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Mira vs Wit - Really, really uncool (Spoilers & Anger)


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#21 TheDreamer

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 13:38

Yeah, having just reread the thread, maybe I over generalised there. Sorry.

 

 

 

I guess my point is that we just don't have enough information in the story itself to know that yet. Obviously what Ragnar's said here is great, we know enough about RTG to trust their handling of it, and there's plenty more progressive stuff in the game that I think is some of the best handled I've ever seen. But taking the text alone, and as it currently stands, this scene is not unproblematic.

 

Not being created with malicious intent isn't enough to stop something being offensive. Ignorance of how unpleasant those words and sentiments are doesn't make them any less unpleasant. Of course, I believe Ragnar and the team were fully aware of how unpleasant they are and deliberately chose to go with them anyway.

 

But you don't get to just use disabled people as the butt of a joke to make your other characters look more evil. That's not OK. You have to earn the right to have a character talk like that through careful handling of the issues. I know RTG are perfectly capable of doing that from, amongst other things, the brilliant subversions of Anita Sarkeesian's 'women as background decoration' trope that I mentioned earlier. But on this issue, with these characters, they haven't done that yet.

 

It this was the full game, I'd be deeply critical. As it stands, I think the feeling of it being problematic stems from the characters of Mira and Wit not being that fleshed out yet. Hopefully we'll see something a lot more positive come from it over the next few books.

 

Oh, and obviously, even if RTG were being that transparently ableist (and I don't think they are), I wound't be saying they shouldn't be allowed to do that. Just that I would share Loerwyn's anger, would have just as much a right to criticise it as RTG would to write it, and that I would also be feeling uncomfortable not just with the portrayal but with having funded the game.

 

Um, nuance is good? I guess that's what I'm trying to say.  :)

 

I highlighted from your text where I believe you just answered yourself. You dont know if its "problematic" (in your opinion) yet, so dont make that judgement yet.



#22 khh

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 13:51

I guess my point is that we just don't have enough information in the story itself to know that yet. Obviously what Ragnar's said here is great, we know enough about RTG to trust their handling of it, and there's plenty more progressive stuff in the game that I think is some of the best handled I've ever seen. But taking the text alone, and as it currently stands, this scene is not unproblematic.

I'm gonna have to disagree with you here. If you take the time, you will get to know something about their relationship and the dynamics. Zoë actually specifically states that she's uncomfortable with the way Mira is treating Wit, but that she doesn't know enough about how their relationship works to try and judge it. They've clearly recognized that this could be perceived as problematic, and taken steps to reassure players that they're aware of that fact.

But you don't get to just use disabled people as the butt of a joke to make your other characters look more evil. That's not OK. You have to earn the right to have a character talk like that through careful handling of the issues.

I didn't see any joke, and I haven't seen an unambiguously disabled character yet either. I've seen a girl with a filthy mouth, and a quiet gentile giant.
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#23 somnolentsurfer

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 14:08

I highlighted from your text where I believe you just answered yourself. You dont know if its "problematic" (in your opinion) yet, so dont make that judgement yet.

I thought that was what I said.  :)

 

I believe Loerwyn was right to highlight the issue, because the text as it stands is worrying. But I'm confident RTG will address it upcoming books.

 

 

I didn't see any joke, and I haven't seen an unambiguously disabled character yet either. I've seen a girl with a filthy mouth, and a quiet gentile giant.

 

Well, he's pretty unambiguously missing a leg!  ;) But I'd assume the 'faking your autism' line means Mira is aware of a condition he is actually supposed to have. And, while the line may come across more awful than funny to us, it seems fairly clear she doesn't think it's something to be taken seriously.

 

And, really, this is why it's problematic in the game as it stands. Wit as a character barely exists. Zoe's given us some commentary on what she thinks of Mira. We can interact with her and she has a personality of her own. Wit is non-interactive vacuum who we've yet to see express any personality of his own.



#24 Sarph

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 14:31

I think there is a lot to the setting of Mira and Wit that the OP is not taking into consideration.

 

It is 200 years in the future, and obviously Europe is a metropolis of all kinds of cultural backgrounds, skin colors, accents, etc. Tolerance, political correctness and what is allowed/not allowed to be said is obviously not the same as that of Earth 2014.

 

Mira and Wit have known each other for a while, Mira is under a lot of stress because her/their livelihood is about to fall apart. Wit is literally her punching bag, allowing her to take her anger out on him because he knows that she is stressed out. His quiet acceptance paints him as a pillar of strength and support for Mira, and unless he is actually unable to understand what she is saying, this to me shows that they respect and care about each other, even if they do so in strange ways.

 

Wit wouldn't stay and work with Mira if this wasn't so. Likewise, Mira wouldn't be chewing out Wit all the time if she didn't know he could take it - after all, if he quits his job, she is royally screwed. She needs him.

 

Edit: Also, I found it interesting that his name is Wit. He is clearly good with robotics/engineering. Even if he has autism, what is so offensive about Mira suggesting that he has been faking it? If anything, that is almost a compliment to Wit.

 

Edit2: For further speculation, Wit is missing a leg and Mira is missing an eye. They are working with robotics, and Shitbot has

Spoiler
in him. (Also, I love Shitbot :D). I think this suggests a military background for at least one of them, and possibly a shared experience in a fight/accident. Whatever the reason, there is more to their background that we can know from Book One, and Zoe says so herself - she doesn't know enough about them to judge Mira's harsh language.

 

Edit3: Also, Mira is quite open about her indifference to her robots killing children, the only issue she sees is that her customers would be unsatisfied (even though this was probably a joke). She is not particularly being hateful against handicapped people, she is being hateful towards everyone, even the people who are trying to help her (Zoe and Wit). The character is consistently rude. Should video games be all fluffy rabbits and pink hearts because god forbid someone might take offense at something? DFC says no, and that is part of why I bought the game.


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#25 BenBandu

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 15:00

Stop being offended at the smallest things. Please. This is a fictional character, talking to another fictional character, in a fictional universe. And anyway, I thought what she said was funny, because I actually recognized the relationship, as I have a similar one with my brother.



#26 Lee-m

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 15:32

I wonder how some people get though life being so offended. If abit of bad language offends you, stick to nintendo.
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#27 Suro

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 15:43

I don't think this is problematic OR worrying. The way she talks, acts and teases (or even insults) other people is the way that character works.

 

I guess I get a lot of hate for this, but I don't think every character needs to be nice or political correct. ESPECIALLY if this characters trait is (among others) to not giving a dreck about "being polite"or custom conventions. In the alternative story path, Zoe still mentions towards her Bioengineer colleague that Mira is (as far as I remember) insane, rude and should not be interact with.

This is just how this character works.

 

This is how the character is written right now and we, as a player, have (prolly, because I haven't played it (I base it off the other characters)) the chance to either react friendly towards her, or not-friendly towards her. The game doesn't glorify her in any ways, or saying that what she does is awesome.


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#28 TheDreamer

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 15:48

I don't think this is problematic OR worrying. The way she talks, acts and teases (or even insults) other people is the way that character works.

I guess I get a lot of hate for this, but I don't think every character needs to be nice or political correct. ESPECIALLY if this characters trait is (among others) to not giving a dreck about "being polite"or custom conventions. In the alternative story path, Zoe still mentions towards her Bioengineer colleague that Mira is (as far as I remember) insane, rude and should not be interact with.
This is just how this character works.

This is how the character is written right now and we, as a player, have (prolly, because I haven't played it (I base it off the other characters)) the chance to either react friendly towards her, or not-friendly towards her. The game doesn't glorify her in any ways, or saying that what she does is awesome.


Exactly. Sadly I think your words will fall on deaf ears as the OP hasnt responded to anything other than ragnars messages.


Its sad to see the state culture has taken in our times. Political correctness has become so important and its penetrating every group and genre, its sad and depressing.
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#29 Ghost

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 15:56

Some people do not like it when a fictional world has an edge and a bite that doesn't shy away from things. But it doesn't mean there is something wrong with that. I rather appreciate it that the story isn't a bland affair designed through focus groups as to remove all edges and never sting anyone's fragile feelings ever in any context. Sometimes when people say you're too sensitive they may have a point.



#30 agirlnamedbob

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 15:58

Just a gentle reminder to please be respectful and understanding. 

 

There's nothing wrong with finding aspects of the media we consume problematic, trying to tease out the reasons why we find something problematic, and discussing when the portrayal of certain things hits or misses the mark. 

 

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. People are going to draw the "okay" vs. "not okay" vs. "grey area" lines in different places. Respectful discussion is welcome, but please try not to alienate anyone or belittle them for expressing their opinions / or comfort level. 

 

Thank you.


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#31 Suro

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 16:02

Duly noted.

My postings do get kind of heated when I don't "get" things. Like why other people draw the "okay"-line somewhere else.

I guess they might wonder the same about me. :D


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#32 TheDreamer

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 16:06

Just a gentle reminder to please be respectful and understanding. 

 

There's nothing wrong with finding aspects of the media we consume problematic, trying to tease out the reasons why we find something problematic, and discussing when the portrayal of certain things hits or misses the mark. 

 

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. People are going to draw the "okay" vs. "not okay" vs. "grey area" lines in different places. Respectful discussion is welcome, but please try not to alienate anyone or belittle them for expressing their opinions / or comfort level. 

 

Thank you.

 

Frankly I dont see any message on this thread that is alienating or belittling, could you elaborate on the reason for this reminder? Thanks! :)



#33 maDSaint

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 16:07

This topic feels very "watching-a-horrormovie-and-afterwards-being-disgusted-by-al-the-blood-and-gore. -ish.



#34 khh

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 16:09

Exactly. Sadly I think your words will fall on deaf ears as the OP hasnt responded to anything other than ragnars messages.  Its sad to see the state culture has taken in our times. Political correctness has become so important and its penetrating every group and genre, its sad and depressing.

Personally I would say this was a little over the line, but I can't speak for Erika.


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Does it simply overwhelm.


#35 agirlnamedbob

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 16:13

I'm not going to point fingers. I don't think anyone has said anything that's extremely out of line. I haven't felt the need to really take any actual Moderator actions. If I did, I would. I just know that issues of "Correctness" and so forth can get really heated really fast and I saw some shades of that starting to develop. I just don't want anyone to feel personally attacked, etc. Or this to devolve into a shouting match.

 

Hence gentle reminder. As opposed to firm scary moderator reminder. ;)


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#36 TheDreamer

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 16:13

Personally I would say this was a little over the line, but I can't speak for Erika.

How was it over the line? I stated I AM sad and that IN MY OPINION political correctness is penetrating our culture and its sad TO ME.

Or was it the part about the OP ignoring other posters and only conversing with Ragnar? That was just an observation, thats hardly offensive. Thanks for your opinion though, I think we should stop derailing this topic now :3


Im just a very big defender of artistic freedom.

#37 Ragnar

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 16:17

In many places, ableism is the acceptable prejudice. Based on RTG's previous work, and Ragnar's comments here, I'm pleased they're brave enough to try and tackle it. I hope they can do it well.

 

I hope so too. Mira has been the most debated character (and her rant the most debated — and disagreed-upon — piece of dialogue) in the game, by a factor of ten. It's not something we've tossed out there in order to appear 'edgy' or 'mature', or as a quick-and-dirty way to define a character.

 

Far from it.

 

I have personally agonised over this, and at some point I wanted to cut the whole thing and change Mira's personality into something less abrasive, but I also knew it was really important to the character and to the relationship between Mira and Wit, and a really important part of how I want to develop their story, and that cutting it would hurt that relationship and story.

 

Will it succeed? I hope so. I'm saddened to see people react negatively, but I DO understand it. I worry that people get the wrong idea. I worry that I'm going to be stamped as ableist or insensitive. But again, it's not something we just threw out there. It was a considered process. And so I stand by it, completely, regardless of the consequences. I'm not sure I'm going to keep defending it to everyone here or on Twitter, because I know the story — in the long run, at least — will speak for itself, but I won't shy away from a healthy debate. I think that's important. And I am reading and listening, even when I'm silent.

 

I hope those of you who are offended will give the character(s) a chance in future episodes, to see where it develops and what it stems from. There's also context to be gained in the game, and Mira is referenced in the other career path. (Yes, there are TWO career paths! No controversial diatribe in the other career path, only a very pleasant supervisor and a cute bot.)

 

For the time being, I encourage everyone to debate and discuss. Just please stay civil, because, y'know, this IS a very, very touchy subject. And every opinion is worth listening to and processing, because it's emotional and personal.

 

Thanks for listening.


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#38 khh

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 16:20

 

How was it over the line? I stated I AM sad and that IN MY OPINION political correctness is penetrating our culture and its sad TO ME.

Or was it the part about the OP ignoring other posters and only conversing with Ragnar? That was just an observation, thats hardly offensive. Thanks for your opinion though, I think we should stop derailing this topic now :3

Since you first said a sentence about OP, then spoke about culture and political correctness I interpreted that as directed towards OP. I guess that wasn't your intention. I should probably have done as Erika did, and not pointed any fingers, but you asked.

 

And that was a great post, Ragnar, thank you.


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Every sorrow she can mend.
When I visit her dark realm,
Does it simply overwhelm.


#39 somnolentsurfer

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 16:46

I hope so too. Mira has been the most debated character (and her rant the most debated — and disagreed-upon — piece of dialogue) in the game, by a factor of ten. It's not something we've tossed out there in order to appear 'edgy' or 'mature', or as a quick-and-dirty way to define a character.

 

Far from it.

 

I have personally agonised over this, and at some point I wanted to cut the whole thing and change Mira's personality into something less abrasive, but I also knew it was really important to the character and to the relationship between Mira and Wit, and a really important part of how I want to develop their story, and that cutting it would hurt that relationship and story.

Thank you Ragnar. I find everything you've said here greatly reassuring. I hope the OP feels similar.

 

I've been reading Kieron Gillen's The Wicked + The Divine recently (and I'd thoroughly recommend it to those who don't know it), the whole theme of which revolves around potentially deeply problematic issues of cultural appropriation. The first issue included just the lightest touch comment that said to readers 'we're aware of this, and we've got it covered.' I guess interactivity means it's a lot easier for the player to miss that kind of signal in games.

 

I've loved the game, and having played it I'm every bit as excited for book two now as I was for book one on Sunday night, something no other Kickstarter I've backed has managed. I hope we're going to see Wit as a strong character with a personality of his own, and I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with their relationship in the future.


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#40 Luna

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 17:02

I love Mira and Wit. I had only seen concept art from them and I wasn't aware of what they are like and how their relationship is, but I fell in love with them as soon as Zoe stepped into the room (and before, when Mira threatened to destory the adbot =p).

 

There's something human and real about what they have going on, even if they look like caricatures. Mira is offensive, but we do find out she took care of Wit when they were both little, and life for her wasn't, (and isn't,) a piece of cake. So I think we should kind of forgive her, because really she is a big softie inside. And I think we all know someone in real life who bites hard but has a heart made of marshmallow and glitter.

 

And one thing I am madly in love about the TLJ series is the writing. The dark humour. It has bite. It's affecting. It gets your attention, it doesn't let your attention wander away like a lot of weak scripts do. It even makes fun of itself at times. And I love that, and I don't want that to change. EVER. I'm glad that even after so many years the writing is still spicy. Loved reading through Zoe's journal.

 

Guess this is a great time to say GREAT JOB and THANK YOU SO FUCKING MUCH to the guys at RTG!!! Like, omg, I can't believe you ended the first episode with "woooeww, looks like daddy isn't the only one whose made some stew." Only an RTG game with a heavy pair of balls would do that...! All kinds of emotions were poked with DFC, but damn, so short! And not very well optimized! But I'm hooked!


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