How many black writers write for choice of games? Also do any games have a skins color option or anyway to signify that I'm not the default white protagonist?

Definitely agreed with the warm part, and yes I never saw myself turning bright pink lol. Also about the kinky hair, you’re still can run your fingers through it (It’s not going to be a smooth process as for silky hair :sweat_smile: :rofl:) but it’s feasible. The way I would word it. (Personal note for my WIP) “You play with some locs of hair” Or twirl a loc of hair."

9 Likes

That’s everyone has these reactions isn’t the point.
That they are less noticeable (if at all) with darker skin is the point.

There is a difference between writing

You look into the mirror and find yourself pale as a sheet./find the colour drained from your face.

And

You look into the mirror and find yourself looking sickly and drained.
12 Likes

Yes there’s a difference between those statements, but everyone would see color draining from their face. The only question is about the extent. Lemme look up the extent…

Edit: I got this from Quora after a quick search. It seems valid enough, but it is the internet so who knows.

“When we feel nauseated part of the initial physiologic response is vasodilation which causes relaxation of our peripheral arteries(face, fingers, and toes). This will make us flush, increase the mucous membrane secretions, and make us feel dizzy or light headed because of the drop in blood pressure. The homeostatic reflexive response is to bring the blood pressure back up by constricting the arteries through release of the “fight or flight” hormones. The face, lips, fingers, and toes then become cool and pale. People with pale complexions will look white(er) or green. Those with darker complexions will appear paler as well, especially in the lips and mucous membranes”

7 Likes

Man, c’mon.
People said it breaks immersion for them when the wording used describes stuff more common/noticeable in lightskinned people. Why insist on saying "but everyone does x so it shouldn’t matter what phrasing i use’.

Like, are
‘You run your fingers through your hair’
‘You run a hand over your hair’
‘You run a hand over your head’
Really invoking the same mental image?

19 Likes

Those depend on the person having or not having hair. Turning pale and blushing happens to everyone with blood (which is everyone). They may be less noticeable on some people, blushing especially, but they happen to everyone. I’m just saying that maybe instead of removing those phrases, one could write them using less bright colors or using a more scientific description.

3 Likes

Last try:

If you are imagining a dark skinned character, mc or npc, and the text says ‘their cheeks flush bright pink’… does that match the ‘less noticeable’ part?

Again bright pink

11 Likes

I’m confused. What point are you arguing?

Your sick example works this way too. If someone was sick in a way that would cause their body to divert blood, they would see the color gone from their face. I’m not saying they’d no longer be black or something, but they would see a visible difference in their facial color. That is universal. So if you said, “You see the color drain from your face.” That is something everyone would see.

6 Likes

I think it is time to move on from this particular conversational cul-de-sac. If you have made your point, let some other voices offer their points of view, or expand the conversation in other, interesting directions.

17 Likes

I didn’t play all of the CoG or Hosted or Heart, but I don’t recall that my character, and his/her/their family’s color were told. Most of the time it’s left to your imagination.
Your assumption might be because of the covert, but they just depict one possible MC among other.

As for language… Well, most of these example can ve used for every color. I don’t know why drained color or being paled would ve only for white people. It’s a condition, not an aspect. When you bleed, white or black or another, you paled abd your color fade away. It doesn’t mean that your “white” (which is more pinkish, real white color is generaly for dead people, choice of the vampire or the newly game Masquerade might let you play a really white person ^^).
Take Skelter, from Bloodlines. He is black, but he is also really pale. Or even Strauss (I think that he is black, but I’m not sure).

They don’t lention color because most of the time it isn’t important in the story. I mean take Belle de Nuit. You can choose your origin but only the asian background will make a few change (you just share a few story with another character). Even Choice of the Vampire, who take place in louisianne and south of usa during a really racist time, doesn’t really work on this (some people react but most of the time they don’t care, 1 because you’re a vampire in a vampire society and they don’t care, 2 because human who can react is just cattle for you so…).

Sometimes, a game will make you play a color lock character, but I’ve got really only one game in mind. Maybe 3 but I didn’t play the other 2.
Relics of the lost Ages, your character is mostly white (but story and period explain why, and you can still have a black family from your father (or mother?) side).
And I think that Tudor and courting of miss Bennet might be color lock, but I didn’t play these games.

Other than that… Well it’s your imagination. For example, during middle age, black people who were knight, in France, had exist (mostly in south) and yes, they were rare. But a few noble family were black (commerce, invasion, exchange of favor between families, or even an old genenetic mark who woke up,…)
True communautarism is really rare and would probably be a good subject of a story (horror movies like to use those).

7 Likes

If someone mentions race in CoG, what immediately comes to mind is Choice of the Vampire. Not only can you choose your race (within certain limits, for fairly obvious reasons), I would dare say the game is (at a broad scale) about race in America.

8 Likes

sigh that last reply i wrote was tainted by annoyance. i do wish threads for/about Black issues and topics wouldn’t get derailed by people insisting things are Actually Fine. like, there’s always room for improvement in the field of game and fiction writing. let us discuss that.

53 Likes

One resource I can recommend for writers who want to create more inclusive, thoughtful, and sensitive games is Writing with Color. All of the mods are people of color from different backgrounds, and they weigh in with their perspectives on all kinds of issues. They have a really great post in particular about the words we use to describe skin tone (in sum: stop using food). There is always room for improvement (sometimes a lot of room).

24 Likes

I personally think that visible blushing needs to disappear from writing altogether.
I’m Scandinavian, and so I know a lot of pale-skinned people (myself included), and I don’t think I have ever noticed anyone blushing. EVER.

The fact that it is also always treated as a clear sign on romantic interest bothers me deeply. People could be embarrassed by something completely unrelated, or just feeling a bit too warm. I know my anxiety makes my face heat up for no reason, quite often.

I would be very interested in hearing more examples of how this is often done wrong in fiction, since as a non-POC, I do try to be as inclusive as I can, but I am definitely going to miss things, due to my own ignorance.

28 Likes

That’s a good point actually. I don’t think I’ve ever actually noticed someone blushing unless someone else drew attention to it. So maybe future writers could make it more of an internal feeling than an external look.

2 Likes

For what it’s worth, I’m trying to do the opposite in Choice of Rebels, which is set in a melanin-heavy bit of its gameworld. The only people whose skin gets described are the pale or olive people, because brown skin and dark eyes are the default. As discussed above, the main character’s cheeks go warm rather than pink; people who have blood drain from their face due to being injured or scared become ashen, but not pallid. It may so far be a little too subtle for most readers to pick up on, but it will become less so as the action moves to other parts of the world.

As a lily-pink Swedish-American myself, that’s a good point. I’ve noticed it a few times in my white social circle, almost always thanks to alcohol consumption rather than strong emotion. But I agree that blushing visibly pink is not remotely as common as some genre fiction makes it.

12 Likes

Yes!
Things like alcohol, exertion, or anger, are much more likely to make pale cheeks go red, than being flirted with.

And another thing is that the POV wouldn’t actually know that their own cheeks go pink/red, unless they are looking in a mirror. Yet another reason that using the feeling of the face heating up is superior.

9 Likes

I thought blushing was always used to describe other people. I’ve never seen a character aware that they’re blushing. That seems weird for sure.

1 Like

I seriously hope your game gets published! Loved the demo so far!

8 Likes

It’s mostly in romance writing. Some romance protagonists seems to blush pretty much constantly, for some reason. :woman_shrugging:t2:

1 Like

But are they aware that they’re blushing, or is the narrator telling the reader?