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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:25 am 
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[This thread was split from the original by a Mod. Thank you all for keeping the discussion rational, but let's talk about the games in the Spring Thing thread rather than the meta of the website description text. Thank you!]

[During the split, the first 8 posts were accidentally deleted due to Mod error. I have recovered the text of the postings and put them behind a rant tag below for space.]


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Quote:
Spring Thing 2018 is now open!
Postby AdamSommerfield » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:53 am

Hello!

It's just a small gripe but I need to chuck this out there and see if it's just me! Something about the Spring Thing description has always surprised me and continues to do so whenever I re-read it!

It reads ..... "Spring Thing especially welcomes diverse voices and populations traditionally underrepresented in gaming, including women, people of color, queer folks, and blind, neuro-diverse, or disabled creators. "

I know it's intended as a positive sentiment but in 2018 i'm surprised to see "people of color", "queer folks" and "disabled" in the text!? Particularly when you consider that it's an IF event and IF is ultimately all about words! Also was this written by Adam Cadre!?

I'm really surprised no one has ever mentioned this before? Maybe it's a culture thing; I just know I wouldn't feel comfortable wording things like this in any of my content and if I wrote this in media content where I worked I even think it would be verbal warning territory.

Just my thoughts on it, and i'm sure it's a great event so long may it continue, but yeah the wording feels inappropriate for this day and age.

Adam
AdamSommerfield


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Re: Spring Thing 2018 is now open!
Postby turthalion » Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:22 am

AdamSommerfield wrote:
It reads ..... "Spring Thing especially welcomes diverse voices and populations traditionally underrepresented in gaming, including women, people of color, queer folks, and blind, neuro-diverse, or disabled creators. "

I know it's intended as a positive sentiment but in 2018 i'm surprised to see "people of color", "queer folks" and "disabled" in the text!? Particularly when you consider that it's an IF event and IF is ultimately all about words! Also was this written by Adam Cadre!?
Adam


No, it struck me as "off" as well, to the extent that I worried it was written to be humourous, another alarming prospect.

OTOH, maybe it is a culture thing. When I worked for a gaming equipment supplier (company based in the US, I am of British origins but live in Canada), their literature always talked about how proud they were that "our equipment is in gaming halls all across the US and throughout Indian country"... that phrase seemed such an offensive and antiquated throwback to old cowboy films from the 50s, I was very surprised to see it. They might as well have written "Injun". Anyway, that wording would certainly be offensive up here.
turthalion


Quote:
Re: Spring Thing 2018 is now open!
Postby AdamSommerfield » Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:02 am

turthalion wrote:
AdamSommerfield wrote:
It reads ..... "Spring Thing especially welcomes diverse voices and populations traditionally underrepresented in gaming, including women, people of color, queer folks, and blind, neuro-diverse, or disabled creators. "

I know it's intended as a positive sentiment but in 2018 i'm surprised to see "people of color", "queer folks" and "disabled" in the text!? Particularly when you consider that it's an IF event and IF is ultimately all about words! Also was this written by Adam Cadre!?
Adam


No, it struck me as "off" as well, to the extent that I worried it was written to be humourous, another alarming prospect.

OTOH, maybe it is a culture thing. When I worked for a gaming equipment supplier (company based in the US, I am of British origins but live in Canada), their literature always talked about how proud they were that "our equipment is in gaming halls all across the US and throughout Indian country"... that phrase seemed such an offensive and antiquated throwback to old cowboy films from the 50s, I was very surprised to see it. They might as well have written "Injun". Anyway, that wording would certainly be offensive up here.


Glad it's not just me! Otherwise that would have troubled me even more! I'm from the UK too so perhaps it is cultural although i've never come across this before. I think the sentiment is genuine, it's just not something you expect to read nowadays. It just needs to read "Spring Thing welcomes and encourages diversity in the community." I just can't get over it! Every time I read it there's a shock value!

As I sit here thinking about it the "cultural" thing really isn't an excuse, it's 2018 and the internet makes it a small world, it's a total failure of awareness by whoever wrote it. Come on "Spring Thing" sort your promotional material out.
AdamSommerfield



Quote:
Re: Spring Thing 2018 is now open!
Postby AdamSommerfield » Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:08 am

AdamSommerfield wrote:
Also was this written by Adam Cadre!?



I should probably add, and clarify, I don't know that it was written by Adam Cadre and the above was more a rhetorical question than a statement; I just know it's his baby so logically he could have written it.
AdamSommerfield


Quote:
Re: Spring Thing 2018 is now open!
Postby craiglocke » Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:33 am

I can’t speak to the other terms, but I’m not aware of any useful terms to replace “disabled”, and most of my family has congenital muscular dystrophy. I’d certainly prefer it over handicapped or the wheelchair-bound or crippled, which are all worse, IMO.
-My IFDB name is Mathbrush, and I'm @MathBrush on Twitter.

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Quote:
Re: Spring Thing 2018 is now open!
Postby zarf » Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:40 am

(reposting, I think my first attempt to post this got lost)

To some extent this is a generational thing. I've seen all of those used without comment as terms of pride by the communities in question. E.g.:

http://www.destroysf.com/table-of-conte ... e-fiction/
http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/ebook ... e-fiction/

I know there are arguments about, e.g., "disabled" vs "person with disability". I'm not qualified to comment on that (thanks craiglocke for speaking up). And I am aware that "queer" has turned into a serious wrangle in the past few years -- that's *definitely* generational.

Since IF is not specifically any of these communities -- noting our high concentration of the visually disabled -- I don't think we can make final decisions. We should just pay attention to common usage.
zarf



Quote:
Re: Spring Thing 2018 is now open!
Postby robinjohnson » Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:50 am

I'm in the UK too. "Disabled" is fine (as an adjective; "the disabled" is not fine), and "people of colour" or POC has taken off in the last decade or so. (I think the problem with other neutral terms for POC is they tended to define people primarily by their non-whiteness.) "Queer" is shakier ground: it's used positively by the queer community, but outsiders should be careful. The impression I get is that it's usually ok to use it if you're certain that it's absolutely clear you're being positive, and don't argue if a queer person asks you to stop. Treating it as a dirty word (when it's not being used as one by explicit homophobes) can get people's hackles up. I tend to use LGBT+. Some include Q, I and/or A in there, which is fine.

Some disabled people go with things like "differently abled" but I believe much more of them hate it.* There's a large subset that think "people with disabilities" is better (person first) but as far as I know there aren't many who get actually offended about that.

(Disclaimer: As a cishet white able-bodied dude, my opinion matters less than those of people in the groups we're talking about. FWIW my partner of 4 years is disabled and queer.)

(* Before I met my current partner I'd have guessed that the idea that anyone preferred 'differently abled' was an anti-PC myth, but apparently it does come up now and then. (She hates it.))

My games: Zeppelin Adventure (Spring Thing 2018), Detectiveland, The Xylophoniad, Draculaland, Aunts and Butlers and Hamlet
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Quote:
Re: Spring Thing 2018 is now open!
Postby turthalion » Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:13 am

I have heard those of us who, foolishly, ask "What term should we use for <handicapped | lgbt | etc > ?"

receive the reply:
"People."

and there's maybe something to be said for just the simple "we encourage entries from anyone and everyone" but that doesn't explicitly include those who may traditionally have been implicitly *excluded* for a large portion of their lives, so I understand the desire to stress the inclusiveness.

Don't know an easy answer.
turthalion


[post by Aaronius continues below]

The text in question was not written by Adam Cadre; it was written by me, I believe added two years ago.

To the best of my knowledge, each of these terms is the preferred one of members of that group. I am reasonably well versed in issues of representation in gaming (I've attended and even spoken at conferences about this, for example). I am very open to suggestions about different language from a member of one of these communities; I'm less interested in speculation from those who are not.

The reason for mentioning specific groups rather than a blanket "all are welcome" statement is that members of these groups have been frequently publicly and privately attacked over the past few years for making and talking about games. In addition, research has shown that people from historically marginalized groups feel more welcomed if you specifically invite them into a space. (Again, as a queer person myself I can speak from some experience on this: My brain still looks for a phrase like "sexual orientation" whenever I see a list of welcome or protected people, and get vaguely worried if I don't see it... "oh, they probably don't mean me, then.")

Anecdotally, I feel I've seen submissions from a broader range of people since I added that bit of text, so it feels to me as if it's serving its purpose.

Finally, I would love to plug the Spring Thing 2018 -- general discussion topic here, which hasn't seen a lot of traffic, if you have the spare time and bandwidth to think about Spring Thing!

Thanks,

--Aaron

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:38 am 
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turthalion wrote:
I have heard those of us who, foolishly, ask "What term should we use for <handicapped | lgbt | etc > ?"

receive the reply:
"People."


Nope. That's erasive as fuck. These are identities that people are often proud of, and need to be able to talk about.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:27 pm 
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It's not the end of the world, you can see that the intent is genuine, but I can assure you that it doesn't read very well; that's genuine observation and not speculation.

Irrespective of what "was", reading it today really doesn't sit well. It reads like it's written by person or persons who are way out of touch with the world today. I know that's not how it was intended, but it is how it reads.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:33 pm 
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aaronius wrote:
...

Anecdotally, I feel I've seen submissions from a broader range of people since I added that bit of text, so it feels to me as if it's serving its purpose.

Finally, I would love to plug the Spring Thing 2018 -- general discussion topic here, which hasn't seen a lot of traffic, if you have the spare time and bandwidth to think about Spring Thing!

Thanks,

--Aaron



Hey Aaron, well to be fair if it's working and not putting people off then fair enough; stick with it. It's definitely an odd one, it will read 'uncomfortably' to a lot of people but hey; if this is the first time anyone has mentioned it then it can't be offending anyone I guess.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:37 pm 
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craiglocke wrote:
I can’t speak to the other terms, but I’m not aware of any useful terms to replace “disabled”, and most of my family has congenital muscular dystrophy. I’d certainly prefer it over handicapped or the wheelchair-bound or crippled, which are all worse, IMO.


I wouldn't dream of suggesting any of those terms!


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:39 pm 
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AdamSommerfield wrote:
Irrespective of what "was", reading it today really doesn't sit well. It reads like it's written by person or persons who are way out of touch with the world today. I know that's not how it was intended, but it is how it reads.


Not trying to be rude but I really think you are the one out of touch here. Ask some POC/disabled people/LGBT+ people (and if they say I'm wrong, I'm sorry.)

I found "people of colour" very odd when I first saw it, probably because I connected it to the archaic and nasty "coloured", but POC is what all my POC friends prefer.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:50 pm 
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zarf wrote:
.... We should just pay attention to common usage.


That's what didn't sit well for me when I read it, "queer folk" and "people of color" etc just aren't usable terms and haven't been for years in anything i've read or watched. I'm surprised it's being debated to be honest!

If I organised an event at work and wrote in the promo material that I wanted to reach out to "queers" and "colored folk" as they have felt missed out in the past then I would get a written warning from HR for sure.

I don't think it reads well but - look - as Aaron has said it's been there for a good while and caused no offence to anyone so no harm done I guess.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:55 pm 
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robinjohnson wrote:
AdamSommerfield wrote:
Irrespective of what "was", reading it today really doesn't sit well. It reads like it's written by person or persons who are way out of touch with the world today. I know that's not how it was intended, but it is how it reads.


Not trying to be rude but I really think you are the one out of touch here. Ask some POC/disabled people/LGBT+ people (and if they say I'm wrong, I'm sorry.)

I found "people of colour" very odd when I first saw it, probably because I connected it to the archaic and nasty "coloured", but POC is what all my POC friends prefer.


None taken, but i'm not out of touch. It just doesn't read well to me.

I'm done! No more to say.

Leave it as is, it hasn't offended anyone so perhaps i've taken it out of context but it does read 'odd'.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:57 pm 
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AdamSommerfield wrote:
zarf wrote:
.... We should just pay attention to common usage.


That's what didn't sit well for me when I read it, "queer folk" and "people of color" etc just aren't usable terms and haven't been for years in anything i've read or watched. I'm surprised it's being debated to be honest!


https://twitter.com/search?q=%22people% ... 2&src=typd

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If I organised an event at work and wrote in the promo material that I wanted to reach out to "queers" and "colored folk" as they have felt missed out in the past then I would get a written warning from HR for sure.


And rightly so. Those are not the same terms.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:09 pm 
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robinjohnson wrote:
AdamSommerfield wrote:
zarf wrote:
.... We should just pay attention to common usage.


That's what didn't sit well for me when I read it, "queer folk" and "people of color" etc just aren't usable terms and haven't been for years in anything i've read or watched. I'm surprised it's being debated to be honest!


https://twitter.com/search?q=%22people% ... 2&src=typd

Quote:
If I organised an event at work and wrote in the promo material that I wanted to reach out to "queers" and "colored folk" as they have felt missed out in the past then I would get a written warning from HR for sure.


And rightly so. Those are not the same terms.


You're being pedantic. If I used "queer folks" and "people of color" I would get a written warning.

Again, no harm done, it doesn't read well to me but i'm clearly in the minority and it hasn't offended anyone so stick with it.


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