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Haukionkala
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  Gypsies - WHY? Sun, 30 June 2013 00:46
I recently got the game and I have to say I love it. Started looking at the different expansions soon after... And that's when I ran into the Gypsies. What on Earth were the developers thinking when they named the race? The idea is good mechanically but why would anyone choose a name that is connected to a real world ethnicity and often used as a slur?

Really, it's pretty much the same as having a race in the game called N*****s (ethnic slur for people of African ancestry). Calling one Gypsies is just as racist. I suppose Pygmies could be considered slightly racist too, but at least it isn't used as a slur in the modern world to my knowledge.

If I ever get that expansion I'll have to paint the name over and rename them Nomads or something...

[Updated on: Tue, 02 July 2013 22:42]

      
Thorjin
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Re:Gypsies - WHY? Mon, 01 July 2013 04:48
I'm fairly certain gypsy is a perfectly acceptable word. If someone is using it in a negative way that's not a problem with the word itself. It's all about context.
      
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Re:Gypsies - WHY? Mon, 01 July 2013 05:43
Thorjin wrote on Sun, 30 June 2013 21:48

I'm fairly certain gypsy is a perfectly acceptable word. If someone is using it in a negative way that's not a problem with the word itself. It's all about context.

I get where the OP is coming from. Outside of America old school imagery of black people is not really that big of a thing. That's mostly because America continued slavery long after the rest of the world had seen the error of it's ways.

For a lot of parts of Europe, gypsy is a really bad racial slur, right up there with nigger in America. I'm kinda surprised the word was used since I thought the game designer was European. In America you can't just use nigger and claim you didn't mean it in a negative way.

What you intended to mean does not excuse you from the repercussions of the commonly accepted definition of the word. After all, you don't get to choose how your words are received. When you say something you didn't mean to, it's best to apologize and rephrase yourself.

[Updated on: Mon, 01 July 2013 05:44]

      
Haukionkala
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Re:Gypsies - WHY? Mon, 01 July 2013 23:36
Thorjin wrote on Mon, 01 July 2013 05:48

I'm fairly certain gypsy is a perfectly acceptable word. If someone is using it in a negative way that's not a problem with the word itself. It's all about context.


I don't really agree but even if that was the case Gypsies would still be a really problematic word since it refers to a real world ethnic group.

If you want something else to compare it to then I think Jews would be the perfect example, not least due to the fact that the Romani people were also targeted in the Holocaust. The word Jews refers to the adherents of the Jewish religion but often also to people of Jewish descent. Just like the word Gypsies refers to the Roma/Romani people.

Having a race in the game called the Jews would definitely be bad, especially if its special ability had something to do with money to reinforce anti-Semitic stereotypes. There is absolutely no reason why Gypsies would be any more acceptable.
      
Dan42hitchikers
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Re:Gypsies - WHY? Mon, 01 July 2013 23:41
I think you are just reading too much into this, gypsies travel a lot, I.e. abandoning regions, which is an acceptable comparison as in many cases they call themselves travellers.
Furthermore, they weren't designed by days of wonder but as an expansion so you can't blame them too much for that.
If it really bothers you then call them nomads, but remember it is just a light hearted game and would have no reason or intention to provoke discord amongst it's gaming society
      
Haukionkala
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Re:Gypsies - WHY? Mon, 01 July 2013 23:49
Dan42hitchikers wrote on Tue, 02 July 2013 00:41

but remember it is just a light hearted game

Which is part of why it bothers me. It's supposed to be a light-hearted game and then suddenly hits me with an ethnic slur. Makes absolutely no sense.

Suddenly dropping the name of a real world people into the game is really weird as well. All the other names are fairly generic fantasy names like Orcs, Humans, Wizards and Trolls. Then having an expansion that brings the Americans would be damn weird. Since American isn't an ethnic slur it might be kinda funny but it wouldn't fit the theme of the game.

[Updated on: Mon, 01 July 2013 23:49]

      
Dan42hitchikers
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Re:Gypsies - WHY? Mon, 01 July 2013 23:56
player1349931 wrote on Mon, 01 July 2013 22:49

Dan42hitchikers wrote on Tue, 02 July 2013 00:41

but remember it is just a light hearted game

Which is part of why it bothers me. It's supposed to be a light-hearted game and then suddenly hits me with an ethnic slur. Makes absolutely no sense.

Suddenly dropping the name of a real world people into the game is really weird as well. All the other names are fairly generic fantasy names like Orcs, Humans, Wizards and Trolls. Then having an expansion that brings the Americans would be damn weird. Since American isn't an ethnic slur it might be kinda funny but it wouldn't fit the theme of the game.


So don't read too much into it, no one else has, and its not like they're going to spend loads of money into reprinting something that isn't offending the vast majority of people, remember they aren't a huge company Andover not be able to afford it anyway
      
Haukionkala
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Re:Gypsies - WHY? Tue, 02 July 2013 00:06
Dan42hitchikers wrote on Tue, 02 July 2013 00:56

its not like they're going to spend loads of money into reprinting

Ohh I know that. Doesn't hurt to point out that it is racist though.
      
Dan42hitchikers
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Re:Gypsies - WHY? Tue, 02 July 2013 00:10
I suppose that's your opinion, and no amount of debating would change that, but if you could add a name so we know who we're talking to in the forums for future reference, sometimes its just nice to get to know people.

Hopefully see you somewhere else! Very Happy
      
Deio
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Re:Gypsies - WHY? Tue, 02 July 2013 14:38
I think you really are reading far too much into this... If I can bring my two cents to that discussion...

The author of the game is french-speaking, and in french, I can assure you that the word "Gypsies" is absolutely not a slur (except maybe in very rare cases ?).

In fact, in its feminine form ("Gitanes", as put in the game), I would say that the word has connotations of exotism and mystery - Gypsy women being sometimes associated with divination.

Furthermore, I see nothing in the game being offensive to Gypsies. On the contrary, they look quite nice, and have a really original power !
      
Dan42hitchikers
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Re:Gypsies - WHY? Tue, 02 July 2013 18:27
I hadn't thought of that, except that I don't know which country the designer was from
      
Haukionkala
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Re:Gypsies - WHY? Tue, 02 July 2013 18:41
Deio wrote on Tue, 02 July 2013 15:38

I think you really are reading far too much into this... If I can bring my two cents to that discussion...

The author of the game is french-speaking, and in french, I can assure you that the word "Gypsies" is absolutely not a slur (except maybe in very rare cases ?).

In fact, in its feminine form ("Gitanes", as put in the game), I would say that the word has connotations of exotism and mystery - Gypsy women being sometimes associated with divination.

OP here, decided to change my username to something better. I really think Gypsy/Gypsies is very often used as a slur in English discussions, especially when it is a political discussion about some kinds. The word is very often accompanied by a popular swear word. Google searches for "thatswearword ethnicslurforpeopleofafricanancestry" and "thatswearword gypsies" yield results that are very close in number. That, in my opinion, is a very good indication that it is a slur.

I must say that I don't know anything about the word in French but I'm not sure that is relevant. The expansion rules state that they were designed by an American, not by Small World's original designer. Perhaps he was not aware of how the word is used in much of Europe in English conversations, I've found that many Americans are simply unaware of the extent and prevalence of antiziganism (anti-Romanyism) in Europe.

Deio wrote on Tue, 02 July 2013 15:38

Furthermore, I see nothing in the game being offensive to Gypsies. On the contrary, they look quite nice, and have a really original power !

I do agree that it isn't as negative a portrayal as it could be, although the knife as their race symbol is a bit iffy. That wasn't really my point though.

Also, even if Gypsy isn't considered a slur... I've yet to see an explanation why naming a race in the game Gypsies would be any different from naming one Jews. Both refer to real world ethnic minorities (in Europe) that have been historically persecuted.

So please, how is this any different than a race called Jews would be?

Edit: Edited out swear words. Sorry about that.

[Updated on: Tue, 02 July 2013 22:41]

      
rasmussen81
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Re:Gypsies - WHY? Tue, 02 July 2013 22:18
Haukionkala,

This has been an interesting discussion and you are clearly very passionate about your point of view. However, this is a family forum and swear words have no place here, even if they are being used to make a point. If you could, I would appreciate if you could edit the above posts to remove any swear words.

Thanks, and welcome to the forums! Smile
      
Haukionkala
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Re:Gypsies - WHY? Tue, 02 July 2013 22:41
rasmussen81 wrote on Tue, 02 July 2013 23:18

I would appreciate if you could edit the above posts to remove any swear words.

Done (I think), sorry about that.
      
rasmussen81
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Re:Gypsies - WHY? Wed, 03 July 2013 07:41
Haukionkala wrote on Wed, 03 July 2013 00:41

rasmussen81 wrote on Tue, 02 July 2013 23:18

I would appreciate if you could edit the above posts to remove any swear words.

Done (I think), sorry about that.


Looks better, thanks for understanding. Cool
      
Deio
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Re:Gypsies - WHY? Wed, 03 July 2013 10:14
Haukionkala écrit le Tue, 02 July 2013 18:41

Also, even if Gypsy isn't considered a slur... I've yet to see an explanation why naming a race in the game Gypsies would be any different from naming one Jews. Both refer to real world ethnic minorities (in Europe) that have been historically persecuted.



I must admit that naming a race Jews would be very weird. The difference would just be that Gypsies, in my mind, can have some kind of "fantasy imagery" whereas Jews don't.

But then again, my answer would be the same : Jew is not a slur by itself, and using this name for a race in a fantasy boardgame doesn't seem very insulting to me, though strange.

Are you aware that there also are Pygmies and Dwarves in this game? Must that be considered offensive too, though in the game they are completely "fantasy-rethemed" and have nothing to do with people you could meet in real life?

What about Elves ? They are represented in a sort of "feminine" way, just for the sake of humour. But isn't that offensive to women in the end (as we tend to make fun of what's feminine in a man, and to consider it "inferior") ?


And I am sure we could find many other examples... I am all for defending minorities (being myself part of one), but I am not sure underlining these examples in a boardgame is really worth it. It just shows how we can perceive our society sometimes, but that's it.

It led us to an interesting debate, though. ^^
      
Haukionkala
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Re:Gypsies - WHY? Wed, 03 July 2013 10:36
Deio wrote on Wed, 03 July 2013 11:14

I must admit that naming a race Jews would be very weird. The difference would just be that Gypsies, in my mind, can have some kind of "fantasy imagery" whereas Jews don't.

But then again, my answer would be the same : Jew is not a slur by itself, and using this name for a race in a fantasy boardgame doesn't seem very insulting to me, though strange.

I just don't really see the "fantasy imagery" in the case of Gypsies either, can't relaly think of any instance I would have seen the word in fantasy literature or games.

Deio wrote on Wed, 03 July 2013 11:14

Are you aware that there also are Pygmies and Dwarves in this game? Must that be considered offensive too, though in the game they are completely "fantasy-rethemed" and have nothing to do with people you could meet in real life?

What about Elves ? They are represented in a sort of "feminine" way, just for the sake of humour. But isn't that offensive to women in the end (as we tend to make fun of what's feminine in a man, and to consider it "inferior")?

I actually mentioned the Pygmies in my original post. I do find even them slightly strange but not quite as cringeworthy since I haven't really seen or heard the word used to refer to real people in the modern world. Dwarves are a fantasy staple, I believe the plural word that refers to real life short-statured people is Dwarfs, not Dwarves. I minor difference, sure, but it's there. Elves are often portrayed as slightly androgynous in fantasy fiction. It could be problematic if there was a reference to a real world group of people... But there isn't.

Deio wrote on Wed, 03 July 2013 11:14

And I am sure we could find many other examples... I am all for defending minorities (being myself part of one), but I am not sure underlining these examples in a boardgame is really worth it. It just shows how we can perceive our society sometimes, but that's it.

It led us to an interesting debate, though. ^^

It's not truly offensive or a very big thing in any way. It was just very... Cringeworthy (I like this word) when I saw it. Just doesn't fit the game at all in my opinion and thought that was worth pointing out. I actually got the expansion and I did rename them Nomads. Didn't even mess it up too badly.
      
ChosenSpeaker
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Re:Gypsies - WHY? Fri, 05 July 2013 21:29
First off, this has been a really fascinating debate.
I have to admit, it did occur to me that the Gypsies were the only small world race that seemed to be connected to a specific group of real world individuals. (The Small World Pygmies are obviously non-human. The Amazons are a specific ethnicity, albeit a mythological one.) That never bothered me, though.
I'm not claiming to be an expert in the history of the Romani, but I do believe that the modern connotation of "gypsy" does not inherently refer to that specific ethnicity.
Historically, the term "gypsy" appeared in Europe when a group of people (the Roma/Romani depending on who you ask) arrived in Europe after migrating out of the Indian subcontinent. Europeans coined the term "gypsy" as a reference to the Eastern origins of these people (they were first thought to have come from Egypt. Egypt > gypsy).
Originally, yes, "gypsies" were all one ethnicity. Over time, however, they have become less so. There is no doubt that many modern gypsies are Romani, but people of other ethnic and cultural backgrounds have adopted the lifestyle as well, just as there are Romani who have abandoned it. It is my opinion, therefore, that the term "gypsy" applies more to adherents of a lifestyle as opposed to members of an ethnic or cultural group.
Sadly, there is still plenty of racism all over the world, but I disagree that the word "gypsy" retains much derogatory meaning, unless it's in reference to a life style in which case it would be similar to terms such as "red-neck" or "trailer-trash".
For a SW race that was intended to function in an itinerant manner, Gypsy is a good name. Gypsy-like peoples are common-place in fantasy and science fiction worlds. Often they go by a different name invented by the creator, but for a game focused are clear-cut, generic titles like SW, Gypsy is probably the best name out there.
The term "nomad" refers to a similar itinerant lifestyle; however, the imagery it conveys is of more along the lines of wandering herders or hunters with tents out in the desert or grasslands.("Nomad" might make an interesting special power...) Gypsy, on the other hand, conjures images of painted wagons, fortunetelling, colorful clothing, throwing daggers, and an air of mystery. This is exactly the sort of stereotype that SW makes use of with the rest of its races.
The main sticking point in the conversation seems to be that "gypsy" can still refer to real-world people, and people don't want to enforce misleading stereotypes. I think it's important to view the "gypsy" concept, within a fantasy world, as simply being a vague indicator of lifestyle/profession, much the same as with other races such the Priestesses, Wizards, Sorcerers, Amazons, or Cultists.
Sorry if I sounded long-winded. The topic was quite intriguing.

[Updated on: Fri, 05 July 2013 23:41]

      
Dan42hitchikers
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Re:Gypsies - WHY? Fri, 05 July 2013 23:06
I forgot about the gypsies being from Egypt, hence why in His Dark Materials they are referred to as Gyptian
Well constructed
      
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Re:Gypsies - WHY? Sat, 06 July 2013 00:23
player1019453 wrote on Fri, 05 July 2013 14:29

First off, this has been a really fascinating debate.
I have to admit, it did occur to me that the Gypsies were the only small world race that seemed to be connected to a specific group of real world individuals. (The Small World Pygmies are obviously non-human. The Amazons are a specific ethnicity, albeit a mythological one.) That never bothered me, though.
I'm not claiming to be an expert in the history of the Romani, but I do believe that the modern connotation of "gypsy" does not inherently refer to that specific ethnicity.
Historically, the term "gypsy" appeared in Europe when a group of people (the Roma/Romani depending on who you ask) arrived in Europe after migrating out of the Indian subcontinent. Europeans coined the term "gypsy" as a reference to the Eastern origins of these people (they were first thought to have come from Egypt. Egypt > gypsy).
Originally, yes, "gypsies" were all one ethnicity. Over time, however, they have become less so. There is no doubt that many modern gypsies are Romani, but people of other ethnic and cultural backgrounds have adopted the lifestyle as well, just as there are Romani who have abandoned it. It is my opinion, therefore, that the term "gypsy" applies more to adherents of a lifestyle as opposed to members of an ethnic or cultural group.
Sadly, there is still plenty of racism all over the world, but I disagree that the word "gypsy" retains much derogatory meaning, unless it's in reference to a life style in which case it would be similar to terms such as "red-neck" or "trailer-trash".
For a SW race that was intended to function in an itinerant manner, Gypsy is a good name. Gypsy-like peoples are common-place in fantasy and science fiction worlds. Often they go by a different name invented by the creator, but for a game focused are clear-cut, generic titles like SW, Gypsy is probably the best name out there.
The term "nomad" refers to a similar itinerant lifestyle; however, the imagery it conveys is of more along the lines of wandering herders or hunters with tents out in the desert or grasslands.("Nomad" might make an interesting special power...) Gypsy, on the other hand, conjures images of painted wagons, fortunetelling, colorful clothing, throwing daggers, and an air of mystery. This is exactly the sort of stereotype that SW makes use of with the rest of its races.
The main sticking point in the conversation seems to be that "gypsy" can still refer to real-world people, and people don't want to enforce misleading stereotypes. I think it's important to view the "gypsy" concept, within a fantasy world, as simply being a vague indicator of lifestyle/profession, much the same as with other races such the Priestesses, Wizards, Sorcerers, Amazons, or Cultists.
Sorry if I sounded long-winded. The topic was quite intriguing.

Nice post. You should totally make a name and stay awhile. If you want to listen that would be nice too. ^_^
      
FlankingFriars
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Re:Gypsies - WHY? Mon, 08 July 2013 02:25
This is something I have also been curious about. As far as I understand, the nomadic nature of the Romani peoples was a lifestyle not their choice. Romanticizing this lifestyle is a mockery of their suffering. The term used in the Small World game in question is considered a racial slur in places outside the U.S. which ought to be reason enough to never include it in the game. Personally, I don't play with this race, and plan to re-skin it with a custom race. I would have hoped for more creativity from such an imaginative game.
      
ChosenSpeaker
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Re:Gypsies - WHY? Mon, 08 July 2013 15:42
In the end I think the choice is simply up to the players of the game. Language is a very complex subject, and various names are always going be interpreted differently by people who come from differing cultural and historic backgrounds.
Whatever you call them, the Gypsies are a great addition to SW, and it would be a shame to boycott them completely. For anyone who truly can't live with the default name, they can always change it. There are plenty of alternative nomenclatures to pick from.
"Nomads" works, though I explained in my earlier post why I don't think it's good match. Other options are names from various fantasy works: "Traders" (Circle of Magic by Tamora Pierce), "Gyptians" (His Dark Materials, mentioned by Dan42hitchikers), and my personal favorite "Rovers" (the Shannara books by Terry Brooks). Also, I'm sure I've seen "Travelers" in more than a few places.
Personally, I'm just going to keep using "Gypsies". I don't mind the name, and neither does anyone else I know.

[Updated on: Mon, 08 July 2013 15:46]

      
FlankingFriars
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Re:Gypsies - WHY? Mon, 08 July 2013 16:11
It WILL be up to the players because it's already said and done. However, if you respect your fellow humans you'd do well to take that word out of your vocabulary. Language is not up to your own personal interpretation.
      
*player1138704
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Re:Gypsies - WHY? Tue, 09 July 2013 08:58
Yeah pretty much everyone I've played this game with for the first time has gone "Woah, that is pretty racist" when we run the deck through the deck :\ I understand if it doesn't have the same connotations everywhere, but it [i]is/[i] sold internationally and you can't really use that as an excuse. I'm actually pretty shocked this hasn't come up before and that they're still printing it like this.
      
Deio
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Re:Gypsies - WHY? Tue, 09 July 2013 09:32
OK, then. I see this word is used very differently from a country to another.

Is "Gypsy" the same level of slur as "N*gg*r" in english-speaking countries ?

Because in french, I can't seem to find any word used for these nomadic people that could be considered as a slur by itself (and we have 5 or 6 different words to refer to them, according to their origins). So it is really not easy to me to understand how offensive the word "Gypsy" can be...
      
ChosenSpeaker
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Re:Gypsies - WHY? Tue, 09 July 2013 20:07
Interestingly enough, I'm studying in Spain right now, and the topic of Gypsy culture came up in my class today (specifically how they're the origin of flamenco). My professor is a native Spaniard, and my class has students from five or six countries, so I brought up the use of the word "Gypsy" to get everyone's perspective.

No one thought the word was any sort of a racial slur. In fact, in most of the languages present "Gypsy" (or their variant of it) was the only word ever used for these people. I think it's hard for a word to be a racial slur when there are no alternatives to its use.

My professor did admit in a couple countries (she named France and Romania specifically) the term "Gypsy" is sometimes given a negative connotation. Not a racial slur exactly. The situation is more along the lines of non-Gypsies being snobs and looking down on them. My professor personally knows a number of Gypsies living here in Spain, and "Gypsy" is the term they prefer for their own people.

This discussion actually lasted quite a while, but the verdict was that there is nothing wrong with using the word "gypsy". The controversy is more about political correctness than an offensive racial slur. In comparison to other controversies in the United States, this makes the gypsy vs. Romani issue resemble the argument over what to call indigenous people (Indian, Native American, Amerindian, First Nations) more than the use of slurs such as the N word.
      
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Re:Gypsies - WHY? Tue, 09 July 2013 20:37
ChosenSpeaker wrote on Tue, 09 July 2013 22:07

Interestingly enough, I'm studying in Spain right now, and the topic of Gypsy culture came up in my class today (specifically how they're the origin of flamenco). My professor is a native Spaniard, and my class has students from five or six countries, so I brought up the use of the word "Gypsy" to get everyone's perspective.

No one thought the word was any sort of a racial slur. In fact, in most of the languages present "Gypsy" (or their variant of it) was the only word ever used for these people. I think it's hard for a word to be a racial slur when there are no alternatives to its use.

My professor did admit in a couple countries (she named France and Romania specifically) the term "Gypsy" is sometimes given a negative connotation. Not a racial slur exactly. The situation is more along the lines of non-Gypsies being snobs and looking down on them. My professor personally knows a number of Gypsies living here in Spain, and "Gypsy" is the term they prefer for their own people.

This discussion actually lasted quite a while, but the verdict was that there is nothing wrong with using the word "gypsy". The controversy is more about political correctness than an offensive racial slur. In comparison to other controversies in the United States, this makes the gypsy vs. Romani issue resemble the argument over what to call indigenous people (Indian, Native American, Amerindian, First Nations) more than the use of slurs such as the N word.


Thank you for this new perspective. Sounds like an interesting discussion, so thanks for sharing it with us!
      
*player38092
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Re:Gypsies - WHY? Tue, 09 July 2013 23:58
I have some Gipsy friends (from Manouch and Yenish tribes), who are proud of their culture and of their nomadic way of life.
I really cannot understand why one could be disturbed by the use of Gypsies to describe a nomadic people in SW.
That reference sticks to imaginative litterature, as Gypsies are a mysterious people.
I believe that the "disturbance" caused by Gypsies in the game is a side effect of PC ideology seeping through and generating problems where there are none.

BTW pygmies, priestesses, sorcerers and humans exist in real life.
Why not push PC pseudo ethics to its ends and accuse SW of promoting religious ideas (magic and sorcery are clearly rooted in spiritual presuppositions) and violence (hey, this game is about genocide!)?

Better for all to keep away from such stupidness.
      
*player1138704
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Re:Gypsies - WHY? Wed, 10 July 2013 08:58
I'm pretty sure "sorcerers" do not exist in real life, and Humans is sufficiently generic.

On Priestesses: 1. It is generic enough to not specifically call out a particular religion and 2. It is not a race, but an occupation.

Asking your friends and/or random people you meet if they think a word is offensive is not really a good fact finding method. A cursory googling will reveal that it has negative connotations to some people / in some places. Just one example http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romani_people#Gypsyfrom Wikipedia: "As a term 'gypsy' is considered derogatory by many members of the Roma community because of negative and stereotypical associations with the term" The correct term should be Romani. And even named that it shouldn't be in the game. Even if you won't admit that it is offensive to some people, it is certainly out of place thematically with the rest of the game. It'd be like if there was a race called "Frenchies" and they all attacked people with baguettes and wore berets.

And yes I think the usage of Pygmies in the game is also kind of offensive and out of place.

[Updated on: Wed, 10 July 2013 08:58]

      
*player38092
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Re:Gypsies - WHY? Wed, 10 July 2013 11:30
Of course sorcerers exist in real life, within animist, occultist, esoteric, wiccan, etc. religious systems (and the animist system is about the most universally existant one on Earth).

In the French version, we have "Gitanes", and the 50'000 evangelical of them in France call the pastor who founded their movement "l'apôtre des Gitans" (the apostle of the Gypsies - as Gypsy seems to be the most accurate translation for Gitan).
They are proud of that name - even though they mostly use "Tsiganes" or "gens du voyage".

Even though there are xenophobic attitudes in many countries, I don't see the name "Gitan" being derogatory in itself.
Often, the media use "gens du voyage" (people of the journey), rather to englobe the multiple tribes that compose the Gypsy people - which cannot be limited to the Roms.

Now, SW is a game.
It uses archetypes of fantasy/imaginative litterature.
Pygmies are not the "real life" tribes that you find in Congo nowadays, but characters sprouting from Tarzan or other classical "African" adventures.
Gypsies, in SW, are a wonderfull people and are certainly valorized by the very usefull aspect of their nomadic power.

But, I believe that people who are disturbed by the Gypsies would also boycott James Bond's pictures, as one shows a caricatural duel between two gypsy girls fighting for a man.

Note that Humans certainly are not generic in SW.
They are reduced to gruffy, relatively weak, peasants.
No knights, no artists, no scientists.
If I were a PC talking Elf, I would disturbed about SW being "humanophobic".

Trying to accuse SW of racism is, IMO, a very perverse, show of , a "holier than you", pharisaic attitude.

Why not attack chess because its aim is a regicide - not speaking of the discrimination against the king in favour of the almighty queen (would that term lead to suspicion of an allusion to homosexuality?)

PC militantism is an unending, sterile way of thinking.
I really find it sad to see such pseudoethical ultrasensivity threaten a fine game - with stinking understatements (aking to public slander) about the designer's ethics.

Time to call in lawyers and ruin DoW, don't you think? Sad

[Updated on: Wed, 10 July 2013 11:31]

      
Deio
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Re:Gypsies - WHY? Wed, 10 July 2013 12:14
agrabah écrit le Wed, 10 July 2013 08:58

It'd be like if there was a race called "Frenchies" and they all attacked people with baguettes and wore berets.


Actually I think this would be quite funny ! I have to find a power to go with that race !


More seriously though, asking some friends or random persons about that word is indeed not a perfect fact-finding method ; but at least they debated it.

On another hand, an example taken from Wikipedia doesn't seem to be a perfect source to me, either, anyway.


And I am totally ok to admit that certain persons could be offended by the word "gypsy" ; I am just trying to understand how this has come to be in certain countries and not others... Furthermore I would be very curious to know how real gypsies would react to their fantasy couterpart in SW.
      
*player38092
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Re:Gypsies - WHY? Wed, 10 July 2013 12:25
Deio écrit le Wed, 10 July 2013 12:14

More seriously though, asking some friends or random persons about that word is indeed not a perfect fact-finding method ; but at least they debated it.
FYI, those are Gypsy friends (pastors actually, as I myself am a pastor).
And they share that opinion with 50'000 French Gypsies.
One of my friends is deeply involved in the reparations due to Gypsies being ill treated in Switzerland (kids were taken from their parents and placed in "sedentary" families, until the early seventies!), so I would consider him as first class reference - over sentimental, PC ideologists who try to defend people whithout any direct contact with them.

[Updated on: Wed, 10 July 2013 12:28]

      
rasmussen81
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Re:Gypsies - WHY? Wed, 10 July 2013 13:26
If we're finally being honest about Small World, my wife wanted me to be sure to speak up.

She is deeply 'offended' by the imagery used for and connotations associated with the race "White Ladies", being one herself. What is the world coming to when a good woman sees herself mocked in such a way!? Shocked
      
FlankingFriars
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Re:Gypsies - WHY? Wed, 10 July 2013 15:25
It's not about political correctness or over sensitivity. It is simply lazy of DoW to have a real life group of people in the game. Sorcerers, priestesses and humans don't face discrimination because they belong to those groups. In fact, being a sorcerer or a priestess is something you could change about yourself. The use of Romani and Pygmies in game is offensive, just as a race labeled 'Indians' would be. The fact that either of these could easily be re-skinned as hundreds of other fictional 'races' is disappointing to someone who enjoys fantasy and roleplaying.
      
Deio
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Re:Gypsies - WHY? Wed, 10 July 2013 16:15
Thanks for your precisions, Robin.

Rasmussen81, I feel so sorry for your wife. From now on, I will change the name "White Ladies" to... er...... "Strange Things Floating in the Dark" ?



FlankingFriars écrit le Wed, 10 July 2013 15:25

It's not about political correctness or over sensitivity.

What is it about then ? I don't understand what is so offensive in using real life groups names for fictional fantasy-rethemed races...

These are just names, not insults... (Or are they to you ?)
      
*player38092
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Re:Gypsies - WHY? Wed, 10 July 2013 16:27
FlankingFriars écrit le Wed, 10 July 2013 15:25

The use of Romani and Pygmies in game is offensive, just as a race labeled 'Indians' would be.
I don't agree.
Perhaps are you used to use those expressions offensively.
I am not.
Now, have you noticed that the "campment" tokens have north amerindian tipees on them?
I hope that you can get over that offense !

And did you notice that among SWU monsters, there are cute poodles, with three heads like the dreaded Cerberus: such an association of ideas is a terrible show of racism.

I also play many historical wargames: I presume that it is offensive to replay D-Day with Americans, British, Canadians and Germans?

FlankingFriars écrit le Wed, 10 July 2013 15:25

It's not about political correctness or over sensitivity
It surely is, without a doubt.
And I find that PC ideology is about one of the most offensive demonstrations of the present time, as it feeds iself upon the diffuse feeling of guilt that it tries to instilate to everybody, creating taboos and "unauthorized" expressions and turning innocence into crime.

If your "morals" lead you not to play SW, don't play it.
But I won't let your ideology stop me from having fun playing Gypsies, Pygmies, Humans and all the other wonderfull creations of SW.

[Updated on: Wed, 10 July 2013 16:27]

      
FlankingFriars
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Re:Gypsies - WHY? Wed, 10 July 2013 23:38
If you do not take offense, then don't. The more ignorant thing to do would be to argue about how something is not offensive when you are privileged enough to not know offense from it.
      
*player38092
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Re:Gypsies - WHY? Thu, 11 July 2013 08:18
I am simply resisting a destructive ideology.
Call me ignorant if you will, but I will resist any slur and any stinky understatement that DoW or SW are racist.
      
DAC cazaron
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Re:Gypsies - WHY? Thu, 19 September 2013 14:20
I think this has been a very fascinating and interesting discussion, and it's refreshing to see people accept and listen to others opinions.

I personally am of the opinion that it's a fantasy race, not in any way attempting to draw reference to the concept of a racial slur. However, it is very interesting indeed to see your logic behind it, it is well explained and very thought through.
      
Cohen The Barbarian
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Re:Gypsies - WHY? Sat, 16 November 2013 14:05
I don't use the Gypsies 'race' when playing the game.
Gypsies are definitely a community and they're having a hard time in countries like Italy, France, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Russia... Just read the news.
Using Gypsies as a race that leave coins behind is also sad when you think on the real Gypsies community and the integration problems they're actually facing.
Sorry I just keep the tokens in the box everytime I play this great game.
I agree that Gypsies is also a 'fantasy' people in some contexts, so it'd be up to the players to use the tokens or not...depending on their context:)
      
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