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Ork Is The New Black

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Angel_Heart

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« on: (22:14:45/02-09-19) »
Has anyone else noticed that orks in Shadowrun seemed to have taken the place of black America? Check it out:
   (A) Ridiculously high birth-rates;
   (B) broken families often on account of
   (C) high crime and incarceration rates amongst the men of this species;
   (D) superior athletic prowess;
   (E) early development rates amongst teenagers;
   (F) record setting illiteracy rates and scholastic drop-out rates;
   (G) and every once in awhile ork men can be seen dating down-and-out human women
   Jordan Weisman and FASA crew, just exactly what's going on here? I don't know if I need to point an accusing finger at you guys for some closet bigotry or slap you congrats on the back for some unconscious but rather apropos observations.
   #OrkIsTheNewBlack
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Ghost Rigger

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« Reply #1 on: (22:25:56/02-09-19) »
Congratulations. You're capable of basic pattern recognition. Now tomorrow, I'll make a more lengthy post about how the metatypes do and yet do not correspond to the various racial stereotypes; trust me, that post has been long in the making.
After all you don't send an electrician to fix your leaking toilet.

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Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #2 on: (01:16:08/02-10-19) »
I don't know what kind of a future this thread has.. but while it's still open I'll just opine in agreement with Ghost Rigger:

It's not meant to be subtle.  At all.  If you're not "woke" (to use a 21st century term for a game designed in the 1980s) you may not know what discrimination is like in the real world.  But through this fantasy, yes you just might realize what real world people have to deal with.

Also it's a way to incorporate some of humanity's worst aspects (racism) into a dystopian setting that's played by lets-face-it, mainly white dudes, without making the game itself be mistaken for a Klan recruiting tool by Convention and FLGS observers.
« Last Edit: (01:19:36/02-10-19) by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »

Ghost Rigger

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« Reply #3 on: (08:52:42/02-10-19) »
Okay, hockey night beers have worn off, time for serious, non-sarcastic posting.

Yes, Ork is indeed the new Black. In addition to the reasons you listed, 'trog' has roughly the same connotations as the n-word. The setting sometimes even treats them as direct analogues to blacks, what with orksploitation and that Ork and Mindy program from No Future that is clearly equivalent to Guess Who's Coming To Dinner. But most of what you said can also be said about Hispanics in America too and the setting doesn't shy away from having ork-Hispanic comparisons either, so 'trog' is also 'spic'. Orks and trolls are also into rock and roll and the heavy metal scene, as evidenced by all the setting fluff about 'trog rock', so they're pretty white too. In some respects, it's as if orks and trolls are poor people rather being an ethnic group.

Then look at elves and dwarves. At first glance, elves seem like white people plus, and the setting does treat them like that sometimes (again I point to Ork and Mindy). But they're a minority, if one of the better off ones, and they think they're better than everyone else. They're also seen as exotic and desirable, they stick together in the face of a majority and build their own part of town....elements of east Asians, perhaps? And dwarves might also seem like white people plus, but again they're a well-off minority. Well, they have a secret society, and in Chrome Flesh Haze made a remark about dwarves always having money.....my knee-jerk reaction is to say that Dwarf is the new Jew, but since nothing suggests they have heavy involvement in banks and the media it's nowhere near a perfect fit. Again, this might be about money rather than race, since elves and dwarves are both better-off minorities.

And all that is just looking at it from an American perspective. Go elsewhere and the stereotypes about metatypes are different. Go to Britain and you'll probably find that orks and trolls are into lad culture, which is as white as mountaintop snow, yet are also Pakis. Go to Scandinavia and you'll find that Trogs are the new Finns, getting drunk all the time and being mean, violent drunks by their nature. Go anywhere that is dominated by one race, and you'll find that race can be broken down into smaller ethnic groups, at least one of which is economically disadvantaged and has unpleasant stereotypes which are projected onto the local orks and trolls.

In short, orks and trolls are thought of as violent dumb brutes prone to criminal lifestyles and being poor that people are generally afraid of while elves and dwarves are the genetically and socio-economically privileged; whatever groups, be they ethnic or socio-economic, you'll see them as stand-ins for is reflective of the stereotypes of your cultural upbringing.
After all you don't send an electrician to fix your leaking toilet.

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Wenlocke

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« Reply #4 on: (09:56:37/02-10-19) »
From the original first ed book regarding race being much more of an issue than ethnicity:

"Why worry about the tanned-looking guy on the subway when that thing over there has hands the size of your head."
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Marcus

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« Reply #5 on: (11:39:48/02-10-19) »
Yes this not a new conversation, or line thought.  Racism and descrimination are as common or more so in SR then in the real world, and is an equally good platform for opposing them.
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CanRay

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« Reply #6 on: (15:38:08/02-10-19) »
And that's why beating five kinds of holy hell out of Humanis is so much damned fun!   ;D
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Longshot23

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« Reply #7 on: (20:31:02/02-10-19) »
Only five?! You're too kind . . .

Sometimes it can be more satisfying to get Humanis to knobble themselves. Not often, but sometimes.

It's that Paladin Medical Group that has me more concerned.

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #8 on: (16:38:51/02-11-19) »
And that's why beating five kinds of holy hell out of Humanis is so much damned fun!   ;D
A bound pet spirit of one of my players once smashed a Humanis Compound leader through a second-floor window and the players were all impressed, shocked and highly entertained. They were being softies and didn't wipe out the compound, just kicked their asses.
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Ixal

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« Reply #9 on: (04:08:46/02-12-19) »
Racism is always a touchy subject and it is more safe to use fantasy races than real word racism as the latter can easily be (willfully) misunderstood as endorsement.

The downside is that you then have actual races which are objectivly different instead if all differences being superficial or based in prejudice.

 
No Future talks about this a bit when it comes to racism in sports as it is sometimes a bit blurry if the exclusion of a metavariant is because of racism or fairness. A troll boxer will basically only fight against other trolls as no one else is in the same weight class, dwarves and elves in football offer completely different strategies and the team which could manage to convince a dragon to try out the game would be unstopable. So is it really racism for a team to specifically look for a dwarf because they have a running strategy or when dragons or free spirits are excluded from playing pretty much all sports? (Except Stickball. Everything is legal in stickball)

Finstersang

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« Reply #10 on: (07:32:36/02-12-19) »
Together with Trolls, they kind of are. The interesting thing here is that the stereotypes about black people mainly stem from different social backgrounds which are rooted in history. But for Orcs and Trolls, there are undenieable biological differences, and while their history is one of ressentments, ostracism and occasionally, full-on genocides, itīs also a very short history, if you donīt count in Orīzet and the remains from the 4th world that Dunkelzahn left behind (which is pretty much the Orc version of Kangz īn Shit - it contributes nothing besides a false sense of historical accomplishment). Hell, the Sons of Sauron even refer to a work of fiction written by a human to establish some kind of orcish identity.

Now Iīm sure that thereīs some BuzzViceington Post hack writer out there (still :P) who would love to push out a some nice smeary shitpiece about how "deeply problematic" all of this is because. Thereīs already some contention about the Orcs in LOTR. But thereīs a catch in Shadowrun: There are still black people around. And if Trog is the "new black", than what about the "old" black?

Itīs obvious that a lot of the ressentments (and with them, a lot of the social problems) that black people face today have shifted to the orcs and trolls. The question is: How do the (norm-)blacks percieve this shift? I guess some might feel compassion towards the "new blacks", but given human nature and the fact that 2-3 generations have already passed since the awakening, Iīd say itīs just as likely for norm-blacks to kick them down as well - after all, kicking down feels a lot like stepping up. Thatīs why I have some contention about the latent tendency of some newer writers to muddy the waters old-school racism, meta-racism, nazism and other new and old forms of bigotry in the sixth world. Apart from looking like the KKK (which might turn of norm-blacks, but remember, history is a fickle thing), what indicates that the faces of humanis are predominantly white under their robes? (Already wrote a lengthy comment about this on reddit).

Bottom line: Mixing up real world "races" and racism with fantasy races and racism can be problematic (and often also a bit lazy), but it also offers some storytelling  opportunities - if you are willing to shake things up and undermine expectations.
« Last Edit: (08:12:18/02-12-19) by Finstersang »
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CanRay

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« Reply #11 on: (15:50:22/02-12-19) »
No Future talks about this a bit when it comes to racism in sports as it is sometimes a bit blurry if the exclusion of a metavariant is because of racism or fairness. A troll boxer will basically only fight against other trolls as no one else is in the same weight class, dwarves and elves in football offer completely different strategies and the team which could manage to convince a dragon to try out the game would be unstopable. So is it really racism for a team to specifically look for a dwarf because they have a running strategy or when dragons or free spirits are excluded from playing pretty much all sports? (Except Stickball. Everything is legal in stickball)
Everything is legal in Courtball, too.  Even Cybernetic Weapons.  Especially Cybernetic Weapons.  And, of course, human sacrifice, but fans don't like to talk about that subject in public.  Sometimes you get epic Halftime Shows in Courtball where they feed Catholics to the Lions!

Baseball would also have issues.  Trolls would be power hitters, but have insane sized strike zones, while Dwarves could hunch over have have a strike zone the size of a peach-like pit (you know, that disgusting tasting thing that they grow the "peach" around to make you want to get another peach-like to get the taste out of your mouth?).
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Ghost Rigger

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« Reply #12 on: (16:55:49/02-12-19) »
Everything is legal in Courtball, too.  Even Cybernetic Weapons.  Especially Cybernetic Weapons.  And, of course, human sacrifice, but fans don't like to talk about that subject in public.  Sometimes you get epic Halftime Shows in Courtball where they feed Catholics to the Lions!
Jaguars. They feed them to the jaguars. Gotta use the local wildlife, and not imports.
After all you don't send an electrician to fix your leaking toilet.

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CanRay

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« Reply #13 on: (16:58:35/02-12-19) »
Everything is legal in Courtball, too.  Even Cybernetic Weapons.  Especially Cybernetic Weapons.  And, of course, human sacrifice, but fans don't like to talk about that subject in public.  Sometimes you get epic Halftime Shows in Courtball where they feed Catholics to the Lions!
Jaguars. They feed them to the jaguars. Gotta use the local wildlife, and not imports.
I was figuring mountain lions (cougars.).  But I could see the appeal of jaguars.
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Ixal

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« Reply #14 on: (17:33:11/02-12-19) »
No Future talks about this a bit when it comes to racism in sports as it is sometimes a bit blurry if the exclusion of a metavariant is because of racism or fairness. A troll boxer will basically only fight against other trolls as no one else is in the same weight class, dwarves and elves in football offer completely different strategies and the team which could manage to convince a dragon to try out the game would be unstopable. So is it really racism for a team to specifically look for a dwarf because they have a running strategy or when dragons or free spirits are excluded from playing pretty much all sports? (Except Stickball. Everything is legal in stickball)
Everything is legal in Courtball, too.  Even Cybernetic Weapons.  Especially Cybernetic Weapons.  And, of course, human sacrifice, but fans don't like to talk about that subject in public.  Sometimes you get epic Halftime Shows in Courtball where they feed Catholics to the Lions!

Baseball would also have issues.  Trolls would be power hitters, but have insane sized strike zones, while Dwarves could hunch over have have a strike zone the size of a peach-like pit (you know, that disgusting tasting thing that they grow the "peach" around to make you want to get another peach-like to get the taste out of your mouth?).

Courtball does not allow spellcasting, only adepts.
In stickball on the other hand spellcasting is no problem, even from outside the field by the coach. Even sasquatches and free spirits as players are ok.

Baseball is interesting as the game has turned into real life fantasy baseball with players modifying and chipping themselves to be as close to famous players as possible. So you can actually have matchups like Babe Ruth of season 1928 facing off against Randy Johnson from 1997.

Of course there are no famous metahuman players so while it is is not spelled out that no orks are allowed, they do have no place in that kind of baseball, making it the only sport discussed in No Future that became more racist in recent times.

The theoretical hit zone of trolls in baseball, coupled with them basically trying to hit a golfball with a straw is also an example in the book where the line between racism and fairness blurs.
« Last Edit: (17:40:30/02-12-19) by Ixal »