Skip to content

Mizhena, Social Justice and why we can't have nice things



  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058
    I recommend Borderlands 2 for an excellent representation of diverse sexual identities without being in your face about it. Seriously amazing game.
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,235
    @joluv This may be a little off topic, but why bananas?
  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • MandragoraMandragora Member Posts: 79
    This sexsism thing does feel like it was overdone a bit in SOD and it is rather unpleasant if you start to think about it. I'm talking not only about the famous Mezheena but also about Dorn, Hexat, Corwins "last love" In my defense, i do have actual homosexsual friends. Some time ago i did watch one of those "angry reviews" and one person mentioned pretty simple thing: People just want to relax, enjoy playing this game after day at work, school, or university, they dont want to get educated about sexsism,transgender or whatever in a game.
  • joluvjoluv Member Posts: 2,136
    That's fairly similar to my internal monologue while reading the OP, but I don't know what purpose was served by posting it.
  • ButtercheeseButtercheese Member Posts: 3,766
    Why did I decide to go to bed ... well, let me try working my way through every post one by one :neutral:

    deltago said:

    In the last post that @Dee closed, I posted a quote in the newest Dungeons & Dragons Players handbook regarding gender and how it is inclusive for all non binary gender types. The book even lists examples of how these could be played out (my favourite being a female dwarf with a beard always getting offended when she is called by masculine pronoun).

    Official licenced products (which SoD is) needs to follow this and IMO, encourage it, to let players know these types of players are acceptable in all D&D licenced worlds.

    Yes, that is true and that's how it should be.
    The problem is, that a good chunk of the old player base don't want to go with the times, especially after the 4th edition desaster. Not to forget that SoD is still 2nd edition.

    deltago said:

    The argument regarding "this isn't how a transgender acts when confronted by strangers" also annoys me. As everyone likes to point out, this is fantasy. How people react in Forgotten Realms is different than how people act in the real world. If transgender people are accepted without question on Toril, then they would be more inclined to be open with what they are, because it isn't a big deal.

    That's also what I was thinking after the encounter. But how many players are actually aware of that? Aparently not so many if there was such an outrage.

    deltago said:

    With that said, how this character was introduced, and the lines she was given were poorly implemented. Not everyone has read, or even cares, about 5e Handbook and what it says. So it needed to be established, in game on how the world reacts to transgender characters. DA:I did this nicely with Krem having the PC casually mention it (later after he had been introduced) and having another character (Iron Bull) explain how Krem was accepted in Qun culture.

    Something like this should have been introduced in SoD (or prior EE releases) to establish this as canon on the world of Toril. There would be less of a backlash on how Mizhena responded to the PC if how she portrayed herself was already normal in society. It wasn't, so it left the door open to argument on how a transgrender character is accepted in the world, going back to the player's own head canon (like Buttercheese called BS on) instead of licenced canon.

    Yes, pretty much. I mean, there would have been people hating on her either way, but at least no one could make the argument that it feels out of nowhere.

    deltago said:

    This is where I disagree with you. I think beamdog handled the situation extremely well, except for Dee's attempt to bring "SWJ" into the argument through twitter.

    The moderators did a good job of streamlining the discussion into 2 or 3 different discussions. Repeitive topics were closed (as they should have been. Add to the conversation going on, do not attempt to start another one) and people who were trolling, or breaking site rules, were being dealt with quickly.

    Well, I can only judge from what I've seen, and that was everyone paniking.
    Though yes, it could probably have gone worse.

    deltago said:

    I also find it extremely hypocritical for a side that is flooding sites with fake reviews to take offense from a developer asking people who have actually played the game to consider writing a review for it. What Trent said was twisted and taken out of context and used by a vocal minority to attempt to demonize the company more.

    See, I didn't even know about the out-of-context part even though I tired to be up to date.

    deltago said:

    Before this uproar, I had never heard of gamergate or Social Justice Warriors, nor did I care too. Anytime someone mentions one of these two terms in their first line, I skip the post. Anything you have to say is meaningless if you boil your argument down to an acroymn.

    Yup, that's what I used to do, but I know better now. I just hope more people will start catching on.

    deltago said:

    I personally believe all consumable media needs to as inclusive as possible. No one chooses how they are born so they shouldn't have to be judged by it. A transgender person isn't a political statement. They are a human being, like everyone else.

    Ehhhh, no. Artists should be able to create what they want, how they want, without feeling bound to any obligations. Free speech can't be selective, otherwise it's not free speech.
    And while people most certainly aren't political statements, characters can very much be.
    Let's look at Wonder Woman for example, she was very much designed as a political statement in favour of feminism. (Wether or not she always succeeds at that notion is a different question.)
    The beauty of fiction is, that it lets the artist present concepts that are alien or foreign to people in a context they may better understand. Let's look at Dorian from DA:I. His entire personal quest is meant to show the player just how much it sucks to be gay in a society that doesn't support gay people and even further shows it on a personal and familiar level. Just think of all the players who till that point had at best just a vague clue what that must be like. Dorian is a perfect example of how you utilize a character to bring your political statement across. I am not saying it's the only possible way, but this one works. Plus, he is just a great character in general, so that just makes it even better.

    deltago said:

    Whenever I hear someone say "I don't want this political crap in my games" I cringe. Because it isn't a political statement. People are just using the word politics to hide behind bigotry and exclusion.

    In a lot of cases yes, but I don't think it's all of them, that would be overgeneralizing it. I don't agree with the statement itself, but there are some valid points behind it. For a lot of people BG has something "innocent" to it (be that valid or not is a different question) and the timing for Mizhena made it look like she is nothing more than a statement. I don't know if I agree with that, but that doesn't make it not valid.
  • ButtercheeseButtercheese Member Posts: 3,766

    I wouldn't call the introduction forced considering it's a passable line of dialoge from some minor character in some expansion of a game. If the main quest of SoD was to earn enough gold for your main character to undergo a sex-change operation, I would call that "forced"

    Exactly, it wasn't actually forced. Mizhena is a tiny tiny NPC who barely plays a role. The problem are entirely the players' expectations and associations.
  • ButtercheeseButtercheese Member Posts: 3,766
    edited August 2016
    Dee said:

    2. I'm not personally aware of whatever problem it is people have with Anita Sarkeesian, other than failing to create all of the videos she promised following her successful Kickstarter campaign. I've read about them, but I have not seen any of those problems first-hand, and the few accounts I've read have been ambiguous enough that for all I know they could be exaggerated. What I am aware of is that Feminist Frequency is an organization that, among other things, cares about online abuse. My goal was not to call down the fury of Anita Sarkeesian on the internet trolls (which is what a lot of people continue to suggest, several months later); my goal was to raise more awareness of the kinds of abuse we were facing.

    I am not gonna delve into what all went wrong with Sarkeesian and Feminist frequency, but everything sorrounding her was a mess. Yes, there is no apology for the abuse she had to face. But she has shown that she is not capable of helping in such a situation and even known to make things worse. Getting her help wouldn't have made things better for Beamdog and Amber, they would have just lured in more trolls and haters, adding more oil to the fire. Worst case szenario, turning both the company and her into the new laughing stock of the internet.

    Drama like this must never be fueled from above. Let the haters hate. Stay calm and collected. Wait till it blows over. Don't feed the trolls.

    Yes, it ****ink blows that it has to be this way, but I don't know any more effective way to handle shitstorms like these.

    Dee said:

    3. At the time, I had maybe fifty followers on Twitter, most of them professional acquaintances. It did not occur to me that people might be looking for fuel. This was clearly a mistake on my part. There's a tipping point when it comes to social media--below a certain threshold, Twitter and Facebook are essentially private spaces to communicate with friends. Above that threshold, suddenly those spaces "become" public.

    There is nothing private about the internet, sadly :/

    Dee said:

    That last one was a hard lesson for me to learn. There's a forgiveness that you can expect when communicating with friends, a certain amount of consideration when it comes to what you say and how you say it. That same consideration is completely absent when the communication is public.

    Well, at least you did learn, so you got at least something positive out of it.
    Let's hope you never have to use that newly aquirired wisdom though.

  • ButtercheeseButtercheese Member Posts: 3,766
    edited August 2016

    deltago said:

    This is America

    this isn't America, it's the internet, and one of Cheese's points. Different counties have different levels of liberty for different demographics. For example Russian Gay Propaganda Law.

    You can not assume every person that visits this board (or plays this game) shares western liberties.
    Baldur's Gate is a game made by Americans. (Yeah Canadians, you count.) And I don't understand your point. Russia has laws that persecute gay people? So what? All sorts of places have that. That's not representative of a particular viewpoint or sensibility; it's just shitty, cruel persecution.

    America also used to have laws that persecuted gay people. And laws that persecuted black people, and Asian people, and women, and Native Americans, etc. etc. etc. America didn't get rid of those laws because it became more "liberal." It became fairer, more just, and less cruel. It became better.

    You can certainly ask, "why should I have to be a good person if I don't want to?" And hey - you don't have to be good. It's a free country. (Well, mine is, anyway.) But DON'T come around gently asking people to respect your desire to be a jerk.
    The point was not saying that in other countries and cultures people should be allowed bigots.
    The point is that in other countires and cultures are different problems and these problems have different priorities. And that in different countries and cultures certain topics are seen and defined differently.
    As an example: Here in Europe our biggest problems currently are terror, islamophobia, xenophobia and the refuge crisis. Pretty sure most people here couldn't care less about the social and political problems of North America (with the exception of Trump in the USA maybe).
    Now imagine how things look like throughout the rest of the world, I bet they care even less.

    Just to clarify, this is not about Mizhena and SoD, this is about the media in general.

    PS: About BG being "American", that is only partially correct, as I pointed out. It is deeply rooted and inspired by foreign folklore, culture and stuff. That, and BG is an internationally sold and marketed game. If a developer/ publisher cares about their foreign audiences, they should cater to them as well.
    If not, that is of course their good right, but they can't expect said audiences to be happy.
  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 4,714
    IMO you guys are overthinking and overreacting.

    It's just a minor NPC in a game. No big deal.

    Doesn't matter if she is trans or straight or gay or hispanic or caucasian or black or jewish or asian or samoan.

    And this is somehow good because fantasy scenarios are about diversity. That's why we have places like Waterdeep, places like Kara-Tur, etc. The more the merrier.

    Particularly I couldn't care less. The way I see you guys are making a storm inside of a glass of water.
  • shawneshawne Member Posts: 3,239
    edited August 2016
    Hey @Buttercheese, tell me again how transgender people weren't openly discussed in the media when Baldur's Gate was around. Really, I'm all ears.

    Next time you want to make a statement about something you clearly know very little about, try a five-second Google search, get some actual facts. Or be strong and wrong in your ignorance, and then claim misrepresentation. Your choice, of course.
  • shawneshawne Member Posts: 3,239

    No comment on the strength of your argument. I only wish to point out the extremely disrespectful tone of this post.

    I was respectful and polite the first five times these BS arguments came up. Now I'm less so. Last I checked, Google is free - somebody wants to make political statements, they can do the homework or sit the hell down.
This discussion has been closed.