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Re: Concern about racism and sexism in Supertuxkart 0.9

Ingame pictures (using imgur) of Sara :

The Sara model in bikini is fine per se, buthaving it 8 times in a
tracks that takes only 1 min to complete is a lots IMHO ;
others models have up to 4 occurences on the same tracks.

Sara playable character (in 0.8.1 too) :

Monkeys in native village :

The poster by itself is not really about sexism, but rather about
cultural appropriation:
First Sara is white in what appears to be a native american like outfit.
Then she is in front of a religious building (the pyramid) and wear a
feather halo.
It seems that feather is a sacred symbol for native american culture.
I might be wrong though since I dind't find anything saying that no
native nation used elements in religious ceremony that could be seen
as sexualizing in my european eyes,
yet Wikipedia's entry on Aztec and Maya women tells that it wasn't the
case ; and IMHO mixing religious symbol and potentially sexualising
clothes is not respectfull.
I think it is as equally offending to have a nun wearing a bikini top
in front of a christian church for instance.
On the other hand, the poster isn't bundled with the game, or at
least, it doesnt really need to be packaged. It's more marketing

I was part of the STK team so I already had a discussion with upstream
about these issues but without success.
I don't want to spoil future discussion Debian may have with STK, but
basically their points are that they don't see the content
offending,that it's part of their
artistic freedom.
To be honest I'm hoping a bit that having downstream discussing the
representation in STK may make they change their mind.

STK seems to be used in academia, for instance Microsoft Research used
it to demonstrate the Illumiroom project, AMD as an example of
debugging Opengl app in
linux with Gpu Perf Studio API, and on the forum/mailing list there
was a professor in cognitive science that wanted to use STK to test
brain reaction to stimuli iirc.
I assume this is because STK is often seen as harmless 3D game since
it's a family game with colorfull graphism. It's a bit like Disney
movie, actually the monkeys
 in the village reminds me of the Jungle Book scene for example and
despite it being frankly questionable it's still considered a classic
animation movie in 2015.
That's why the presence of representation matters a lot in STK :
players may take them as acceptable or even positive without
considering them as potentially wrong,
not accounting that even if STK is a game developped by volunteers,
the contributors may later enters the video game industry.

Thanks for your interest in these issues,


2015-04-30 12:52 GMT+02:00 suso <mail@susobaleato.eu>:
> I do not understand the added value of displaying sexualized
> characters in the game. Perhaps the concept of a semi-naked
> white woman with anorexia plays some unreplaceable role in
> the storyline that, let's say, a similarly dressed but
> healthy latino man cannot not. Not enough information.
> Could you please provide a link to the discussion where that
> decission was made?
> Thanks.
> Gianfranco Costamagna escrebeu:
>> Hi to All,
>>  > [1] <http://supertuxkart.sourceforge.net/persistent/images/8/82/OfficialPoster_090.jpg>
>>  > [2] <http://supertuxkart.sourceforge.net/persistent/images/6/65/OfficialPoster_081.jpg>
>> I see one woman, and ~15 anymals, no men at all.
>> How can this be interpreted as "privileging a male gaze position."?
>> I honestly fail to see anything bad in the two images, are we looking to the right images?
>> I'm a 0.8.1 gamer, and I never found anything offensive in the game, and no women at all (as you said).
>> Having "Sara" in the game is not disturbing, I don't know why it should be.
>> (just my .02$, since debian-games list is now involved)
>> cheers,
>> Gianfranco
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