Sexism in Magic's community →
#Magic: the Gathering
#Magic the Gathering
Longmore’s success, and the recent success of other female players, set off something of a crash course in diversity training for Magic players. It had to. The game isn’t just some extra-obscure corner of the offbeat nerd community anymore: It’s a $200 million-a-year industry with a fan base of 20 million and a growing pool of elite players who make their living from tournament prizes (which top out at about $40,000).
Tuesday afternoon, Ferguson protesters march in downtown St. Louis, from City Hall to the US Courthouse.
"The problem is that white people see racism as conscious hate, when racism is bigger than that. Racism is a complex system of social and political levers and pulleys set up generations ago to continue working on the behalf of whites at other people’s expense, whether whites know/like it or not. Racism is an insidious cultural disease. It is so insidious that it doesn’t care if you are a white person who likes black people; it’s still going to find a way to infect how you deal with people who don’t look like you. Yes, racism looks like hate, but hate is just one manifestation. Privilege is another. Access is another. Ignorance is another. Apathy is another. And so on. So while I agree with people who say no one is born racist, it remains a powerful system that we’re immediately born into. It’s like being born into air: you take it in as soon as you breathe. It’s not a cold that you can get over. There is no anti-racist certification class. It’s a set of socioeconomic traps and cultural values that are fired up every time we interact with the world. It is a thing you have to keep scooping out of the boat of your life to keep from drowning in it. I know it’s hard work, but it’s the price you pay for owning everything."
What they won’t show you on CNN tonight: Ferguson residents line a parade of roses down W Florissant, leading to where Mike Brown was taken from this world. #staywoke #powerful #insolidarity
(Source: socialjusticekoolaid, via 55223311)
#Magic: the Gathering
#Magic the Gathering
[TW: rape, assault]
Triumph of Ferocity got new art in Duel 2015. The original art (in the middle) depicts a veil-cursed Garruk Wildspeaker pinning down Liliana Vess with his hand around her throat and his other arm raised, poised to strike her. Liliana has a spell of some sort brewing in her left hand. The parallel card, Triumph of Cruelty (on the right) shows the tables turned, and Liliana has the upper hand.
In context of the story, the art makes sense. Both Liliana and Garruk are powerful planeswalkers, and they got beef with each other. Lilly cursed Big G, and he’d very much like her to remove the curse, or he’ll kill her. This had led to a few violent encounters between the two planeswalkers.
But the original art on Triumph of Ferocity has the potential to evoke certain emotions in people, and could possibly trigger some who have been victims of abuse. Magic: the Gathering is a game - and a story - about duels, conflicts, fighting, and, thus, violence (albeit fantasy violence), so depictions of violence are expected, and WOTC did nothing wrong per se, but it’s understandable how that particular piece of art can make people feel.
The game and the community should be about acceptance, tolerance, and making people feel welcome, and when something in the game takes away from that, it’s up to WOTC, along with the rest of the community, to do something about it. Fortunately, Wizards has done something. They addressed the issue and made a change for Duels 2015. Good on them.
But doesn’t this show a massive double standard on WotC’s part and the larger community that it’s okay to show men in times of distress and severe pain but it’s not to show a woman (specifically a woman who’s name is an anagram of “A villainess” and delights on the pain, suffering and death of others not only shown in flavour text but art as well and had this particular bit of violence coming to her for attacking another powerful Planeswalker) in similar situations.
When you remove context, you can put anything you want in its place. To see this art without the context, you need to actually find the singular image without the card border that has the flavour text:
"Rid me of this curse, witch, or die with me."
So you’d notice immediately that it’s not Garruk just going around being cruel to her, he’s reacting to the consequences of her previous action of cursing him with a particularly nasty spell that’s corrupting his mind and body. He’s actually telling her that he’ll let her live if she undoes her curse.
The worst thing about the new art is that it doesn’t even show Liliana now. The original Avacyn Restored art was a victim meeting his attacker and giving them their comeuppance. The new one completely dismisses that fact and has Garruk doing a generic pose that doesn’t even show him chasing Liliana. In essence, this is not doing the story of Magic the Gathering any justice by having Liliana’s wrongdoing being erased from new arrivals by not directly connecting her with the fact that the reason Garruk is now this dangerous Planeswalker Hunter is because he was cursed by her.
The absolute worst thing overall by this situation though is that it’s showing that WotC and the MtG brand doesn’t show the same level of respect to its female characters as it does its male ones. It shows them in their moments of glory or strength but it won’t show them in distress or weakness for no better reason than it might “parallel real life events”.
I’m not a fan of the new art, but that’s a different topic entirely. Your point about the original art and double standards would be valid if men and women were treated equally in our society. Your point would be valid if we didn’t live in a rape culture in which women live in fear and the masses blame the victim rather than the attacker. WOTC can show women in distress, because, like I wrote, Magic is a game and a story about conflict, but when a particular image can trigger an abuse victim, the correct response isn’t to stand by and do nothing. WOTC addressed the matter, and did so appropriately (in my estimation).
"I’m a white guy born and raised in the cocoon of white privilege. I have no idea what PoC have gone though, but I’m trying to learn, understand, and empathize. I don’t say that because I think I deserve a medal. I don’t. That’d be like saying I should get an award for not robbing a gas station. Point is, I wish other whites would at least try to see just how deep the institutionalized racism is in our society."