So, I was driving home and tossed in The Rat Pack Live at the Sands for the ride. I was muttering to myself about Dungeons & Dragons and other fantasy games and how they treat both POC and non-humans as being less dimensional and nuanced. This had been set off by reading through my shiny new pdf copy of Tiny Dungeon 2e, where I was simultaneously elated at the variety of player races and depressed by the stereotypes applied. So, mid-mutter, Sammy Davis Jr came into the set, and I heard his iconic line of “Integration! Integration!” So let’s talk decolonization and integration. And yes, I’m picking on D&D in this, because it set the pattern.
Tag Archives: people of colour
When I last left off, I was talking about how a recent image in Dragon Heist changed thing in a good way before going on a bit of a rant about the rampant whitewashing in D&D art in previous editions.  So now it’s time to talk about the Peoples of Southwestern Faerûn, and more specifically how the may not exactly be as they’ve been advertised and described in the past.
With 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.
Anyone 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?”