Race, Sexual identity, and Player Character customization in a pre-civil rights setting

That’s completely fair tbh and I probably would feel the same way if I’d had a closer experience to your own. I can only say that a large variety of different types of games created by all sorts of different people seems to be the only way to please all parties.

It would be nice if an alternative could be created so that you could turn such features on/off but that’s not always possible/feasible unfortunately.

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Ah, yeah, I’d interested in these too; I’d just want it to be something where that’s the central theme rather than something present for some players and not others. Hence a game where the player character automatically belongs to the group in question.

And sometimes I don’t want it present at all. Depends on the game.


Personally, I think that if oppression figures in a game, all players should be confronted by it - even if they play as a white male aristocrat afforded an enormous amount of privilege, they could interact with characters who are female or disabled or impoverished or gay or otherwise belonging to a marginalised group. Just because white people don’t experience racism, for example, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t affect their lives - it’s just that they’re the ones benefiting from it, something a game like that should illustrate, IMO, if it’s going for historical accuracy. And I don’t think experiencing challenges - yes, even those related to one’s own oppression - necessarily makes for a worse playing experience. Something I noticed is that while most COG and HG refrain from depicting racism, sexism, or homophobia, class oppression is often part of the narrative - it’s not framed in a positive light, but as something that is a fixture of most societies and affects one’s life significantly.


There’s a big difference between being confronted by oppression as one of the affected parties versus as someone on the outside. Like what Lady Luck said with “Being able to ‘opt in’ to experiencing discrimination from an outside point of view, is literally privilege.” While it’d still be part of the story, it means, again, that certain people get to play characters who are like them and aren’t hurt by those factors, while other people can’t.

Experiencing challenges should be an important part of any story or game design, but there’s another difference between challenges that are written for everyone—whether because it’s just a general part of the plot or because this is a game about experiencing oppression and all player characters belong to an oppressed group—or challenges that only some characters face. If the difference in challenges is balanced based on actions you took in the story or skills that you have, that sort of thing, that’s just choice-based narrative. But if some players are getting an extra level of challenges due to which group they chose to play, that means there’s an added disadvantage similar to the same sorts of prejudice people are experiencing in their lives, and that makes for an unfair experience.


Agreed with this and the whole comment in general. As long as it doesn’t feel like it’s glorifyes bigotry, it’s okay to write on this topics.
One big difficulty is that you’re basically have to write to stories: one for a character of oppressed group and one for not oppressed.


Well there’s not much i can add to the topic with all the arguments and opinions shared by all the peeps who choose to share a piece of their minds, about those touchy subjects, is all about be subtlety and have a dominance about said themes and honestly i am interested on how you would write and unfold the story you’re about to create and share, yet you have to be aware of regardless of your measures, ain’t going to escape criticism which most likely is connected with very personal thoughts of the readers, like some of the opinions i mention of other members here, i respect them, but can’t share the sentiment, specially if there’s a fair warning of the possible offensive content and that would be more than enough to put a line with those type of readers, yet still they gonna picked up anyway, happens always in several types of media and that is vinculated with an problem than appear in recent years and is people getting offended with anything and try to make dramas, bombing and attacking content, because offended them, in the majority of cases, just because yes, this made-up hyper sensibility is baffling for say at least, and backing up a bit, i don’t find any problem with those topics, always if isn’t with ill intentions, which believe or not, being inclusive can be as harmful as is outcasting and judging, not as harmful, but similar and in it’s own way, and just to put a lil’ bit of context, just forcing it out, doing it just for the sake of it or try to lure you in that way of thought, is when almost anything can do harm to anyone.

In a last note, we have to be respectful and objective with our thoughts, like it or not or if you decide to read it despise your opinion of the matter in a harsh topic, opinions and criticism and that we all don’t like the same, and if there’s something that can be offensive or harmful for you right of the gate, i encourage anyome to stop and pick something else if isn’t something ouy your alley or can’t be objective or reepectful, thanks for reading.

As a queer, trans person, I do not want to be reminded that people hate me for being around in a choicescript game. As someone else said, “You shouldn’t experience extra discrimination because of wanting to play as who you are in real life.”


I would maybe suggest that you write what you love and then share it. Talking about this in theory can be tricky. Cyoa fiction has a very broad spectrum of stories and there are stories where you can only play a male character. There are actually quit a few that have been published under cog.
Maybe you could actually write a better story if you concentrate on your first idea
It would exclude some player but it seemed to be your first idea.

there is always itch where people are more willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. There have been a number of authors here who choose to go there because of different reasons.


The point wasn’t about being realistic, it was about making the discriminatory event plot related, so readers won’t feel immediately patronized and the new challege will provide a bit of fun.

A realistic life scene could be you waking up, getting the car, going grocery shopping, buying the offer of the week, returning safely back home. The End. The end of a boring story.

The same way a realistic disciminatory scene could be you strollin in the park…[etc]. The End. The end of a boring and patronizing story.

The readers are free to ponder whatever they want from your scene, what you as an author shouldn’t do is pondering for them.

If you are writing an essay go for it. Make a note and go into detail about public transport legislation in Alabama. But if you are writing fiction please don’t.


As a trans person, I get quite enough discrimination in real life and wouldn’t like to deal with it in a game because someone else wants a challenge. Transphobic content in games makes me stressed because I face transphobia in my everyday life. In games, it isn’t exciting for me at all, it’s just tiring.


If it is a real-world historical setting, then I will always prefer realism. An example being how different a playthrough and character interactions can be in Choice of Vampires if the MC is female, PoC, LGBT, etc. with all the discrimination 19th-century America entailed.

I personally feel that “sanitizing” historical fiction would be more insulting to the legacy of the actual people affected by it in the past.

Fantasy-setting merely influenced by history though? Do whatever you like. Personally, I don’t mind my MC suffering prejudices in these cases either. I love how the WIP I, the Forgotten One handles a female MC in a male-dominated environment.


Then we are in agreement.
I also don’t want the author to tell me what to ponder and how to ponder, just as you say, the readers are free to contemplate whatever it is they want to contemplate.

I, only think that authors should write in such a way which would provide an opportunity, a chance, a little nudge to think about the discrimination when it is written in games.

Neither, you nor me is suggesting that authors should tell us what to think.

You are right about that, no one would read legislation in a book (unless they are a bureaucrat) and that is why no one emphasizes something by an info dump. There are better ways to put something in the spotlight.

All in all, I believe both of us are in agreement on the whole thing with some different opinions on the intricacies.