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Author Topic: Dwarf Fortress' Negative Representation of Migrants and Refugees  (Read 3334 times)

MachinaMandala

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Dwarf Fortress' Negative Representation of Migrants and Refugees
« on: February 01, 2018, 06:12:52 am »

Whilst I'm all sure we're aware of Dwarf Fortress' negative representation of migrants (swarms of people with useless skills entering into your fortress, eating your food and demanding stuff whilst not providing anything in return), I think the relatively new residency stuff is much, much worse.

Since a lot of visitors cum residents tend to have fled an oppressive regime, it's not unfair to characterise them, in my opinion, as refugees. The problem is that, after they apply for residency, it takes two years to get them to do anything useful. Essentially, for two full years they just hang around your fortress eating food, drinking and using resources that could go to another, more productive and dwarven, member of society. This mirrors right-wing rhetoric that refugees are nothing more than burdens on a productive society.

In addition, certain civilisations can have different ideological viewpoints to dwarven civilisation. The main problem here is that you can have goblins who are hyper violent. This is actually what motivated my complaint as, today, I found a goblin citizen murdered (for no reason) a visitor. Again, this is mirroring right-wing rhetoric that migrants / refugees are violent murderers (and worse).

Also, citizens / residents side with their parent civilisation if they get invaded by you. This is unrealistic and a very negative idea that these people haven't integrated into dwarven society at all. Again, mirroring right-wing rhetoric.

Altogether, this paints a very negative picture of migrants and refugees. Whilst I have no doubt that Toady didn't intend for this to happen, I feel it's a problem in terms of representation of migrants and refugees in popular media.

In the interests of fixing this, I recommend:
  • Visitors automatically take on dwarven viewpoints and cultural opinions as soon as they apply for residency.
  • Residents do not side with their original civilisation.
  • Residents do not kill people randomly.
  • Residents can work as soon as they apply for residency.
  • Residents get an experience learning boost (the "Migrant Economic Effect") as soon as they apply.
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KittyTac

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Re: Dwarf Fortress' Negative Representation of Migrants and Refugees
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2018, 06:17:51 am »

Let this wait until Laws and Customs, 5-6 years into the future. It'll be more appropriate. And we should spend time on fixing bugs for now. And we have a magic release to do 1.5 years from now.
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MarcAFK

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Re: Dwarf Fortress' Negative Representation of Migrants and Refugees
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2018, 06:46:36 am »

I have alternative proposals, but like the way this is going.
1. Visitors should apply for residency immediately, but chance of it being granted depends on their assimilation, and skillset, if theres a shortage of soap makers goblin legendary soapmaker is highly likely to be accepted. They should assimilate gradually but much faster if they become resident and faster again when employed.
2. Residents should have a chance of siding with their civilization depending on their assimilation level, religion (matching with parent civs majority religion raises chance, matching with fortress lowers chance).
3. Residents should learn the forts laws immediately and only break them if desperate or mistreated (by racists?). As they assimilate they pick up the forts values and morals.
4. Yes
5. Yes, but the reverse should apply too, untill assimilated they should have much lower experience.

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Rockeater

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Re: Dwarf Fortress' Negative Representation of Migrants and Refugees
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2018, 07:59:20 am »

I agree with KittyTac on this, But I feel like this might be solved in the Laws and Customs arc by having sentient choose if and where to move with a few parameters one of which will be his and the civ values and the rest with other arcs:
1.Will probably have similar ones if they move to your fort in the first place.
2.I don't think it make much sense that everyone support their civ on every war but should be some major modifier in favor of current civ.
3.Major value ,make sense to have it as a make or break for where to live.
4.Probably will come up at the Economy arc.
5.Maybe have them come with some skill,they needed some way to get money to move

Edit:You can add this to suggestions
« Last Edit: February 01, 2018, 08:07:25 am by Rockeater »
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KittyTac

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Re: Dwarf Fortress' Negative Representation of Migrants and Refugees
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2018, 08:20:12 am »

And economy is coming in 20 years.
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thvaz

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Re: Dwarf Fortress' Negative Representation of Migrants and Refugees
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2018, 10:38:52 am »

Let this wait until Laws and Customs, 5-6 years into the future. It'll be more appropriate. And we should spend time on fixing bugs for now. And we have a magic release to do 1.5 years from now.

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DoktaYut

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Re: Dwarf Fortress' Negative Representation of Migrants and Refugees
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2018, 08:45:34 am »

While the system could well use some alterations and fine-tuning because technically it's rather simplistic compared to reality, and such additions would present a better image, having "it makes immigrants/refugees look bad" as a driving force for it is not something I agree with. There's been worse, much worse, than this in the game more or less entirely by accident, let alone what players do. Representation of real groups and Dwarf Fortress shouldn't even be trying to go together, because DF is a game whose purpose is to simulate worlds that aren't even trying to represent this one in any terms beyond physics and biology; cultural and political terms being directly left out. Even in high-realism worlds it'd be just interpreting something a machine made up.

Basically, improving the system is alright, but not for these reasons; they are entirely irrelevant for the case at hand.
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Nydan

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Re: Dwarf Fortress' Negative Representation of Migrants and Refugees
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2018, 09:45:21 pm »

It's impossible to escape the politics isn't it?

The current system at least allows full integration within two years. Something that many times does not happen in real life. You want to make migrants better than natives with your skill boost. Left wing idoicy.
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Salmeuk

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Re: Dwarf Fortress' Negative Representation of Migrants and Refugees
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2018, 02:53:16 am »

I mean, I see your point, but I have yet to see any casual discussion of that point, even in a joking manner. I think you are welcome to argue that if and when it arises.

Two things:

1. DF is already a poor representation of human societies, due to a number of factors not limited to incomplete features like the one you have highlighted. To suggest that we change the game in accordance with political sensibility is a bit silly when, in the same breath, we are taking about 'dirty elf genocide' or whatever the memes are these days.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

2. Even if a large percentage of DF users were taking away political lessons from the game, that 'large percentage of DF users' would translate to 'an infinitesimally small percentage of politically-active members of society' and it would be hardly a blip compared to the sway of modern sources of status-quo reinforcing media.

Have you been around the forum very long? This place rarely gets heated, and when it does the fights are limited to a few extremely vocal players and eventually end up corralled and/or frozen by The Toad Himself. I believe general discussion is a relevant forum for political discussion, and you might be better off exploring this issue in a new thread in that section. I imagine that some sort of 'political lessons, as taken from DF gameplay' would prove interesting.

I don't mean to censor discussion, it's just that I hate seeing people start the inevitable and I think your method of introduction won't work for everyone.

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GoblinCookie

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Re: Dwarf Fortress' Negative Representation of Migrants and Refugees
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2018, 12:23:05 pm »

This is a very strange post in that it appears to depict what is in effect the opposite of the truth and obviously so.  Integration of foreigners is really far, far too easy and basically effortless.  No representation of the difficulties that would reasonably exist in integrating a creature that has a completely different psychology and a totally foreign language into a society.

Whilst I'm all sure we're aware of Dwarf Fortress' negative representation of migrants (swarms of people with useless skills entering into your fortress, eating your food and demanding stuff whilst not providing anything in return), I think the relatively new residency stuff is much, much worse.

That is actually the delusional beliefs of certain dwarf fortress players speaking not the mechanics, representing their hatred of actual real-life immigrants and nothing else, along with their ignorance of economics to a large degree.  In reality the actual dwarf fortress economy runs on hauling, which everyone can do however unskilled.  There basically can be no useless immigrants since anyone that can walk and carry stuff adds to the wealth of the fortress.

They live in the delusional world where all wealth is made by a few highly skilled master craftsmen, ignoring the fact that they would have to spend all the time hauling if it was not for those 'useless immigrants'. 

Also, citizens / residents side with their parent civilisation if they get invaded by you. This is unrealistic and a very negative idea that these people haven't integrated into dwarven society at all. Again, mirroring right-wing rhetoric.

That is just not true.  All immigrants to your fortress leave their own civilization when they migrate to your fortress, so the situation you are describing will never happen. 

It could happen if we are talking about resident visitors, but those people are not immigrants are they?  They aren't part of your fortress because they have no desire to be tied down in that way, they essentially chose not to be migrants because as far as I am aware there are no barriers to migration in the game at all.  As an adventurer you can actually go to a goblin dark fortress as a dwarf and then become a part of goblin civilization by retiring there.

2. Even if a large percentage of DF users were taking away political lessons from the game, that 'large percentage of DF users' would translate to 'an infinitesimally small percentage of politically-active members of society' and it would be hardly a blip compared to the sway of modern sources of status-quo reinforcing media.

The players are applying their own political lessons to understand the actual game mechanics.  The result is threads like this one, as players complain about a situation that does not even exist, since the players understanding of the actual mechanics is warped by their own beliefs that run counter to them. 
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Bortness

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Re: Dwarf Fortress' Negative Representation of Migrants and Refugees
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2018, 01:41:33 pm »

... That is actually the delusional beliefs of certain dwarf fortress players speaking ... representing their hatred of actual real-life immigrants and nothing else ... their ignorance of economics ... The players are applying their own political lessons to understand ... the players understanding of the actual mechanics is warped by their own beliefs that run counter to them.

Dude, the vast majority of what you're doing here is harshly judging people different from yourself.  That's almost... prejudiced.  You might have heard of that word somewhere before.

Pot, meet kettle.  Sigh.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2018, 01:46:42 pm by Bortness »
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el Indio

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Re: Dwarf Fortress' Negative Representation of Migrants and Refugees
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2018, 05:56:12 pm »

That is actually the delusional beliefs of certain dwarf fortress players speaking not the mechanics, representing their hatred of actual real-life immigrants and nothing else,

In the early game migrants literally are useless, there is hardly anything that needs hauling in my forts early on because the miners and crafters are low skilled, so everything takes much longer.  You get swamped with massive migration waves whilst still trying to set up a basic fortress.  If migration waves were much smaller, or started happening later in the fortress' life, this angst probably wouldn't exist in the forum.  To suggest that players frustrated by this game mechanic are racists is naive, or you are simply a troll (an internet troll, not a DF troll).

Altogether, this paints a very negative picture of migrants and refugees. Whilst I have no doubt that Toady didn't intend for this to happen, I feel it's a problem in terms of representation of migrants and refugees in popular media.

There will eventually be starting scenarios that will alter what types of migrants will come to your fort, and the conditions under which they will do so.  Maybe one scenario will be refugees from a megabeast attack, or goblins taking over a site.  Your fort will receive a massive migration wave and the challenge will be to get them all clothed and fed before a tantrum spiral starts.

As for representation in popular media, perhaps violence should be removed from the game as well.  Instead of a forgotten beast bringing ruin, they could bring cake instead.
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KittyTac

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Re: Dwarf Fortress' Negative Representation of Migrants and Refugees
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2018, 09:34:02 pm »

Knowing that all DF creatures are not sentient, or even alive, you're literally applying politics to a bunch of zeroes and ones, plus a letter. :P
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Vivalas

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Re: Dwarf Fortress' Negative Representation of Migrants and Refugees
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2018, 11:56:31 pm »

Pretty sure the feature is somewhat incomplete and an artifact of DF's weird release cycle, and any poliical intent you try to discern out of DF is almost certainly an artifact of faulty human pattern recognition, given the fact that Toady has never been political, at least to my knowledge.

I mean, someone could make a point about how elves are made to mock hippies and environmentalists
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Devast

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Re: Dwarf Fortress' Negative Representation of Migrants and Refugees
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2018, 12:45:15 am »

Whilst I'm all sure we're aware of Dwarf Fortress' negative representation of migrants (swarms of people with useless skills entering into your fortress, eating your food and demanding stuff whilst not providing anything in return), I think the relatively new residency stuff is much, much worse.

Since a lot of visitors cum residents tend to have fled an oppressive regime, it's not unfair to characterise them, in my opinion, as refugees. The problem is that, after they apply for residency, it takes two years to get them to do anything useful. Essentially, for two full years they just hang around your fortress eating food, drinking and using resources that could go to another, more productive and dwarven, member of society. This mirrors right-wing rhetoric that refugees are nothing more than burdens on a productive society.

In addition, certain civilisations can have different ideological viewpoints to dwarven civilisation. The main problem here is that you can have goblins who are hyper violent. This is actually what motivated my complaint as, today, I found a goblin citizen murdered (for no reason) a visitor. Again, this is mirroring right-wing rhetoric that migrants / refugees are violent murderers (and worse).

Also, citizens / residents side with their parent civilisation if they get invaded by you. This is unrealistic and a very negative idea that these people haven't integrated into dwarven society at all. Again, mirroring right-wing rhetoric.

Altogether, this paints a very negative picture of migrants and refugees. Whilst I have no doubt that Toady didn't intend for this to happen, I feel it's a problem in terms of representation of migrants and refugees in popular media.

In the interests of fixing this, I recommend:
  • Visitors automatically take on dwarven viewpoints and cultural opinions as soon as they apply for residency.
  • Residents do not side with their original civilisation.
  • Residents do not kill people randomly.
  • Residents can work as soon as they apply for residency.
  • Residents get an experience learning boost (the "Migrant Economic Effect") as soon as they apply.

We're play a game/simulation we don't need real life politics imposed on fictitious World(s?).
« Last Edit: February 04, 2018, 12:48:48 am by Devast »
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