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I was playing Mass Effect 2 in lieu of Mass Effect 3's release next month and...

ChaoticSpark

Chaos is very, very amusing.
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I was playing ME2 and I was talking to Legion and he brought this up. I was a little perturbed so I decided to ask my brethren about this. As a furry and a gamer, do you feel is accusation of racism through benign anthropomorphism is a bit much? Discuss.
 
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It's a bit off base, but that's what you're going to get from a lot of characters in a Bioware game. Many viewpoints from supporting characters are often meant to be skewed to some extent, either to really make you think about your decisions or to establish some societal moral baseline. Either way, Bioware is kind of making you choose whether you want to stick to your own morals or side with your companions, and this is something that they've done in every game of theirs that I've played.

At any rate, what you have to understand about Legion to really understand what he's getting at is that the Geth are a hivemind that thrive on the idea that they as sentient synthetic life are superior. The fact that they are a hivemind means that they don't really think of themselves as individuals so much and thus are a race and a singular being all at once, hence his name Legion, from the bible verse "I am Legion, for we are many." Therefore, it's easier for him to think in terms of other races being a singular entity as well, and thus applying a reversed concept of individuality, or even expanding it beyond that. At any rate, it's the same reason that we might be racist if we treated people of our own race like they are just like us, rather than taking each person on their own personal merits and faults.

And that's my yearly dose of literary analysis. :V
 

Cain

Guess what mood I'm in today.
It's more like a 'lol' moment in a game, with a subtle/not subtle culture reference, not a secret attempt at being racist/subjugated.
 

Unsilenced

Mentlegen
I was playing ME2 and I was talking to Legion and he brought this up. I was a little perturbed so I decided to ask my brethren about this. As a furry and a gamer, do you feel is accusation of racism through benign anthropomorphism is a bit much? Discuss.

Anthropomorphic characters aren't necessarily the same as "anthropomorphizing" in this context. My "fursona" is a skunk, but that doesn't mean I think I'm very similar to a skunk, or that skunks are similar to humans. I may draw one or two parallels about certain generalized traits, but it's not really the same. (Though if skunks were sentient, it would admittedly be all sorts of fucked up.)

What he's talking about is more like when people see a dolphin and think, "Omigawd! They're just like us!" because its been trained to wave its flipper at people.

That type of anthropomorphizing, assuming that another species' behavior is based on the same thought processes/logic/emotions as our own, is in degrading to the species in question and usually harmful, since it takes the place of actual behavior theories.

Now, of course, there are some furries that anthropomorphize in both ways, thinking that somehow they are really thinking like a wolf or a fox or some such, and those people are absolutely fucking stupid. If you haven't spent years researching their behavior patterns and observing them, you don't know how they think, and even if you have you only probably understand them in a scientific/predictive fashion. I'm sorry, but you're just not a god damned wolf.
 

CannonFodder

Resistance is futile! If 0 ohm
At any rate, what you have to understand about Legion to really understand what he's getting at is that the Geth are a hivemind that thrive on the idea that they as sentient synthetic life are superior. The fact that they are a hivemind means that they don't really think of themselves as individuals so much and thus are a race and a singular being all at once, hence his name Legion, from the bible verse "I am Legion, for we are many." Therefore, it's easier for him to think in terms of other races being a singular entity as well, and thus applying a reversed concept of individuality, or even expanding it beyond that. At any rate, it's the same reason that we might be racist if we treated people of our own race like they are just like us, rather than taking each person on their own personal merits and faults.

And that's my yearly dose of literary analysis. :V
Technically Geth aren't hivemind, they have their own personalities and experiences. They appear to be a hivemind because they have very few mobile platforms. That means the majority of their interactions happen in a artificial environment. Legion meaning many, therefore Legion is actually thousands of Geth within a single body. Legion refers to himself as a singular being because you are dealing with a group. To use a analogy it's like calling people that live in america americans.

In this case Legion is referring to the fact that Shepard is trying to find human traits in Legion even though Legion is actually numerous entities with a system of interaction with the outside world. In this case Legion is using a shock word "rascist" to how Shepard is treating them. It's like thinking all people from america have enough guns to start a war & eat mcdonalds for breakfast lunch and dinner. While there are many people who do that, calling everyone american such is vastly incorrect.
 

BRN

WTB Forum Mod Powers
I was playing ME2 and I was talking to Legion and he brought this up. I was a little perturbed so I decided to ask my brethren about this. As a furry and a gamer, do you feel is accusation of racism through benign anthropomorphism is a bit much? Discuss.

Yes, it is racist (species-ist?) to anthropomorphise. Generally speaking, humans will make assumptions based on a species such as "Chickens are dumb" which doesn't take into account the fact that chicken intellect is as largely varied as human intellect. You've got 'american females'-chickens all the way up to show-roosters.

It's similarly 'species-ist' to anthropomorphise as it denies the truth of differing conceptual schemes across the species web. "Aww, he likes you!" is a common statement about pets made when, normally, pets act friendly so as to posit more food from their owner. Indeed, even the word 'owner' is silly; from the pet's perspective, the 'owner' is just a creature who brings food and company.
 

Sarcastic Coffeecup

Hand. Cannot. Erase.

Unsilenced

Mentlegen

CaptainCool

Lady of the lake
Anthropomorphic characters aren't necessarily the same as "anthropomorphizing" in this context. My "fursona" is a skunk, but that doesn't mean I think I'm very similar to a skunk, or that skunks are similar to humans. I may draw one or two parallels about certain generalized traits, but it's not really the same. (Though if skunks were sentient, it would admittedly be all sorts of fucked up.)

What he's talking about is more like when people see a dolphin and think, "Omigawd! They're just like us!" because its been trained to wave its flipper at people.

That type of anthropomorphizing, assuming that another species' behavior is based on the same thought processes/logic/emotions as our own, is in degrading to the species in question and usually harmful, since it takes the place of actual behavior theories.

Now, of course, there are some furries that anthropomorphize in both ways, thinking that somehow they are really thinking like a wolf or a fox or some such, and those people are absolutely fucking stupid. If you haven't spent years researching their behavior patterns and observing them, you don't know how they think, and even if you have you only probably understand them in a scientific/predictive fashion. I'm sorry, but you're just not a god damned wolf.

this. this isnt about any sort of fandom, its only about the word "anthro", which means human.
according to wikipedia anthropomorphizing means the "attribution of human characteristics/characteristics assumed to belong only to humans to animals, non-living things etc".
if you were talking to an alien and you start to apply human characteristics to them i wouldnt be surprised if they were offended :p because while they ARE sentient they obviously arent human. but to anthropomorphize things means that you use human characteristics as the highest standard there is. and that is simply not the right thing to do in a case like this.
thats the point legion wants to make.
 

Imperial Impact

The Imperial Juicer
ME3 is going to poop on ToGf

Just sayin'
 

Zydala

Kisses for everyone!
I was playing ME2 and I was talking to Legion and he brought this up. I was a little perturbed so I decided to ask my brethren about this. As a furry and a gamer, do you feel is accusation of racism through benign anthropomorphism is a bit much? Discuss.

Nope, I'd say it's right on the mark. It's taking the term "cultural relativism" and using it in a much much broader context.
 

Sarcastic Coffeecup

Hand. Cannot. Erase.

Unsilenced

Mentlegen
I don't know about that, but I'm still miffed after all these years of not having Turians as a playable race/species/etc. BIOWARE, WHY DO HUMANS HAVE TO BE SO FUCKING SPECIAL?

Because the second game would make NO FUCKING SENSE if the protaganist wasn't human.
 

CaptainCool

Lady of the lake
Because the second game would make NO FUCKING SENSE if the protaganist wasn't human.

the whole series is all about choices, they could have made it so that you can choose your race as well which would also put that race in the spotlight instead^^
 
K

Kaamos

Guest
I don't know about that, but I'm still miffed after all these years of not having Turians as a playable race/species/etc. BIOWARE, WHY DO HUMANS HAVE TO BE SO FUCKING SPECIAL?

ME3's multiplayer will let you choose your species. inbeforesomebodyragesaboutmultiplayer
 

Unsilenced

Mentlegen
the whole series is all about choices, they could have made it so that you can choose your race as well which would also put that race in the spotlight instead^^

That would mean completely re-writing THE ENTIRE LORE OF THE UNIVERSE depending on the choice. They would need to re-write tons of characters (especially those in Cerberus) completely to match, and history would have to be radically different (If you're a Turian, turians have to not be a council race, and thus have to be the newer race in the alliance, and thus have basically switched roles in the Contact Wars, and... yeah.)

It's a feature that would probably quadruple the amount of writing in the game.

Not even close to worth it.
 
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