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Firaxis and the Gross Misrepresentation of Non-Western History?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by MisterBarca, Jun 25, 2007.

  1. cybrxkhan

    cybrxkhan Asian Xwedodah

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    life is really tragic.

    also, the US is the one getting bashed at because it is the only world superpower, but there are enough "little guys" to laugh at it (along with "big but not big enough" guys like China, Germany, etc.).
     
  2. Sofista

    Sofista card-carrying

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    The menace to its own people I acknowledged; but why the Arab world, as stable as nytroglicerin? I mean, why this one monster instead of others?
    And about terrorism, was Saddam active in the field in recent years? Because the "look the other way" approach seems pretty diffused in the area, sadly. So many times one reads about Saudi Arabia and her ties with terrorism: how come they're "moderate", then?

    Eh, it is when most everyone else were predicting it before the... ship hit the fan.
    (I believe that Clinton maybe would have taken the same decision, but he'd have called the Nato representatives for a meeting and finally talked them into joining, or at least backing the action).

    And it's fair to say that the Bush administration has been much more careful in this second term. I suspect kicking the "hawks" out of the buttons room has helped.

    I'll agree with the Khan of Pho above: there is certainly envy for the biggest fish in that attitude.
    Not that I seriously fear about transatlantic relations: what has worsened is an image (of the US, of France, of Old Europe...), which will improve eventually - either the effect will fade, or some event shall provide an occasion for it. But the duration of the Iraq occupation is the main thing keeping it alive in the public perception; once it's over, people will move on.

    Good point, I agree. :)

    That's also true, but it's not exactly what I meant (for example, the Japanese system is not a copy of the American one). I wanted to ask whether there is a kind of optimism about a change achieved through external intervention.
     
  3. cybrxkhan

    cybrxkhan Asian Xwedodah

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    oh, and may i add, although people are jealous of America, that doesn't mean they also have other legitimate reasons for hating it. and there are, but that doesn't mean that people should loathe it.

    i myself have no love for America. but i still respect it. despite how stupid, ignorant, evil, and blah blah balh America can be, it still gets whatever job it is doing done at the end of the day. and that is still impressive enough.
     
  4. Gooblah

    Gooblah Heh...

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    However much everyone everywhere dislikes America's foreign policy (dude, I'm Indian American, and I totally agree), we all agree on one thing: The fact is that the rights granted to American people set in stone(okay, parchment) in the Constitution have been envied and used as a model for future democracies, like in India. Also, I agree with the earlier point that what happened in post WWII Japan/Germany cannot be replicated; both countries were completely ground down, their people were totally fed up, and resources and willingness of the people to aid themselves sexisted beforehand, allowing for a rapid (well, relatively) creation of a strong democracy.
     
  5. Wodan

    Wodan Deity

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    I don't think so, either to the common person or to the people in the decision-making process. I don't think anybody in the US is on some kind of crusade to export republic/democracy forms of government to the backward-thinking peoples of the so-called "third world" (itself somewhat of a derogatory term but in line with this kind of thinking). As I mentioned, autocratic forms of governent don't have many (if any) controls to prevent abuses... even if an "evil" dictator was replaced with a "good" one, in time another evil one would surely come into power.

    A republic isn't the best form of government, it's simply the best one yet invented. Especially in the area of having self-feedback and controls on abuses.

    So, if there are reasons to remove a particular dictator from power, then why not fix the underlying cause while you're at it. That's totally different from going around fixing underlying causes as a philosophical justification in and of itself.

    Wodan
     
  6. civverguy

    civverguy Emperor

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    I can't believe you guys care about what leaders are in the game. If you don't like one leader, make up your own!
     
  7. Xenos

    Xenos Chieftain

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    I don't think this is as simple as people think, there are better leaders for many of the countries represented,at least with England there are better choices than Vicky and Liz, Edward I, Edward III and Henry V were England's best monarchs and should probably be ahead of Vicky and Liz, in BTS is could be argued that Nebuchadrezzar II should be the leader of Babylon and for Rome Trajan or Hadrian
     
  8. brianshapiro

    brianshapiro King

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    I'm not sure what you mean by that. My high school history book portrayed every president who did anything to help minorities as having an evil ulterior agenda, until FDR, who was the first one to do it out of the kindness of his heart.

    You may have points or you may not, but many people think history texts have a conservative bias just because they don't portray the white man as more evil than they already do, and don't blame the CIA for bringing crack into the ghettos and inventing AIDS and every other problem in the world.

    In my high school btw, I had a course on European History in addition to World History, and a third one on US History. AP Courses.

    If you're in California btw, you get to learn the history of California in elementary school, which means a lot of learning about Mexicans who we stole land from.
     
  9. Tee Kay

    Tee Kay Justice guaranteed

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    The choices of some of leaders is tragic. But you must understand Firaxis is a COMPANY, out to make PROFIT and to do that they must answer to the customers. Since their target market are young westerners who usually don't care much at all for history, it is to be expected they put in leaders and civilisations which are familiar to their target market, hence the bias to Western civs and poor leader choices for other civs. If you were in their position you'd have done the same thing.

    That said, I'd prefer Taizong and Wu Di as Chinese leaders, Sejong as Korean leader, al-Rashid for Arabia and so on.
     
  10. dragodon64

    dragodon64 Noble

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    I completely agree in taking the opinions of the native country's populace in country leaders.

    I also believe in cultural leaders over "policy makers." I don't care what those Edwards or Henry did, it was Elizabeth who changed the English from middle age barbarians to the stiff-lipped and classy English of the next 4 centuries. Victoria while not a true ruler, created the mood for everyone in her country for nearly a century. She had an era named after her for God's sake.
     
  11. The Flame

    The Flame ^^ bad diplomat ^^

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    Part of the problem with the leaders is that everyone has their own opinions of who the great leaders are. By choosing well known leaders, things won't get as complicated.

    And, as mentioned before, people are more likely to buy the game when well-known leaders are used. The game is focused on the Western audience anyways, so.... yeah. That about sums it up.
     
  12. Xenos

    Xenos Chieftain

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    Your kidding she did nothing to turn England into stiff lipped classy,the best thing she did was not deepen england problems (but she never solved them) Henry V fought the battle of agincourt and probably England's greatest military leader (thats saying something). Edward I (same guy from braveheart) was not also a military great but a legal reformer, he reorganized the law courts and dismissed corrupt judges. Edward attempted to ensure that what touches all should be approved by all. Edward III was also a reformer in the same mold as his grandfather. In 1362 he made English in parliament and the courts. He made laws that made it illegal to raise taxes without the consent of parliament, plus he was father to the black prince
     
  13. injeKT

    injeKT Chieftain

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    You forgot "was an avid fan of genocide" for Longshanks.
     
  14. cybrxkhan

    cybrxkhan Asian Xwedodah

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    he was exxagerating somewhat, but he gets his point across.

    the American school system, like every school system in the world, focuses on its own country - in this case, America. however, i remember back in the day that i myself hated just learning year after year about America - even in World History there were always slight inferences to something about America. in World History, you learn about world history, but the amount of time spent on Ancient and Medieval history is much smaller compared to Modern History, which, of course, has a good focus on America.
     
  15. The Flame

    The Flame ^^ bad diplomat ^^

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    I agree about the American school system - it seems like every other year we learn US history (and our state history) over and over again. That is probably part of the source of American arrogance. But it's not like every other school in the world. When I went to school in Germany (before America), we learned very little about our country. We mainly learned general European history. Maybe one year we learned about German history, but that was it (we did lots of German geography though).
     
  16. Xenos

    Xenos Chieftain

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    While I don't respect that about him, Genghis killed millions according to Caesar himself he killed a Million Gauls, Hulagu Khan killed everyone in the City of Baghdad. Lets get that the Braveheart view of Edward I out of the way. Did he kill?, did he loot? and kill many innocents? Yes he did but never to the extent that Mao, Khan and Caesar did. 11,000 vs 1 Million for Caesar alone:rolleyes:
     
  17. brianshapiro

    brianshapiro King

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    Well whether or not you learn more about America than other countries, his statement that the lessons lean conservative do not have anything to do with my experience in school, where it was decidedly the opposite.

    when i learned history we didn't spend less time on ancient history than modern history, it was about equal, which considering that ancient history covered a larger span of time might seem inappropriate, but ancient history is a lot more sketchy than modern history with a lot less relevant events. the section on US history prior to WWI was relatively small (smaller than it should have been). Understandably, history past WI involves America a lot.
     
  18. Roxlimn

    Roxlimn Deity

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    Actually, a lot of people (outside Europe, anyway) don't particularly like America because its people tend to do really terrible things to other people. Things like leave radioactive waste in your country or secretly base nuclear weapons in it or just interfere with local politics.

    The main issue isn't "freeing" people. The main issue is forcing these other people to live according to American values. That's what's irking a LOT of people. Of course, the random disappearances and nasty rumors, not to mention the military's tacit patronage of the Asian sex trade doesn't really help.

    To put it quite bluntly, Americans behave as if everyone in the world is inferior to them and would like to be helped to be like them. That can be taken the wrong way.

    As for Civ, the game is simply what it is, an endorsement of the Eurocentric viewpoint. That's hardly surprising given the target audience, and if you're going to have to take its view of world history with such bucketfulls of salt, I don't see why you can't also be as cavalier about so-called civ leaders.

    Chinese militaries were using crossbows during the early centuries AD. And they developed paper. And had bureaucracies. And formalized academies. That kind of wide and ultra-fast teching just isn't possible in the game while also leaving everyone else in the tech-dust.

    Were China's leaders playing on an easier setting? ;)

    Drafting is one other sore point (among others). During the Warring States period, the Qin, the Wei, and other states were fielding in massive armies, with both a large permanent professional core as well as supplementary massive levies. This size of armies wasn't replicated to such an extent later on, but the army size never really got to as relatively small as European Middle Age army sizes. Not that you can blame Europe. Its population and area at the time were really quite small.

    So why limit Drafting to Nationhood? Was China Drafting? Perhaps it had built the Pyramids and was using Nationhood? ;)

    Let's not even get started with the Mongols and their crap Keshiik.
     
  19. PimpyMicPimp

    PimpyMicPimp Regrets His Username.

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    That is a good point :p It enrages to me no end how my countries government seems so willing to just grab our ankles and take what America shoves at us. It's maddening. It was pressure from the American government that killed the Areo (spelling? :p) project and a more recent example is the whole mad cow issue. The only cow in question originiated from the states (Washington, in fact) and our government just twiddled it's thumbs as America closed it's borders to Canadian beef, seriously hurting many people.

    When I become dictator of Canada I'm going to have a much firmer relationship with the US (and Qubec :p) and won't take as much crap. Bah, I hate having a torrie government, since they are even more willing to get down and give it to the US :angry:
     
  20. Wodan

    Wodan Deity

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    You don't think people from other countries leave radioactive and toxic wastes in America? :confused: Big business can do pretty much whatever it wants.

    Or base secret weapons? If a handful of terrorists can pull it off, I have absolutely no doubt that many foreign nations have weapons here: actual weapons, not just jumbo jets.

    Or, interfere with politics in America? :lol: Read the news.

    America doesn't force values. Just look at Iraq. The religious and political opposition are allowed to think and feel whatever they like.

    I agree with that. The abuses that have (reportedly) happened piss me off.

    One thing we should point out, however. This stuff isn't being swept under the rug. Not many nations could say that. Heck, even America in past generations probably couldn't say that.

    Every superpower in the history of the world, from Egypt to Rome to the Mongols to China to England, has thrown its weight around. Some of those superpowers I daresay did feel superior. However, it's probably easy to confuse the two things.

    Does America feel that way? That's a complex question. If you ask if I feel "superior" to a goat herder living in a shack somewhere in Asia, I'd say no. I feel more fortunate. But, honestly that goatherder may be perfectly content, and may have a deeper and more fulfilling life than I have. On the other hand, I have better health benefits. Go figure.

    Makes you wonder what would have happened to world history if China didn't turn isolationist. :)

    Wodan
     

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