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On the Problematic Nature of Beast (And Why I Think That's a Good Thing)

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  • #46
    Originally posted by Primordial newcomer View Post
    I'm not sure about that. you gotta have depth. if it's just wrecking shit, just play a strix for the hell of it. it's not that unique at all
    You can play a Strix,

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    • #47
      Edit Oh shit sorry about double posting
      Last edited by Konradleijon; 03-27-2019, 06:25 PM.

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      • #48
        Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
        It's less interested in what makes a person evil(Because the answer pre-the-fact is the Devouring and that's not where the game's focus is, and the answer post-the fact is Hunger which is not a great way to examine the question), and more interested in how destructive urges can become constructive, as well the relationship between self and community and how much any one person is expected to give up versus what is offered up by (or taken from) the community. THere's more themes beyond that, but Beast definitely wants you to wonder about what we owe each other.
        that's some very good insight. thanks for your time arcane.

        Konradleijon, first off, and I'm not saying you meant to, dont double post. second, not really. I just meant if beast were just about wrecking crap, they would just be strix with more refined taste. otherwise just "wrecking shit" would belong more to old world of darkness due to its punk aesthetic (not that I'm saying it would belong to old world of darkness realistically)
        Last edited by Primordial newcomer; 03-27-2019, 05:52 PM.

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        • #49
          I miss the days when I could enjoy a story that features monsters and villains, without having people compare them to some kind of real life minority group.

          As you said in your original post, Beasts have certain needs that must be satisfied in order for them to function properly. And these needs are objectively harmful to those who find themselves on the receiving end of the Beast's attention. Beasts aren't being discriminated against just because they are different, they're being discriminated against because they are a very literal threat to society.

          If Beast's weren't compelled to feed on people's terror, I'm guessing that most people wouldn't even notice their presence. "What's that Anakim doing in the street? Oh, just minding his own business? Okay then, moving on!"

          With the exception of Enablers, nearly every Hunger that a Beast can have puts their victim in some kind of very real danger. It's not imaginary, the subject could actually get seriously hurt because of the Beast's actions. Which means that humanity's fear and aggression towards them is very much justified by way of acting in self defense. In real life, this is most certainly not the case (at least I hope not). The oppressed groups don't have a fundamental need to endanger people's well being just to survive. But the social majority has convinced themselves that they do, which leads to what we call prejudice and bigotry.


          Come to think of it, this reminds me of a video I found on Youtube which talked about why Detroit: Become Human was the absolute worst idea for trying to portray themes of social prejudice and slavery. Long story short, the robots in that game were objectively soulless automatons who had no free will, and were perfectly content to live out their lives as servants. It wasn't until a virus corrupted their programming that they began to rebel against humanity, and even those who had been treated fairly and compassionately by humanity in the past, suddenly got it into their heads that their previous existence was some kind of terrible crime. Thus reinforcing the idea that androids who chose to rebel were doing so because something was wrong with their brains, and not because they actually wanted to be free.


          Moral of the story: You can't tell a narrative about the evils of societal oppression, if you make the oppressed embody the very threat they are being accused of presenting.
          Last edited by Nyrufa; 03-28-2019, 02:31 AM.

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          • #50
            Maybe my perspective would be different if I wasn't exposed to forty years of media portraying queer characters as villains and monsters. When you see what you identify with, what you are, in the media you consume as being something to fear, to be repulsed by, to be reviled, to be the bad guy to be beaten, the villain to be stopped, the antagonist for the "hero" to be overcome...

            It's... really nice to see something... different, like Beast. It feels familiar, relatable, and even cathartic.

            I wish I didn't keep hearing that I'm wrong for feeling that. But that's familiar too, I grew up hearing that constantly. That I'm wrong.

            And even the concept of Beasts causing suffering for what they are? Even that is relatable. There is a moment in my life that I am never going to be able to forget. When my mother realized that me being gay would mean she would never see any grandchildren from me. That hurt my mother, and I caused that because of what I was. ... At least Beasts have the agency, the power, to pick who they hurt.

            White Wolf and Onyx Path have always had a big queer community, very notably so. I think it's interesting that it is the companies that make games focused on playing monsters that is what draws in the queer community. This is not a coincidence and Beast: The Primordial is not unique here.

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            • #51
              Originally posted by Paradim View Post
              Maybe my perspective would be different if I wasn't exposed to forty years of media portraying queer characters as villains and monsters.
              Actually, Queercoding is at least as from 1920s in movies. In books, we can see examples probable even earlier.

              I advise to watch whole video-essey on the subject...



              My stuff for Realms of Pugmire, Scion 2E, CoD Contagion, Dark Eras, VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E, MtC 2E & BtP
              LGBT+ through Ages
              LGBT+ in CoD games

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              • #52
                Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post
                I miss the days when I could enjoy a story that features monsters and villains, without having people compare them to some kind of real life minority group.

                As you said in your original post, Beasts have certain needs that must be satisfied in order for them to function properly. And these needs are objectively harmful to those who find themselves on the receiving end of the Beast's attention. Beasts aren't being discriminated against just because they are different, they're being discriminated against because they are a very literal threat to society.

                If Beast's weren't compelled to feed on people's terror, I'm guessing that most people wouldn't even notice their presence. "What's that Anakim doing in the street? Oh, just minding his own business? Okay then, moving on!"

                With the exception of Enablers, nearly every Hunger that a Beast can have puts their victim in some kind of very real danger. It's not imaginary, the subject could actually get seriously hurt because of the Beast's actions. Which means that humanity's fear and aggression towards them is very much justified by way of acting in self defense. In real life, this is most certainly not the case (at least I hope not). The oppressed groups don't have a fundamental need to endanger people's well being just to survive. But the social majority has convinced themselves that they do, which leads to what we call prejudice and bigotry.


                Come to think of it, this reminds me of a video I found on Youtube which talked about why https://youtu.be/GwVERl0OYjc"]Detroit: Become Human[/URL] was the absolute worst idea for trying to portray themes of social prejudice and slavery. Long story short, the robots in that game were objectively soulless automatons who had no free will, and were perfectly content to live out their lives as servants. It wasn't until a virus corrupted their programming that they began to rebel against humanity, and even those who had been treated fairly and compassionately by humanity in the past, suddenly got it into their heads that their previous existence was some kind of terrible crime. Thus reinforcing the idea that androids who chose to rebel were doing so because something was wrong with their brains, and not because they actually wanted to be free.


                Moral of the story: You can't tell a narrative about the evils of societal oppression, if you make the oppressed embody the very threat they are being accused of presenting.
                There never was a time where ‘monsters’ never repsented A Other In Socity.

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by Konradleijon View Post

                  There never was a time where ‘monsters’ never repsented A Other In Socity.

                  I refuse to believe that, and it's actually quite unnerving that so many people believe otherwise.

                  I looked at these stories and enjoyed them for what they were. An imaginary world featuring creatures who were objectively different from humans, and therefor not expected to abide by the same concepts and standards to which we held ourselves.

                  I did not take a look at the Orcs and think "that's an African caricature."

                  Nor did the appearance of Gnomes and Goblins make me think "Jews!"

                  Or Elves as a representation of the white upper class.

                  Any ideas of racism or oppression were imposed upon me later on in life, by gamers who were probably reading far more into the situation than they really should have. I just want to play a game and have a good time, without having people trying to make me feel ashamed of doing so.
                  Last edited by Nyrufa; 03-28-2019, 12:34 PM.

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                  • #54
                    nyrufa is completely right. in many areas of entertainment, people tend to see things that arent actually there. sadly, this can have bigger implications when, as nyrufa said, people look at orcs and see "African savages". Nowadays if we are to get past such stereotypes, we need to stop trying to grasp at straws to prove something is bad and offensive( (not that I'm saying we shouldn't condemn offensive things. just not things that arent actually there)

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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Primordial newcomer View Post
                      nyrufa is completely right. in many areas of entertainment, people tend to see things that arent actually there. sadly, this can have bigger implications when, as nyrufa said, people look at orcs and see "African savages". Nowadays if we are to get past such stereotypes, we need to stop trying to grasp at straws to prove something is bad and offensive( (not that I'm saying we shouldn't condemn offensive things. just not things that arent actually there)

                      Thank you, Primordial. It's actually quite sad by how many good memories of mine have been ruined by people who decided to impose their political / social ideologies upon things that were in all honesty, quite harmless. I never thought that literal monsters were supposed to be allegories for gays, blacks, est. until people around me started imposing those prejudices onto me. Up to that point, I just saw them as regular people, and it took me many years to get back to that way of thinking after practically being indoctrinated to avoid them.
                      Last edited by Nyrufa; 03-28-2019, 12:29 PM.

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post

                        Actually, Queercoding is at least as from 1920s in movies. In books, we can see examples probable even earlier.

                        I advise to watch whole video-essey on the subject...

                        I'm very aware. I'm describing a lifetime of exposure to the media, not the entirety of it.

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post


                          Thank you, Primordial. It's actually quite sad by how many good memories of mine have been ruined by people who decided to impose their political / social ideologies upon things that were in all honesty, quite harmless. I never thought that literal monsters were supposed to be allegories for gays, blacks, est. until people around me started imposing those prejudices onto me. Up to that point, I just saw them as regular people, and it took me many years to get back to that way of thinking after practically being indoctrinated to avoid them.
                          no problem man. as many of us have experienced, Beast had the issue of being claimed as allegory to minorities by people who read the first drafts. while these accusations are used WAY less often now, they will always be damaging to ANY games reputations

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                          • #58
                            The problem with just saying, "people see what isn't there," is that you actually have to discuss it. Just saying, "fantasy tropes aren't rooted in racism or bigotry, they're just cool story stuff," is the position that not seeing what's there.

                            Tolkien, for example, explicitly said that the Dwarfs in Middle Earth were meant to be Jews and that he was surprised that anyone thought that was a question. They're a fallen formally noble race, clinging to their past glory while they've been supplanted by Elves/Christians, that are short, have big beards and noses, are prone to greed and obsession with money, hide their women from others, and speak a Semitic language.

                            So if you want to tell me I'm "seeing what isn't there," you're arguing against Tolkien himself on what's there.

                            Also, just because people get it wrong (the Middle Earth setting's problem isn't really racism, but religious bigotry which happens to be very associated with specific ethnic groups), doesn't mean there's nothing wrong.

                            Nor does misattributing the problem help. The problem with orcs isn't that they're African stereotypes, but that European fantasy consistently uses "non-white" to denote "bad." Whether it's as blatant as things like the Drow (which are, yes, based on older myths about dark elves), or "orcs are always evil," or more subtle things like, "white people accepted faux-Christianity from the elves/wizards and are saved from Sauron's corruption, but all the darker skinned races of man didn't and are thus lead astray").

                            Saying that we both need to get past this stuff, and that this stuff is straw that's being grasped at doesn't work.

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                            • #59
                              Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post

                              Tolkien, for example, explicitly said that the Dwarfs in Middle Earth were meant to be Jews and that he was surprised that anyone thought that was a question. They're a fallen formally noble race, clinging to their past glory while they've been supplanted by Elves/Christians, that are short, have big beards and noses, are prone to greed and obsession with money, hide their women from others, and speak a Semitic language.
                              And absolutely NONE of that was something that I would have attributed to being Jewish stereotypes, had it not been for people telling me that I should have.
                              Last edited by Nyrufa; 03-28-2019, 01:53 PM.

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                              • #60
                                that's why new works dont see it that way. yes, if you perpetuate it, it will always be like that. nowadays people see dwarves as dwarves, elves as elves, and orcs as orcs. they are now made into more unique being with things such as dwarves being master builders, elves being very magical but almost always near extinction, and orcs can be anything (hell, the inspiration for orcs and orks for warhammer was football hooligans, but they are still unique with all their other lore)

                                whether you embrace the racist origins or reject them and make something new (and better) out of it is a choice. it is one that is only up to you to make (and to be clear Heavy Arms, I see you being the one to reject it)

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