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> Racist Classes?, uh oh
Iysif
post Feb 18 2012, 05:21 PM
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So my main three classes are a melee user, a magic user, and a thief type. Pretty standard. Since the abilities I planned on giving them were not totally standard, and I wanted to add a little flavor, I named them slightly differently than what is the normal. I had the soldier, the witch, and the gypsy. From my research, I found that gypsy as I had known it (through stereotypes apparently) referred to an actual group of people called the Roma people. I wanted the class to basically fit those stereotypes of a pickpocket, a thief, etc, but wearing a red headband, poofyish pants, etc. I did not realize that these qualities were stereotypes for a specific "race" of people and not just a specific "type" of people (ie east european thieves etc). From what I have found the word also means a "nomad" or "vagabond."

I was wondering what you guys thought. Should I change the name to something like Traveller? If I do should I redesign the character?

Take note that the word Barbarian can also be construed as racist (a class in many games) as well as Hooligan, Vagabond, Goth, etc. These words were originally racist terms for a group of people that are now accepted in English and used in many games. Do you think that the word Gypsy as I was using it is racist? I did not mean for it to have any linkage to a specific ethnicity or peoples.

I really like the class idea I just wish it didn't come from describing a specific group of people originally. I'm not sure if I should change it. Also, is barbarian offensive too??

I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts.

EDIT: I'm leaning towards "Traveller" as it is often used to describe a similar stereotype but is not limited to describing the Roma people. More general and less racist in origin from what I can tell. Not sure about the clothes either though :/

This post has been edited by Iysif: Feb 18 2012, 05:28 PM
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Jasonicus
post Feb 18 2012, 05:26 PM
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Iysif
post Feb 18 2012, 05:31 PM
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I realize that it is just a game but I don't want to use a blatantly racist term as one of my three classes. I'm just not sure if it is or not.
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GoldLeo
post Feb 18 2012, 06:52 PM
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As long as you're not Frollo from the Hunchback of Notre Dame, I think you're fine.
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Nightmar
post Feb 18 2012, 07:04 PM
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Unless you made a Class name using a racist remark like using the N word or some other form that is actually racist toward someone your be fine :3 an those aren't really racist names :3

like what JP said, your over thinking.


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Retired-Pine
post Feb 18 2012, 07:51 PM
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I think you also need to take into account that, when you're creating a setting for a game which in your case is some sort of Fantasy, you can't evaluate the meaning of a word in function of its meaning and acceptance in our world and current time.


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Iysif
post Feb 18 2012, 08:09 PM
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Even if Gypsy refers to a group of people: "a member of a nomadic, Caucasoid people of generally swarthy complexion, who migrated originally from India, settling in various parts of Asia, Europe, and, most recently, North America."-dictionary.com

I wouldn't make a class called "indian" or "african" or anything like that. I think Gypsy is too close to those words even thought it is kind of slang in English (now) for thief/pickpocket/nomad
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Thalzon
post Feb 18 2012, 10:28 PM
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"Troubadour" might be a good replacement. It's a good descriptor for a roaming performer type who would be street-smart.
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BigEd781
post Feb 19 2012, 12:16 AM
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Gypsies are not a race FYI. There is nothing bad here. Different people are actually different. Stereotypes, while not true for every individual in a group, do come from somewhere. They are not just made up. No one is going to take offense to a Gypsy/traveler or barbarian. If they do they can just GTFO because no one cares. Don't be so PC it's ridiculous.


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Iysif
post Feb 19 2012, 01:07 AM
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I like the Troubadour replacement smile.gif

my concern is that "gypsy" is found on this list of ethnic slurs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ethnic_slurs

I don't generally worry about being politically correct but it seems that using an ethnic slur is going too far :/
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one hundred
post Feb 19 2012, 01:48 AM
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I appreciate that you put some thought into this! A lot of people don't get offended by the word gypsy, but it's still a slur. Either way, changing the name, and thus giving your game a bit more inclusiveness to those who may be offended can't hurt! Troubadour does sound like a good word to use. Good luck with the game!


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Kapik
post Mar 6 2012, 01:05 PM
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Well, there were those err... exotic folk called Magypsies in Mother 3...
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KaiserKami
post Mar 6 2012, 05:41 PM
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QUOTE (Kapik @ Mar 6 2012, 01:05 PM) *
Well, there were those err... exotic folk called Magypsies in Mother 3...

Don't remind of those....*shudders* people. But anyways really? Racist Classes?


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Kapik
post Mar 6 2012, 06:17 PM
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But yeah, if you think too much into it, Barbarian is a racist class and racist word in general.
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Sevith
post Mar 7 2012, 08:16 AM
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Barbarian isn't used in modern day to describe a race of people. Nor is Goths. Nor are the others. You have to go with the modern interpretation and usage of the word.

Gypsies are still gypsies though in the modern interpretation of the word. There is a gypsy tribe that travels between my hometown in PA and some town in Florida. They are referred to in my town as "The Gypsies." So yeah, I wouldn't use it, particularly if you're that worried about it. It's not really a racial or ethnic slur, though. It'd be like calling a class "Arabs" or "Indians" as was pointed out.

Though naming classes "Elf" or what have you has been done quite a bit in gaming (the Gauntlet games for example) which is basically the fantasy equivalent of naming a class by the race or ethnicity.


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fmstwre
post Mar 7 2012, 03:42 PM
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You're confusing stereotypes with racism. As long as you don't have a class called 'Chink' or whatnot you will be fine. This is an RPG game set in a fantasy world, exactly how Pine put it. Basically, it's a game, there is no need to be politically correct about it.


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Amy Pond
post Mar 7 2012, 03:55 PM
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All this talk of races and shit and nobody's mentioned dwarf lol.

Anyway actually yes, I would say gypsy is a bad word to use. But it doesn't just refer to Roma people, it's also used to describe Irish travellers and such.

I'd just use traveller.

Goth - the modern usage of the term is very, very different to the old age usage. Noone really thinks a metal goth is the same as a Visigoth.

Barbarian wasn't a race of people, it was just the Roman term for people one couldn't understand. It's very definition is something like "a percieved uncivilised person". Therefore it's perfectly fitting for an RPG class.
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Tohsaka
post Mar 7 2012, 04:33 PM
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Vagrant - A person without a settled home or regular work who wanders from place to place and lives by begging.

All the negative connotation, none of the attachment to a particular ethnicity of the Caucasian peoples.


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Emmych
post Mar 8 2012, 12:36 AM
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I'd just like to pop in and say I think it's pretty rad that you're putting thought into this! If it's a slur (even one that isn't widely regarded as such any more), then definitely take it out and replace it with a more neutral word.

I also don't think rewording things is "too PC" or because a person is "thinking about it too hard" -- fact is, media is a reflection of our society, and if we chuck around slurs in our media like it's no problem, then it shows us that we can chuck around slurs in real life and it's no real problem. The whole "it's just a game, guys~" attitude is actually a lot more harmful than one might realize! I know I, as a woman and queer person, have been harmed because of how folks like me are portrayed in the media (including video games), so yeah that excuse is bullshit, actually. XD

And BigEd, the word "gypsy" actually does refer to an ethnic group, FYI. It's a pejorative term used to describe the Romani people, who are indeed a group of people with their own culture, language, etc. You can read more about them here and here to educate yourself about them a little more.
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MISTER BIG T
post Mar 8 2012, 05:58 AM
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You're thinking into it way too much. As long as you're not calling the men as Mannes you're good to go. I don't think I recall any rpg ever made that would have used "Romanians" intead of gypsies and no one's been crying racism about Legacy of Kain when he called them gypsies.


Besides if you start thinking into it like that you have to consider that unless your game doesn't happen in modern times you should use words associated with such time period, some of them having degratory terms nowadays but having been used quite regulary back to decribe something.

This post has been edited by MISTER BIG T: Mar 8 2012, 06:01 AM


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