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WHITE PEOPLE

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WHITE PEOPLE

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Aporia on Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:23 pm

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I don't mean roleplayers, I mean specifically characters in roleplays, which turn out predominantly, 100% white. Targeted more around Realistic RP's and RP's taking place in the real world.

Hell, if fantasy has taught me anything on this site, it's that roleplayers can take an entirely different cultures and roll with that shit.

Does anyone know why we can't have more racially diverse characters? Is it because people are afraid of misrepresenting? Something to do with pictures?
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Re: WHITE PEOPLE

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby LawOfTheLand on Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:51 am

For me, it's the misrepresentation factor, specifically the part regarding bad stereotypes. Different races have different cultures, so I'm a little anxious about playing something without a firm grip on what his formative years were like and what sort of person he was. The whole interplay of nature vs. nurture and whatnot, plus people get sensitive when you write a scene of two Jews fighting over a penny in the street.
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Re: WHITE PEOPLE

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Bosch on Tue Jun 04, 2013 3:51 am

I don’t know and it’s not something I really notice. Maybe it’s because I play characters from a different ethnic background from my own frequently and I’m from Northern Ireland it’s like the whitest country ever. I don’t think playing a black American or white American is that different as most RPs don’t explore race in a meaningful way. If they do it’s normally done in a fantasy setting with the subtly of a sledgehammer. “The humans are evil empire builders! The Elves are slaves! The Dwarfs are gruff no nonsense workers.”

At the end of the day race doesn’t equate character, just like in real life. For example to say an RPer is unable to write an Asian cop character implies all Asian people act in a certain way, I know that’s not what you’re saying. A good RPer should be focusing on the cop aspect rather than trying to drive home the fact their character is Asian.

I guess people also freak out about how to describe their character, but if you think about it when writing a white character you don’t feel the need to remind everyone they are white so why worry about writing a person of colour?

For a long time I’ve wanted to set a supernatural RP in the 1950s/ 60s in the Southern US. The only thing that holds me back is knowing RPers will find race a tricky topic to approach or worse it might attract racists or people who feel the need to make it political. On the other it may suffer because RPers will approach it with 21st century ethical intelligence not that from the 1960s so it wouldn’t accurately represent the racism at the time. It would take a very special group to pull it off.

In closing I agree there are more white characters in RPs. That maybe because 9 out of ten tv shows, video games and books feature a white protagonist or maybe RPers are a predominately white bunch who find it easy to play a troll of whatever but believe playing an actual real world race too daunting.

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Re: WHITE PEOPLE

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Kestrel on Thu Jun 13, 2013 3:41 am

Aporia wrote:http://i.qkme.me/35vcb7.jpg

I don't mean roleplayers, I mean specifically characters in roleplays, which turn out predominantly, 100% white. Targeted more around Realistic RP's and RP's taking place in the real world.

Hell, if fantasy has taught me anything on this site, it's that roleplayers can take an entirely different cultures and roll with that shit.

Does anyone know why we can't have more racially diverse characters? Is it because people are afraid of misrepresenting? Something to do with pictures?


Well, animé and manga for one pretty much constantly show white people. So anything that uses those pictures for character appaerences is not really much of a question. You're white, or you're asian, or you spend half a lifetime finding a good picture with a tan and call them hispanic.

The reason people go like crazy with fantasy stuff is like they can change into something COMPLETELY different. Like, this race can breathe fire and this one is invisible in the night. I could follow this up with a racist joke, but what's so special about being the one race over another? People don't wanna explore subtle cultural differences. I mean, I don't wake up one day and think "Hmmm, what would change if I made my character black..." Because it's pretty much nothing. Their drive would be the same, their personality would be the same, there'd be some subtleties in (body) language, but... Unless you want to move your character from a civilised modern world where equality exists, back in history to a world of slavery, or I don't know some African tribal life, race really doesn't matter all that much. So, for what reason, other than 'inevitable black gang member' would I change my character's race?

Then there's fear of offending people. I could write paragraphs about how much I want to punch this mentality, but what it comes down to is that people are afraid that what they write might, somewhere, somehow, make someone feel offended. Considering the majority of players probably is white, well... 1+1=? Plus, you're going to offend someone, somewhere anyway. If I post on tumblr I am for equal gender rights but do not identify myself as a feminist, I'm in for a ton of shit just because I don't conform 100%

As for roleplayers of different ethnicities, I got nothing. But I don't really care either. You can play characters of whatever ethnicity regardless of your own, if you ask me, as long as it rhymes with the setting.

Random fun fact; making a setting that oppresses women makes a shitton of people nervous or even offended. Doing the reverse makes it overly sexual in the eyes of the public.

But at the same time I don't really see the issue. I've had a roleplay set in an arabic-influenced world. The world also happened to be extremely fucking isolated from outside influences. Result; everyone was an arab. And many of them were religious nuts at it. It didn't offend anyone and while some cultural differences were taken in, many players played their characters pretty much the same as they would in other fantasy settings. Most of the changes were purely cosmetic.

I know this is all chaotic and crap but what I'm trying to say is that people shouldn't give a fuck. Play what you like. Don't be overly afraid of offending someone and if you play anything other than an immigrant from a country with a significantlydifferent culture, it's really not all that different.
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Re: WHITE PEOPLE

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Saarai on Thu Jun 13, 2013 6:03 am

A big problem I've noticed is that people feel like they'll misrepresent a character of a certain race. Why? Usually for some messed up reason that has to do with them thinking stereotypes are true. Here, other places, etc, I play characters of many races, or mix of races, backgrounds, etc. I have no problem with it because when I make and play the character I'm playing a soldier who just happens to be black, or a cop who just happens to be Australian, or a gang member who just happens to be Samoan.

The black soldier isn't going to start speaking in ebonics because in my mind that's what black people do. The Australian cop won't suddenly be the Crocodile Hunter with a gun and badge, or rant about dingos, or say Sheila all the time because that we're lead to believe all Australians are or do.

The Samoan gang member isn't going to be some hulking, heavily tattooed amateur wrestler because that's what many people think makes a Samoan a Samoan.

People have to learn that when you make a warrior, don't make an Asian Warrior, or a Black Warrior, make the person. In more realistic RPs I think it's a good idea to at least do some sort of research. Black lawyer? Take the time to read what black men, and women, have to deal with in such professions.

Craft a character who's race doesn't ultimately matter, but really makes them who they are all the same. It's part of their life, but it is not their life.
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Re: WHITE PEOPLE

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby starkandskinny on Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:10 am

qbsuperstar03 wrote:For me, it's the misrepresentation factor, specifically the part regarding bad stereotypes. Different races have different cultures, so I'm a little anxious about playing something without a firm grip on what his formative years were like and what sort of person he was.


^ My exact problem, as well. As a historical roleplayer I like my characters to be well-researched, and even if I study days and nights about African-American culture, I still don't think I'll know what it's like being black well enough, simply because I'm not black. Plus, you always have to take the era in question into consideration - for example, I personally will have a hard time playing a black man\woman in the 1920's because of racism and the restrictions\limitations it causes in this particular era.
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Re: WHITE PEOPLE

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby monkeyman on Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:35 am

Part of being a roleplayer is imagining what YOU would do in a certain situation, and many people don't want to leave their comfort zones.

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Re: WHITE PEOPLE

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Marionette on Wed Jun 26, 2013 2:40 am

I think, in a general sense, the fact is... that's what most media focuses on. Things are getting better, but we're still a really long way off from accurate, diverse, and frequent enough representation of people of color in movies, television, music, and so forth. What people are exposed to influences them. When you see nothing but, to quote MAD, "pretty white kids with problems" day in and day out, it can be very easy to revert back to that. It's so common, a lot of people don't even notice that it happens, and it takes work to get out of the mindset.

For me, part of it is fear of misrepresentation, yes. This is not because I "think stereotypes are true" but because, being white, raised in an overwhelmingly white community, and being exposed to US media (which predominantly focuses on white people) my entire life, there is a lot of room for me to screw up. If I mess up, I think I'm big enough to listen, admit that I messed up, and apologize, but there's nothing I can do to reverse the initial pain my words have the power to cause.

At the same time, representation is really important, and as I write and RP, I don't want to perpetuate the problem of an endless sea of nothing but white people. I know that I'll never understand what it's like to be a race other than my own, but I also know that I can at least make an attempt with as much sensitivity and effort as I can manage.
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Re: WHITE PEOPLE

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Edelle on Wed Jul 17, 2013 2:21 am

I, for one, think the fear of misrepresenting a character of a different ethnicity is utter bologna. A character's personality is exactly what you decide it's going to be. Their mannerisms, the way they interact with other characters, the choices they make, these things all come from who a character is, not the colour of their skin. To assume otherwise is ignorant and prejudiced. To play a character that comes from a completely different cultural background than you might be difficult, that I can understand, but having a different skin colour doesn't mean someone might as well be from Planet X.
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Re: WHITE PEOPLE

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby frazzguy on Wed Jul 17, 2013 3:17 pm

It goes way beyond just RPs though. Television shows, movies, books, games; so many feature a predominantly white cast of characters.

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Re: WHITE PEOPLE

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby RichterGotz on Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:35 pm

You know why? Its because the vast majority of people who make television shows, movies, books, and games are white. At least the ones that we here in the West are exposed to.

People predominately roleplay white characters because the people who roleplay are predominately white. That's just the way it is.

P.S. Personally, I think that "Japanese" (Anime/Manga) characters vastly outweigh any other ethnicity on this site.
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Re: WHITE PEOPLE

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby starkandskinny on Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:48 am

So what's everybody basically saying is that, i.e., when creating a black character, the history of the Afro-American people has absolutely no affect on that character's personal history, personality etc.? I'm sorry if I sound blunt, but are you guys being serious?

Using myself as an example - whether I like it or not, as a member of the Jewish people and an Israeli, the Holocaust has SOMETHING to do with the person I am today, be it as small a part of me as it may be. And yes, if a person's family never had anything to do with the Holocaust, that person could never understand what that feels like. That person could never understand what it feels like visiting the museum in Auschwitz and seeing your mother's maiden name written in one of the original lists of people who were sent to the gas chambers.
So, just like that, I can never fully understand what being black is like, and saying that these things don't affect the way people are is just naive, in my opinion.

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Re: WHITE PEOPLE

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Saarai on Fri Jul 19, 2013 4:40 pm

See, Stark, that's a little subjective. How the character's race or their people's history can affact who they are depends on the story. My mother is Thai-Japanese, but in my daily life we barely, if ever, have to talk about Hiroshima or Nagasaki with each other or anyone for that matter.

My father, being Half-African, has never, to my knowledge, had to talk about the colonization of Africa with anyone. It really just depends a lot on the content being written.

I mean, you can write a black American chef, but... slavery has nothing to do with his cooking in a restaurant. Unless he's cookiong in the 40s, or maybe the 50s, and even then an appropriate amount of research will help you a lot.

I play and write many characters of various backgrounds, ethnicities, religions and nationalities. This fallacy that you have to be the same as what you're writing to write it correctly is more naive to me. Stan Lee isn't at all Canadian, look at Wolverine.

And he isn't a hulking Norse god, but Thor gets along just fine. Albeit you can take some liberties with characters like Thor, but you don't see Wolverine saying "eh" at the end of everything because I'm sure Stan Lee knows better.

I'm sure most of our users, most people in general,would know that when writing a black characters you aren't supposed to have them speak like a stereotype you'd probably find in a movie funded by your local KKK chapter.

Same goes with any kind of character. Gay men aren't all ultra-flamboyant interior decorators like the movies might have you believe, all blondes aren't dumb, not all Jewish people talk like Adam Sandler's grandmother, not all Italians are mobsters with Joisey accents.

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Re: WHITE PEOPLE

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby HitoriRaven on Fri Jul 19, 2013 5:08 pm

I would say that you shouldn't be afraid to offend someone. Do your research properly, put yourself into your character's shoes and even if you're a little off, no one will mind.

That's also only if the character you're playing is /actually/ affected by their culture, which most of the time, isn't the case, as Saa mentioned. You won't ever think "man, a genderbent werewolf swordsman would be sweet. Oh, and he has to be Latino." Something like ethnicity will come in where it fits, but otherwise, it shouldn't hugely impact how you write the character.

Now, if this were a werewolf RP taking place in South America or Mexico, there's your background. There's the reason you might change something. But generally there's no difference when you write. A cocky character will be cocky and a cruel one will be cool. A character in the slums will speak slang, one in a good neighborhood will speak properly.

Quickly returning to the research part, that would be my main point. Do your research and then come what may. Often times, more than race even, I see people throwing out stuff like "dead parents, orphaned," or a whole bunch of psychologically affecting events/diseases. Rarely can any of us imagine how it actually feels to experience such a thing, but we try anyway. We write the character because we can partially understand how someone might react.(maybe influenced by pop culture).

As long as you've actually made an effort to understand, I wouldn't be offended. I'd hope the same for others.
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Re: WHITE PEOPLE

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Aniihya on Sat Jul 20, 2013 8:08 am

Yeaahhh, I mostly play neither white nor black characters. Mostly just Asians and Arabs or fantasy ethnicities based on Turks. I once made a roleplay where my character was a white voudoun witch with an intention of most other players being blacks (in the RP runaway slaves seeking refuge and protection with the aid of the witch), Just no one joined that one. Or where the characters are supposed to be of a darker skinned ethnicity, most people come and make characters that are blonde, blue-eyed whites. It gets especially bad when it is a high school in Japan and even though I only allow a maximum of one foreign student, everybody wants to play a Caucasian American or British female. Come on! There she at least be some realism in roleplays when it comes to the setting. There is no Japanese high school with only American students.

I agree with HitoriRaven (nice Hiimdaisy Persona pic by the way). It is way too common that characters were orphaned or have a history that is asking for empathy. It goes towards the Mary Sue. Especially bad and not uncommon are characters, who in their description are popular or instantly liked.

I normally go the other way: A less likeable character, one that is a pathological liar who feels no regret in cruelly killing other people or I try to turn up the creepyness factor to maximum. Cuz I like the bad girl sociopath that has never heard of the word morals.
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Re: WHITE PEOPLE

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby starkandskinny on Sat Jul 20, 2013 3:27 pm

While I do agree with everything that was said above me, the fact that the characters don't talk about certain affects or aspects of their personality\past doesn't mean they don't exist.
What I was trying to say is - while the affect might not be something that affects the characters' everyday lives, saying that they don't affect the characters at all is just simply not true.

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Re: WHITE PEOPLE

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby LawOfTheLand on Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:36 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RG6cVIDneis

I think this sums up the issue rather nicely.

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Re: WHITE PEOPLE

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby R3lly on Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:50 pm

Bosch wrote:For a long time I’ve wanted to set a supernatural RP in the 1950s/ 60s in the Southern US. The only thing that holds me back is knowing RPers will find race a tricky topic to approach or worse it might attract racists or people who feel the need to make it political. On the other it may suffer because RPers will approach it with 21st century ethical intelligence not that from the 1960s so it wouldn’t accurately represent the racism at the time. It would take a very special group to pull it off.


I often wonder that myself. Should you ever find yourself in the position to make it I would like to be a part of it. I can guarantee I would come at it with 0% bias and pure professionalism.
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Re: WHITE PEOPLE

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Aniihya on Sat Oct 26, 2013 9:01 am

Hey I made a 1860s Louisiana voodoo rp and people just stayed away from it.

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Re: WHITE PEOPLE

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Jozarin on Mon Nov 25, 2013 2:49 am

Saarai wrote:\The Australian cop won't suddenly be the Crocodile Hunter with a gun and badge, or rant about dingos, or say Sheila all the time.


I spend nearly all the time in a town with 20000 Australians, and a lot of them do do all that. Except rant about dingoes, but they might do that down south, where there are more dingoes.

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