[PATV] Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - Extra Credits Season 6, Ep. 12: Dansky



  • RoujinRoujin Registered User new member
    I am really surprised that you talked about a pen and paper game (that wasn't D&D or a clone of it.) and then you choose to do it on wraith. I mean it would of been nice if you had talked about why it worked in the wraith world a little more by talking about it in more detail other than the brief half a minute explanation of what wraith is and that its in the WW II setting. But I guess it really feels like you were just trying to get people interested enough to go search this out.
    Just a suggestion then, is to maybe show case a list of games that you feel tried to do this type of depth in pushing the gaming genre on this level.

  • minunimiminunimi Registered User new member
    Im so sick of computer games where hordes of germanese get killed (ok, they are nazis but still...). Why doesnt movies or computer games tell us about the crimes of communists? Prior to WW2 millions of people in Poland and Ukraine died because of hunger which was intentional by russians (search for Ukraine famine or holodomor). This was a man-made famine and was directed against ethnic groups, thus not only nazis but also communists carried out genoside of their own.
    I understand that nazis lost the WW2 and its harder to judge "winners" (Soviet Union). Also its not widely known what kind of terror continued in USSR after the war was over. This terror by the russians in the ocupied countries continued for 50 years and ended in 1991.
    So, why is the critics so unbalanced? Why doesent people talk about the crimes of communism? Only because they "won"??

  • ParatechParatech Registered User regular
    An interesting point about 'reality' though is that video games often water down reality in general. Look at the 'University' Sims games? College is nothing like how its portrayed in the game. The "Sims" games have heavy censorship to avoid losing the rating of "Teen" but portay the Sims in a manner that isn't anywhere near realistic.

    Its funny that RPG games can use alcohol and other 'adult' behavior, and yet have characters that may not be old enough in our current system to use them, and that doesn't take into consideration some nations have no drinking age, but some games do restrict what characters can do?

    There always seems to be the idea that videogames promote behavior, the Tropes video seems to embellish that, yet isn't the greatest media, books, movies, music, the media that portrays the world as it is?

    Star Trek Deep Space Nine had a small episode where Sisko said he avoided a Holodeck simulation because it portrayed an early 20th century establishment as if racism never happened, that seems to be the way people want to portray video games, in an unrealistic world where everything is perfect and devoid of anything that portrays the world as it is.

    Would the Walking Dead be better if it was devoid of hard choices? Would WWII games be better if Nazis were portrayed like Hogans Heroes?

    Does portraying realism promote it? Do people drive recklessly because they played Need for Speed? Does playing Saints Row the Third or Grand Theft Auto IV make someone a criminal?

    When videogames portray 'realism' that's the biggest critique they get, that they're promoting what they represent. That's why many companies are afraid to portray certain things in videogames. Maybe "Indie" companies will be able to be more edgy and do what big companies refuse to do, maybe not, as its difficult enough to get games on Steam and other digital services. But videogames, like every other entertainment medium, should be more than just fantasy.

  • ReaverKingReaverKing Registered User regular
    People tend to focus on the "interactive" aspect of games and use it as an argument against games as a medium. (Promoting violence, antisocial behavior, etc.)

    Isn't one of the greatest things a game can do is to put you into an experience, and then tell you directly through the medium of play that "THIS BULL$#!%% IS NOT OKAY?"

    I mean, take for example the idea of a WW2 shooter where you play not as "some Nazi" but as a German or Polish conscript (i.e. your average guy) being forced to take orders FROM an almost stereotypical Nazi officer?

    Think of all the opportunities that gives you, the player, to be exposed to the word-for-word ethos of the National Socialist philosophy right alongside being ordered to commit battlefield (or other) atrocities actually perpetrated by the Nazis during WWII. That's how most of the games I've played have treated the Russians during that same time period.

    Or, to go COMPLETELY dark, you could set up a game along the Sim City or Tycoon Model where the player has to manage prisoner of war camps, stop escapes, etc. The final "campaign" mission could be managing not a military camp but "refugee", "displaced persons", "racial internment", or even "extermination" camps full of civilians.

    The yawning disconnect between the two ideas would certainly drive home the point that such things are just a hair's breadth apart in action despite being wildly different in terms of morality.

  • ParatechParatech Registered User regular
    You make some good points, but when 'negative' or 'controversial' gameplay is included in games, people often complain the game is 'promoting' the behavior. That was what I was trying to say in my long winded previous post.

  • fantanoicefantanoice Quiet, please, it's snack time! Registered User regular
    I'm not too familiar with tabletop RPGs but I'm keen to give this one a go. I never really understood why so many game makers (of various mediums) don't explore these deep social issues more because they really are a great platform to explore them. On that note, does anybody happen to know of any other tabletop RPGs which cover social issues such as this (they don't necessarily have to be as dark as the Holocaust)? I'd be really curious to try out a few and I certainly hope this isn't the only one.

  • UncannyGarlicUncannyGarlic Registered User regular
    I haven't played the game but this the problem you describe with the underlying game sucking and being buried under an interesting and potentially deep plot is obnoxious. I don't care how well your setting is written if the game sucks, make your product into something other than a game. I also agree with your point about the trend toward hyper political correctness but the point that you should consider why you are pointing out the race of the person at the front door is a good one. I agree that it doesn't instantly make you racist or have negative connotations, hell it can have positive connotations, but asking why you are pointing out the attributes you do is a valid suggestion for increased self-awareness. Not that you're saying otherwise, I'm just think that there is a middle ground which is too often ignored here.

  • fantanoicefantanoice Quiet, please, it's snack time! Registered User regular
    The excerpted Holocaust novelist's comments from the introduction to Charnel Houses of Europe are asinine.

    I hope someone reading this is also especially suspicious when they're fed politically correct poison and told it's medicine for their soul.

    So if I am out with my white friends and tell them to keep an eye out for my friend J, and I use the helpful descriptor, "He's black," the author (and by including it here with such a precious introduction, I have to assume James or the whole EC crew as well) thinks I'm tiptoeing down the slippery slope toward the Holocaust? Really?

    By the same token, if you're a group of Korean people, and you refer to "that white guy" it doesn't make you racist. It makes you a clear and sane speaker who tacitly recognizes that the most significant character trait that will separate a specific person from the people to whom you're speaking is that he is a different race. If you said "that fucking WHITE guy" you'd be racist. If there was a more visually dominant trait, you'd probably use that. "The dude literally NEVER goes anywhere without his pet boa constrictor. You can't miss him."

    When I save money and one of my two Jewish roommates says, "You're gonna make a great Jew some day!" where does that fit in this author's road to Hell?

    Here in New York City, we have about 72,000 ethnicities crammed into any one subway car. If I don't identify someone by their race, no one will know who the Hell I'm talking about.

    Look, I'm not a complete rube. I know that dehumanizing the other is meaningful and dangerous, and I know that slavery is somewhere down the line after "black people are good dancers," but what I hate about BS like that introduction is that they seem to lose all nuance in the urge to achieve an universally desirable outcome, i.e. no more hate crimes, no more slavery, no more ethnic cleansing. Those are good, noble ends. I'm taking a stand, right here, right now: I'm not in favor of ethnic cleansing. That said, SURELY we can have a sense of humor about ourselves and those who aren't like us. How many times do I ask my roommates to apologize for killing my Lord and Savior (so far they have not apologized ONCE if you can believe it!) or ask my dog (a Japanese shiba inu) to apologize for Pearl Harbor before I have to wear a swastika armband around on all my clothing to show everyone I'm a crucial cog in the next Holocaust? The issue I take is that by saying absurd things like, "Don't say the man at the door is a 'black' man. Just say he's a man," it seems like a dangerous substitute for enhanced appreciation for details and nuance or for real empathy, which is the ultimate solution to our inhumanity toward one another. When we remove our ability to call thing as they are in the name of a propriety we've deemed holy, we haven't forestalled the next apocalypse. We've made ourselves dumber than the bigot who condemns all the Others for this or that fantastic atrocity. And if we, as a society, are dumber, it makes us that much more facile for the next monster to manipulate to some horrible end.

    I'll stop typing now. There's a black man at the door.

    I don't necessarily disagree but I think the point the author was trying to convey was that over time these tiny, almost insignificant demonstrations of segregation could lead eventually equate to something tragic if we're not careful. I'm pretty sure they weren't literally saying that, "There's a black man at the door" on it's own is going to bring the next Holocaust.

    If you have a look at some media from before WWII in Germany you'll see a lot of Jew-bashing even a decade before the invasion of Poland, a lot of it just shrugged off as 'harmful jokes.' It actually didn't differ too much from identifying them as different, to joking about them having big noses, to joking about greedy-bad men with big noses, to eventually trying to wipe them out. This sort of content was in children's books as well, not just adult media. The point is that this was an actual result from something that started with a similar chain of events like the author describes, so if we don't want to repeat history we should trod carefully. I doubt anybody expects or wants it to happen again, which is why we should be alert to what it is we're saying and the effects of that.

    In other words, we should be fine to laugh and joke with our friends, or distinguish people, as long as we know the repercussions and don't let it cross the line of insignificance to harmful.

  • RalwinRalwin Registered User new member
    @fantanoice With the risk of shooting myself in the foot by suggesting something that is, basically rather whimsical, you can always go, head first preferably, into Discworld. Now now, I know what you're thinking "Discworld? The fantasy equivalent of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy? How in the heck can that treat serious subjects?" Well... Much in the same way that Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy treats the question of "How do you deal with losing more or less everything?" and to some effect the question of the meaning of life and so on... I don't have the Discworld RPG rulebook right here... But it mentions that some of the stories treat stuff like death, loss and aristocratic backstabbery (Not necessarily all at once... Though it does occur) and if you want and have time and so on, you can always sit down and write your own story that treats heavy subject like police corruption (which there is plenty of in the Ankh-Morpork City Watch in the earlier days of the disc), racism (there's about flurp amount of races on the Disc, but the book, for example advises players to play as humans (Due to balancing, but what the hey) (or you can just go and pick on the wizards)), backroom politics, betrayal and other bad stuff (There's a silly amount of Guilds for all sorts of trades in Ankh-Morpork. Who's to say that the Beggar's Guild doesn't suddenly decide to muscle in on the Thieves' Guild's professional turf?) or maybe even go that bit further and treat something like censoring and the murder of knowledge (The Unseen University has had all it's books stolen and the Librarian is gone! You, you ragtag group of tosspots, go out and find them! (And considering the nature of the Disc, that "Murder of knowledge" thing can likely be as metaphorical or literal as you want). Woo... Long-winded sentences... But I hope this was at least in the vein of what you were looking for

  • fantanoicefantanoice Quiet, please, it's snack time! Registered User regular
    @Ralwin, you meant this one, correct?

    Hmm, it certainly doesn't look like your everyday, social-issue-exploration-experience but hey, I'm willing to give it a go. Cheers. :)

  • Arcane SnowmanArcane Snowman Registered User new member
    That's because Discworld is very well put together, thanks to Pratchett. The various books deal with a whole slew of different issues, hell some of the earlier ones deal with something which is usually only the purview of Science Fiction "what happens when our machines begin thinking for themselves?".

    Honestly though, although some systems and settings are much better predisposed towards it, I think most Tabletop Roleplaying Games can be used to explore such issues. But it requires both players willing to immerse themselves in the setting, if not the message, and a good Storyteller/DM.

  • J.RJ.R Registered User regular
    edited June 2013
    Not sure if anyone remembers but a game that EC recommended in their "games you might not have tried #1" did portray the holocaust and concentration camps in their own universe: Valkyria Chronicles. To give a brief summary on the subject, within the game their is race of people known as the Darcsens who are persecuted and discriminated against due to the record of their ancestors initiating countless wars and ravaging the land (though this has yet to be proven). During the war that takes place, Darcsens are often hunted or captured an enslaved to work in concentration camps in inhuman conditions to mine ores for the Imperial Alliance and while this is portrayed within the Imperial Alliance in the first games It is the country that you fought for that begins holocaust.

    Both Valkyria Chronicles 1 & 2 portrayal of the holocaust and concentration camps (within their universe) gives players a (while not as deep) good perspective of the atrocities that may have occurred during WW2 and I think more games should do this (My hat off to you Sega).

    J.R on
  • kpercivalkpercival Registered User new member
    This is one of the many reasons why I honestly believe that this little corner of the web is at least top 3, one of the best things on the web period. I believe this to be true because I love philosophy and the logical fashion by which my philosophy teachers taught me to think. More importantly this corner of the internet takes a moral stance that is honestly breathtakingly well argued. Its one thing to be a scientist. A scientist can believe themselves to be working toward the betterment of society while actively harming others and contributing to age old social divisions. The philosopher stands behind scientists and asks numerous questions, the most important of which being "why." The philosopher is not just a scientist, hes a moral arbiter. He or she sees questioning as their primary duty, and not just questioning methods, but motives, taking sides, arguing. Not to say that Philosophers couldn't be Nazis. Heidegger was a Nazi and he was also one of the greatest philosophers this world has ever known, but he was also conflicted between his great love for his country's history, and his love for Husserl, who happened to be his intellectual father, and a German Jew. I guess my point is that this show, no matter the topic, begins by asking the most base and simple questions and builds its arguments carefully all the while not being afraid to take a stance.

  • JetstreamGWJetstreamGW Registered User regular

    "Imagination is the only Escape" is being crowdsourced for PC/android release.

  • missAismailmissAismail Registered User new member
    this episode reminds me with the movie " The Boy in the Striped Pajamas " in this one i believe they've tackled the story from a different perspective, and in a novel way, made me honer it and appreciate it ..

  • FabioleanFabiolean Registered User regular
    Holy shit! I never thought I would see this episode! I LOVE Richard Danksy and his work on the White Wolf RPGs! ESPECIALLY the Wraith, Orpheus, and Exalted games.

    I've always loved Extra Credits, but now I absolutely adore it.

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