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"Yet Another Generic White Dude" - A legitimate discussion on criticism regarding character design diversity

Dec 25, 2017
498
Star Wars is a very expansive universe of ideas and characters spanning across literal galaxies, in which many races, human or otherwise, reside...
We've seen side-characters of all shapes and sizes among the Jedi alone, across many forms of media pertaining to the Star Wars universe...

So yeah, I can see why people would be a little burned out knowing that the main character is, at the very least, another white guy. It doesn't help that his presentation in the trailer is very generic, through an through...but in gaming, and most of western media, we've seen absurd amounts of poorly-written AND fantastically-written white guys. For a game like this one, the main character could very well have been a purple 3 armed female anthropod with mosquito wings and a shotgun for a butt, but somehow we still wound up with Whiteguy Boring McDullface with the Option 1 haircut and a 3 letter name. At the most basic level, it wouldn't be outrageous to think even white people would grow tired of this...

Now just imagine how it feels for the many non-white western people...

EDIT: I'd also like to add that those "just a smidgen" cop-out POCs are tired as well. Anand doesn't always have to be "half Middle Eastern, half white" and Janae doesn't always have to be so lightskinned that she's racially ambiguous...
 
OP
OP
Veelk
Oct 25, 2017
3,635
Tbh, if I was white I'd be tired of playing with white dudes. Any white people actually feel this way?
Honestly, that's part of why I am in support of diversity. I honestly think stories that don't emphasize different types of people who live very different lives are lesser for it.

A lot of people in this thread replied that the problem with Cal isn't just that he's a white dude, but that's generic in all sorts of ways. And yeah, I agree. No one ever said that it was impossible to write an interesting white dude anymore. But I also would have been atleast more interested in Cal if he was black, even if everything else that made him generic remained the same. Perhaps not much more, but atleast a little.
 
Nov 27, 2017
193
Tbh, if I was white I'd be tired of playing with white dudes. Any white people actually feel this way?
Heh that's kind of true in a way. I tend to play female characters in a game when given the choice. I just feel it stands out more from the sea of dudes.
 

Mindtaker

Banned
Member
Feb 4, 2018
28
User Banned (2 Weeks): Dismissing concerns surrounding diversity and inclusivity efforts across multiple posts
I'm really surprised that is not black, or woman, or gay, or something that progressives guys demands.

I think it should respect the lore more than a forzed pointless politic.
 
Oct 28, 2017
291
As a generic white dude, it’s still a bit of a downer to be constantly reminded that I’m boring, obsolete and no longer welcome to the party but I’m slowly getting used to it.
 
Oct 31, 2017
3,828
I feel like we can’t have an honest conversation about Star Wars lack of divers leads because people use Rey and Jyn Erso as shining examples of diversity, even though they look just like Pandme and Leia.

When all of a franchise’s “diversity” is in the background and secondary characters like Finn, Lando, Rose & Windu... it’s a very bad excuse for diversity.
 
Oct 28, 2017
2,440
Tbh, if I was white I'd be tired of playing with white dudes. Any white people actually feel this way?
Yeah I pick the woman if I can now. I wish it was more than just colour or sex that could be changed though, it usually doesn't mean much. Can we not get more games where different stories are told from different cultures.
 
Oct 28, 2017
477
Tbh, if I was white I'd be tired of playing with white dudes. Any white people actually feel this way?
I'm more tired of playing as fit / muscular / lean people tbh. But that's not as cool to ask for. I hope someday people will stop asking for the same characters only with different color.
 
Oct 26, 2017
1,815
Tbh, if I was white I'd be tired of playing with white dudes. Any white people actually feel this way?
I would not say tired, it's just whatever, I do really like it though when we get poc as characters. Billie Lurk is one of my favourites from the past years and I do think representation is important and welcome it for these reasons as well besides just being bored by white dudes.

I am not especially concerned about Star Wars though, the movie universe has Rey, the tv show has Pedro Pascal and the last major video game had a black woman as lead. I'd say it's in a good place and can bear another white boy.
 
Oct 27, 2017
4,386
Tbh, if I was white I'd be tired of playing with white dudes. Any white people actually feel this way?
sort of. if a game has a CC i'll play as a girl or POC to shake it up but generally i have good faith a protagonist is designed a certain way because reasons and don't put much thought into it
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,252
As a generic white dude, it’s still a bit of a downer to be constantly reminded that I’m boring, obsolete and no longer welcome to the party but I’m slowly getting used to it.
Sounds like how many of us experienced media for most of our lives. Feeling excluded. I remember reading obscure ass comics like shadowhawk just to get something close to a black superhero growing up. And even though the majority of movies, games, and shows are full of white people, when you ask for a bit more representation, we gotta get the woe is me for being white posts. It’s pure garbage and I’m sure you’ll continue to be more than adequately represented without taking criticism of a video game character and somehow projecting that onto yourself.
 
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Oct 25, 2017
11,145
Long Island
Tbh, if I was white I'd be tired of playing with white dudes. Any white people actually feel this way?
Not really? But then again I could afford to not to care who they put on the box because I'm not under represented. I understand people's gripes though. They want to see someone that looks like them.
 
Oct 31, 2017
3,828
There's too many white dudes in lead roles in games, and I don't really care how well written they are because the problem isn't bad characters so much as it is one specific demographic being over-represented to the exclusion of so many others. That's why the whole, 'what about Arthur?' argument doesn't really work for me--Arthur may be a well-written character, but he's still another white dude in a sea of white dudes. Like, look:


Gender Breakdown of Games Featured at E3 2018

24% of games shown at E3 last year had set male protagonists; only 8% had set female protagonists. I don't have a similar breakdown by race, but I really wouldn't be surprised if the disparity were even worse.

Also, on a purely self-interested level, I much prefer playing women to men, so the glut of dude-focused games is a bummer for me just 'cause it makes it difficult to work up an interest in a lot of stuff that I'd otherwise maybe be excited by.
Exactly. There are so many more people to be than just another white guy, no matter how well written; it’s naturally more interesting to play as someone who isn’t what the vast majority of video game characters are, especially if they’re well written as they should be

Besides the lack of real world representation in main playable characters and actual leads in Star Wars media; SW is one of the few times there are purple and green people yet they still feature white skin brown haired people exclusively in lead roles. They are not even trying
 
Oct 31, 2017
3,154
Honestly, the thing that makes this guy generic in a Star Wars game isn't the fact that he's a white guy, it's the fact that he's human. With all the weirdo aliens and droids out there, you could easily make your game stand out more just by going for the next level in diversity.
I’ve always thought this with both movies and games. Same with mass effect. You introduce all these sci-fi series with all these aliens on screen but they’ve never been protagonists
 
Sep 3, 2018
14
That's why the whole, 'what about Arthur?' argument doesn't really work for me--Arthur may be a well-written character, but he's still another white dude in a sea of white dudes.
Bringing up Arthur in these threads always bothers me a little because that's a game that features Lenny, Sadie and Charles. Three characters who would've brought vastly more interesting perspectives to the setting by nature of who they are.

Arthur's fine, but any one of the three would've made a more memorable protag.
 
Oct 26, 2017
760
I wouldn’t care much if he was just a white, but they got this guy lookin extra white. Black pepper is too spicy white. Going down to meet father at the country club.
 
Dec 27, 2017
1,031
As a generic white dude, it’s still a bit of a downer to be constantly reminded that I’m boring, obsolete and no longer welcome to the party but I’m slowly getting used to it.
This thread is a towering monument to white fragility.

Sounds like how many of us experienced media for most of our lives. Feeling excluded. I remember reading obscure ass comics like shadowhawk just to get something close to a black superhero growing up. And even though the majority of movies, games, and shows are full of white people, when you ask for a bit more representation, we gotta get the woe is me for being white posts. It’s pure garbage and I’m sure you’ll continue to be more than adequately represented without taking criticism of a video game character and somehow projecting that onto yourself.
Accurate.
 
Nov 12, 2017
1,500
Sunshine State
Exactly. There are so many more people to be than just another white guy, no matter how well written; it’s naturally more interesting to play as someone who isn’t what the vast majority of video game characters are, especially if they’re well written as they should be

Besides the lack of real world representation in main playable characters and actual leads in Star Wars media; SW is one of the few times there are purple and green people yet they still feature white skin brown haired people exclusively in lead roles. They are not even trying
I would have loved to play as an humanoid alien race like a Zabrak or Twilek.
 
Oct 26, 2017
3,381
with all the flavors in an entire friggen galaxy to choose from....even less of an excuse, to me, when you have a pool of races, genders, whatever to choose from, from an IP that was created in 1977
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,534
United States
Like Jordan Peele says "I've seen this movie before"
Completely different context between games and movies. Also, you havent seen nor played anything yet. Straight up, amongst other things, you're just being dismissive. Oh, you've played the new ea/reapawn star wars game?! Yeah, no you havent. You have no idea what it will be like past the color of the main characters skin.
 
Oct 31, 2017
3,828

3 out of 4 characters you posted are dark haired white people. The only one without the force and lightsaber is the only one darker than a brown paper bag, and he was a “co-lead” in only one film.

This is a really bad excuse for diverse leads in SW media.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,252
Completely different context between games and movies. Also, you havent seen nor played anything yet. Straight up, amongst other things, you're just being dismissive. Oh, you've played the new ea/reapawn star wars game?! Yeah, no you havent. You have no idea what it will be like past the color of the main characters skin.
The way some of you get riled up over a person being “dismissive”of a video game you have no stake in is something.

I think the most annoying and standout thing in this convo is that for the most part, no one was attacking EA or respawn. I don’t remember anyone saying the game would suck or anything like that either. At best, there was some minor criticism of the protagonist that somehow blew up into all this craziness as if there was a movement against the game.
 
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Oct 25, 2017
132
I feel like we can’t have an honest conversation about Star Wars lack of divers leads because people use Rey and Jyn Erso as shining examples of diversity, even though they look just like Pandme and Leia.

When all of a franchise’s “diversity” is in the background and secondary characters like Finn, Lando, Rose & Windu... it’s a very bad excuse for diversity.
I keep trying to make this point to other people that Star Wars putting white women in lead roles doesn't suddenly make a black woman like me feel represented. Hell the black women in SW have seemingly been shuffled around in either minor roles or we're a damn alien like in the original trilogy (and the sequel trilogy! Maz Kanata is a goddamn waste of Lupita's talent) . At least we have Jannah for EP9 but literally from the jump i was hoping Rey would be portrayed by Gugu Mbatha Raw or some of the other non white women who auditioned for the role of Rey.

I was hoping this game would have a character creator and honestly i thought the main guy was some generic character they made in service of the trailer. Knowing he's locked in as the main has personally made me uninterested as a whole.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,206
Wonder who to even wag the finger at for this one.

Like, after Apex Legends, Respawn as a dev team seems to be far more open to lots of different kinds of representation than we are used to seeing. So that makes you think, oh, it must be Disney that mandated "White model guy #028981", but... the movies, by far a bigger deal, kind of prove that it wouldn't really be something they'd be opposed to. So is this just a tone-deaf pick on Respawn, did the VA have some kind of crazy good audition for the role, or what? Based on the trailer, there's nothing too special here, and not really getting a sense for who even to direct the disappointment to.
 
Oct 25, 2017
7,390
Canada
Completely different context between games and movies. Also, you havent seen nor played anything yet. Straight up, amongst other things, you're just being dismissive. Oh, you've played the new ea/reapawn star wars game?! Yeah, no you havent. You have no idea what it will be like past the color of the main characters skin.
Video games are full to the brim of white narratives just like movies. The quote is entirely apt. I've played the white dude saves the day story a million times.
 
Oct 27, 2017
78
Germany
I definitely prefer to play as a human character of my race , gender and sexuality. It is all about wish fulfillment for me. So the closer the character gets to my personal ideal vision of myself the better. So a young, handsome, space magician is fine with me. Of course I would love for everyone to have the same opportunity to feel that way about a character.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,534
United States
The way some of you get riled up over a person being “dismissive”of a video game you have no stake in is something.

I think the most annoying and standout thing in this convo is that for the most part, no one was attacking EA or respawn. I don’t remember anyone saying the game would suck or anything like that either. At best, there was some minor criticism of the protagonist that somehow blew up into all this craziness as if there was a movement against the game.
"I've played that game before"
That's what I was responding to because no, they havent. Period. Say what you want about me defending companies or whatever, I'm just saying nobody knows what this game has in it outside of a white dude and saying you've played that before IS dismissive, no matter how you frame it.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,252
"I've played that game before"
That's what I was responding to because no, they havent. Period. Say what you want about me defending companies or whatever, I'm just saying nobody knows what this game has in it outside of a white dude and saying you've played that before IS dismissive, no matter how you frame it.
Its only dismissive when you foolishly take it as literally as you did and ignore the context behind the statement. I don’t see why you care anyhow, tbh. Poster is going to continue feeling that way despite your brow beating. Even if he went to the dark side, we’ve also seen similar tales time and time again. When new footage arrives, we’ll judge that then. No one should have to be a soothsayer to give a reaction to a trailer they just watched either way.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,534
United States
I've seen white dudes become the bad guy already too.

Any more story example you want to go with? Cause I'm a 100% sure there's nothing new you're going to bring up.
So, basically anything new with a white guy wont meet your criteria? And how is that not racist?
Also, completely dismissive of story telling as a whole as well. You're basically saying, despite what the story actually is, if it has a white guy in the lead, you already know and have no interest in it. How is that NOT dismissive?

Might as well pack up story telling completely while were at it since every story is a derivative of something. I know I know, the devil is in the details but THIS GUY HAS ALREADY SEEN IT!!! Sorry, rest of the world. No new stories for you.
 
Oct 25, 2017
7,390
Canada
So, basically anything new with a white guy wont meet your criteria? And how is that not racist?
Also, completely dismissive of story telling as a whole as well. You're basically saying, despite what the story actually is, if it has a white guy in the lead, you already know and have no interest in it. How is that NOT dismissive?
It's not racist because there are numerous white narratives being made all of the damn time. Here we have a universe that isn't tied down by anything in reality where a minority could be the main protagonist without any baggage and they went with another white dude. It is dismissive and I'm perfectly fine with dismissing another one of these stories. I've played this game already.