Recent Concerns Regarding Bamathis

TiurTiur ProducerMember, Administrator, Immortal Posts: 957 admin
edited May 13 in Harpy's Head Tavern
Thank you to everyone who has voiced your opinion to me on the matter of Bamathis. We did not want to rush to a decision and have discussed the matter a great deal in the Pools, including opinions on both sides of the argument.

To those who are unaware of the situation, it has been recently brought to our attention that some aspects of Bamathis have made players uncomfortable due to fascist imagery and themes. First off, most importantly, please rest assured that nobody in the Pools, past or present, condones or supports these themes. No one involved in creating, writing, or playing of Bamathis has had any intention of making any connection like this.

The armbands of the Order were designed to be worn around the wrist, with no intended connotations or reference to Nazi armbands. We do realize that the naming convention can evoke such imagery, however, and have consequently changed the name of the item to be more clear and remove the ambiguity.

The Legionnaire's Salute has been noted as a concern. To clarify, the motion of the salute does not in any way take inspiration from or resemble the Nazi salute. The salute starts with a straight arm at the side of the body and brings the fingers to hit the opposite shoulder. It's fairly similar to other salutes found in the game, such as the Sentinels' heartbeat taps or Iosyne's salute. If the salute is unclear in its intent or imagery, please let us know what parts are causing confusion. For illustration's sake, it's fairly similar to the salute found in a popular anime:



For concerns about the story position that Bamathis occupies, we do welcome (and encourage!) dissension and narrative beats off the established track. However, please be aware that there is also an overarching narrative and progression for Aetolia that have been established through years of storyboarding and development, much of which is not yet visible to players. While we will do our best to accommodate different approaches/reactions to the story, there is also a path and end game that are established. That said, we will make it explicitly clear if there are wide-ranging repercussions to IC decisions.

The largest point of contention and discussion revolves around the name of Bamathis' Order, the Argent Legion. It has been brought up that this draws some parallels to a defunct fascist group in America's history, the Silver Legion. For context, Bamathis' Order name is based upon Aetolian lore, where silver is Varian's colour and the Argent Legion essentially serves as Varian's army. The naming convention also plays upon fantasy military tropes.

We discussed this at length, including considering your input throughout your emails and other media, and heard a lot of great points and arguments on both sides from players and Pools alike. We acknowledge and understand that the name is a source of discomfort and that it would be a relatively simple fix to modify the name. On the other hand, the name is rooted in Aetolian lore (wholly unrelated to fascism), has been firmly established within Aetolia, and holds no direct connection to the fascist group in question. As such, we are keeping the name as-is in homage to Aetolia's established lore and history. Again, let me stress that this is by no means condoning any fascist themes and any attempts to use this, or any other aspect of the game, as a springboard for pushing those themes and/or bullying will be harshly punished.

Going forward, we will be sure to closely monitor for unintended connections and parallels to real life organizations and themes. Thank you for all your input and discussion around this topic.
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Comments

  • TetchtaTetchta Member Posts: 182 ✭✭✭
    Tiur said:

    Going forward, we will be sure to closely monitor for unintended connections and parallels to real life organizations and themes.

    To lay my position on the table, I'm one of the people who thinks the name should've been changed, and I'm a little confused about what people in my position are to take away from this closing statement in particular. If you're monitoring for unintended symbolism, but have no intention on changing said symbolism when it's pointed out, what is precisely the purpose of monitoring for it?

    RijettaMephistolesAloli
  • PhoeneciaPhoenecia The Merchant of Esterport Somewhere in AtticaMember Posts: 775 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 13
    While some of the problematic aspects have been mentioned, there's still a few more that haven't.

    The whole 'For Sapience' thing has a very ultranationalist propaganda vibe. Okay, on it's own, not a problem.

    Then there's the aspect where going after non-Sapience pantheon worship that's considered to be threats happens to potentially paint targets on settlements and races that are somewhat analogues of real life non-White cultures. The Atav in Skythrone? Look at their food, and it's very mesoAmerican. Saluria? South American, Mayan, Incan, Aztec vibes. The Mitrine? Ethiopian. Indyuk? Inuit/Eskimo. And of course, the Mhun, which have parallels to Jews. Again, by itself, probably not a problem even with the ethnic cleansing vibe.

    Then there's the genocide aspect. For people who worship Albedi gods, it's convert or die, and players who don't want in on killing people are forced into conversion, which itself is...an avenue RIFE with unfortunate implications because it's still a form of genocide via erasure of religion. Players are not given another option. Feels very Crusades or Spanish Inquisitio, but again, on it's own, not too problematic.

    Now roll all of that together. Consider the themes, consider where it feels like things are going. A lot of us can't see the full picture or know the full story of what's going on, but what we DO see looks...really, really bad. And knowing people can't see the full picture or don't know the full scope of what's going on, that outward image is kind of important, and while those individual parts I mentioned, and what was highlighted in the main post, are not problematic on their own or even with a couple of them. But it's the entire damn package.

    Yes, this is a fantasy game. Yes, it's a fantasy game with dark themes. Yes, we're all just players playing characters just RPing a role. But it doesn't take much to see where things could go, and the whole point of pointing these problematic things out is to ensure that they're treated with some measure of sensitivity and maturity. And there has to be some mindfulness in how much is allowed 'because it's RP'.

    EDIT: I find it somewhat telling that I request some sensitivity and maturity be considered in viewing the package as a whole, and there's a bunch of dislikes already. 
    Post edited by Phoenecia on
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  • TiurTiur Producer Member, Administrator, Immortal Posts: 957 admin
    I mean that we're going to carefully evaluate Bamathis going forward and take seriously any concerns. In that specific instance, we opt to keep the Aetolian historical reference.
  • TetchtaTetchta Member Posts: 182 ✭✭✭
    Tiur said:

    I mean that we're going to carefully evaluate Bamathis going forward and take seriously any concerns. In that specific instance, we opt to keep the Aetolian historical reference.

    Alright. I think it's clear I don't agree with the decision, but thank you for clarifying.

  • SibattiSibatti Amidst vibrant flora and treesMember Posts: 274 ✭✭✭✭
    Okay, but... Attack on Titan, while an anime, is based on an absolutely fascist and corrupt military. It's not exactly.... an improvement?
    LinRasani
  • DarimDarim Member Posts: 23
    @Kjell Have a hug, my friend.
    OonaghKjell
  • RijettaRijetta Nowhere ImportantMember Posts: 147 ✭✭✭
    Czcibor said:
    I've said this many times but here it is once again. We wouldn't have players being so OOC motivated to consider allowing Bamathis worship in Spirit if we had more than 1.5 active Spirit gods at a time.
    Yeah, Spirit gods don't like to stick around for long.
    A low, sultry voice resounds within the depths of your mind, "I look forward to seeing your descent."
    Oonagh
  • OonaghOonagh Member Posts: 381 ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 13
    Facts
    Oonagh has been slain by the might of the toxic atmosphere of Ulangi.
  • MjollMjoll Member Posts: 230 ✭✭✭✭
    I wonder why :?
    OonaghDarimLinXavinTetchtaAeryxSibattiMephistolesCzciborAloli
  • BenedictoBenedicto Tentacles Errywhere! Member Posts: 810 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Mjoll said:

    I wonder why :?

    I think we're in danger of getting off topic. This is supposed to be a discussion on Bamathis and the concerns surrounding that.
    (Leaders): Tiur says, "I'll remember not to delete you when the time comes, Bene. Good people."

    XavinMjoll
  • OonaghOonagh Member Posts: 381 ✭✭✭✭
    I’ll iterate that the current Bamathis role played better than almost any of my God experiences in aetolia thus far. I on a character level developed a change in RP because the interactions were amazing and it was the first time in my experience I didn’t feel like the God was catering to certain players or friends.

    The general feel of the roleplay was organic, harsh, and laden with a lot of feeling and I think if people reached out with an objective mindset and approached them they would have received an amazing story experience.

    Instead we likely instead probably end up with a lessened experience because of all of this and sanctions on what they are able to do as a volunteer.

    I have a bad feeling that it’s just going to go back to the status quo and that’s gonna stink.
    Oonagh has been slain by the might of the toxic atmosphere of Ulangi.
    MoxieMephistoles
  • TetchtaTetchta Member Posts: 182 ✭✭✭
    Oonagh said:

    I’ll iterate that the current Bamathis role played better than almost any of my God experiences in aetolia thus far. I on a character level developed a change in RP because the interactions were amazing and it was the first time in my experience I didn’t feel like the God was catering to certain players or friends.

    Totally reiterating this. I joined the congregation solely because he's a tremendously skilled roleplayer.

    OonaghMephistoles
  • EhtiasEhtias Member Posts: 91 ✭✭✭
    Bama is edgy legolas
    OonaghMoxieGalileiRhyot
  • OonaghOonagh Member Posts: 381 ✭✭✭✭
    Thank you for sharing perspective @Jourik and like I told you IC, I really enjoyed our roleplay and discussion.
    Open for it again anytime.
    Oonagh has been slain by the might of the toxic atmosphere of Ulangi.
  • KarhastKarhast EnorianMember Posts: 132 ✭✭✭
    Mjoll said:

    I wonder why :?

    Why don't you ask them instead of coming here to leave stuff implied?

    No, really, why? What did you hope to add with your post?
    LinOonaghIazamatEhtias
  • MjollMjoll Member Posts: 230 ✭✭✭✭
    Karhast said:

    Mjoll said:

    I wonder why :?

    Why don't you ask them instead of coming here to leave stuff implied?

    No, really, why? What did you hope to add with your post?
    I was just asking. Why are you always so hostile :S
    LinSibattiTetchtaAeryx
This discussion has been closed.