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12 comments

I think its absurd for some White American gamer to lecture JAPANESE creators about not making their product abide by American diversity quotas. Most FF games have had all White people in their human cast. Why is it a problem now?

I’m just a basic white girl, but even from my perspective his reasoning comes across as ignorant at best, and downright offensive at worst.

"As an all-powerful White person, its my sacred job to tell these dumb, Asian savages how to write their stories to suit my current year American sensibilities!! Don't they know that the ENTIRE PLANET literally revolves around America and what we want to see!?"

Final Fantasy 16 looks incredible, and is clearly taking inspiration from the Game of Thrones and The Witcher 3 (two pieces of media that also happen to be very white) when it comes to creating a relatively grounded world for us to lose ourselves in.

So why isn't she also whining about Game of Thrones & The Witcher? Why is she focusing all her ire on this team of Japanese creators not putting enough Black people in their game about medieval Europe? Is she also mad about the lack of Mexicans in the Black Panther movies? LOL

The team is Japanese, so this cultural divide is also worth taking into consideration

Yes. Yes it is

Final Fantasy isn’t a stranger to people of colour either, with so many entries featuring White, Asian, and Black characters. To suddenly pull out this excuse just doesn’t hold water, and has sadly killed my hype for the game.

Ok. Then go play Final Fantasy 7 (the good one. Not the weird remake), ignore the new one, and shut the fuck up.

Perhaps the complete experience is hiding a few unexpected surprises, and there remains a hidden vein of diversity yet to be uncovered

Maybe Barret Wallace and Fran will be unlockable party members. LOL

I find it a bit strange to tell a bunch of Japanese people that they aren't allowed to create a fantasy realm that is based on medieval Europe and is thus as white as medieval Europe. Which was very white. Yes, the games aren't realistic, but they are obviously going for a certain flair.

I don't think Americans are able to fully grasp just how rare black people still are in middle Europe - and that one or two known cases of black nobles travelling to England in the Middle Ages doesn't mean that every tiny village suddenly had plenty black people.

I get the argument for movies (the Enola Holmes movies have somewhat more PoC than I would find realistic, even considering England's many colonies, but they throw realism out of the window anyways, so whatever), cause movies give jobs to actors, but games?

It's especially grating that the previous games that apparently had the desired diversity quota, are not considered proof that the creators are not racist and just, for a change, wanted a game that was closer to real history, but used against them.

(Also, no one ever seems to think about the implications of diversity in a setting without airplanes. America has so many black people because they were brought there as slaves. In the Middle Ages, people rarely left their home country for fun - in fact, most didn't stray far from their home village. Even nowadays, any mass wave of emigration tends to have an ugly reason.)

I feel this whole demand for ethnically diverse fantasy worlds is very US-centric.

To someone who lives in Middle Europe, a setting that is supposedly medieval but has more foreigners from far, far away in it than we see in our country nowadays just doesn't feel realistic, while I suspect, for Americans, it just doesn't register. Same like modern haircuts in historical movies only register when they've gone out of fashion and people wonder why there's suddenly a medieval knight with a 60s haircut.

I don't criticise American creators for creating settings that feel realistic to them, but I wish the American SJWs would let people from other countries do stuff that feels realistic to them.

Admittedly, I am white and thus not allowed to have an opinion on this, anyway, but ... let's just say, I don't feel discriminated against if a movie about Samurai has zero white people in it. In fact, I prefer that to shoehorning some white saviour male into it who then gets to marry some native woman, who is inevitably at least a decade younger than him. Ew.

I also don't feel discriminated as a woman if a movie about monks has no women in it, even if it is fantasy monks. (I am a bit annoyed about the lack of female characters in LotR, but really only a bit, and I would have been content if the non-combatant female characters had been fleshed out more and had contributed to the plot more. Eowyn had a good monologue about how patriarchal men treat her, and that monologue could never have happened in a world without a patriarchy.)

What we really need is black, asian and other oppresed people to make their own stories centering their cultural traditions, ethics and looks. Not for every movie to have an approved rating of racial and sexual minorities so white people can feel better.

THIS! POC deserve their own stories and characters. The problem with representation won't be solved by harassing some Japanese dude into throwing some token brown people into his fantasy wizard game

I'm a white british woman, so my feelings on this don't count, but I am really sick of forced diversity.

If they made a fantasy series or game set in Africa or Asia I wouldn't be moaning about the lack of white diversity. And why aren't we making games or series set in non-euro inspired settings?!

On a side note, Japan is noted for it's conservative views and society that can include racism so I'm also not surprised.

And why aren't we making games or series set in non-euro inspired settings?!

Because a majority of games (excluding Japan) are aimed at white men, and they're less likely to pick up a game if the protagonist doesn't look white or male like themselves.

The people who say this are the same ones who say GoT has so much rape due to historical accuracy.

Once you've introduced dragons and elder gods, talking about 'historical accuracy' is just ludicrous.

That said, while it is true that there have always been a smattering of non-white people in Europe, it wasn't like 50% of the population in 1350 or anything, and most people would go their entire lives seeing only white people, except in church: St Maurice, a patron of soldiers, and Balthasar, one of the three wise men, are two notable black Christian saints widely venerated in the middle ages.

To cut a long story short, there's nothing ahistorical about including a range of skin tones and faces in a fantasy game supposedly set in mediaeval Europe.

As I wrote, it is likely about the feel.

Dragons do not exist, but are part of medieval European culture.

If you go for late Middle Ages with proper castles and suits of armour, then some foreign looking people at the royal court won't seem out of place. The fact that nobility only could marry other nobility would make some cultural diversity likely. (Though in Europe, cultural diversity doesn't necessarily mean racial diversity. )

A black farmer in a village in the middle of medieval Germany, on the other hand, is as good as impossible and would make the whole thing feel modern instead of medieval. At least to non-Americans.

Also what area of Europe are we talking about? Given Spain's close proximity to Africa, it stands to reason that people would have some knowledge, at least in the cities, of traders who were Black. I think it is ok to include a character of that sort, someone who is involved in trade, being of a different race than White, but it should be written into the story in an appropriate manner, not just tossed in for diversity points. I think a game could do this fairly easily without losing the feel of the story. I don't think we need to have all races in everything all the time. I mostly watch Asian films, especially period pieces. There are typically not any White or Black people in the shows I watch... and there don't need to be, because they don't take place in the US or Western Europe. I'd find it inauthentic if they tried to force a White person into an Asian historical film. That isn't to say that much of Asia doesn't have a racism issue, it does (or rather, an obsession with white skin). What needs to happen is we need more film and game producers who are not White who will make stories for their demographic. And we need more women for that matter too.

[–] Mikkal 2 points Edited

Given Spain's close proximity to Africa,

In the United States, North Africans are considered white on the census. Middle Eastern people were too - they started being seen as 'non-white' after 9/11, especially those with black hair. If you've seen "photos of Iran" before the revolution trend going around... you see photos of a bunch of white people.

To understand why - looks at maps of the Roman Empire, Ancient Greece, Egyption Empire. Until recently, these were all considered a part of "Western Civilization". I've seen a lot of people try to "reclaim North Africa as African", but only in the past 10/15 years are so, and especially online. But that's not how Western Civilization textbooks told it - at least back in the 90's.

I was thinking of Black Africans though, there are plenty in North Africa. We also know Ethiopians were involved in trade to Europe. I also consider Arabs to be White people, they weren't who I was talking about though I do think they'd stick out ethnically. Also in the middle ages the demographics would have been changing, different from what they are today.