- Monte Cook Games
We, the undersigned, DEMAND immediate removal of "Thunder Plains" and all related content from all Monte Cook Games publications current and future, and request an immediate public apology for harm done, regardless of supposed intent from the creators.
The Strange RPG is a game about world-hopping into alternate realities called "recursions" that are based on amassed collective imagination. For example, there may be a "recursion" all about children's games, or one that specifically features a "cops & robbers" theme since it is a game played around the world by children of all ages.
There may be another "recursion" about Wonderland, since it is a well-known book/story throughout the world.
There may be some not based in any realities of our own world, but from collective imaginations based in other alien worlds.
However, Bruce R. Cordell and Monte J. Cook thought it appropriate to appropriate Native culture and create this mass amalgamation pan-Indian world as one of their main 5 listed in their core guide named "Thunder Plains". In it, they have turned "Thunderbird" into an antagonistic god-like creature, and have littered the 'recursion' with 'medicine men' wearing leather chaps and overly large headdresses with antlers, stating that Indians 'revere' the buffalo.
On and on with such blatantly racist stereotypical trope after trope, belittling real living human being, demeaning our existence, dehumanizing us, and forcibly placing us in the category of make-believe past and purposefully reinforcing the very same imagery that contributes to the continued genocide and colonization that plagues us today.
They have been made very clearly aware of how harmful this is, with numerous links to articles written by Dr. Adrienne Keene, and multiple studies proving, with numbers, how harmful this is.
Their initial response was simple and completely missed the point.
They stated, from their official accounts at @MonteCookGames and @TheStrangeRPG (quickly followed by mouthpiece @ShannaGermain) that their "intent" was to show that this is from collective imagination and that collective imagination and stereotypes are wrong. This is never stated in their book (that this is stereotypically racist and incorrect) and presented solely by itself.
Even if their intent is as claimed, they are profiting off of continued genocide of our peoples via appropriation and racism.
This is unacceptable. #RacismInGaming is rampant and nearly ubiquitous with nerd culture and gaming culture. While developers like Chris Sims are working to be more inclusive (to LGBTQIA spectrum folks and women especially), it seems Monte J. Cook and Bruce R. Cordell are reveling in purposeful racism.
When confronted with these issues, there have been offers for inclusion on review boards, but no acknowledgement of mistakes or harm, no apologies, and plenty of jibes and rude comments (especially from Shanna Germain). The official twitter of the individuals, game company, and game itself have repeatedly blocked anyone speaking against it, and thereafter began mocking the real harm done and real discussion being had as "outragism" and a non-issue (see attached image from Bruce Cordell twitter).
We cannot let this stand. There is overwhelming and ever-mounting evidence of the real actual harm done to Native peoples by imagery like what is seen in The Strange. There are over 560 federally recognized, hundreds of state recognized, and hundreds that aren't recognized (fighting for recognition, whom imagery like this directly harms) SOVEREIGN Native Nations in the US ALONE.
Step up, and help us deliver a message to the creators (Monte J Cook and Bruce R Cordell) that they CANNOT ignore.
http://www.buffalo.edu/news/releases/2015/03/021.html (Mascotry is no different than popular imagery placing Natives in the past, or as fantasy creatures, let alone bouth..please read, relevant.)
- Monte Cook Games
We, the undersigned, DEMAND immediate removal of "Thunder Plains" and all related content from all Monte Cook Games publications current and future, and request an immediate public apology for harm done, regardless of supposed intent from the creators and companies responsible for publishing of this content.
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