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Concern about racism and sexism in Supertuxkart 0.9


I contribued to Supertuxkart (a kart game) new engine featured in the
version (0.9). However I left the project 2 months ago because in my
opinion some offending materials were included.

One of the new track being showcased takes place in a "aztec like"
fictionnal environment and has several instance of Native American
cultural appropriation ; the poster associated for the release speaks
for itself : a white woman is wearing an outfit that can be depicted
as a mix of Native american clothes from different nation and a halo
of feathers.
In game Quetzacoalt (according to Wikipedia, it is an aztec god)
figure is used in several places without any concern about its
religious meaning ; the track also features an "aztec village" but
half of its inhabitant are monkeys. It's Suzanne, the icon from
Blender, but her over representation (around 8 models over the 15
models in the village) is in my humble opinion offending, especially
since in the second other track, Suzanne is only present twice.

On the other hand the new track which takes place in an island with a
big airport has 8 models of Sara (the white woman in the poster) in a
bikini swim suit, even in the hall of the airport. There are something
like 2 Suzanne, 4 GNU (who is still wearing is T shirt) and 4 "aztec"
women also featured from the other new track. In my opinion it's
privileging a male gaze position.
It's not the first time the game do that : 2 years ago when Sara was
introduced there was a controversy. She was the first female human
character in the game, and one of her animation is making her skirt
reveals her pants while jumping. The team didn't remove the animation

While there are probably free gaming software projects doing worse,
the family nature of the game makes its representations appear less
harmfull that they really.
Debian still packages STK 0.8 (which doesnt have Sara iirc) but it
will eventually package 0.9. IMHO the offending materials should be
stripped off from the tracks if possible (the tracks are specified as
xml file so removing mark should works in most case).

Vincent Lejeune

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