This made me screaming mad today. And that rarely happens. But I chilled out in the end.
To those who believe in affirmative action, just stop reading and find something else. This won't be pretty.
You all gone? I won't warn you again. All gone? Good.
So trawling around 4chan's 'traditional games' board (yes, mei mei, I have fallen) today, someone posted up a petition for the artists of Wizards of the Coast to add more art depicting minorities (blacks, hispanics, the obese, etc.) in their D&D game books. Apparently, the regular art is a big turn off for some people, as it depicts the usual Caucasian-looking warriors, busty ladies in chainmail bikinis and high-heeled boots, etc..
Race issues aren't so big here in the Philippines (or we rarely hear of them), but it got my gears turning.
See, I believe that the greatest draw of tabletop roleplaying games is that you can make anything your imagination can fuel, with your only limitations being game setting, mechanics and possibly your own morality. The art I see in those books are just placeholders. I don't even consider them as I'm rolling up characters. If you're a dwarf, you can't use magic (usually) but you're hardy and if you're an elf, you (usually) lack in constitution but have dexterity or intelligence through the roof. But that was it; the only differences I've seen were in game play, not about the color of their skins or where they come from or what they believe. Dwarves were usually from mining cities in the mountains and elves from these little "gated-community" islands but that's the key word, "usually". If your GM's a cool enough dude (as mine are wont to be), you can have a tanned dwarf mystic who worships spirits that came from the islands or an howling elf raider who belongs to a community of desert-dwelling nomads who sacrifice in the name of some bloody-handed war goddess. Meaning, you can build up your backstory, roll up the stats and act out your character however you want (a typical double-edged sword in TTRPGs).
I've seen people argue that we shouldn't be mad and that it will get more people into the hobby. But to get caught up in a tangible detail like art and say "it's a turn-off because the girl on the cover is dressed up like a slut" just speaks of how small-minded people (especially these "liberal-minded" ones) can be. Sure, that character's dressed skimpily, but what of other characters, those you and your friends roll up? I've known guys and girls who have RP'ed female characters who were dressed practically and rely on their wits, skills and might as much as I've seen "girly" characters who relied on their social charms and graces to win the day. It helped that they looked good, but that's beside the point.
You don't buy those game books because of what's in them. You buy them to visit other worlds and interact with their denizens in anyway you see fit. If you like, you could even build other worlds. To choose to get into the hobby via the art isn't a wrong way, but as beings capable of thought and rationale, we shouldn't be caught up in the shiny. It's a world of pen and paper, the characters are yours to make and the story's yours to tell! So just siddownandplay!