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Thread: Why did game devs choose Arabic names for Eastern factions?

  1. #1

    Default Why did game devs choose Arabic names for Eastern factions?

    Was it a conscious choice or just random coincidence (lol) that "ze evil barbarian horde of easterners that want to destroy ze west" have Arabic names for their generals?

    Seems like a case of racist haters bringing their obvious stereotypical prejudices into games. What a shame...

    And it's funny how often I've seen this in other games too, including vanilla MTW. So following the trend of subtle ugliness/bias makes it ok I guess.

  2. #2
    alreadyded's Avatar Work up a #6 on 'em!
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    Default Re: Why did game devs choose Arabic names for Eastern factions?

    Due to a lack of people helping gather names or do anything really except complain (hint hint). Harad and Rhun share many names, this is the only reason why. Many factions share names, must be more of that obvious stereotypical prejudices on fictional races by racist haters. Most of those Arabic names were probably already in vanilla M2TW so they just re-used them to save time and effort, as with most everything else in this mod.

    PLEASE do add in more names for us. Did you think you were the only one that wants more names? But you will not add any either so that is why this is still a thing. What a shame indeed, insulting others for something you are not even willing to do yourself.
    Last edited by alreadyded; April 17, 2017 at 05:22 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Why did game devs choose Arabic names for Eastern factions?

    Tolkien gave pretty much no references to what the easterners would have as names. The Easterlings seem to be loosely based on the peoples living in the Middle East, so therefore it is safe to assume they would have names from the area.

    The books were written many decades ago, so don't act so surprised if there are some things in them that don't conform to modern day political correctness. Getting offended at such petty things is pointless.

  4. #4
    alreadyded's Avatar Work up a #6 on 'em!
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    Default Re: Why did game devs choose Arabic names for Eastern factions?

    Furthermore, many of those names are not actually Arabic in origin. Yes the Arabs from Arabia went on to dominate and absorb many cultures in the Middle-East, but how many of these names originate from Arabia specifically? Not everyone in the Middle-East is Arab. Now who is guilty of stereotypes?


    From a purely lore perspective these Eastern peoples are never even depicted as evil. They are no different than any other Men according to Tolkien. They do "evil" deeds out of ignorance and fear, or in thinking what they are doing is right. Much like you thought your reason for posting and placing blame about this was right, it really isn't at all, but it isn't evil nor does it have any evil intent either. You wanted something good to come of it, but through ignorance (thinking it was intentional) failed to realize your approach was flawed and based off of incorrect assumptions. This is not a personal attack against you (I do realize you used the word "seems" so I am fine with your post and am glad you brought attention to adding in more names), this applies to all people, even myself.

    From a cultural perspective, no one will argue against adding in new names specific to each faction. Make a mod, some might help you. I already added in many new names myself and so have others. It is no skill modding, you literally just copy and paste the name.


    Edit; Characters like Denethor were created to show that there really is no dichotomy such as good or evil. Denethor thought what he was doing was good, the readers and movie watchers (the movie did reinforce this) probably all disagree and thought he was bent to evil.

    Some of the Dunlendings were tricked into fighting Rohan by Saruman. Some of the Eastern and Southern peoples were tricked by Sauron. Nowhere does it state "all" of them or that any of them were evil. Most people in Middle-Earth are depicted the same as people in real life, they are selfish and want what is best for them and their surroundings, and don't care about much else beyond that. That is why Sauron is still around, people didn't care enough to join together and defeat him when they could.
    Last edited by alreadyded; April 20, 2017 at 04:51 PM.

  5. #5
    leo.civil.uefs's Avatar nis que va bruxo!
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    Default Re: Why did game devs choose Arabic names for Eastern factions?

    I don`t know if Tolkien was a racist. But TLOTR has clearly a Western bias (which is not necessarily something negative or wrong).

    Now for modders (and I include me myself in this), we used Arabic stuff for Easterlings because this stuff was already ready in vanilla MED2. TATW is a mod, which means we use as much original material as possible in it, to save us work.

    I mean, if the available culture in Vanilla MED2 was Chinese, I would use them as Middle-Earth Easterlings in order to save me the work of creating something totally new.
    Besides, remember that before us, Peter Jackson made the Easterlings to somehow look like Arabs in the movies, and we follow the movie aesthetics, so...

  6. #6
    baselhun's Avatar Civis
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    Default Re: Why did game devs choose Arabic names for Eastern factions?

    I'm pretty sure tolkien was not racist, I think he stated once he didn't tried to symbolize any real world culture into middle earth culture. I'd assume, people who thinks tolkien was racist and has stormfrontish views are not very good with lore or they want to either agitate or heroise their races.

    As far as I know, dunlendings didn't care about "good vs evil" they were merely practiced enemy of my enemy is my friend idea. Same for easterlings. They are not like orcs who are natural evil, wicked people by born. They have their own interest, and were fighting for it.

    As for peter jackson, he knew people would like to wank good vs evil view and he knew they would like to be good side of that movie. He sold the idea, and people buy his BS good.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Why did game devs choose Arabic names for Eastern factions?

    Tolkien was an English author writing a series of fantasy novels from a Westerner's perspective...of course the peoples resembling Anglo-Saxons and Westerners are going to be the group that gets more empathy from the author and the reader; that's the perspective that the novel was written from, and likely read from in its early years. I wouldn't necessarily label that racist; it's no different from an Indian author writing some fantasy story about some noble Indian ruler trying to resist foreign invasion and colonization from some evil western country. Authors are inclined to write from their perspective of the world; Tolkien's perspective was heavily influenced by western politics and events (WWI) and medieval lore and culture...so that is the perspective he created his universe from.

    And as others have said, Tolkien wasn't necessarily making good vs evil categorizations of entire races or factions. There were plenty of characters from the so-called "good" factions who were evil or inherently flawed: Denethor; Grima Wormtongue; Saruman. Heck, Boromir pretty much embodied the inherent failing of men (greed for power) by trying to steal the ring from Frodo. And likewise, many of the so-called "evil" groups like the Black Numenoreans (who weren't actually black) came from the same stock as most Gondorians. Go read the backstory on the fall of Gondor's predecessor (Numenor) and the fall of other civilizations of Elves and Dwarves. Tolkien went to great lengths to point out how all men, and all of the races (to varying degrees), were susceptible to corruption and malign ambitions. And if you take into account the horrible experience (WWI) that Tolkien and many of his contemporaries (including C.S. Lewis) had to endure, it's easy to understand why he wrote such themes into his novels.

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