Deus Ex 3 - I'll just leave this here

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Re: Deus Ex 3 - I'll just leave this here

Post by bobby 55 »

Dragon wrote: EDIT: Concerning second boss... as mentioned... if you don't have the "right" augs then it is very difficult. I don't have cloaking as I'm into stealth not cheating.
Well we have a different point of view on what's considered cheating then. I don't consider a tool the game gives you... and lets you upgrade 4 or 5 times, as cheating. It's just another tool like explosive rounds or run silent as far as I'm concerned.
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Re: Deus Ex 3 - I'll just leave this here

Post by kdawg88 »

There's been a slight kafuffle about DX3 supposedly being 'racist' due to the portrayal of Laitia the bag lady on the street. I pointed out on one forum that the first DX game was far more 'racist' or stereotypical (a better word for this) than this game in its portrayal of the Chinese, not to mention the Australian dialect...now that is something that can be considered racist.
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Re: Deus Ex 3 - I'll just leave this here

Post by EER »

I totally agree, I think that games should only include adult white males to represent all classes of society. If I see a character that is not adult, white and male, the immersion is immediately GOAN.

Seriously though, I didn't even notice she was black*. I guess some people can find racist subtexts in everything.

* Apparently, it's about her speech? Note that I haven't actually heard her English voice/text, if she uses words like 'crackers', 'chicken wings', 'bling bling' then I could understand a little controversy.
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Re: Deus Ex 3 - I'll just leave this here

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Well I think they've under estimated her grossly. What a perfect way to gather information inconspicuously than being one of society's castoffs. She took my Jensen for 2500 credits afterall. :P
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Re: Deus Ex 3 - I'll just leave this here

Post by Dragon »

If one looks closely many cleaner workers are black and bums often too. But that's a problem with America not the game itself (it plays in America and America is still racist) so I would not make a fuzz about it. That said I think DX:HR is racist towards Chinese as much as DX1 is as it shows the same racist views and opinions. That is though to be expected as the game world is supposed to be a prequel so you can't really go totally astray with the racist content already there. That's anyways a very minor problem compared with the real problems this game has.
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Re: Deus Ex 3 - I'll just leave this here

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EER wrote:* Apparently, it's about her speech? Note that I haven't actually heard her English voice/text, if she uses words like 'crackers', 'chicken wings', 'bling bling' then I could understand a little controversy.
The way she's talking (its more than grammar and intonation and pronunciation and the overwrought deference and so on, it's everything) is most definitely harvested directly from the platonic ideal of a stereotype perpetuated by American racists to this day. (It doesn't have any of those buzz words. Those are associated with a different stereotype entirely.)

That said, perhaps there are real people who actually talk exactly like that. As far as I know there are not, but I do live in the whitest state in the US. So, if there really are the thick racial mannerisms Eidos Montreal implies presently exist and will persist into the not so distant future, I would never have encountered them simply due to my location.

I can't say.

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If you want to market a movie to hardcore racists in the US, and we still have our share, you'll definitely want to have a black woman in the movie who sounds exactly like that. But that doesn't make anything containing such a character racist. Especially if it should turn out that there are people who speak exactly like that in real life.

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I suppose I should add one more thing about racism in the United States for those who don't already know. There are neo Nazis and white supremacist groups who constantly remind us that freedom of speech is not all ice cream and lollipops, but for the most part people recognize that overt racism is no longer socially acceptable and hasn't been for a while so racists have switched to using what are commonly called dog whistles.

You blow on a dog whistle and people don't hear anything but your intended audience, dogs, hears it clear as can be. The same idea applies to the metaphorical dog whistles of racists. They'll say something and to most people it won't seem racial at all, but to their intended audience (other racists) the racial message is clear. (It isn't just racism that this applies to, for example I know that at least one religious group has developed a confusing doublespeak which allows politicans to tell them, "I agree with X, Y, and Z," while the vast majority of onlookers have no idea they said that.) If this goes on for long enough than non-racists will figure out the code. That's when things can get very confusing.

Once both sides realize what's being said the fight becomes racial even though someone who is just looking at the plain text has no idea how race is even involved. Once the fight is over things quiet down, new dog whistles might be developed, but things continue and life goes on.

And then there's a shitstorm if someone who has no idea about any of this starts using the dogwhistle in complete honesty.

One historical example of this is the idea of "States' Rights" to make sure that the federal government didn't tap-dance on the heads of states, they have rights. So talking about states rights wouldn't seem too controversial. There might be disagreement about what those rights are, but the phrase itself wouldn't seem like a problem. But 50 or 60 years ago it took on a different meaning because, though there was a candidate who said, "Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever," a lot of time they didn't come out and say, "We need to preserve institutional racism to keep black people in their place," instead they talked about states rights. States rights came to mean all sorts of racist things of which segregation was but one. Racial segregation? States Rights. Preventing black people from voting? States Rights. Making sure discrimination in the workplace stayed legal? States Rights. Want to keep inter racial marriage illegal? States Rights are the thing for you. So on, so forth. So nowadays if you utter that phrase you can expect the conversation to become very racial very fast.

Another would be welfare, although I'm not sure it's as widely known.

Anyway, there are all of these things where a history of double speak and trying to be racist without being visibly racist has twisted things in ways that are hard enough to understand if you live here. For an outsider it will probably seem completely arbitrary. Someone says or does something innocuous and then the knives come out.

A lot of the time when you'll see people the US react explosively to something in an eruption of cries of racism for what seems like no reason at all, it will probably be because there's a history you don't know about. We've still got a lot of racists, and the fight is far from over. (In one state a policy was recently proposed, though I'm not sure if it was enacted, which would effectively resegregate their schools.) As a result people can get pretty emotional pretty fast.

I really have no idea if that applies here. The character would fit right in in an explicitly racist game and as such people could absolutely be seeing it as a dog whistle. On the other hand, for all I know the mannerisms are accurate and it just happens to have been in racist things for the same reason bilateral symmetry is, in which case it wouldn't make sense to call it a dogwhistle.

"One more thing" turned out to be longer than I thought. The general point here is that sometimes there's something that that might not seem racist to you or me, which has a long racist history we simply don't know about. The person who uses it might not know about it either, but the racists see it, nod along, and think, "One of us! One of us!" and those who have been on the receiving end of racism get stung by it. I don't know if this is such a case, but it happens more often than you'd think.

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Do other countries with similar racial tensions have the same sort of thing going on with dogwhistles and whatnot, or does it work differently there?

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tl;dr version:

It's complicated. Very, very complicated. All the more so because it has absolutely nothing to do with EM's intent.
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Re: Deus Ex 3 - I'll just leave this here

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That was extremely interesting. On a personal level, as soon as I found that character I did stop and think "holy shit, is this okay?" But I fairly quickly decided that it was okay, as her mannerisms weren't just used to paint her as a black person, but specifically as a poor black person - she's a garbage lady, she is literally rummaging through the trash when you find her, and it is unsurprising to me (as admittedly a non-American) that she should talk with a fairly heavy lower-class sociolect. In this respect, the context is important - she's nice, helpful, and knowledgeable, and she seems to have a positively charged history with the protagonist (he clearly respects her on some level). More importantly, she exists within a game with other black people (though admittedly not as many as you'd expect) on higher rungs of society - the female factory leader that you may or may not rescue in the first mission, and her husband, are good examples. Jensen's old nurse is another fine example. The city also seems to have plenty of white people rummaging through the garbage, and plenty of white hobos sitting around in the alleys looking miserable.

A problem is that making all black people behave and speak exactly like white people is also a problem; I feel that a creative work should acknowledge the differences between different groups of society without making judgment calls about who is best. Black people should be allowed to be black people, and rather than pretending black people are fully equal to white people in modern society, it's more constructive to be honest about the problems still facing black people. It's a complicated thing to get right, but I feel that the key is to pitch it in the right light. I know there's a school of political correctness thinking that operates on the idea that essentially it would be best to write everybody as heterosexual white men and then just change random characters to women, Asians or Hispanics, and/or homosexuals. I feel that's a pretty terrible way to handle it - to me, it's far more constructive to portray the differences between these different groups* and then imply that those differences are fine (or, when they aren't fine, that there are complicated reasons for why those differences exist, and that those reasons could and should be addressed).

Am I making sense? It's getting a bit late here.

* As with anything, it's possible to go overboard, mind. For example, was there any female character in Battlestar Galactica that didn't at some point become pregnant? :P
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Re: Deus Ex 3 - I'll just leave this here

Post by Dragon »

It's though also okay to mix the genders and races. Original Star Trek has been envisioned by Roddenberry as being a civilization where racism has been mostly overcome. There he wanted to show how it should be (or how it "could" be). But that's obviously a different story than Deus-Ex for example which is about a world near social collapse. From what point on it's though overstepping the line is very hard to tell. I definitely had not felt urges of calling racism although I got startled that most cleaners I've seen had been black people (or foreigners) or that most bums had been black or foreigners. But this might be because I'm from a land far away from the States where the main racism problems are not with black people but Muslims.
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Re: Deus Ex 3 - I'll just leave this here

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I'm sad to say by far most of the cleaning personnel in Denmark is either black (specifically Somali) or Eastern European :(
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Re: Deus Ex 3 - I'll just leave this here

Post by chris the cynic »

Jonas wrote:That was extremely interesting. On a personal level, as soon as I found that character I did stop and think "holy shit, is this okay?" But I fairly quickly decided that it was okay, as her mannerisms weren't just used to paint her as a black person, but specifically as a poor black person
I think an important question, which I am not qualified to answer, is whether or not that's what a poor American black person's mannerisms would actually be like.

The critics are calling it a "slave era dialect". On the one hand I have no idea what the hell that is even supposed to mean. (Am I to believe that people were walking around with tape recorders in the antebellum American south preserving for all time how the slaves talked so that this information could one day be used to judge whether or not a video game was racist?) On the other hand I think I know where they're coming from. Find a movie that was made quite some time ago in America, one with happy loyal slaves who love their masters. They'll probably remind you a lot of her. Eerily.

But like I said, racists also believe in bilateral symmetry, that doesn't make anything that portrays bilateral symmetry racist.
[added]Not saying that the idea of widespread happy loyal slaves isn't a racist, that's an idea that needs to die by fire as soon as possible. Instead I'm saying that the mannerisms used to portray them could have a basis in reality.[/added]
I know there's a school of political correctness thinking that operates on the idea that essentially it would be best to write everybody as heterosexual white men and then just change random characters to women, Asians or Hispanics, and/or homosexuals. I feel that's a pretty terrible way to handle it - to me, it's far more constructive to portray the differences between these different groups* and then imply that those differences are fine (or, when they aren't fine, that there are complicated reasons for why those differences exist, and that those reasons could and should be addressed).
For whatever it's worth, I agree.
Am I making sense? It's getting a bit late here.
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Re: Deus Ex 3 - I'll just leave this here

Post by kdawg88 »

For me, avoiding offense and being politically 'correct' is often more offensive than being frank and portraying a a real-life stereotype, because it's not indicative of reality. The aim of Deus Ex is to do this - to portray in seriousness a believable setting whether or not it creates controversy. I think it has very little obligation to be politcally 'correct'.

Squeenix sums this up pretty well I think: "reflects the diversity of the world's future population by featuring characters of various cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds."
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Re: Deus Ex 3 - I'll just leave this here

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Ok, I've spent way too much time looking around the internet to see various people's takes on this. I don't think EM is racist, I'm unclear on whether or not they have done something which is racist, but if you look around some of the sites talking about this, it seems pretty clear that the debate has managed summon racists. That's discouraging.

This is, what, my third post on this subject? I'm still where I was before. If her mannerisms are an accurate portrayal of the lower class in that region then obviously not racist. If they are not then it appears for all the world to be based on a racist stereotype that's been around since well before I was born. That would be a fuck up on Eidos Montreal's part. Not a sign of ill intent, but sticking a racist stereotype with no basis in reality into your game isn't a good thing.

One thing that I have seen from spending way too much time looking at stuff on this is what appears to be a fairly common failure to communicate. I think we've managed to avoid it here, but it might be worth noting because it seems to happen pretty frequently. On the one side you'll have people saying it is racist because of the the dialog. On the other side you'll have people who seem to believe that that the first people weren't talking about that but instead believe the first people are saying it's because she's poor, or digging through trash, or under educated, or something along those lines. And the two groups will talk passed each other even though it's clear as day that they're talking about different things.

The impression I'm left with is that if she were in the same place, doing the same thing, but with dialog written and delivered differently this would have never come up in the first place but a large number of the people screaming on the internet in this kerfuffle don't realize that.

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I'd like to offer a defense of "political correctness". It's very simple. Think about the things that tend to follow the phrase "I know it's not politically correct, but..." It seldom seems to be based in fact, and it often seems to be bigoted. If political correctness stands in opposition to all of that racism, sexism, homophobia, antisemitism and so forth, then I think that speaks well of it.

If political correctness were just a way of avoiding the need to face a harsh reality then I'd agree that it was itself offensive. But it doesn't seem to work that way. Sometimes people might try to misapply the concept, but more often it seems like political incorrectness is a blanket category for a variety of things (sexism, racism ... ) that we already agree are wrong. It's worthwhile to put it all under one roof.

The name, on the other hand, sucks. "Politically correct." It's just not a good name.

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I should have been asleep long ago. Is this at all coherent?
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Re: Deus Ex 3 - I'll just leave this here

Post by kdawg88 »

Coherent, yes, but of course this is one of those issues that tends to stick around, like euthanasia.

I've watched the video about 5 times now and I think that it just comes down to poor voice-acting. The character and her situation is stereotypical but it is the voice-acting that crosses the line of appropriateness and believability.

As mentioned, I definitely don't see this as being worse as the stereotypes portrayed in the first DX...so what's changed since 2000 to make people so angry about this? Has society become more fussy, or is it the increased exposure to the internet and video games?
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Re: Deus Ex 3 - I'll just leave this here

Post by Grammatolatry »

I have a question for those who played it on the pc. Did your game suffer from laggy mouse?

I installed the game today on a new computer that has heaps of space and ram and whatnot, but the monitor is about 5-7 years old. When I look around in-game the screen is always half a second or so behind the mouse. I Googled it and some said to disable Vsync (although some also said enabling it fixed the problem). For me it didn't do a heck of a lot. Still laggy, so now I have to stealth it all the time 'cos I can't shoot quickly for peanuts.
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Re: Deus Ex 3 - I'll just leave this here

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Grammatolatry wrote:I have a question for those who played it on the pc. Did your game suffer from laggy mouse?

I installed the game today on a new computer that has heaps of space and ram and whatnot, but the monitor is about 5-7 years old. When I look around in-game the screen is always half a second or so behind the mouse. I Googled it and some said to disable Vsync (although some also said enabling it fixed the problem). For me it didn't do a heck of a lot. Still laggy, so now I have to stealth it all the time 'cos I can't shoot quickly for peanuts.
This worked for me: Vsync off, triple buffering on, and instead of the aspect ratio being set to auto I changed it to 16:9. I thought the latest patch was suppose to solve that. Is your version 1.1.622?
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