Why Does Genocide Matter-Now?

Wyrmrest Accord
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09/22/2018 11:31 AMPosted by Zenztli
09/22/2018 11:14 AMPosted by Lianshí
But in regards to bits that exist no further beyond my imagination and I interact with no significant degree other than a mouse click? I think I'm healthy enough to make that distinction.


im saying reconsider ur view in that sylvanas is not evil

'cause i mean, what she did is a big jerk move, big time absolute JERK move

it's weird that people keep throwing themselves on the "sylvanas isn't evil and what she did wasn't evil" hill 'cause....she is. And it was. Her entire faction's motto is "Death to the Living"


That's not the motto of the Forsaken, to be fair. That was the one-time catchphrase of Putress, who was a traitor. Using him to analyse the motives of all Forsaken is comparable to using Exarch Othaar as the baseline for all Draenei. Yes there are Forsaken who hate the living, but there's some who care for them and accept them. Before the Storm provides a pretty solid example of this, with the Forsaken and Human family reunions. And only a small number of Forsaken were allowed to participate in that. I think it's safe to say that they weren't the only ones who missed and cared for their families.

09/22/2018 12:23 PMPosted by Azhaar
I'm still really perplexed how anyone could think anything can exist completely independent of context.

Especially since it's so common to use narrative stuff from WoW and elsewhere as allegory for vile real-world crap and then claim "no no it's just fantasy" while snickering. Quite a bit of that goes on in this server's community alone.

Like, if you're down with the Banshee Queen, I don't think anybody's going to say you specifically want to burn cities IRL but if people start questioning your motives, well, there's a long precedent of unpleasant behavior that make that a valid response. It might pay to keep this in mind.


I'd argue that this all depends on motive.

I like Sylvanas as a character and am really happy about this arc. I've always enjoyed detaching from reality and giving my characters a somewhat warped sense of the truth, like my Forsaken who was initially skeptical of Teldrassil's burning, but has since justified it as "a hard decision for the greater good" whereby Sylvanas eliminated the chance of a future Alliance foothold in the area, and removed the need for a drawn out military occupation of hostile Territory. I have a paranoid Void Elf Hunter who believes that the Ren'dorei are not a risk to the Sunwell, and that the whole exile was manufactured by the Blood Knights, who want to take over in a military coup, if they haven't already. I have a worgen warrior who thinks that of Azeroth was REALLY dying, there'd be more damage, like in the Cataclysm, and therefore the world is fine, and everyone's just freaking out uneccessarily. Because of this mentality, I've been greatly enjoying RPIng Sarestha; a usually curiously compassionate Forsaken who is willing to justify Sylvanas's every atrocity, because it's for the "greater good."

So I love the story for the story value. It's cool and it's fun to RP in.

Is it morally right? Obviously not. I don't think anyone seriously considers Sylvanas a pinnacle of virtue from an OOC perspective. We know more than our characters about her innermost thoughts, for one. For another, we're much less used to genocide than the people of Azeroth, and regard it as much more abhorrent.

But I agree with Lianshi in that it's a very common trope in WoW. The majority of human nations, the Blood Elves, the Draenei, the Tauren, the Trolls, the Forsaken, the Worgen... All have faced attempted genocide in this universe. We're only seriously reacting now. I can only imagine that it's because instead of fighting against it, we adventurers are participating in it.
09/22/2018 01:45 PMPosted by Borgg
So anyone who has any piece of merchandise that says, "The Empire did nothing wrong" is just a fascist then? Look I get people are sensitive to this but I also think people are taking it above and beyond.

But I also don't think this is a topic where anyone who thinks one way is going to convince the other. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. But I don't think that having a different one makes any of us bad people.
bit of an exaggeration. while one jokey 'the empire did nothing wrong' shirt is all fine and dandy [i make plenty of 'garrosh was just a big dumb jock' jokes myself] the point i'm trying to make here is theres a point where it goes past just fun jokes

as a personal example, i adore sylvanas as a character. i'll admit most of my adoration stems from her wc3-wotlk characterization, but i still like her

however i fully accept that she's like, absolutely 100% a villain now. i might make the occasional offhanded joke about her being right, but past that i still know she's a villain, and don't try to weirdly justify anything heinous she does, and instead just enjoy this wacky mustache-twirling monster shes become

you can like villains! when it goes past the point of liking villains and acknolwedging they're evil to the point you're trying to, somehow, rationalize that genocide was okay or whatever other heinous act is justified because XYZ then its... bad, and uncomfortable for everyone involed


But is it any different really? Because there might be people out there who specifically are upset because their government is oppressive and brutal and they have every right to draw those parallels if they want. But it doesn't mean people who don't have that same feeling are wrong. It's a matter of perspective. And just to use this specific example- the Star Wars thing doesn't bother me, and it doesn't seem to bother you either. But it very much might bother someone else. And that's ok and none of us would be inherently wrong.

I am not saying people who are upset don't have every right to be upset. No one deserves to have anyone tell them that their emotions are invalid or that they are flat out wrong for feeling the way they do. I hate that myself and I hope I haven't done that to anyone here. You absolutely have the right to feel how you feel.

But with that in mind, so do people who don't feel that way. And when we start drawing judgements about character based off differing opinions and emotional reactions to a piece of media we all share- that is where I think things get out of hand really fast.

We all have different views and that is ok. What isn't ok is when we start to vilify each other for not sharing them.
09/22/2018 02:01 PMPosted by Borgg
But with that in mind, so do people who don't feel that way. And when we start drawing judgements about character based off differing opinions and emotional reactions to a piece of media we all share- that is where I think things get out of hand really fast.

We all have different views and that is ok. What isn't ok is when we start to vilify each other for not sharing them.
the sticking point here is im not [and i dont think others who shared my similar viewpoints] necessarily condemning opinions themselves, or outright hating anyone who likes the horde/war of thorns/what have you, even if i might squint any time someone says they like the war of thorns specifically

the issue stems from people who take it a few steps too far and go past the "i like my red boys" bit and try and justify... genocide

theres a really really fine line between liking evil/villainous things and acts, and fun lighthearted "if its red its dead" jokes and getting uncomfortably close to certain unnamed ideologies. like whatever you like, just dont take it that step further and genuinely try justifying how whatever horrible act that happened was good & not totally horrible
09/22/2018 01:52 PMPosted by Bebbit
09/22/2018 01:48 PMPosted by Ohtion
Too bad, I'm gonna be a Night Warrior-skinned kaldorei and I'm going to purge the undead.


So you're ok with genocide then?


Of zombies who have made life their enemy. That is a war they cannot win.
09/22/2018 01:52 PMPosted by Rasks
09/22/2018 01:48 PMPosted by Ohtion
Too bad, I'm gonna be a Night Warrior-skinned kaldorei and I'm going to purge the undead.
If they get to be paladins I'm gonna lose my mind and roll one immediately


It's not a new race though, just a customization option. And I doubt Blizzard would add a new class to a race in the middle of an expansion.

Kaldorei definitely need Paladin though. I really thought we were gonna get them after Delas and Nerus.

There was also a really badass Kaldorei Paladin RPer during the Battle for Lordaeron stuff. I haven't seen them around since though.
09/22/2018 02:01 PMPosted by Borgg
But with that in mind, so do people who don't feel that way. And when we start drawing judgements about character based off differing opinions and emotional reactions to a piece of media we all share- that is where I think things get out of hand really fast.

We all have different views and that is ok. What isn't ok is when we start to vilify each other for not sharing them.
the sticking point here is im not [and i dont think others who shared my similar viewpoints] necessarily condemning opinions themselves, or outright hating anyone who likes the horde/war of thorns/what have you, even if i might squint any time someone says they like the war of thorns specifically

the issue stems from people who take it a few steps too far and go past the "i like my red boys" bit and try and justify... genocide

theres a really really fine line between liking evil/villainous things and acts, and fun lighthearted "if its red its dead" jokes and getting uncomfortably close to certain unnamed ideologies. like whatever you like, just dont take it that step further and try genuinely try justifying how whatever horrible act that happened was good & not totally horrible


I get that. But I also haven't seen much of people justifying it in the sense of, "it was totally ok and not a horrible act of violence" as much as them justifying why it makes sense in context of a military and strategic view, or why it makes sense for Sylvanas.

Which I think is more from the standpoint of Horde players NEEDING to have something to hold on to. We didn't ask for it and not many of us are happy. But it happened, it is here, and now we are left to sort through the pieces and try to find a logical reason of how this part of the story fits, because Blizzard themselves didn't do a great job of it. We HAVE to make sense of it somehow. We don't get the Alli moral high ground of "this was obviously !@#$ed up." I mean, we can- but not if we want to still play our Horde the way we always have. Many people have ICily renounced their Horde citizenship. That works for them but it doesn't work for many others for various reasons.

That's why people bring up Taurajo. It is the closest thing we have to anything comparable because the Alli never do anything flat out bad. And even then, there are details there that don't make it a direct comparison. It sucks.

I still love the Horde and what it meant to me. I do not love what they have done with it, but I have to try and jam square lore pegs in round RP holes and it isn't fun for anyone, I promise.

And again, I think that is ok and far and away from saying anything similar in RL is ok. It is just people trying to make sense of this video game story we were handed. Not any reflection of how we as humans (or me I am an orc irl) really feel about the real life act.

If anyone tried to do that, hell, I'd be right there with you. But I haven't seen that.
09/22/2018 02:14 PMPosted by Ohtion
It's not a new race though, just a customization option. And I doubt Blizzard would add a new class to a race in the middle of an expansion.

They did it with gnome hunters. Though that did come after a lot of begging and pleading, so who knows.

09/22/2018 02:09 PMPosted by Tulips
the issue stems from people who take it a few steps too far and go past the "i like my red boys" bit and try and justify... genocide

Yeah, basically.

Call me cynical, but experience has taught me "this person is defending this horrible thing in the hypothetical, but they would never defend it in real life" can't be taken as a given, especially when a lot of people are fighting really hard to get their audience to see other real-life humans as hypotheticals.
i think the only reason they havent added nelf pallies yet is because then there'd be more alliance paladin races than horde

but like zandalari/vanilla trolls are right there for horde too, so idk

blizzard are just cowards. wont let me live my dream of playing a nelf in the banana plate tier 1 pally set
I've never understood Blizzard's obsession with class balance between the factions. The Horde's got more Shaman then the Alliance do and nobody's complaining.
09/22/2018 02:14 PMPosted by Ohtion
It's not a new race though, just a customization option. And I doubt Blizzard would add a new class to a race in the middle of an expansion.

Kaldorei definitely need Paladin though. I really thought we were gonna get them after Delas and Nerus.

There was also a really badass Kaldorei Paladin RPer during the Battle for Lordaeron stuff. I haven't seen them around since though.
Yeah I know. I'd just roll a night elf and turn the eyeballs on.
I get that. But I also haven't seen much of people justifying it in the sense of, "it was totally ok and not a horrible act of violence" as much as them justifying why it makes sense in context of a military and strategic view, or why it makes sense for Sylvanas.

Which I think is more from the standpoint of Horde players NEEDING to have something to hold on to. We didn't ask for it and not many of us are happy. But it happened, it is here, and now we are left to sort through the pieces and try to find a logical reason of how this part of the story fits, because Blizzard themselves didn't do a great job of it. We HAVE to make sense of it somehow. We don't get the Alli perspective of "this was obviously !@#$ed up." I mean, we can- but not if we want to still play our Horde the way we always have.

And again, I think that is ok and far and away from saying anything similar in RL is ok. It is just people trying to make sense of this video game story we were handed. Not any reflection of how we as humans (or me I am an orc irl) really feel about the real life act.

If anyone tried to do that, hell, I'd be right there with you. But I haven't seen that.
different experiences then i suppose. i've encountered [off the forums, usually] an unfortunate amount of people who DO take the bit too far, and use silly video game happenings to try and genuinely justify horrible things, with genocide/racial purging being one of the most common jumping points

when it comes down to it, as long as you fully acknowledge that whatever horrible thing [genocide in this case] IS bad and only bad then whatever comes after that is alright enough. theres always just gonna be that line between "are you seriously justifying real life genocide by saying its beneficial or not evil or are you just wording this in a godawful way"

getting upset when people get too close to those ideologies is expected and why serious opinions and statements about villains/anything nearing evil have to be worded and handled... very very very carefully, which i think you've been doing
09/22/2018 02:27 PMPosted by Tulips
I get that. But I also haven't seen much of people justifying it in the sense of, "it was totally ok and not a horrible act of violence" as much as them justifying why it makes sense in context of a military and strategic view, or why it makes sense for Sylvanas.

Which I think is more from the standpoint of Horde players NEEDING to have something to hold on to. We didn't ask for it and not many of us are happy. But it happened, it is here, and now we are left to sort through the pieces and try to find a logical reason of how this part of the story fits, because Blizzard themselves didn't do a great job of it. We HAVE to make sense of it somehow. We don't get the Alli perspective of "this was obviously !@#$ed up." I mean, we can- but not if we want to still play our Horde the way we always have.

And again, I think that is ok and far and away from saying anything similar in RL is ok. It is just people trying to make sense of this video game story we were handed. Not any reflection of how we as humans (or me I am an orc irl) really feel about the real life act.

If anyone tried to do that, hell, I'd be right there with you. But I haven't seen that.
different experiences then i suppose. i've encountered [off the forums, usually] an unfortunate amount of people who DO take the bit too far, and use silly video game happenings to try and genuinely justify horrible things, with genocide/racial purging being one of the most common jumping points

when it comes down to it, as long as you fully acknowledge that whatever horrible thing [genocide in this case] IS bad and only bad then whatever comes after that is alright enough. theres always just gonna be that line between "are you seriously justifying real life genocide by saying its beneficial or not evil or are you just wording this in a godawful way"

getting upset when people get too close to those ideologies is expected and why serious opinions and statements about villains/anything nearing evil have to be worded and handled... very very very carefully, which i think you've been doing


I think "different experiences" is really the heart of it. I know there are truly awful people out there who have done everything you've said, and I hate that anyone has to deal with that. I also know it is an emotionally charged subject and because of that, things can escalate very quickly because people are very much invested in why they feel the way they feel.

But I don't think anyone here was trying to hurt anyone and that was all I meant. I also very much appreciate that while you and I might not agree entirely, we were still able to speak to each other with respect and in the end I think we understand each other better for it.

I think a lot of arguments on the forums could be solved if we all just listened to each other before simply reacting. I know I am guilty of it sometimes because I am invested in this game, same as anyone else. But that doesn't mean people can't disagree and still do it in a way that doesn't lead to insults or screaming matches. I think we would all have a lot more fun and get a lot more out of it.

With all that said, I can see why some soldiers of the Horde would not be conflicted about wiping out an enemy race in the sense of "neccessary evil for the survival of their own," because the circumstances of WoW are so vastly different from anything we as humans (or me I'm an orc irl) have ever seen in reality. It doesn't translate that way for me and that is partly why I feel some RL comparisons don't hold up.

But if someone disagrees, they aren't wrong either. Just different perspectives, and that is ok- in the context of this game at least.
09/22/2018 02:23 PMPosted by Vanndrel
The Horde's got more Shaman then the Alliance do and nobody's complaining.


cause alliance has more paladins now
i dont have any more to say since borgg ended it on a genuinely feelgood/correct note but man

it is wacky having forum arguments not end in slap-fights
What I'm getting is that some people would like to just appreciate the game story for itself and what it is and not be bothered with implications or real-world parallels.

And unfortunately, the answer to that is "tough."

Warcraft exists in an actual world where stuff like this happens to actual people, and addressing these topic resonates unavoidably with actual human experiences. Further, and worse, it is (as has been repeatedly pointed out) such a common tactic of the worst people out there to use these fictional parallels to bolster their real-world repulsive ideologies that it's simply not possible to engage in that kind of thought without stumbling into their shoes.

And, like, I'm sorry about that, I really am. It would be lovely if we could all just play our silly game and not be bothered with these Unfortunate Implications, not least because that would mean we live in a better world where none of that stuff is real. But, again, tough. That is life, that is the world, these things exist and they matter and it's not possible to ignore them or acceptable to try.

Blizzard, in its consistent failure to handle material such as genocide with anything resembling tact or appropriate gravitas, unfortunately enables such malicious actors among its playerbase. And then (for unrelated reasons, I'm pretty sure) they fail to police their players for ill behavior well enough to protect people from the worst elements among us. And so in this game in particular, it's not just a question of having the good taste not to say stuff like "is genocide really all that bad, if you think about it?" Dabbling your toes in those waters is always going to generate an "oh hell no" reaction from some and you know what, good.

Because those people are all over the dang place and being shouted down by general outrage is the only thing keeping them from spreading. And it is very unfortunate that they've tainted some aspects of roleplay and even discussion to the point that even voicing some opinions raises questions about your motives, but it is what it is.

There's a certain ancient symbol in Hinduism which for most of its very long history has nothing at all to do with the vile uses to which its most recent adherents put it (you know the one), but sadly, it's tainted now. You don't walk around with it on your shirt unless you're looking to express beliefs the majority of humanity finds justifiably abhorrent. Likewise, in a case of much lesser severity but the same basic principle, if you start asking people whether genocide is really such a big deal, you're signalling a certain real-world perspective whether you want to or not.

It's a damn shame, but it's the damn truth. If you don't want people ascribing ill motives to you, don't do the stuff that the world's worst people do.
I think we should just kill all the forsaken and all the worlds problems will go away.

Also I like how the only reason that people are up in arms about genocide in the first place is because it makes their avatar look bad.

Nobody cares about the High Elf genocide when Arthas destroyed them. But suddenly when your character is in the mix you really care.
09/22/2018 02:58 PMPosted by Tulips
i dont have any more to say since borgg ended it on a genuinely feelgood/correct note but man

it is wacky having forum arguments not end in slap-fights


Yeah it is. It feels pretty good honestly.

If I see you out in WM, I won't even kill you.

Once.
S-ship it.
09/22/2018 03:03 PMPosted by Azhaar
What I'm getting is that some people would like to just appreciate the game story for itself and what it is and not be bothered with implications or real-world parallels.

And unfortunately, the answer to that is "tough."

Warcraft exists in an actual world where stuff like this happens to actual people, and addressing these topic resonates unavoidably with actual human experiences. Further, and worse, it is (as has been repeatedly pointed out) such a common tactic of the worst people out there to use these fictional parallels to bolster their real-world repulsive ideologies that it's simply not possible to engage in that kind of thought without stumbling into their shoes.

And, like, I'm sorry about that, I really am. It would be lovely if we could all just play our silly game and not be bothered with these Unfortunate Implications, not least because that would mean we live in a better world where none of that stuff is real. But, again, tough. That is life, that is the world, these things exist and they matter and it's not possible to ignore them or acceptable to try.


Again, people have every right to be upset if something in the game upsets them. But I don't think anyone has the right to punish those of us who aren't upset, or choose to look at it as a work of standalone fiction without drawing RL comparisons. People use this game sometimes specifically TO escape RL. That isn't a crime.

If someone wants to do that, they have every right. Same as someone has the right to make those comparisons if they want to. But neither side has any right to vilify the other just because they want to experience the same game in different ways.

And I get that there are horrible people out there who do the things you mention. But I didn't see that here and I don't believe it was anyone's intent either. If I HAD seen it, I'd be holding a pitchfork same as anyone. But that wasn't the case here.

It doesn't make someone a fascist if they want to find some way to feel ok about why their fictional faction did something in a video game. That is a long way from someone saying, "this genocide isn't a big deal, just like when it happened in <insert RL example.>" No one said that here. Maybe in other places, sure. But not here.

I think the intentions expressed about wanting to stomp out that behavior is noble and I don't know why anyone would argue against it. But I just don't feel like it is necessary here because no one WAS arguing against it.
... if you start asking people whether genocide is really such a big deal, you're signalling a certain real-world perspective whether you want to or not.

It's a damn shame, but it's the damn truth. If you don't want people ascribing ill motives to you, don't do the stuff that the world's worst people do.


I don't think any exposition can justify looking at a thread topic or post and using it to deep dive into the worst assumptions about a person.

When a topic makes you take those mental leaps it's best to step back and admit you don't know and can't judge this person at that level.

But maybe I'm an optimist *shrug*

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