angstygoblin (angstygoblin) wrote,

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So, I've been complaining about how the racial diversity of the "race" humans in roleplaying games has been prettymuch nonexistant for years. Even though I'm a nordic-blooded middle-class child raised on the legends of King Arthur and equally as fascinated with european midevil culture as I am about anyone elses (Japan was my first diversion from the fantasy "standard"). Not to long ago I began to strive to make my roleplaying worlds different, because my idea of fantasy has been consistently divesified as I get older, taking anthropology in college helped tons, but I've always been fascinated with stories of far away lands and always left wondering why there wasn't any new fiction about people from those lands the big white heroes visited. As a player (and any of my old friends from highschool can attest to this) I was notorious for wanting to play "the wierd thing" mostly because it gave me the opportunity to create a new culture for myself other than the stereotypically european arhetypes of human (read; brittish), elf (Celtic, french?), dwarf (norse, german), and the occasional porcine half-orc (russian, or dare I say it; NEGRO?) I can recall now what has become one of my most favored games in memory wherein myself and my best friend at the time created characters with distinct racial styles and beleifs that were SO different and difficult (as in headstrong, rude, and evil) that between the two of us we both drove and destroyed the story because what it became about was not the quest to save the world but our own petty racist squabble, which as I recall, eventually led to the destruction of both characters. (Kinda like a DnD version of the Boondocks; Nigga Moment). SO, when I became thoroughly disgusted with the DnD standard races and began writing my own stuff, my first goal was to set out and make the wild variety of humanity visible, at first I went after Tanith Lee's stuff, great bizzare worlds that either had no emphasis on any european culture, or at times seemed to have no bearing on any real-world culture at all, then I went for the savage and the wierd with Robert E. Howard, Conan and all the mystical lands he visited, yet still I can kinda feel a sense of white supremacy in the way in which conan kicks everybodies ass (though, with all I've read I sometimes don't think Conan was supposed to be white...), finally I went back deep into my childhood (With a little prompting from a travesty created by SciFi) and dugup "The Wizard of Earthsea" by Ursula K. Leguin and realised that one of the reasons I was so inlove with this stuff was because there were actual CULTURES in her books! Not just white-european gloss over everything! And in looking her up today I found out that she wasn't much pleased with SciFi's machinations either, and that a lot of people around the globe are as upset about it as I am, and one essay at least (albeit from a different perspective than mine) got to the same point as I did a short time ago "Where are the black people in fantasy?!" This makes me more than a little proud of myself, because as I blonde haired, blue eyed white-boy it means there's hope for all of us if I can get it. So, here's hoping that I can get this story written, this world created, and try to help the world realise that EVERYONE fight's dragons and rescues princesses (Though, not to get ignorant on a similar vein an undo everything; the princesses can do the rescuing just as well) not just us anglos.

Here's the essay, in better words than mine and from a more personal view.
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