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That One NPC

Why So Whitewashed?

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Why is RM so whitewashed? And I'm not just talking about the RTP... Over and above that, the community artists don't even create ethnic resources. I am well aware of the few ethnic facesets and sprite sheets, but how many even get emotion sets? None, because they seem to be extras for ethnic towns and cities...

 

 

Like why? lol

 

 

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I'd say it is likely that the artists are creating what they know, or are expanding on the rtp. It can be hard to make ethnic characters that are not offensive or just look like a ethnic colored white person. I've personally added in some more ethnic characters into my personal sprite sets, but it is a lot harder than using the 'standard' color that the game comes with. 

Modern People MV.png

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I have my own theories as well.

 

I think a lot of it ties into the industry standard created by Japan. It's just what's familiar and expected of RPGs, even anime. Ethnic characters are a rarity.

 

 

It's really frustrating for me because the characters are the most important part of any RPG in my opinion. I would love to be able to create characters from all walks of life, all ethnic and cultural themes. But available resources make this very difficult. I don't feel good about having 17 out of 22 Caucasian characters in my project, but unless I use generated faces, I have no other choice.

 

 

I'm just surprised Enterbrain hasn't done anything about this yet. The titles actually seem to be more whitewashed since 2k3.

 

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You know, I know this is months old by this point, but I wanted to say: Remember that 90% of people in Japan are of a single ethnicity and many of them have extremely limited interaction with those from other ethnic groups. I think there is not a huge push for equal representation, and I get the feeling that a lot of Japanese people don't really think this is a big deal. Plus, if you really think about it, the characters in the RTP are actually not necessarily 'Caucasian' as much as they are anime characters. It may seem strange, but a good number of characters drawn with anime-style art are actually supposed to be Japanese or otherwise Asian. I won't say anime-style art is aracial, because it's definitely not, but it is a bit more abstract then a lot of people give it credit for.

 

So here is the real question: What exactly would you need to create an ethnic character? Just different skin colors? It's not that hard to recolor images I think. But that can be kind of lazy and might even come uncomfortably close to 'blackface' to some people. And I don't think you can expect every ethnicity to be fairly represented anyway. You could still try in your game of course, and I am all for that. I just don't think Enterbrain finds it a big problem or worth solving.

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@Kayzee, is unfortunately, very much pinpoint accurate; Japan is definitely tight-knit in its' societal presentation and has been since the end of the Feudal/Medieval era. Sure, there's local 'melting pots' here and there where cultures are intermingling, but that's about as common as 'purple ribbon' bars/clubs in most of America (trans-friendly/inclusive; some places have more bars and clubs like this like Colorado and Nevada). Oh, and speaking of 'purple ribbon', that's still considered a 'taboo' thing in Japan, though usually not persecuted.

Anyway, point is, if it isn't something that people want, well, it isn't going to happen (usually-sometimes there are things that happen anyway regardless of whether it was wanted or not).

 

However, I do agree; there should be at least an attempt to have more variety, and try to be tasteful to boot. Not always easily done, but not impossible...I'd think, anyway...lol

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