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Do You Think We Will See a Nintendo Game With a Minority Lead? [roundtable]
 
That is to say, a lead character that isn't white, straight, or cis.

A few Nintendo games let you create your own avatar like Splatoon, Animal Crossing, and the Miis in general but let's step back from those and talk specifically about named characters with their own story and defined character traits.

Has it happened already in some lesser known title? I've been trying to think of characters that aren't white in Nintendo games and so far the only major example I can think of is Ganondorf.

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Posted: 11/02/16, 22:12:59
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@Stephen

White people aren't grouped as "white" people? Alright, henceforth, I want you to refer to me as "German-American," even though my parents were born here, and my grandparents were born here. But their parents lived in Stuttgart. So there we have it.


So..you're telling me that a new black baby born in northern Canada tomorrow would have his race/whatever marked as "African-American?"

Come on. That...doesn't seem right, at all.


EDIT- And adding to the 'posting troubles' list, I got an "Aw, Snap! - Send Feedback?" page a little while ago, wiped my whole post. Whats going on around here? And no, its not just this thread.
Posted: 11/05/16, 02:54:51  - Edited by 
 on: 11/05/16, 02:56:26
@Stephen

Making stuff up again I see.

I never said I was against any events. You said that. If *I* said that, quote me. You won't be able to. Not without twisting my words.

And by all means whilst your at it, post these 'countless times I've been told by mods to stop "hounding you"'. Last time you made that accusation, you were talking about Jargon. But by all means, go ahead and post the proof. Should be easy given the 'countless times' involved. I'll settle for a mere 5 examples out of the 'countless times' though.

In the meantime, you should know that I'm not the only person here questioning the suspicious timing of this thread. Why this topic? Why now? Why right after we just finished commenting on how nice the board has been without the political stuff?
Throw in how every example of a Nintendo character that gets brought up in this thread as perhaps representing a minority, gets met with either 'Nope, looks white to me!' or 'Not a main character!' Lets toss in your characterization of Dave's arguments as 'racist'. And lets face it, despite the acknowledgement that this is an industry wide issue and that Nintendo has been shown to have one of the most diverse cast of characters out there, the title of the thread may as well read, "When is Nintendo going to get with the times and be more progressive?. Because that's what you're really asking here, isn't it?

I'll take a cue from Mustache. Take this full circle back to Mario. It's been claimed that Mario doesn't meet the standards of the OP. I disagree. Did Italian Americans get discriminated against? Were they singled out as different? Did they face violence? Have they been stereotyped?, Yes, yes and yes. Arguing that he's 'white' and therefore 'not a minority' by your chosen definition misses the point entirely. There was a time when Mario absolutely fit the category you're talking about. And that's the era that Mario was born from.

Zero has stated It's not as simple as "once a minority, not always a minority". Yet YOU state "But what happened in the past affects where we are now". So why doesn't Mario get that pass for what happened in the past? Because it's not convenient to your argument? Because it doesn't fit your agenda?

No. In my opinion, this thread isn't an exercise in good faith at all. I'll let others draw their own conclusions.And despite that I was pretty happy to be able to discuss things with Zero and come to some common understandings despite divergent stances. I think that's a positive I'm going to take away from this thread. But I don't think any further discussion with you on this topic can possibly yield any productive results. You've got your views and the merits of any counter viewpoints are simply wasted.
Posted: 11/05/16, 03:09:14
What the...? What happened to this thread?!? Um...well, look what else I dug up:

Colonel Austin from Battalion Wars (GCN)

Agent Spin from Elite Beat Agents (DS)

Again, not "main" or "lead" characters per se. But they are pretty front-and-center characters of ensemble casts. Battalion Wars in particular actually has a pretty diverse cast - even more so than just about any Advance Wars game!

Guillaume said:
I loved your Wii Fit trainer joke.

Why, thank you good sir! I aim to please.

Shadowlink said:
Oh and in the spirit of Grant's contribution, I'll just point out Nintendo's *other* big lead character. The one that (in some form or another at least) predates Mario. The one who is black:


Well done, sir. Well done!
Posted: 11/05/16, 03:15:01  - Edited by 
 on: 11/05/16, 03:15:42
@Shadowlink

I'm not going to run errands for you. Anyone paying even a little bit of attention would notice you hound me, are disagreeable and then when the pressure is on you run away with your tail between your legs or switch to another point of discussion.

This post is a mile long and still has not cleared up your view. You say that's not your point but there is literally no other way to take it.

You basically say 'I don't know if this thing is good...' and then act all indignant when people assume you don't think it is good. If you want to clear it up do so but quit complaining that other people are mischaracterizing your views when it is based on what you said and you refuse to clarify. If you don't want to clear it up then stop posting about it.

Again, I don't care the slightest bit what you or anyone cares about my motive. Zero has told you before that I contribute lots of great threads when this point was brought up. If you want to keep chasing ghosts that's your business but you'll be at it a while.

Italian Americans experienced discrimination particularly in WW2 when Italy was the enemy. Japan and Germans did as well but that was in the 40s. It might still happen today but it was not a big cultural issue by the time of Mario's creation. Other ethnic groups very much are still actively discriminated against. History is important but the context of me saying that is your assertion that a line needs to be drawn somewhere so it might as well be here when there are still major points of discrimination against minorities.

Your counter-viewpoints have been misunderstood according to you and you refuse to clarify. You are the one not taking this discussion in good faith so by all means, take your leave.
Posted: 11/05/16, 03:32:05  - Edited by 
 on: 11/05/16, 03:33:19
@Stephen

I'm not going to waste my time clarifying something you insist on twisting, especially when it was very clear to begin with. I've asked you three times to provide a quote of me saying what you claim I'm saying, and you still can't do it. All you've provided is *your* skewed interpretation.

Go troll someone else.
Posted: 11/05/16, 03:46:20  - Edited by 
 on: 11/05/16, 03:47:13
@Shadowlink

ST already did and came to the same conclusion I did.
Posted: 11/05/16, 04:14:24
@Stephen

Nowhere in that quote does it say I'm against events. Or that they shouldn't march. Try again.
Posted: 11/05/16, 04:25:48
@Shadowlink

It says that you don't know if these things serve eliminate discrimination or encourage it. I spent several posts explaining why they are necessary and each one you have claimed you never wanted to get rid of them. What you still have yet to do is clarify what your position actually is. You say you want to work towards a society where these events are no longer needed but seem to think that we can draw the line anywhere.

How am I meant to interpret that if it is not you saying that these events impede acceptance?
Posted: 11/05/16, 04:31:46
Stephen said:
@Shadowlink
What you still have yet to do is clarify what your position actually is.

No I've clarified it. And you picked it up. And THEN you twisted it.

You say you want to work towards a society where these events are no longer needed

My view. Perfectly clear.

but seem to think that we can draw the line anywhere.

The bit you added, leading to your hopelessly wrong conclusion.
Posted: 11/05/16, 04:38:36  - Edited by 
 on: 11/05/16, 04:39:16
@Shadowlink

I didn't add that. Your posts very much had a tone of 'discrimination is over'. You had me tell you a way in which black people still experience racism for example.

EDIT: It's quite simple, either you think there exists real discrimination society needs to work towards solving or you don't. Celebrations of diversity are a means of combating discrimination. It's literally as simple as that.
Posted: 11/05/16, 04:42:17  - Edited by 
 on: 11/05/16, 04:47:00
@Stephen

You did add that. I literally just quoted you saying it despite the fact that *I* didn't say it. How is that not you adding it?

And I said that things happening in the past that you still cite as relevant are over. Slavery is over. Segregation is over. Homosexuality being against the law, is over. But If you keep referring back to those again and again and again, if you don't acknowledge the great positive strides we've made as a society, then you will NEVER be satisfied. This doesn't mean stop the parade *now* (it still exists for other reasons). That's you extrapolating. That's why I claim you're not discussing in good faith because you're assuming views and trying to pigeonhole people as being against things they never claimed to be against.

And your example of racism very tellingly didn't even rely on race at all. You simply stated that rich people have more opportunities than poor people. Well, duh. Are all poor people black? I know you're not telling me that. Is there no such thing as a poor white family? I'm sure you know that there is.

So how about we help poor people (not poor white or poor black people) deal with their *current* problems, and figure out what's causing their *current* problems. Because it sure as hell isn't slavery. Maybe you're right, maybe there's an employer out there who's dismissing all black applicants. That's straight up racism. That's what I would hope has been mostly eliminated in this day and age. And that's the sort of example I wanted to hear from you when you state discrimination still exists. Give me a clear problem so we can start working on real solutions.

But at the moment the logic seems to be this: Black people had a rough time in history because of racism etc.-> Many black people are still having a rough time now. Therefore it must be racism again.

It's not nearly that simple. Not even close.
Posted: 11/05/16, 05:05:47  - Edited by 
 on: 11/05/16, 05:07:11
Shadowlink said:
So how about we help poor people (not poor white or poor black people) deal with their *current* problems, and figure out what's causing their *current* problems. Because it sure as hell isn't slavery. Maybe you're right, maybe there's an employer out there who's dismissing all black applicants. That's straight up racism. That's what I would hope has been mostly eliminated in this day and age. And that's the sort of example I wanted to hear from you when you state discrimination still exists. Give me a clear problem so we can start working on real solutions.
That exact scenario totally exists, on a pretty wide scale. It's explicitly forbidden by law, of course, but it's a tough thing for the government to identify and punish: nobody comes out and says they don't want to hire black people, they just don't do it. Believe me, I work in recruiting, and I've had potential clients gush over a candidate's qualifications until they find out their ethnicity or gender or nationality or whatever, and then suddenly it's all "Oh we just don't think they'd be a cultural fit for our company" or "We decided to go with this other candidate (almost always a white male, sometimes even with worse qualifications)" or some other coded excuse. A few colleagues have had clients that didn't even bother with the code...

This is one reason why "positive discrimination" programs like affirmative action, busing, and the like were put into practice, because ending slavery and segregation by law didn't suddenly even the playing field and heal hearts and minds, not by a longshot. The sad truth is, a resume with the name DeShawn Wilson and the exact same resume with the name Sean Wilson will get very different reactions from a significant number of hiring managers even today. And that'll probably be the case well into the future unless we make serious efforts to counter it.
Posted: 11/05/16, 06:08:29  - Edited by 
 on: 11/05/16, 06:10:12
@nate38

That's an excellent write up. It's a lot more helpful to the discussion than some vague detail-less simplification.

I'm sure some places are already using this, but I think a great way to counter this sort of bias whether explicit or subconscious would be to put in a system of 'blind' resumes, so to speak. Strip out names or other irrelevant data. So when we get a scenario like you've outlined, where people are gushing over qualifications, the decision should be made then and there. If they change their mind in the fashion you've stated *after* the candidate's racial background is revealed, then you've got a damn strong case of racial discrimination that can be proven.

I think using that sort of system in a widespread fashion would go a long way to eliminate that sort of thing, and bonus, it works against any form of discrimination. Black, Asian, White, it won't matter.
Posted: 11/05/16, 06:25:28  - Edited by 
 on: 11/05/16, 06:26:07
@Shadowlink Some companies already try hiring with systems like this, but it'd be pretty difficult to force it on a wide scale, at least in America.

Though honestly through my experience being on the hiring end, I can say for sure that there are many other "tells" people can use to discriminate with. Looking at education and job history can tell a lot, especially if, for instance, the potential employee is an immigrant. Kind of hard to totally hide ethnicity if your college and last 4 jobs were in India. Small differences in usage of the English language say a lot as well, it's just a fact that being raised in different areas makes you speak a little bit different. Keep in mind we're talking about discrimination here so it's not like the employer would even have to KNOW the ethnicity or anything, they would just have to THINK they knew and toss that one in the "no" pile. Whether the bias was conscious or not.

Plus how would you ever get around the fact that most companies want to interview face to face with people before making decisions? The blind resume system might lead to less discriminatory practices in calling in people for interviews, but it can't stop any discrimination that might happen based on the in person interview.

From what I've read American employers have a lot more leeway to hire and fire at will than in many European countries, etc. So even if someone did get hired through some blind process they could pretty easily get fired for discriminatory reasons. And proving hiring / firing discrimination is incredibly difficult. Unless you get someone on record saying they did it, it's hard to really bring it to court in any serious manner.

Incidentally... my boss at my last job was just straight up openly racist and sexist and multiple times made comments that showed he brought this into his hiring, including once saying something like "I don't think we could hire a woman here she wouldn't fit in" right after telling a really graphic sexist "joke", as well as rejecting a hiring suggestion of mine (after making me spend days interviewing people) because "I don't think the owners would be comfortable giving a black man access to the server room." He ended up hiring someone else whom I thought was an inferior choice despite my boss not actually being present at the interviews like, you know, I WAS SINCE THE WHOLE POINT WAS HE DELEGATED THAT TO ME. So much for the American meritocracy.

So I mean, MAYBE I just randomly stumbled into a SUPER RARE situation where this existed. But probably (as all research I have seen suggests) it's actually pretty common. And probably there are some black employers out there who do this to white people as well, but, at least in America, white males are in decision making positions at a much higher rate than other demographics so... looking at the big picture, the discrimination mostly flows the one way.

Shadowlink said:
Homosexuality being against the law, is over.

It is?

But that's just like definitions and education and stuff, no one actually gets arrested for homosexual sex anymore, that's stuff that happened in our grandparents days maybe, right?

Except someone got arrested for gay sex in America while we were all busy getting ready to play Ocarina of Time.

This isn't ancient history. Here in America the Supreme Court finally legalized homosexual marriage... last year. And the Supreme Court had to step in and do it because many states were viciously fighting against equality.

Well at least that is done right? I mean, it's legal now, we're just going to accept it and move forw...

"If I'm elected, I would be very strong on putting certain judges on the bench that I think maybe could change things," Trump said. "They have ruled on it. I wish that it was done by the state. I don't like the way they ruled. I disagree with the Supreme Court from the standpoint they should have given the state it should be a states' rights issue. And that's the way it should have been ruled on, Chris, not the way they did it."

Looking for a concise answer, Wallace asked Trump if he would "try to appoint justices to overrule the decision on same-sex marriage."

"I could strongly consider that, yes," Trump said.


Oh.
Posted: 11/05/16, 07:10:24  - Edited by 
 on: 11/05/16, 07:40:43
@Zero

See this is great. I'm assuming that they've fixed all this stuff, and you're pointing out the exceptions that I wasn't aware of. Now we can say, hey this still needs fixing. And I'm all for it. Because this is now and still going on. This is a constructive discussion.
Posted: 11/05/16, 07:42:22
Yeah but here is my honest question... why would you assume that they fixed all of this stuff? That seems like an odd assumption to me.

I see it everywhere, hear it everywhere. A large portion of my own family are open bigots. My aunt, for instance, is very vocally against Mexicans and Middle Easterners... and many of her students are Mexican and Middle Eastern. I mean MAYBE that doesn't affect how she treats those students, but it probably does (especially since a large part of why I know her views on these groups is in context of her ranting about her job.) She can't be the only racist teacher out there. Research tends to agree with me.

But also the point of that last part was that even when stuff gets "fixed" legally, there are still people fighting hard to revert back to the past. One of our candidate's slogans is literally "Make America great again!" Part of that is him pledging to overturn a lot of what our current president has done.

And the point of a lot of the stuff before that last part was that laws can't eliminate discrimination. I mean, even sitting there hearing my boss say this stuff with my own ears, there isn't really that much I could have done. Would have had to secretly record him or something (and I'm honestly not even sure if that is legal / would be permissible in court.) And had the law somehow forced him to hire a black employee, would he have treated that employee fairly? Would the workplace be a safe and comfortable place for that employee? Would my boss stop telling his racist "jokes"? Eh.

OH WAIT, did I ever tell you guys about the time my boss was saying nasty shit about black women and basically inferring that they're disgusting naked and it'd be disgusting to have sex with them and making comments about how gross their genitalia must be and then he asked a bunch of us at the table (this was at lunch... in public) if we would ever have sex with a black woman (making it very clear how HILARIOUS he thought that was because they're super gross) and I quietly but firmly informed him that my girlfriend is part black? AND HE DIDN'T EVEN HAVE THE DECENCY TO SHOW ANY SORT OF SHAME OR REGRET AT HIS COMMENTS? Nah he just brushed off my comment and kept on going. What a fucking asshole.

I'm not sure what the solution to all of this is really, but I think it is important to keep having conversations about this stuff.
Posted: 11/05/16, 07:51:27  - Edited by 
 on: 11/05/16, 08:00:35
Zero said:
Yeah but here is my honest question... why would you assume that they fixed all of this stuff? That seems like an odd assumption to me.

Because, (and here's some irony) like we said, there's a bunch of media these days with gay people in it. And I don't exactly remember SWAT teams breaking down the doors to arrest those people. That's why I assumed everything was all legal now?

Obviously there's levels of nuance to that that I'm not across, and lets face it, should I be? An Australian across the specific laws of 50 American states? I can only really go by big picture stuff. Heck, I found out just the other day that some of you guys have time off for Remembrance Day. Didn't have a clue until now.

You're right, for that reason alone these sorts of honest conversations are great. Sometimes I get the feeling that that's not always the real goal though.
Posted: 11/05/16, 08:08:56  - Edited by 
 on: 11/05/16, 08:11:07
Aha! The power of media!

Hmm, but people in the media tend to get away with a lot more than the average person. Like, famous people can openly smoke weed on camera and face nothing, but average people still go to jail over it. Though that is slowwwwwwly changing too, but yes, in America laws are often applied unequally and can also be very different state to state.

I mean, I'd be surprised if anyone actually got arrested for homosexual acts nowadays, but some laws are still apparently on the books so it might be possible. But of course there is more to equality than "isn't arrested." I think, for instance, it will be a LONG time in America before sex ed in classrooms treats homosexual sex the same way it treats heterosexual sex, especially in certain Southern states.

One of our big battles right now is whether businesses should be allowed to deny services to homosexuals. (Technically the battle is more about anyone denying services to anyone, but in practice it is usually Christian businesses denying services to homosexuals.)
Posted: 11/05/16, 09:17:01  - Edited by 
 on: 11/05/16, 09:19:23
As a 2nd-generation Italian-American, I just want to say that Mario is a pernicious stereotype. Through Mario, Nintendo has long perpetuated the myth that my people love jumping on turtles. Since the 80s, I can't walk by the reptile exhibit at a zoo without being profiled. Thanks, Miyamoto; Sarkeesian was right about you.

Problematic. Systemic. Donald Trump. *drops mic*

~~~~~~~~~~

OK, kidding aside, Birdo is a trans character. What's the closest Birdo has gotten to starring in a game?
Posted: 11/05/16, 09:18:53
@NinSage Mario Tennis / Golf.
Posted: 11/05/16, 09:19:58
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