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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.

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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
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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...

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Patronus86 View Post
    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.
    At worst, it's with those Black Numenoreans that Tolkien might show racism:
    southron can't be evil by themselves, they need the strong lead of corrupt westerners for that.
    > > Divide&Conquer submod user, playing Galadhrim'sRealm (Third Age mod). < <
    My small products here.

  9. #9

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

    tl;dr, Tolkein clearly codes racist stereotypes into his works, including orientalist stereotypes, but at least in the case of East-Asian and anti-Semitic stereotypes, acknowledges that it's what he's doing, and the team is merely following that. I personally find this acceptable working off flawed source material, to say "Yes this is uncomfortable, but it's what we have for now".

    Eh, I'd say he was conscious of racism around him, by the standards of his time he wasn't racist, but he relied on racist caricatures in his work to get across his mostly anti-racist points. For example, he once said in a letter that the Dwarves were based on Jews, or rather, English stereotypes of Jews. This plus the close friendship between Legolas and Gimli has often been interpreted to be a critique of the de facto segregation between Jews and non-Jewish/Gentile communities, which is a positive portrayal, but that doesn't get around the fact that the Jewish-coded Dwarves are portrayed as greedy, lovers of gold and beautiful craftsmanship. There are many other ways in which his portrayal of the Dwarves is meant to evoke Judaism, which I can elaborate on later, but primarily you can also link their language, which is clearly Semitic (triconsonantal roots) and their diaspora. Tolkein in his letters was stridently Antifa and he wrote some wonderfully biting letters addressing Nazi anti-Semitism in the pre-war era, which I would recommend giving a good read.

    More on-topic, there's his treatment of Asian and Black coding in his works. The Orcs are coded in as Asian, described often as "slant-eyed", and Tolkein in a letter once called them "degraded and repulsive versions of the (to Europeans) least lovely Mongol-types". Again, half-points here for recognizing that the stereotypes of the unwashed Asiatic horde he bases his inhuman monstrous race on are, indeed, stereotypes, and clearly qualifying them as such, so for his time perhaps progressive, by our standards still racist.

    His use of the term "swarthy" is also an issue. Even in Bree, the 'suspicious' characters are described as having darker skin as part of what made them suspicious. The Easterlings are "swarthy", as are for some reason the Dunlendings, while the Southrons are black-skinned, in contrast with the Easterlings dark-skinned. Take also the work "Mumakil", one of the few Haradrim words we know, in which I see clear Arabic influences; compare the Arabic word "Mamluk", which we should all know. Additionally, Mumakil fits Arabic noun form "Mufaa'il", in which the F, ', and L all stand in for other letters. The form Mufaa'il means "the one who deals with fa'ala", where fa'ala is the basic verb. Luckily for Tolkein, Makala is not a word, so Mumakil doesn't have some awkward second meaning. Tolkein was, of course, well versed in all types of languages, and showed in constructing the Dwarven language that he fully understood how tri-consonantal languages such as Hebrew and Arabic worked, so he would have been familiar with the Mufaa'il construction.

    This is perhaps more problematic than the previous points, because Tolkein DOESN'T at any point that I'm aware of address the fact that the primary antagonist human races are coded as non-white, while the primary protagonist human races are coded as white. The best he does is have Sam wonder, in one of my favourite moments, whether the dead Southrons were truly evil at heart, or manipulated good people. But he never outright acknowledges that he bases them on stereotypes of good-Westerners-vs-evil-Easterners, as he does the other racial stereotypes he uses.

    TATW is also based largely on the film adaptations of the books, which chose to take the few hints of race in the Southrons and Easterlings, and run with them, giving the Southrons turbans and the Easterlings Persianate armour and kohl-rimmed eyes. If TATW was to base their game on the stunning film visuals, I cannot place blame with them for also following where those visuals were unnecessarily prejudicial, and it is only natural to follow the visual ties with linguistic ties. I would, to be honest, place most of the blame upon Peter Jackson.

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    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?

    Everyone is prejudice, you, me, your Grandma, your dog, that insect on your wall, everyone! The only way to not be prejudice is to accept you are unconsciously prejudice just like every other life-form and try not to consciously be prejudice (racism being a form of prejudice). I am pretty sure Tolkien knew this, it does show it his work that he studied a great deal about people (even though the books are from a Westerners perspective). Most people here haven't learned so much, or even enough to understand that they are these things too, so your opinions are meh. This is just good ol' science people. Honestly he had a much better reason/excuse to be prejudice than anyone here and was probably less so. He grew up in an environment that encouraged it unconsciously and consciously, you and I did not. We grew up in an environment were it is consciously wrong at least and unconsciously still very much there.

    This is science, look it up. There is overwhelming evidence to support that life is prejudice (and for good reason) and no evidence contrary to that. Might as well think of prejudice and selfishness as an essential part of you rather than be a hypocrite (which we are all hypocrites anyway so even that doesn't matter). Without prejudice we would not identify threats so well, you don't want to hang around a predator for 5 mins and get to know it to find out it wants to eat you, you just pre-judge that it wants to do that and run.


    TLDR; Anyone that thinks they are not prejudice is even more prejudice than others that accept it since they are not doing anything to consciously prevent it.
    Last edited by alreadyded; April 25, 2017 at 02:48 PM.

  11. #11

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Gwyn chan r Gwyll View Post
    tl;dr, Tolkein clearly codes racist stereotypes into his works, including orientalist stereotypes, but at least in the case of East-Asian and anti-Semitic stereotypes, acknowledges that it's what he's doing, and the team is merely following that. I personally find this acceptable working off flawed source material, to say "Yes this is uncomfortable, but it's what we have for now".

    Eh, I'd say he was conscious of racism around him, by the standards of his time he wasn't racist, but he relied on racist caricatures in his work to get across his mostly anti-racist points. For example, he once said in a letter that the Dwarves were based on Jews, or rather, English stereotypes of Jews. This plus the close friendship between Legolas and Gimli has often been interpreted to be a critique of the de facto segregation between Jews and non-Jewish/Gentile communities, which is a positive portrayal, but that doesn't get around the fact that the Jewish-coded Dwarves are portrayed as greedy, lovers of gold and beautiful craftsmanship. There are many other ways in which his portrayal of the Dwarves is meant to evoke Judaism, which I can elaborate on later, but primarily you can also link their language, which is clearly Semitic (triconsonantal roots) and their diaspora. Tolkein in his letters was stridently Antifa and he wrote some wonderfully biting letters addressing Nazi anti-Semitism in the pre-war era, which I would recommend giving a good read.

    More on-topic, there's his treatment of Asian and Black coding in his works. The Orcs are coded in as Asian, described often as "slant-eyed", and Tolkein in a letter once called them "degraded and repulsive versions of the (to Europeans) least lovely Mongol-types". Again, half-points here for recognizing that the stereotypes of the unwashed Asiatic horde he bases his inhuman monstrous race on are, indeed, stereotypes, and clearly qualifying them as such, so for his time perhaps progressive, by our standards still racist.

    His use of the term "swarthy" is also an issue. Even in Bree, the 'suspicious' characters are described as having darker skin as part of what made them suspicious. The Easterlings are "swarthy", as are for some reason the Dunlendings, while the Southrons are black-skinned, in contrast with the Easterlings dark-skinned. Take also the work "Mumakil", one of the few Haradrim words we know, in which I see clear Arabic influences; compare the Arabic word "Mamluk", which we should all know. Additionally, Mumakil fits Arabic noun form "Mufaa'il", in which the F, ', and L all stand in for other letters. The form Mufaa'il means "the one who deals with fa'ala", where fa'ala is the basic verb. Luckily for Tolkein, Makala is not a word, so Mumakil doesn't have some awkward second meaning. Tolkein was, of course, well versed in all types of languages, and showed in constructing the Dwarven language that he fully understood how tri-consonantal languages such as Hebrew and Arabic worked, so he would have been familiar with the Mufaa'il construction.

    This is perhaps more problematic than the previous points, because Tolkein DOESN'T at any point that I'm aware of address the fact that the primary antagonist human races are coded as non-white, while the primary protagonist human races are coded as white. The best he does is have Sam wonder, in one of my favourite moments, whether the dead Southrons were truly evil at heart, or manipulated good people. But he never outright acknowledges that he bases them on stereotypes of good-Westerners-vs-evil-Easterners, as he does the other racial stereotypes he uses.
    Or maybe Tolkien wasn't really racist at all (it would be great if people could look up a definition of the term "racism" before they attribute it to everyone and their grandma) and didn't make use of "racist stereotypes" so much as of literary tropes, so pretty much all of what's written on the subject is useless, post-modernist wank. Including the whining in the OP.
    Sometimes, authors just want to write a story.


    TATW is also based largely on the film adaptations of the books, which chose to take the few hints of race in the Southrons and Easterlings, and run with them, giving the Southrons turbans and the Easterlings Persianate armour and kohl-rimmed eyes. If TATW was to base their game on the stunning film visuals, I cannot place blame with them for also following where those visuals were unnecessarily prejudicial, and it is only natural to follow the visual ties with linguistic ties. I would, to be honest, place most of the blame upon Peter Jackson.
    The actual look of the Easterlings and the style of their equipment is subject to interpretation - they could theoretically also look European or Central/East Asian, and the interpretation that the movies and TATW follow is not necessarily the most plausible one.
    Also, I'm under the impression that Peter Jackson and team wanted to avoid strong associations of Southrons with Middle Eastern cultures (seem to recall reading it somewhere), so as not to hurt any wee feewings. That's why Southrons in the movies look more feral and less technologically advanced than in the books, and show Polynesian influences.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by athanaric View Post
    Also, I'm under the impression that Peter Jackson and team wanted to avoid strong associations of Southrons with Middle Eastern cultures (seem to recall reading it somewhere), so as not to hurt any wee feewings. That's why Southrons in the movies look more feral and less technologically advanced than in the books, and show Polynesian influences.
    That made me chuckle. As if your typical movie viewer would catch such subtle undertones.


    Historically in the Middle-Ages Western Europeans were the oppressive "bad" guys (their peasants did all the work and got practically nothing for it and had few freedoms and no rights) still under the shackles of Catholicism aka Sauron (they didn't call it the Dark Ages for nothin!) while the Middle-East was a center of cultural learning where people had many more rights and freedoms and thrived because of it (they did have to pay a tax in some circumstances but this was just the government trying to tax everything). This is ultimately what led the extremely corrupt Catholic church to call the crusades and made so many oppressive European "nobles" rush off to rape and pillage the Middle-East (the church wouldn't let them rape and pillage each other, excommunication). Tolkien knew this, no doubt about it. The guy read way too much history to not learn from the mistakes of others, if you had read the same history you would notice the parallels.


    25 July 1938
    20 Northmoor Road, Oxford

    Dear Sirs,

    Thank you for your letter. I regret that I am not clear as to what you intend by arisch. I am not of Aryan extraction: that is Indo-Iranian; as far as I am aware none of my ancestors spoke Hindustani, Persian, Gypsy, or any related dialects. But if I am to understand that you are enquiring whether I am of Jewish origin, I can only reply that I regret that I appear to have no ancestors of that gifted people. My great-great-grandfather came to England in the eighteenth century from Germany: the main part of my descent is therefore purely English, and I am an English subject — which should be sufficient. I have been accustomed, nonetheless, to regard my German name with pride, and continued to do so throughout the period of the late regrettable war, in which I served in the English army. I cannot, however, forbear to comment that if impertinent and irrelevant inquiries of this sort are to become the rule in matters of literature, then the time is not far distant when a German name will no longer be a source of pride.

    Your enquiry is doubtless made in order to comply with the laws of your own country, but that this should be held to apply to the subjects of another state would be improper, even if it had (as it has not) any bearing whatsoever on the merits of my work or its sustainability for publication, of which you appear to have satisfied yourselves without reference to my Abstammung.

    I trust you will find this reply satisfactory, and

    remain yours faithfully,

    J. R. R. Tolkien
    He is a bit pompous, I'll give you that. I am sure he viewed your average uneducated person with contempt regardless of their color, language, origin, etc. (your average person being a lot less educated back then). Ignorant people are ignorant, stoopid people are stoopid, not "purple people" or whatever word you want to randomly insert in there. Any good writer leaves their writing open to interpretation so as to appeal to as many people as possible. If these novels give you that feeling it may just be you. I certainly never felt such a thing from these novels or the original folktales they are based off of.

    Racism is mainly a United States problem, we created it by turning the white and black slaves against each other so they wouldn't join together against the rich. It is only one form of prejudice. The French did the same in Rwanda only there were no whites so they invented some silly crap to make the Rwandans think they were different from each other. Before that people just viewed foreigners with contempt and enslaved anyone they could, skin color had nothing to do with it specifically other than to make you more obviously foreign in certain places). The Roman's even thought they were superior to the Greeks when they enslaved them, though they were culturally and physically related (you wouldn't be able to tell the difference from looking at them). The Greeks were actually superior culturally (and the Phoenicians) but they were not consolidated and Rome was. Rome conquered them and took credit for everything. The ships they used were exact duplicates of those used by the Phoenicians. Their religion was identical to the Greeks only with different names since they spoke a different dialect of essentially the same language as the Greeks and Phoenicians.

    You can go anywhere in the world and people will think they and those around them are smarter than the rest of the world. This is how humans think unless they have serious psychological, physiological, and/or social problems. The kind of problems that cause low self-worth, depression, and unhealthy things of that nature. Our super-egos tell us we are special so that we actually care enough to try and live, without that we wouldn't want to go through the effort of living like someone that is suicidal.
    Last edited by alreadyded; April 25, 2017 at 05:29 PM.

  13. #13

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

    Quote Originally Posted by alreadyded View Post
    That made me chuckle. As if your typical movie viewer would catch such subtle undertones.
    Oh but they do. The Southrons if accurate to the novels, would resemble Middle Eastern people from antiquity or the Middle Ages a lot more. They wear metal armour and carry steel scimitars, not sticks and bone like in the movies. PJ toned it down.


    Historically in the Middle-Ages Western Europeans were the oppressive "bad" guys (their peasants did all the work and got practically nothing for it and had few freedoms and no rights) still under the shackles of Catholicism aka Sauron (they didn't call it the Dark Ages for nothin!) while the Middle-East was a center of cultural learning where people had many more rights and freedoms and thrived because of it (they did have to pay a tax in some circumstances but this was just the government trying to tax everything). This is ultimately what led the extremely corrupt Catholic church to call the crusades and made so many oppressive European "nobles" rush off to rape and pillage the Middle-East (the church wouldn't let them rape and pillage each other, excommunication). Tolkien knew this, no doubt about it. The guy read way too much history to not learn from the mistakes of others, if you had read the same history you would notice the parallels.
    No, I haven't "read the same history", because at university they don't teach this simplistic and Eurocentric view. At least not nowadays.


    Racism is mainly a United States problem,
    No, it's mainly a world problem. I'm pretty sure that racists can be found in every people (FWIW, none of the racists I've met in real life were American), and racist theories didn't all originate in the US or in Europe either.


    we created it by turning the white and black slaves against each other so they wouldn't join together against the rich.
    "We"? Were you personally involved? Didn't think so. You're not responsible for what happened before you were born.


    It is only one form of prejudice. The French did the same in Rwanda only there were no whites so they invented some silly crap to make the Rwandans think they were different from each other.
    Hutu and Tutsi are different culturally. And it's not like Africa was lacking in prejudice and, yes, racism (courtesy of the ancestors of the OP, mainly), before whitey arrived. Not that I'm saying the French made it better.


    The Roman's even thought they were superior to the Greeks when they enslaved them, though they were culturally and physically related (you wouldn't be able to tell the difference from looking at them). The Greeks were actually superior culturally (and the Phoenicians) but they were not consolidated and Rome was. Rome conquered them and took credit for everything. The ships they used were exact duplicates of those used by the Phoenicians. Their religion was identical to the Greeks only with different names since they spoke a different dialect of essentially the same language as the Greeks and Phoenicians.
    Inaccurate. Latin and Greek are from separate branches of the IE language family, just like English and Spanish. Educated Romans spoke Greek, but as a second language. Phoenician is a Semitic language and not related to either of the above, regardless of the cultural similarities between the three civilizations.
    Etc.


    You can go anywhere in the world and people will think they and those around them are smarter than the rest of the world. This is how humans think unless they have serious psychological, physiological, and/or social problems. The kind of problems that cause low self-worth, depression, and unhealthy things of that nature. Our super-egos tell us we are special so that we actually care enough to try and live, without that we wouldn't want to go through the effort of living like someone that is suicidal.
    Well that part I can sort of agree with.

  14. #14
    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?

    You are referring to prejudice that has to do with cultural and other factors and saying it is due to skin color which is a specific prejudice based solely on skin color and literally nothing else in the US. How is this a valid contradiction? You are agreeing with me, your view is more simplistic and vague (intergroup relations/tensions dealing with conflicts and prejudices of all types that are the result of a conflict of resources and many other factors, not skin color specifically or at all if they have the same skin color). How can the Africans be racist (judge by skin color) when they have the same skin color? Yes, culturally many groups whom would later be lumped up and categorized into two simple groups by outsiders (not just Europeans did the lumping and categorizing, all outsiders did and still do, you and I included) already hated each other for various reasons, but not skin color that I know of, and yet there was still prejudice. Scientifically you have to define this stuff in more detail to study it, not just use words with vague un-agreed upon meanings you learned from others. Studying "prejudice" is a total waste of time, define and study certain forms of it to be scientific about it. Are you even talking about a specific form or just the vague umbrella term? I made it very clear what specifically I was referring to. What is your definition that everyone should look up?

    Of course the term race is made up by humans so we may have different meanings, and even various studies define it differently, but in the US race is skin color in scientific studies to single it out from all these other factors you are lumping in. Most other countries do not have a diverse enough population to have the same racial/skin color tensions as in the US. You would not know of such things unless you study US history really (they don't teach it in grade school here either, they don't make the US look bad in our grade school history books any more than any other country makes itself look bad to its youth). We are all the same race if there is such a thing, the human race.
    Last edited by alreadyded; April 25, 2017 at 07:06 PM.

  15. #15

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

    Quote Originally Posted by alreadyded View Post
    You are referring to prejudice that has to do with cultural and other factors and saying it is due to skin color which is a specific prejudice based solely on skin color and literally nothing else in the US.
    That's not the official definition though.


    How can the Africans be racist (judge by skin color) when they have the same skin color?
    Africans are not uniform in skin colour, not even in physical features. Even just between black Africans with negroid features, there's a lot of variation owing to genetics etc.
    The racism (sensu stricto) I referred to came from the Arab overlords in the northern half of the continent, for the purpose of enslaving the darker folk.


    Scientifically you have to define this stuff in more detail to study it, not just use words with vague un-agreed upon meanings you learned from others.
    Well, then define it. Start by looking up those terms in Merriam-Webster or a similar place.


    Of course the term race is made up by humans so we may have different meanings but in the US race is skin color.
    And elsewhere, it isn't necessarily that.


    Most other countries do not have a diverse enough population to have the same racial/skin color tensions as in the US.
    Lots of countries have a population that's as "diverse" as the US. Including Canada, Brazil, and half of Europe.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Why did game devs choose Arabic names for Eastern factions?

    I edited my post above. I was about to edit it more to add the scientific definitions I use from actual research studies (I am a scientist that studies conflict and intergroup relations). I have to go buy pet food though, I shall discuss it further if you wish at a later time.

    I was talking diverse in terms of "Melting Pot", not more of the same from a slightly different place. How many countries have large populations of black people in relation to the US ratio of white to black people? It is a large percentage in the US.
    Last edited by alreadyded; April 25, 2017 at 07:15 PM.

  17. #17

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

    Quote Originally Posted by alreadyded View Post
    I was about to edit it more to add the scientific definitions I use from actual research studies (I am a scientist that studies conflict and intergroup relations).
    Well if you are interested in intergroup relations, watch international news once in a while.


    I was talking diverse in terms of "Melting Pot", not more of the same from a slightly different place.
    Then you are fifty years behind in your reckoning. Would be good to familiarize yourself with European demographics before making sweeping assessments. Granted, official European numbers are more difficult to interpret since they are dishonest about skin colour or race and sometimes only list nationality.


    How many countries have large populations of black people in relation to the US ratio of white to black people? It is a large percentage in the US.
    Brazil, obviously? Pretty sure there are others too.
    Also, there are more than two skin colours, you know. I gotta say, if your definition of "diversity" is "percentage of black people in society compared to everyone else" then it's pretty messed up.

  18. #18
    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?

    Your one liner responses are not as impressive as you seem to think. I am discussing this, you want to argue I guess because you are not furthering the discussion, simply making it harder to discuss by adding in more factors instead of narrowing them down to gain a better understanding. You have no scientific method here so this is a waste of time as far as that goes. There is no "official" anything, or truth, or fact in science (ignore the rest of this post and just re-read that a bunch if you must, that is the most important thing you will read here). These demographics you speak of are BS in terms of science, all statistics are. Plus they don't take race into account as its own factor (just like you are doing), it is lumped with all these other factors we don't even know of nor can we define, nor can we know how much they correlate making it impossible to study.


    Simply for discussions sake though;

    The difference between what happened in the US and what happened in Africa with the Arabs is that the Arabs (who were not all Arab and had different skin colors themselves even if they were, and included a decent amount of white and black people) exploited pre-existing prejudices and did not focus on various degrees of skin darkness but on visual appearances of many kinds, any kind they could think of that might work as you said yourself, even made up stuff to split them.

    I never read of that being effective either, it was a factor as it is in all visual prejudices, I never said it wasn't (somehow you missed that in my post along with a bunch of other stuff and said that I said that). The concept of dividing and conquering is the same and I am not saying skin color has never been a factor in that or prejudice, it has been, but not the sole factor. Just being foreign was a larger factor and many other things, different skin color just made that more obvious, and the reason for that is the last part of my post you sort of agree with. The Arabs didn't care about skin color (and had various degrees and various peoples themselves) anymore than the Romans did, to a Roman a Gaul was just as bad as an African simply because they were not Roman. Yes, skin color was A factor in that it made Africans more obviously not Roman, but the Not Roman part was what mattered since it wasn't just Africans they saw as inferior and they wouldn't view them as inferior if they had been raised as a Roman (my third time repeating this I think).

    When I said Racism was invented by the US, I meant that Racism Proper, prejudice due to just skin color and literally nothing else, not ethnicity/cultural/beliefs and everything along with it or even just one of those things along with it you are so determined to add back in. Do you think the Arabs in north Africa used the term racism or any term like it? Did anyone else in the world learn racial prejudice from these specific events? How did they single it out from all other many forms of prejudices the Arabs used anymore than people here are singling it out?

    The US gave a proper example of pure racial prejudice and institutionalized it for all the world to see and learn from in a time when slavery had already been outlawed pretty much everywhere else. The US was the first to enslave people based solely on skin color too, and make their descendants slaves based solely on their skin color. Throughout history people enslaved anyone they could, it was not based on race like it became in the US, and those slave's children were not slaves based on their race (in the US too originally). It wasn't about whether they were from Africa at first or that they were black in the US than it was anywhere else. Most slaves in the US came from Africa because it was literally on the way and therefore cost effective, and Africans enslaved and sold their own people, anyone they could. Europeans didn't choose them because they were black, and many slaves were white that sold themselves into slavery to pay for the passage. Not that I have read everything ever written throughout history or even believe even half of what I have read.


    In the US the rich white people gave the white slaves privileges and the whites wanted to hold onto them. Sure they could have handed out those privileges on other factors like nose size or whatever that had been done before or along with them, but they didn't, it was only skin color that was the determining factor since there was a large enough population for this to actually work and split them in this way, and there were no varying degrees of blacks or whites (I am sure they would have done it if it was necessary like it was in Africa since), just black or white because there was enough blacks in relation to whites to do it, not because they were geniuses with a master plan to create a form prejudice based solely on skin color (where else has this situation ever arisen?). I am not saying nothing that happened before did not have skin color as a factor, but in the US it was the sole factor they used to split white and black slaves up and only racism, not prejudices of all sorts with skin color possibly being one. Where else was this the sole factor and not just one factor in prejudice in general? Most countries don't have large enough percentages of foreigners for them to even have an affect, let alone an effect on the dominate culture and just get absorbed in the mainstream eventually. You are using the word diversity FAR too liberally.



    I will pass on your "international news" (seriously? recommending watching the news?) you should too and go pick up a science book and learn to narrow things down (remove factors and better define certain aspects) to study them. Humans cannot understand prejudice in the vague way you are using it is all I am saying, I am not even disagreeing with you, I never said skin color was never a factor before. It is a made up term, no one is right. Your made up term is far more complex and harder to study than mine is all and you claim to understand it though no human can. Humans can't comprehend complex systems, you have to simplify it.
    Last edited by alreadyded; April 26, 2017 at 03:28 PM.

  19. #19

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

    This thread is taking a tangent that it doesn't need to take.

    Tolkien lived in a time when most people, including westerners, had a different view of the world around them and things were viewed through different lens. Ethnocentric on his part? Certainly. Racist on his part? By the norms and standards of his time, he certainly wouldn't have been considered a racist. But by today's standards, maybe, but then again everyone and their mother who lived in those times would probably be considered a racist by today's standards...FDR would have been considered a racist....it was a different time back then. Lincoln would likely be considered a racist by today's standards...though that's a nuanced discussion beyond the comprehension of most people nowadays.

    Other than agreeing that the term "racist" is used far to frequently in today's politically-charged environment (and I say that knowing full well that racism still exists in some form or fashion), I don't want to see this turn into a debate on modern politics and culture. Let's keep this focused on LOTR, Tolkien and TATW and leave all the other stuff to the TV personalities and pundits.

    Also, alreadyded, your claim that Sauron was a metaphorical representation of the Catholic church was way off the mark. I don't think Tolkien had any covert agenda with his novels and writings. I think they were meant to convey the concept of good and evil that is inherent to the human condition; there were plenty of side characters and main ones who epitomized that, but Sauron, IMO, was meant to be living embodiment of that concept (after all, didn't he start off as a spirit that fell from the grace of the gods). Tolkien and many of his peers survived the horrors of WWI; that if anything, was what inspired his themes and concepts of good, evil and the inner struggle between the two that occurs, to some degree, in all of us. This idea of yours that he was trying to write some thinly veiled critique of the Catholic church or organized religion is unsubstantiated and utter nonsense.

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

    I didn't mean to say Tolkien made that specific parallel himself between the Church and Sauron, I meant in that situation the Church were the bad guys. I don't make that parallel either, it was just a silly joke thrown in and had nothing to do with the point of that statement. I was just noting that he did know things like that, he knew the Church and the West, etc. wasn't perfect or better than anywhere else and were the bad guys aka Sauron at times was the point of that statement even though he was raised in the Church and in the West because he actually took the time to study this stuff. So ya he had prejudices like we all do, but it doesn't show in his writings to me at all, it seems very un-prejudiced and open-minded to me in virtually every way. And there is no mention of race (skin color) that I know of other than a quick mention of dark skinned people from Far Harad (says nothing about them being inferior or superior to anyone else due to skin color, or attributes anything at all to their skin color).

    Now that I have defined what race is to me in extreme detail (and enjoyed it) anyone care to quote a part of the book that mentions race other than the Far Harad thing? At this point that is the only question left I think as far as the lore is concerned.
    Last edited by alreadyded; April 26, 2017 at 04:29 PM.

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