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Re: Concern about racism and sexism in Supertuxkart 0.9

2015-05-01 23:47 GMT+02:00 Gaudenz Steinlin <gaudenz@debian.org>:
> Vincent Lejeune <vljn.ovi@gmail.com> writes:
>>>From: Brian Gupta
>>>Addressing the question of age-inappropriateness and speaking as a
>>>parent of a young boy and girl, who tries to be vigilant for
>>>age-inappropriate content,  I see absolutely no issue with this game,
>>>and would consider it appropriate for all ages. (This is by my own
>>>relatively puritanical US moral compass.)
>> Actually it is not inappropriate in a age rating perspective.
>> It's rather : a game that was presented as a family game and which had
>> a non human cast for years is now adopting the stance of an
>> heterosexual male point of view.
>> It's virtually accepted everywhere in the world since 95% of the video
>> game industry does it, actually Nintendo does it since their first
>> console after the video game industry crisis around 1985.
>> It also happens that since Nintendo did it, the number of women in
>> STEM slowly decreased to the point where it is now virtually accepted
>> everywhere that it's a male only field.
>> I strongly thing both phenomen are tied, I personnaly got interested
>> in computer science because I was curious about how the game I played
>> worked and wanted to reproduce and modify them.
>> And I think I'm not the only one. Actually I think most people in STK
>> dev team are in this case...
>> Of course having 8 women in bikini in a track doesn't prevent a little
>> girl to play the game and enjoy it, and working in STEM later but she
>> will have more difficulty to feel welcomed by the game.
>> It also happens that the video game community that grews with gendered
>> games is currently harassing female video game developpers to make
>> them resign and threaten developper that want to use their artistic
>> freedom
>> to introduce non sexualised female or "politically correct" playable
>> character in their game.
> Thanks for this summary of your position. I absolutely agree with your
> point of view. The question is if this is reason enough to ban the game
> (or parts of the game) form Debian. IMHO this should be discussed (as
> it's done now) with upstream and the Debian Games Team and it should
> ultimately be their decision to take. That's IMO how Debian works.
> I don't see the content as problematic enough to warrant a Debian wide
> ban against the maintainers will. This should be left for very extreme
> cases. If it's possible and someone is volunteering to do the work I
> would appreciate if the sexualised content would be removed from the
> Debian package once the version containing it is being packaged for
> Debian.
> Gaudenz

I attached the patches in the mail.
remove_sara_pants_animation.patch can be aplied on 0.8.1 (which is
already shipping in debian testing).
The others 2 removes the monkeys in cocoa_temple and the women in
bikini in gran paradisio island.

I won't fork the game btw. I don't believe fork is an answer to social
issue and I think it'll be a waste of time and resource for everyone.
It would split audience and worforce in 2 and STK is already low on manpower.

I'd like to clarify some misconceptions brought on the ML:
I don't think women in bikini can be qualified as "hentai level" content.
I don't know if their posture or their "measurments" (sorry I don't
know what is the appropriate english word is) are representing the
ones of real women,
their designer told me he took a specific attention so I tend to think it is.
There also far less sexualised than in other free or commercial game.
If you're sure it won't trigger a wrong experience, just look at the
"media" page of OpenArena (which is as far as I know packaged by
debian too).
I invite you to test the game to judge by yourself although the stk
team made it difficult to quickly test the 2 problematic tracks from
(you need to edit some xml file, I think STK wiki provides a
description on how to unlock tracks)

Yet it doesnt change the fact that the women in bikini are sexualised.
It's not necessarily bad per se, but we're talking about a familly
game here.
I think using Mario Kart as a reference is fine here since this is the
game STK is cloning. There are now 8 episodes in the serie and each of
has sold several millions of units, so it's safe to assume they know
how to make a familly oriented game that pleases a broad audience.
I only played the 7th episode but I think whats follow applies to the
8th installement :
- Mario Kart doesn't show the pants of her princess. Actually she's
wearing a bike outfit so it's not possible to her body is completly
- Mario Kart doesn't have any women in bikini. It doesnt even have a
man in a swim suit. Yet it has a beach (and an airport too...)
- In every Mario Kart promotionnal used (and they have far more than a
single poster) any woman is wearing clothes that doesn't reveal her
womb or legs skins.
Of course I don't know every possible marketing material of every
possible Mario Kart ever produced but the assertion is valid for every
one of them I saw.
I don't think anyone consider Mario Kart or Nintendo as puritanical
though. It's just that it won't come to anyone to put women in bikini
in a game that is also
targeted at child.
It's not only Nintendo : I don't remember Nickelodeon shows that
display sexualised (even lightly) content. I don't know all of their
show though and they target a younger audience than STK.
Free software is innovating here but in a way that doesn't honor it.

About Censorship : I strongly disagree here.
Firstly Debian is only a channel in STK distribution. STK is
distribued as a separate download for Windows, OSX and Linux in a
distro agnostic way.
Out there Debian is not the only distro packaging STK. It's also
intended to distribute it on Steam. It's very different for Apple
Store where you need some technical knowledge to install an
alternative store on your phone.
You don't even have to know how to build from source, it's just a
single download as on Windows.
Secondly I fail to see how removing or replacing content because of
it's offensive nature is more censoring than removing or replacing
content because let's say it has a CC-BY-NC-SA licence.
You're equally replacing artistic content in both case, and you
prevent artistic freedom in both case too since an artist can't
produce texture out of a NC texture.
I'm quoting this example since in some case STK uses textures with a
NC clause in 0.9 ; actually the game ships with non NC clause and will
download the textures when the user type some codes (given after
so that it complies with Debian rule.
I'm actually fine with the debian policy about rejection of non NC
content. And rejecting content considered innappropriate is a policy
too and is less right or less wrong that the former.

>that there is another important point which nobody has mentioned so far:
>Sara is the *only* female character in the whole game. and guess what,
>she's useless, not driving any kart and only there because of her

>now, if *at least* there was one of the other animal character who was
>female, the issue would be a little milder but no, there is not. no
>female duck or female monkey. only 1 white girl *showing off her body*
>cause that is all she does, doesn't she? regardless of the "why" about
>which Ansgar argued with Suso.

I apologize if my message was misinterpreted.
In 0.8.1 the first human female playable character was introduced.
Prior there was 2 female playable character, Xue (from XFCE) and
Suzanne (from Blender).
The non human was (and still is) non gendered (which is fine btw) ie
there is no pink/blue
There was no human non playable character. Except sheeps actually
there was no non playable character.
In 0.9 there are now 5 female human characters in the game.
* One of them is a non playable "aztec like" woman who is fine I
think. She's used something like 5 times in the whole game.
She has a dark skin tone I was promised to be used in the released
poster 2 months ago to avoid whitewashing but
apparently the devs forgot this.
* One of them is "Sara the racer" which is Sara on a motor bike. The
character is fine.
* One of them is "Sara the wizard", the same model used in previous
version. She shows her pants.
* One of them is Sara in bikini, used 8 times on the beach track. It's
the most used model in this track.
* One of them is Sara used for the poster. It has a bikini top. It's
not available in the game unless you pay a fee and download bonus
There is no human male character at all.

--- a/data/tracks/cocoa_temple/scene.xml
+++ b/data/tracks/cocoa_temple/scene.xml
@@ -1480,28 +1480,6 @@
   <library name="stklib_lowRockBarrier_a" id="stklib_lowRockBarrier_a_main_proxy.007" xyz="242.62 39.24 255.63" hpr="1.9 0.1 6.3" scale="1.00 1.00 1.00">
-  <library name="stklib_monkeyCheering_a" id="stklib_monkeyCheering_a_main_proxy" xyz="29.09 -0.91 32.70" hpr="0.0 -6.8 0.0" scale="1.80 1.80 1.80">
-  </library>
-  <library name="stklib_monkeyCheering_a" id="stklib_monkeyCheering_a_main_proxy.001" xyz="279.75 19.14 -64.72" hpr="0.0 68.2 0.0" scale="1.80 1.80 1.80">
-  </library>
-  <library name="stklib_monkeyCheering_a" id="stklib_monkeyCheering_a_main_proxy.002" xyz="286.33 19.14 -79.85" hpr="0.0 6.4 0.0" scale="1.80 1.80 1.80">
-  </library>
-  <library name="stklib_monkeyCheering_a" id="stklib_monkeyCheering_a_main_proxy.003" xyz="267.71 19.14 -92.01" hpr="0.0 -19.5 0.0" scale="1.80 1.80 1.80">
-  </library>
-  <library name="stklib_monkeyCheering_a" id="stklib_monkeyCheering_a_main_proxy.004" xyz="238.46 19.14 -89.32" hpr="-0.0 104.8 -0.0" scale="1.80 1.80 1.80">
-  </library>
-  <library name="stklib_monkeyCheering_a" id="stklib_monkeyCheering_a_main_proxy.005" xyz="229.92 19.12 -115.54" hpr="-0.0 104.8 -0.0" scale="1.80 1.80 1.80">
-  </library>
-  <library name="stklib_monkeyCheering_a" id="stklib_monkeyCheering_a_main_proxy.006" xyz="251.57 19.13 -110.58" hpr="0.0 -65.1 0.0" scale="1.80 1.80 1.80">
-  </library>
-  <library name="stklib_monkeyCheering_a" id="stklib_monkeyCheering_a_main_proxy.007" xyz="266.57 21.60 -226.91" hpr="0.0 -32.4 0.0" scale="2.09 2.09 2.09">
-  </library>
-  <library name="stklib_monkeyCheering_a" id="stklib_monkeyCheering_a_main_proxy.008" xyz="261.45 21.69 -234.14" hpr="0.0 -67.0 0.0" scale="2.09 2.09 2.09">
-  </library>
-  <library name="stklib_monkeyCheering_a" id="stklib_monkeyCheering_a_main_proxy.009" xyz="309.01 18.84 -77.59" hpr="0.0 -91.8 -0.0" scale="1.80 1.80 1.80">
-  </library>
-  <library name="stklib_monkeyCheering_a" id="stklib_monkeyCheering_a_main_proxy.010" xyz="25.01 -0.91 49.59" hpr="-0.0 175.0 -0.0" scale="1.80 1.80 1.80">
-  </library>
   <library name="stklib_palmTree_a" id="stklib_palmTree_a_main_proxy" xyz="-33.00 0.00 22.00" hpr="0.0 -0.0 0.0" scale="1.00 1.00 1.00">
   <library name="stklib_redFlowerBush_a" id="stklib_redFlowerBush_a_main_proxy" xyz="36.47 -0.58 32.16" hpr="-0.0 -105.1 -0.0" scale="2.54 2.54 2.54">
--- a/data/tracks/gran_paradiso_island/scene.xml
+++ b/data/tracks/gran_paradiso_island/scene.xml
@@ -911,21 +911,6 @@
   <library name="stklib_beachBarMenu_a" id="stklib_beachBarMenu_a_main_proxy.001" xyz="-110.97 4.23 136.41" hpr="0.0 -2.9 -0.0" scale="1.00 1.00 1.00">
-  <library name="stklib_beachWomen_a" id="stklib_beachWomen_a_main_proxy" xyz="35.49 4.33 164.03" hpr="-0.0 165.0 -0.0" scale="1.00 1.00 1.00">
-  </library>
-  <library name="stklib_beachWomen_a" id="stklib_beachWomen_a_main_proxy.001" xyz="-99.66 4.70 140.52" hpr="-0.0 165.0 -0.0" scale="1.00 1.00 1.00">
-  </library>
-  <library name="stklib_beachWomen_a" id="stklib_beachWomen_a_main_proxy.002" xyz="104.56 24.60 -55.39" hpr="0.0 -19.8 0.0" scale="1.00 1.00 1.00">
-  </library>
-  <library name="stklib_beachWomen_a" id="stklib_beachWomen_a_main_proxy.003" xyz="48.94 4.08 151.01" hpr="-0.0 165.0 -0.0" scale="1.00 1.00 1.00">
-  </library>
-  <library name="stklib_beachWomen_a" id="stklib_beachWomen_a_main_proxy.004" xyz="36.38 3.53 143.52" hpr="0.0 -25.0 -0.0" scale="1.00 1.00 1.00">
-  </library>
-  <library name="stklib_beachWomen_a" id="stklib_beachWomen_a_main_proxy.005" xyz="49.10 4.16 131.19" hpr="0.0 -30.0 -0.0" scale="1.00 1.00 1.00">
-  </library>
-  <library name="stklib_beachWomen_a" id="stklib_beachWomen_a_main_proxy.006" xyz="-21.83 4.66 122.29" hpr="-0.0 -9.3 0.0" scale="1.00 1.00 1.00">
-  </library>
-  <library name="stklib_beachWomen_a" id="stklib_beachWomen_a_main_proxy.007" xyz="-7.72 4.50 126.10" hpr="-0.0 -179.3 0.0" scale="1.00 1.00 1.00">
   <library name="stklib_electricalFence_a" id="stklib_electricalFence_a_main_proxy" xyz="-60.00 5.59 98.80" hpr="-0.0 -90.0 0.0" scale="1.00 1.00 1.00">
--- a/data/karts/sara_the_wizard/kart.xml
+++ b/data/karts/sara_the_wizard/kart.xml
@@ -13,9 +13,7 @@
   <sounds engine = "large"/>
   <animations left = "19"
               straight = "39"
-              right = "59"
-              start-jump = "99"
-              end-jump = "129"/>
+              right = "59"/>
     <rear-right position = "0.062147 0.069841 -0.593046"
                  model    = "wheel-rear-right.b3d"       />

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