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Agenda for Tolerance in Neverwinter Nights

ShandyrShandyr Member Posts: 8,263
edited November 2017 in General Discussions NWN:EE
Brace yourself, you won't believe it.

There is a hidden agenda in Neverwinter Nights. You think Mizhena in Siege of Dragonspear was bad?
Prepare yourself, for Neverwinter Nights has an agenda too.

Watch this:
image


I know, shocking right?

Neverwinter Nights explicitly tells you that it is intolerant if you damn things just because they personally offend you. And that that is not a matter of morality.

While this does not specifically mention LGBT topics, it does not explicitly exclude them either.
So you COULD apply that message to more tolerance for LGBT people or more tolerance in general.

So Neverwinter Nights can be seen as having an agenda. It is NOT the same as in Siege of Dragonspear of course, but it is there nonetheless. Don't tell me you don't see it. It's just more subtle. Maybe just so that you wouldn't notice.

I am shocked by this discovery and I will take the next few days to consider if I can go on playing the game. The game forces its view on tolerance down my throat. I do not have the possibility to tell that patron that he is wrong.

What about you? Will you stop playing the game because of this?

Maybe there is even more content like this in the game. Do you know of any?
I don't want to be lectured on tolerance by a video game!

Imagine that patron had been in Siege of Dragonspear. Beamdog would have been ripped apart for it. Don't just overlook this incident because it may be in one of your favorite games!

typo_tillyThacoBell

Comments

  • MalclaveMalclave Member Posts: 47
    The game has been going downhill ever since it started encouraging miscegenation with the introduction of half-orcs and half-elves. And then later with the idea that non-humans could rise as high as humans in any class.

    NWN should go back to the Basics. Or maybe Expert.

  • BrastiasBrastias Member Posts: 10
    Honestly this is nothing to get spun up about.

    I saw this too and it didn't even register. I kinda went "wha....? ok you don't have a quest" and moved on.

  • PokotaPokota Member Posts: 567
    edited November 2017
    Shandaxx said:

    Neverwinter Nights explicitly tells you that it is intolerant if you damn things just because they personally offend you. And that that is not a matter of morality.
    [...]
    I am shocked by this discovery and I will take the next few days to consider if I can go on playing the game. The game forces its view on tolerance down my throat. I do not have the possibility to tell that patron that he is wrong.
    [...]
    Imagine that patron had been in Siege of Dragonspear. Beamdog would have been ripped apart for it. Don't just overlook this incident because it may be in one of your favorite games!

    So you're damning the game just because this conversation personally offended you?

    Because it seems to me like you don't tolerate this kind of writing.

    Bluebomber4evrProont
  • TheBarbarianTheBarbarian Member Posts: 58
    I'm confused. What's to dislike about tolerance? Tolerance is a good thing. Treating people who hold differing opinions and preferences from one's own as worthy of respect and kindness is pretty much the foundation of peace. A peace, I may add, which allows people like us to spend our time playing and discussing videogames instead of fighting for survival in never-ending civil war, under which none stand to suffer more than the people and things we love and want to protect.

    Assuming that this is not simply an attempt to get a rise out of people... objecting to tolerance and diversity while simultaneously advocating for being allowed to have and defend one's own differing viewpoint seems a little odd. Aren't you pretty clearly upset about intolerance and forcible uniformity, here? That's exactly what the (non-extremist) "tolerance agenda" is opposing, too. Seems like you'd have more reason to agree than to disagree with what that dwarf is saying.

    Generally speaking, creative people tend to have more reason to have a constructive mindset than most, and, being builders, don't tend to look very favorably on other people destroying things. It's not really surprising to find that artists favor freedom of self-expression, and tolerance of it, and it's extremely difficult to portray viewpoints you don't understand yourself. It's pretty inevitable that that'll shine through in dialogue writing. Still would, even if they tried to be as politically correct as possible - and I use that term because I assume you'll understand the predicament it puts people in when they have to watch every word and phrase they dare express out of fear of offending righteous hordes of doom.

    If there's any damn thing we need in this world, it's respect and kindness. Even for people whom we consider undeserving of it. That's a lesson of creation, too - that the things we put out into the world are what's going to be in the world, so if you want something to exist, you may have no choice but to make it exist yourself. Even if nobody else shares your opinion, or cares about it at all. That's what it means to believe in something.

    So if the dialogue in that module bugs you, open up the toolset and start working on your own module. Give your module's protagonist the opportunity to argue the points you want to make. It'll give other people a chance to see things from your perspective. And yes, no matter what you say or do, somebody is going to disagree with it, simply because somebody on this world is going to have the polar opposite opinion and feel very strongly about it. Somebody may be upset. Somebody may come flame you, argue for the desertion or banning of your work, threaten you and the people you love. And it's going to be wrong of them to do that. At least, according to the "tolerance agenda" and it's proponents (please note that people who are enacting intolerance and ridicule of others are quite clearly not advocates of tolerance and respect, even if they(we?) label themselves as such).

    ShandyrBluebomber4evrProontZwerkules
  • BrastiasBrastias Member Posts: 10
    Guys...the dialog in question is a response to "why does Lady Aeribeth tolerate mercenaries in Neverwinter. I am pretty sure this is getting blown out or proportion

    DJKajuruAndarianBaratan
  • ShandyrShandyr Member Posts: 8,263
    edited November 2017
    Brastias said:

    Guys...the dialog in question is a response to "why does Lady Aeribeth tolerate mercenaries in Neverwinter. I am pretty sure this is getting blown out or proportion

    No? That is a response when the patron tells you about the true nature of the Moonstone Mask being a brothel.

    But that actually does not matter much. Don't you see it, they HIDE their social propaganda subtly enough and in a different context that no one would notice!

    The patron's response could still be misinterpreted as advocating more tolerance in general. And we all know what that means today: more tolerance for LGBT people!

    But, fine, okay, sure it could be possible that you meet SJW-NPCs inside a game, so be it. But why can I not react adequately in the game?

    And that is exactly when the game forces its ideals about tolerance upon me.

  • BrastiasBrastias Member Posts: 10
    oh ok my bad I was thinking of the dwarf where the henchman are. But either way...is it really worth this much angst? This is so small. There were in other games much worse immersion breaking preachy crap but this is hardly at that level.

  • ShandyrShandyr Member Posts: 8,263
    Brastias said:

    oh ok my bad I was thinking of the dwarf where the henchman are. But either way...is it really worth this much angst? This is so small. There were in other games much worse immersion breaking preachy crap but this is hardly at that level.

    But isn't your reaction exactly when the propaganda has already worked?

    It starts with the little things. Always. Little step by little step.

    Because who would complain for just one tiny bit? So you may argue.

    Neverwinter Nights is from is from 2002. It contains just this one single "little" step of propaganda.
    And in what did that result in Siege of Dragonspear?

    And that's why I say: We must ever be watchful! And not just silently accept these little steps. That is how they work. You seem pretty relaxed about this, so my only conclusion is that you already fell for their propaganda. It has worked on you.

    You accept that Neverwinter Nights might be advocating more tolerance. And it does not seem to bother you.

  • TheBarbarianTheBarbarian Member Posts: 58
    Shandaxx said:

    But why can I not react adequately in the game?

    For srslies, open up the toolset and start a module. You'll see why very quickly. Dialogue writing is hard, and there are infinite different viewpoints on pretty much anything. Adding dialogue options for every single one in every single conversation is ridiculously much work. And we can always only think of viewpoints that we know of, and portray them in a way that we personally understand. The things that would occur to somebody who isn't you... won't occur to you.

    Try writing a dialogue for that NPC, where both an "anti-tolerance" and a "pro-tolerance" player could successfully argue their point and walk away happy and feeling that they've had the chance to say everything they want to say. If you manage that, add dialogue paths for nihilists, depressed people, extreme optimists, mutes, misandrists, misogynists, and a player who's roleplaying the Monty Python bunny... and write every dialogue path so that it won't offend anybody in any group. It's impossible. Somebody in the pro-tolerance group would be upset if the anti-tolerance group had a successful argumentation path, somebody in the anti-tolerance group would be upset if the pro-tolerance group had a successful argumentation path. Being a game dev is extremely frustrating in this way.

    This franchise isn't strictly about the OCs, though. Never has been, and that's exactly what makes NWN great. NWN is about players making their own modules. Come build stuff. It's way more fun than being frustrated about other people not building their stuff the way you want it to be built, or pitchforkmobbing on internet forums.

    Besides, would you say that you're currently forcing your (negative) ideas about tolerance upon the readers of this thread, by expressing them, and isn't "spreading anti-LGBT and anti-Social-Justice "propaganda"" kinda the core of what you're arguing for here? :-) Nobody has to agree with and incorporate everything they read into their own opinions, y'know. Other people don't need to let your opinions impact theirs, just in the same way you don't need to let other peoples' opinions impact yours. And if a videogame, book, or movie, doesn't go the way you want it to, there's always fanfiction.

    Let me know if you need a pro-tolerance playtester for your module if you do decide to build one. I can help flesh out the pro-tolerance argumentation path; we could make something educational and deep out of it, do both sides justice, foster understanding between opposing factions, or something. <3

    ShandyrPokotaProontZwerkules
  • FlashburnFlashburn Member Posts: 1,736
    @Shandaxx
    NWN was from the before-times, though I don't appreciate your paper-thin veneer of sarcasm either.

  • ShandyrShandyr Member Posts: 8,263
    Dear @Flashburn

    why is social propaganda okay if it comes from "before-times" ?

    Do you know the Little Mermaid? Do you know the song "In Harmony"?



    Now tell me, if Siege of Dragonspear, or any other modern game for that matter would feature a mermaid who sang that song would that be not regarded as social propaganda?

    But now you would say it's not, just because it's from "before-times"?

    Then I kindly ask you to tell me the exact year, from which on, it's social propaganda and before which it is not social propaganda.

    Because I would like to know WHEN it's justified to bother about it and WHEN it's not. I had no idea that I had to take the year of creation into consideration.

  • ShandyrShandyr Member Posts: 8,263
    Flashburn said:

    @Shandaxx
    NWN was from the before-times, though I don't appreciate your paper-thin veneer of sarcasm either.

    Oh one other point @Flashburn

    If my sarcasm was really so paper-thin as you say, then I doubt that so many people would have fallen for it.

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 13,907
    Shandaxx said:

    Flashburn said:

    @Shandaxx
    NWN was from the before-times, though I don't appreciate your paper-thin veneer of sarcasm either.

    Oh one other point @Flashburn

    If my sarcasm was really so paper-thin as you say, then I doubt that so many people would have fallen for it.
    It is in fact paper-thin, but only to people who know you on the forums. Sarcasm is extremely difficult to detect online, when there's no tone of voice or body language.

    It's one of the reasons I generally discourage sarcasm on the forums without including the /s tag at the bottom of a post, indicating sarcasm.

    ArdanisPokota
  • FlashburnFlashburn Member Posts: 1,736
    Shandaxx said:

    Then I kindly ask you to tell me the exact year, from which on, it's social propaganda and before which it is not social propaganda.

    2007: The beginning of the end.
    Shandaxx said:

    If my sarcasm was really so paper-thin as you say, then I doubt that so many people would have fallen for it.

    They're new here, they don't know any better.

    Shandyr
  • ShandyrShandyr Member Posts: 8,263

    Shandaxx said:

    Flashburn said:

    @Shandaxx
    NWN was from the before-times, though I don't appreciate your paper-thin veneer of sarcasm either.

    Oh one other point @Flashburn

    If my sarcasm was really so paper-thin as you say, then I doubt that so many people would have fallen for it.
    It is in fact paper-thin, but only to people who know you on the forums. Sarcasm is extremely difficult to detect online, when there's no tone of voice or body language.

    It's one of the reasons I generally discourage sarcasm on the forums without including the /s tag at the bottom of a post, indicating sarcasm.
    Then it is not a matter-of-fact truth. Then you can't say it IS paper-thin.

    It needs the restriction exactly as you said, that it is only paper-thin for people who know me. I would have @Flashburn expected to specifically say that.

    But anyway thanks, my little experiment has been ruined. Yeah thank you @Flashburn . You might have wanted to speak with me in private first before just revealing everything. But no obviously you did not want to.
    Flashburn said:

    Shandaxx said:

    Then I kindly ask you to tell me the exact year, from which on, it's social propaganda and before which it is not social propaganda.

    2007: The beginning of the end.
    Alright 2007, I take note. Next time I know. Thank you.

  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,159
    Is this a joke?
    I remember that dialogue, it is just a line that answers an ignorant comment (there are books in the game which show how historical is the trade of blades in Neverwinter, so it seems pretty clear that the people respect its mercenaries and looking down at them is ignorance).
    Nwn oc has simple dialogue options and it is teen content, mostly harmless, so if you're going to suggest a module that expands dialogue options for all kinds of alignments, classes and beliefs, please do so. Otherwise I can't help but consider that this post is pure bait.

    IllustairZwerkules
  • ShandyrShandyr Member Posts: 8,263
    edited November 2017

    Meh. Any excuse to inject some degree of calm rationality into a newly-forming congregation of people is a good thing. Doesn't matter whether or not somebody is trolling or serious; decency is most crucial when people diverge from established "acceptable" behaviour. It wouldn't do to assume that everybody who takes an opposing or uncommon stance is just trolling or being sarcastic.

    I'd definitely recommend being careful with sarcasm, though, both on and off the internet. Monkey see, monkey do is real. Plus, portraying a group of people as so foolish that their opinions can only be made fun of is unlikely to make them more inclined to listen to what one's own faction would consider "reason". They will carry this offense into real life, and may take it out on others in the future. Personal entertainment is a poor justification for the damage this kind of thing can do to social dynamics; across the world, even, given the reach of the internet.

    Very true. I hadn't considered that. But see the bright side. I hadn't considered that, but now thanks to this thread I know that. So I have learned something.

    So as bad as this thread might have been, I think I learned my lesson.

    I would disagree that it was about personal entertainment only. It was fun yes, but that was not the only one part.

    It started here on this forum, when I asked for better graphics for NWN:EE.
    You know the responses I got from that? I made a list:

    "- Asking for better graphics is the same as slapping the modders/custom content makers in the face
    - Asking for better graphics is an insult to the modders/custom content makers
    - Asking for better graphics is disrespectful to Beamdog and modders
    - The better the graphics, the worse a game. So NWN:EE should not get better graphics.
    - People who ask for better graphics should be ashamed of themselves
    - People should be grateful Beamdog is bringing back NWN. Asking for better graphics is ungrateful.
    - The graphics of NWN are part of its charm
    - Asking for improved graphics on the level of Neverwinter Nights 2 is the very same as asking for the latest, top modern graphics of modern AAA video games
    - People who ask for better graphics for NWN:EE care for graphics only. They do not know that there is more to a game than just the graphics."

    I was confronted with these points just because I expressed my wish for better graphics. And nobody seemed to step in. So I decided to make a little experiment. "Can't beat them, join them".

    I said exactly what my former opponents had said and WONDER WHY suddenly people turned up arguing AGAINST me, against my FALSE position. Suddenly they were there.

    So I wanted to test this out. If I pretended to have the exact opposite opinion of what I actually had, would people then argue against me, which would mean they would ACTUALLY argue for my cause?
    Yes, and indeed to a certain degree it worked!

    And emotionally it's a huge difference for me. Because if you argue against my opinions that aren't my opinions anyway, well then I don't care. Doesn't bother me.

    @semiticgod @JuliusBorisov
    I will see to it, that this was a one time experiment and I will stop it now. It was also partly frustration management (coping mechanism) for what I perceived as an injustice against me for merely expressing my wishes for better graphics.

    There may be merit to the mod/custom content compatibility argument. But that does, in my opinion, not justify the negative reactions I got from just expressing my wish for better graphics. At that time, I was not even aware what that could mean to all the mods and custom contents out there.

    I apologize to everyone whom I made involuntarily part of this.

    I have learned my lesson.

    semiticgodTheBarbarianPokota
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 13,907
    @Shandaxx: I appreciate it.

    Probably best to close this thread on a positive note.

    Shandyrtaclane
This discussion has been closed.