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Role Playing (Games) Your Rights Online

Online Game Event Sparks Player Riot 758

Grimwell Online is carrying a story entitled When does an Online Game go too far?. It details a post to a news group about a world event in the newly released A Tale in the Desert 2. The online game, which simulates an ancient Egyptian culture, was full of angry players after a developer-run event used openly discriminatory language against the female gender. Details on the event can be found at the ATITD2 Wiki, and commentary can be found on TerraNova.
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Online Game Event Sparks Player Riot

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  • Whaaaaa! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 22, 2004 @03:56PM (#10602533)
    When a game goes to far I don't play it anymore.

    This is just more of that post-modern victim shit. Some chicks got bent outta shape because a CHARACTER in a GAME set in ANCIENT EGYPT didn't treat their characters like empowered 21st century soccer-moms.
  • by TrollBridge ( 550878 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @03:59PM (#10602571) Homepage Journal
    IT'S A GAME!!

    What was the average age of the participants? I suspect that this nonsense was bred entirely from immaturity.

    I mean really, who besides a child (mentally) gets so spun up over a game?? I thought they were supposed to be fun!

    Have I missed something?
  • by LostCluster ( 625375 ) * on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:01PM (#10602611)
    I'm pretty sure the developer thought that this would be funny... people seem to get offensive and funny mixed up these days.

    You should know better when designing something from a broad base that if you offend people, those are potential customers you won't get. Turn away too many potential customers and yhou won't have enough actual customers to make anything work.
  • Uhmm.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:02PM (#10602629)
    How about not playing if it offends you so much?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:03PM (#10602636)
    be slashdot news!? Gamers are angry & sexist all the time, (mostly thanks to Myg0t and the like), and it never amounts to anything. Also, on the rare occasion that it does, isnt this something for that mmo's forums!?
  • A good experience (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JoshuaDFranklin ( 147726 ) * <> on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:03PM (#10602640) Homepage
    Tepper stated that he will continue to "create situations that cause some discomfort."

    If you're just playing the game to have some fun, and don't care about historical "accuracy" or at least realism, this would be annoying and possibly offensive.

    If you're playing it to experience a world, I think it's completely in line. Slavery, racism, and sexual discrimination are all part of history (and our world today), and being confronted with them in a online gaming experience could be much more powerful than, for example, reading in your textbook that Denmark abolished the African slave trade in 1803.

  • Player-Based (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheFlyingGoat ( 161967 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:03PM (#10602643) Homepage Journal
    The Terranova link has a comment that says the discrimination was widespread and player based. That doesn't seem like it was discrimination from the organizers of the event. So although it's sad, I don't think they're in danger of losing a lawsuit.

    There's been a lot of people using racial slurs on gaming servers lately. It's a shame that it's so widespread and that very few people say anything when it occurs during gameplay. I miss the days when you'd hear "nice shot" or "good luck" on a server instead of a bunch of insults.
  • by PktLoss ( 647983 ) * on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:04PM (#10602652) Homepage Journal
    So a game based in a period of human history would like to present a sterotype present in that time period... In one charecter (so far), widely regarded by many NPCs to be a theif and a scoundrel...

    I'm tired of whitewashing history (will I be flamed by those who would consider that a racist remark?). Bad things happen, people were enslaved, tortured, killed, etc, based on pretty much anything. It was bad, we know that, lets move on, but lets also not forget that it happened.

    Game publishers, programmers and authors should be applauded for being willing to tackle issues present in the period they choose to set their work, it is a difficult and tricky business.

    Perhapps users could/(should?) be warned during charecter creation that their chosen avatar will effect game play, heck, list it as a feature. If you play female some NPCs wont trade with you, if you play a white guy you won't be able to jump, if you play someone of X decent you will be better at Y, etc.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:04PM (#10602656)
    "The implications of these condoned actions reached further than the expected sexual discrimination that showed on the surface, according to the in-game chat, the player known as Jaime, was reported to be a black female. She was appalled by the comments of "master" and "slave" because it reached far
    deeper than male vs. female bringing in harsh reminders of racism."

    Because African Americans were the only people to be enslaved throughout the world, naturally.
  • by MaineCoon ( 12585 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:06PM (#10602667) Homepage
    Anyone who has played the game will know that ATITD is about roleplaying and community. It is about building a civilization, and rising as a civilization to meet challenges. I haven't played the game in a year and a half, but I think most of what was true then holds true now.

    The incident in question (for those who didnt RTFA) involves a game event where a staff-controlled character, a merchant, travelled the world and traded with people. Females were treated as slaves - which, given the place and time that this role playing game portrays, was not necessarily an inaccurate representation. Should a game whose purpose is roleplaying (and to an extent, re-enactment) set thousands of years ago, represent modern day values? That is up for the players to decide. They took for granted modern day values, but never passed any laws to enforce them (which was entirely within their power).

    So when an event-character comes along, behaving perfectly appropriately given the location, era, and currently enacted laws - yet inappropriately given modern day values - people are expressing outrage...

    If the players wish to truly do something, a riot is the wrong way to go. This is a game that they have control over, and this was a challenge that was presented to them in game and should be met in-game. The players should use the legal system within the game to pass an equal rights act and abolish slavery.

    Keep it in-game, where it belongs.
  • Morons! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JabberWokky ( 19442 ) <> on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:06PM (#10602669) Homepage Journal
    What the HELL!?!?!

    As a role player, I've played racist character (both for human races and various clans and/or species), sexist characters (try playing a 150 year old vampire from the deep south with*out* being racist and sexist), sadist, psychotic, mentally deficient, masochist, martyr, zealots of various natures, and members of the opposite sex plus a dozen races, species and creature types.

    What the *hell* do they think role playing is?

    Role playing the concentration camps of WWII results in some very dark moments and the introspection lasts long after the game is over - much the same as reading a powerful novel or history of the era. It makes for powerful literature, which is what role playing can be. The strong themes of discrimination exist historically, and since much of role play (including this work) often pulls from history, to exclude those aspects is to whitewash who we are and have been as human beings.


  • Re:Ancient Egypt? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by _Sharp'r_ ( 649297 ) <sharper&booksunderreview,com> on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:07PM (#10602691) Homepage Journal
    Nice try at being funny.

    According to the article, it's an online game and one of the developers made a plot character that refused to trade with women, calling them slaves, etc...

    Apparently he just wanted to bring out the fact that in ancient egypt, the role of women wasn't exactly like it is today, but a bunch of women are standing on their "right not to be offended by anyone, even in a game" and quitting.
  • Hmmm (Score:4, Insightful)

    by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:10PM (#10602716) Journal
    Historicity aside, the last time I checked, at least within the USA, First Amendment rights still applied to everyone?

    I understand that a large number of people seem to think that speech that falls outside of their personally "acceptable" boundaries should be prohibited, and sadly, a number of craven legislators have catered to this intellectually empty point of view.

    Sticks and stones, stupid. If you don't like it, maybe you could simply turn off the computer? Vote with your feet. Play another game perhaps?
  • by Neil Watson ( 60859 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:11PM (#10602736) Homepage
    The sad thing is, history is still repeating itself today. Instead of complaining about how people are treated in a game how about complaining about how people are treated in real life. Get out of the basement people!
  • This is nothing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pan T. Hose ( 707794 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:13PM (#10602760) Homepage Journal
    Discriminatory language, riots, angry people... This is nothing! I once heard about an online game where one of the characters has commited a murder! Can you imagine?
  • by 3.09 a hour ( 812839 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:14PM (#10602777)
    /me looks angry /me throws a bottle a the ground I just dont see how you can riot in any game, i just doubt theres a system fo it.
  • by kmb ( 56194 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:16PM (#10602800)
    Let's face it, most of these folk happen to be guys that are discriminated against by females every day.

    And judging from the attitude and language in some of these posts, they damned well deserve it.

  • realism indeed (Score:4, Insightful)

    by spoonyfork ( 23307 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <krofynoops>> on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:17PM (#10602812) Journal

    Should games take realism to the extent that they deny basic "current" human rights?

    Human rights are denied to the tune of millions around the globe each day. Can gamers truthfully cry foul when their "virtual human rights" are impinged? Go spend some time in Saudi Arabia as a woman, in China as a Christian, in America as an arab, in Thailand as sex slave, in an Iraqi prison as an Iraqi... then tell me how realistic the denial of human rights are in your game.

  • by fizban ( 58094 ) <> on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:18PM (#10602832) Homepage
    The problem arises when different people are playing it for different reasons, in which case there needs to be a set of *community agreed upon* rules of conduct. In this case, there were, but the gamemaster chose to ignore them.

    So, if the gamemaster starts ignoring the community rules, then you have problems. In these instances, the gamemaster needs to be clear up front about how he/she is going to play the game and also state why it will be different from the community standards so that those who don't agree have the option to not play. For instance, in this case, the gamemaster should have been upfront and said that he was going to be portraying ancient Egypt in a true-to-life manner, so any characters that would have been of slave status in that time period may be treated that way in the game. If the gamemaster is doing this for educational purposes, it's great, because roleplaying is a great way to learn about things in a very personal manner.

    However, if he was just playing the game this way for non-educational purposes, just entertainment for himself, then I question his ethics. Roleplaying as a Nazi or slave trader for purely entertainment purposes is not what I would consider a healthy mentality. Doing so to spark discussion on issues of race and gender discrimination is fine, but again, it needs to be stated upfront that this is what's happening.
  • by Wile_E_Peyote ( 805058 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:18PM (#10602833)

    Let's not forget this is just a game. It is not some grand social experiment. It is a service that people pay for and when you type something out it is being read by a *person*, not an Avatar. If someone is playing the game and paying for it they have no responsibility to treat is as anything but a game. In college, you were payed to be experimented on. I think they have every right to expect a certain level of protection from this kind of insulting behaviour.

    Would calling someone on another team a racial slur in the middle of a baseball game be okay? If it was just to get a reaction and not meant with ill will?

    The "social experiment" of slavery and sexism has already been performed and it didn't go well. There is enough racism/sexism on the net without it being officially sanctioned by people who are taking your money...

  • by sTalking_Goat ( 670565 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:19PM (#10602840) Homepage
    If you play female some NPCs wont trade with you, if you play a white guy you won't be able to jump, if you play someone of X decent you will be better at Y, etc.

    The thing is ALL RPG's do this already, with fantasy races and classes. There were lots of MUDS that I played where if you were an Orge or a Drow or a Giant, some of the NPC vendors wouldn't sell you anything, and if you were Evil you'd get jumped by city guards. It went with the territory. Yet whenever anyone tries to aplly this to gender especially people become very angry. Its a huge double standard.

  • Re:Whaaaaa! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ced_Ex ( 789138 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:19PM (#10602847)
    And I suppose a WWII game that had Nazi Death Camps for Jews is anti-Semetic?

  • Re:Whaaaaa! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DeepHurtn! ( 773713 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:23PM (#10602884)
    I don't think you have any idea what the word "post-modern" means.
  • Slow down, guys (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AdamHaun ( 43173 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:25PM (#10602917) Journal
    Historical accuracy aside, it's important to realize that the discrimination is taking place outside the game, not in it. Inviting women to play the game and then suddenly telling them that they can't play part of the game in the middle of the second season does seem kind of rude, if that's what happened.

    A better question would be if this is consistant. Are women universally treated as slaves in the game? Have there been other side quests and story elements that locked women out? Are there any female-only parts of the game? If women are otherwise treated as equals in ability and options, then it doesn't make sense to cry historical accuracy now.

    You can't say that this is ridiculous solely on the basis of the Slashdot writeup. Hopefully someone who knows more about the game will post further information, since the article is slashdotted right now.
  • by cbreaker ( 561297 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:25PM (#10602923) Journal
    This kind of crap has always been widespread, from the times of the BBS to the times of the MMORPG's.

    *Usually* the name calling, throwing a pissy fit, and the general hate comes from young boys. They have a lot of rage, and they can take it out in online games without fear of reprecussions.

    I've been playing online games for many years now. Back with KALI + Descent 2, through UT and Tactical Ops, and through OU, EQ, and now EQ2. The crap's the same. It'll always be there. But in some places, it's much worse the others.

    I ran some TacOps servers a couple years back, and it was a LOT of fun. We had some great kids and adults alike play on our servers, and we basically just went nuts. Marathons on single maps all night, clan wars, and everything else. But always there would be the little kidding that enter the server, do stupid shit, call people names, and eventually get banned.

    There's actually a lot less of that kind of nonsense in games like Everquest. EQ's been out for awhile, and a lot of the players have been playing for years. The average age in many top guilds is in the mid-20's. While age along doesn't come close to stop people from being assholes, it does eliminate a lot of the name calling, racial slurs, and general chaos.

    Hop on a UT2004 server, however, and you'll be playing with a bunch of punk 14 year old boys that have no problem calling you a *beep* beep *beep* because you killed them once out of the 25 times they killed you.

    I await the games where you need to prove your age, and be at least 18 years old to play.
  • Re:Whaaaaa! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gfxguy ( 98788 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:25PM (#10602926)
    Why is it depicting history "spreading hate and propoganda?" They speak english because the target audience speaks english (I'm guessing english speakers are the ultimate target, otherwise it makes no sense).

    So if I wrote a book about the south in the year 1800, they shouldn't have slaves, right? Moreover, black people should be prominant and empowered?

    Pretending what happened in the past didn't happen doesn't make it go away, and we learn history for a reason: those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. There's nothing wrong depicting history accurately.

    This is why the left bothers me so much - free speech is fine when you agree with it, but you won't have it even if it's accurate. Let's pretend history didn't happen because it might "offend" someone. Let's pretend slavery never happened, and pirates didn't rape and pillage, and Saddam Hussein and Adolf Hitler didn't have people gassed.

    Frankly, if I was a woman, I'd be offended that might plight was depicted accurately.
  • by onebitcpu ( 682182 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:27PM (#10602949)
    While reacting in-game to the role-playing of others is fine, I would suspect a large number of the women would be more upset with paying for access to the game being shut out of getting some powerfull items.

    I know that if I was paying a subscription for a game and found myself restricted from getting powerups just because I'm a guy with a beard who reads slashdot, I would get angry.

    There's not much point in playing a game where a class of goodies, powerups etc. are unavailable because you picked the wrong class.

    I wonder how many guys would be upset if a female trader went around selling goodies only to women? :)

  • Re:Whaaaaa! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NoData ( 9132 ) <> on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:28PM (#10602967)
    The thing is...ATITD is small beans. But imagine if a major online gaming, say, Everquest, backed by a major corporation like Sony....had a situation where one of the game *developers* (rather than a player) had an NPC calling players, say, racial or religious slurs (which, surprisingly, seem to evoke more outcry than sexism)...Just because the NP *character* was a bigot. I don't think that would be tolerated. And it would probably make the national news. There is the sort of lack of wisdom in antagonizing your players at such a base level, in tension with the creative freedom of the developer to create discomfort. I don't think any laws are being broken here, but the prudence of ATITD's choice can certainly be questoin.
  • by zoips ( 576749 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:28PM (#10602974) Homepage
    An example of a game going to far would be a game that causes a direct, linkable physical effect on players. This is just people getting bent out of shape because they still have the mentality of a 10 year old.

    Political Correctness is an example immaturity, and these people railing against something that has no effect on them except through their self-deluded state of being offended is not what anyone should classify as news.
  • by erick99 ( 743982 ) <> on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:29PM (#10602978)
    Do these games ever have character's that are at a disadvantage from their beginning/creation based on characteristics other than sex? If so, do people identify with those characters and complain to the developer? I am quite serious, I don't play these games so I don't know.
  • Re:Define irony. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jason1729 ( 561790 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:29PM (#10602985)
    Writing a song called Ironic, that completely mis-understands the definition of "Ironic", is very Ironic.
  • Re:Whaaaaa! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Hard_Code ( 49548 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:30PM (#10602991)
    Have you even played ATITD? Although it is set in an Egyptian theme, it could hardly be called a reality game, and apparently this didn't happen, or didn't happen so blatently in the last version.

    But since it seems like you think capitalization makes statements more believable, how about:

    When I PURCHASE a game with MY MONEY I don't expect the DEVELOPERS to INSULT ME with RACIAL or SEXIST SLURS.

    how is that "post-modern victim shit"? I think instead you are full of "knee jerk counter-reaction shit".
  • by gorbachev ( 512743 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:31PM (#10603011) Homepage
    Why does roleplaying as a nazi, slave trader, or any other "evil" character for purely entertainment purposes make someone sick?

    To me it's just a classic good vs. evil situation, the more evil, the more interesting the situation is.

    It's the same thing as when asked actors and actresses generally agree that playing evil characters is much more rewarding and, yes, fun, because they get to express themselves more than playing a do-gooder, generally speaking.

    Would Star Wars have been the same without Darth Vader, an archetype of evil? No, it would have not. His presence made the movie much more entertaining, by far. Does that make George Lucas sick? Don't answet that... :)
  • Re:Ancient Egypt? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:32PM (#10603022)
    Beyond the fact that your reference covers Pharaohs rather than common women,

    The point is that women could rise to be pharaohs in ancient Egypt without raising a stink, which should tell you something about how women were pretty much left alone and free in this society. In contrast, I don't seem to see very many imam-ettes anywhere in the muslim world.
  • Re:Whaaaaa! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by boinger ( 4618 ) <> on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:32PM (#10603026) Homepage
    The fact that you think that *anything* that "happens" in an online game would *ever* make any amount of news other than those which deal with online games as a matter of course illustrates how out of touch you are with real life.
  • Re:Whaaaaa! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Rei ( 128717 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:33PM (#10603041) Homepage
    The thing is... this ISN'T the history of Egypt. Egypt had some of the most progressive laws toward women in the ancient world. While the Greeks were treating women with the same level of respect that they treated cows, women in ancient Egypt had all sorts of avenues open to them. They could choose who to marry, they could divorce, they could own property... they even had laws that guaranteed women the same pay as men when doing the same work.

    They weren't "slaves". This is some man projecting his fantasies of enslaved women onto the game. And it's incredibly insulting.
  • by museumpeace ( 735109 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:33PM (#10603050) Journal
    Vivid Video Disembowelment Inc to split three for one. In other news, we have one bankruptcy to report. The company that labored to develop the multi-player computer role-playing game called "Political Corrections" has gone out of business. To date, the open-sourced code for the game has garnered zero downloads. Simon Pure, former CEO of the company, released the source when no buyer could be found for the rights to the game and the producers of "Barney and Friends" dropped their options on the game citing its unreality and lack of relevance to any known target audiance or demographic. A few conservative christian customers had purchased the game but returned it when they found the game's filters and rules made it impossible to create what they considered realistic characters for John Kerry and Hillary Clinton, or anyone from Massachusetts. Reaction from customers was muted. One player said "I liked the cool laser cannons and way the flesh would blister when you zapped the other players but when it wouldn't let my character call Kerry a douchebag, I tossed it.
  • Re:Ancient Egypt? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kmb ( 56194 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:34PM (#10603064)
    Um, I rail against the inhumane treatment of women far more than what a few very fortunate, anorectic women can do. Ever consider that the media would rather talk about (and run accompanying photos of) the models? Hell, the American media would rather talk about the trial of one American male who is charged with killing his wife (hardly an oddity) than, well, almost anything else.

    Never assume that just because you don't hear about it, it's not happening.
  • Re:Hmmm (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tassach ( 137772 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:35PM (#10603073)
    within the USA, First Amendment rights still applied to everyone
    Common misconception. The Bill of Rights does not give *YOU* the right to do anything. What it does do is tell *CONGRESS* that they're not allowed to infringe on the rights that all people already have. Repeat after me:
    Amendment I:
    Congress shall make no law regarding an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    Amendment XIV, Section 1: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

  • Re:Whaaaaa! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SnapShot ( 171582 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:35PM (#10603082)
    I woudn't consider the historical revisionists who claim that Nazi death camps didn't exist to be from the "left". And, it seems like the major proponent of the "pirates don't rape and pillage" crowd are the writers of poorly researched historical romance novels and bad Hollywood movies. In other words, generally stupid but hardly pursuing a devious political agenda. Finally, I've never heard any one ever claim that slavery never happened, but I don know a few people who claim that the slaves were actually better off before the "war of northern aggression".

    In other words, please don't lump all hyper-sensitive morons with those of us on the "left" that actually believe in the first amendment and I'll try to remember that not all of you on the "right" are racist, ignorant, religious fanatics. Deal?
  • by hsoft ( 742011 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:36PM (#10603088) Homepage
    Even if this comment is modded as funny, it is quite an insightful comment.

    This is role-playing. If I play D&D and I can't enter the realm of elves because I am a mere human, will I quit playing because this game is racist? No, because that is "Role-playing", and playing a role in a defined environment is the *point* of the game.

    The female players could have decided to play a male character instead, and they would *never* have been treated inequally because they were women.

    Thus, it is not the *player* who is victim of sexism, but the *character*. If you can't make the difference, you shouldn't be role-playing.
  • Kids Today. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pete-classic ( 75983 ) <> on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:36PM (#10603091) Homepage Journal
    Is it a social event, or an RPG? Let's be clear, RPG stands for Roll Playing Game.

    It's like acting. Kevin Spacey isn't REALLY dead from a gunshot wound to the back of the head. He didn't REALLY cut what-er-name's head off and stick it in a box to freak Brad Pitt out.

    Kids today. Never played a real (paper & pencil) RPG. I used to play a character that was always shooting off racial slurs at Dwarves. In fact, once he was at quite a high level, he engaged in a campaign of Dwarficide. THAT'S NOT REAL.

    So, if you are in a game, playing a character that should be treated a certain way within the context of the game let's try to do two things. 1. Don't be surprised and 2. Remember it is one FICTIONAL character mistreating another FICTIONAL character. You are not your fucking character.

    Hallelujah, holy shit, where's the tylenol?

  • Re:realism indeed (Score:2, Insightful)

    by michael.teter ( 811516 ) <> on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:36PM (#10603093) Homepage
    Excuse me, but I would argue that Arabs in America generally have better ability to follow their religious beliefs than in most countries, probably including their home country. Want to wear a scarf in public? Go for it. Want to walk in public as a woman without covering your face? Feel free. Want to interpret the Koran as a non-militant, non-violent creed, by all means go for it. I don't believe most Arab countries allow their citizens that level of freedom.

    The US is the most religion-friendly country in the world. That's arguably why the US was founded.
  • Re:Whaaaaa! (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:40PM (#10603144)

    I'm beta testing this MMRPG set in teh 1600's, where one of the things you can do as crew on a merchant ship is kidnap a 10 year old boy from the locals then you and your sailor buddies assrape him until he bleeds to death. Some kid starts blathering about how that's not cool and it's insensitive and shit. Goddam PC liberal pantywaists, if you can't handle historical accuracy, don't play the fucking game!

  • Re:Ancient Egypt? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Sethra ( 55187 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:43PM (#10603170)
    Women of the dynastic period (3000BC - 322BC) enjoyed legal, social, and sexual independence unrivaled in any other time save since the late 19th century. Herodotus was quite intrigued by it and wrote often of how Egyptian women could own and trade property, work outside the home, marry foreigners, and even live on their own without a male guardian.

    So yes, gender-neutral potrayal would actually be far more consistent in a game like this. Sexist slurs are historically out of place, not to mention just bad taste.

  • Re:Whaaaaa! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Hard_Code ( 49548 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:43PM (#10603175)
    It's sort of hard to investigate future events. I played the original one for a few months before I got bored but never was there anything that said: staff will randomly and arbitrarily ruin your gameplay by sponsoring events which are racist or sexist (towards your avatar?!?) which will preclude your advancement.

    Now, they MIGHT have included something like that in ATITD2 but I can't find it on their web page and their Wiki is Slashdotted.

    But you're a smart guy, so I'm sure you can do us a public service and find where they said that I'll stand corrected.
  • Re:Ancient Egypt? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:45PM (#10603195)
    They'll rant and rave about a model making $50K for appearing in a swimsuit in a beer ad being "exploited", but are *silent* about the so-dehuminizing-its-absurd treatment of women in most Islamic socities

    This would be disturbing if true, so I decided to check it out. You can't get much more feminist and liberal than the National Organization for Women []. To test your claim, I used their handy search engine to see what they had to say about the most famous woman-oppressing Islamic government in the world, Afghanistan's former Taliban regime. I bet they wouldn't utter a word about them!

    Results for Taliban 1 to 15 of 63 results. []

    Okay, fine. Sixty-three. Okay, they talk a little bit about oppressed women in Afghanistan. But now to get to the real meat of the matter: those damn feminists hate chicks in bikinis! If there were sixty-three mentions of the Taliban, then beer commercials must show up much, much more often. I'll hazard a guess of, uh, five hundred. Five hundred hypocritical condemnations, you heard me, every single one an insult to freedom lovers everywhere! And now let's go to the tape...

    Results for beer commercials 1 to 8 of 8 results. []

    And eight's practically the same as five hundred, geologically speaking.

    So I guess you're totally correct.

    Using the same logic, I eagerly await your complaining about how Slashdot is constantly yammering about off-Broadway musicals [] while uttering not a word about the DMCA.
  • Re:Whaaaaa! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ohreally_factor ( 593551 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:48PM (#10603235) Journal
    The fact that you think this wouldn't make the "real" news shows how out of touch you are with the crap that gets served up to us in order to distract us from the real issues and events.
  • Re:Ancient Egypt? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:51PM (#10603277)
    So if I put together a game that "brings out the fact" that in ancient Greece, the Spartan warriors took young boys as their apprentices, and one of the boys' duties was to help their mentor get off... we're all OK with that, right? Because historical accuracy is what makes gameplay fun.

    I bet I can get the right background soundeffects for "late at night, near the warrior tents" by speeding up a porn movie where the girl's screaming "it's too big! it's too big to go in there!"

  • by SnapShot ( 171582 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @04:53PM (#10603310)
    The question on the table:

    Is it somehow bad or "creepy" if someone wants to play a Nazi camp guard in a WWII-theme game but it is okay if he wants to play Darth Vader in a Star Wars-theme game?

    That is a deep question, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say, "yes". The primary distinction is that millions of people didn't ACTUALLY die in the ruthless destruction of Alderon. In fact, I have it on good authority (I saw a documentary once, I'm sorry I don't have a link) that implies that the entire Star Wars story was actually fictional.
  • Re:Whaaaaa! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Erik Hollensbe ( 808 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @05:23PM (#10603602) Homepage
    Sigh. Damn, the "please please me" group is out in force today.

    The company has no responsibility to cater to your whims. You have no responsibility to buy their product. In the case of a subscription, you buy their product each month. Were you unhappy before this happened? Does the current event change your view of this prior purchase? Can it, logically? Not really. Just because you decided to invest in something that has no material good, is, again, nobody's fault but yours.

    Did you ever think that I, as another customer, welcome the immersion that a sexist character brings to a game like this? What if I belong to the majority? What if the majority could give a shit less about your view? Is your view really that important at that point?

    Cancel your subscription and get all the people that agree with you to do so as well. If the company really feels that the loss of your payments is worth changing the game, they will do so. It's called "voting with your wallet", as opposed to "complaining loudly when you're not getting what you want". The latter is an effective tool when you're 4 and you really want that candy bar, but not in the real world.

    After reading a book, do you write a scathing letter to it's author asking for your money back when you read something that wasn't on the back cover and just happened to disagree with your world view? I would hope not.
  • Re:Whaaaaa! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by praedor ( 218403 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @05:23PM (#10603605) Homepage

    Did the game promise to NOT test you? Did it promise to be absolutely boring and never ever offensive in any way? That there would NEVER be conflict and that everything would be (boring) fuzzy happy bunnies? Did it promise that, being based on human interaction (in a frickin' ROLEPLAYING game) would be totally neutral and without any color or spice? Did it promise that the universe would be peopled entirely by nothing but sameness and blandness? Did it promise that the roleplaying would actually REALLY be roleplaying and would just be some glorified, graphical, and HEAVILY moderated chat room?

    If you don't want to eat simulated shit, don't play roleplaying games because somewhere, sometime you will end up being fed shit, but's just a damn ROLEPLAYING game!

    Get into the ROLE and forget your modern sensibilities. Sheesh.

  • Re:Whaaaaa! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ( 824575 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @05:29PM (#10603658)
    Funny that you can discriminate and hate things such as Dark Elves. Why? None of us are Dark Elves. Or Possibly the DE population is content with being hated. The second the in game hate and discrimination is directed at something real(like being female even if its only an attribute of the character) that "Its just a game" feel vanishes and people believe they are being attacked. risy []
  • Re:Ancient Egypt? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lawpoop ( 604919 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @05:30PM (#10603665) Homepage Journal
    "This is what drives me crazy about feminists. They'll rant and rave about a model making $50K for appearing in a swimsuit in a beer ad being "exploited", but are *silent* about the so-dehuminizing-its-absurd treatment of women in most Islamic socities, including those subgroups in the U.S> "

    Which feminists are you talking about? Feminists are about the only group that routinely complain about the treatment of women in muslim societies. If you don't believe me, take a course at your local uni or talk to an actual feminist, not some woman you know complaining about models.

  • Re:Ancient Egypt? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by protohiro1 ( 590732 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @05:35PM (#10603708) Homepage Journal
    This, as mentioned by other posters is not true. Not even a little bit true. All feminists deplore the treatment of women in places like Saudi Arabia.

    The real problem here is that you don't really understand feminism. A lot of feminists support a woman's right to appear in sexy ads to her heart's content, as long as she is in control of her career. What they object to is not the women involved in modeling, but the peddling of unrealistic images of beauty for women. Also the implication in beer ads that women are not actual people, but merely objects for sexual gratification. Furthermore, few feminists would advocate actually censoring such imagery, but merely attempt to speak out at let people hear that there may be other ways to look at things.

    But I get what you are saying. Liberals don't hate muslims enough.
  • by serutan ( 259622 ) <snoopdoug&geekazon,com> on Friday October 22, 2004 @06:12PM (#10604174) Homepage
    If a character or monster or another player (I've never played this particular game, excuse my ignorance) were to come at you swinging a sword, presumably you would react in character and fight back, run away, etc. But you wouldn't stand there and whine, "I paid my money to play this game and I don't expect my character to be physically attacked."

    So when somebody verbally abuses your fantasy character, why not draw a weapon, say something like, "I'm no slave, take that back or stand and fight," and let the game proceed? Other like-minded players could join the fight on your side, and you might have a really interesting evening of role-playing rather than a group hissy fit.
  • Re:Whaaaaa! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pla ( 258480 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @06:25PM (#10604293) Journal
    Ditto for "deconstruct." If I had a dime for every fool who throws that around without having read a word of Derrida I'd be a rich man...

    If I had a dime for every fool who reads another "respected" fool's redefinition of a perfectly good word, I could afford to have all such fools taken out and shot.

    "Deconstruct"? To take apart.

    "Postmodernism"? Get back to me in 30 years, meaningless otherwise.

    Your author-of-the-week may have different ideas, but if you have the purpose of using words to communicate, rather than to posture yourself above all the other pretentious twits playing the same game... Well, you might find it helpful not to use definitions from a source that you yourself point out few people have read, and stick with English (or at least something true to its apparent Latinate root word and any applied pre/in/suf-fixes).
  • Event motivation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Teppy ( 105859 ) * on Friday October 22, 2004 @06:40PM (#10604460) Homepage
    While those saying "it's only a game" are making an often heard point, I haven't seem much discussion along the lines of why I think this was an interesting event. (BTW, I'm lead designer of ATITD [].)

    To a new player, ATITD can seem like a game about building "stuff." You build your camp, your compound, your character. If you play a long time, or play smart, you can excel in all of that. But the real challenge is that it's a game about building a perfect society, and that is *hard*. It's hard in RL, and if I'm doing my job correctly it should be hard in the game.

    Along comes a foreign trader, with shiny new goods, and an attitude that's totaly offensive, totally out of line with the culture that has developed in our Ancient Egypt. Would you trade with him? Would you put aside your morals, if it meant you'd get an advantage that many people don't have? In real-life, would you patronize a store that had a "no jews allowed" policy? What if they had *really* good prices? Would you do it and hope nobody saw? Maybe feel guilty?

    The best books, movies, television - can provoke a range of emotions. I like books that make me feel happy, enraged, triumphant, guilty, enlightened, sad. I want to have all of those emotions available in an MMO, and emotions occur in players, not characters.

    So, to create emotions you have to do things to characters that the people behind them will react to. The only question is how hard is it ok to push? So hard that the person kills themself? Of course not. Did this event push too hard? Certainly for some people it did.

    I'll continue to make it hard to build this perfect society. If that means we trade subscriber counts for a more memorable, challenging experience, I'm confortable with that. After all, if I were optimizing for subscriber counts, I'd have done a combat based game. Hell, if I were optimizing for money, I'd have been a lawyer!
  • Re:Whaaaaa! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Daetrin ( 576516 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @06:45PM (#10604510)
    As usual in these kinds of discusions, everyone on all sides of the issue seems to be getting carried away.

    Just to point something out, no one said they were slaves. And regardless of how much the game is based on ancient egypt and what rights women did or did not have in ancient egypt, the character in question was from somwhere _other_ than ancient egypt. Someplace where the men view all women as slaves, or at least so subservient to them as makes no difference.

    Therefore no criticism based on what things were like in real or imagined ancient egypt is relevant.

    Furthermore it's possible that it was "some man projecting his fantasies of enslaved women onto the game," but it's also possible that it was a good GM playing an NPC in the way that was appropriate to that character's background and personality, regardless of his own feelings on the matter. Also note that the character in question is presented as a theif and wanted criminal, not exactly the most sympathetic presentation. Perhaps the focus on female slavery in his character was intended to make people dislike him rather than as an endorsement of enslaved women.

    Now whether or not you want to play a game in which characters/events like that take place is entirely up to you. However the presence of a certain culture or mindset in any work of art is not necessarily an endoresement of that culture or mindset. There is the entire branch of dystopian fiction which involves setting up the kind of society the author wouldn't wish to live in for the purpose of showing how bad that society is, a form that at least feminist author has used.

    So continue on with your argument, but try to tone down the hyperbole and stick to the known facts please.

  • Re:Ancient Egypt? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by realityfighter ( 811522 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @06:47PM (#10604543) Homepage
    First, women are fighting on those issues. Women are angry about the way Islamic fundamentalist groups (not all Muslims, by the way) treat women. They are calling it a human rights violation. They are trying to stop it. Especially, the women who do are working on this are those "feminists" you whine about.

    Second, Islam is not inherently sexist. The practice of Islam is not inherently discriminatory. Being an "Arab" does not make you misogynist. Barricading the "Arab embassy" - which doesn't exist because there is more than one "Arab" country (not that I know what you mean by "Arab," but I'm going on people who speak Arabic) - barricading this fictional embassy would not help. But women's rights groups are fighting to get oppressive laws repealed and giving oppressed women the resources to fight for their own rights. As for "Muslim subgroups in the U.S." - an overwhelming number of Muslim pre-meds at my University were - *shock!* - female.

    There are fringe Christian groups in the U.S. that consider women to be "property." Women's groups are fighting them, too. This is not just an "Arab thing."

    Personally, I think this "merchant from a far-off land" was meant to portray the prejudiced image of Muslims/Arabs that you yourself have just expressed. So, another ten points from ATITD on the sensitivity scale/reality check.

    Women are not ignoring real world human rights issues by taking up issues like this one. As you've shown, this kind of thing is indicative of greater problems with a culture that sees abuse as a "practice of religious beliefs," and then goes on to say that either those beliefs should be held sacred and the abuse allowed, or the culture should be destroyed altogether because they are inherently evil. Can't we try to stop the abuse itself, regardless of who does it or where?
  • by Ophelea ( 804203 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @06:51PM (#10604602)
    Beyond the silliness of littering the area and creating HUGE threads on message boards...

    Wasn't dropping stuff on the trader, making it hard for him to move, etc exactly what an outraged society was supposed to do?

    Didn't they come together? Then fracture themselves like glass?


    First part - good. Second part - bad.
  • Re:Whaaaaa! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by taernim ( 557097 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @07:35PM (#10605042) Homepage
    Actually, in your attempt to simply be a rude troll, you proved yourself wrong.

    A few links to illustrate that what happens in a game, or can be caused by a game, can actually touch the real world:

    Everquest Widows unite []

    City of Heroes players honor Christopher Reeve []

    Note that many of these articles, while mentioned here on Slashdot, also have links to "other" news outlets, such as Gamespot, CNN, etc. In addition, games like GTA 3 have gotten a lot of press lately, even in the mainstream media. Don't you think you're being short sighted to imply that games no longer have an effect on mainstream culture?
  • Is it technically still plagiarism if you are publishing something, by any means, completely and irrevoccably anonymously??

    The issue at hand with plagiarism is IP rights, and as a completely anymous poster the grandparent obviously absolves all claims to any, potentially or otherwise. Can this be considered plagiarism?

    No, I didn't write the grandparent, and don't care to be accused of that. I am simply posing a question.

    Obviously it would be preferrable to attribute credit to sources, if for nbothing else than to lend the article a trackable stream of academic thought behind it, therefore facilitating further debate on the topics at hand. However, I still question whether any IP rights have been violated by someone who effectively anonymously quotes someone, and then anonymously posts or publishes the resulting composition.

    Just food for thought.
  • Re:Whaaaaa! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Erik Hollensbe ( 808 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @08:09PM (#10605345) Homepage
    In other parts of the world, beef is offensive.

    In others, certain colors are offensive.

    For the love of god, get off your high horse. Do the phrases, "you can't carpet the world, you might as well wear shoes", or, "they paved paradise to put up a parking lot" mean anything to you? The proprietors of those phrases are wealthy people for a reason.

    I'd love to hear what you have to say about city of heroes, where ALL the female characters look like pornstars in spandex. But that's a "family" game.

    Personally, I'm insulted that there is an inaccurate representation of [group] in MMORPG's. As a [member of group] myself, I feel the misrepresentation of [traits of those who define the group] is horrific, and I feel the need to subject my opinion on everyone else.

    Fill in the blanks the next time you want to complain, and save developers some time so they can write a regular expression to ignore your pompous ass.
  • Bah (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BobaFett ( 93158 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @08:13PM (#10605380) Homepage
    It's a game set in ancient Egypt. As such, it should have social interactions appropriate for the time and the place. A trader who refuses to deal with women is certainly not out of character, so it has every right to be there. You don't like that? Then you don't like to play a character in ancient Egypt, nobody said you must. You want to play a character in an Egypt-like land which treats women fairly? Well, may be some other game will accomodate you, or you can start your own, but even if not, there is no God-given right to have your perfect game.
  • Re:Whaaaaa! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DeepHurtn! ( 773713 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @08:16PM (#10605401)
    "Deconstruct"? To take apart.

    "Postmodernism"? Get back to me in 30 years, meaningless otherwise.

    The first, besides the straight-forward definition you give above, also has a pretty specific technical meaning in contemporary philosophy (which was defined by Derrida!). This latter meaning of the word was what I was referring to. Sorry if that wasn't obvious enough.

    Your author-of-the-week may have different ideas, but if you have the purpose of using words to communicate

    My point exactly. Thanks. Throwing terms around casually without thinking about what they actually mean (in the context they are being used!) dilutes the value of the word so that it becomes meaningless. That was what I was trying to point out to the original poster.

    I always get a little confused by people calling others "pretentious twits" in situations like this. Since this is /., I'll assume you work with computers (if you don't, nothing really changes, just the details). "Memory" has specific connotations when you're talking about computers. If you hear someone talking about computer memory, would you attempt to correct them and tell them that they are using that word in a a non-traditional way? I'm pretty sure the etymology of the word doesn't have anything to do with RAM, after all. Would you call them pretentious twits for trying to "posture themselves" by using a technical jargon? No, that would be idiocy. Would you go up to a scientist and call them pretentious twits for using the word "charm" to describe a quantum property? I mean, stick with English, right?

    On the other hand, if someone was talking about computers, and used "memory" to refer to hard-drive space, you might correct them. Because they would be using the word incorrectly for the context.

    Anyways, whatever. The original poster used the word postmodern in a sense that was completely meaningless. That was all I was trying to point out.

  • Re:realism indeed (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Qrlx ( 258924 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @08:18PM (#10605430) Homepage Journal
    Not to mention that if you want to compare Iraqis in Iraqi prisons, you have to compare them against those that were in the same prisons before the invasion.

    So when Americans do bad things to Iraqis in Iraqi prisons, that's okay because at one time an Iraqi did even worse things to Iraqis in Iraqi prisons?

    Tell me, how do you feel about moral relativism?

    Your argument was making sense until you tried to explain away current injustice because somebody else once did the same thing. Two wrongs don't make a right, and a previous wrong doesn't give you the right to keep doing wrong.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 22, 2004 @08:22PM (#10605455)
    Allow me for a moment to speak as someone who has actually played the game, rather than someone bitching about something they thought they heard about on some news post someplace.

    The ATITD games are basically games where the players make *all* the meaningful rules. It's pretty damn crude (and more than just a little bit boring) by some standards, but at the core of it is the players making laws for themselves. Whatever laws (and particularly the stupid ones) the players draft up, vote on, and pass into approval, the head developer implements.

    ATITD (the first one) had *several* hundreds of laws. Laws pertaining to right of way. Laws pertaining to where people can build. Laws pertaining to what happens when someone steals something. Laws for *everything*, well, everything except slavery and equal rights. ATITD2 is starting fresh, there's only a handful of laws in play at the moment, and so this time the devs apparently decided to prod the players a bit to see if they'd draft up the necessary laws outlawing slavery and so on, by having an NPC roll into town from a reasonably historically accurate neighboring land.

    Now you would think that if the previous run of the game had many hundreds of laws that after this there would be a flurry of Leadership petitions being assembled to formally outlaw slavery, racism, hatred, and cornish hens besides (I told you not all the laws made sense). Well, actually, there are. There is also a flurry of inflammatory reporting being done by websites without the first clue as to what actually went on in the game, being fed by a small number of dim-witted people who can't see the difference between their character and their actual selves.

    The "riot" wasn't so much that players were pissed off about the event as it was that the players were looking for that slaver to express their desire he get the hell out of Egypt.

    The black girl who was so put out by this event needs to *get a grip*. The game is set in ancient Egypt. Her character is a citizen there and her character saw another character acting like an ass. There's no need for her to be personally offended by it, and unlike other MMORPGS, she herself can login to the game anddraft a law, convince other players to sign it, and have that slaver removed from the environment permanently by exile. No messing about with GMs and policies needed.
  • by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Friday October 22, 2004 @11:56PM (#10606572) Homepage
    The valid question does arise, though, how far can you go bringing in real world storylines without crossing the line between entertaining and rubbing salt into wounds? Now as a game developer it is impossible to not upset anyone at all and still have compelling content... A character that commits suicide can be completely gripping to one person and too painful to bear for another. But on the other hand there are certain morays that should not be crossed. The Sims 2 will allow you to have homosexual relationships, as that has become basically accepted in society, but it won't let you sleep with your kids. If Malakai The Molester of Children came through ATITD, players would be rightfully outraged. Child molestation is a Moray in this country, and games should only in the most ginger of terms or ways cross any of those lines. Likewise, sexism and racism is a moray to a lot of people, and should be treated as such.

    Negative, dangerous, or damaging experiences are a part of a good RPG, but there are fundamental differences between having your virtual town stomped by a dragon, and having your character raped [] by another character. Encountering sexism wherever you find it is still sexism, be it in a game or in real life, and it has very real negative emotional consequences. To have this not only condoned, but acted by the GM is greatly stepping over the line, and is likely to bring in the undesired emotion of basic outrage.

    I can understand how someone crafting the game from a high level could make such a stupid mistake, but that doesn't change the fact that it was a terribly stupid mistake. Put your players in uncomfortable situations, yes, make them face choices that they rather would not want to make. But don't bring people out of the game by doing the kinds of bad emotional things they are attempting to escape and call it entertainment. You could cause discomfort amongst the players by deleting all of their characters, but it would be a stupid thing to do.

    That the ATITD community ejected the cad the way they did says more (IMHO) about the game than that he was inserted into the plot.

    Now the community is (rightfully) trying to eject the cad that inserted that into the plot... an effort I would totally agree with, if I wasn't so forgiving.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 23, 2004 @05:13AM (#10607648)
    Members of my family where killed during britain and american bombers over Germany.

    In that stuff, if you want to know. m []

    Do I feel particulary insulted by people playing winston churchill as entertainement in WWII games ?

    Not really.

    Your portraying of hitler (true evil) versus darth vader (not true evil) is dishonest, because you pretend that it is due to the fact that darth vader is a fictional character.

    The truth is uglier.

    Hitler. Evil.
    Slave Trader. Evil.
    Churchill. Not Evil.
    Sadam Hussein. Evil.
    Weapon Trader. Not Evil.
    Union Carbide. Not Evil.
    Stalin. Evil.
    Hiroshima. Not Evil.
    Bill Gates. Not Evil.

    Evil/Not Evil status is decided by who won the war (or what "social" practice dispeared).

    What you are saying is that one should only be allowed to play the 'winning' side of history. I find this disturbing. In an 1984 sense.
  • by obsid1an ( 665888 ) <obsidian.mchsi@com> on Saturday October 23, 2004 @04:36PM (#10610361)
    I just don't understand the big controversy here. It other games it is common for certain races not to train or help those of other races. In SWG, races other than human have to pay more faction points for Imperial items. All that's being done here is with sex instead of race. It's a game people, and the comments by the npc are within the context of the game. Saying the developers are being sexist is akin to saying the developers of id are satanists.

God made the integers; all else is the work of Man. -- Kronecker