Gian-Reto

Could the push for diversity lead to unwanted results?

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9 hours ago, swiftcoder said:

It's a customisation in multiplayer only... And since you can't select which side you play for, characters will randomly be assigned either an Allied or Axis uniform (hence black/female characters can end up on the Axis side).

Honesty, if we can have Zombies in WWII, I don't see how letting people play who they want in multiplayer is going to cause any less realism.

 

Well, maybe a Zombie mode in a WW2 CoD should ALSO anger people just as much as a black wehrmacht soldier? Now, we both know that for some incomprehensible reason Zombie Modes are AWESOME still to some people even though they have been done to death and were a stupid idea to begin with... so you will get less complaints about these because some people still seem to be suckers for a SEPARATE MODE they can SELECT to take part in... and because SOME people on the net just complain about anything that reeks of diversity pandering just because of "f*ck liberals".

I bet with you there are still a ton of history buffs that would complain about a Zombie mode should CoD:WW2 feature one. Should it also be forced into the one and only multiplayer mode so you HAVE to see Zombies if you want to play the multiplayer mode, you can bet the shitstorm will only be marginally less than for the black wehrmacht soldier thing.

 

WW2 Zombies belong into Wolfenstein and similar alternate history settings. These can be awesome stories and games in their own right, altough I hat how the inclusion of "n4zis" often lead to boring black and white stories. I do prefer more nuanced bad guys, and the ones inspired by the n4zis often are just cardboard punching bags without personality. But that is a different discussion altogether.

Personally, I wish only for the devs to make one simple basic decision: are we aiming for historical accuray, or a fantasy setting tuned for maximum entertainment. Make the basic decision, and follow through. I can enjoy both just as much, given they get their history right for the historical setting, and a good story for the fantasy one.

Mixing or mislabeling on the other hand is a nogo for me. ESPECIALLY when history sometimes still is a touchy subject to this day, you want to avoid historical accurays which can rile up history fanboys.

 

So yeah, it might be a small thing given its only multiplayer and it just wasn't possible any other way with their existing CoD matchmaking and avatar creator... but it highlights the devs LAZYNESS in about every topic when developing their game. They couldn't be arsed to rethink their matchmaking for CoD:WW2, they couldn't be arsed to rethink the avatar creator, and they most probably couldn't be arsed to read up the WW2 history to make a more accurate depiction of it.

And given how many people only buy CoD for the multiplayer... no, its not a small thing. Its actually a big thing. Even I as someone who serially ignores the mutliplayer modes of games he just buys for the singleplayer campaign can understand people that would expect MORE of the multiplayer mode of a game labelled "WW2" than modern warfare multiplayer with a WW2 skin. And yeah, I complain about the BF1 multiplayer expierience just as much, without any black german soldiers in it. They got their weapon selection totally wrong, should have limited the amount of automatic weapons, or have given them the severe drawbacks all of these first gen weapons had as of WW1.

 

 

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18 hours ago, ferrous said:

You can 'get past' a female jedi?  Oh gee, how enlightened of you...  I think your sexism is showing.  Even the OT hinted at Leia having force powers, and being the last hope if Luke failed.

 

The multiplayer portion of a CoD game doesn't need to be historical, and it's really not going to be, nor should it, so it's a little weird to enforce the, "No women or people of color" rules.  Yes, I'm sure it will drive the weeaboos insane.  I guess they could do something even sillier like with the America's Army games, where everyone always plays the 'good guys', and all the opponents always look like the 'bad guys'  (AKA everyone who is not on your team looks like a Nazi) Though to be honest, I find that disturbing too.  Though a more practical option, would be a way to disable all player customizations -- which might be kind of nice anyway, since i find games where everyone gets to wear an entirely different hat / outfit / painted guns, the games look really garish.

If they wanted to have a historical campaign (SP or MP), and do it from a different and accurate perspective, that'd I'd be all for.  Maybe someone of color from the australian or indian regiments in North Africa, one of the actual famous russian women (yes those are three separate links)

 

Nothing HAS to be historical accurate, you know? The dev is not forced to create a historical accurate game. They can do whatever they please, have the germans win the war (wolfenstein), or feature n4zi zombies.

But they cannot have their cake and eat it too. They cannot do whatever the f*ck they like and shove fantasythings into their game, and then enter the big stage and boast about how historically accurate their game is (which AFAIK they did, even IF they were talking about the single player campaign).

 

And then there is the thing that gets me most, the apparent lazyness on part of the dev such light historical skins over a clearly modern warfare game show. Nobody seems to care to think outside of the box, maybe for fear of players not liking it, or because they ARE lazy (or just lack the money or time), and it just shows how little they think of their player base. Just give them their yearly dose of modern warfare, skin it however you like, but don't you DARE change the tried and tested gameplay to better suit the skin were putting over the whole thing.

Yes, currently we don't know about the story campaign (given its CoD, I don't expect it will make history buffs happy), and its only the multiplayer. But we have seen how this kind of thinking ruined the single player campaign of other games *cough*BF1*cough*, and it is not diversity that is the cause. Its game developers playing it safe and not investing enough anymore into their games, money and time just as much as brain power.

 

18 hours ago, ferrous said:

Uhhh...depends entirely on where the game is set, and what viewpoint is chosen.  The whole pacific theatre has Japan and China.  Japanese Americans fought in the war too, even as their families were in internment camps.  In North Africa, there were Indian and Australian regiments.  The Maori's had their own battalion.  

I think the problem is that people tend to have a vision of the allied forces being all-white, and therefore not bothering to model or show anyone of any other color in the war.

 

Well, then offer factions, imperial japanese army, the different factions of the chinese civil war going on at the time, the all black US divisions, the different regiments of the commonwealth nations of color, the german african auxiliaries.

You can easely find asian and black combatants for both the allied and the axis side. You sometimes just have to dig deeper. And then invest a little bit more into additional uniforms. Hell, nobody would care if the african auxiliary fighting on the axis side would get the latest german tech.... germany normally gave their allies the older tech, but then it is quite feasible that out in the field the germans hand out newer stuff to their allies just to make sure they can hold the line.

 

Hell, THIS actually would be diversity. Over all those generic black and asian and caucasian avatars skinned with german or US uniforms all the smaller combatant nations of WW2 get forgotten. What about the ottoman empire? What about all the eastern european nations that fought for their nations freedom vs the red army? What about the african auxiliaries wo fought for countries they most probably haven't visited in their life?

 

Of course that costs time an money to recreate. Its much easier to do a half assed job, and pat each other on the back on a job well done.

 

 

12 hours ago, swiftcoder said:

I'd like to point out that about 1 million black men served in the US armed forces in WWII.

That isn't some drop-in-the-bucket number where you'd be unlikely to ever see a black face. That's nearly 10% of the total US armed forces by the end of WWII.

 

Which is why at least I like to see black soldiers appear in a WW2 themed game... just not in the lazy way as CoD:WW2 currently features them.

 

10 hours ago, deltaKshatriya said:

Fair enough, it's definitely not a realistic game. It's just..weird I guess to see that? It won't make or break multiplayer, sure. 

Like I said, I hadn't realized it's a customization option for multiplayer, so I can understand why they have it. The only other option would be no customization at all, which I guess wouldn't be ideal.

 

Well. I might sound like a broken record here, but multiplayer IS an important part of a CoD game. Is it striving to be as historical accurate as the single player campaign? No. Is it able to tell a story like the single player campaign? No.

But just like Zombie modes stick out like sore thumbs in a game set in a historical setting, a mutliplayer done in such a lazy fashion does as well. Really, its not a binary choice. You can have customization AND historical accuray. Sure, there are some limitations as to what uniforms your avatar can wear depending on the skin color and gender you select. You can still participate on both sides, you might just get assigned a different uniform.

Some people might dislike the idea of having a bunch of allies fight together instead of germans vs. US, sure. You could make everyone happy by adding a switch so you could activate or deactivate faction uniforms. History buffs would never have to see black wehrmacht soldiers, and guys who like their games more uniform would only see wehrmacht soldiers on the other side.

And that is just a stupid idea I came with in minutes. I am sure if you would really invest the time one of the main modes of your game deserves into thinking through how to balance customization vs. historical accuray, you could come up with better, and maybe cheaper ways to allow the maximum amount of customization for the minimum amount of time and money invested.

 

And yes, IF the developer went unto the stage clearly depicting this game was a fantasy alternate history story meant to entertain, I would stop complaining as much... it would still be a missed opportunity to move the FPS multiplayer format forward, and I still might talk about it as modern warfare in a new skin.

But the whole reason WHY the thing is worth talking about is because some corporate shills from marketing cannot stop themselves going on the big stage and talking big about how this game is historical and patriotic and all... I know, marketing. But how many people are going to believe the crap? How many people take the fantasy WW2 story they came up with as canon without ever opening a single history book?

History deserves more than that.

 

 

EDIT:

To give some more examples on how this can be a problem and how others think outside of the box to give the history buffs something:

I am a longtime World of Tanks fan. Yes, that game is about as historical accurate as Wolfenstein. It has no real PvE or single player content as of yet, and historical accuray never has been the main goal, no matter what some marketing shills claim.

WG.net did a test run with a more historical nation vs. nation mode some time ago, where each side only would have tanks of a single nation, fighting against tanks of a single nation on the other side (normal random matches have mixed nations). The mode totally bombed. The nations were just not very balanced against each other, so the french tanks slaughtered everyone else because they were the only ones with autoloaders at the time.

Now there is talk about WG.net finally returning the the nations vs. nation mode, but as a PvE mode, where people choose a campaign, pick their tanks from a limited set of tanks of the right nation (for example russian KV-1 or T-34, or a select few russian light tanks that participated in campaigns of the time), and then get to fight against AI controlled Pz 3 and 4 in a team... as some kind of cooperative mode.

Now you could say that this is also some kind of lazyness, showing how clearly the devs have trouble balancing their tanks against each other and the different maps. On the other hand, it is a brilliant solution to give the more historical interested people a mode in which they can play a historical campaign with more or less historical gear on either side, without restricting the choice of other people that can still have their random free-for-all-fests.

Will the mode drum up enough interest to survive? Will it upset the matchmaking for the random mode? Time will tell, but WoT clearly has a big enough playerbase to survive with some players less in the random matchmaking queue, and some of the history buffs complaining about having to fight 70's tanks in their Tiger 1 might actually be happy for once, shut up and just enjoy the game... who knows?

 

Sometimes a small change goes a long way... well, maybe that IS the longterm plan of the CoD:WW2 devs, starting with a free-for-all-history-be-damned random multiplayer mode, and adding a more historically accurate campaign mode later on. Who knows.

 

EDIT 2:

Oh, and before anyone else mentions it: yes, all of the problems I am talking about are not "caused by diversity". Because I don't think the call for more diversity by itself is the problem. More diversity is good. But its becomes a problem when such righteous calls meet general dev lazyness. That is why I opened the topic. Because I at least feel currently devs are approaching this diversity thing from the wrong angle.

And yeah, maybe I am asking for too much given all the risks and interests these devs have to juggle with at the same time. Still, I think its a discussion worth having.

Edited by Gian-Reto

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Multiplayer deathmatch does not need to be historical.  Having a black guy in a wermacht outfit is no worse than having players respawn, or take multiple bullets to the face, no bleeding out and able revive a dead comrade and have them up and fighting without penalty two seconds afterwards.  Why is the first one a big hang up for you and not the others?  It's more telling about your hangups than it is anything else.

Similarly with all your complaints about BF1 and it's level of realism.  Yeah, it's not realistic, and you call it a complete failure -- except it's not, from all accounts it sold very well (around 15 million in the US alone!)  So it would seem people would much prefer fun over realism.  So let people who aren't white males have the ability to have avatars that actually resemble them, make the game inclusive. 

 

And WoT, yeah it's not historical, no it was not balanced for nation vs nation play.  Also good on them for finally adding women tank crews, though a bit shitty to make them hard to unlock as opposed to a standard option, and I think they still don't have black crewmembers -- which they really should have for the US forces, considering there were all black crews back in WWII.  Definitely one of the pluses of Armored Warfare was it's variety of crew members.

 

EDIT:  Re EDIT2:  Look, for the campaign, if they want to be historical, that's great, but the multiplayer portion of the CoD series has never pretended to be historical in any form, so it's silly to push back against any a-historical changes, especially ones that are about inclusiveness.  Like I said, I'm right there with you if they want to add a campaign that is from the viewpoint that we usually don't see, but was actually historical, like the 761st Tank Battalion for example.

Edited by ferrous

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15 hours ago, ferrous said:

Multiplayer deathmatch does not need to be historical.  Having a black guy in a wermacht outfit is no worse than having players respawn, or take multiple bullets to the face, no bleeding out and able revive a dead comrade and have them up and fighting without penalty two seconds afterwards.  Why is the first one a big hang up for you and not the others?  It's more telling about your hangups than it is anything else.

Similarly with all your complaints about BF1 and it's level of realism.  Yeah, it's not realistic, and you call it a complete failure -- except it's not, from all accounts it sold very well (around 15 million in the US alone!)  So it would seem people would much prefer fun over realism.  So let people who aren't white males have the ability to have avatars that actually resemble them, make the game inclusive. 

 

And WoT, yeah it's not historical, no it was not balanced for nation vs nation play.  Also good on them for finally adding women tank crews, though a bit shitty to make them hard to unlock as opposed to a standard option, and I think they still don't have black crewmembers -- which they really should have for the US forces, considering there were all black crews back in WWII.  Definitely one of the pluses of Armored Warfare was it's variety of crew members.

 

EDIT:  Re EDIT2:  Look, for the campaign, if they want to be historical, that's great, but the multiplayer portion of the CoD series has never pretended to be historical in any form, so it's silly to push back against any a-historical changes, especially ones that are about inclusiveness.  Like I said, I'm right there with you if they want to add a campaign that is from the viewpoint that we usually don't see, but was actually historical, like the 761st Tank Battalion for example.

 

You are right, a team deathmatch is not realistic. Nor is any FPS really realistic. And yes, that isn't the point of an FPS. But then, what is the point of skinning that game in WW2 uniforms? Why not have fantasy factions and uniforms like in many other successfull FPSes? And why then go on stage an clamour about the WW2 historical aspect when your game cannot really be realistic by design?

Consider this: if you create a product that claims to depict history, even if only by not making it abudantly clear what you did is a work of fiction, IMO you have an obligation to not misrepresent history as it took place back then. Doing anything other than that, you are creating propaganda, no matter if intentional or not. You are promoting a wrong image of history. That is why to me, at least, soldiers respawning, which is clear to everyone is not happening in real life, is less of a problem than completly misrepresenting historical factions... BECAUSE those things are 70 years in the past, and not everyone playing that game is reading a history book to know to tell fact from fiction.

 

About BF1. I am NOT calling it a failure as a game. Seems many people enjoyed playing it. Seems it did sell well (altough some comments made me believe the online number dipped quickly, but then IDK really... thirdhand information).

All I was saying was that the whole thing is as historical as wolfenstein. There. That was all I said. Seeing the whole team run around with chauchats and BARs that actually work like a charm and without being slowed down by the heavy weapons is just laughable.

Now, I can get over that... because as said, its an unrealistic Team deathmatch. I am still a little bit PISSED that Battlefield didn't try to be a little bit more "innovative" (for lack of a better term) and actually try to design their gameplay around the historical event, not bend the historical event to fit the inteded gameplay.

Would players like to crawl around in the dirt, firing single shots from slowly reloading rifles at each other? Well, we don't know. But even then, there was the whole storm trooper thing at the end of the war. How awesome would it have been to create classes around stormtroopers, getting access to the fast firing weapons usually used in all modern FPSes, and the martial arts training to actually do the close combat attacks many FPS feature, but paying for that with severly limited range on maps that actually sometimes force stormtroopers to take a different, and longer route, because they are not equipped to fight the normal grunts armed with long range weaponry?

So, I do lament that DICE did not have the guts to go the extra mile with the multiplayer setup and gear. The campaign on the other hand really gets me. Biplanes armed with rockets firing at Zeppelins. Come on. That now is wolfenstein level of fantasy alternate history. But as said, I do appreciate the first level of the campaign, I think its a wonderful idea. I maybe wouldn't be so harsh about the general campaign if DICE wouldn't have shown they obviously KNEW how to make a more fittig, more historical campaign for WW1... and then most probably felt they needed to create something more traditional to satisfy the usual FPS tropes.

 

As to the female tank crews... yeah, I mean, its quite historical at least on the russian side. No one besides the player itself has to listen to his own tank crew talking, and you actually don't see tank crews on the vehicles anyway (thanks, age rating...). So even IF some history buff (and maybe some mysagonist, which, lets be honest, are also out there and playing these games) would object to the inclusion of female tank crews... they have the option to never put ANY female tank member on their tanks, and their opponents don't see them if they do. So in my opinion, its the best solution for such a thing. Everyone is happy besides the people on both sides who want to shove their worldview into other peoples faces.

The fact that you have to work hard for them is... yeah, not ideal. But then, the free skill IS powerful (which is why premium vehicles coming whith free skill crews is kinda... P2W, if only a little bit), and really, its a start. Maybe, with WoT 2.0 they go the route of armed forces and make gender a part of the crew generator just as name and ethnicity, in case were different ethnicities were historical (the US for example, and yes, you get mixed crews, which is not historical, but I don't care here, because by now it has been made abundantly clear that WoT is not in any form or sense meant as a historically accurate game).

 

Again, as a closing statement, I have to stress that I am NOT saying CoD is in any form obligated to make their multiplayer historically accurate, or they have to treat their multiplayer with the same amount of care as the single player campaign, which DOES have some form of story thus is much more in danger of delivering historical misinformation.

And again, I am less concerned about this incident (which even I have to admit is blown out of proportion in the end), and welcome any form of diversity in games which is intelligent and built into the games core... what I am concerned about is the general lazyness and risk avoidance of big AAA releases as of lately, because THAT is why new factors like diversity and inclusiveness become problems.

The AAA studios seem to just try and tick boxes, while investing as little as possible to tick those boxes. What could have been an INCREDIBLE expierience for fans and casuals of the topic alike turns into a light skin on top of a generic expierience. Again, talking BF1 here, and not because I think it failed as a game, but because it could have been so much more: We get BF skinned with a WW1 theme. I think a lot of BF1 were happy about a new BF game, they appreciated the different skin and updated graphics. Hell, the first level of the campaign alone most probably was quite a relevation for some because it was so new and unexpected.

But it could have been so - much - more than just yet another BF game. It could have been one of the few true WW1 FPSes that are depicting WW1 not only as a skin, but with gameplay, story, characters, everything. And no, I am not talking about a simulator here. I am talking about taking a bold step to balance an expierience true to the reality of WW1, and still making this a fun expierience fans of traditional modern shooters can enjoy.

If BF1 would have lived up to that potential... it would have been the first BF game I would have buyed myself and wholly played through. Because I at least am burned out of the ever same modern automatic gun filled shooter... a slower, more tactical expierience where a good bolt action rifle is king, until you meet the machine gun nest and the storm trooper, tweaked for fun, would on the other certainly rekindle my appetite for a shooter.

 

Coming back from this tangent: my problem is not diversity in games (so please stop trying to paint me as a sexist or racist... I am neither, and my posting history should make that clear). My problem is how these new factors are highlighting the problems this industry is already facing. And thus having unintended consequences. Consequences maybe not even the parties pushing so hard for diversity in games wish for.

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22 hours ago, Gian-Reto said:

Because I don't think the call for more diversity by itself is the problem. More diversity is good. But its becomes a problem when such righteous calls meet general dev lazyness. That is why I opened the topic. Because I at least feel currently devs are approaching this diversity thing from the wrong angle.

That's the trick, isn't it?

I'm wary of calling it "lazy" in all cases.  All development has a cost. The cost of assorted skin textures is very low but not quite zero.  For a hobby developer, that cost financially is relatively large. Instead of buying/finding a single texture, they now need several at several times the cost or effort. For programs in the past that needed to fit on tiny cartridges or downloadable bundles measured in kilobytes or megabytes that cost in terms of space can also be large.

For large teams in professional settings who have the resources to change a few skin textures, though, I agree it is mostly laziness. There may be some UI costs and some systems work, but relative to the rest of the game it is small if designed from the beginning. 

 

More versus better is why I said what I did above.   I wrote for WW2-era games realism means predominantly white males (about 80%) if you're striving for a realistic number for the main game.  Critically, that doesn't mean 100% white, nor does it mean 100% male.   A studio building a WW2-era game that claims they chose exclusively white males for historical accuracy is being lazy/cheap.

If you're not looking for a realistic blend and you have the budget, let them be whatever options you can imagine. Pick a mix of races and genders, even skin tones adjusted by a color-picker so you can have blue skin, red skin, green skin, whatever. 

 

"More versus "better" is important both in real life and in game designs.

Better diversity does not mean equally represented, with 50% male and 50% female, and each race or ethnicity represented in equal shares, although frequently that's what you hear from people wanting "more" diversity.  For many reasons (both good and bad) there are socially prevalent gender roles.  In the US, about 91% of nurses are female, about 94% of childcare workers are female, about 99% of bricklayers and stonemasons are male, about 98% of all fire fighters are male. Computer programming is a similar mix to nursing, about 90% male and slowly shifting more female.  While people constantly debate if the ratios are healthy for society, it is foolish to ignore the fact that they exist and are the levels that they really are.

Based on that knowledge, for our real life diversity that means women programmers should be about one in ten and stay at the ratio as studios grow. A studio who has 45 male programmers and 5 female programmers is right on target for gender diversity. Racial diversity depends on location, but again should be roughly those of the demographics around them.  In that environment people aiming for a mix of 50/50, or even 70/30, are pushing for "more" rather than "better". 

Using that knowledge in the game's diversity, I would expect that if visiting an elementary school in the game I'd see an equal gender mix of children but a mostly female teaching staff.  Players visiting a construction site would expect mostly males. Shoppers in a grocery store would be about 3/4 female, shoppers at a hardware store about 3/4 male.  Demographics of the area matter as well, the area outside a building should have a similar racial makeup as those inside the building.  A level designer wanting to make them all equally gendered and equally raced is confusing "more" with "better".

Better diversity does not mean perfectly equal distribution. In games it can mean enabling more choices for skin tones so players have options, but even then it should not mean perfectly equal distribution.  Those who fight for a perfect 50/50 gender balance or equal racial divisions may have "more", but it is certainly not "better".
 

It doesn't need to be just about gender and skin color. 

Many games these days follow a good balance to elements beyond gender and skin color.  Traveling to a mage city has more mages but still a mix of rogues and soldiers, traveling to a military barracks will be mostly buff soldiers but still some mages and rogues.  Or if you've got a mix of humans, elves, dwarfs, rat-men, and treefolk, expect the city in the forest would be mostly treefolk, some elves, and an appropriate mix of others blended in, similarly an underground fortress I'd expect predominantly dwarfs and rat-men but almost no treefolk.  Not "more" diversity, but "better" diversity.

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27 minutes ago, frob said:

That's the trick, isn't it?

I'm wary of calling it "lazy" in all cases.  All development has a cost. The cost of assorted skin textures is very low but not quite zero.  For a hobby developer, that cost financially is relatively large. Instead of buying/finding a single texture, they now need several at several times the cost or effort. For programs in the past that needed to fit on tiny cartridges or downloadable bundles measured in kilobytes or megabytes that cost in terms of space can also be large.

For large teams in professional settings who have the resources to change a few skin textures, though, I agree it is mostly laziness. There may be some UI costs and some systems work, but relative to the rest of the game it is small if designed from the beginning. 

 

More versus better is why I said what I did above.   I wrote for WW2-era games realism means predominantly white males (about 80%) if you're striving for a realistic number for the main game.  Critically, that doesn't mean 100% white, nor does it mean 100% male.   A studio building a WW2-era game that claims they chose exclusively white males for historical accuracy is being lazy/cheap.

If you're not looking for a realistic blend and you have the budget, let them be whatever options you can imagine. Pick a mix of races and genders, even skin tones adjusted by a color-picker so you can have blue skin, red skin, green skin, whatever. 

 

"More versus "better" is important both in real life and in game designs.

Better diversity does not mean equally represented, with 50% male and 50% female, and each race or ethnicity represented in equal shares, although frequently that's what you hear from people wanting "more" diversity.  For many reasons (both good and bad) there are socially prevalent gender roles.  In the US, about 91% of nurses are female, about 94% of childcare workers are female, about 99% of bricklayers and stonemasons are male, about 98% of all fire fighters are male. Computer programming is a similar mix to nursing, about 90% male and slowly shifting more female.  While people constantly debate if the ratios are healthy for society, it is foolish to ignore the fact that they exist and are the levels that they really are.

Based on that knowledge, for our real life diversity that means women programmers should be about one in ten and stay at the ratio as studios grow. A studio who has 45 male programmers and 5 female programmers is right on target for gender diversity. Racial diversity depends on location, but again should be roughly those of the demographics around them.  In that environment people aiming for a mix of 50/50, or even 70/30, are pushing for "more" rather than "better". 

Using that knowledge in the game's diversity, I would expect that if visiting an elementary school in the game I'd see an equal gender mix of children but a mostly female teaching staff.  Players visiting a construction site would expect mostly males. Shoppers in a grocery store would be about 3/4 female, shoppers at a hardware store about 3/4 male.  Demographics of the area matter as well, the area outside a building should have a similar racial makeup as those inside the building.  A level designer wanting to make them all equally gendered and equally raced is confusing "more" with "better".

Better diversity does not mean perfectly equal distribution. In games it can mean enabling more choices for skin tones so players have options, but even then it should not mean perfectly equal distribution.  Those who fight for a perfect 50/50 gender balance or equal racial divisions may have "more", but it is certainly not "better".
 

It doesn't need to be just about gender and skin color. 

Many games these days follow a good balance to elements beyond gender and skin color.  Traveling to a mage city has more mages but still a mix of rogues and soldiers, traveling to a military barracks will be mostly buff soldiers but still some mages and rogues.  Or if you've got a mix of humans, elves, dwarfs, rat-men, and treefolk, expect the city in the forest would be mostly treefolk, some elves, and an appropriate mix of others blended in, similarly an underground fortress I'd expect predominantly dwarfs and rat-men but almost no treefolk.  Not "more" diversity, but "better" diversity.

 

Well, lazy might be the wrong term anyway. It somehow puts the developers in a bad light when they simply might not have the time and resources, and their publishers / investors pushed them to create a more traditional, less risky product.

I feel that is the problem behind many problems in AAA development nowadays. So many interests to take into account yet so little resources to spend.

 

I absolutely agree with everything you said. Yes, I think we SHOULD show diversity as it is in our society. And to add to that, I understand that there is interest to concentrate more on showing the genders /ethnicities that got underrepresented in games with new releases. I absolutely agree. We need more black heroes (not so sure about female ones... 4 of 5 games I will buy for my PS4 this year feature female protagonists... seems like women are already featured as protagonists quite often, but that is besides the point).

But I feel like often, instead of giving them their OWN story and their OWN games, they get tacked on. Because again, the AAA industry wants to have their cake and eat it too. When they need to sell the product to EVERYONE, diversity as portrayed by these games will often be a frankensteins monster.

I guess we have to look forward to smaller, maybe even Indie releases, to really put minorities and different genders in the spotlight without twisting the diversit into something weird. Or just enjoy the few instances were minorities and different genders are implemented into an AAA game well, like in Horizon Zero dawn (I don't get the whole drama around the matriarchical society of ONE SINGLE faction in the game, really... besides that it handles diversity well IMO).

Edited by Gian-Reto

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I'll agree that AAA games development is overly conservative (in the literal sense of the word), when it comes to features and story.  It'd be great if they decided to stretch themselves a bit more, but then again, they're selling well as they are.  Lightly re-skinning the same gameplay over and over seems to be working for them.  BF1 did really well, even if it did hew more to standard BF formula than makes sense for a game set in WWI.  

I still think Gian is getting overly hung up on aspects of the multiplayer portion of the game, when I'm pretty sure CoD developers never claimed anything about it's accuracy in regards to it's multiplayer.  

 

Also, I see nothing wrong with a developer wanting to depict a portion of society that is oddly sexist, as well, not sexist.  If they want to make a game set inside a game development studio, and have it be staffed by an equal ratio of men and women, I don't see a problem with it.  If you do, you might want to step back and think about why that bothers you.  Too often I see complaints about "It's not historical, or it's not realistic", used as ways to be sexist or racist without having to be overtly so, and sometimes I think the people doing the complaining don't even realize it.

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23 minutes ago, ferrous said:

I see nothing wrong with a developer wanting to depict a portion of society that is oddly sexist, as well, not sexist.  If they want to make a game set inside a game development studio, and have it be staffed by an equal ratio of men and women, I don't see a problem with it. Too often I see ....

That isn't what this topic is about.  In fact, it was specifically called out several times as NOT the thing under discussion because that leads to flame-wars and topics getting closed. The original post called that out specifically, with examples of games allowing more options than are historically accurate.

So let's steer away from that before it follows down the ugly path.

 

The topic is about the relationship between "more diversity" and unwanted results.

Or said differently, about situations where "more diversity" is actually a worse situation than realistic diversity or historical diversity.  More is not the same as better.

The example points are a game where you could create a black Nazi soldier, where in real life that wasn't a thing except for a tiny number of exceptions, blacks were shunned in Nazi doctrine and many had a "forced sterilization" in an effort to end the race through eugenics rather than through direct execution.  That's why there is controversy in some groups regarding the latest CoD game where you could use such a non-historical character.

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As swiftcoder stated:  The uniform is auto-assigned by what team one is on.  Is it any better that half of all multiplayer players, people are fighting on the Nazi side?  Isn't that distasteful?  What is it about there being a black guy on the the Nazi team that is the last straw?

 

EDIT:

Or is it just a game, and the Nazi aspect of multiplayer deathmatch doesn't matter, in which case, why not let them be black?

Edited by ferrous

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Yes, the answer is to do nothing and pretend race and gender doesn't exist, all the while racism and sexism still happens.  That works great if you're the one in power already.

I think you fundamentally misunderstand MLK, he fought for rights, he fought to put the plight of black people in the public eye. 

Quote

Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.

 

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3 hours ago, frob said:

Or said differently, about situations where "more diversity" is actually a worse situation than realistic diversity or historical diversity.  More is not the same as better.

I think there's a delicate distinction to be made here. As I read it, the OP seems to be asking whether the *push* for more diversity can cause problems (and not whether increased diversity itself causes problems).

I'd like to steer the discussion that way a little - keep the discussion on the methods used to achieve diversity, and not whether diversity is a desirable end goal.

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I'd argue that having some diversity where none existed before, even if the results are mildly problematic for some, is better than no diversity at all.  In the WWII 'realism' case in a team deathmatch where outfits are assigned, I don't see a nice why of doing it without going to equally squicky lengths, like forcing a certain outfit or team on a player.  (Oh, you black avatars can only play as outfit X or only on Allies)  I think the best option in this case is a "Default Models Only" toggle, that if checked, the player will only see the default models on their screen.  Black guy gets to play as a black guy, 'historical realism' guy gets a toggle so he doesn't have to be bothered by it.

 

They might even have that option, who knows, it's certainly not a new option, I've seen it other shooters.

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17 hours ago, ferrous said:

As swiftcoder stated:  The uniform is auto-assigned by what team one is on.  Is it any better that half of all multiplayer players, people are fighting on the Nazi side?  Isn't that distasteful?  What is it about there being a black guy on the the Nazi team that is the last straw?

 

EDIT:

Or is it just a game, and the Nazi aspect of multiplayer deathmatch doesn't matter, in which case, why not let them be black?

 

And in what way does auto assigning stop you from going the extra mile and integrating more diversity on both the axis and the allies side by giving people appropriate uniforms? Extra work? Yes. And this is exactly my point. A little bit of extra work would make for a much better form of diversity.

 

After some thinking, I will not even go into the whole "calling all german soldiers nazi" thing... obviously this is a very strong opinion of yours, and I respect that. Suffice to say I could go off on a long tangent on what I think about that, but I will not, as this will derail this thread even more.

 

13 hours ago, ferrous said:

I'd argue that having some diversity where none existed before, even if the results are mildly problematic for some, is better than no diversity at all.  In the WWII 'realism' case in a team deathmatch where outfits are assigned, I don't see a nice why of doing it without going to equally squicky lengths, like forcing a certain outfit or team on a player.  (Oh, you black avatars can only play as outfit X or only on Allies)  I think the best option in this case is a "Default Models Only" toggle, that if checked, the player will only see the default models on their screen.  Black guy gets to play as a black guy, 'historical realism' guy gets a toggle so he doesn't have to be bothered by it.

 

They might even have that option, who knows, it's certainly not a new option, I've seen it other shooters.

 

I might agree to the first statement. Yes, only having white dudes play the main roles in video games 24/7 is wrong. Not mainly because more diversity fosters a more divers audience (another thread right there), but because minorities and different genders should be a part of the video game fantasy just as much as they are a part of our everyday reality.

Now, there are different ways how this diversity can be achieved. And this is where I question the current "brute force" approach. When we say minorities have to be a part of video games... do they have to be a part of EVERY video game? Or will a game mainly about a part of european history for example not be better served if diversity doesn't force devs to shove in unhistorical diversity... if said game is latter made up for with a game mainly about the history of a different ethnicity?

To go off on another tangent, I am pretty excited to hear about some guys in africa starting their own game dev projects. One of those seemed to be an RPG with very strong african influences. Now I would LOVE to play that game, I really think the african culture will make for a very good backdrop for a non-high-fantasy RPG. Will that game have to feature white people for diversities sake? I hope not. Unless it taps into the whole colonial era, that would be out of place... unless the guys decide to create a fantasy world of mixed races, and tone down the african influences... which, for me, would be a shame, because we already have more than enough of these. That might be me, but I don't care much if my player character is white, black, male or female... as long as its a cool character taking part in an awesome story.

 

And to adress the "better than nothing" thing... bad forced diversity being better than no diversity at all doesn't mean we cannot ask for improvements, for a better handling of diversity in video games. For devs to take the topic serious and actually starting to think about it on their own, and not just reacting to external demand from forces which seem to have way to much power over the implementation of the change they are (often rightfully) asking for.

A feminist or activist for minorities rights is not a game story writer. It should be up to experts in the subject field to implement these demands

 

As to the "forcing an outfit on a black avatar"... 1) the white avatar also has a limited selection of outfits... equal rights, right?.... 2) is it now racism to depict history as it was (racist, most of the time)?... 3) maybe its the golden middle ground where both sides get a little bit offended (the racists have to see black people in their video game, the liberals have to see the black and white soldiers being separated into their own units), but neither can claim that this is an outrageous act of unhistorical pandering for diversities sake, or white supremacy BS because of missing representation of other ethnicities? You know, a good old compromise both sides try to live with. I know that has gone out of fashion some time ago.

 

The idea with the toggle on the other hand. Yes. And yes again. I talked about this options a page ago. Absolutely agree on that. I guess we live in a sad time where the left and the right have trouble finding an acceptable middle ground, and want to live in their own "safe space bubble" rather than face the reality that people have other opinions than them, and all they can do is accept that and try to live with it. But again, food for a whole new topic.

A separate mode would probably be the optimal solution, but unless the server population is big, that might divide the players too much for the matchmaker to handle. A switch from realistic factions to custom avatars could help the problem for this single instance.

Will not stop me from lamenting about the devs taking the easy way out, and that more thought should go into how to implement diversity in games. But then, I guess its a compromise I could live with.

 

True that it might actually be implemented... maybe its just not in the beta. Or the guys making the videos left that out of their discussion of the topic for a reason. After all, youtubers often feed on controversy, no matter if rightwing or leftwing.

Edited by Gian-Reto

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Separate uniforms, I'd frown on, because it's basically a form of segregation, and it would definitely suck if the black character's uniforms ended up being easier to spot, giving a gameplay advantage to those who choose white characters.  The main people it bothers to see black guys in nazi uniforms are, people with historical hangups in an already very much not historical game mode, and racists.  I'm guessing people with historical hangups aren't going to be too keen on buying a CoD game in the first place, so that pretty much just leaves the racists. 

Quibbling over wermacht or nazi, when the wermacht did plenty of terrible shit, and fought alongside and for the nazi party is a bit silly.  Feel free to start a separate thread, but it starts to head off into weeaboo territory very fast.

They have a separate mode already, it's called Single Player Campaign.  It's much more likely to hew more towards realism. (Slightly, this is after all, Call of Duty we are talking about)

And it's not a both sides thing when it comes to squeezing white people into a game.  It's called punching up instead of punching down.  IE give a helping hand to those who need it, and are lacking representation, not giving more representation to a group that is already well represented.  And remember, Europe was actually pretty diverse back before WW II, it's something that seems to get overlooked, especially in fantasy games.  There were the moors, Poland's population was 1/3 minorities before WWII, heck even one of Napoleon's generals was black. 

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15 hours ago, ferrous said:

Separate uniforms, I'd frown on, because it's basically a form of segregation, and it would definitely suck if the black character's uniforms ended up being easier to spot, giving a gameplay advantage to those who choose white characters.  The main people it bothers to see black guys in nazi uniforms are, people with historical hangups in an already very much not historical game mode, and racists.  I'm guessing people with historical hangups aren't going to be too keen on buying a CoD game in the first place, so that pretty much just leaves the racists. 

Quibbling over wermacht or nazi, when the wermacht did plenty of terrible shit, and fought alongside and for the nazi party is a bit silly.  Feel free to start a separate thread, but it starts to head off into weeaboo territory very fast.

They have a separate mode already, it's called Single Player Campaign.  It's much more likely to hew more towards realism. (Slightly, this is after all, Call of Duty we are talking about)

And it's not a both sides thing when it comes to squeezing white people into a game.  It's called punching up instead of punching down.  IE give a helping hand to those who need it, and are lacking representation, not giving more representation to a group that is already well represented.  And remember, Europe was actually pretty diverse back before WW II, it's something that seems to get overlooked, especially in fantasy games.  There were the moors, Poland's population was 1/3 minorities before WWII, heck even one of Napoleon's generals was black. 

 

Okay... We are talking of a time in history where segregation of races where the norm. We are talking of a video game skinned as a WW2 game. How - is - this - bad? How is this anything other than historical facts?

Really, if you cannot take historical facts, why even play a game with ANY historical background? If you think all of these things practically EVERY country in the world still stood for in the 40's are so bad that you cannot take it, why not voting with your wallet and just leave the game on the shelf?

Or is it that you think other players cannot take these facts? Well, maybe we do need a "parental advisory: historical content" on the box. No, I am serious. I am not against people being open that a game CAN hurt someones feelings and these people are informed of the fact.  So they can decide for themselves if they still want to play that game.

 

I agree that CoD is free to warp history in any kind or form AS LONG AS THEY MAKE THAT CLEAR to their players. And yeah, its pretty much accepted by now that the multiplayer part of a game with a story or skin based on historical facts usually is least concerned with these facts in favor of gameplay.

 

"I'm guessing people with historical hangups aren't going to be too keen on buying a CoD game in the first place, so that pretty much just leaves the racists. " - Really? You have a pretty low opinion of CoD and the playerbase in this case. Not saying if I think you are right or wrong, but I would guess the people interested in CoD are pretty much your average hardcore gamers. Yes, there are racists among them... just as leftwing ideologists. Black people, female players... and historical buffs.

If anything, the dev cannot really make it right because someone WILL be offended anyway. That is why a compromise is needed. Maybe this "customization > historical accuray" IS the best compromise...

 

Okay, can we PLEASE stop this "wehrmacht were nazis", "wehrmacht did terrible things" nonsense right here and now (and just to make it clear: there were nazi party member among the wehrmacht, the wehrmacht did terrible things, not all nazi party members believed in the ideology, and some wehrmacht soldiers actually were heros trying to kill the Führer, with MOST wehrmacht soldiers just being average grunts who just tried to survive a terrible war like everyone else)? That is NOT the topic, its your opinion, and I am trying VERY hard here to not get baited. If you want to discuss that and know MY opinion (which I am sure a lot of people that are interested in history and can look at history without any bias would support), we can open a new topic and discuss our view on history politely. Unless you can convince me how wehrmacht soldiers showing up in a game has anything to do with diversity (other than them NOT showing up would hurt diversity), lets stop this dicussion here.

 

Wow, okay, lets also stop the "privilege" thing here. Again, has nothing to do with the discussion really. Why? Because we are not talking about if diversity is good or bad, if the whole PC movement is good or bad, or if games should be influenced by leftwing ideologies more and more or not. I have my opinion, I am sure you have yours, but the dicussion here is if the push for diversity we currently see is having bad consequences, or if there might be better implementations to this call for diversity.

Unless anyones "privilege" has anything to do with the discussion, lets also stop this. Its bait for the other side, if you ask me. Maybe you can explain as to why you think it matters to the discussion, but unless you can, lets keep that part out of it.

 

"And remember, Europe was actually pretty diverse back before WW II, it's something that seems to get overlooked, especially in fantasy games.  There were the moors, Poland's population was 1/3 minorities before WWII, heck even one of Napoleon's generals was black. "

Yes. The Moors were also in the end driven out of europe by the first crusades (besides some small communities, who had it jsut as hard as the jews at times), the black people in positions of power where unicorns (now THIS would be interesting historical figures to place a story around, people like Dido Elizabeth Belle for example), and minorities were often singled out and opressed in europe. Lets not forget what happened to the armenians.

I don't think its so much overlooked as just both sides down- or upplaying it. Europe was neither as christian and white only as the rightwing people claim, nor as multi cultural as some leftwing people might paint it as. Jews had problems with the christians in waves, with them sometimes being tolerated, sometimes being oppressed. Same with the muslim, and all the other minorities.

The country I am living in had catholics and protestantic people still fight each other to the death 170 years ago. See how that even happened 30 years ago in Ireland.

Europe has a history of strife and oppression. Also of almost impossible co-existence at times. Its a given in an area where so many languages, so many different faiths, and so many cultures live so close to each other.

 

The early parts of the 20th century might have seen big advancements in human rights... the 40's still were NOT the world where political correctness was generally accepted. Actually, before WW2, all over the world people were in SUPPORT of the german nazi party... because their ideology reflected the extremist ideologies that sprung up all over the world in a time of depression and economical strife.

But this also going off on a tangent, so I'll stop here.

Edited by Gian-Reto

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2 hours ago, Gian-Reto said:

Really, if you cannot take historical facts, why even play a game with ANY historical background?

I can answer that.

Some people find the contemporary technology, and associated tactics and strategies, to be interesting and they derive a certain enjoyment from simulating it.  They can do that without the wholesale embrace of the political ideologies of the day, including that of maintaining 'racial' purity.  Turns out it's only at the level of political ideology that the colour of the skin of the person pulling a trigger or driving a tank makes any difference, and it's irrelevant at the strategic, tactical, or technical level.

So, if you're playing the game to gain enjoyment from the strategy, tactics, or technology, you'll be fine with the design choices the developers made.  If you're ideologically motivated or on the spectrum and filled with anxiety about the inexacting background detail in the historical simulation, then the game is not for you.  There is also a sub-genre of trainspotters who gain their pleasure from finding and sharing the inaccuracies in mass-market entertainments.

The designers and producers had to make choices.  Additional detail means higher cost.  Additional restrictions on participation means fewer paying consumers.  Games are not a charity focused exclusively on your own pleasure, they're a business and like most entertainments businesses, factual accuracy takes a back seat to increased revenue every time.  Really, the lack of Historical Purity you're railing against is not the result of the 'diversity' you disdain, it's the result of lower development costs and broader market acceptance resulting in ongoing business investment -- free market economics, if you will.

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19 minutes ago, Bregma said:

I can answer that.

Some people find the contemporary technology, and associated tactics and strategies, to be interesting and they derive a certain enjoyment from simulating it.  They can do that without the wholesale embrace of the political ideologies of the day, including that of maintaining 'racial' purity.  Turns out it's only at the level of political ideology that the colour of the skin of the person pulling a trigger or driving a tank makes any difference, and it's irrelevant at the strategic, tactical, or technical level.

So, if you're playing the game to gain enjoyment from the strategy, tactics, or technology, you'll be fine with the design choices the developers made.  If you're ideologically motivated or on the spectrum and filled with anxiety about the inexacting background detail in the historical simulation, then the game is not for you.  There is also a sub-genre of trainspotters who gain their pleasure from finding and sharing the inaccuracies in mass-market entertainments.

The designers and producers had to make choices.  Additional detail means higher cost.  Additional restrictions on participation means fewer paying consumers.  Games are not a charity focused exclusively on your own pleasure, they're a business and like most entertainments businesses, factual accuracy takes a back seat to increased revenue every time.  Really, the lack of Historical Purity you're railing against is not the result of the 'diversity' you disdain, it's the result of lower development costs and broader market acceptance resulting in ongoing business investment -- free market economics, if you will.

 

Sure, I can understand that. But why then not call it what it is? A fantasy world? Why call it WW2? Or not call it "WW2 in an alternate history"? Or just make it abundant clear without calling it out like wolfenstein does? Nobody takes Wolfenstein as factual history... because its just so comical ridicolous, in a good way.

 

Oh, and just to address this: people wanting history being told as it was back in the day has NOTHING to do with people embracing the ideologies or politics of that day. What it HAS to do with is that everything in history can teach us something. If you strip stuff out of history you strip out part of what people can learn from history.

So because something wrong has been done in the 40's, lets no longer talk about and forget it? And yes, I understand when people grow tired of it and no longer want to hear about it. That is why fantasy worlds have been created. To get relief from the real world, which was and always will be a mixed bag of awesome and aweful.

Altering history as told is a dangerous thing. Its what happened in nazi germany, its what happened in soviet russia, and to be honest it happens EVERYWHERE all the time, to some degree. Its not always ill willed or even voluntary... and yes, you could say I blow this out of proportions, this is just entertainment... but in a day and age where some kids are CONSTANTLY being blasted by media, while most probably never looking at an actual history book unless forced to, every small inaccuray is becoming dangerous.

That is my opinion at least. Feel free to call me alarmist or anything.

 

I never said I disdain diversity. I question if the implementation of diversity currently being used is the best way to achieve more diversity in games. And I am pretty much aware that the fault lies not with the call for diversity itself, or the people doing the implementation most of the time. Still, BECAUSE the devs are already at their limits with budget, resources and all the demands thrown at them, diversity becomes yet another demand that might be one too much.... just as not overstepping about 100 other red lines for SOME people (who might not even be the customers of the game), as actually finishing and shipping the game within the scarce resources the dev gets for all of this.

 

 

Edited by Gian-Reto

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I actually disagree, games like this get kids thinking about WWII, and they are more likely to pick up a book on a shelf or ask their history teacher questions and want to learn about it once they have *some* exposure to it.   World of Warships got me to read The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors.  And there is a game that teaches nothing of the history, which, frankly neither does CoD multiplayer, or World of Tanks.  They can all claim to be 'historical' or 'realistic' though.    I want to stress this though, there is no history being told in CoD multiplayer.  This is sort of like complaining about the horrible paint jobs allowed in War Thunder Ground Forces -- except here now that it's adding something worthwhile, diversity, the complaints against it have extra connotations that I don't think historical purists notice.

 

8 hours ago, Gian-Reto said:

Wow, okay, lets also stop the "privilege" thing here. Again, has nothing to do with the discussion really. Why? Because we are not talking about if diversity is good or bad, if the whole PC movement is good or bad, or if games should be influenced by leftwing ideologies more and more or not. I have my opinion, I am sure you have yours, but the dicussion here is if the push for diversity we currently see is having bad consequences, or if there might be better implementations to this call for diversity.

Unless anyones "privilege" has anything to do with the discussion, lets also stop this. Its bait for the other side, if you ask me. Maybe you can explain as to why you think it matters to the discussion, but unless you can, lets keep that part out of it.

Because you brought up the often repeated strawman of "Will non-white games need to add white people?" tangent.  The two things are not equivalent, if you want to drop that line of reasoning, that's fine.

 

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On 30.6.2017 at 7:06 PM, ferrous said:

I actually disagree, games like this get kids thinking about WWII, and they are more likely to pick up a book on a shelf or ask their history teacher questions and want to learn about it once they have *some* exposure to it.   World of Warships got me to read The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors.  And there is a game that teaches nothing of the history, which, frankly neither does CoD multiplayer, or World of Tanks.  They can all claim to be 'historical' or 'realistic' though.    I want to stress this though, there is no history being told in CoD multiplayer.  This is sort of like complaining about the horrible paint jobs allowed in War Thunder Ground Forces -- except here now that it's adding something worthwhile, diversity, the complaints against it have extra connotations that I don't think historical purists notice.

 

 

Well, if that would be the result in most cases, I would be very happy. I would LOVE to see more young ones eager to read up on history and not just limit it to the heavely moderated history lessons they get in school (which many of them most probably will sleep through).

My personal expierience when I was a teenager in school was different. I was on of a very tiny set of students interested enough to pick up the history book WITHOUT being forced to by the teacher. I had read the whole book in classes by the time the class maybe finished one chapter. I am certain I was not the only history fan in the class. The only one looking forward to the history lessons (because I could read the history book without anyone complaining about it ;) ).

The vast majority of the class on the other hand... they loathed it. So this is school, and sure enough, a game might give a teenager more incentive to actually open a book for once. I am still sceptical if that is the reaction with most of them. Sure enough, many will not even NOT open a history book, but also completly ignore any kind of historical context delivered by the game. I fear in the middle there is a small group which might pick up the historical context, and not question it enough... that might not be bad in all cases. It just makes me uneasy when I hear history being distorted in any kind of media and people not questioning it. Its one of the reason the emergence of fake news channels on the internet and even in traditional media worries me quite a bit.

 

Look, I am aware that in this occasion, history buffs might actually end up voicing the same complaint as some more shady people do. To me, that is NOT a reason to not voice the complaint... if anything, that is just more of a reason to not only complain, but also talk about how you imagine the game could improve on it. Because this is were I would expect a racist to have a very different solution to the same "problem" (paraphrases because its not a problem to everyone). I don't want to have diversity removed. Because, besides other things, that would also be bad for historical accuray. It was called "World War" for a reason, and not "European war" or whatever.

All I am saying is that I think there are better ways to get a historical accurate game with a diverse set of genders and ethnicities represented. And sure enough, my interest is historical accuray first and foremost. I am happy to compromise on it for the sake of other valid interests, like diversity in games. But a compromise should be a compromise. And I feel the current one is not a good one from where I stand as a fan of historical accurate content.

 

Again, in the instance of the CoD multiplayer, I do not argue that this is the most important thing to cater for. I am just saying from where I stand, it could have been done better without compromising on diversity too much.

 

On 30.6.2017 at 7:06 PM, ferrous said:

Because you brought up the often repeated strawman of "Will non-white games need to add white people?" tangent.  The two things are not equivalent, if you want to drop that line of reasoning, that's fine.

 

Lets just agree to disagree on this one. I am a hardcore believer in equal rights. I have my opinion on it, you seem to have yours. I see where this opinion is coming from, and I respect that, even if I cannot agree with you on this.

Well, I am sorry I didn't knew that this is a strawman for rightwing people (assuming that is what you mean)... I am usually not partaking in this left vs. right flamewars, so I am not aware of all the different strawman tactics of both sides. All I am doing is voicing my own opinion. As usual, feel free to disagree with my opinion. But don't start assuming where that opinion is coming from without looking at ALL I have been saying in this thread.

 

But this is getting way offtopic of this threads topic if you ask me. And yes, I might have started that tangent. Something to discuss in another topic, if anyone wishes to have this discussion.

 

Edited by Gian-Reto

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I was on my heels about CoD:WW2 because I there were no swastikas, and I'm highly against trying to forget the consequences and reasoning behind WW2, and swastikas and the idea of uniting under any symbol shouldn't be preserved well.

Otherwise I'm fine with having some historical inaccuracies in the Multiplayer.

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Re Gian:  It's alright, it's been a lively discussion, and for the most part our interests align.  I think we both want the same thing -- more diversity, I think we're just quibbling over details.  

 

Re KostadinPetkov:  I have a feeling that might be due to wanting to be sold internationally?  Germany bans the swastika, so if they wanted to sell the game there, they'd have to go in and remove it from everything.  So why do everything twice, just don't put it in the first place =\  Come to think of it, I don't think Wolfenstein has it either.  I don't know how I feel about it, it's a little weird to see it removed from the historical bits, but i'm fine to see it gone from multiplayer.

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20 hours ago, KostadinPetkov said:

I was on my heels about CoD:WW2 because I there were no swastikas, and I'm highly against trying to forget the consequences and reasoning behind WW2, and swastikas and the idea of uniting under any symbol shouldn't be preserved well.

Otherwise I'm fine with having some historical inaccuracies in the Multiplayer.

 

@ferrous is spot on on this. Swastikas are banned in germany. As much as this can lead to ridicolous results (like the lego recreation of the Bismark having had to have the swastikas hidden with paper when shown in germany), that has become a staple of german laws and is pretty well known internationally by now.

Neighbouring countries have laws in place that go into the same direction. Swastikas AFAIK are not directly outlawed in Switzerland, but "racist symbols" are, and if somebody takes you to court over it the court will most probably not rule in your favour if you use swastikas in public.

 

I think the US actually is rather an exception than the rule in the western world in allowing swastikas to be shown in public.

 

Personally... meh. I am no fan of altering history (as I think I have stated often enough by now), but if changing logos and flags are the only alterations done to prevent getting into legal hot waters, I can live with that. We all know what a white circle with a red border, filled with any kind of black symbol stands for. Personally I would like to see the same treatment for ALL the countries flags, something some chinese games nowadays do. Which sounds like the perfect solution to the problem. After all, if we see an M4 Sherman duking it out with a Pz4, with a star symbol on the sherman and a cross symbol on the Pz4, we kinda grasp the meaning of it.

As long as the history is not altered in a game claiming to be more or less historically accurate, I can live with that one compromise. I think you can achieve that with altered symbols, as long as people still get who is who.

 

Is it somewhat ridicolous? Yeah... but really, IMO at least this is not such a big deal.

Edited by Gian-Reto

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Disclaimer: I'm super white so the things I say are through the lens of my whiteness. I may have some things misconstrued and the things I say, while not intending to be, may be considered racist as I am a part of a society that teaches us from birth that white people are both the default and better than others. Apologies in advance!

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Personally, I think that of course it could lead to, "unwanted," results. We can't divine outcomes of things as humans (or, at least with 100% accuracy), but in terms of the consequences your talking about (I'm assuming the dissemination of false/inaccurate information), I don't think that the push for diversity would lead to those results. I mean, non-white, non-straight, non-male, and non-cis people weren't invented in a certain time period!

Diversity for diversity's sake is a noble thing, but at the same time, if one is making a historical piece, inserting diversity should be thought out, researched, and appropriate. As an example, say your historical story is set in the early America. It would be disingenuous to include characters that were people of color, specifically black people, in roles of high social standing. In most cases it was literally against the law for that to happen. Still, that doesn't mean your cast can't be diverse. It also doesn't have to be stereotypical representation! Just because a character in this era is black doesn't mean you have to make them a slave for, "historical accuracy."

I think one of the goals in pushing for diverse representation in media is to promote historical accuracy, not to gloss over the parts of history that aren't shining examples of inclusivity (read: most of history). If we want to produce media that is historically accurate, it should be accurate (or at least plausible) from all angles: not just what was on the curriculum for AP American History. As you mentioned, there are thousands of amazing, untold stories that have people at the center of it that belong to populations that are underrepresented in media. Make a game about those stories. Just because your game is set during WWII doesn't mean it has to be about the Americans fighting the Germans. It doesn't mean the player character has to be a straight white guy. It doesn't mean that the cast has to be predominantly white with a few tokens for, "diversity," that get killed off later.

When it comes to fantasy settings, a Utopian setting also isn't the ideal when it comes to making a diverse cast. Yes, it would be nice if everyone in the world wasn't racist and everyone got along, but fantasy as a genre has the potential to address ills we have in our world. The ideal, in my opinion, would be to have a cast that is diverse by the standard of Earth in a fantasy setting and have the story address a problem we have/had in our world with that cast. It's one thing to have a group of main and side characters standing up against the oppression of the elves as a diverse unit (by our standards) and another for a group to do the same thing, but have everyone be white (or worse, everyone but the, "exotic races," be white). The former is an fantasy allegory that tells about uniting against racial oppression. The latter is the White Savior Complex in a fantasy world (people of color/elves need white people/humans in order to not be oppressed).

At this point, I'm starting to ramble, so I'm cutting myself off here, but to summarize, the push for diversity in games should have the outcome of informing people about things minority populations do/have done rather than spreading misinformation. Really, the misinformation that is being spread currently is that only straight white guys ever do anything, which I think is a little worse than spreading the misinformation of a lesbian did something someone else did during the pre-colonial era or something.

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