch why a game should be fundamentally changed to pander to someone who signed up to a forum soley to make bad faith arguments.


EDIT:
And now: To everyone else monitoring this thread:
YOU CANNOT WIN

Do you understand this? You cannot win in a race of moving goalposts.
You can never placate these people. You can never satisfy their demands.
You make every single character bisexual.
Why aren thtey also transsexual? You make half of your characters ethnic minorities. Why is the other half still white?
You specifically make create an entire supplement because some people on twitter cry about racism (and equate black people to orcs, for some progressive reason) - Still not good enaugh.
It will never stop.
You cannot win.

And if youve got a horse in this game: doy ou want this to represent you? This attitude? Do you want to be associated with constant demands?
I wouldnt want that.
I wouldnt want to be associated with crybullying. With showing up and demandign that everything about a product is changed to suit ME.
Posted By: deathidge

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 02:26 PM

It is 100% everyone's own personal choice to be offended by words. There are some horribly despicable words out there, yes, but they are still words and if you place any importance on other people opinions, especially people who mean nothing to you, you are going to live a very offended, insulted, and unhappy life.

For the life of me I can't fathom why Larian would need to hire "sensitivity readers". What do they do? Make sure to represent a certain 'group' correctly? That's not possible as there is no norm, right? Isn't that the thing today? anyone can be anything they want? There is no 'normal' queer behavior, voice, or belief system. I know just as many gay men that don't push their feminine qualities to the edge and you would never know they were gay. There are too many people of any 'walk of life' to generalize in a specific fashion. So lets just let Larian make their game, offer whatever feedback you want during EA if you buy it, and calm down on the sensitivity talk. If you want to choose to be offended that's on you.
Posted By: Sordak

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 02:29 PM

They would require to be paid.
Thats the entire point of "Senstivity trainers" and such.

They are a ploy to create jobs for gender studies majors that have no marketable skills.
Posted By: Warlocke

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 02:34 PM

Originally Posted by Sordak

And even so.
Even if the gaming community was full of casual racists. How does this impact you playing a single player RPG?


It doesn’t. That was a side conversation about the nature of the gaming community and had nothing to do with BG3 or single player games.

Quote

I wouldnt want to be associated with crybullying


Irony.
Posted By: Sordak

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 02:49 PM

>N-no you
try harder.
Im not the one making demands here.
What i am is sick of this.

If youre such a victim. Why do you even show up? arent you afraid to get dogpiled for your stunnign and brave opinions? By nature of the gaming community?
Or do you know that you have the force fo the Zeitgeist behind you and disagreeing with you can get you banned in plenty of places.
Im thinking what youre doing here is testing the waters and looking how far you can push this.
How far you can go till you meet resistance.
How much backing youve got from the moderators.

Becuase ultimatley this is a power play.


its actually very interresting. Youve got the force of the implied moral outrage on your side. As long as nobody voices their opinion, the spiral of silence will entrench what you say further.
Obviously the gaming community is mean and racist. Thats a truism. From that we can infer that video games are influenced by said mean community.

thats the logic were supposed to follow here and its all based on everyone agreeing on a premise thats not true.



Posted By: Warlocke

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 03:11 PM

What?! 😂

I haven’t made any demands of anyone or asked anybody to change their behavior. I’m pretty much resigned to people on the internet being mean and stupid.

But I just remembered who you are. You are the first person I spoke to on this forum.

Got angry at me about engaging in an argument you started.
Got really worked up for being “bullied” when I civilly pointed out a logical fallacy.
Repeatedly demonstrated a deficit in reading comprehension.
Didn’t know what metaphors were.

Sorry, but I still don’t think that you are worth talking to.
You win the debate. Here is another gold star participation trophy.
Posted By: vometia

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 03:23 PM

Originally Posted by Sordak
>N-no you
try harder.
Im not the one making demands here.
What i am is sick of this.

Actually you kinda are. Which is fine if everybody is having their say, but y'know, call it what it is.
Posted By: Skallewag

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 03:47 PM

Nope, a DnD game does not need sensetivity readers. DnD grew into a beloved and inclusive space for gamers and fantasy enthusiasts of all stripes. It does not need a team of nannys to guard everyones feelings.
Posted By: Sordak

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 03:49 PM

Oh yeah, fallacy man.

Crybullying is a term. Look it up, it has a meaning, this thread is the definition of it.
It doesnt mean you literaly bully someone. It means you use your tears as a moral leverage to bully a company into complying with your demands.

And yes im making the demand that people stop using moral outrage to push agendas.
Posted By: Skallewag

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 03:57 PM

The reason it can be discounted is that being called names in online games is hardly something exclusive to minorities. If you go play League of Legends for a week it doesnt matter who you are, you will have been called nasty names by someone. If they know some aspect about you they will try to attack that, if they dont it will just be random insults hoping that something will stick.
This behavior is not fun or good or excusable, but it is not a problem steming from racism. Trashtalking is older than video games.

Also if your bad experience is with other people calling you names, that problem will not be solved by trying to shove sensetivity readers into the studio making the game, that random troll you play with online is still going to call both you and me names, trying to rile us up.

If you are really concerned about racist material available for purchase I suggest you focus on trying to get Amazon to pull mein kampf off their store. If the source of racism in society is what books and media people have acess to then surely mein kampf is a much bigger problem than some DnD game?
Posted By: Warlocke

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 04:10 PM

Originally Posted by Skallewag
The reason it can be discounted is that being called names in online games is hardly something exclusive to minorities. If you go play League of Legends for a week it doesnt matter who you are, you will have been called nasty names by someone. If they know some aspect about you they will try to attack that, if they dont it will just be random insults hoping that something will stick.
This behavior is not fun or good or excusable, but it is not a problem steming from racism. Trashtalking is older than video games.

Also if your bad experience is with other people calling you names, that problem will not be solved by trying to shove sensetivity readers into the studio making the game, that random troll you play with online is still going to call both you and me names, trying to rile us up.

If you are really concerned about racist material available for purchase I suggest you focus on trying to get Amazon to pull mein kampf off their store. If the source of racism in society is what books and media people have acess to then surely mein kampf is a much bigger problem than some DnD game?


A few things here:

A) The insults people use online are not targeted. Plenty of gamers use the terms n***** and f** without knowing anything about the person they are insulting. I absolutely think this is bigoted behavior. Does that make the person a bigot? Not necessarily. It just makes them a jerk. They could actually be a racist or could not, but that is immaterial to the question of whether or not the gaming community is generally open and inviting.

B) The sensitivity training wasn’t my idea. That was the OP’s suggestion to deal with how Larian handles LGBTQ issues. That is a separate conversation from people using bigoted insults online.

C) I’m not concerned about racist material for purchase, and I’m not in favor of censorship, especially with important historical documents, but also in general.
Posted By: Apocynum

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 04:58 PM

If repeated, bigoted behavior doesn’t make someone a bigot, then what does?

Imagine that there are two strangers who keep calling me racial slurs. One is doing it because he genuinely hates people of my race. The other is doing it because he thinks it gives him a slight competitive edge. Should I treat these situations any differently? Is one more “inclusive” than the other? And how am I supposed to tell them apart, knowing (given both the internet and human nature) that the former will claim to be the latter every time?
Posted By: Warlocke

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 05:07 PM

Originally Posted by Apocynum
If repeated, bigoted behavior doesn’t make someone a bigot, then what does?

Imagine that there are two strangers who keep calling me racial slurs. One is doing it because he genuinely hates people of my race. The other is doing it because he thinks it gives him a slight competitive edge. Should I treat these situations any differently? Is one more “inclusive” than the other? And how am I supposed to tell them apart, knowing (given both the internet and human nature) that the former will claim to be the latter every time?


I’m actually pretty much on board with all of that.

I do think that somebody who exhibits racist behavior because they are immature and think it is cool or edgy or useful isn’t necessarily a racist, but I also think it is a distinction without a difference. Whether they truly have genuine hatred for others or not has no bearing on the appropriateness of their actions, so the question of what is in their heart isn’t even really all that interesting to me. It’s equally gross either way.
Posted By: Skallewag

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 05:08 PM

The difference lies in who is being targeted and why. A troll in an online game who repeatedly targets whoever is in the game with derogatory comments then the person isnt targeting people based on identity. Its just someone being a jerk.

What words we call things matter. I agree that racism is a bad thing, but if we cant separate between people being jerks and people being racist we just hurt our ability to fight against racism. If you try to fight against racism by figting against people who are just trying to be jerks all you are doing is signalling "hey other person who is trying to rile me up, here is something you can use that is extra effective."
Posted By: Warlocke

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 05:22 PM

Originally Posted by Skallewag
The difference lies in who is being targeted and why. A troll in an online game who repeatedly targets whoever is in the game with derogatory comments then the person isnt targeting people based on identity. Its just someone being a jerk.

What words we call things matter. I agree that racism is a bad thing, but if we cant separate between people being jerks and people being racist we just hurt our ability to fight against racism. If you try to fight against racism by figting against people who are just trying to be jerks all you are doing is signalling "hey other person who is trying to rile me up, here is something you can use that is extra effective."


Hmmmmm, no. Sorry. It’s always wrong to call a stranger on the internet n***** regardless of the intent, and the reason it is wrong is because the term is deeply racist. Whether they are racist in their heart or not doesn’t matter. We can only judge people by their actions and how they choose to present themselves, not what is in their heart. We can never truly know that. People who act like racists deserve to be judged accordingly.
Posted By: Apocynum

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 05:36 PM

If one can distinguish a “genuine racist” from a “trolling jerk” based on who they target, and if we treat “trolling jerk” as harmless, acceptable malice, then it seems to me that the most effective tactic for “genuine racists” to establish themselves in communities would be for them to use racial slurs as much as possible and then claim, when confronted, that they’re only trolling.

This does not seem to me to be a desirable outcome.

Posted By: DrunkPunk

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 05:39 PM

If someone is comfortable enough to use racism as a weapon, even if their intention is just to be a jerk, it doesn't matter. They are displaying racist behaviors and if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck....
Posted By: vometia

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 05:40 PM

I am going to sleep (well okay, in theory). Everybody please be excellent to each other and don't give me nightmares. Thank you.
Posted By: LoneSky

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 05:40 PM

OP quote "how a narrative responds to the representation of marginalized communities" - that's why we have more and more low quality products, like the Star Wars and Dragon Age among others, because instead focusing on artistic freedom, the inclusion of "variety" must be forced into the narrative, doesn't matter if fits or not, just because sheer political pressure.

As long as my character(s) can answer properly, I won't mind any lines, insults included. That's realistic depiction of a situation. Including everyone everywhere, just dilutes a narrative, and what's the point when soon all are just carbon copies of each other?

Sensitivity is fine, we all have that to a point... In the real world we don't live in a bubble, abuse happens at every step, sometimes is a way of life, sometimes it's just misdirected anger, but we always have to be ready to react properly. There are no safe spaces out there, and turning a game into one, just downgrades it to a plastic feel. Unless it's something made for little kids, which isn't the case here.
Posted By: Sordak

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 06:00 PM

Pretty much.

On the other issue: you wont eliminate mean people, its not gonna happen.
There is a difference between namecalling and discrimination.

one of them is illegal and the other one isnt and shouldnt be.
Posted By: Apocynum

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 06:10 PM

What are you talking about with “safe spaces”? In the very real world of employment and labor, if I call my coworkers racial slurs, I will be fired even if I don’t “mean it.” If I start yelling obscenities in a restaurant, I will be asked to stop and then asked to leave. Is this false? And are you arguing that it should be changed?
Posted By: Skallewag

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 06:22 PM

Originally Posted by Warlocke
Originally Posted by Skallewag
The difference lies in who is being targeted and why. A troll in an online game who repeatedly targets whoever is in the game with derogatory comments then the person isnt targeting people based on identity. Its just someone being a jerk.

What words we call things matter. I agree that racism is a bad thing, but if we cant separate between people being jerks and people being racist we just hurt our ability to fight against racism. If you try to fight against racism by figting against people who are just trying to be jerks all you are doing is signalling "hey other person who is trying to rile me up, here is something you can use that is extra effective."


Hmmmmm, no. Sorry. It’s always wrong to call a stranger on the internet n***** regardless of the intent, and the reason it is wrong is because the term is deeply racist. Whether they are racist in their heart or not doesn’t matter. We can only judge people by their actions and how they choose to present themselves, not what is in their heart. We can never truly know that. People who act like racists deserve to be judged accordingly.


Lol, Im not saying it isnt wrong. It is absolutely shitty to call people names online or anywhere. Im simply pointing out that there is a difference between being racist towards someone and being a jerk towards someone, and if you intent to fight racism you will not succeed in doi g so is that the problem you are having with someone is them being a jerk as opposed to them being racist.

Racism, thashtalking, sexism and trolling are all different phenomenons.They are not nice, but they are caused by different things and if you fail to differentiate between them properly you will be ineffective at fighting any of them. It is ofc not your job to care about or do something about these problems, but if you actually do care about either of these problems you need to be able to identify what you are dealing with to combat it with any efficency.
Posted By: Skallewag

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 06:24 PM

Originally Posted by Apocynum
If one can distinguish a “genuine racist” from a “trolling jerk” based on who they target, and if we treat “trolling jerk” as harmless, acceptable malice, then it seems to me that the most effective tactic for “genuine racists” to establish themselves in communities would be for them to use racial slurs as much as possible and then claim, when confronted, that they’re only trolling.

This does not seem to me to be a desirable outcome.



Who says its acceptable?
Posted By: Apocynum

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 06:38 PM

Your use of phrases like “just trolling” and “just trying to rile someone up,” as well as saying that trolling is “not nice” imply that you view it as a relatively minor problem, and that the only solution you propose being “a team of nannys to guard everyones feelings” would further suggest that you view it as an acceptable problem—or at least, that you see the cure as worse than the disease.

Is this inaccurate?
Posted By: Warlocke

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 06:47 PM

Originally Posted by Skallewag
Originally Posted by Warlocke
Originally Posted by Skallewag
The difference lies in who is being targeted and why. A troll in an online game who repeatedly targets whoever is in the game with derogatory comments then the person isnt targeting people based on identity. Its just someone being a jerk.

What words we call things matter. I agree that racism is a bad thing, but if we cant separate between people being jerks and people being racist we just hurt our ability to fight against racism. If you try to fight against racism by figting against people who are just trying to be jerks all you are doing is signalling "hey other person who is trying to rile me up, here is something you can use that is extra effective."


Hmmmmm, no. Sorry. It’s always wrong to call a stranger on the internet n***** regardless of the intent, and the reason it is wrong is because the term is deeply racist. Whether they are racist in their heart or not doesn’t matter. We can only judge people by their actions and how they choose to present themselves, not what is in their heart. We can never truly know that. People who act like racists deserve to be judged accordingly.


Lol, Im not saying it isnt wrong. It is absolutely shitty to call people names online or anywhere. Im simply pointing out that there is a difference between being racist towards someone and being a jerk towards someone, and if you intent to fight racism you will not succeed in doi g so is that the problem you are having with someone is them being a jerk as opposed to them being racist.

Racism, thashtalking, sexism and trolling are all different phenomenons.They are not nice, but they are caused by different things and if you fail to differentiate between them properly you will be ineffective at fighting any of them. It is ofc not your job to care about or do something about these problems, but if you actually do care about either of these problems you need to be able to identify what you are dealing with to combat it with any efficency.


I don’t understand how genuine racist remakes could be distinguished from inauthentic remakes, nor why they require different approaches. Ideally neither should be tolerated, and both should be met with the same general reaction of collective disapproval.

I appreciate that you are able to express alternate views civilly, but I’m not persuaded because you keep insisting that a behavior needs to be treated differently based on intent but haven’t explained why or how.
Posted By: Warlocke

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 06:56 PM

Originally Posted by LoneSky
OP quote "how a narrative responds to the representation of marginalized communities" - that's why we have more and more low quality products, like the Star Wars and Dragon Age among others, because instead focusing on artistic freedom, the inclusion of "variety" must be forced into the narrative, doesn't matter if fits or not, just because sheer political pressure.

As long as my character(s) can answer properly, I won't mind any lines, insults included. That's realistic depiction of a situation. Including everyone everywhere, just dilutes a narrative, and what's the point when soon all are just carbon copies of each other?

Sensitivity is fine, we all have that to a point... In the real world we don't live in a bubble, abuse happens at every step, sometimes is a way of life, sometimes it's just misdirected anger, but we always have to be ready to react properly. There are no safe spaces out there, and turning a game into one, just downgrades it to a plastic feel. Unless it's something made for little kids, which isn't the case here.


I’m all about inclusivity and diversity and I hated the new Stars Wars films and Dragon Age each for being poorly crafted. Do you have any evidence that they “failed” (neither has failed commercially, even though Episodes 8 and 9 underperformed they still made over a billion dollars each) for diversity and not for just being generally a bit crap?

I don’t remember any diversity narrative in the new Star Wars movies, though I blocked a lot of it out my mind. There was diversity in casting, sure, but where in the narrative?

And asking for a game to have mindful representation isn’t the same as asking for it to be a safe space.
Posted By: Sordak

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 07:04 PM

i dont care what you find and dont find acceptable tbh.
The partial anonymity of the internet is what it is and i prefer it to stay that way.

You cannot make a comparison to real life.

Also, this is basically going off track.

A call of duty kid calling you names is irrelevant to baldurs gate 3
Posted By: Dagless

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 08:02 PM

Originally Posted by Sordak
And this is why i dont want Tashas cauldron of everything to be in BG3.

If you cannot feel included without a product that has been pandering to your demographic for ages now (ToEE had one of the first gay romances in video games for games. BG3 specifically features a gay vampire, bisexuality and cuckoldry which are all progressive favorites. And then holy shit all the fucking stuff Crawford put into 5e, if you say the product doesnt specifically try to include youthen you win gold medal in mental gymnastics) beeing changed fundamnetally then maybe the problem is not with the product but with your expectations.

Youre a crybully.
Thats what you are
You are demanding that everyone else change their Product to placate your demands. Demands that are so poorly defined that they can never be met.

Goalposts specifically set so they can be easily moved.


Professional fucking sensitivity

Just fucking write a video game. You dont need a gender studies degree to write people sucking each other off. The Over intellectualization of victim narratives are the death of creativity.


also

>People trashtalking you in competetive video games
Hmmmmmm i wonder...
ever heard of mindgames?
People will find your weaknesses and exploit them. You think these people stalk you and find out your specific identity? they call you names and they keep taunting you with what sticks. because it makes you play worse.
If that didnt work theyd have said theyd fucked your mom. Whatever worked to get under your skin.


And even so.
Even if the gaming community was full of casual racists. How does this impact you playing a single player RPG? Or playing with your friends?
If youve got a problem with casual racism in your single player games maybe the problem is the people you surround yourself with.
but lets not kid ourselves.

This entire argument is constructed specifically as to not require any proof. its just assumed that people on the internet are mean.

You know what?
How about you make a sales pitch why a game should be fundamentally changed to pander to someone who signed up to a forum soley to make bad faith arguments.


EDIT:
And now: To everyone else monitoring this thread:
YOU CANNOT WIN

Do you understand this? You cannot win in a race of moving goalposts.
You can never placate these people. You can never satisfy their demands.
You make every single character bisexual.
Why aren thtey also transsexual? You make half of your characters ethnic minorities. Why is the other half still white?
You specifically make create an entire supplement because some people on twitter cry about racism (and equate black people to orcs, for some progressive reason) - Still not good enaugh.
It will never stop.
You cannot win.

And if youve got a horse in this game: doy ou want this to represent you? This attitude? Do you want to be associated with constant demands?
I wouldnt want that.
I wouldnt want to be associated with crybullying. With showing up and demandign that everything about a product is changed to suit ME.


Maybe the OP should have had a “sensitivity reader” to proofread the post, because you seem super sensitive about it.

Don’t you think you’re overreacting a tad?

Essentially most posts like this are just people asking for the things that may help them or others enjoy the game more (eg a gay person might like their character to be able to have same sex relationships). How is that any different from all the other people talking about what they want in the game? If it fits with the game the devs are making, they might want to include it, if not they don’t have to. Same as anything else.

Obviously there’ll always be a small minority making excessive demands where there’s no need for it. Welcome to the internet.

Not sure I agree with the OP about having the script vetted somehow, the writers should be able to handle it, but whatever. Despite all the doom mongering from some people, I’ve yet to see any evidence that trying to be more inclusive has ruined anything.
Posted By: Skallewag

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 08:46 PM

Originally Posted by Apocynum
Your use of phrases like “just trolling” and “just trying to rile someone up,” as well as saying that trolling is “not nice” imply that you view it as a relatively minor problem, and that the only solution you propose being “a team of nannys to guard everyones feelings” would further suggest that you view it as an acceptable problem—or at least, that you see the cure as worse than the disease.

Is this inaccurate?


Yes I do think hating and mistreating people for their skincolor is a worse problem than trolling.
But even if both of them are hust as bad it doesnt change my argument. Trolling and racism are caused by different motivations, if you want to fight either of them efficently you need to differentiate them.

Think of it in medical terms. There are bacteria and viruses that can have the same really bad symtome. If you want to be able to treat the bad symtome you need to know the underlying cause. Will antibiotics work or will they do nothing?
Posted By: Skallewag

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 08:50 PM

Originally Posted by Warlocke


I don’t remember any diversity narrative in the new Star Wars movies, though I blocked a lot of it out my mind. There was diversity in casting, sure, but where in the narrative?



You dont remember admiral gender studies? ^^

Anyway if you are unaware of the damage that has been caused to the star wars brand by the latest trilogy you havnt been following the industry. There are lots of youtube channels maping out the state of star wars if you are interested, but the brand is far from in good shape.


Posted By: Warlocke

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 08:56 PM

Originally Posted by Skallewag
Originally Posted by Apocynum
Your use of phrases like “just trolling” and “just trying to rile someone up,” as well as saying that trolling is “not nice” imply that you view it as a relatively minor problem, and that the only solution you propose being “a team of nannys to guard everyones feelings” would further suggest that you view it as an acceptable problem—or at least, that you see the cure as worse than the disease.

Is this inaccurate?


Yes I do think hating and mistreating people for their skincolor is a worse problem than trolling.
But even if both of them are hust as bad it doesnt change my argument. Trolling and racism are caused by different motivations, if you want to fight either of them efficently you need to differentiate them.

Think of it in medical terms. There are bacteria and viruses that can have the same really bad symtome. If you want to be able to treat the bad symtome you need to know the underlying cause. Will antibiotics work or will they do nothing?


That is a pretty dubious analogy. Viruses and bacteria are different organisms with different physical properties. Intentions have no physical properties, and are only relevant insofar as how they manifest in actions. In a court of law intentions matter, but we are talking about interactions with generally much lower stakes. So, to use the prevailing hypothetical, if somebody is using offensive language with the intent to discriminate against somebody then they should be rebuked by being ejected from the match and have a proportionate suspension placed on their account, right? Wouldn’t we do the same thing if yes person was “just trolling?” How would you tell the difference?
Posted By: DrunkPunk

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 08:56 PM

Star Wars is in a sorry state because of poor creative direction focusing on nostalgia instead of a cohesive story to pull in fans, despite that not being what star wars fans want at all. it had nothing to do with "inclusivity", if anything star wars did nothing to further an inclusive agenda by sticking to tropes and the mary sue rey plotline. yes there were a bunch of people all up in arms on the internet about some perceived sense of inclusivity, but that happens any time a female lead is introduced into cinema these days.
Posted By: Warlocke

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 09:03 PM

Originally Posted by Skallewag
Originally Posted by Warlocke


I don’t remember any diversity narrative in the new Star Wars movies, though I blocked a lot of it out my mind. There was diversity in casting, sure, but where in the narrative?



You dont remember admiral gender studies? ^^

Anyway if you are unaware of the damage that has been caused to the star wars brand by the latest trilogy you havnt been following the industry. There are lots of youtube channels maping out the state of star wars if you are interested, but the brand is far from in good shape.




The original trilogy had Mon Mothma. How is writing in a Mon Mothma replacement with purple hair a diversity narrative?

Lots of damage has been done to Star Wars, but how is that a result of diversity and not just bad writing a lack of cohesive storytelling?

Have you heard of The Mandalorian and Baby Yoda? Star Wars will be fine.
Posted By: Apocynum

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 09:03 PM

That’s not quite the question I asked, Skallewag, but let’s go with your metaphor. There are a great many treatments that we apply for disease no matter what the underlying cause is. If someone has a fever, we don’t wait for lab tests to come back before we give them water, rest, and maybe some Tylenol.

The forums we are using right now include blanket rules against flaming (“ abusive, malicious, personal attacks“) , trolls (“deliberately antagonizing other forum users”), and “transmit[ting] any message [...] that is unlawful (including illegal drug usage), harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, libelous, hateful or racially, ethnically, sexually or otherwise objectionable.” Do you think this is a bad rule? Do you think the community would improve if it were revoked?
Posted By: LoneSky

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 09:48 PM

@Apocynum "What are you talking about with “safe spaces”? In the very real world of employment and labor, if I call my coworkers racial slurs, I will be fired even if I don’t “mean it.” If I start yelling obscenities in a restaurant, I will be asked to stop and then asked to leave. Is this false? And are you arguing that it should be changed?"
> You are right about those rules and I hope they stay. What I wrote was against adapting the game narrative in a way to not hurt those "marginalized communities".

There is a secondary discusion here about trolling vs. racism and so on, that's bit off topic I think.

@Warlocke "I’m all about inclusivity and diversity and I hated the new Stars Wars films and Dragon Age each for being poorly crafted. Do you have any evidence that they “failed” (neither has failed commercially, even though Episodes 8 and 9 underperformed they still made over a billion dollars each) for diversity and not for just being generally a bit crap?"

I just meant when there is a pressure to include someone or something, an outside idea that just must be there suddenly (like diversity for example), then the story/movie/game or whatever other art form, no longer can follow that only path that should exist: to make it as good as possible, to convey that original message freely that started it.

Art starts with a vision, and then becomes a whole, already limited by reality (cost, tech limits and so on). Any further compromise just takes it further away from what it meant to be. Accepting inputs as inspiration and help in creation process is up to artists. Adding further limitations will just result in worse products, and in game creation this means extra cost & time, that is taken away from somewhere else.
Posted By: Warlocke

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 10:05 PM

Okay, I don’t necessarily agree with your premise, but let’s run with it: when was diversity forced upon the creators of Star Wars or Dragon Age? The creative team behind each was pretty liberal from the get-go.
Posted By: LoneSky

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 10:35 PM

I don't think there was needed any extra "forcing", though the writers & directors can answer that only. I won't reveal the reasons behind the changes, because I don't know and don't have the time to research it, but the style of both changed: they had more "things", larger, with more diversity (both race and gender), but the polish wasn't there anymore. There was no time, or to many cooks in the kitchen (infighting), or other reasons (game engine for sure, that's known for Inquisition DA), but in the end was just so mediocre that was barely worth playing it once, compared to previous higher standards.
The Force Awakens & The Last Jedi were a mess, too many going on at once without anything happening style, but the The Rise of Skywalker slightly improved.
That's just my view, so it's pointless, but there it is. They made money I guess, some parts like the music and many others were great, so wasn't exactly "garbage".

To not make it completely off topic: more is better only if
1. don't have to push something good - from the original vision - aside to fit in, making that feel half baked, and
2. won't dilute the quality of the initial parts, by having to fit it -- while time is running out
Posted By: Van'tal

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 10:54 PM

Originally Posted by DrunkPunk
Star Wars is in a sorry state because of poor creative direction focusing on nostalgia instead of a cohesive story to pull in fans, despite that not being what star wars fans want at all. it had nothing to do with "inclusivity", if anything star wars did nothing to further an inclusive agenda by sticking to tropes and the mary sue rey plotline. yes there were a bunch of people all up in arms on the internet about some perceived sense of inclusivity, but that happens any time a female lead is introduced into cinema these days.


Yes...I was in shock! It's like Disney bought a Bagattii, drove a screwdriver into the oil pan, then ran down the road at full speed until the engine blew! Then they lept from the vehicle yelling "YeeeeHawwww wasen't that fun?!!!".

Who in the 9 hells hires a team of directors to play leap frog with the story? Having one successor to George Lucas is tricky enough.

For a single director to accomplish this, they would have had to have taken a hard look at where the story came from, and where it wanted to end up. I wrote my own version in my head after episode 7 (Which was a great movie if it set up for something awesome instead of becoming a train wreck).

I would tell you about it but to fix things I had to lead into 8, with first, a week long mini series (Called "The Outer Rim") to fix plot holes and set up for the story.

The movie itself was a two part story with intermission (One movie but you would have to have an option to view the parts separately for those who can't sit that long).

A two year TV series called "The Outer Rim" that was much bigger than the main cast, but would feature them at least a couple of times each. Seriously, too bad I can't download my brain, cuz its all very audio / visual with the lines and characters reworked to fit the interweaving plots.

The final film was hard to top 8, but managed the best overall scenes in the end.

The end goal...the same as any war...Peace.

The final lines..."Not since the Sith Wars has the Galaxy known such turmoil and upheaval. Many historians endeavored to leave their mark by naming the conflict, but failed. In the end the people won out, as it simply became known as...the Star Wars".
Posted By: Warlocke

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 10:59 PM

I agree that diversity shouldn’t come at the expense of something else or dilute the quality of the finished product. I’m just having a hard time thinking of when that has ever happened.

When something like Dragon Age or Star Wars fails to meet expectations lots of people seem very eager to blame diversity, but there is so much else that is wrong with those products that I don’t think less consideration for inclusivity would have made a difference.

On the other hand, I can think of times when diversity for diversity’s sake actually resulted in great quality products.

One time Donald Glover said that he wanted to play Spider-Man. The internet reacted predictably, with lots of consternation about forced diversity and even some death threats for Glover. Brian Michael Bendis caught wind of this, asked himself “why can’t Spider-Man be black?” and then decided to replace Ultimate Peter Parker with Miles Morales. Some years later, Into The Spiderverse comes out and is a critical and commercial darling, widely considered not only one of the best Spider-Man movies of all time, but one of the best comic movies of all time. All thanks to diversity for diversity’s sake.
Posted By: vometia

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 11:03 PM

Originally Posted by Skallewag
Yes I do think hating and mistreating people for their skincolor is a worse problem than trolling.
But even if both of them are hust as bad it doesnt change my argument. Trolling and racism are caused by different motivations, if you want to fight either of them efficently you need to differentiate them.

Think of it in medical terms. There are bacteria and viruses that can have the same really bad symtome. If you want to be able to treat the bad symtome you need to know the underlying cause. Will antibiotics work or will they do nothing?

I'm not sure how much the law would differentiate (I mean unless the culprit was a known member of hate groups etc but that's a different matter) wherever it is applied; and as many people have discovered to their cost, their online behaviour can and will have them held to account as it is IRL. Even if not a legal matter to begin with, as we know, intemperate behaviour online can often escalate into stuff like doxxing and even swatting and some gamer communities are notorious for this stuff; and while we can split hairs about "bad words", that sort of stuff is unacceptable and definitely very illegal.

IMHO we as a community are doing a pretty poor job of it if we've set the bar so low that we're having to consider what threshold of acceptable behaviour is the legal minimum. I'm not talking SJW stuff here, just basic civility. While I personally may not agree with the concept of "diversity clinics" or whatever we choose to call them, it does not follow that the only alternative is to do the opposite.
Posted By: Languid Lizard

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 11:04 PM

Originally Posted by Raze
Originally Posted by Warlocke
My experience with lots of gamers online has been a lot of casual racism and misogyny

How many is 'lots'? Online gaming is still a small fraction of the gaming community, and if you are referring to trash talk in competitive games, I would discount that anyway.
Literally everything is racist or misogynistic (air conditioners, weather, etc), and those terms have been thrown around so much that they are practically meaningless.

Again, has anyone here required your race or gender, etc, to determine how to interact with you, or referenced that at all?
A statement can be generally true even if there are exceptions (which is why I wrote 'generally' rather than 'universally'). Compared to other real groups, gamers are among the most open and inclusive.


I don't know what term is for Supra-Genius in Wisdom, but Raze has it!

Posted By: vometia

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 11:13 PM

I'm moving this to the Chat section as its relevance to BG3 is debatable. The appropriateness of some content is also somewhat dubious and ongoing discussion is under review, so as a reminder to nobody in particular, let's please keep it civil and not write stuff that gives me a headache: my "sleep" was barely four hours' worth during which time stuff was reported (for good reason IMHO). I expect to not see further examples.
Posted By: Van'tal

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 22/09/20 11:39 PM

What is scary to me, is that very rich and powerful people are promoting hate groups and sharply divided ideas from strait up lies. The whole mainstream media has become the Jerry Springer show.

The great thing is, is it comes with an off switch.

In the case of internet hostility, it is the result of an entire generation being raised with the worst possible examples to follow...like ever in the history of man-kind.

I personally game to enjoy myself and try not to drag toxic ideas and conflicts into the forums. Respect is given as courtesy to all.
Posted By: LoneSky

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 23/09/20 12:05 AM

Usually I'm not calling it diversity or something specific, but I always love having more options in games. A larger world than a smaller, if both are same quality, just zoomed out empty doesn't count. Having variety in not just looks but almost everything is a dream that we likely won't have, not with current tech. Maybe if we could live 1,000 year and stay young and healthy.

Now we have to set a limits in expectations and there has to be a balance between quantity & quality, because feature creep can kill a game, unless they have a backing like Star Citizen. That's up to devs and managers/directors and so on up to the chain. If the project didn't include something, that may not get in, because has to be limits. Even if that something is good to have. Maybe for the next project or some add-on. And mod content, that's a great way to give without the need of extra time & cost, if mod tools can be made.
Posted By: Skallewag

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 23/09/20 07:34 AM

The point of the medical analogy was simply to illustrate that what works to counter one problem will not work to counter another problem that just happens to have the same symtom. So the analogy holds up well enough for its purpose.

Regarding star wars there was absolutely way more problems than just diversity with it. It still was part of it tho. On thing that is typical of an SJW story is to shove in one of the groups they want to represent, but then also to spare this character from hardship and to always be the bestest at everything (thus preventing character growth). Luke did a traditional heros journey and had to rely on friends and allies who had skills that he didnt. MaReySue was a failed character for being spared the levels of hardship failiure and then growth that Luke faced in his arc. Anyone who wants a more clear cut example of diversity ruining business need only look to the comics industry.

As for the legality of trolling vs making racist statements it ofc differes a bit from country to country. I live in a contry that accepts the UN declaration of human rights so this probably influences my thinking on the matter. Free speech is a human right, and imo should also be a legal right. Being shielded from someone behaving like an asshole is not a human right. I do ofc not think its good when people treat eachother in such a way (whatever their motivations for doing so are) but I do not view it as a matter for the law. At most it can be a matter of breaking some form of ToS for a game/service the people involved are using to talk to eachother.
Posted By: Dagless

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 23/09/20 08:16 AM

Originally Posted by Skallewag
Originally Posted by Warlocke


I don’t remember any diversity narrative in the new Star Wars movies, though I blocked a lot of it out my mind. There was diversity in casting, sure, but where in the narrative?



You dont remember admiral gender studies? ^^

Anyway if you are unaware of the damage that has been caused to the star wars brand by the latest trilogy you havnt been following the industry. There are lots of youtube channels maping out the state of star wars if you are interested, but the brand is far from in good shape.


Haha! This is a perfect example of how ridiculous this argument gets.

No, there was no “Admiral Gender Studies”, there was just an admiral who was a woman.

Star Wars films have been going downhill since the original trilogy. The prequels were a hot mess of overuse of CGI, terrible lines and bad performances. The Force Awakens seemed like a return to form with likable characters, better pacing, better writing and more practical effects, but suffered massively from basically rehashing every single story beat from the original.

The Last Jedi was simply full of nonsense. It had a wonky premise to start with, characters and plot points that were set up as important in the previous film just abruptly killed off, stupid decisions and artificial conflict between main characters, a long subplot that went exactly nowhere.

A woman with purple hair wasn’t the problem, it needed a much better story.

Not seen the Rise of Skywalker yet, but my hopes aren’t high.
Posted By: Gray Ghost

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 23/09/20 10:57 AM

People seem to have a wildly innacurate view of what sensitivity readers are and what they do. But they also seem to have a bizarre view of the creative process. No idea is perfect from the very beginning and it's rarely perfect throughout the process. Writers send books to editors and alpha readers and beta readers to get other people's impressions of their work, to see if they're getting across what they want to get across the way they want to get it across, sensitivity readers are just another version of that. I even have an excellent example.

Brandon Sanderson in his book Mistborn: The Final Empire wanted to write a well-rounded, interesting female protagonist for the book. He succeeded in doing that. But he didn't realize until after things were too far along that all the other main and supporting characters in that book were guys. He as expressed his regret about that fact and wishes he'd noticed sooner so that he could have changed that. Sensitivity readers might have caught that out and thus led to a book more in keeping with his vision and ideals.

Obviously no one wants a creators creative vision to be stamped out, but sensitivity readers job isn't to overrule, it's to point out where a creator's lack of certain lived experiences are causing them to include details that would make their potential audience feel excluded or hurt. They can also point out to creators where their depictions of people unlike them are falling into unintentional cliches and pitfalls, which can lead to those characters being changed in ways that make them more true to life and interesting. And if a creator *wants* to keep those aspects in their work, then in most cases they can, it's not like there's some sort of wide practice of sensitivity readers being able to just demand a change be made or the book won't be printed.
Posted By: vometia

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 23/09/20 11:58 AM

Originally Posted by Skallewag
As for the legality of trolling vs making racist statements it ofc differes a bit from country to country. I live in a contry that accepts the UN declaration of human rights so this probably influences my thinking on the matter. Free speech is a human right, and imo should also be a legal right. Being shielded from someone behaving like an asshole is not a human right. I do ofc not think its good when people treat eachother in such a way (whatever their motivations for doing so are) but I do not view it as a matter for the law. At most it can be a matter of breaking some form of ToS for a game/service the people involved are using to talk to eachother.

At risk of getting off the point (which I think was clarified quite neatly by Gray Ghost) and of repeating myself, placing the focus on what is legally permissible is setting the bar pretty low; plus the concept of "free speech" is often misunderstood to mean "I can say what I want where I want" which isn't actually true, and private spaces such as most online venues will set their own codes of conduct to define a minimum acceptable standard of behaviour. In an ideal world, "just because you can it doesn't mean you should" and "don't be a dick" should suffice, but it's not an ideal world. Things are very permissive on the Larian forums IMHO but it's still not a complete free-for-all and people can be uninvited at the moderators' discretion for e.g. being excessively disruptive and so on.

But that is slightly missing the point and actually Mr/s/x Ghost's explanation of what sensitivity readers actually do was quite enlightening to me: I think the term comes with the risk of a misperception developing, which I admit happened with me, but I can see what they do as being actually very useful. I've seen a number of authors making comments about "if only..." because of stuff they hadn't realised at the time. It's not about being over-earnest (which is IMHO counter-productive), if done well it should make something better without it being at the cost of something else. After all, it isn't a zero sum whatsit.

Edit: and since I managed to push the reply in question to the previous page with my waffling, I shall quote it here in its entirety.

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
People seem to have a wildly innacurate view of what sensitivity readers are and what they do. But they also seem to have a bizarre view of the creative process. No idea is perfect from the very beginning and it's rarely perfect throughout the process. Writers send books to editors and alpha readers and beta readers to get other people's impressions of their work, to see if they're getting across what they want to get across the way they want to get it across, sensitivity readers are just another version of that. I even have an excellent example.

Brandon Sanderson in his book Mistborn: The Final Empire wanted to write a well-rounded, interesting female protagonist for the book. He succeeded in doing that. But he didn't realize until after things were too far along that all the other main and supporting characters in that book were guys. He as expressed his regret about that fact and wishes he'd noticed sooner so that he could have changed that. Sensitivity readers might have caught that out and thus led to a book more in keeping with his vision and ideals.

Obviously no one wants a creators creative vision to be stamped out, but sensitivity readers job isn't to overrule, it's to point out where a creator's lack of certain lived experiences are causing them to include details that would make their potential audience feel excluded or hurt. They can also point out to creators where their depictions of people unlike them are falling into unintentional cliches and pitfalls, which can lead to those characters being changed in ways that make them more true to life and interesting. And if a creator *wants* to keep those aspects in their work, then in most cases they can, it's not like there's some sort of wide practice of sensitivity readers being able to just demand a change be made or the book won't be printed.
Posted By: Iamblitzwing

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 24/09/20 06:05 AM

Originally Posted by Warlocke
Originally Posted by Iamblitzwing
Originally Posted by Warlocke
Originally Posted by Raze

Were there any qualifications required to join the forum? Has anyone challenged anything you've posted on the basis of any inalienable characteristic?
In high school in your experience were gamers the exclusive clique and anyone could join the jocks and cool kids? That wasn't the case back when parents were being warned that playing D&D probably meant their kids had joined a satanic cult.


My experience with lots of gamers online has been a lot of casual racism and misogyny, and I don’t think I’m alone in that.

Are you a gamer? Then you're the problem.


How so?

Because you play games. You said you are a gamer. You also said lots of gamers online'' practice ''casual racism and misogyny''. So put 1 and 2 together.
Posted By: vometia

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 24/09/20 07:01 AM

Originally Posted by Iamblitzwing
Because you play games. You said you are a gamer. You also said lots of gamers online'' practice ''casual racism and misogyny''. So put 1 and 2 together.

...and get 63, apparently.
Posted By: Skallewag

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 24/09/20 08:04 AM

@vometia

I agree, people shouldnt be dicks to eachother. The reason I bother pointing out stuff like the UN declaration of human rights is that a lot of people these days are very fond of calling anything and everything racism. Thats a very iffy move since a lot of countries that have legal provisions for free speech also have some of their exceptions to that freedom built around racism.
I genuinely do think its a bad thing to be a dick to people, but I also recognize that things tend to get bad quickly when the state takes upon itself to prevent things that are "grossly offence".

As for sensetivity readers I suspect people are very weary about such terms based on what they have seen happening in pop culture as of late. There might be a very benine model for what a sensetivity reader is supposed to do, but then there is the thing about humans being flawed beings who do not always do what they are supposed to with the power/influence given to them.
There are for example numerous examples of popular marvel characters that have been given to someone who doesnt have the track record traditionally required to get that kind of job but do tick certain inclusivity boxes, who the proceed to do write the character in such a way that tanks the sales and insulting their readers on twitter.

People dont mind diversity in fantasy, DnD has been a diverse space for decades before it became a popular buzzword. What they mind is hamfisted diversity at the expense of story shoved into the books, movies and games they love.
Posted By: Languid Lizard

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 24/09/20 09:34 AM

I think I have finally found a satisfactory term to adequately capture Raze's Wisdom. Raze is wise. To say he has horse sense doesn't begin to describe it. He has soul talent. To try and express his astounding sense in D&D Baldur's Gate III terms, we would could only say he is "Abnormis Sapiens".

Thank you, Raze, for your contributions to the game and this forum!
Posted By: Gray Ghost

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 24/09/20 12:28 PM

Originally Posted by Skallewag
@vometia

I agree, people shouldnt be dicks to eachother. The reason I bother pointing out stuff like the UN declaration of human rights is that a lot of people these days are very fond of calling anything and everything racism. Thats a very iffy move since a lot of countries that have legal provisions for free speech also have some of their exceptions to that freedom built around racism.
I genuinely do think its a bad thing to be a dick to people, but I also recognize that things tend to get bad quickly when the state takes upon itself to prevent things that are "grossly offence".


I do broadly agree that letting governments decide what is and isn't "grossly offensive" can go bad if the government in question is allowed too much discretion on the issue, but it has to be said that if we don't want governments to be making that call, then private industries and private citizens need to do so. I refuse to accept that "doing nothing" is an adequate response. So if private bodies aren't going to address the issue (and bear in mind that sensitivity readers are an attempt to do this) then the government will ultimately have no choice but to step in.

Originally Posted by Skallewag
As for sensetivity readers I suspect people are very weary about such terms based on what they have seen happening in pop culture as of late. There might be a very benine model for what a sensetivity reader is supposed to do, but then there is the thing about humans being flawed beings who do not always do what they are supposed to with the power/influence given to them.
There are for example numerous examples of popular marvel characters that have been given to someone who doesnt have the track record traditionally required to get that kind of job but do tick certain inclusivity boxes, who the proceed to do write the character in such a way that tanks the sales and insulting their readers on twitter.

People dont mind diversity in fantasy, DnD has been a diverse space for decades before it became a popular buzzword. What they mind is hamfisted diversity at the expense of story shoved into the books, movies and games they love.


You make a decent point here but I have to point out that there are even more examples of straight white men without the required track record being given those characters to work on and also ultimately tanking sales in various ways. What we're seeing now is women and people of colour and other diverse voices being given chances and inevitably some of them are failing, but their failures routinely get used as excuses to demonstrate that the attempt to integrate diversity is a flawed project from the start, whereas when a white man does it, it's just considered a failure on their own personal part. If it's considered a failure at all, given how often white men in any industry get to fail and fail over and over yet still continue to be relevant and be given more responsibility.

And as a final note, I get annoyed at how people talk about "diversity" like it's some singular thing when what it really is is acknowledging the stories and experiences of people who aren't considered societies default. Is some of that gonna be bad? Obviously, because a decent chunk of everything is bad. But people need to stop using the fact that there are bad examples of diversity being introduced into popular properties as justification that it shouldn't be there.

Posted By: vometia

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 24/09/20 01:05 PM

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
And as a final note, I get annoyed at how people talk about "diversity" like it's some singular thing when what it really is is acknowledging the stories and experiences of people who aren't considered societies default. Is some of that gonna be bad? Obviously, because a decent chunk of everything is bad. But people need to stop using the fact that there are bad examples of diversity being introduced into popular properties as justification that it shouldn't be there.

I think from my perspective it's the often misguided attempts to address diversity that are as much a part of the problem: e.g. the BBC's approach is to supplement the almost entirely white male Oxbridge-educated upper-middle-class types with people who may look visibly different in whatever regard but are still elite university PPE graduates from upper-middle-class wealth. Contrasted to a century ago when it was realised that in putting that class of person into officer roles and writing off the nasty smelly common poor people as cannon fodder was both leading by incompetence and a massive waste of talent. But it seems to have been un-realised in recent decades.

I digress slightly, but my point is that it's hard to get right and easy to get wrong; and that the attempts to seem earnest while actually changing nothing are a bit part of why it's viewed slightly suspiciously. And that suspicion is wrong when it comes to this thing being done properly, but I think a degree of wariness is understandable.

Also the subject of "I do broadly agree that letting governments decide what is and isn't "grossly offensive" can go bad if the government in question is allowed too much discretion on the issue": er, yes, I recall a certain porcine prime minister doing that sort of thing and being rather vague on the detail but determined that it should be the law anyway. And then unwittingly (because he was good at being a lackwit) demonstrating that he considered it something that didn't apply to him.
Posted By: Warlocke

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 24/09/20 03:27 PM

Originally Posted by Iamblitzwing

Because you play games. You said you are a gamer. You also said lots of gamers online'' practice ''casual racism and misogyny''. So put 1 and 2 together.


Lots doesn’t mean all. Lots doesn’t even mean most. Check your math.
Posted By: Warlocke

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 24/09/20 03:31 PM

Originally Posted by Languid Lizard
I think I have finally found a satisfactory term to adequately capture Raze's Wisdom. Raze is wise. To say he has horse sense doesn't begin to describe it. He has soul talent. To try and express his astounding sense in D&D Baldur's Gate III terms, we would could only say he is "Abnormis Sapiens".

Thank you, Raze, for your contributions to the game and this forum!


There is nothing wise about insinuating it is permissible to use hate speech to throw off strangers in online games because it is effective. It is intellectually lazy.
Posted By: Languid Lizard

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 24/09/20 04:01 PM

Originally Posted by Warlocke
Originally Posted by LoneSky
OP quote "how a narrative responds to the representation of marginalized communities" - that's why we have more and more low quality products, like the Star Wars and Dragon Age among others, because instead focusing on artistic freedom, the inclusion of "variety" must be forced into the narrative, doesn't matter if fits or not, just because sheer political pressure.

As long as my character(s) can answer properly, I won't mind any lines, insults included. That's realistic depiction of a situation. Including everyone everywhere, just dilutes a narrative, and what's the point when soon all are just carbon copies of each other?

Sensitivity is fine, we all have that to a point... In the real world we don't live in a bubble, abuse happens at every step, sometimes is a way of life, sometimes it's just misdirected anger, but we always have to be ready to react properly. There are no safe spaces out there, and turning a game into one, just downgrades it to a plastic feel. Unless it's something made for little kids, which isn't the case here.


I’m all about inclusivity and diversity and I hated the new Stars Wars films and Dragon Age each for being poorly crafted. Do you have any evidence that they “failed” (neither has failed commercially, even though Episodes 8 and 9 underperformed they still made over a billion dollars each) for diversity and not for just being generally a bit crap?

I don’t remember any diversity narrative in the new Star Wars movies, though I blocked a lot of it out my mind. There was diversity in casting, sure, but where in the narrative?

And asking for a game to have mindful representation isn’t the same as asking for it to be a safe space.


To help people escape from the Feminism indoctrination in the new Star Wars, some wag created an edited version of it which removed any scenes with women in them. It was quite an interesting notion.
Posted By: Languid Lizard

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 24/09/20 04:10 PM

Originally Posted by Sordak
And this is why i dont want Tashas cauldron of everything to be in BG3.

If you cannot feel included without a product that has been pandering to your demographic for ages now (ToEE had one of the first gay romances in video games for games. BG3 specifically features a gay vampire, bisexuality and cuckoldry which are all progressive favorites. And then holy shit all the fucking stuff Crawford put into 5e, if you say the product doesnt specifically try to include youthen you win gold medal in mental gymnastics) beeing changed fundamnetally then maybe the problem is not with the product but with your expectations.

Youre a crybully.
Thats what you are
You are demanding that everyone else change their Product to placate your demands. Demands that are so poorly defined that they can never be met.

Goalposts specifically set so they can be easily moved.


Professional fucking sensitivity

Just fucking write a video game. You dont need a gender studies degree to write people sucking each other off. The Over intellectualization of victim narratives are the death of creativity.


also

>People trashtalking you in competetive video games
Hmmmmmm i wonder...
ever heard of mindgames?
People will find your weaknesses and exploit them. You think these people stalk you and find out your specific identity? they call you names and they keep taunting you with what sticks. because it makes you play worse.
If that didnt work theyd have said theyd fucked your mom. Whatever worked to get under your skin.


And even so.
Even if the gaming community was full of casual racists. How does this impact you playing a single player RPG? Or playing with your friends?
If youve got a problem with casual racism in your single player games maybe the problem is the people you surround yourself with.
but lets not kid ourselves.

This entire argument is constructed specifically as to not require any proof. its just assumed that people on the internet are mean.

You know what?
How about you make a sales pitch why a game should be fundamentally changed to pander to someone who signed up to a forum soley to make bad faith arguments.


EDIT:
And now: To everyone else monitoring this thread:
YOU CANNOT WIN

Do you understand this? You cannot win in a race of moving goalposts.
You can never placate these people. You can never satisfy their demands.
You make every single character bisexual.
Why aren thtey also transsexual? You make half of your characters ethnic minorities. Why is the other half still white?
You specifically make create an entire supplement because some people on twitter cry about racism (and equate black people to orcs, for some progressive reason) - Still not good enaugh.
It will never stop.
You cannot win.

And if youve got a horse in this game: doy ou want this to represent you? This attitude? Do you want to be associated with constant demands?
I wouldnt want that.
I wouldnt want to be associated with crybullying. With showing up and demandign that everything about a product is changed to suit ME.



I think I will start referring to Sordak as Sordak the Wise.
Posted By: Languid Lizard

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 24/09/20 04:23 PM

Hopefully, it will not be to much to hope that in this game there will be feminine females and masculine males.

If we are obliged by some to take trans-sexual vampires absolutely seriously, then to be even handed, we ought to accept that some will oblige us to receive them with derision. For every seriously gay vampire, there ought to be a hilarious gay vamp. Without this, the full potential of the story to examine issues will be lacking. Who wants to be shoehorned into mocking something they respect? Who wants to be forced to admire something they despise?

Will characters be pulling down statues of funny gay vampires in the game, to replace them with utterly serious gay vampire effigies?

Posted By: Dagless

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 24/09/20 05:55 PM

Originally Posted by Skallewag
@vometia

I genuinely do think its a bad thing to be a dick to people, but I also recognize that things tend to get bad quickly when the state takes upon itself to prevent things that are "grossly offence".


Could you give some examples of these failed states?

There’s been a lot of nasty regimes past and present, doing nasty things to it’s own population and other populations, but I can’t think of any that got that way by telling it’s subjects to be nice to each other.

The closest I can come up with is the LA of the future in Demolition Man.

Posted By: Dark_Ansem

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 24/09/20 05:57 PM

Good lord, there was some serious dumbassery in this thread.
Posted By: Macros_Larian

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 24/09/20 06:30 PM

There is no need to discuss politics here.
Thank you.
Posted By: Dagless

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 24/09/20 08:28 PM

Seems like a pretty political topic to me, particularly when the old freedom of speech argument comes out, but fine.
Posted By: Iamblitzwing

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 25/09/20 10:33 AM

Originally Posted by vometia
Originally Posted by Iamblitzwing
Because you play games. You said you are a gamer. You also said lots of gamers online'' practice ''casual racism and misogyny''. So put 1 and 2 together.

...and get 63, apparently.

69 actually.

Originally Posted by Dark_Ansem
Good lord, there was some serious dumbassery in this thread.

Yeah. From yourself.
Posted By: AlrikFassbauer

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 26/09/20 08:38 PM

One of the many reasons why I just don't play games in recent times anymore is that all male game characters are using a stereotype/cliché of manliness I cannot comply.
I simply don't feel as if the bulky Warforged One with his statue is representing me.




Originally Posted by DrunkPunk
Star Wars is in a sorry state because of poor creative direction focusing on nostalgia instead of a cohesive story to pull in fans, despite that not being what star wars fans want at all.


I agree to that.

The last 3 movies of that ssaga - I don't mean the spin-offs - didn't show any long-term story. In my eyes they were merely action movies to please extrovert people ( see ? even I have my prejudices ! ) .


Originally Posted by Languid Lizard
To help people escape from the Feminism indoctrination in the new Star Wars, some wag created an edited version of it which removed any scenes with women in them. It was quite an interesting notion.


There was ? I never noticed. All I noticed was an overabundance of effects, eplosions and such.



Originally Posted by Iamblitzwing
Originally Posted by vometia
Originally Posted by Iamblitzwing
Because you play games. You said you are a gamer. You also said lots of gamers online'' practice ''casual racism and misogyny''. So put 1 and 2 together.

...and get 63, apparently.

69 actually.


42 !

Originally Posted by Dark_Ansem
Good lord, there was some serious dumbassery in this thread.


No-one can beat me !

Posted By: QuietCountryCafe

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 12/10/20 08:11 AM

It's almost like these things are increasingly prevalent in many aspects of popular culture because it allows more and more people to enjoy them via no longer feeling alienated and othered within escapist fantasy

And, with more people enjoying it, its therefore more popular

I'm sorry there are women and black people in, playing, and creating dnd now; eventually you'll get over it.
Posted By: WeiShiLindon

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 15/10/20 09:03 PM

People that preach tolerance sometimes have none themselves, and only use it to try to force others to tolerate their own beliefs and actions. Tolerance goes both ways, and should really be the theme all sides are trying to support.

I've seen this in a lot of arenas lately, not just video games. Sports for example. I'm a football fan, and a lot of my friends and family were football fans. We had a lot of fun watching football games together. Now, they don't want to watch sports anymore. They think they're making a political statement by not watching it because they don't like what the players are doing off the field, or before the games. Suddenly that thing that brought fun and enjoyment for us is gone, and I'm watching alone. They can't tolerate the player's expressing their personal beliefs or their support of movements or ideas. I think it's sad, that people would let the personal preferences of others ruin their own enjoyment of something they liked. I like football, and i like video games. I'm not going to let anything that a player, or a character, does or says take it away from me. I tolerate their beliefs and their right to say what they believe whether i agree with them or not, because at the end of the day, i'm still just watching football, or playing a video game, and their political or personal views have nothing to do with that.

So let's all try to be more tolerant, and expect others to be tolerant as well. Whatever side you are on of an issue, try to tolerate the other side as well. At the end of the day, this game unifies us, because we can all agree that we all love DnD, Baldur's Gate, and RPGs.

Posted By: Argonaut

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 20/10/20 09:08 PM

I really debated replying to this thread but this is a subject I feel very strongly about.

The gaming community has always held its hand out with a smile. It is possibly the most accepting and inclusive community you can find despite how many times society has dragged us into the forefront of it's problems and make us responsible for it's issues. Despite the countless media hit pieces. Despite the endless path of compromise where we give half and get nothing in return. We are currently going through the throes of this process yet again and while I do not want to take a side I will say that I am against any and all kind of censorship and despite my flaws, outbursts and aggravations everybody has something to say and everybody has the right to say their piece.

I have removed the name from the quotes with the specific attention of drawing attention away from who said it and draw attention to what was said and this will be a trend of this post. I do not care who you are. I only care about what you have said. Be advised that I am a confrontational and blunt person but I am making an active effort to tone myself down despite not always managing to do this. If I describe a behavior in a negative way I am describing the behavior, not the person.

Quote
I don’t see why somebody calling me n***** or f** in a competitive game should be discounted. At what point did we decide there is ever a time or place when that is an okay way to treat a stranger?

https://www.aclu.org/other/bill-rights-brief-history
You may also enjoy
https://www.un.org/en/sections/issues-depth/human-rights/
I am not American and I do not live in America FYI.

Quote
I'm still sure the majority is fine, and the vocal minority of haters shouldn't define a "community" of any kind, they will always be there, just like the dirt in the house; both needs continuously cleaned up, fought back and ignored until the time is right.

The only people that can be called dirt are those who have violated basic human rights and civil liberties of others. Serial killers, rapists, pedophiles. Outside of these instances no one is dirt and everyone has something to say. Calling someone dirt because they hurt your feelings in an online conversation is infantile and arguably petty. I am not directing this at someone, I am stating it as an observation.

Quote
It doesn’t. That was a side conversation about the nature of the gaming community and had nothing to do with BG3 or single player games.

There is no side nature to the gaming community. There is the gaming community. If it is not directly related to games then it has no place in the gaming community. The gaming community has been dragged kicking and screaming into the forefront of societies problems since puritans and D&D and even before that and it has been exemplar in compromise and accommodation. If these groups where people we would consider it an abusive relationship.

Quote
The insults people use online are not targeted. Plenty of gamers use the terms n***** and f** without knowing anything about the person they are insulting.

I have felt prejudiced on this board for being straight and for being an adult. Please stop acting as if this is a one way street and not an experiment in absurdity. Much like everywhere in life you cannot survive by having thin skin.

I think that is enough for my basic point to have come across so if you aren't interested in what I have to say the next section will be of no interest to you.

The community is not responsible for the actions of anyone in the gaming community. Our community exists by it's shared theme of gaming, everything else comes from outside of this community and should be addressed in such a way. Just because there are certain types of people in the gaming community does not mean that it is okay to throw the accusation towards the entire community or expect it to take responsibility. Many people hold the misinformed view that this is generalization, it is not, it is conflation. You are conflating the gaming community with another community with which you have misgiving's due to reasons that are not gaming and yet you choose the gaming community with which to attack them. What you say sounds good on paper but I will direct you again to the links under the first quote.

Posted By: QuietCountryCafe

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 21/10/20 04:49 AM

Originally Posted by Argonaut


1. The gaming community has always held its hand out with a smile.

Quote
I don’t see why somebody calling me n***** or f** in a competitive game should be discounted. At what point did we decide there is ever a time or place when that is an okay way to treat a stranger?


2. https://www.aclu.org/other/bill-rights-brief-history
You may also enjoy
https://www.un.org/en/sections/issues-depth/human-rights/
I am not American and I do not live in America FYI.

3. I have felt prejudiced on this board for being straight and for being an adult. Please stop acting as if this is a one way street and not an experiment in absurdity. Much like everywhere in life you cannot survive by having thin skin.

4. The community is not responsible for the actions of anyone in the gaming community. Our community exists by it's shared theme of gaming, everything else comes from outside of this community and should be addressed in such a way. Just because there are certain types of people in the gaming community does not mean that it is okay to throw the accusation towards the entire community or expect it to take responsibility. Many people hold the misinformed view that this is generalization, it is not, it is conflation. You are conflating the gaming community with another community with which you have misgiving's due to reasons that are not gaming and yet you choose the gaming community with which to attack them. What you say sounds good on paper but I will direct you again to the links under the first quote.



These bits of your posts read like jokes and really bad attempts at trolling.

1. lol

2. These are happening within privately owned, online games. While their speech is often totally legal, it is very, very often not permitted within those privately owned, online games, and grounds for bans. Frequently permanent ones.

3. There is a very clear difference between someone like me disliking and disregarding the opinions of a straight person on topics that don't personally affect them on the forum of a pretendy fun game and someone on aforementioned game using terms that have been used throughout history during targeted acts of oppression and violence. It might be a two way street eventually, but it sure isn't now.

4. Writing off the shitty behavior of people who are actively participating in your community as something "outside / external" is just profoundly lazy and dismissive. You have an extremely narrow minded view of what your community is and anything that does not fit that view is no longer a part of it to you. It's an excellent way to never have to actual confront these issues nor feel any need to do anything about them! If you're going to claim to love and appreciate a community you're apart of, the behavior of people within that community (especially those actively participating in it) reflect directly onto you. Yeah, you might not call me a f*g in a video game, but if someone in the lobby does, you're the kind of person who wouldn't do anything about it or care. Very easy to see where you sit from that.
Posted By: vometia

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 21/10/20 12:39 PM

Originally Posted by QuietCountryCafe
2. These are happening within privately owned, online games. While their speech is often totally legal, it is very, very often not permitted within those privately owned, online games, and grounds for bans. Frequently permanent ones.

Quite. Larian is not an American company and I am not an American moderator; even if that were the case, we are not beholden to essentially unrestricted free speech as this is a privately-owned medium. In this case we do tend to prioritise free speech and to a large extent most things are not moderated but I will personally intervene if something is written that is likely to cause disruption or other problems, whether or not it is done unwittingly. In the case of e.g. "straight people are being discriminated against", I have already said not to bring it up elsewhere as the topic in question was under review (nobody suggested it be reopened, fwiw) and as it is likely to cause disruption. I will say that this is not the appropriate venue for that discussion and further examples will likely be seen unfavourably and dealt with accordingly.
Posted By: Argonaut

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 21/10/20 12:45 PM

Originally Posted by QuietCountryCafe

These bits of your posts read like jokes and really bad attempts at trolling.
1. lol

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem

Originally Posted by QuietCountryCafe
2. These are happening within privately owned, online games. While their speech is often totally legal, it is very, very often not permitted within those privately owned, online games, and grounds for bans. Frequently permanent ones.

And? I already gave you two links that clearly demonstrate that there is no actual legal, moral or ethical compunction for these communities to do anything and this act is censorship by default. The community makes these compromises in order to be more accepting and inclusive despite how humorous you seemed to find my suggestion of this previously. Let that sink it. You just said that the gaming community is making compromises and trying to be inclusive and accepting after telling me that I was trolling for saying so.

Originally Posted by QuietCountryCafe
3. There is a very clear difference between someone like me disliking and disregarding the opinions of a straight person on topics that don't personally affect them on the forum of a pretendy fun game and someone on aforementioned game using terms that have been used throughout history during targeted acts of oppression and violence. It might be a two way street eventually, but it sure isn't now.


If you would like I can educate you on the 600 year occupation of most of Europe by the Ottoman empire that was known for taking male children as tribute to train as Janissaries where they endured constant sexual abuse by other men.
I can also tell you about the 800 year serfdom of slavs(where do you think this name comes from? Almost like it's only missing one letter isn't it?).

To close on this point, this is not how it works. We do not invalidate a group of people and consider their oppression or discrimination lesser for any reason. Is the trauma of a victim of assault less important than the trauma of one who was assaulted multiple times?

Originally Posted by QuietCountryCafe
4. Writing off the shitty behavior of people who are actively participating in your community as something "outside / external" is just profoundly lazy and dismissive.

I never wrote it off. I said that holding the gaming community responsible for behaviors and attitudes that stem from everywhere but the gaming community is wrong. I said that pointing accusatory fingers at the gaming community for for attitudes and opinions that stem from outside of the community as wrong. This will become clearer below.

Originally Posted by QuietCountryCafe
You have an extremely narrow minded view of what your community is and anything that does not fit that view is no longer a part of it to you.

community
/kəˈmjuːnɪti/
Learn to pronounce
noun
1.a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.
2.the condition of sharing or having certain attitudes and interests in common.

We do not live in the same space. We do not share certain attitudes. We have the common characteristic of enjoying video games and our common interest is gaming. Everything outside of that is part of other communities whose members are also a part of the gaming community and yet you want to hold the gaming community not only responsible for these attitudes but you accuse them of being responsible for it. Your feelings on the matter are irrelevant. In factual reality this is how it is. These things you don't like come from outside our community, you cannot hold us responsible as if they come from inside and try to grand stand and guilt us.

Originally Posted by QuietCountryCafe
It's an excellent way to never have to actual confront these issues nor feel any need to do anything about them! If you're going to claim to love and appreciate a community you're apart of, the behavior of people within that community (especially those actively participating in it) reflect directly onto you.

Stop presenting your opinion as fact. You believe that the actions of individuals inside of a community reflects you. I do not. I've already explained that I do not support censorship in any way and I 100% support everyone's right to basic human rights and civil liberties which includes freedom of speech.

Originally Posted by QuietCountryCafe
Yeah, you might not call me a f*g in a video game, but if someone in the lobby does, you're the kind of person who wouldn't do anything about it or care. Very easy to see where you sit from that.

If for some reason I didn't automatically /muteall the moment I entered a lobby full of randoms then I would tell you "Hey, just mute him" before I type /muteall. I would then remind you of the /block feature most games or communities have. It's almost like you already have the tools at your disposal to address this behavior without anyone losing their freedom of speech or expression because the community recognizes it is a problem while also respecting human rights.

Originally Posted by vometia

Quite. Larian is not an American company and I am not an American moderator; even if that were the case, we are not beholden to essentially unrestricted free speech as this is a privately-owned medium. In this case we do tend to prioritise free speech and to a large extent most things are not moderated but I will personally intervene if something is written that is likely to cause disruption or other problems, whether or not it is done unwittingly. In the case of e.g. "straight people are being discriminated against", I have already said not to bring it up elsewhere as the topic in question was under review (nobody suggested it be reopened, fwiw) and as it is likely to cause disruption. I will say that this is not the appropriate venue for that discussion and further examples will likely be seen unfavourably and dealt with accordingly.

I have edited my post to remove as much of what you deem disruptive as possible while attempting to address the points and I apologize if I did not snip enough so I will state that it is not my intention to be disruptive but to argue my case and defend my ideas.






Posted By: The Composer

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 21/10/20 07:29 PM

Free speech does not mean freedom to say what ever you want. That's where moderation comes in. And a bit of common sense.

Posted By: Warlocke

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 21/10/20 08:12 PM

@Argonaut

I had already made the decision not to speak to you, as your poor behavior and constant invective in another topic convinced me that you aren’t somebody worth attempting to hold a conversation with. Since you made such an effort to post here, I will take a moment to correct you on a few points.

1) The Bill of Rights is a statement of guarantees provided by the United States government to its citizens. It has nothing to do with what is polite or proper behavior. I never called for any censorship. I never called for any action at all.

2) I never said that there was a side nature to the gaming community. Read the post.

3) I don’t have a thin skin. I just have an intolerance for bullies and I’m damn proud of it.

4) The gaming community has a bad history of treating women, minorities, and queer gamers as second class members. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen a gamer actively harass somebody who falls into one or more of these categories and everybody else ignores it. If you bring it up they just say “name calling is part of the game,” “get over it,” or “mute them.” All of these sentiments have been echoed in this thread. These are all forms of moral cowardice and this acquiescence by the gaming community is not inclusive for people who are targeted by these verbal attacks.

The correct response is a certain level of collective indignation, much as would certainly happen if somebody said these sorts of vile things in a crowded restaurant. There has long been the sentiment that there is a lower standard for social conduct with online behavior. That’s bull shit. If you wouldn’t say it to a stranger in real life, it’s not appropriate to say with the veil of internet anonymity.

Based on your previous childish conduct I still don’t think you are particularly worth talking to, so I probably won’t respond again. I’m just letting you know in case that impacts your decision to respond.
Posted By: Argonaut

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 23/10/20 08:56 AM

Originally Posted by The Composer
Free speech does not mean freedom to say what ever you want. That's where moderation comes in. And a bit of common sense.


That is quite literally what freedom of speech and expression mean. Moderation exists for private space, and should never leak into public space. This is only a problem you will come to understand if you ever do have the absolute misfortune of living under an actual oppressive society in which case you will have my deepest condolences.

@Warlocke
1) I've seen you actively calling for censorship and endorsing it.
2) My bad, it turns out your argument was even more delusional than I had initially suspected and everything I said still stands 100% uncontested.
3) You have incredibly thin skin, your entire argument revolves around name calling and you always run away from addressing facts and evidence with ad hominem and shame tactics.
4) Moral cowardice? Like not knowing about 600 years oppression for straight orthodox Byzantine / Greek people by the sadosexual and homosexual ottoman empire or the 800 year serfdom of the white slavs and then saying that these issues do not affect these demographics? Nice double standard.

Moving past that some parts of the gaming community has this reception towards everyone mate. I've been called every slur under the sun and despite my attempts to remain anonymous voice chat and other factors are sometimes a dead giveaway and I get ripped from every angle about my nationality, my voice etc. I just don't have thin skin and don't care. All those demographics have been the ones dragging the community kicking and screaming into the forefront of societal issues while completely ignoring their own problems and detractions and that's why they've suffered backlash. FYI your mentality and what little impact they have had have no only not reduced these attitudes and behaviors but have exasperated them. I'd like to go further on this issue but I've already been made aware of this double standard in moderation so I'll just have to leave it at that.

FYI the reason people will have a reaction in real life is because they can't just walk away from it with zero loss or consequences. It's not a sentiment that there is a lower standard it is an objective reality. I can actively mute anyone I don't want to talk to, block people I don't like and avoid topics I am not interested in and suffer zero consequences where as in real life I have to have a potentially physical confrontation or lose the services or access to an otherwise public domain. These things are not the same, come back to reality. Furthermore, I don't think you'd be willing to treat me the way you are in real life in the same manner as you are with the safety of internet anonymity. Don't outcry a benefit you are actively using.

I also don't care and that is not a threat to me, if you don't want to reply just don't reply.


Posted By: The Composer

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 23/10/20 10:05 AM

Explain what you think the principle of freedom of speech means then.

The definition I operate by is close to the American constitution interpretation, where even then by the way, has limitations to it. The concept of free speech exists to support the ideal that anyone should be free to express their opinions and ideas without needing to fear retaliation, getting into legal trouble or being censored. If said speech becomes of illegal nature, threatening or a whole list of other sentiments, then freedom of speech isn't something to hide behind any longer. In the real world, law enforcements would get involved with bomb threats - You wouldn't get away with "It's my right to say what I want!".

And Larian is a privately owned company, thus their social platforms aren't the same sort of public space as the park down the street is. Even there, police would wrinkle their noses and have a chat with you if you began being rude or antagonising towards other citizens.

So no, it's as simple as 'behave or be talked to' on most privately owned places on the internet.

Besides, is it really that difficult to be asked to simply behave?


Posted By: Argonaut

Re: R&D + Sensitivity Readers - 23/10/20 10:47 AM

Originally Posted by The Composer
Explain what you think the principle of freedom of speech means then.


"Freedom of speech[2] is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or a community to articulate their opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation, censorship, or legal sanction. The term "freedom of expression" is sometimes used synonymously but includes any act of seeking, receiving, and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used."
"Freedom of speech and expression has a long history that predates modern international human rights instruments.[5] It is thought that the ancient Athenian democratic principle of free speech may have emerged in the late 6th or early 5th century BC.[6] The values of the Roman Republic included freedom of speech and freedom of religion.[7] Concepts of freedom of speech can be found in early human rights documents.[5] England's Bill of Rights 1689 legally established the constitutional right of freedom of speech in Parliament which is still in effect"

You are conflating freedom of speech with freedom of expression. Keep in mind that Freedoms cannot be abrogated. Just to make this a bit more clear it means that freedom of speech supersedes freedom of expression legally and it will do so forever.

Article 10 of the Human Rights Act: Freedom of expression
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This Article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.

2. The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.

Again, just to clarify, in order to persecute someone under freedom of expression not only must they be in direct violation of other freedoms and rights but they must be attempting to express or impart an idea. Calling someone a fag does not fall under this FYI.

Originally Posted by The Composer
The definition I operate by is close to the American constitution interpretation, where even then by the way, has limitations to it. The concept of free speech exists to support the ideal that anyone should be free to express their opinions and ideas without needing to fear retaliation, getting into legal trouble or being censored. If said speech becomes of illegal nature, threatening or a whole list of other sentiments, then freedom of speech isn't something to hide behind any longer. In the real world, law enforcements would get involved with bomb threats - You wouldn't get away with "It's my right to say what I want!".

Yes, you have conflated freedom of speech with freedom of expression. Look at the definitions above and see that it outlines its own principles very clearly. The only incident in which your freedoms end is when they are in violation of the freedoms of another.

Originally Posted by The Composer
And Larian is a privately owned company, thus their social platforms aren't the same sort of public space as the park down the street is. Even there, police would wrinkle their noses and have a chat with you if you began being rude or antagonising towards other citizens.

Yes I never contested that, merely your understanding of these freedoms. And yes, sometimes official government agencies have agendas and fall under the agendas of government but this is not a discussions of the drawbacks of big government or excessive governing. You can choose to moderate in this manner while another private domain might choose not to and that is their right.

Originally Posted by The Composer
So no, it's as simple as 'behave or be talked to' on most privately owned places on the internet.

Besides, is it really that difficult to be asked to simply behave?

Again, I didn't contest this either. What I have been contesting is peoples understanding of human civil liberties(freedom of expression) and human rights(freedom of speech). I've also been contesting the misguided viewpoint that things are a one way street or other fallacious viewpoints by citing history and evidence(800 year serfdom, 600 year occupation by ottoman empire). You can read this as one side has to behave while the other doesn't or as both sides incite disorder yet only one is held accountable.
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