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Firaxis stereotyping Orientals

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by gettingfat, Jul 26, 2006.

  1. Randolph

    Randolph Warlord

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    You are acting with the knowlege that someone is going to be hurt. Therefore
    maybe a better analogy would be if you were driving along the road, and someone walks out in front of you. You have time to stop, but you know that the law is in your favor and if you slam into them you won’t get in any trouble. You therefore go ahead and run them down. Maybe not illegal, but it makes you one hell of an ass****.
     
  2. Brighteye

    Brighteye intuitively Bayesian

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    If I'm making the graphics for Shaka and I say that Shaka is a dark-skinned man I'm not being racist; I'm clarifying a point that needs it for what I'm doing. I expect people to respect that. If I wander around in the streets shouting "Shaka was dark-skinned" I'd undertstand if people starting asking things like 'and what's your problem with that?'
    Similarly, when I use Oriental, I use it in accordance with the dictionary definition and I use it to make a point; in this instance the OP used it to describe a set of civilisations from the game. That's not using the term pointlessly or offensively, and I'm inclined to take offense if people take offense at that.
    Should you then not take offense at my use of the term 'oriental' because I take offense at you finding my innocently-meant message offensive? According to your logic you should.
    I'm not wiping personal responsibility away, I'm placing where it's deserved.

    Genghis Khan II: read the previous posts before adding to what's been said. I've quoted a dictionary to show that oriental is not used only to refer only to objects. Nowhere does the OED suggest that Oriental is an uneducated term.
     
  3. Uiler

    Uiler Emperor

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    Practically any Chinese leader in history besides Qin would have been more suited to Protective. For Chinese, Qin is considered like Napoleon or Alexander. He is the Greatest Conqueror to exist in Chinese history. The Imperialist who created the Chinese Empire. Quite literally created. There was no real unified Chinese empire before Qin. He really *was* the *First* emperor. The guy who had no opponents, only victims. The guy who more than a 1000 years before Genghis Khan made all of E. Asia quake with fear. A guy who never saw a country he didn't want to conquer. The idea of giving Qin the trait "protective" goes completely against the image that Qin has in Chinese history and in the public imagination. Qin's image amongst Chinese is as a conqueror, an imperialist, a monument builder, someone who everyone feared. Even now stories of his conquests and cruelty inspire awe and until recently hatred. Qin society as a whole was a militaristic aggressive society aimed at conquest who was the biggest bully on the block for generations. In my opinion, Qin were the Nazis of ancient China (without the racism bit). The entire society was militaristic, expansionist, aggressive and extremely extremely organized. The whole society was a giant industrial complex centred around military conquest and monument building ruled by harsh laws with no mercy or leniency and which micromanaged people's daily lives. Once he ran out of native Chinese states he just went and invaded non-Chinese tribes and states. Qin was a conqueror, an imperalist, a megalomaniac who ruled over one of the most militaristic and aggressive societies ever to exist. People may marvel at the professionalism of the Roman army. The entire Qin *society* from children to the elderly existed to support the army.

    I get the impression a *lot* of Westerners only see the Great Wall and think Qin as some sort of Protective ruler. But I believe for most Chinese Qin is considered like an extremely organized Alexander or Napoleon with extra lashings of cruelty. He is the Great Conqueror and man of Great Cruelty. Take for example even the great "protective" Great Wall. The greatest number of stories about the Great Wall in popular imagination are actually about the suffering of the people building it. About the numbers of people who died in harsh conditions. How all you had to do was say make a bad brick and be sent to the Great Wall. About how they deliberately underfed you so that you would slowly starve to death. Or freeze to death in the bitter cold. About the weeping wives of men killed building the Great Wall and how Heaven had mercy on them. And stories about dead bodies being buried in it. Qin "protecting" the people? Personally I think my grandmother would have a fit if you suggested that Qin "protected" the Chinese from anyone since she (and a lot of older Chinese) hate his guts. For example one of the greatest modern Chinese authors, Jin Yong, the "King of Wuxia" (who is in his 80s I think?) was extremely displeased with the movie "Hero" because he thought the movie presented Qin Shi Huang-di in a too favourable light and didn't show his evilness and the suffering he caused the common people. The Communist Party has rehabilitated his image in recent years but older folk who grew up before the Communists still hate him.

    Let's summarize this. Just because Qin built the Great Wall doesn't mean he is considered a Great Protector of China amongst Chinese. During his reign, I'm sure most Chinese were praying he would get struck by lightning and so they would be free of him. They were probably praying for someone, anyone to protect them *from* him. I'm willing to bet they would have much rather taken their chances with barbarian incursions. I have to wonder how much of the purpose of the Great Wall was actually to keep the people in rather than keep the barbarians out.
     
  4. dc82

    dc82 Prince

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    Again, your analogy is off and disregarded mine. Again, so the same way, if I started using the word coloured or Negro to describe him... Sure, it's technically correct, but is it a good idea to do so?
     
  5. Randolph

    Randolph Warlord

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    Uiler,
    George Washington led a rag tag group of farmers around that he called an army. For the most part he was beaten by the Brits time and time again, but pulled off some important victories through luck, cleverness, determination, and unconventional tactics. He wasn’t very organized in either his role as a general, or later as a president (which at the time had essentially no power over the economics and organization of the nation). The only thing he did that might be “financial” was convincing people to be paid in money that was objectively almost worthless, and kept the war effort going long after the Republic was beyond broke (they started out broke, and it went down hill from there).

    In fact what made Washington a “great leader” wasn’t his ability to weld power, something he was rather sub-par at, but his willingness to let it go. He had the opportunity to be the de facto “king” of the US twice, after he won the war and when he was president (he could have been elected again and again for life), and he turned it down both times to create the free, democratic, society that he believed in so strongly. This sounds a lot more like “philosophical” and maybe “charismatic” then either organized or financial.

    Does this mean that Fraxis has an ignorant view of US history? I certainly don’t think so. Organized and financial are both traits that could reasonably describe the US in general, and WG did help organize a revolution, and pulled some serious funny business with money. They may not be the best traits to describe him, but why ***** about it? If you take an objective look at the game as a whole I think you’ll find that the East Asian leaders are not uniquely poorly represented.

    You clearly know a good deal about Chinese history, and you realize that Civ doesn’t accurately represent Chinese leaders. But your missing the big picture, CIV is historically inaccurate across the board. If you look through this forum you’ll see hundreds of threads about how this or that feature of the game is “historically inaccurate,” and someone throwing a complete temper tantrum about it. The majority of these people are more or less correct that CIV doesn’t accurately portray that particular aspect of history. The only difference with this thread is that in addition to complaining about how your pet aspect of history is poorly done, your accusing people of being racist (or at least culturally ignorant) for doing it.
     
  6. Uiler

    Uiler Emperor

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    I have never accused anyone of racism. In fact I think the argument over Oriental is stupid and can't even be bothered to read the posts.

    As for the other part, I was trying to explain the image that Qin has in the popular Chinese culture and historically. This is to emphasis to people that no, Qin is NOT by any means remembered amongst Chinese as being Protective, at least in my experience. I am just saying the image of Qin I saw growing up on TV and from old stories and in the history books I personally read, so this is just my opinion of his popular image. I don't know if it is different for other Chinese. Anyway, so basically you (people in general) cannot use the argument well sure he may have conquered a lot of people but he is still fondly remembered in history for protecting China. No, he is not remembered for being protective at all. In fact his popular image for the last 2000 years is about as far away from protective as you can get. No one in China remembers him as a Great Protector. You might as well give Napoleon or Alexander or Hitler the Protective trait. That's how well it fits the popular image of Qin.

    I'm not saying that *everyone* who is saying that that Qin is remembered for being Protective doesn't know these details about his image in China. I know for a fact there is a least one person here who says Protective is OK for Qin (but not the best) and he is Chinese and knows a lot about history. But I really get the impression here that most people who support Protective for Qin do in fact think this is OK because they think that at least he is remembered in Chinese culture for being protective when this is simply not the case. Even the Great Wall when in respect to Qin at least (though not in later times when its protective function is more emphasised in public memory) it is more associated with his extreme cruelty and killing lots of Chinese than actually protecting the Chinese from anything. If you want to say Qin is protective you have to argue *against* 2000 years of public opinion and the opinion of Qin which existed amongst his own subjects his own time who definitely didn't think of him as protective. Don't forget, even not taking into account the cruelty of his regime, the majority of "Chinese" in that period were mostly unwillingly subjugated people from formerly independent kingdoms who had fought Qin bitterly for years and were eventually forcibly culturally and linguistically (written at least) assimilated. There is no way they would have considered Qin to be "protective". To the Chinese of that time, their parents and grandparents, brothers, fathers, gave up their lives to defend against *him*. Many of them weren't even Chinese! After he dealt with the Chinese kingdoms he started on the non-Chinese. Millions were slaughtered in Qin's conquest. To them, Qin was the enemy, Qin was the invader, Qin was the one who killed their families, burnt their homes, destroyed their culture, their language, their books, their memories and cultural legacy, their very identity, constructing a new identity in its place (Chinese was more like Europe at the time. Individual kingdoms, with their own unique, though related cultures). If his own people at that time and their descendents the next 2000 years, the people he is supposedly "protecting" didn't consider him a protector, how can he be considered protective? To be a protector you need to actually have someone think you are protecting them.

    Hey, what about Washington as Aggresive/Imperialistic. I mean seriously let's look at the facts. Well, *General* Washington - a man of war definitely. He *attacked* the British. What's wrong with giving him aggressive? He attacked someone else. With an army. And they weren't invading. And imperialistic. Well, OK so America wasn't an empire exactly then. But how can you say America is not an empire now? Well, I guess it depends on how you define empire right? But America *could* be called an empire. And sometimes, it's the trait of the civ not the leader. So he founded the beginnings of the current American empire. He put the core together. What? Aggressive/Imperalistic stereotyping Americans? Washington not actually remembered in America this way? It's just part of the game. Typical lefties who think America wants to attack everyone and hence perputates the stereotype of America as militaristically aggressive imperalist invaders? I don't know where you get these ideas from. It's just, you know for game balance, you have to have an Aggressive/Imperalistic leader and who better than the American leader. Sure, it may not really fit him exactly, but well he *did* attack the British and well *General* Washington and he *did* forge America as a country/empire. So it's not entirely inaccurate. It's not like we gave Aggressive to Ghandi. Washington wasn't exactly a peacenik to say the least. And well, it's just a game right? Just think of it as gaining extra combat experience. You can use it on defenders. You don't have to actually attack anyone. I mean, what's in a name? Just think of it as trait A and trait I. You know, you've got to use stereotypes to make things easier for people. It's just part of the game. It's not exactly as if Aggressive and Imperalistic are necessarily negative traits right? It's not like we were basing it on things like recent accusations related to the invasion of Iraq and the resulting negative stereotypes of America which abound forewith when we assigned these traits.
     
  7. holyjohn

    holyjohn Chieftain

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    umm guys?

    are you still debating about it??

    It was nice of OP to point out nearly all asian leaders have "Protective" trait,

    but nothing changes. It's only a game.

    By the way, I am pretty SURE that nearly all people around the world

    do not see Civilization IV as historically accurate game.

    When I played MP, I saw many people complaining about inaccurately

    depicting their country's once-glorious leaders.


    But aww come on, it's only a game and let us just enjoy it.

    If you don't like it, you have a choice of not playing it! :p
     
  8. Brighteye

    Brighteye intuitively Bayesian

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    I would add that in your analogy the person would have had to have seen me coming along the road, known that I don't want to hit him, but jumped in front of me off the pavement anyway. I'd also have to be very sure he wouldn't damage my car. I'd also have a passenger in my car (equivalent to the information in the real sentence) who wanted to get somewhere. Not once, but a thousand times a day. I'd certainly become frustrated if people kept on deliberately jumping out in front of me, and I would knock them down just as deliberately.

    That's as close as we can get to the situation with physical analogies

    As for dc82, yes you can call Shaka coloured or negroid if you like, as long as there's purpose to it, such as describing him for a graphics designer. That's not offensive; it's conveying information.
     
  9. gettingfat

    gettingfat Emperor

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    About the transformation of Qin into a "protector".

    - Blame the Great Wall. People think that you build a wall so you must be a defender. People don't realize Qin sent a force of 0.3 million to North of the Great Wall to beat the crxp out of the nomadic tribes. But why he didn't occupy those lands? Those are a mixture of grasslands and desert without proper water sources for farming. In other words, there's basically no gain for continuously attacking these nomadic tribes, so building a wall and leaving the land north of it alone is the most logical option. It doesn't mean Qin was sitting there to play as a defender. He has other things to do like expanding his empire to the south, which gave him some useable lands, and making sure the remnants of the 6 nations he conquered wouldn't rebel. A bank robber locked up the back door of the bank so he can have fun shooting the cops in the front and beating the hostages in the bank, does it make him a defensive-minded guy?

    Blame the Chinese Communist Party: they've been re-inventing Qin because they want to convince Chinese people strict government control is a way to "protect" them. In fact, organized is a more appropriate trait for both Qin and Mao (and his party even after his death).
     
  10. Zelpo

    Zelpo Eager for Beaver

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    Since when did the word 'oriental' become a racist word? I'm just about sick & tired of people getting there little feelings hurt over some pretty petty crap. Get the **** over it already. Where I live, suddenly 'Mexican' is also considered a racist word, at least that is what is pushed on the common folk. I'm really getting sick & tired of this crap.

    And yes, it is just a game, for the love of God.

    *Doh*, I might of offended some atheists out there :rolleyes:
     
  11. Pantastic

    Pantastic King

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    The trait is called 'protective' not 'pacifist', I'm not sure why you guys are writting these long multiparagraph rants that amount to a long complaint that they used the word 'protective' for a trait, especially since all of the stuff about isolationist and non-conquering isn't actually implied by the word protective, you've just decided it's there.
     
  12. dh_epic

    dh_epic Cold War Veteran

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    I don't even think people are talking about the same thing anymore.
     
  13. theimmortal1

    theimmortal1 Prince

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    Its really a matter of perception. Any one of these traits could be applied to any leader, for the most part anyway.

    Protective isn't the absolute best trait for Qin. But it is for sure in the top 3.

    1. The Great Wall
    2. He united China, if uniting a country isn't protective I don't know what is.
     
  14. Artanis

    Artanis King

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    I don't think anybody's going to mistake Qin for a passive, sit-on-his-rear defensive type when his hordes of unstoppable, collateral damage-causing Cho-Ko-Nus with their two free promotions descend on some hapless enemy's cities, then prove impossible to drive back out due to their free promotions and el cheapo walls ;)

    Now, if you somehow think that taking away Qin's Protective trait - and thus stripping two free promotions away from archery units - will somehow make it more scary to face down a swarm of Cho-Ko-Nus, I invite you to explain exactly why that's so.
     
  15. gingerbill

    gingerbill Prince

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    as you say here 'as you interpret it' . Protective can easily be seen as a compliment , a lioness can be said to be 'protective' of her cubs , parents 'protective' of there children , Being 'protective' of your friends . 'protective' doesnt automatically equal isolationist , if they meant isolanionist they would have called it that .

    you reading to much into it , any trait picked could be argued about , you cant divide a country's whole history through two traits fot gods sake :) , its a game.
     
  16. Randolph

    Randolph Warlord

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    Sounds reasonable to me :). To bad you're being sarcastic, otherwise I'd think you got my point. :mischief:
     
  17. Randolph

    Randolph Warlord

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    You're assuming that the offended person has a choice in being offended. At least on the level of individual incidents I don't think that's the case. Somehow I have a feeling that you're not an adult proffessional. Your philosophy may change after you see the reaction of your black boss when you start throwing around "colored person," or using "orientials" in front of an Asian judge.
     
  18. OzzyKP

    OzzyKP Emperor

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    Westerners should also be offended by the widely held, and very wrong, belief that Europe and the Mideast were somehow uniquely warlike. I see this idea time and time again among westerners, as if Asians were somehow more peaceful and enlightened. I think it shows a profound ignorance of non-western history and of human nature.

    I think it is that ignorance that has all Asian civs getting protective.

    Like saying Qin unified China, vs. Napoleon conquering Europe. Why not Qin conquering China and Napoleon unifying Europe? As Uiler pointed out, China at the time was much like Europe with many different cultures and languages and races - and indeed China isn't all uniform today either.

    At one point the west viewed all other civilizations as barbarians. Now we seem to view ourselves as warlike barbarians who are so unlike the peaceful civilized people elsewhere around the globe. But the truth is there were brutal wars and racism and religious conflict and horrific acts in Asia and the Americas and Africa and Oceania in addition to Europe and the Mideast.
     
  19. Cereal Box

    Cereal Box Chieftain

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    Because if it didn't work you can hardly say Napoleon unified Europe, could you?
     
  20. Charles 22

    Charles 22 King

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    About your sig, if you knew about the occultic uses of the swastika in Germany, then maybe that would change your mind about the Hitler era use of it anyway. They had an entire network of an occultic religion based on some occultic runes, the swastika and the SS lightning bolts being just a couple of them. Their use of the occult was very intertwined into their racist views of killing those deemed inferior to themselves. While it sounds very pc to ban the swastika from the american point of view, there's a lot more to it over there, not only because it symbolized their defeat. It's sort of like if David Koresh's Davidians had taken up that symbol and then claimed exclusive supernatural powers from it. For many in WWII Germany, the swastika wasn't just some arbitrary symbol, but power itself; a lifeforce (not for the good obviously).
     

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