Originally Posted by Uncle Lester
Originally Posted by Innateagle
Originally Posted by Sharp
Ergh, why is it that people who argue against the changing of existing media to better represent underrepresented individuals almost always do such a poor job of doing so.

First off, some context about me, because I feel that in this case it is relevant to the discussion. I am South African. I can assure you, 90% or more of the things you may have assumed about me prior to reading this post are probably incorrect and I can also assure you that I am not well represented in online media at all and it would be nice if that was at some point changed. With that being said, there are 2 ways to improve representation. The first is to take an existing piece of media and change it to represent a different group of people and the second is to create new media to represent those groups.

Now, when it comes to D&D, I personally do not care if the entirety of the lore was thrown out and rewritten, I do not think it is particularly good to begin with and I do believe it could be much better than it currently is. I will still however defend the people who want to preserve the lore as is, even if I do not care about it myself. Why is that? Because when the integrity of a piece is important to someone, by changing it you are "killing" a part of that world to them. It is the same as when an adaptation of a book into film is done poorly, it takes the image of the universe that individuals who care about that universe see in their head, throws it out and replaces it with something inferior. In the case of iconic figures being changed, it is taking away a "hero" from one group and giving it to another, which is essentially taking away representation from one group to give it to someone else. I think its pretty obvious there why people are upset, because icons they relate to are having that relation removed. When it comes to changing the appearance of a fantasy race to be more representative, the same thing is happening. The very identity of the race is being eroded.

Does this mean I am against better representing people in media? No! Absolutely not. But I am against the changing of existing established identities to do so. There is the alternative, creating new media to represent people. Not only does this have the advantage of not eroding existing identities, but it also creates a richer universe, featuring more than the universe that came before. New races can be created, new heroes can be added, new cultures can be inserted and the fictional universe would be better off with all of that. So with all of that being said, I will defend maintaining the lore appearance of elves in the Forgotten Realms, even if I think the lore is bad, because if you aren't willing to defend the settings other people care about when people try to change them, then you cannot expect other people to come and defend the fictional universes you do care about if the same thing happens :P

With all of that being said, the elves in BG 3 are decidedly not elven enough and should be further modified to better represent their in lore appearance :P

Very well said, i wholly agree with the second paragraph most especially. I'm black too, and in the Elder Scrolls my favorite race (okay, second favorite, after Khajiit) are Redguards, and that's because they're not just some cringeworthy tribute to african people who dropped from the sky with their darker-skin and clothing choices built in. They come from a place that affected their looks and their culture. Again, they're not just Nords who happen to have brown skin 'cause diversity. Pillars of Eternity has a similar thing too, they're called Ocean Folk there i believe, and i love that just the same way.

But going back to the main topic, taking the Thalmor race, i think it's high elves, and making them look like Redguards, so african, for no other reason than 'diversity' would make no sense and only serve to take out from the lore and experience. And it's the exact same thing here, whether the lore is as detailed or not, and whether elves look too human or not.

Now, wanna do 'diversificate' half-elves? Great, do it. I actually think there already are some more varied looking face templates there. Wanna make a whole new race that looks a certain way, and possibly give them reason to? Sure. Hell, to be honest i'd love it if humans had sub-races too, with just two stupid lines of text to explain why a character looks swedish or arabic, because that'd hype and diversity done right too.

Having high elves look asian or african because they popped out that way? No, i don't like that.

Both of these posts, exactly. I'd be A-okay with a new setting that features only, say, African-looking humans and humanoids whose human features are taken from those. Could be an amazing IP. But it would be quite silly if an Asian person came and claimed "hey! change some of the faces because there's no Asian representation".

I'm against "diversity" if it's introduced for no reason other than diversity quota and political correctness. Especially if it's shoehorned to an existing setting.

And I wholeheartedly disagree with the notion that "it's fantasy, it doesn't matter". Internal consistency is MASSIVELY important for a fictional setting, the only exception I can think of being certain types of comedic settings.

Yeah pretty much... I would enjoy play a setting like that. But shoehorn diversity for the sake of diversity means trow artistic integrity down to the toilet.

In shadowrun i player a Troll character that were black and a lovely elf that has asian tracts. But there fantasty creatures share human ethnicy as well because by the lore magic caused mutation in some individuals turning them in Elves,Troll and so on so human ethnicy tracts on those races are part of the Lore as well.