Need Advice With A Black Character

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Frostorm

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And that would be the thing to take away from this :)

With this one caviot : in most fantasy settings race among nonhumans does carry a lot more cultural weight. Keep that in mind though and your fine :)
Ah yes, thanks for pointing that out: "Culture" being the keyword here. An Elf who grew up in a Human family/community would probably behave no different or very similar to the other Humans than his/her fellow Elves.

Edit: I just realized I inadvertently stereotyped Elves...:kaosigh:
 

Conflictx3

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As a proud black individual who's writing a a black centric novel/game and is apart of a black entrepreneur support group that meets weekly, I feel obligated to respond to this topic.

I'll start by saying everyone in here has given you great advice I read every post carefully, and while I dont 100% agree with everything it's definitely on the right track. Focus on writing your character based on who they are and how they were raised. If you keep what you have going it'll turn out be great.
 

Frostorm

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I think everyone would agree writing a character based on their environment/culture/upbringing is the way to go. But there may still be the issue of automatically assigning stereotypical traits to a certain culture. Just something we should pay attention to. i.e. A Black community need not be limited to the ghettos.
 
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Finnuval

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I think everyone would agree writing a character based on their environment/culture/upbringing is the way to go. But there may still be the issue of automatically assigning stereotypical traits to a certain culture. Just something we should pay attention to.
Ah but there you kinda hit the nail on the head : stereotypes are at their worst and most damaging when they become generalized and integrated with culture and that is something we should always be mindful of not Just in writing and making games :)

and while I dont 100% agree with everything it's definitely on the right track
Well I dont think we are ever all going to agree 100% on any subject, it's almost in our human nature not to xD
But being on the right track is a whole lot better then going off track xD
 
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And that would be the thing to take away from this :)

With this one caviot : in most fantasy settings race among nonhumans does carry a lot more cultural weight. Keep that in mind though and your fine :)
skyrim came to mind. With that game it seems like everyone is racist against every other race but there is a lot of backstory, like the nords hating the high elfs, ect. Beast races have a lot of hate just for being different though.
 

Finnuval

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skyrim came to mind. With that game it seems like everyone is racist against every other race but there is a lot of backstory, like the nords hating the high elfs, ect. Beast races have a lot of hate just for being different though.
True. And racism or dicrimination is also a topic that can present itself in games - for better or worse depending on how its handled- but that isn't really the topic of the OP xD
 

Frostorm

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skyrim came to mind. With that game it seems like everyone is racist against every other race but there is a lot of backstory, like the nords hating the high elfs, ect. Beast races have a lot of hate just for being different though.
This makes me wonder...since Humans have various subraces (e.g. Black, White, Asian, Hispanic, etc), non-Humans would too. I know Skyrim has stuff like Altmer, Bosmer, Dunmer, etc for Elves. Anyway, I was wondering, hypothetically, if Elves had similar analogues to Humans, such as a "White" Elf, "Black" Elf, or "Asian" Elf, how would they interact/relate to their Human counterparts? Like would a Black Elf relate more closely with a Black Human or another Elf?

Edit: Apologies, this got a bit off-topic, my bad...
 

Conflictx3

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Well I dont think we are ever all going to agree 100% on any subject, it's almost in our human nature not to xD
But being on the right track is a whole lot better then going off track xD
oh most definitely! my main disagreement was with "black people aren't a special breed of people", ALL races are a special breed of people, if that wasn't the case there would be no value in the word "diversity". not all stereotypes are bad either, some are just true but its the way one uses them, when stereotypes are used correctly and to the right extent they now become "relatable" content. Ice cube's cult classic "Friday" is brimming with black stereotypes and is heralded for it.

but as far as OC's plot goes i see no necessary reason for them to go out of their way to write a RELATABLE black character (which is what OC truly meant to say and I applaud the effort and willingness to learn) for the plot provided, as others said trying to hard to avoid offending sensitive parties would probably do more harm them good.

EDIT:
but if i could add anything, if OC can I suggest that for the tennis player's backstory no to add drug abuse, forced intimacy/violation of the body, general gun violence and of course the eternal hot button: slavery (in any form) unless it feels absolutely genuine and needed, I say this because these subjects have been done a million times in the back stories of black characters to tie their childhood to "the hood" and are tired tropes for the black community. However these topics do ring true till this day and if you feel you can write a compelling story involving them (regardless if it's for this project or one in the future) then I promise all sensitive parties involved will respect it if done tastefully!
 
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True. And racism or dicrimination is also a topic that can present itself in games - for better or worse depending on how its handled- but that isn't really the topic of the OP xD
This makes me wonder...since Humans have various subraces (e.g. Black, White, Asian, Hispanic, etc), non-Humans would too. I know Skyrim has stuff like Altmer, Bosmer, Dunmer, etc for Elves. Anyway, I was wondering, hypothetically, if Elves had similar analogues to Humans, such as a "White" Elf, "Black" Elf, or "Asian" Elf, how would they interact/relate to their Human counterparts? Like would a Black Elf relate more closely with a Black Human or another Elf?

Edit: Apologies, this got a bit off-topic, my bad...
I didn't mean to derail this thread honest :rswt but as for the different versions of elfs it could make sense if the were geographic closer to a human race then another elf race that the cultures would be more meshed.
 

Finnuval

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Like would a Black Elf relate more closely
No they probably wouldn't. This might oversimplify things a bit but...
Does a black person feel closer to a black cat instead of a red one? Do lgbtq ppl feel closer to seahorses (cause the male gets pregnant there)?

Sure these are not humanoid as other fantasy races bit I think the same logic applies. They might feeel more related to those that have similar struggles individually butt not in. A group and based on race I think.

Look at RL do black ppl and gay ppl autimatically get along simply because their white neighbours hates their guts? No they dont not autimatically anyway
 

pickledylans

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oh most definitely! my main disagreement was with "black people aren't a special breed of people", ALL races are a special breed of people, if that wasn't the case there would be no value in the word "diversity". not all stereotypes are bad either, some are just true but its the way one uses them, when stereotypes are used correctly and to the right extent they now become "relatable" content. Ice cube's cult classic "Friday" is brimming with black stereotypes and is heralded for it.

but as far as OC's plot goes i see no necessary reason for them to go out of their way to write a RELATABLE black character (which is what OC truly meant to say and I applaud the effort and willingness to learn) for the plot provided, as others said trying to hard to avoid offending sensitive parties would probably do more harm them good.

but if i could add anything, if OC can avoid drug abuse, forced intimacy/violation of the body, general gun violence and of course the eternal hot button: slavery (in any form). You'll be in the green with most parties.
Yeah, I agree with what you said about diversity honestly!! And I'll be sure to keep those things to avoid in mind. Thanks for all your time and input, I appreciate it!!!
 

Finnuval

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ALL races are a special breed of people, if that wasn't the case there would be no value in the word "diversity".
Haha i agree with you there. Though if everyone is special no one is is also. True... Ah the difficulties of such things xD

not all stereotypes are bad either, some are just true but its the way one uses them, when stereotypes are used correctly and to the right extent they now become "relatable" content
Lol pretty much exactly what I told the OP in PM almost word for word haha


but if i could add anything, if OC can avoid drug abuse, forced intimacy/violation of the body, general gun violence and of course the eternal hot button: slavery (in any form).
I will put 1 caviot on this and that is 'Unless it makes sense for that specific character and the story one is writing'.
But in one of my responses I already touched on that a bit . It can be done but with extra caution and care andd always mindful of what it is you are telling and want to tell :)

So were pretty much on the same page I guess lol

Just recently got a black dog, was between her and her blond brother being given away, we definitely chose the black dog because she was black lol.
Isnt that positive discrimination then :p (jk)
 
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Frostorm

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Haha i agree with you there. Though if everyone is special no one is is also. True... Ah the difficulties of such things xD
Lol, this reminds me of the notion that "everyone is unique!" Well, if everyone is unique, that just means nobody is special...
 

Finnuval

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Lol, this reminds me of the notion that "everyone is unique!" Well, if everyone is unique, that just means nobody is special...
Haha yup in a nutshell. We are the same in that we are all unique - an oxymoron and paradox rollend into one lol
 

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I had a main protagonist who was black - or at least not white. You can see her in the third image in my signature. I wrote her as "a person" first and foremost, with her own preferences, hopes, dreams etc., not as "a black person", and it seems to me that it worked reasonably well. I've never had anyone complaining about stereotypes/lack of realism/whatever.
 

trouble time

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Ah yes, thanks for pointing that out: "Culture" being the keyword here. An Elf who grew up in a Human family/community would probably behave no different or very similar to the other Humans than his/her fellow Elves.

Edit: I just realized I inadvertently stereotyped Elves...:kaosigh:
I actually disagree with this. If their only real difference is pointy ears, i think you should just use humans with a different culture than a whole different species. I think that other fantasy races need something alien about them and should represent some kind of archaetype rather than just being humans the look funny.

For example, the High Elves of my setting can't touch mundane metals without it burning them, have less muscle mass than humans and have a sort of cosmic awareness that they use to help communicate, and no other race does. An elf that was raised among humans couldn't be like other humans, and they'd have problems reaching their potential as an elf. If they tried to be a fighter, they'd either be unable to keep up or come to the conclusion their ancestor did and learn to use magic to shore up their physical weaknesses since it comes easy to them. If they tried to learn magic from a human though they'd swiftly outpace the other students but they actually can't learn as many spells at once as humans but its less dangerous to use magic since they understand it instinctively.

As for black people, im black and in my expirence, race is something other people react to not really something inherent to a person but it will shape their expirences with other people and the culture around them due to the various reactions people have too them. Its not like black people have certain beliefs ingrained in them, and there is no single unified "black culture" in my expirence, but many different expirences depending on enviroment.
 

Frostorm

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I actually disagree with this. If their only real difference is pointy ears, i think you should just use humans with a different culture than a whole different species. I think that other fantasy races need something alien about them and should represent some kind of archaetype rather than just being humans the look funny.
I was referring to a single individual Elf, not all Elves as a whole. The point was to contrast that specific individual against the other Elves who ARE culturally different from Humans. It's like that whole nature vs nurture concept. I think a person's upbringing should have more of an impact than what is usually portrayed in common fantasy settings. I'm not downplaying their genetic differences though, like in your High Elf example. Physical/phenotypical differences like those should totally be a thing, but the cultural aspects should be based on the individual's environment, and not automatically assigned due to their race.

Notice how I said "behave" as in referring to their social behaviors, not differences in potential or ability due to genetic disposition. Physical differences like that exist in Humans too, which also affect the kind of person they turn out to be to a certain extent. For instance, an individual blessed with good genes in terms of fitness/health would naturally be a more active and physical person while perhaps being less of a bookworm. (just throwing an overly simplistic example) Sure, an Elf would probably excel at magic and fall behind in P.E. compared to his/her average Human peer, but so would that nerdy kid at school.

Its not like black people have certain beliefs ingrained in them
Why can't you see Elves this way? They're people too...
 
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standardplayer

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People will project on you and your story, and others still will preach at you not because they think you need to know what they're saying, but because they'd like it if others could see and hear them saying it to you.

The best way to not be insensitive or racist is to not be that way. People might still say you are. But always ask yourself "Would they care if no one was around to see or hear them?" If the answer is no, they're probably full of crap.

People are gonna say what they want to say. Please don't feel like you have to walk on eggshells, the dumbest, most hateful people are the ones who usually speak the loudest on the internet.
Yes, they've been trying to hijack media in the past few years, but if you listen carefully, they aren't after equality. They are actually after superiority and the ability to oppress.

You write your character however the hell you want. And remember no one that you or I have ever met is the one who should be giving all of us advice. No one person can define right or wrong in these areas. Someone will always have a problem, whether it's bc they really see one, or because they're just unhappy.
 
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trouble time

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I was referring to a single individual Elf, not all Elves as a whole. The point was to contrast that specific individual against the other Elves who ARE culturally different from Humans. It's like that whole nature vs nurture concept. I think a person's upbringing should have more of an impact than what is usually portrayed in common fantasy settings. I'm not downplaying their genetic differences though, like in your High Elf example. Physical/phenotypical differences like those should totally be a thing, but the cultural aspects should be based on the individual's environment, and not automatically assigned due to their race.

Notice how I said "behave" as in referring to their social behaviors, not differences in potential or ability due to genetic disposition. Physical differences like that exist in Humans too, which also affect the kind of person they turn out to be to a certain extent. For instance, an individual blessed with good genes in terms of fitness/health would naturally be a more active and physical person while perhaps being less of a bookworm. (just throwing an overly simplistic example)
I kinda see what you're saying, and I agree to an extent, but I do believe that their behavior should be influenced in some way by what they are as they should have an alien consciousness or perception as well. An elf raised by humans might be more like the humans, but certain elements of their social behavior would be biased by their different perceptions. They might be able to participate to some extent in a human culture, but they're minds are ultimately different. Though I think we may actually agree on this point.
 
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