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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2020 7:04 pm 
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Barinellos wrote:
Ragnarokio wrote:
Barinellos wrote:
Except these are explicitly negative qualities white is known for, as well as fundamental altruism stating you have no right to individualism.


An in-setting equivalent of the crusades would arguably be justifiable, but using a real event in a casual fantasy setting is inappropriate, i think. Wizards has and presumably will continue to tackle concepts like racism and prejudice within their settings, but I think its best they do that without invoking real people and real events, because of the kind of game magic is.

Perhaps, but there are actors outside Wizard's control that also may draw lines of in-setting issues to real world problems, citing allegory and then become belligerent that Wizards do something.
That's one of the primary issues with a lot of this discourse, because there are very certainly things to be upset about, but the rhetoric extends beyond those issues. There are some who just want to FIND things to be upset about, beyond things that are legitimately upsetting.

This is a really bad argument imo. Are you arguing that Crusade should stay because, even though it crossed a very clear line by directly representing a real-world atrocity, hypothetically someone might get mad about a card that didn't do the banworthy thing? Like there are people who will complain about cards being overpowered even when they're not, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't ban cards that are actually overpowered.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2020 4:20 pm 
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Crusade shouldve stayed cause its pretty obviously just generic medieval fantasy in which crusades are a thing (the Paladin's skills in WoW are called "Crusader Strike", "Heart of the Crusader", "Grand Crusader", "Crusader's Judgment", "Crusaders Might", etc, ffs, and any evidence of it "depicting a real-world event" is at best, circumstantial, and at worst, no more than Magic nerds looking for reasons to be outraged (as most communities do but the MTG community is no exception)

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2020 4:50 pm 
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There's a huge difference between using the word "Crusade" vs. depicting a historically-accurate portrayal of knights on a crusade with the accompanying text "white creatures get +1/+1." You could argue that it's an unfortunate coincidence that the text and that image went together, but you'd be wrong; the card is explicitly acknowledging the racially-motivated nature of the Crusades. Which makes sense: when the card was created, there were fewer qualms about referring to these icky parts of human history, and magic was a much smaller game, and there wasn't an online community with which to raise an uproar, etc etc.

I do, however, believe we are on a slippery slope here, because solidly half of Magic's cards could be interpreted in an icky, unfriendly way, and WotC is clearly erring on the side of corporate face-saving, which I see as part of a larger trend of letting fans dictate game content. Between this and the recent Pokemon-ization of the game, I'm questioning how much longer I want to be along for the ride.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2020 5:10 pm 
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[I do know what the crusades wera about] but crusades also have been a facet of FANTASY for ages. They are not depicting a particular real-world crusade. They are DEPICTING A FANTASY EVENT.

I admit if the card was called "Muslim Crusade" or "European Crusade" or "Crusade of the Holy Land" youd have a point

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Last edited by Butthead on Fri Jun 19, 2020 5:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2020 5:22 pm 
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niatpac wrote:
There's a huge difference between using the word "Crusade" vs. depicting a historically-accurate portrayal of knights on a crusade with the accompanying text "white creatures get +1/+1." You could argue that it's an unfortunate coincidence that the text and that image went together, but you'd be wrong; the card is explicitly acknowledging the racially-motivated nature of the Crusades.


Except White is one of the five colors of Magic: the Gathering. Weatherlight's Southern Paladin (a fellow of Jamurran extraction) benefits; Balduvian Horde, with their explicit nordic theme, do not. And it shocks and astounds me that knights in full armor are suddenly considered "Controversial". Dude in armor cheers, that's racist? Really? White Knight and Honor of the Pure are OK though? I might have understood Tivadar's Crusade since it's grim, grisly, and racially motivated (albeit at a fantasy race), but Crusade itself seems like it was selected via Look at Me, I'm the DCI methodology.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2020 5:29 pm 
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preach brother

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2020 12:48 am 
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Just popping in to remind everyone to be civil. No flaming, no baiting, and lets be extra safe avoid unqualified statements, all right? Let's all stay polite so I don't have to poke my head in here again.
I've already had to edit personal attacks out of multiple posts here and if things continue to escalate I may have to take more serious action.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2020 2:40 am 
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Its hard to attack or defend their banning crusade when they haven't (as far as i know) explained why they've banned it.

I do think they should have given more context behind the bans beyond "these cards are racist". Explaining the full context behind a ban is respectful and facilitates productive communication with your playerbase, but potentially even more importantly in this case, it fulfills their apparent intended purpose of using the bans to champion a specific social movement. Explaining why they found each of the cards unacceptable on an ethical level shows a greater degree of understanding and commitment to the social movement they're pandering to.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2020 5:14 am 
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Butthead wrote:
and any evidence of it "depicting a real-world event" is at best, circumstantial, and at worst, no more than Magic nerds looking for reasons to be outraged (as most communities do but the MTG community is no exception)


Dude the art had knights explicitly wearing crusader armor. The use of a red cross on a white background is pretty explicitly the flag used by participants in the real historical event. Stop being so disingenuous.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2020 10:00 pm 
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So **** that I've formally quit Magic (except OS and 95) over it.

This and TN being banned.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 8:47 am 
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Ragnarokio wrote:
I'd probably rather WotC run a moral if less mechanically good game than an immortal and more mechanically good game.

Is the game more moral now that these cards have been banned?

These recent events have made me consider the times that wotc has issued some form of official apology for their actions, and the events that come to mind are 1) having made cards with controversial connotations 20 years ago 2) "bi-erasure" in the war of the spark novel 3) triumph of ferocity 4) reprinting phyrexian obliterator? I guess maybe they apologized for the death corona and spoiling "trapped in the tower" on 9/11 as well.

Destroying all consumer trust in the stability of the format by printing and subsequently banning format-defining cards that price people out of participation and make wastelands of competitive scenes? Blatantly disregarding the game's narrative body by retconning and contradicting it as they see convenient? Making an eternal format designed to not be constrained by the reserved list and still making it prohibitively expensive so they can exploit their own secondary market prices? Destroying their own premium products by their horrendous foiling process that warps them into Pringles?

Where's the apology for war of the spark, modern horizons, oko, or companions? To the people that couldn't play their Kess in a competitive tournament because all of them were inherently marked? To the people invested in a story that just vanished into the æther without explanation? Why is it that every time wotc apologizes, it's never to accept their failings as a game? MaRo doesn't hesitate a second about apologizing for playing a game of hangman because "it's racist", but design the worst mechanic to ever grace the face of the game and you get some disingenuous twitter poll juxtaposing innovation and balance a month after he's done pretending Ikoria is the best set to grace modern magic. Can I, as a player, ask for a modicum of the same respect given to the misandrist internet crusaders who see Garruk taking revenge on Liliana and are incapable of conceiving anything but a celebration of sexual assault?

thanks

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 2:11 pm 
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Cato wrote:
Butthead wrote:
and any evidence of it "depicting a real-world event" is at best, circumstantial, and at worst, no more than Magic nerds looking for reasons to be outraged (as most communities do but the MTG community is no exception)


Dude the art had knights explicitly wearing crusader armor. The use of a red cross on a white background is pretty explicitly the flag used by participants in the real historical event. Stop being so disingenuous.

Again, no, prove it.

Ive asked three times for at least one of you to prove it and gotten nothing but evasion and the same argument shouted over and over.

Dont talk to me about being "disingenuous" when you cant even answer the question of "show me proof that this event IN A FANTASY CARD GAME, COMMONLY DEPICTED IN FANTASY LORE, is not actually a fantasy event but A REAL LIFE DEPICTION OF THE ACTUAL MUSLIM CRUSADE despite no actual evidence being presented". Oh no, flag of England! Even though England is the roots of pretty much all medieval-based fantasy! There's absolutely no possible way it could just be a legitimate depiction of a nameless, fantasy event!

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 3:29 pm 
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The issue is about symbolism. The crusades have unfortunately in some circles become symbolic of current racial tensions, and as such the symbolism connected to the crusades has a lot of baggage connected to it. I'd like to compare it, as has been done in this very thread, to Tivadar's Crusade. Show a person who does not know anything about the in game lore one of these cards, and ask them what they would associate it with. I can guarantee that far more people would consider Tivadar's Crusade a fantasy event than Crusade. It doesn't matter if you cannot prove that it was intentional, the gut reaction will still be there. Please explain why the burden of proof should not be on you to prove that it is in fact innocent? Because the best you've given us is "it might be a coincidence", and that's not terribly convincing. After all, WotC did not use that imagery in any other art, did they?

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 8:14 pm 
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Dafuq? Someone deleted my post asking if he had any what the Crusades are about? Wow this forum is worse than WotC.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 8:59 pm 
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Aaarrrgh wrote:
Please explain why the burden of proof should not be on you to prove that it is in fact innocent? Because the best you've given us is "it might be a coincidence", and that's not terribly convincing.


Here's my take on this: The concept it represents is a commonplace fantasy concept. Like most medievalist fantasy, it has roots in the historical, but only in a vague and generic sense. Most notably, it represents a concept that has been resonant in :w: throughout the history of M:tG -- Religiously or ideologically motivated combat. Because that's a big part of what :w: is about. It creates an ordered structure and promotes the in-group the the exclusion of the out-group. You can see this in cards like Sunlance and Mass Calcify and in :w:-based groups and civilizations ranging from the early displays in The Dark and the Church of Serra in Homelands, through to more modern executions such as the Boros Legion, Legion of Dusk, or Dranith. Even the Cathars of Innistrad get some of this treatment, or is Crusader of Odric a misnomer?

In this context, "Crusade" serves as the resonant baseline. It's an Alpha card, and because of that it gets the punchy, one-word name that covers, generally, the theme of such ideological conflict as might be perpetrated in any of those settings. My offering is not that the concept of Crusade does not include the historical events for which it is named, but that it is fundamentally generic. The Duel Decks reprint, which received different art, should stand as evidence of that. Such also makes it an even shakier call for elimination, since it had been proved that it could rebrand without any particular iconography. But that version also is now taboo.

The point is it is just "Crusade". Not "The Crusades" or any earthly or particular Crusade. It is the idea of crusading, which remains a resonant core of :w:'s identity. It is the platonic ideal from which Tivadar and Odric draw.

Aaarrrgh wrote:
After all, WotC did not use that imagery in any other art, did they?

Unless you mean the St. George Cross in particular, You'll find quite a lot of similar imagery in old Magic. White Knight's original art would seem to be part of the same period1. Blessing, in its first printings, has significant trappings of religion, and so does Preacher and to a lesser extent Resurrection's original art. Fasting features a cross, as does the tabard on the original art of Northern Paladin, who also shares an eye to more realistic historical-style armor with Crusade. I'm actually kind of shocked he didn't get the axe if Crusade's art is sufficient, given his art and rules text. And, while not the same medieval deed moved to generic status for inclusion in a fantasy universe informed by the middle ages, one could put in a word for Martyr's Cry and to a lesser extent Witch Hunter. These I either knew off the top of my head or turned up with a fairly cursory search, without even getting into such things as the Legion of Dusk's take on Catholicism.

Edits:
1: White Knight in particular seems hilarious to be spared when Cleanse and Crusade are toast. Its name is an internet moniker of negative distinction, especially when combined with one of its printings, making it an easy symbol for any who would want to take it. And its particular protection ability would seem to be as hot-button as any line of rules text from a Taboo'd card. All I can think is that it is, unlike these others, in Modern, and that its sparing highlights the disingenuous nature of the move as a whole. Which, again, is not my primary reason for disliking it, but is a fair second.

2: And, it occurred to me that I only searched White cards at first. Inquisition also stands untouched. So, the image of a man being threatened by red-hot pokers, titled "Inquisition", is not to be sealed away as a representation of a historical travesty when "Crusade", which even had an Elspeth version to excuse it going forward, is? To me, these are equally generic but the reasoning and methodology is increasingly to be called into question.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 12:06 am 
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The choice of cards to be banned was pretty slipshod. I suspect somebody high up got nervous and passed down a memo that said "ban something" and the task got passed off to whoever in the office had a spare hour.
I also think banning was a bad way to go about it. A promise or an explanation would have been more meaningful. I suppose we got an apology but it was pretty copy/paste stuff. Taking drastic action can be a form of apology too, but the sloppy way they did it makes it a pretty lame form of apology. And taking them out of gatherer is kind of like taking the offending object out of the museum- that's actually the best place for it.

As for Crusade in particular, we can't reasonably be certain what the designers and the artist had in mind. Given the disorganized nature of Alpha the artist probably had a very foggy idea of what WOTC actually wanted. This is the set that gave us Balance after all.
It's not really clear if WOTC banned Crusade out of ethnic of religious concerns. I can only speculate that it was over religious concerns as the real world crusades were concerned with religion (and plunder).

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 12:17 am 
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Oh, I definitely agree that the process they used to pick the cards is strange and arbitrary, and unless they actually share that process with us we'll never know why done cards got on there and not others. I would guess that the removed cards might have gotten complaints in the past (which would be a whole other issue if they had a folder of cards they knew made people uncomfortable for years ready to pull out and implement), but my point is just that there is plenty of ways to justify Crusade's inclusion, regardless of other cars that could be considered worse. And sure, the rebranded version is fine and clearly generic fantasy fare, but there is no room in the system to only ban a specific printing of a card. These things are all or nothing.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 1:44 am 
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Until a few days ago there was no room in the system for tabooing cards for politics, either. And to an extent, there's already a precedent for finding particular copies unacceptable with the TO's sole discretion to permit or refuse alters.

However, my point in this instance (which for me is again secondary to the health and integrity of the game in the face of unrelated bannings) is to an extent: if they cared about the issues, if their "heart was in the right place" so to speak, we wouldn't be seeing an action so ham-fisted and arbitrary. But we are. What we see instills in me a great negative confidence in the handling of the game. I think Mown's statements, earlier, also resonate with me: the issues that effect players aren't addressed, while the issues of moralizers who don't necessarily play are.

I circle back, also, to the references I made in my open letter/main statement on this matter, comparing the current reaction to the reaction to the "Satanic Panic". The reasoning is the same, appeasement of a group or zeitgeist that seeks to bend media to be more in line with their morals, whether engaged or not. The difference between then and now is that the response then had integrity. I see no integrity in the response now.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 2:01 am 
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We have hopefully not seen the full extent of their response yet. If this is still that happens I will certainly be inclined to agree with you. I'm waiting for them to address the systemic issues in the company, but that's not something you can do in an afternoon. Addressing visible racism in the game was some that could be done fast (if somewhat shoddy), so they did. If the weeks go by and nothing else happens regarding the wide issues I might very well switch camps here. And while I understand mown's (and many other's) frustration, comparing bad game design to racism shows an odd sense of priority in my opinion. Anyway, it's a false dichotomy. Their failure to address gameplay issues is not in any way connected to what is happening here.

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