Wargroove (Chucklefish) is receiving criticism for casting white actors for its POC characters(Dev respond, see threadmark)

infinite

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,056
It is very difficult to reach equity. The only way imo is that we must create the tools so everyone has the same opportunities and then choose the one that fits without prejudging.

Even choosing blindly doesn't work to by only looking at the results we are also prejudging the ones that got the job in this case
My argument isn’t resting on how difficult it may or may not be. As you seem to understand, taking a color blind approach will lead to such outcomes especially when diversity is the goal.
 

tzare

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,490
Catalunya
The problem is that in an industry where the overwhelming majority is white, a “colour blind“ approach is bound to result in mostly, or all, white actors.
Well, then there's much the Dev can do. The problem is not the Dev. The problem is that we need to create an environment where anyone can reach their goals regardless of the, color, sex or even economical status.
And that hasn't been done. And when done, it will take time. Instead of blaming the Dev, unless there's clear proof of discrimination, maybe focusing efforts in the roots of the problem may help.
 

litebrite

Member
Oct 27, 2017
11,699
Well, then there's much the Dev can do. The problem is not the Dev. The problem is that we need to create an environment where anyone can reach their goals regardless of the, color, sex or even economical status.
And that hasn't been done. And when done, it will take time. Instead of blaming the Dev, unless there's clear proof of discrimination, maybe focusing efforts in the roots of the problem may help.
They purposely took a color blind approach on characters of color and then promoted the white voice actors on a public platform. They are to blame.
 

Titik

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,294
This is just a direct side effect of seeing white and straight as the default. If you see nothing wrong with this then I don’t know what to tell you 🤷🏽‍♂️
 

Wonderbrah

Member
Nov 7, 2017
270
User Banned (Duration Pending): Dismissiveness towards concerns of representation, inflammatory false equivalence
People of color sometimes voice white characters in video games. I don't really see the issue here to be honest. They chose the best actors for the job, based on voice not color.
 

Titik

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,294
Well, then there's much the Dev can do. The problem is not the Dev. The problem is that we need to create an environment where anyone can reach their goals regardless of the, color, sex or even economical status.
And that hasn't been done. And when done, it will take time. Instead of blaming the Dev, unless there's clear proof of discrimination, maybe focusing efforts in the roots of the problem may help.
The root of the problem is the subconscious bias and seeing white as the default. In that case then a concious effort from everyone involved needs to happen. Something like...affirmative action.
 

tzare

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,490
Catalunya
My argument isn’t resting on how difficult it may or may not be. As you seem to understand, taking a color blind approach will lead to such outcomes especially when diversity is the goal.
Well, they tried something at least. It is not the best way to people diversity? Sure. But seems a fair way to choose the best candidate without prejudices. The problem here is criticising the Dev that at least tried something, and then do nothing with the underlying reasons that lead to limited diversity.
Oh, and will say it again, diversity shouldn't be forced when not needed. We don't need every game, movie or piece of art to have an exact percentage of certain group of population.
 

Titik

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,294
People of color sometimes voice white characters in video games. I don't really see the issue here to be honest. They chose the best actors for the job, based on voice not color.
The problem is that the ratio of POc voicing white characters is decidedly lopsided to one side. If it was closer then I’m with you but this is obviously not the case.
 

SayWord

Banned
Dec 4, 2019
250
User Banned (1 Month): Dismissing Concerns of Representation
I wouldn't care if a POC voiced a white person. I'm all for equality for race and gender but sometimes I feel people just try to look and find racism/discrimination for every little thing. True equality means that this issue shouldn't be a big deal.

More power to y'all who stand up and fight against true racist/discrimination issues but this ain't it.
 

Titik

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,294
I don’t see a problem with deliberate and conscious efforts to cast more POC and other minorities in roles. Other industries have tried it and the outcomes are almost always positive. I’m tired of the argument that colorblind casting should be done BeCaUsE We wAnT tHe BeSt pErSoN FoR tHe RoLe because it’s usually way for whites to not feel uncomfortable at best or a veiled/explicit attempt at saying that us minorities should just know our place at worst.
 

giapel

Member
Oct 28, 2017
970
That POC actors are ignored in castings over white actors is the problem. For any role.
I don’t agree that we have to match ethnicity for everything. How many American actors are playing English roles with hilariously bad accents? It’s fine though, because not everything has to be 100% authentic.
Again, the issue is equal opportunities and discrimination based on skin tone. But let’s not jump to the wrong conclusions and discriminate even more over skin tone.
 

tzare

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,490
Catalunya
The root of the problem is the subconscious bias and seeing white as the default. In that case then a concious effort from everyone involved needs to happen. Something like...affirmative action.
Well, don't know about the devs, but since i am white and live in a mainly white population country, seeing white as default seems natural and nothing wrong. If i was a dev i would probably also create things related to my own experiences so a potential protagonist would be white. Same could be said for someone with another skin colour in another place. Some things are natural. The problem is, maybe, that most devs are from historically , countries with mainly white population, so until we get more devs (and that also applies to any job really) that have grown in more varied populations we probably won't have that reflected in their creations.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,570
This has been a problem for a while in the games industry. Also recently:



As much as I loved Judgment, like come on lol

At least they got Greg Chun to voice the main character

Greg Chun is not a particularly Japanese name, is is this a case of all Asian ethnicities are the same?

Maybe rather than Americans of any background they could have hired English speaking Japanese actors.
 

Titik

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,294
Well, don't know about the devs, but since i am white and live in a mainly white population country, seeing white as default seems natural and nothing wrong. If i was a dev i would probably also create things related to my own experiences so a potential protagonist would be white. Same could be said for someone with another skin colour in another place. Some things are natural. The problem is, maybe, that most devs are from historically , countries with mainly white population, so until we get more devs (and that also applies to any job really) that have grown in more varied populations we probably won't have that reflected in their creations.
Not to sound like I’m attacking you but this is exactly the problem right here. You are privileged enough not to worry about this. But in a country like the UK and the USA, this is a very real thing and the devs and industry in those respective countries have no excuses especially since minorities are a very sizable portion of thier respective populations. These countries have historically made conscious attempts at limiting minorities’ socioeconomic status as well so it’s not like they can just claim that this is something new for thier societies.
 

AntiMacro

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,706
Alberta
Why the fuck would you blindly pick the VA using only audio files? Is that common in the industry?

Why would you pick a voice actor using their voice samples? Is that really a question?

I'm fine with that approach, especially the 'removing their past work' from it - as hopefully it'll mean different people getting roles. Most VA don't have a clue what colour their character's skin is anyway - they get a very small brief on them in most cases. Like 'old, crotchety, smoker's rasp' or 'young, bubbly, full of energy' and let them run with it.
 

kejigoto

Member
Sep 15, 2019
187
It should be equally a problem if they are not casting POC voice actors for POC characters.
Jinx was originally Indian I thought? I know the character has gone through numerous changes but I could have sworn she was a sorceresses from India.

While i agree that only the voice should matter, the problem is it happens way more often that white people play minorities than the opposite.... Minorities don't get the same opportunities in the industry and that's what matters
Hey I get that but I don't see evidence of that happening here, especially when a person of color is featured in the cast. If people weren't afforded opportunities they should have been then I'm all for being up in arms but just looking at a casting and getting upset seems a little ridiculous to me.

Maybe I've missed something where negative information has come to light but from what I've seen so far people just aren't happy with the casting because of the skin color of those involved and that's really it which to me is ridiculous when you start looking through castings and realize how often this happens in both directions.

Would I love to see more representation like that? Absolutely but I'm also not going to assume something nefarious is happening because of a casting announcement.
 

Xavi

Member
Oct 27, 2017
10,264
Lightning for Smash
Why would you pick a voice actor using their voice samples? Is that really a question?

I'm fine with that approach, especially the 'removing their past work' from it - as hopefully it'll mean different people getting roles. Most VA don't have a clue what colour their character's skin is anyway - they get a very small brief on them in most cases. Like 'old, crotchety, smoker's rasp' or 'young, bubbly, full of energy' and let them run with it.
It clearly wasn't a good approach.
 

DumpsterJuice

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,283
California
I wouldn't care if a POC voiced a white person. I'm all for equality for race and gender but sometimes I feel people just try to look and find racism/discrimination for every little thing. True equality means that this issue shouldn't be a big deal.

More power to y'all who stand up and fight against true racist/discrimination issues but this ain't it.
This is a major issue that needs to be addressed. The problem is that there are so many issues that we lose track of priority ranking.

This happens in films and all. Take a look at the Simpson's and who voices the black actors. You are only looking at videogames, but it's a problem with the entertainment industry as a whole.

Spy Kids: The only black character is voiced by a white guy. Let's not forget about The Last Airbender and Dragon Ball Z debacle. The list goes on man.

Well, don't know about the devs, but since i am white and live in a mainly white population country, seeing white as default seems natural and nothing wrong. If i was a dev i would probably also create things related to my own experiences so a potential protagonist would be white. Same could be said for someone with another skin colour in another place. Some things are natural.
White males feel like they are being attacked(political BS) and I am glad that you have the balls to write this. No one is attacking anyone, we just want a fair shot is all. The same can be said about the tech industry. All we want is the same chance that you get. Don't give them the job because their father or mother works there.

I love your honesty - It's lacking a lot on this forum.
 
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Titik

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,294
Why would you pick a voice actor using their voice samples? Is that really a question?

I'm fine with that approach, especially the 'removing their past work' from it - as hopefully it'll mean different people getting roles. Most VA don't have a clue what colour their character's skin is anyway - they get a very small brief on them in most cases. Like 'old, crotchety, smoker's rasp' or 'young, bubbly, full of energy' and let them run with it.
The main problem here is that most minority actors will not get the opportunity to even get work in the first place to get the experience, get exposed to mentors, get the connections and all the other things that white actors typically take for granted and are privileged to have.

This is the same phenomena that happens with minority students and thier lower GPA and SAT scores compared to thier white counterparts when it comes to college admissions. You need education to get ahead in life but your situation also ensures that you get lower grades to prevent you from getting said education in the first place. It’s a fucked up justification for color blindness and why affirmative action does and need to exist.

‘The best person for the job/position/slot’ is a convenient way to hand wave all these historical and structural issues that exist today.
 

angelgrievous

Member
Nov 8, 2017
4,515
Ohio
I don't think white VA's should be voicing POC characters at all.

If you create a POC character for your game then you should only listen to VO samples from POC VA's.

*Edit: That twitter response is complete BS. I don't buy it at all.
 

infinite

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,056
Well, they tried something at least. It is not the best way to people diversity? Sure. But seems a fair way to choose the best candidate without prejudices. The problem here is criticising the Dev that at least tried something, and then do nothing with the underlying reasons that lead to limited diversity.
Oh, and will say it again, diversity shouldn't be forced when not needed. We don't need every game, movie or piece of art to have an exact percentage of certain group of population.
I think you’re completely missing my point. They didn’t try to remove prejudices and if they did they picked a horrible method for doing so. Like creating a racially equitable society, removing prejudices and bias from the hiring process is also incredibly hard. It’s certainly doable and one of the ways we try is we directly engage with and acknowledge our biases and prejudices. Taking a colorblind approach is decidedly not doing that in fact is basically doing the opposite.
 

Sky

Member
Oct 28, 2017
82
UK
Unconscious bias is a topic that companies and agencies are taking into consideration in the UK. I am totally for the approach they took during the hiring process and it shows their commitment in keeping it fair. One thing I learnt when i attended talks on this topic is that everyone has bias-its unconscious, its the act of acknowledging and acting on it that we see change.
 

Dice

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,236
Canada
Why the fuck would you blindly pick the VA using only audio files? Is that common in the industry?

Blind auditions have been a boon to the music industry which helped even out the Male/Female ratio of a number of symphonies.
It's unfortunate the practice misfired here. It would have been way better to pick and choose for something so specific or at least double-check. Brutal.

This was the first thing I thought of. While who they got to play Nadine did a fantastic job, it was still pretty shitty.
Im at more odds with this just cuz I know Laura Bailey's voice waaaay too well (so I know she's far from a PoC pretending to do a voice). But yeah she's a huge talent and often impressive with what she's in.
 

Titik

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,294
Unconscious bias is a topic that companies and agencies are taking into consideration in the UK. I am totally for the approach they took during the hiring process and it shows their commitment in keeping it fair. One thing I learnt when i attended talks on this topic is that everyone has bias-its unconscious, its the act of acknowledging and acting on it that we see change.
The first part of you post contradicts the last sentence though. Taking a colorblind approach is basically the opposite of acting on said biases.
 

Jroc

Member
Jun 9, 2018
1,443
User Banned (1 Week): Inflammatory false equivalence
The entire point of being a voice actor is that you can act using just your voice. A 30 year old can make themselves sound like an 80 year old, a 20 year old can make themselves sound like an 8 year old. The creators landed on these actors after they found the performances they were looking for. I seriously doubt there was any thought put into it beyond that.

I think creators should always have the final say when it comes to creating their work. From a statistical standpoint it would be nice for them to go out of there way to help groups with less opportunity, but I'm not going to tell them how to make their thing.
 

Dice

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,236
Canada
The entire point of being a voice actor is that you can act using just your voice. A 30 year old can make themselves sound like an 80 year old, a 20 year old can make themselves sound like an 8 year old. The creators landed on these actors after they found the performances they were looking for. I seriously doubt there was any thought put into it beyond that.

I think creators should always have the final say when it comes to creating their work. From a statistical standpoint it would be nice for them to go out of there way to help groups with less opportunity, but I'm not going to tell them how to make their thing.
Normally I agree, and the true wonder of VA work is that anyone can voice a princess even if they don't look like a princess. :P

But Naughty Dog and numerous (even bigger) productions have gotten into heat for "colour blind" choices like this. A smart business (especially one that consciously made PoC's main characters) should perhaps have also had some greater awareness about who is voicing their leads, and the fact all of them are bleach-white is just....icky.
 
Jun 2, 2018
812
Northern Ireland
User Banned (1 Month): Dismissing Concerns of Representation
I wouldn't care if a POC voiced a white person. I'm all for equality for race and gender but sometimes I feel people just try to look and find racism/discrimination for every little thing. True equality means that this issue shouldn't be a big deal.

More power to y'all who stand up and fight against true racist/discrimination issues but this ain't it.
I agree with parts of this. Think it's a bit of an overreaction.
 

Gotdatmoney

Member
Oct 28, 2017
8,904
Blind VA auditions in an industry where 90% of the people working in it are white is not being "color blind".

I agree with parts of this. Think it's a bit of an overreaction.
In the entirety of my life there have been exactly 0 people who have held this opinion who were not problematic at best and just plain racist at worst. This aint the side you wanma be on fam.
 

Messofanego

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,739
UK
I wouldn't care if a POC voiced a white person. I'm all for equality for race and gender but sometimes I feel people just try to look and find racism/discrimination for every little thing. True equality means that this issue shouldn't be a big deal.

More power to y'all who stand up and fight against true racist/discrimination issues but this ain't it.
Of course you wouldn't care because there isn't over-representation of PoC voice actors for white characters. Your "true equality" just sounds like colourblindedness (The Atlantic: Why Color-Blindness Is A Counterproductive Ideology) and lacks awareness of the different issues different people face. This colour-blind casting has revealed the unconscious biases and doesn't acknowledge the problem of representation. It's unintentional discrimination, but the result comes out to be whitewashing.
 

Bear Patrol

Member
Oct 27, 2017
305
Well, then there's much the Dev can do. The problem is not the Dev. The problem is that we need to create an environment where anyone can reach their goals regardless of the, color, sex or even economical status.
And that hasn't been done. And when done, it will take time. Instead of blaming the Dev, unless there's clear proof of discrimination, maybe focusing efforts in the roots of the problem may help.
Well, they tried something at least. It is not the best way to people diversity? Sure. But seems a fair way to choose the best candidate without prejudices. The problem here is criticising the Dev that at least tried something, and then do nothing with the underlying reasons that lead to limited diversity.
Oh, and will say it again, diversity shouldn't be forced when not needed. We don't need every game, movie or piece of art to have an exact percentage of certain group of population.
The entire point of being a voice actor is that you can act using just your voice. A 30 year old can make themselves sound like an 80 year old, a 20 year old can make themselves sound like an 8 year old. The creators landed on these actors after they found the performances they were looking for. I seriously doubt there was any thought put into it beyond that.

I think creators should always have the final say when it comes to creating their work. From a statistical standpoint it would be nice for them to go out of there way to help groups with less opportunity, but I'm not going to tell them how to make their thing.
There is no color blindness in creative choices around VA and it’s not possible for people to make completely impartial decisions. I’ve worked with audio departments in AAA gaming and trying to do “color blind” casting often led to actors being picked for performance based on the internal biases of the listeners. If they heard a fitting sounding voice, they picked it. How they defined “fitting” was based on their own ingrained cultural biases and backgrounds. Voice actors can sound like other people but that is not the same as having a voice actor of a particular ethnic group or a POC voice that character

This is explicitly part of diversity and equity training that I’ve had to teach people because the idea that people can turn off their biases and make impartial judgements is bullshit. You have to acknowledge that the bias exists and take concrete steps to fix it. Otherwise, pretending that you’re not responsible for it will only help perpetuate it.

There is an awful culture around diversity and equity and it absolutely is on individual studios to do what they can to help fix it. Larger change comes from changes on the smaller, more individual level.

Also, tzare your “forced diversity” argument is reading as a pretty racist dogwhistle. You can’t possibly say that you’re sympathetic to the need for equity and then say that people are say stupid stuff like “We don't need every game, movie or piece of art to have an exact percentage of certain group of population.” We are talking about one explicit example here where a game chose to have characters of color, chose one of the worst ways possible to voice those characters (in terms of representing the diversity already in their own game) and then got called out about it. Not sure where your rant about forced diversity fits in there.
 

Dice

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,236
Canada
Oh, and will say it again, diversity shouldn't be forced when not needed. We don't need every game, movie or piece of art to have an exact percentage of certain group of population.
What is "forced diversity"??? Literally asking what it is and where it has been the case.

Cuz shit, I thought we'd have more female leads by this point if it existed. :(
 

Shinjica

Member
Oct 28, 2017
241
Blind VA auditions in an industry where 90% of the people working in it are white is not being "color blind".



In the entirety of my life there have been exactly 0 people who have held this opinion who were not problematic at best and just plain racist at worst. This aint the side you wanma be on fam.
Sorry but your life is not the metric in how we decide if something is racism or not
 
Oct 29, 2017
14
User Banned (permanent): racist trolling
In all honesty, and this is truth, I am happy that y’all are fighting these battles while I’m just playing games. Thanks.
 

Gunter

Banned
Mar 30, 2019
110
User Banned (permanent): trolling in a sensitive thread, prior infraction for exactly the same, account in junior phase
What is "forced diversity"??? Literally asking what it is and where it has been the case.
Seems pretty obvious to me. The devs took an unbiased, color-blind approach. Many people in this thread are saying that's not enough, and that they should have picked employees based on their skin color. And now the devs are being hounded on social media. That's essentially forced diversity.
 

Bear Patrol

Member
Oct 27, 2017
305
Seems pretty obvious to me. The devs took an unbiased, color-blind approach. Many people in this thread are saying that's not enough, and that they should have picked employees based on their skin color. And now the devs are being hounded on social media. That's essentially forced diversity.
There is no unbiased, color blind approach to this and certainly not “we’ll only hear audio samples without considering other factors”. You cannot separate your inbuilt biases from decisions you make without taking extra steps to ensure that you’re accounting for those biases. That’s why people are calling them out on it.

Also, people in this very thread have posted links to the issue with “color blind” approaches so you should really read through that before showing your ass with posts like this.
 

Necromanti

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,161
I wouldn't care if a POC voiced a white person. I'm all for equality for race and gender but sometimes I feel people just try to look and find racism/discrimination for every little thing. True equality means that this issue shouldn't be a big deal.
In a perfectly egalitarian world, that would be true. But this is not and never will be that kind of world. A 'color-blind' approach has always only ignored the underlying issues and factors surrounding race, not solved them. And this isn't necessarily an indictment of the people who hired the voice actors in question and rather points to a system where things like access to opportunity really is affected by more factors than what may seem obvious.
 
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