Roleplayers of Color

FAQ
If you are a person of color who roleplays on any platform (MMORPG, Journaling, Message Boards, Twitter, Chat Rooms, Tabletop, anything) or maybe you’re a white person who plays a character of color and wants to make sure it’s not coming off as racist or maybe you’re a white person who just wants to learn more about ethnicity and race in roleplaying: basically if you want to examine/discuss racial and ethnic issues in your hobby, you belong here.

June 15, 2014 10:23 am

askerquestioner

seekingwillow: The AC Liberation picture is blackface cosplay.

Thanks for letting us know! We’ve removed the post. We’re sorry we let that one through and didn’t check better. 

June 9, 2014 4:54 pm

askerquestioner

lepsydreaming: Hello! I've been searching with google and tags but not been able to find this question, so I apologise in advance if it's already been asked. Obviously it's important to write CoC, but where does the line get drawn with white people RPing them in tabletop? LARP would be surely unacceptable (lest blackface etc), but when you're speaking for the character, gesturing, etc, where does the line fall? Is it closer to writing or LARPing?

This is a great question and hopefully the rest of the community will weigh in on it.

Personally, for me, it all comes down to respect. If you are playing a CoC and you make them a stereotype, that is not respectful. I’ve seen plenty of white players who make black canon characters speak AAVE when it never happened in canon. Or they make a Mexican character some thug in a drug cartel who speaks Spanglish and gestures wildly. If you are writing, speaking, gesturing in some stereotypical manner, then that is where the line needs to be drawn. You don’t have to darken your skin to create a hurtful (and racist) depiction. 

I think too it depends on what you are tabletop RPing. In some fantasy setting like D&D, there would be no need for stereotypical race markers so there should be no question. In something like V:tM or ones set in the “real world” then it’s just a matter of making careful and respectful choices. If you can’t create a character without resorting to stereotypes, better to just not make the character you know?

As far as writing vs. LARPing, I think tabletop is that area right in the middle. You are writing but it is more than that as you take on the mannerisms/gestures/etc of your character but it isn’t quite LARPing because you aren’t becoming the character exactly.

Community, your thoughts?

May 4, 2014 12:57 pm

askerquestioner

Anonymous: Oh hey I found this again. That another star game is on greenlight. Theres a demo too. I played it and I think I am gonna pick it up, not sure if ya'll would be interested.

Thank you! We’re always on the hunt for new games and I’m sure so are our members. Thanks again so much!

April 21, 2014 7:15 pm March 6, 2014 8:34 pm

nudiemuse:

strugglingtobeheard:

image
nudiemuse replied to your post: larping is the shit bitch, my black cousin and I would do that for a weekend straight.”:
Strangely where I grew up Larping was one of the few places that was pretty not racist/comfortable for me as a kidlet. I did it a lot.

that’s good to know. i never heard of larping until watching fucking supernatural so i’m like… of course white boys would be the face, but it’s nice to know that the space you’ve experienced hasn’t been stiflingly racist

Where I grew up is really White and the LARPing nerds, D&D nerds were really some of the few people when I was a teenager who were absolutely never putting up with racist shit.

Let me tell you a cute story.

I am awful at D&D and VTM. But my local game master was very patient and loved my ideas for VTM so he let me be the story teller. We went to a big nerd place dedicated to table top gaming and because I was really shy I couldn’t speak up when someone said some racst shit to me I just kind of wilted and tried to leave.

My metalhead nerds got so angry they chased the person who was talking shit out of the venue and told a bunch of other gamers so that person got basically 86d from a bunch of nerd spots.

I haven’t LARPed in for like ever but it’s fun as shit.

Dress up in whatever costume goes with your system, run around outside, hit shit and people with swords. It’s actually pretty awesome.

Also remember I’m old as shit and haven’t LARPed in like 15 years.

I have done storytelling for some folks and like to RP when I have my homies to Rp with.

YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE PPL.

February 27, 2014 5:32 pm January 27, 2014 1:25 pm

askerquestioner

Anonymous: I must admit I'm happy to see this. I hope it gets turned into an actual forum one day soon!

If anyone wants to take this idea and make a forum, please drop us a link and we will promote it! :) 

12:20 pm

askerquestioner

Anonymous: Hello I was wondering if there were any other roleplayers of color playing Final Fantasy XIV. I also wanted to say that it is refreshing to find a website of this nature.

Thank you so much. We don’t post much but we do try when we see something interesting or someone needs help. So..can anyone help?

9:55 am
Here is my GW2 character when I actually played the game

*waves to everyone who might know me*

Amaare Margolis

Here is my GW2 character when I actually played the game

*waves to everyone who might know me*

Amaare Margolis

January 11, 2014 9:48 pm
medievalpoc:

infinitryproductions:

girljanitor:

thebigblackwolfe:

girljanitor:

thebigblackwolfe:

Ok I got permission to publish this because I honestly do not know exactly where or why this started other than what I looked up on wikipedia.

Many fantasy stories and worlds refer to their main sapient humanoid species as “races” rather than species.[citation needed] The usage of the term in this context was popularized by J. R. R. Tolkien[citation needed] and was further adapted and spread by the use of races in Dungeons & Dragons role-playing games.[17] Many fantasy settings use the terms “race” and “species” interchangeably, such as the World of Warcraft video game.[18]

And ze asked me to attach this to this post:

“are we okay with calling humans a “race” and defining East Asian, West Asian, Desi, Black, African, and other groups we recognize as races in the real world “sub races” in a fantasy game with other groups (cat like beings, amorphous squidly beings, and floating interdimensional entities, for example) receiving the same treatment (i.e. classifications)?”

Or in my own words why are the fucking tentacle monsters from Cthulhu land getting better treatment than the Brown folks.

bolded for yes exactly
because language has meaning
that’s why it’s language

For instance, here’s what happened to me early this morning (cause I couldn’t sleep cause I just got home from LA and I’m stuck on west coast time)
I have been planning on playing Guild Wars 2 since it was announced and now I finally have the computer that can run it, and Thellady and I have been getting ready to play together.
Ok.
I made my first character before I left to visit my brother a few weeks ago and was vastly disappointed. In a game that prides itself on customization there were no Black hairstyles available for Human women, Human men on the other hand have Dreadlocks and an Afro. I ended up rolling a Norn (a near-human race based off Norse mythology, think Nords from Skyrim) because their women were able to wear Dreadlocks.
Beyond the hair, I also had trouble building a character that looked like they were of African descent. Norns are based on Northern Europeans and most of the default faces look like that, Humans do have one face that looks like she’s part of the diaspora, but she looks almost like Rihanna.
So my thing is this
Why is it that
That games that pride themselves on freedom and allowing their player base to customize their characters in anyway they want STILL have an issue with recognizing that POC exist and are a part of their player base and would also like characters that look like them.
When POC features are available why is it that they are placed on groups defined as savage or primitive (Orcs and Nords in Skyrim, the Norn in GW2) or are displayed in an way that only show cases one type of POC that is more in line with white ideals (The Rihanna face of GW2) OR are displayed in away that is highly stereotypical and/or fetishizing (The way East Asians seem to be handled by GW2 is gross as hell, check out the Elementalist in the Human women’s character creation for examples).
Back at Thellady’s original point, Lord of the Rings Online did it slightly better by having you pick a race and then pick what culture your character came from. I would really love seeing more games do that instead of having the almighty whitey be the auto default and having POC have to dig through the CC to build characters that only vaguely look like us.

Yes, SERiously. I’m glad that Dungeons and Dragons have gotten better somewhat about their issues with representation in their rule books and guides. Even in just the last ten years, there’s been a shit-ton of changes.
For example, here’s a few snappies of a rulebook I have from 2001. Here are the drawing of the “races”:


Errrrrm. :(
Here is literally the only person of color i could find in 300+ pages:

:/
In contrast, here is the Player’s Guide for within the last few years. Almost EVERY illustrated page has a person of color. Even the “example of something” pages have POC:








If Wizards of the fucking Coast can get their shit together, there is NO EXCUSE for fantasy video games, which PRIDE themselves on their character customizations, can’t give a Black woman a decent fucking hairstyle.

My heartfelt thanks to all of you who took part in this conversation to give attention to this situation in Fantasy genre media. Seriously, thank you and let’s keep discussing and developing on our ideas.

Reblogging for the window into how a whitewashed version of Medieval Europe affects the Fantasy genre in literature and gaming media we consume today.

medievalpoc:

infinitryproductions:

girljanitor:

thebigblackwolfe:

girljanitor:

thebigblackwolfe:

Ok I got permission to publish this because I honestly do not know exactly where or why this started other than what I looked up on wikipedia.

Many fantasy stories and worlds refer to their main sapient humanoid species as “races” rather than species.[citation needed] The usage of the term in this context was popularized by J. R. R. Tolkien[citation needed] and was further adapted and spread by the use of races in Dungeons & Dragons role-playing games.[17] Many fantasy settings use the terms “race” and “species” interchangeably, such as the World of Warcraft video game.[18]

And ze asked me to attach this to this post:

“are we okay with calling humans a “race” and defining East Asian, West Asian, Desi, Black, African, and other groups we recognize as races in the real world “sub races” in a fantasy game with other groups (cat like beings, amorphous squidly beings, and floating interdimensional entities, for example) receiving the same treatment (i.e. classifications)?”

Or in my own words why are the fucking tentacle monsters from Cthulhu land getting better treatment than the Brown folks.

bolded for yes exactly

because language has meaning

that’s why it’s language

For instance, here’s what happened to me early this morning (cause I couldn’t sleep cause I just got home from LA and I’m stuck on west coast time)

I have been planning on playing Guild Wars 2 since it was announced and now I finally have the computer that can run it, and Thellady and I have been getting ready to play together.

Ok.

I made my first character before I left to visit my brother a few weeks ago and was vastly disappointed. In a game that prides itself on customization there were no Black hairstyles available for Human women, Human men on the other hand have Dreadlocks and an Afro. I ended up rolling a Norn (a near-human race based off Norse mythology, think Nords from Skyrim) because their women were able to wear Dreadlocks.

Beyond the hair, I also had trouble building a character that looked like they were of African descent. Norns are based on Northern Europeans and most of the default faces look like that, Humans do have one face that looks like she’s part of the diaspora, but she looks almost like Rihanna.

So my thing is this

Why is it that

  1. That games that pride themselves on freedom and allowing their player base to customize their characters in anyway they want STILL have an issue with recognizing that POC exist and are a part of their player base and would also like characters that look like them.
  2. When POC features are available why is it that they are placed on groups defined as savage or primitive (Orcs and Nords in Skyrim, the Norn in GW2) or are displayed in an way that only show cases one type of POC that is more in line with white ideals (The Rihanna face of GW2) OR are displayed in away that is highly stereotypical and/or fetishizing (The way East Asians seem to be handled by GW2 is gross as hell, check out the Elementalist in the Human women’s character creation for examples).

Back at Thellady’s original point, Lord of the Rings Online did it slightly better by having you pick a race and then pick what culture your character came from. I would really love seeing more games do that instead of having the almighty whitey be the auto default and having POC have to dig through the CC to build characters that only vaguely look like us.

Yes, SERiously. I’m glad that Dungeons and Dragons have gotten better somewhat about their issues with representation in their rule books and guides. Even in just the last ten years, there’s been a shit-ton of changes.

For example, here’s a few snappies of a rulebook I have from 2001. Here are the drawing of the “races”:

image

image

Errrrrm. :(

Here is literally the only person of color i could find in 300+ pages:

image

:/

In contrast, here is the Player’s Guide for within the last few years. Almost EVERY illustrated page has a person of color. Even the “example of something” pages have POC:

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

If Wizards of the fucking Coast can get their shit together, there is NO EXCUSE for fantasy video games, which PRIDE themselves on their character customizations, can’t give a Black woman a decent fucking hairstyle.

My heartfelt thanks to all of you who took part in this conversation to give attention to this situation in Fantasy genre media. Seriously, thank you and let’s keep discussing and developing on our ideas.

Reblogging for the window into how a whitewashed version of Medieval Europe affects the Fantasy genre in literature and gaming media we consume today.

(via masteradept)