Tag Archives: ethnic minorities

The Hugo Affair

hugologoRecently, the Hugo Awards have been in the media a lot more than they usually are, even though it’s coming close to the announcement period for the year’s winners in science fiction and fantasy. [1] Unfortunately, it’s for all the wrong reasons. [2][3] As io9 points out, the Hugo Awards have always been political, but now they will never be anything else. As seen on Slashdot, the current state of affairs has some very familiar roots and apologetics at work. [4] Now, I’ve talked about this sort of thing before, but this requires an examination, if for no other reason than the fact that its an international award system that is being perverted. [5][6]
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It’s Not Fair?

POCGamer GrenadeWith the arrival of 2015 has come the arrival of movie announcements for the coming year and for 2016. It’s a great looking season for science fiction and fiction, with Star Wars episode VII, The Fantastic Four, a live action Ghost in the Shell, and the announcement of Spider-Man coming to the Disney based Marvel Cinematic Universe all in the pipe, and it has got the nerd world on fire. Unfortunately, it’s not on fire in a good way. Once again, issues of ethnicity and whitewashing have been slammed to the fore of the discussion.
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Dungeons and Dragons 5e First Impressions

DD-LogoMy ideas about the actions taken against POC in D&D 4e, and what makes a good campaign setting, are well documented. [1][2] The art in 4e D&D was almost exclusively of “whites”, or “ambiguously shaded”, and the game structure was torn from the pages of online MMORPGs. Not only did I not feel included, but as someone who doesn’t like or play MMORPGs, the entire edition was a wash for me. Eventually, it spread to friends as well, and D&D fell off the map for us for the majority of 4e’s blighted and controversial production. However, being a sucker who’s played Dungeons and Dragons since about 1993, I was dragged back into D&D by the D&D Next mass playtest. I don’t regret it. In this post, I’ll look briefly at what 4e D&D did wrong, and what 5e D&D is doing about it.

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The Wider World of Tanks

World-of-TanksAnyone who knows me in real life knows that I’m into tanks. Tanks, and by extension most armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs), are kind of my thing. I teach AFV and aircraft recognition, have Military Machines International magazines laying about, and possibly too much bookshelf is being consumed by a slowly growing selection of books about tanks and other AFVs. Needless to say, I’ve wanted to play World of Tanks for some time, and earlier this year I finally got my poor old iMac to run it. The game is great fun, but some parts of it leave me with mixed feelings. The creators of the game have done a great job overall, going so far as to have nation specific voices for the crews to shout in. The research detail isn’t too shabby either, although some vehicles suffer for the sake of game balance. The part that left me disappointed was the crew section. In the garage (or stables as I prefer), each tank’s crew is represented with a row of thumbnail images, one for each crewman. The faces are overwhelmingly white. In fact, only the tanks from the USA’s tech tree have the option of being switched to having POC crew, or the possibility of having a POC face randomly selected. Now, given that the game was originally aimed at a World War Two-ish era, some might ask “So?”
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Missing the Point pt.2

POCGamer GrenadeThis has been a long post in coming, and has undergone several rethinks and adjustments along the way to improve coherency, make it less angry, and to really get the core or this portion. What I’m discussing over the next raft of words are the topics of perception, tokenism, and the creative process. These three areas are often misused and misunderstood by many people who argue for the maintenance of the status quo in SF&F gaming and media.
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