Character names with different ethnicities

So one of the things I updated in Season One in preparation for getting the save feature added was allowing the player more clearer ways of defining the player’s ethnicity. While I purposefully tried to make it vague so the player can imagine the MC as anything. It was brought to my attention where the MC seemed to lean toward “default white”.

So I’ve come up with an ethnicity choice which sets your father’s, your brother’s and your aunt and uncle’s names. My concern at the moment is that the names I’ve chosen don’t go together.

So I’d like people opinions on them;

*choice ethnicity eye_colour
  #...stood out against my father's darker skin tone...
    #...and with those pale blue eyes gave her an unearthly beauty.
      *set father "Malcolm"
      *set alex "Andre"
      *set ethnicity "Black"
      *set aunt "Aurelia"
      *set uncle "Tyrell"
      *set eyes "pale blue"
      *goto a_disturbing_discovery
    #...and with those dark jade eyes gave her an unearthly beauty.
      *set father "Malcolm"
      *set alex "Andre"
      *set ethnicity "Black"
      *set aunt "Aurelia"
      *set uncle "Tyrell"
      *set eyes "dark jade"
      *goto a_disturbing_discovery
    #...and with those deep hazel eyes gave her an unearthly beauty.
      *set father "Malcolm"
      *set alex "Andre"
      *set ethnicity "Black"
      *set aunt "Aurelia"
      *set uncle "Tyrell"
      *set eyes "deep hazel"
      *goto a_disturbing_discovery
    #...and her one blue and one green eye gave her an unearthly beauty.
      *set father "Malcolm"
      *set alex "Andre"
      *set ethnicity "Black"
      *set aunt "Aurelia"
      *set uncle "Tyrell"
      *set eyes "blue and green"
      *goto a_disturbing_discovery
  #...was similar to the pale skin of my father...
    #...and with those pale blue eyes gave her an unearthly beauty.
      *set father "Jack"
      *set alex "Alexander"
      *set ethnicity "White"
      *set aunt "Elena"
      *set uncle "Tyler"
      *set eyes "pale blue"
      *goto a_disturbing_discovery
    #...and with those dark jade eyes gave her an unearthly beauty.
      *set father "Jack"
      *set alex "Alexander"
      *set ethnicity "White"
      *set aunt "Elena"
      *set uncle "Tyler"
      *set eyes "dark jade"
      *goto a_disturbing_discovery
    #...and with those deep hazel eyes gave her an unearthly beauty.
      *set father "Jack"
      *set alex "Alexander"
      *set ethnicity "White"
      *set aunt "Elena"
      *set uncle "Tyler"
      *set eyes "deep hazel"
      *goto a_disturbing_discovery
    #...and her one blue and one green eye gave her an unearthly beauty.
      *set father "Jack"
      *set alex "Alexander"
      *set ethnicity "White"
      *set aunt "Elena"
      *set uncle "Tyler"
      *set eyes "blue and green"
      *goto a_disturbing_discovery
  #...was similar to the hispanic skin of my father...
    #...and with those pale blue eyes gave her an unearthly beauty.
      *set father "Javier"
      *set alex "Alejandro"
      *set ethnicity "Latino"
      *set aunt "Isabella"
      *set uncle "Mateo"
      *set eyes "pale blue"
      *goto a_disturbing_discovery
    #...and with those dark jade eyes gave her an unearthly beauty.
      *set father "Javier"
      *set alex "Alejandro"
      *set ethnicity "Latino"
      *set aunt "Isabella"
      *set uncle "Mateo"
      *set eyes "dark jade"
      *goto a_disturbing_discovery
    #...and with those deep hazel eyes gave her an unearthly beauty.
      *set father "Javier"
      *set alex "Alejandro"
      *set ethnicity "Latino"
      *set aunt "Isabella"
      *set uncle "Mateo"
      *set eyes "deep hazel"
      *goto a_disturbing_discovery
    #...and her one blue and one green eye gave her an unearthly beauty.
      *set father "Javier"
      *set alex "Alejandro"
      *set ethnicity "Latino"
      *set aunt "Isabella"
      *set uncle "Mateo"
      *set eyes "blue and green"
      *goto a_disturbing_discovery
  #...stood out against my father's Asian features...
    #...and with those pale blue eyes gave her an unearthly beauty.
      *set ethnicity "Asian"
      *set father "Hitoshi"
      *set alex "Jin"
      *set aunt "Zan"
      *set uncle "Kaito"
      *set eyes "pale blue"
      *goto a_disturbing_discovery
    #...and with those dark jade eyes gave her an unearthly beauty.
      *set ethnicity "Asian"
      *set father "Hitoshi"
      *set alex "Jin"
      *set aunt "Zan"
      *set uncle "Kaito"
      *set eyes "dark jade"
      *goto a_disturbing_discovery
    #...and with those deep hazel eyes gave her an unearthly beauty.
      *set ethnicity "Asian"
      *set father "Hitoshi"
      *set alex "Jin"
      *set aunt "Zan"
      *set uncle "Kaito"
      *set eyes "deep hazel"
      *goto a_disturbing_discovery
    #...and her one blue and one green eye gave her an unearthly beauty.
      *set ethnicity "Asian"
      *set father "Hitoshi"
      *set alex "Jin"
      *set aunt "Zan"
      *set uncle "Kaito"
      *set eyes "blue and green"
      *goto a_disturbing_discovery

Here is the code can anyone see any issues with the names?

I apologize if this sounds blunt, but I don’t believe “Asian” is specific enough when speaking about ethnicity. Asians comprise people from a huge span of countries - and, while we’re on the topic, “Black” and “White” have always seemed far too broad to me as well. I understand if you don’t wish to necessarily account for pages and pages of different backgrounds - in that case I suggest more specific labels such as “Japanese” instead.

I think what you’re incorporating is pretty cool, though. :white_flower:

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Thank you. This is exactly what I am looking for. I never mentioned ethnicity or skin colour in the original release and thought it would allow players to insert themselves. It never occurred that certain phrases and names make the character seem “white”.

I… think I understand what you’re trying to do, but like… those names don’t actually have anything to do with the ethnicities, and even beyond that, those aren’t even ethnicities that you’ve chosen.

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Do you mean they are too broad? Because White is an ethnicity as is Black, Asian etc (well according to my country’s government website they are)?

Could you please elaborate more, which ethnicities aren’t actually ethnicities? Which names don’t match the ethnicities? The names were chosen by looking up names naming websites using the ethnicities I chose.

I’m actually worried about the names hence why I posted it so if you could be more clearer that would be appreciated.

edit: Would changing White to American, Black to African-American etc make more sense for instance

White, Black, and Asian are all extremely broad groupings of many ethnicities.

Many of those names are Hispanic, even in what you’ve called the White and Black categories. Because, I mean, Spaniards are white. Their names would be part of white names. And none of those are Black names; slaveowners borrowed names from other cultures to give to their slaves so they wouldn’t have “foreign” names, and African Americans have largely continued that trend. 3 of your Asian names are Japanese; Zan is Chinese.

Not really. There aren’t exactly any “American” names, since that’s just a nationality, and African-American names tend to be borrowed from other cultures.

9 Likes

Sigh. This is what I get using naming websites. Thank you for clearing that up. It is appreciated.

How about something that’s a little vaguer but potentially more inclusive? I quite like the method of splitting into groups by region, for example:

  • North Asian
  • East Asian
  • South Asian
  • Middle Eastern
  • North African…

It goes on! It might be difficult to find names that work all across a region, though. It’s your call.

2 Likes

That could work. Thank you for the suggestion.

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Example of why “white” isn’t an ethnicity:

I’m white. 100% white. My mom and dad are both 100% white.

My dad’s name is German. My mom’s name is Armenian. Mine is English. I have all of those ethnicities, plus more.

2 Likes

White is an option on forms when writing ethnicities as is black/asian it is why I used the terms but you’re correct that they are more umbrella terms (hopefully I’m remembering that word right) for many ethnicities.

I will need to give it some more thought as I do want it to be more inclusive and things like this is what takes readers out.

I have to get this right :slight_smile:

1 Like

i’m not a huge fan of the term “hispanic skin”. i know what you’re trying to say with it, but it doesn’t really work…? hispanic is an ethnicity, not a race. i assume by “hispanic skin” you mean tan? hispanic people don’t have to be tan to be hispanic. i’m not hispanic, but i am latina so i know this very well lol. you can have very pale skin and still be hispanic, or you can be hispanic and have super dark skin.

(sorry for the rant and for being off topic!)

6 Likes

It wasn’t off topic so don’t worry. It what I want to know. I want it to be inclusive not offensive.

I need to approach it a different way I think.

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I think it would be more ideal if you designate names related to a language. Because there are people of African descent who have European names as well as people of Chinese origin who have white American or Hispanic names like one of the grandmother’s daughters from “Encanto”

That’s very true thank you for the suggestion.

The term “white” tells me next to nothing about a person’s ethnicity. They could be English, German, Italian, French, any combination of these, or even of Middle Eastern descent (here in the US, Caucasian on forms includes Europeans and Middle Easterners).

The same with Asian. I am Korean and would be greatly offended if my only options for “Asian names” are of Chinese or Japanese origin. If you’re going to add names that correspond to certain ethnicities, you have to be very specific what that ethnicity is. Some examples of common Korean names are Kwan, Jeung, Sung, Seok, Park, Pak, and Kim. Edit: I forgot to mention that some of these are traditionally family names, but I’ve found that it’s somewhat common for Korean-Americans to simply adopt them as first names.

Of course, not everyone is going to have a traditional name that matches their heritage. Many Americans, regardless of race, have European names. I recommend allowing players choose their name and then their ethnicity as a separate choice. Trying to automatically assign an ethnicity based on the name a player chooses sounds problematic for both you and players.

8 Likes

I can’t say much on other ethnicities because I don’t think I’m qualified enough to speak on it.

But I’m Asian, so I’m going to focus on what I’m qualified to speak on. The names you chose for the Asian ethnicity are mostly Japanese and one Chinese, that in itself is pretty inconsistent and I’d suggest sticking with one origin so it doesn’t look like just putting a bunch of ‘Asian-sounding’ names together. Also, it’s pretty irritating that in entertainments, often ‘Asian’ means ‘East Asian’, and it shows in those names, it’s all very distinctive and cannot be a representative for all Asian names. I suggest changing ‘Asian’ to ‘Japanese’ instead, it can get disappointing for people when they choose the Asian option but it’s automatically coded to a specific origin. I reccomend adding more options like South Asian, South East Asian, West Asian.

Although in all honesty, like the person before me, I think assigning names based on ethnicities alone can be problematic, and also restricting. One example, you put the name ‘Aurelia’, ‘Andre’, ‘Alexander’, and ‘Elena’ for names in other ethnicities that are not Asian. In reality and as an Asian (I’m South East Asian), those names are closer to the names of my origin compared to ‘Hitoshi’, ‘Jin’, ‘Zan’, etc. In fact, Aurelia and Andre are names that I see everyday around me and are very common.

Because of this, I think letting the players decide for the names would be safer, it gives more freedom to the player and (I assume) it’ll be easier for you. Names varies and sometimes ethnicity isn’t enough to define it. Though I’m only giving you suggestions, and in the end, whatever you decide will be up to you.

10 Likes

While i like the inclusivity, i admit that there is something in the execution didn’t sit well with me.

i don’t mean to be a broken record (both here and outisde the forum) about this but i did mention it would alright if you let the players input the names of the brother, the aunt and the uncle so you don’t have to think too much of preset names. i also don’t mind if you leave the MC’s appearance is up to the players. Though i do like the idea of customizing the physical features of the MC’s parents.

But like LutunkKasarunk said, it’s just a suggestion. It’s ultimately your choice.

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I agree with those who have said that name and ethnicity is best separated, unless there’s a legitimate in-universe or story reason for those two to be tied together. If you want to go that route, you’d have to be extremely specific, which may be limiting to how much you can actually put in. (If you’re using Japanese names, specifically say “Japanese” instead of a general “Asian”; a Javanese name, for example, would be extremely different from a Japanese name although both are Asian and only one letter apart in English spelling.) Plus, it’s not rare for people to localise their names.

Also, This is more about coding than the names, the *set for father, alex, ethnicity, aunt, and uncle can be moved to before the second choice to avoid redundancy in coding - you’ll only have to type it in once instead of four times.

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Frankly, I don’t think there should be an ethnicity choice if it doesn’t come up in the game. Most countries have significantly more ethnic groups than you listed, and it’s impossible to make this inclusive. Just let the player input the names of their relatives.

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