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Telltale's Sam & Max games getting remastered


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15 hours ago, Rum Rogers said:

On a side note and just to play the devil's advocate here, isn't preventing a person from doing a job based on their skin color (in this case white) the very definition of racism?

 

Rum, years ago I wondered about the same, and believe I know where you are coming from. I really hope I don’t come off rude with my post, but have to ask:

 

Are you really sure you want to dive back into this topic, and are you really, really sure you want to do it with that question?

 

The thing is that this question has been (and still is) asked a million times, and there is no quick answer to this that will satisfy. I know I had the same thought in the past, and it took many years for me to understand it. I’m trying to educate myself with reading articles, listening to podcasts and talk to people who know more about this, and I still only scratch the surface.

 

My quick answer would be that the case of the Bosco recasting is not racial discrimination, since reverse racism doesn't exist.

 

And I am certain that this statement, standing on it's own, will ruffle a lot of feathers, but that’s because you have to know a ton of background infos and facts that support this claim. And I think asking a video game forum to deliver these is a lot to ask. Also, it has been explained a million times online, so I would ask you to do a bit of googlin’ to find out yourself. 

 

Again, I am happy that you are curious about the topic and want to learn from it, but kindly ask you to do a bit more self education and research. Because you have to understand that, to many people, these questions are extremely exhausting. Too often it feels like having to explain and discuss the rules of soccer before every single match.

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I apologize in case my question felt provoking or out of place, mine was a genuine question asked to / among people I somehow consider "close" (for what the internet allows us to be close obviously).

 

I respect all of you and had a great time for decades here, both as a lurker and as an active member. I understand that such a question is a bit too much to actually deal with in a forum like this (for LucasArts related stuff mainly).

 

You don't come off rude and I hope I didn't as well, it's really something I was wondering but you're right, this implies personal research instead of wondering aloud (pretty much what I did in my previous post).

 

I'm actually glad that my question still didn't seem absurd to you and that you've been there before, I think it's a reasonable doubt for which I'll have to do some research especially in the context of the United States, which I think could probably be the key here to fully understand this.

 

Once again, hope I haven't triggered anything bad here and thanks for your considerations!

 

Still, the first part of my post stays: I'll support the devs to the end, I've purchased the remaster once again! :D

 

Cheers Marius!

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I don’t want to start this discussion again either, but the answer ‘please google it and educate yourself’ is quite exhaustive to relate to as well, and the most common answer to difficult questions I see online. It seems this answer is the easiest when one does not really have any good arguments. 

 

Anyway, ‘reverse’ racism (I don’t like this term either, it is a nonsense term to me. I suppose what you mean is racism against white people) most definitely exist. And if someone thinks that races or cultures other than white/western ones are not racist, I would encourage them to drop google and travel the world for a bit. I have seen more racism in eastern/African countries than I ever have in western/predominantly white countries.

 

That questions are exhausting to some people, because they are not able to argue without referring to the entire internet, is really inconsequential in a discussion. 

 

And Rum Rogers, please don’t ever apologize for having an opinion. I don’t think anyone should apologize if they have done nothing wrong. 

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I think privileged white people tend to forget that not all (in fact most) white people are not very privileged or powerful at all. The same relationship between privileged and common people exist in non-western cultures as well.

 

Racism also exists between other races than white and colored. 

 

I am quite capable imagine feeling a victim of racism myself, it’s called empathy. And the reason I think we should treat everyone the same, not worse or better on the basis of their skin color. 

 

We we just had a debate in my country where people of eastern descent were told by people with African descent that they were ‘not black enough’ to have an opinion about blackface and should shut up. Of course, this only applied to people who had the ‘wrong’ opinion. I think this is a very dangerous and wrong way to go. 

 

Edit; Anyway, I see that I got drawn into a discussion I did not wish to continue here, as I view it as unproductive at this point. I think I have said what I need to say on the subject. 

Edited by Longcat
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I do think "reverse racism" is quite possible (though frankly it's saddled with an intentionally derogatory term: racism is racism is racism). But as far as its actual reality on the ground it's infinitesimal compared to what people of color have to put up with.

 

And in the case of the acting world, actors of color have limited opportunities compared to people of European descent, so taking roles away in cases like Bosco feels like adding insult to injury IMO. I have no problem with it. So I did buy the remasters in the end.

 

On the other hand, I do have a very big problem with the rewriting of dialogue in the remastered version. That's far too close to rewriting history, "Greedo shot first"-style, for my taste. If the originals weren't included alongside the new versions on GOG I would never have bought them.

Edited by ATMachine
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1 hour ago, ATMachine said:

I do think "reverse racism" is quite possible (though frankly it's saddled with an intentionally derogatory term: racism is racism is racism). But as far as its actual reality on the ground it's infinitesimal compared to what people of color have to put up with.

 

And in the case of the acting world, actors of color have limited opportunities compared to people of European descent, so taking roles away in cases like Bosco feels like adding insult to injury IMO. I have no problem with it. So I did buy the remasters in the end.

 

On the other hand, I do have a very big problem with the rewriting of dialogue in the remastered version. That's far too close to rewriting history, "Greedo shot first"-style, for my taste. If the originals weren't included alongside the new versions on GOG I would never have bought them.

 

I guess this is also dependent on if you by ‘acting world’ mean the United States of America. In my country, the number of ppl of color in acting roles appears disproportionately large compared to what percentage of the population they represent. I also do not see many white people in huge acting industries like Bollywood or East Asia. 

 

It is not about this particular case, it’s just that as a general rule, I like to see that the person who is best qualified gets the job, not the person with the right gender, skin color or similar. Quotas are a bad I idea in general. 

Edited by Longcat
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On 12/20/2020 at 12:38 PM, Longcat said:

I think privileged white people tend to forget that not all (in fact most) white people are not very privileged or powerful at all. The same relationship between privileged and common people exist in non-western cultures as well.

 

Are you making any effort to understand the arguments, or are you just living in a bubble of people who think like you?

 

 

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14 hours ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

 

Are you making any effort to understand the arguments, or are you just living in a bubble of people who think like you?

 

Oh. Your post is still here. I thought you would have sobered up and removed it by now. Cute.

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5 hours ago, Longcat said:

 

Oh. Your post is still here. I thought you would have sobered up and removed it by now. Cute.

 

It was a serious question. Your argument that the people who study and teach these things have never considered something as obvious as the fact that there are disenfranchised white people implies that you've not really taken time to understand the other side. (Of course such a thing exists, and of course it hasn't been forgotten.)

 

Someone else here talked about how they were surrounded by people who didn't understand what the wider issue is and I wondered if you were the same.

 

What country are you from? How old are you? You talk about your culture, but it's very hard to put your comments into context.

 

I posted a video that touched upon the issue of "white privilege" and puts it in some context. You seem to have ignored it? That's a shame because it does a better job of explaining parts of it than I can.

 

Resorting to insults isn't going to get much of a rise out of me, I'm afraid. 

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I think some academic theory does deliberately ignore or downplay the existence of disenfranchised white people - e.g., some scholars contend that it's literally impossible to be racist against white people, for instance.

 

But the reason such a theory can exist at all is that in 99 cases of racism out of 100, it's white people being racist against people of color. The institutional and political balance of power has been tilted in favor of European-descended white males for so long that many of them still feel able to indulge their hatreds, and people of color often can't afford the risk of complaining about it, let alone seeking justice.

 

Not letting white actors play characters of color is something that might seem counterintuitive, but it's a small way of kicking back against a world that is very heavily tilted against people of color already.

 

It's hardly a full-stop solution in terms of correcting hundreds of years of historical injustice, but it's a start and a laudable one, I think.

Edited by ATMachine
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41 minutes ago, ATMachine said:

I think some academic theory does deliberately ignore or downplay the existence of disenfranchised white people - e.g., some scholars contend that it's literally impossible to be racist against white people, for instance.

 

I agree with the majority of what you said, but not this sentence. Those two things are unrelated. Even if someone was contending that it's impossible for a white person to be meaningfully discriminated against in western culture, it's not the same as "forgetting" that disenfranchised white people, with little power, exist, which was the original argument. 

 

Although there are plenty of white people have little power, they are still generally better placed than a person of colour with little power.

Edited by ThunderPeel2001
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In practical terms I think your point is sound, at least in the world we live in. But as I understand it some of the theorists take it further, saying it's "impossible for a white person to be meaningfully discriminated against" not only practically in lived society, but in the abstract on a more fundamental level. I don't think I agree with that, simply because it sets up human prejudice as an eternal monolith, when it instead evolves alongside culture.

 

It may be "impossible" here and now - but how far do you extend that before it removes the core meaning of what racism is as a theoretical term? By definition racism is prejudice against someone based on their skin color or ethnicity. But if only a certain kind of racism is "meaningful racism", then that same argument by definition excuses other, less common kinds of racism - saying it's not just super-uncommon or basically irrelevant on a larger scale, but impossible to commit on a theoretical level, and therefore "not really racism".

 

The massive inequality that does exist makes it far, far, far more likely that on any given day, actual incidents of racism are those perpetrated by white people against people of color. But how does it help to build a more equal society if we say that ONLY white people can be racist? I doubt any one ethnicity has an absolute monopoly on vice, even if in our society they tend to have the market cornered overall.

 

I broadly agree with the arguments about recasting Bosco. But I think a lot of modern critical theory on racism basically treats it as a given that structural inequality is permanent and ineradicable, which I think is self-defeating from the word go.

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Back on topic:

I completed episode 6 yesterday on Switch, and I loved playing this game again!

I remember when I first played season one, it was with a bad taste in my mouth. It felt to me like a Sam and Max ‘light’ after the cancellation of the big budget LucasArts sequel. Back in those days, it wasn’t the Sam and Max I wanted, so my focus lay with the different voices, the repeating characters, the returning locations, and not with all the positive things it offers.

I completed it once and never touched it again.

 

Now, after so many years, after the moarning period, I must say I do have eye for the positives. The writing is hilarious, I don’t laugh aloud much when I enjoy my media alone, but this made me chuckle multiple times. The plots are really great too, delightfully zany and with very little consideration for reality, just like I like my Sam and Max to be!

The remaster has been handled with much love and care, and it really shows. The game has never looked or sounded better. And while I don’t agree with every choice of the developers, it’s very obvious that it’s a labour of love, and that makes me very forgiving. 
Thank you, Skunkape, for making me give this game a second chance and reigniting my love for this zany duo!

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Yes thank you @Lagomorph01, let's stay on topic. I don't think any of us are in the mood for a manufactured argument that tries to suggest recasting a small role in a video game is equivalent to slavery and institutional racism. You'd have to be an idiot or a stooge to even suggest it. 

 

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While I liked Season 1 from the start, I do think there is something to the idea that the game was trapped under these absolutely brutal restraints in presentation. The fact that the remaster is such a revelation despite changing none of the fundamentals goes to show that those fundamentals - design, writing, environment art, animation, voice work - were always pretty strong. They just needed to be released from the chokehold.

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18 hours ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

 

It was a serious question. Your argument that the people who study and teach these things have never considered something as obvious as the fact that there are disenfranchised white people implies that you've not really taken time to understand the other side. (Of course such a thing exists, and of course it hasn't been forgotten.)

 

It is not a serious question. It is what we would call a loaded question, akin to "Have you stopped beating your wife?".
The first part of the question implies that I have not made an effort to understand the arguments. The second part of the question implies that I must be some basement dwelling troll from an echo chamber, traversing the internet, looking for places to leave my racist remarks. This is a worn and well-known tactic used to limit replies to those that directly serve the questioner's agenda.

 

I have not written what you stated. I wrote 'privileged' white people. I have said nothing about the people who study or teach these things. They are not necessarily privileged nor white.
 

18 hours ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

Someone else here talked about how they were surrounded by people who didn't understand what the wider issue is and I wondered if you were the same.

 

I think you are confusing the concept of 'understanding' with the concept of 'agreeing'. I understand the arguments perfectly well. I just don't agree with the majority of them. I am not the same as anyone else, and neither are you. This group-identity mentality is really unhealthy.

 

18 hours ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

What country are you from? How old are you? You talk about your culture, but it's very hard to put your comments into context.

 

This is completely irrelevant to my opinions, and is usually asked in an attempt to discredit someones views based on their geographical location and/or experience. It will not provide you with any meaningful context in this discussion, as you know nothing else about me. I feel no need to dox myself, but since you insist; I live in a Scandinavian country (as I have already stated) and I am in my late thirties.

 

18 hours ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

I posted a video that touched upon the issue of "white privilege" and puts it in some context. You seem to have ignored it? That's a shame because it does a better job of explaining parts of it than I can.

 

You will have to excuse me if I do not feel obliged or a need to respond to a tirade from a talk show host/comedian, who makes anti-Semitic and derogatory jokes about women on twitter. I do not view Trevor Noah as a go to source for enlightenment on complex issues. But since you ask, no I do not agree with him or the concept of reparations as it is often applied. I believe in equality of opportunity. not equality of outcome.


I posed a question in an earlier post, which you replied to.

 

 

"Is T.H.E.M. voiced by verified mariachis?"

 

You omitted the question in your answer. You seem to have ignored it?

 

18 hours ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

Resorting to insults isn't going to get much of a rise out of me, I'm afraid. 

 

The reason i wrote 'sobered up' is because I, myself, would never have considered posting such a loaded question without having been stark drunk. Telling someone they are resorting to insults (or even calling that an insult) is laughable, considering the question you posted yourself. If someone wanted to get a rise out of you, I fear I am too late to the party.

 

On topic:

I have bought the game, In the hopes it will encourage further Telltale remasters. Unfortunately, I am unable to play it until I can replace my melted GPU with an RTX 3080 without paying a scalper on eBay. On a positive note, I am now the proud owner of no less than three copies of the original game.

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Interesting how the reviewer took exception with the decision to leave Chaikin's voicework in Culture Shock alone. I always thought that artifact made the season reminscient of an actual television show, where it isn't uncommon for recasts to occur after the pilot. I guess I understand where the expectation would come from, as Telltale did set a pattern of retroactively applying recasts (Thorn in Bone, Lechuck in Tales of Monkey Island, Biff in Back to the Future), but I always thought it was cool that they respected that a different guy voiced Max for the first episode by not overwriting it.

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5 hours ago, Longcat said:

I understand the arguments perfectly well.

 

If that were true, you wouldn't have made that statement in the first place. Any serious article on "white privilege" would have addressed your claim immediately. So either you're not as familiar with the arguments as you claim, or you are, and you made a deliberately provocative statement, knowing exactly what the response would be. It can't really be both.

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I have to say Skunkape did a great job with that Steam patch update. Hopefully being so calm and transparent will diffuse the situation for most people, plus it was interesting to read. 
 

And making it clear that people will get the originals as free DLC should also make some happy, too.
 

https://store.steampowered.com/news/app/1440440/view/2913231583179436796

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From Skunkape's lovely write-up:

 

Quote

Hot Bunny magazine at Bosco’s never had a look-at line in Culture Shock. If it strikes you as strange that Culture Shock’s Max doesn’t have anything to say about the magazines at Bosco’s, you’re probably remembering later episodes when he does have something to say. Even the original version of Culture Shock had no line hooked up there. (We have no idea why!)

 

When I read that paragraph, I was wondering why this seemed vaguely familiar. Then it hit me. Back in the summer/fall 2006, when every last pixel of every bit of media Telltale was putting out was being put under a microscope, this huge render of Bosco's Inconvenience was among the assets shared with the press:

 

full20201224042445.jpg

 

Notice how the magazine here is "Playbunny," rather than "Hot Bunny" as it is in the published game. As I recall, someone noticed the discrepancy at the time, and I think it was guessed - maybe even explained by Telltale? - that the "Playbunny" gag was a little too close to the target of the parody for legal comfort, so they had to change the texture of the magazine before shipping. If it was an eleventh hour change, it might explain why they simply cut Max's line (in 101, anyway) instead of re-recording it.

 

It's sick that I remember that.

 

Magazine parodies apparently stress out lawyers in a general sense. A similar change had to be made to an inventory item in Escape from Monkey Island. Quoth Mike Stemmle, from The Mojo:

 

Quote

The icon for SCUMM Magazine originally was visually a direct Mad Magazine parody, but we had do neuter the gag because we were informed that parody and satire laws don't cover video games. Personally, I think this is a load of legal cow dumplings, and eagerly await the day when a game company finally has the orbs to send a proper test case to court.

 

 

And now for me to spend some time outdoors.

 

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41 minutes ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

I have to say Skunkape did a great job with that Steam patch update. Hopefully being so calm and transparent will diffuse the situation for most people, plus it was interesting to read. 
 

And making it clear that people will get the originals as free DLC should also make some happy, too.
 

https://store.steampowered.com/news/app/1440440/view/2913231583179436796

 

And combined with the fact that only about 10 lines out of 12000 were changed, it shows how out of proportion the reactions have been.

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