Samurai: A Warrior's Path -In Progress-

You seem to not appreciate white people that much.
That really offends me and i hope you can one day gtfo off your high horse and realize that not everyone is a big bad American pig who only cares about consumer goods bought at wall-mart and ‘‘shitting over your people.’’

How is your rant above me not racist against me? Even if it is historically true that white colonists where a bunch of, excuse the expression huge dicks against pretty much every race on other continents. That does not mean you get the right to insult white people.

And why do you watch Hollywood movies if you don’t like them? It isn’t as if they force it down your throat.

This thread is starting to get a little testy. I’d suggest getting back on topic.

William Adam or know as Miura Anjin the name give to him by Tokugawa Ieyasu one first white samurai, even was made hatamoto and lord of Hemi for icome if not mistake as well.

@jasonstevanhill your such gentle peackeeper.

Hey Scarlet, hang in there. Privilege sucks in both its “arrogant tourist” and more invisible forms. But in most cases, its built-in defense mechanisms are more vulnerable to erosion than explosion – however justified the latter might be.

And um, if you were ever so inclined, don’t blow off steam by reading those old D&D campaign notes I linked to – which I’ve tried to write up because of fond memories of the characters and much of the story, but whose world nonetheless dates back to a time when I blindly echoed orientalist tropes even more than I still do. Like I said, my CoG story is intended as a do-over, and I’ll appreciate your unsparing review of that when it really gets somewhere.

Maybe offline we could chat about District 9 – I’d actually thought of that as the anti-“Dances With Aliens”. Partly because it was braver in using aliens that were genuinely inhuman-looking – by what quirk of evolution did Pandora end up with svelte bipedal cat-people among its hexapodal monsters? But also because I initially saw it as a story where the oppressor doesn’t turn into the heroic leader of the oppressed (either Sam Worthington-style Messiah or Tom Cruise/Kevin Costner-style general), just a rank-and-file alien who ends up in a position to help out the real leader.

Is the help he gives too significant? I hadn’t felt it elevated him to anything resembling “special savior” status among the aliens – that he either claimed or was offered any unique credit for their collective success.

He does literally become one of the oppressed, which is a tricky story to tell well. It’s a bad analogy if you think about race or gender; there’s no alien goop equivalent that can ever strip me of the privilege I was born with as a white straight cis male. But there are other forms of power that can be suddenly, breathtakingly reversed – or deliberately laid aside. And some of the most important aspects of kyriarchy can be laid aside too: the need to control, and the masks power uses to hide itself.

I’d have thought the privileged need to hear the stories that say: “lose the justifications, lose the illusions, relinquish your ‘right’ of control, come listen, and eventually, once you understand, you’ll be able to help. Not save, not lead – that just heads right back into your kyriarchal comfort zone – but lend a hand.” And to me, District 9 felt like it was trying to be one of those stories.

I’d be interested to hear more about how it looked to you. Perhaps in a context where you can give a negative review without reigniting flames? Ditto for the idea that allies from an outside culture (especially a more privileged one) “cannot possibly engage with our culture,” which would have major, saddening consequences for all of us who are trying to tell stories across historical and cultural boundaries.

And guys, let’s all calm down a bit, ok? Let’s dial down the angry race-talk and take a deep breath – but let’s not just drop the issue that kicked this off, because I think it goes to an important part of what makes the CoG community distinctive.

CoG writers take more seriously than most the question of whether their stories include or exclude people – whether the choices in those stories lock the reader/character into traditional roles or give you freedom to break out of them.

And writers or not, we’re all here because we love stories – especially the kind of story that catches you up and makes you identify with the main character. We grew up with those kinds of stories and we’re still reading them today.

So let’s not make stories less important than they are. It’s not just entertainment sold for profit, like so much popcorn. In every culture, stories are the main thing that teach us roles and boundaries – especially as kids, but continuing as adults. They open up other people’s worlds to us. They can also tell us lies and blind us to truths. Powerful people and groups in society tend to produce lots of stories that reinforce and justify their power. Even if you aren’t forced to read/hear/watch them, stories are “part of the atmosphere” that shapes what we expect and how we react.

Some of the most popular stories are those that simplify other people to objects of the main character’s choices. Like stories that treat women as objects to be screwed or rescued by men; or poor people as victims who need to be saved by kindly rich people; or our enemies as inhuman monsters who hate us without cause and must be killed if we are to survive. If we put ourselves in the shoes of the active, powerful character in those stories, they’re quite satisfying.

It’s easy for us not to realize how those stories can be heard by people from the objectified group. (What the orcs think of Tolkien is admittedly hard to tell). When someone tries to tell you what the story says to them, it can sound or feel like a personal attack. (With the orcs, presumably involving a nasty-looking bladed weapon). Or it can just sound like a bizarre or “twisted” way of seeing things – especially if it involves a metaphorical interpretation of the story that wouldn’t have occurred to us. (Wait – the orcs are actually Turks, echoing Europe’s longstanding fear and enmity toward the Muslims along its eastern border?) But we need to listen and try to understand – especially those of us who do naturally associate ourselves with the protagonists, because we’re the same color or sex or class or culture.

So yep, on one level, Avatar’s a story about a soldier who realizes that he’s fighting for the wrong side, that his enemy aren’t monsters but beautiful people on the verge of extinction. All that is fine – in fact, I think it’s a nice inversion of the “hordes of inhuman monsters” shtick for the guy who made his name with Aliens. It’s just a shame that the story not only has its hero join the right side, but swiftly become its messianic leader.

That implies that the “natives” couldn’t have won without the outsider leading them; that native skills can be mastered much more quickly by the outsider; that their religion and culture find fulfilment in an outsider. And all those ideas are part of a familiar story that we’ve told a lot in the West. We used to tell it much more offensively, back when Kipling could in full seriousness ask his readers to “take up the White Man’s Burden” and feel good about saving non-whites from themselves. In this well-meaning, uneasily guilty age, a lot more Westerners have forgotten those stories – but the formerly colonized nations haven’t, and they hear our current stories in the light of the ones we used to tell ourselves and them to justify our rule.

We can’t pretend those stories never happened. Yes, we need to be careful not to replace them with stories in which every bad thing ever is the fault of the colonizer. Those aren’t true, and don’t do anyone any good. But in light of the oppressive old stories, we who love stories and take them seriously should proactively look for ways to include what the old stories excluded; respect what the old stories treated with contempt; show what the old stories swept under the rug; and understand what the old stories distorted.

That’s the spirit CoG writers tend to show when it comes to sex/gender; let’s see if we can’t manage it in the similar minefield of race and culture.

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Yes! Thank you Havenstone! You’re an asset to this forum.

@Rogar Yes, I am aware of William Adams and his contribution in the naval department.

Wow. Just wow. I drift away for a couple of weeks, and everyone starts putting up huge walls of text. I read most of them, but I’m not ashamed to admit that I just stopped reading in the last page and a half.

Well, walls of text can be unsightly.

@Kamer: no shame. :slight_smile:

I’m really kind of sad now.

Off topic: Just wanted to say it has nothing to do with skin color, but rather with who got “lucky” to advance their (military) technology faster than others and as such got a dominant role in the past.

On-topic: SG, what are your thoughts on Armor crafting then ?

Off-topic: Yes, the sad thing is that humans are humans. Blaming it on skin colour is too simplistic. However, what happened in history still affects today and it is important that we constantly examine and criticise society so that we can achieve the egalitarianism we say we want. Things aren’t perfect now. Let’s not be complacent.

On-topic: I’m still taking suggestions.

Off topic: I understand. It just seemed like you were blaming white people for oppressing others because they’re white, not because of other things and it seemed like you were angry at white people for being white.

I think things aren’t perfect now and that it’s worth fighting for what you believe is right, but sometimes people don’t think and just believe something isn’t right because that’s what they’ve been told.

Gender difference for example. While there are a lot of women who want to be treated the same as men, others love the difference and attention that they can draw upon themselves by wearing sexy clothes and have men look at them.
People are different. So sometimes, it’s not always worth fighting at every turn and realizing that not everyone thinks like you.

On topic: Have you been making progress on the game and story ?
Also, I was wondering if the whole story is already written out in brief and that you’re fleshing it out slowly or if you’re just writing as you go ?

Are we going to choose what styles of weapon fighting we learn? One aspect of Samurai sword skills that interests me is the ‘Iai’ (I think that’s the correct word) or quick draw.

Off-topic: Let me make it clear. I don’t advocate any kind of hate, except towards bigotry. That’s the only acceptable target of hate. The problem is that a lot of discrimination in society is internalised and continually perpetuated without thought. We’ve seen these messages for so long we do not know to doubt them. Privilege and internalisation are powerful things and are quick to rise up to drown out the voices of the marginialised and deny that the injustice still exist. That is where my anger is directed at.

Anyway, I’m glad we’ve avoided a potential disaster.

Back to the good stuff. I already have the entire story planned out and am in the process of fleshing. There is also a bit of writing as I go though, but those are just minor details. Although they do sometimes end up adding a bit more to the game than I expect. I suppose my time could have been made better use of if I didn’t stick to chronological writing, but it feels weird for me.

As for Nocturnal’s question, I am allowing the player to choose the weapons they bring to battle. It’s all tied to the Sword skill though, so it may be kind of shallow but I’ll give it a try first. I can’t promise anything about the quick draw. It may or may not make an appearance as I continue to flesh things out. Also, do I take it that you know of Zatoichi?

The blind swordsman?

Yep, that’s the one!

I saw that a few years ago was quite good!

You mean the new one by Kitano Takeshi? I haven’t seen that. The Zatoichi character has been around since the 50s, I think. He has had a lot of movies, and even one crossover with Mifune Toshiru’s Sanjuro AKA Yojimbo and another with Jimmy Wang’s One Armed Swordsman.