• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.

Because We Can't Have Nice Things: Scribblenauts Racism! Breaking!

Status
Not open for further replies.

Suairyu

Banned
May 16, 2009
14,928
0
0
louis89 said:
Topic aside, regarding the OP's rant about Americans, it's an offensive word here in the UK as well. Wouldn't be surprised if the entire English speaking world (i.e., the only place this game exists in) was the same.
UK dude here. Before learning its derogatory usage about two years ago, I had heard of the word only in the context of the Russian wrestling-based martial art (genuinely, it was a topic of interest to me) and as a stupid injoke with this dude when I was 15 as we're "sexually ambiguous", which got reduced to "sambo".

I could list a lot of UK-based racial slurs against blacks that are more common within British usage than sambo, yet most people would never had heard of them. To be clear, I'm not saying the word loses its horrible meaning because a lot of people don't know about it (directed at 40% of people in this thread), but that it's a very likely possibility that the developers were simply ignorant of its usage and that does not make them ignorant of black history in America or otherwise bad people (directed at another 40% of people in this thread).

Basically, unless someone can prove the developers had prior knowledge of its racial use, all that should come of this is a "ouch, egg on face" situation. Perhaps even an apology by them would be appropriate with the usual "we abhor racism" press release for good measure. It doesn't require a lengthy write-up, an analysis of racial representational equality within videogames (there are a lot of other, better talking points and issues regarding that) or any insults thrown towards the developers.

Short, snappy, quote-able form:
To the anti-PC brigade: get over yourselves and realise racial slurs are still a massive problem within society and a little concious thought over racial representation in videogames is both needed and by large actually lacking right now.
To the PC-brigade: this isn't one of those situations that needs the good fight fighting. It's an unfortunate oversight born out of genuine ignorance and that's about it. Not knowing the term 'sambo' doesn't make someone stupid, it makes them fortunately ignorant.
Everyone else: Kotaku is still shit.
 
Jun 6, 2004
68,829
0
1,570
i know OF the term, but in 30 years on this earth and 15 years on the internet, i've never actually heard or seen it used in a racially based manner, and until today, have pretty much only seen it ever used in reference to the russian martial art. i never knew of the fruit definition until now.

i believe it was an accident, but considering the history of the country, 5th cell just dropped the ball on research and they and wb wil have to deal with the fallout. you would think that WB would have double-checked all the words considering their history of cartoons that aren't shown any more.

i doubt this will be a big deal anyway, i doubt it'll make it to the news networks, they're too busy talking about kanye being a jackass and some acorn chick who didnt really kill her husband.

seriously, OMG WHEN YOU ENTER SPADE A FARM TOOL APPEARS!!! AND US BLACK PEOPLE USED TO BE SLAVES WORKING ON FARMS!!! FIX THIS SHIT 5TH CELL!!!!
 

mavs

Member
Mar 18, 2009
4,536
0
0
whatevermort said:
But I think that's the issue; they weren't being racist, they were being slack. They had thousands of words to check, and whoever was responsible for doing it was shoddy at their job, messed up, whatever. They missed it. They're idiots, yes, sure, but that's very different from being called racist.
Well, it's a little more unfortunate that there is no connection between 'sambo' and anything called a 'figleaf gourd' that I can find. If someone could point out how they are related I'd like to know, because having done some search-engineering I can understand not having the word at all more than I can missing the offensive nature of it.

zenbot said:
Given how many landmines of this sort are in the English language, the Scribblenauts guys will have done well if this is the most upsetting thing people find in the game.
Fair enough.
 
Aug 6, 2006
13,049
4
1,270
www.blackfalcongames.net
Fredescu said:
That's ridiculous. The law is a set of hard and fast rules and if ignorance of it were a defence, it would have no use. Language is fluid, ever changing and highly regional. I'll bet I could come up with half a dozen racial, sexual or otherwise obscene terms from my region that have innocent meanings elsewhere, pop them into Scribblenauts and find that some of the results are rather coincidentally connected in some way. I won't be writing any articles cryptically suggesting that this was a deliberate act of racism though, because I'd be realistic enough to realise that perhaps those terms just aren't all that important on the world scale.
Regional slurs? Those would have nothing to do with this, 'Sambo' as a slur is at least national and more likely international, one of the more common stereotypes of black people in the late 1800s and first half of the 1900s. It fit perfectly with the beliefs at hte time... "blacks are lazy, indigent savages who, if not for our benevolence, would never do any work and would just laze around eating watermelon", or something like that, essentially. I don't think I need to explain why that is wrong, or how that is far, far beyond a 'regional stereotype'.


Also this:
A Black Falcon said:
Really, the entire question of whether any one individual person knows the term is entirely irrelevant. As has been said, many millions of people DO know the word 'Sambo', and the only definition that almost all of them would know is the racist one that came from a book that in itself wasn't necessarily racist but was used that way. How well any one person on here learned about America's racial history, and present, is a completely different question from whether they should have found this and removed it from the game. Yes, this is something learned in high school, not college. And if not then, it's prominently seen in any history of America's black-white relations at just about any level, school, television documentary, or what have you. But again, that's not the point here...

The point is that the definition of the word is that it is racist. Dictionary.com gives several definitions, and all but one are solely devoted to explaining the extensive racial meanings of the word. The last mentions the Russian wrestling style. This gourd is not mentioned. Other online dictionaries are similar. You shouldn't need checking a dictionary to know this, but they certainly should have done so with the words they were including. And that's the point: To give the most positive explanation for what happened, they were obviously sloppy about which words they included and did not check the definitions of all the words, they just included them from technical documents or something as is. Because if they had checked the definition, they'd have found this for sure, no question. Of course they should have known about it already... but even if they didn't, even the most cursory search would immediately turn up the word's main definition, and that certainly should have been cause for removing it. That for some reason that didn't happen here, that's the point.
 

Night_Trekker

Member
Jan 27, 2005
17,175
2
1,155
37
South Carolina
Htown said:
Truth.

Unfortunately this is GAF, where bringing up racism is the only thing that's racist.
Why do people keep constructing this strawman? You won't find a single serious post in this thread that claims racism doesn't exist. I doubt you've ever seen a post like that on these forums. But any time someone or something is described as "racist" and the inevitable debates start (especially when the debate is over something obviously innocuous like this), here come the paranoid people with their "YOU GUYS THINK RACISM DOESN'T EXIST ANYMORE BUT IT DOES" posts.

What does that prove? Why do people say that when they must know it doesn't have anything to do with anything being discussed in these threads?
 

Fredescu

Member
Jan 30, 2007
15,388
0
0
Sydney, Aus
A Black Falcon said:
Regional slurs? Those would have nothing to do with this
They're just one example of the absurdity of treating language like law. Whether regional or historical, the obscurity of the term is not in question.
 

IrishNinja

Member
May 12, 2009
40,067
9
0
Vice City
HMC said:
You act as if somone elses values are so unimportant they are beneath consideration. Thats the very foundation of intolerance and racism. .
well played.

for posterity: if that's a common word/definition for most others, im not trying to argue it. but since none of you are saying that was the intent, but instead trying to talk about what you think others should know from college (high school? really?), whats the point? a few of you got snarky and insulted anyone who wasnt directly exposed to the term by mocking their understanding of history and such, and you got the natural reaction to things said in that manner.

those saying "5th cell shoulda done their homework", ok, sure. but to borrow someone else's quote, it that surprising that something bound to be deemed offensive got through?

plus, victor ireland already said sambo = sandwich. vic invalidates all other posts, including mine.
 

DangerousDave

Member
Mar 27, 2009
4,281
0
0
I love how they justified finding "sambo" in the game.

"No, I wasn't looking for any racist or offensive terme, i was looking for... ehh... let me think... samba. Yes, samba. I was looking for non-physical terms and, well, samba is a non-physical term."
 

Ca1amity

Neo Member
Apr 16, 2007
169
0
0
Toronto
HMC said:
Nah dude..thats just you trying damn hard to pretend that everyone shares your lack of sensitivity, lol.

Using your little scenario, if I were visiting a Canadian friend's home, and knew he had relatives that felt that way about the word newfie...no, I would not use it. WUT? If I didn't know what it meant, and I happened to say it...(and with it being so obscure a word, wouldn't that be a pretty strange coincidence?) and they got upset and explained why...no, I wouldn't tell them to stuff themselves and stop being so oversensitive cuz I just like the way newfie rolls off the toungue, so Im gonna say it as much as I please!

I don't understand how or whay the term "Jap", as being short for Japanese is offensive, but I've read on here that some do feel that way. Even without knowing the history, I would never use that word in reference to anyone of Japanese descent. Yknow why? Take this one slow, its a big concept...because my limited knowledge of a given slurs history doesn't supercede what other people feel, and I have enough restraint, enough tolerance, and ENOUGH FUCKING RESPECT for the next man to censor my words. How hard is that?

Lets say the word Sambo wasn't in the game. Would you enjoy it any less? You act as if somone elses values are so unimportant they are beneath consideration. Thats the very foundation of intolerance and racism.

Love the sambo avy, BTW. Nice.
Takin' it back for the fig lovers bro.

Seriously though, having *not known* the word was offensive to those people you would, when having it explained to you, stop using it without providing appropriate context and certainly not use it in their company.
Of course you would - and I would too - thats the decent respectful tolerant thing to do.

You wouldnt have thought to (or actually gone and) adjusted your use of the word without that knowledge of its racist connotations though right? Thats my point. Not that we shouldnt care, but that we shouldnt be crying or supporting cries of "racism" when there was none intented or implied by the developers. People are *bringing* their knowledge *to* the game and contextualizing it, the game isnt putting out a message.

Im surprised it took this long for me to be the intolerant racist though
 

Corto

Member
Dec 5, 2008
14,974
0
850
www.neogaf.com
Just another example of the stupid, opportunistic and self-righteousness attitude of the PC monster. The sad result of this is that this will be artificially inflated and amplified until 5th Cell or Nintendo make an apologetic statement that will feed even more the monster, giving it the validation that reason and common sense should negate.
 

McBacon

SHOOTY McRAD DICK
Mar 7, 2006
13,312
0
0
United Kingdom
Hey GAF. Just thought I'd bring this up. The last-last time that video games and cultural insensitivty clashed (before Resi 5) was LocoRoco with the blackface enemies.

Kotaku ran this piece:

Alejandro's [the guy who first flagged the connection] argument is that of a reactionary imbecile.
So who's the racist here? LocoRoco's creators, who innocently designed some visually appealing character abstractions for a charming game? Or Alejandro — a guy who sees something that just happens to be black and immediately envisions a hideous Gollywog belching between bites of fried chicken and singing about its Mammy. Don't show him the Mr. Men books: his head might explode.
To be fair, I don't think Alejandro is racist, but I do think he is making himself out to be one of those knee-jerk reactionaries who measures his own importance by his ability to be self-righteously offended. Not only is his argument silly and worthy of derision (LocoRoco as a metaphor for white flight? In a game about yellow amorphous blobs?), but it demeans the struggle against actual racism.
Link

Perhaps they should have taken the advice from this writer and applied it to this story. Just sayin.
 

boiled goose

good with gravy
Oct 30, 2007
12,848
1
1,050
mavs said:
It's ridiculous to say that not knowing every very dead slur means not knowing about the struggle for racial equality. If racial insults are taboo, you can expect them to be scrubbed from cultural memory. So I know what blackface is, and I know about crazy religious and scientific theories about race, but I haven't inherited the historical dictionary of the white establishment.

So yeah, I'm half black and I don't get this. Given the clean record of the developer (and accounting for some bias as they are from my town), I need to see some evidence of malice before I even call this insensitive.
outdated racial slurs are outdated.
outdated racial notions are outdated.

what does sambo mean again? how can someone be offended by such an obviously wrong and retarded stereotype? there are racial issues today. sambo is not one of them.

it was clearly unintentional. so what is the big deal? making this issue a big deal is completely silly.

if it was purposeful it would not be offensive. it would be sad and silly. no one should be offended by something that is unapplicable and will have no consequence. outdated slurs matter in any way other than as a history lesson.
 

sinxtanx

Member
Dec 5, 2008
4,426
1
0
Sweden
For me, the meaning of the word is "a couple living together".
Strange that it would bring out a gourd OH WAIT YOU CONSTRUCT YOUR OWN MEANING DEPENDING ON WHERE YOU HEARD IT BEFORE and so did the developers, and they obviously went with the fucking textbook definition.
How there can be even the slightest amount of controversy over this goes over my head (actually, it doesn't, even I knew it was a derogatory word, and English is not even my first language - but now that I know it means GOURD as well, pinning controversy on this is simply stupid, which is just what I expected from Kotaku.)
 

water_wendi

Water is not wet!
Oct 8, 2006
19,067
0
0
A Black Falcon said:
Regional slurs? Those would have nothing to do with this, 'Sambo' as a slur is at least national and more likely international, one of the more common stereotypes of black people in the late 1800s and first half of the 1900s. It fit perfectly with the beliefs at hte time... "blacks are lazy, indigent savages who, if not for our benevolence, would never do any work and would just laze around eating watermelon", or something like that, essentially. I don't think I need to explain why that is wrong, or how that is far, far beyond a 'regional stereotype'.
What? Sambo is basically the smartest kid in all of India.. he tricks the hungry tigers (yes tigers because the story takes place in India and stars an Indian) and wins the day via his craftiness.

As a racial term it is like mulatto or mestizo. At least as far as ive ever known.
 

mavs

Member
Mar 18, 2009
4,536
0
0
McBacon said:
Hey GAF. Just thought I'd bring this up. The last-last time that video games and cultural insensitivty clashed (before Resi 5) was LocoRoco with the blackface enemies.

Kotaku ran this piece:







Link

Perhaps they should have taken the advice from this writer and applied it to this story. Just sayin.
Well shit.

Ashcraft said:
So, putting this in a Western framework can get sticky. Is it offensive to Americans or Europeans? Probably. What about Japanese folks? Maybe not. Those Little Black Sambo type books are still sold in Japanese bookstores, so this kind of character won't raise that many eyebrows. Then again, we're not just making video games for Japan, are we? Brian Ashcraft
 

Night_Trekker

Member
Jan 27, 2005
17,175
2
1,155
37
South Carolina
Corto said:
Just another example of the stupid, opportunistic and self-righteousness attitude of the PC monster. The sad result of this is that this will be artificially inflated and amplified until 5th Cell or Nintendo make an apologetic statement that will feed even more the monster, giving it the validation that reason and common sense should negate.
I'm glad I'll have my "racist" original printing of the game.
 
D

Deleted member 1235

Unconfirmed Member
A Black Falcon said:
... It draws a watermelon when someone writes "sambo"? Seriously? Yeah, I quite agree with the article that it's nearly impossible to imagine any situation where that isn't racist... wow, that is pretty bad.

The word "Sambo" isn't inherently racist, no. It has been used as a slur, but that isn't the only thing it means. But having it make a watermelon... that is racist, without question. I know they have an excuse, but accurate or not it's not a very good one.



If that's true then they just really weren't paying attention. I mean, not realizing the implications and what that image looked like? Not smart... they should have known better. I've never heard of any other definition other than the story (Little Black Sambo) and the racist ways the name was used, certainly. I find it very hard to believe that no one there responsible knew... it's possible, but seems pretty unlikely. Unless there wasn't enough oversight about which words went into the dictionary and what pictures they formed? But I'd think there'd have to be, so that explanation doesn't make sense.

So overall, how do we know that they are telling the truth when they say that it was a complete accident? I mean, yeah, whoever put it there probably did only mean the food ingredient or whatever... but how can you be absolutely sure? It just opens them up to a lot of questions that should never have had to have been raised.



Being ignorant about the law does not mean you don't have to follow it... same applies here. And it is a very well known term.
this post irritates me SOOOOBAD.

If they want to be racist. Typing Sambo could have conjured up whatever the fuck stereotype it's supposed to mean. Instead it brings something which is accurate and correct.

GOD this is stupid and you're stupid for even agreeing with this SHIT.

Lets say the word Sambo wasn't in the game. Would you enjoy it any less? You act as if somone elses values are so unimportant they are beneath consideration. Thats the very foundation of intolerance and racism.

Love the sambo avy, BTW. Nice.
Oh jesus. That avatar of is is actually called a sambo is it not? This is a case of

'when we made the dictionary we took sambo to mean the fig leaf gourd as pictured here, we didn't make the racist connection at all, sorry if some people took it that way'

the end. Anyone with their panties in a bunch after that is just a dick.
 

ShinobiFist

Banned
Jun 30, 2009
7,266
0
0
Kowloon City, Hong Kong/Harlem, NY
RSLAEV said:
Did I stumble in to a thread of people with the audacity to claim that the term 'Sambo' doesn't have any racist connotations at all?


a Gourd? a type of wrestling?? Give me a fucking break people!
No one is saying that. Alot of us never heard the term as a racist remark or being a gourd(News to me)Some of the people here know the word to be associated with the Martial Art. The "gourd" looks exactly like a watermelon, dude. So, Kotaku decided to run with the negative aspect of the word than the true intention of the developer. Kotaku and Blogs in general needs to stop this old school "LAPD" mentality "Shoot first, ask questions later" non-sense.
 

TheGreatDave

Banned
Mar 10, 2005
38,095
0
0
33
I hate Kotaku. Can I just contribute that?

Any sensible person could look at the evidence and not feel the need to write such an attention whore article.
 
Aug 6, 2006
13,049
4
1,270
www.blackfalcongames.net
catfish said:
this post irritates me SOOOOBAD.

If they want to be racist. Typing Sambo could have conjured up whatever the fuck stereotype it's supposed to mean. Instead it brings something which is accurate and correct.

GOD this is stupid and you're stupid for even agreeing with this SHIT.
Um... what? But the entire problem is that typing Sambo brings up an image of EXACTLY the very racist stereotype that is the definition of the word. You aren't paying attention to this thread at all... here's a reminder.

VALIS said:
Google image search for "sambo," first three results:





and #6 for good measure:
 
D

Deleted member 1235

Unconfirmed Member
A Black Falcon said:
Um... what? But the entire problem is that typing Sambo brings up an image of EXACTLY the very racist stereotype that is the definition of the word. You aren't paying attention to this thread at all... here's a reminder.
and show me footage in the game where after typing sambo a little black sambo person pops up? Your first picture shows one guy eating watermelon. The other 3 pictures are irrelevant like your stupid argument.

but can also mean, and is used primarily in game to substitute, "fig leaf gourd" a major component of a common Ecuadorian dish.
god this is so painstakingly obviously a case of a MASSIVE dictionary and some artist not knowing the racial meaning that applies for American people. Its a coincidence and a lot more racist shit could have been dropped in there.
 

Zep

Banned
Sep 28, 2004
19,623
0
0
McBacon said:
Hey GAF. Just thought I'd bring this up. The last-last time that video games and cultural insensitivty clashed (before Resi 5) was LocoRoco with the blackface enemies.

Kotaku ran this piece:







Link

Perhaps they should have taken the advice from this writer and applied it to this story. Just sayin.


Is what you're opening.. Bringing the Japanese culture into this argument is NOT the best idea.
 

water_wendi

Water is not wet!
Oct 8, 2006
19,067
0
0
A Black Falcon said:
Um... what? But the entire problem is that typing Sambo brings up an image of EXACTLY the very racist stereotype that is the definition of the word. You aren't paying attention to this thread at all... here's a reminder.
i would see your point if typing in sambo brings up a pickaninny.
 

bishoptl

Banstick Emeritus
Jun 6, 2004
29,796
7
0
Canada
Number 2 said:
i would see your point if typing in sambo brings up a pickaninny.
The images are right in front of you.

I thought most folks knew that the word "sambo" is heavily loaded - enough to get your teeth knocked out through your ass if said in the wrong company. Guess not.
 
Aug 6, 2006
13,049
4
1,270
www.blackfalcongames.net
catfish said:
and show me footage in the game where after typing sambo a little black sambo person pops up? Your first picture shows one guy eating watermelon. The other 3 pictures are irrelevant like your stupid argument.
The watermelon by itself is more than enough of a reference. If you're denying that you're ignorant of what the watermelon means as a symbol of racist images of black people.

The Wikipedia article on Watermelon even mentions it... it could be stronger worded, but it's there at least.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watermelon
Stereotypical caricatures may depict African Americans as being inordinately fond of watermelon.[28]
Or look at the book search link provided a while back. The word "Sambo" brought up hundreds of results, for pages all talking about the word's racial uses. Read just about any of those and I'm sure you'd see watermelons mentioned, as they are in so many of the images. You're trying to deny the undeniable.
 

Larsen B

Member
Apr 3, 2007
1,261
0
0
England
GAF is so ignorant.

And, intentional or not, it seems that whoever decided to include "sambo" in the Scribblenauts dictionary and associate a watermelon-esque sprite with it, is ignorant too.
 

McBacon

SHOOTY McRAD DICK
Mar 7, 2006
13,312
0
0
United Kingdom
Zep said:


Is what you're opening.. Bringing the Japanese culture into this argument is NOT the best idea.
No, that's not what I'm saying. In the past, when people have cried "racist" at a videogame for some tenous reason, Kotaku has run articles slamming them. Now, they're on the sensationalist tabloid bandwagon.

And yeah, I know that they also posted an uncomfortable article about Japanese insenstivity. Just wanted to point teir counterpoint out. Heck, maybe they'll do one for this story. Who knows.
 

ShinobiFist

Banned
Jun 30, 2009
7,266
0
0
Kowloon City, Hong Kong/Harlem, NY
A Black Falcon said:
Um... what? But the entire problem is that typing Sambo brings up an image of EXACTLY the very racist stereotype that is the definition of the word. You aren't paying attention to this thread at all... here's a reminder.
Dude you can't be that dense. It has already been explain to death that "Sambo" is a fig leaf "gourd" that resembles a MOTHERFUCKING watermelon! We're very aware of the racial term and martial art. But If typing the name and a black kid would of appear, then that my friend is racist. So stop looking for shit that's not there.
 

spats

Member
Mar 12, 2009
10,764
0
0
Never heard the term myself, but I can see how people could get offended by this. I don't think this can end very well.
 

freddy

Banned
Jun 7, 2007
8,296
0
0
I will never understand why some people give any credence to a small minority of bigots and racists who use legitimate words as put downs. It's you who are empowering these people who should be ignored.

The word Sambo does not mean a black person but by being upset at its use in any way, shape or its proper form then you are legitimising it as a word that means black person. The racists and bigots win in this scenario.
 

Jackson

Member
Mar 16, 2007
3,734
0
1,060
Seattle
A Black Falcon said:
The watermelon by itself is more than enough of a reference. If you're denying that you're ignorant of what the watermelon means as a symbol of racist images of black people.

The Wikipedia article on Watermelon even mentions it... it could be stronger worded, but it's there at least.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watermelon


Or look at the book search link provided a while back. The word "Sambo" brought up hundreds of results, for pages all talking about the word's racial uses. Read just about any of those and I'm sure you'd see watermelons mentioned, as they are in so many of the images. You're trying to deny the undeniable.
No typing Sambo brings a fig-leaf gourd, typing watermelon brings up a watermelon. However the two look a like, but if you use the identifier option in Scribblenauts the object will not say Watermelon, there for it is not one.

Unfortunately the connection was not made which then made the jump to the racial epitaph.

You're reading into it way too much.
 

Jackson

Member
Mar 16, 2007
3,734
0
1,060
Seattle
Also let me be clear, no one is taking away the severity of the racial slur. It's a horrible thing. But the intent was very far from anything related to it.

If watermelon and sambo were completely different looking in Scribblenauts style this wouldn't even be an issue. But scrib style is very generic and basic.

If you want to talk about games with blatant racial overtones talk about Loco Roco, they have blackface like characters.

We have a gourd that looks like a watermelon but isn't, not blackface. So let's tone back the attacks on the game especially the intent.
 

OnPoint

Member
Jun 4, 2007
24,217
1
0
www.indiegames.com
Mountains out of molehills. People love a spectacle. This is the World Fair of Stupid right here. It clearly wasn't intentional. Perhaps they should have thought a little more into it, but they didn't. No harm intended, easily explained, should be no foul. Jesus GAF.
 

Shaheed79

dabbled in the jelly
Jul 31, 2004
7,104
0
0
40
Lake County
When I watched The Learning Tree it was the first time I ever heard that word used as a derogatory term. I always thought it was Rambo's kid brother or something.

I see some people in this very topic are kicking around the ol favorite standby "black people always complain about racism" stereotype not realizing how ironic and disingenuous it is to make that generalization. The guy who wrote the article, Brian Ashcraft, is Caucasian. It is he and his gaming journalist counterparts who should write a retraction and apologize to the developers for being retarded sensationalists for page views.
 

El-Suave

Member
Apr 15, 2007
5,453
0
0
Germany
Thank god "Kraut" doesn't seem to be in there - I would have been deeply offended and called for a protest here in Germany. "Frog" is in, so what will the French say?
 
D

Deleted member 1235

Unconfirmed Member
A Black Falcon said:
The watermelon by itself is more than enough of a reference. If you're denying that you're ignorant of what the watermelon means as a symbol of racist images of black people.
I would be denying that indeed, if it wasn't for gaf. The only reason I know watermelon has shit to do with black people is because someone got banned for a hitler gif where he eats watermelon and there was much wailing.

It's an american centric thing this watermelon = black people thing. I've never ever heard it mentioned anywhere over here in europe, or in New Zealand where I'm from.(where there are no black people anyway)

Further to that, has anyone that owns scribblenauts typed in both watermelon and sambo?

No typing Sambo brings a fig-leaf gourd, typing watermelon brings up a watermelon.
seems like someone has. Seems like you would have more of a case if typing sambo just game the same thing as a watermelon. However, even if that were the case, from the pictures posted I'd still probably argue that the graphics style would make it pretty hard to differentiate the 2.

I think your argument is bunk.

bishoptl said:
I thought most folks knew that the word "sambo" is heavily loaded - enough to get your teeth knocked out through your ass if said in the wrong company. Guess not.
I vaugely remember hearing it in childhood. Thing is, if you new the word sambo at all, you would probably deserve to get knocked on your ass cause you could only use it in a racist context. Unless talking about food ingredients while preparing an ecudorian dish.

It's clearly just differences in language causing a stir. I bet americans get a giggle everytime they would here a dutch/german going to the 'douche' (have a shower). Same shit, just with unfortunatel negative consequences this time around.
 

Tempy

don't ask me for codes
Feb 6, 2005
13,695
0
1,285
Another case of overly-PC-ness seeing skeletons in every closet.

And here's another vote to reinstate the kotaku ban. Sensationalist crap site.
 

Frenck

Banned
Jul 28, 2006
5,375
0
0
Germany
You know that the rest of the world doesn't give a shit about this, right?

It's a racial slur in one country and in most other countries it's just a plant.
 

SmokyDave

Member
Dec 8, 2008
35,663
33
825
England
Although I have always been aware of the term, I showed my girlfriend that it meant 'Sandwich' when we were browsing a menu in Prague and she had no idea that it had any other meanings.

We were both similar ages and from similar areas in the UK yet I knew the slang and she didn't. I have no doubt there are some people in the US that have never come across the term, as prevalent as it may seem to others.

Shame on Kotaku though, fanning these pointless flames for a few clicks.

Frenck said:
You know that the rest of the world doesn't give a shit about this, right?

It's a racial slur in one country and in most other countries it's just a plant.
Actually it's an (outdated) racial slur in England as well.
 

McBradders

NeoGAF: my new HOME
Mar 26, 2007
12,541
1
635
London
Britisher here, never even heard of the word "Sambo" before reading this.

Meaning of the word aside, I thought Totillo was a better journalist than this. Truly. I find the possibility of one word out of 22, 000 in a game ending up being of questionable use far less surprising/upsetting (I actually find it to be neither) than the shithole of "journalism" that Kotaku represents.

Jackson, I really feel for you man.
 

Night_Trekker

Member
Jan 27, 2005
17,175
2
1,155
37
South Carolina
A Black Falcon said:
Um... what? But the entire problem is that typing Sambo brings up an image of EXACTLY the very racist stereotype that is the definition of the word. You aren't paying attention to this thread at all... here's a reminder.
I can't believe I'm reading this crap from someone so obviously intelligent (and one of my favorite posters to boot).

You are demanding perfection from the people who work at 5th Cell. It would take a completely perfect creature with an eternity of development time to foresee every possible reaction and interpretation that any gamer in the world could draw from the items spawned in Scribblenauts. Human beings are not perfect.

This isn't about racism. This is about a completely insane and ass-backwards mindset a frightening number of supposedly intelligent people in America condone and encourage which goes: if someone (especially someone with a skin tone that is anything other than lily-white, which makes them a minority and also, apparently, a de facto "victim") feels offended by something, that person has been slighted and is entitled to an apology (at the very least). It doesn't matter if the thought process of the person taking offense is completely flawed and irrational. It doesn't matter if the the complaint is based on nothing at all. It doesn't matter if any offense was actually intended or foreseen, despite all efforts to foresee and squash problems.

It's total bullshit. This is what happens with irrational feelings are granted so much importance that they somehow trump logic and reality.

There are people in the world who think their feelings are so important, even an obviously false interpretation of a situation demands a fawning apology (and validation of a totally paranoid, frothing-at-the-mouth-crazy worldview). And you are defending them.

And the great evil of a mindset such as this is that it implies that a situation such as this cannot occur in which it was all a mistake, or a misunderstanding or a coincidence. It implies a person making such an accusation is infallible and has no burden of proof at all when bringing such accusations. It implies that everyone and everything in existence is suspect, even if one has no reason at all to suspect them. To condone this is to condone and perpetuate a knee-jerk mindset born of fear and ignorance.

For the people who are going to parrot the same irrational and tired "arguments": bigotry clearly does exist. It is not something we can "work past" as a species. It is a byproduct of genetic hard-wiring. It always has existed and it always will. It's a terrible thing, one of the worst aspects of humanity. In every case in which it is clearly present, it should be battled and discouraged to the best of our ability.

But taking offense at something does not mean the person taking offense has a valid case. Sometimes the party at fault is the one claiming to find fault in others.

I blame capitalism for this, partly. Any time someone cries racism, the people who want our money scramble to run damage control and appease possible customers. They don't care about truth. All they care about is their bottom line. The whiners are validated and know that next time, all they have to do is claim to take offense and they get their way. And the cycle continues. I will be very disappointed if 5th Cell bows to this pressure.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.