To the Naysayers...

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To the Naysayers...

Post by Waytfm on 2012-02-11, 21:08

The collage thread got me thinking about the concerns the "naysayers" bring up. For the most part, these are very valid, and I think they deserve to be addressed.

Tastelessness: This was probably my biggest concern about the project, and this is something that will continue to be a big issue. Originally, I honestly didn't think it could be done, but the devs have got it under control. They've put an unbelievable amount of planning and brainstorming into making MS a project that treats mental illness respectfully and realistically. I think that the final project will reflect those efforts.

Ripping off Katawa Shoujo: This is (in my opinion) the most valid issue that gets raised. Mentaru Shoujo was based on the premise that Katawa Shoujo set up. The underlying premises are very similar, and even the titles are similar. Katawa Shoujo is with no doubt the inspiration for Mentaru Shoujo, but I don't think that they will be so similar in the end to count as "ripping-off." The only things the project takes from Katawa Shoujo are the basic underlying premise, and the (working) title of Mentaru Shoujo.

Mental disorders just won't work in a romantic setting: Why not? Can people with a mental disorder not love? Are they incapable of finding happiness in a relationship? I personally find the view that you can't make a VN about mental disabilities to be insulting. There are numerous people with mental disabilites who do find happiness through romance. Why shouldn't we be able to write about that? Granted, some mental disorders can limit the desire for romantic relationships, but Mentaru Shoujo isn't dealing with those. Great care has been taken to ensure that the disorders that are being used are viable for a romantic work. It's not a "tard-rape" game, as I've heard it called. Mentaru Shoujo is only dealing with mental disorders that allow for romantic relationships.

Anyways, those are just my thoughts on it. Those were the three biggest concerns that I hear about. If anyone has a rebuttal, more to add, or unaddressed concerns, please feel free to post them. There could very well be more concerns that I've overlooked, and having them brought up here can only help the project. Nobody here wants this to end badly, and the devs are dedicated to making this a tasteful VN.
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Re: To the Naysayers...

Post by myshoesarebrown on 2012-02-11, 21:39

I mentioned this in another thread. I just don't get the argument that the game shouldn't be made because it could be offensive. Plenty of books and video games are offensive. That should not be a factor as to whether something worthwhile could be created.

If I am offended by, say, a movie about a man going on a murderous rampage because people pissed him off -- and he is pointed out as the good guy -- then I just won't watch it. I'm not going to claim the movie should not be made.

Again I will misuse Mark Twain's quote and not even quote it properly. It would be wrong to disallow me from eating steak simply because a baby cannot chew it.

Now, this isn't to say that it should not be handled tastefully -- and I have no worry that it will not be. I know the devs are taking great pains to make sure everything is tasteful... If I were to worry about anything, it might be the devs focusing too much on it, but so far, I trust their judgement.
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Re: To the Naysayers...

Post by nevernotbroken on 2012-02-12, 00:10

Honestly, my biggest concern about ripping off KS is the idea of erasing the fact that like, most of the cast of KS blatantly had psychological goings-on. (Hanako had crippling levels of social anxiety, Misha is blatantly autistic, etc). But that's not really... the fault of the developers of MS at all, if people don't catch onto that well then they're silly and uninformed. ._.

The most worrying thing I've heard about this project so far is the idea that there are disorders that you can't have consensual romance with at all. Er?? I'm... kind of curious as to what you/the devs feel those are?

Because a huge part of what I found so encouraging about KS is that people with visibly disabled bodies are constantly desexualized and people don't feel like they're capable of consenting to/having sex for some reason... push that envelope. push it as far as it will go. it is a bad envelope.

Another thing I'm really really really worried about is the potential of there being plural/multiple characters... I'm personally really triggered by the medical narrative of plurality and if there's an arc with a character who is portrayed insensitively I will be *really* upset.

EDIT: And nothing is offensive about this game existing unless it's poorly written and ableist, which, it isn't inherently. What's offensive is the extreme levels of underrepresentation of neurodivergent people in every form of media.

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Re: To the Naysayers...

Post by Waytfm on 2012-02-12, 00:31

nevernotbroken wrote:The most worrying thing I've heard about this project so far is the idea that there are disorders that you can't have consensual romance with at all. Er?? I'm... kind of curious as to what you/the devs feel those are?

Not a dev, but you were referring to what I said, so I'll clarify. There are some mental conditions that just wouldn't work as for one of the target girls in this project. To quote Temple Grandin, a prominent autism activist as well as someone who has been diagnosed with autism; “the part of other people that has emotional relationships is not part of me." She also never married nor had kids.

It would be pointless to include someone with those views about relationships as a target girl in a romantic VN. She would make a good side character but in this work, where the whole point is to form emotional and romantic relationships, she wouldn't be a good choice for a target girl. That's sort of what I was getting at with that statement.

Also, somebody with severe mental retardation would be unable to give consent. So none of the target girls could be severely mentally retarded. They might make a good side character, but not a good main character.
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Re: To the Naysayers...

Post by nevernotbroken on 2012-02-12, 00:33

Woah, this has the potential to become a huge derail so I'll just go ahead and make a separate topic for it.

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Re: To the Naysayers...

Post by Waytfm on 2012-02-12, 00:43

nevernotbroken wrote:Woah, this has the potential to become a huge derail so I'll just go ahead and make a separate topic for it.

It's fine. These are valid concerns that many people might have, so the conversation might as well take place in the thread about the valid concerns many people might have.
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Re: To the Naysayers...

Post by MDV on 2012-02-12, 05:52

Waytfm, I want to start by saying the medical team will do everything it is able to do to keep MS realistic, tasteful and fair. I have spent six years in a special school, I know how love and everything that's part of mentally disabled high school life work. The devs know what they're doing. I'm not going to claim that the game won't offend anyone, but the portrayal of mentally disabled people won't be disrespectful or extremely unrealistic. You can count on us Cool.
I personally believe it's impossible to portray the lives of mentally disabled people without the story becoming a bit 'ableist' though. But as far as I know 'ableism' (I had to google it, never seen the word before) isn't a topic we talked about yet, so we very well might.
Mentaru Shoujo is just a working title, it will be changed when we come up with a good one.
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Re: To the Naysayers...

Post by Waytfm on 2012-02-12, 07:18

MDV wrote:Waytfm, I want to start by saying the medical team will do everything it is able to do to keep MS realistic, tasteful and fair. I have spent six years in a special school, I know how love and everything that's part of mentally disabled high school life work. The devs know what they're doing. I'm not going to claim that the game won't offend anyone, but the portrayal of mentally disabled people won't be disrespectful or extremely unrealistic. You can count on us Cool.
I have the utmost faith in you guys. I've seen you at work, it's certainly not something I could do. And I know the game will offend people, regardless of how well done it is. KS caught tons of flak, even though it was extremely tasteful and respectful. I know I can count on the docs to pull this off though. Cool

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Re: To the Naysayers...

Post by Incredulous on 2012-02-12, 15:05

I think that tastelessness is an issue which we will have little to none of, considering the amount of members of our team have mental illness. If we aren't offended, I don't think people with other mental illnesses will be offended. And if people without mental illness are offended, then that's their loss.

The ripping off part we just kinda have to deal with. Until we get down a proper title (probably not soon) we just have to be associated with KS. I don't know about the other devs, but I feel that we were inspired by KS, not ripping off it. And like Astarus mentioned in the other thread, KS was inspired by Raita's original drawing. Until people get that we were inspired by it, and when we can prove that our VN can stand alone, we'll just have to take it.

This last issue I find ridiculous. First the naysayers are telling us that we are being tasteless, discriminatory, and not treating mental illness right. Then they turn around and say that you can't have relationships if you have mental illness. Isn't that being just a bit discriminatory as well? I as a person with mental illness can testify to the fact that relationships make me feel better overall. So can other people with mental illness. We can still feel things, and we still have the mental capacity to make correct decisions.

I think that I addressed all the issues mentioned, and I hope that I killed any worries about these issues. I would like to thank everyone for their continued support. It means a lot to me personally, and I'm sure it does to the team as well.

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The flak that KS caught

Post by SillyBuns1138 on 2012-02-14, 15:47

This is just my opinion from having read some of the hateful comments that were made when KS came out. In general, I think the negative comments I read about KS being tasteless and wrong were from people who didn't know anything about the game or the characters and never intended to play/read it. If they'd taken even a moment to actually download and play through the first act they would have seen that KS was an incredibly respectful and tasteful way to address the serious themes surrounding physical disabilities and how they impact our relationships (along with a whole host of other incredible themes), and it may have impacted their thinking and their attitude.

So, the people who leave comments like that, well they're the ones with a problem. They're the ones who are unwilling to think outside their own little box, and they're the ones who are uncomfortable with the idea that someone with a handicap, either physical or mental, can find love. I don't think we should give those individuals or their complaints any more consideration than they deserve. In fact, I thank the devs of both KS and MS for challenging the prejudices that people, under the guise of political correctness, don't realize they have.

As someone who had an accident several years back that severely damaged his left knee, and even after surgery walks with a cane, and who suffers from depression, I am so much more offended by ignorant naysayers than these novels. In fact, I found KS empowering, and I don't doubt that MS will have a similar impact. You go, guys!

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Re: To the Naysayers...

Post by kosherbacon on 2012-02-14, 15:55

I'm not really reading anything beyond what gets brought up here or the IRC channel. My plan is to keep my head down, stick with my work, and come out with something that I can be proud of on its own merits.
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Re: To the Naysayers...

Post by anon2 on 2012-03-05, 19:08

>They've put an unbelievable amount of planning and brainstorming into making MS a project that treats mental illness respectfully and realistically.

Looking at your latest revealed character I can't take this serious. Are you honestly saying this character is realistic?

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Re: To the Naysayers...

Post by Waytfm on 2012-03-05, 19:35

anon2 wrote:>They've put an unbelievable amount of planning and brainstorming into making MS a project that treats mental illness respectfully and realistically.

Looking at your latest revealed character I can't take this serious. Are you honestly saying this character is realistic?

I would say that the character is realistic. From what I know, the mask is a valid treatment method for her particular disorder. Someone from the medical team might be needed to confirm or deny that though, as I'm not an expert on this.

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Re: To the Naysayers...

Post by Smokey on 2012-03-05, 19:38

With all respect, yes, she is realistically detailed.

Spoiler:
I prefer books with blue covers over ones with green.

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Re: To the Naysayers...

Post by slappetystick on 2012-03-05, 19:58

Waytfm wrote:
anon2 wrote:>They've put an unbelievable amount of planning and brainstorming into making MS a project that treats mental illness respectfully and realistically.

Looking at your latest revealed character I can't take this serious. Are you honestly saying this character is realistic?

I would say that the character is realistic. From what I know, the mask is a valid treatment method for her particular disorder. Someone from the medical team might be needed to confirm or deny that though, as I'm not an expert on this.

I can confirm that there's nothing unreasonable about it. I had some opportunities to comment on this particular subject, but M22 is quite meticulous and prompt. There's nothing to worry about in terms of realism in this project as far as I know.

I'd suggest thinking more about the creative aspects and trying to enjoy the characters as they are. Wink
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Re: To the Naysayers...

Post by encrypted12345 on 2012-03-05, 22:16

anon2 wrote:Looking at your latest revealed character I can't take this serious. Are you honestly saying this character is realistic?

Reality can seem unrealistic
I'm only 19, but I've seen enough to know that a person's sense of realism can be misguided or false. This guy reminds me of all the people why say that the disabilities in Katawa Shoujo should have been played for melodrama to be "realistic". Children these days. Rolling Eyes

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Re: To the Naysayers...

Post by Malkav on 2012-03-06, 01:48

anon2 wrote:>They've put an unbelievable amount of planning and brainstorming into making MS a project that treats mental illness respectfully and realistically.

Looking at your latest revealed character I can't take this serious. Are you honestly saying this character is realistic?

Aside from the standard "fail-troll is a miscarried failure of its epic-/successful-troll parents" remark, I am rather curious: what's unrealistic about wearing a metal mask? I used to still do shit like that all the time in public, back when I was in high school even now that I'm supposed to be a serious and presentable adult/member of society.
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Re: To the Naysayers...

Post by MDV on 2012-03-06, 12:09

Malkav wrote:
anon2 wrote:>They've put an unbelievable amount of planning and brainstorming into making MS a project that treats mental illness respectfully and realistically.

Looking at your latest revealed character I can't take this serious. Are you honestly saying this character is realistic?

Aside from the standard "fail-troll is a miscarried failure of its epic-/successful-troll parents" remark, I am rather curious: what's unrealistic about wearing a metal mask? I used to still do shit like that all the time in public, back when I was in high school even now that I'm supposed to be a serious and presentable adult/member of society.
I think this anon got into this place from /a/, they had some problems with the mask. Their reasoning went a bit like this:
>she wears the mask because she's a cannibal
>cannibals belong in prisons, not in special schools
>if she's not a cannibal, there would be no reason for the mask
>wearing such a mask when there is no need to is unrealistic

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Re: To the Naysayers...

Post by Zarich on 2012-03-06, 12:53

MDV wrote:
I think this anon got into this place from /a/, they had some problems with the mask. Their reasoning went a bit like this:
>she wears the mask because she's a cannibal
>cannibals belong in prisons, not in special schools
>if she's not a cannibal, there would be no reason for the mask
>wearing such a mask when there is no need to is unrealistic

Lets be realistic, 4chan isnt really the collective hub of intellectual and straight minded people. (with some exceptions in certain sections)
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Re: To the Naysayers...

Post by MDV on 2012-03-06, 13:24

Zarich wrote:
MDV wrote:
I think this anon got into this place from /a/, they had some problems with the mask. Their reasoning went a bit like this:
>she wears the mask because she's a cannibal
>cannibals belong in prisons, not in special schools
>if she's not a cannibal, there would be no reason for the mask
>wearing such a mask when there is no need to is unrealistic

Lets be realistic, 4chan isnt really the collective hub of intellectual and straight minded people. (with some exceptions in certain sections)
True. /a/ is one of the better boards though. The real shitholes are /mlp/, /b/ and /soc/, and they don't seem to have found out about MS yet.

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Re: To the Naysayers...

Post by myuto on 2012-03-06, 14:40

MDV wrote:
True. /a/ is one of the better boards though. The real shitholes are /mlp/, /b/ and /soc/, and they don't seem to have found out about MS yet.

/a/ is usually a pretty civil board when it isn't invaded by /b/, /v/, and normals
(this is coming from another fellow /a/non who usually stays/ lurks in /a/)

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Re: To the Naysayers...

Post by Gloom on 2012-03-06, 16:00

If you can take the heat (and it's usually a veritable inferno), the guys from /tg/ are by far the most knowledgeable and well-educated on 4chan, at least from my experience.
And believe it or not, I really do think that the guys from /d/ are the nicest and most civil. Helpful, polite, the whole thing. It's really quite amazing.

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Re: To the Naysayers...

Post by Malkav on 2012-03-06, 16:09

I dunno. /b/ can also be pretty civil, provided the right anons are lurking. Never bothered with the other boreds; they didn't appear to be quite as entertaining, and so I assumed that they would leave me board.

As an aside (or getting back on topic?), I've always found it fascinating the way many humans will react with disgust or outrage toward any semblance of cannibalism. There is absolutely no logical reason for such reactions (in fact, there are many logical reasons against them), yet they will nevertheless proceed to regard those who question their unfounded beliefs as "stupid" or "illogical."

Not that such ethnocentrism is unusual or surprising, of course. I just wonder how they arrive to that belief, in the first place: that eating another human the way one would eat a salmon or duck is fundamentally, inherently wrong. Cannibalism isn't something most people even discuss; thus, how is this particular cultural belief transmitted so prolifically?
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Re: To the Naysayers...

Post by MDV on 2012-03-06, 16:18

Malkav wrote:I dunno. /b/ can also be pretty civil, provided the right anons are lurking. Never bothered with the other boreds; they didn't appear to be quite as entertaining, and so I assumed that they would leave me board.

As an aside (or getting back on topic?), I've always found it fascinating the way many humans will react with disgust or outrage toward any semblance of cannibalism. There is absolutely no logical reason for such reactions (in fact, there are many logical reasons against them), yet they will nevertheless proceed to regard those who question their unfounded beliefs as "stupid" or "illogical."

Not that such ethnocentrism is unusual or surprising, of course. I just wonder how they arrive to that belief, in the first place: that eating another human the way one would eat a salmon or duck is fundamentally, inherently wrong. Cannibalism isn't something most people even discuss; thus, how is this particular cultural belief transmitted so prolifically?
Just ask the usual helpful questions when wondering if something you want to do is good or bad:
>would you want people to do it to you?
If that doesn't give a clear answer
>would it be good if everyone did it?
And if it's still not clearly bad
>would it still be good if you don't take the consequences in mind
Since most people don't want to be cannibalised and are capable of empathy, the third question isn't even needed.

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Re: To the Naysayers...

Post by Malkav on 2012-03-06, 16:21

MDV wrote:Just ask the usual helpful questions when wondering if something you want to do is good or bad:
>would you want people to do it to you?
If that doesn't give a clear answer
>would it be good if everyone did it?
And if it's still not clearly bad
>would it still be good if you don't take the consequences in mind
Since most people don't want to be cannibalised and are capable of empathy, the third question isn't even needed.

**laughs** I don't know about you, but I personally don't give a damn what happens to my corpse when I've died and gone. What does it matter, if someone figures my remains look about good enough to eat? Unless, of course, you're assuming that cannibalism intrinsically involves murder. That's a slightly different story, then.
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Re: To the Naysayers...

Post by MDV on 2012-03-06, 16:30

Malkav wrote:
MDV wrote:Just ask the usual helpful questions when wondering if something you want to do is good or bad:
>would you want people to do it to you?
If that doesn't give a clear answer
>would it be good if everyone did it?
And if it's still not clearly bad
>would it still be good if you don't take the consequences in mind
Since most people don't want to be cannibalised and are capable of empathy, the third question isn't even needed.

**laughs** I don't know about you, but I personally don't give a damn what happens to my corpse when I've died and gone. What does it matter, if someone figures my remains look about good enough to eat? Unless, of course, you're assuming that cannibalism intrinsically involves murder. That's a slightly different story, then.
You wouldn't mind if someone ate your body? Time to answer the next question then Very Happy. This was only step 1.

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Re: To the Naysayers...

Post by Worthington on 2012-03-06, 16:43

MDV wrote:
Malkav wrote:
MDV wrote:Just ask the usual helpful questions when wondering if something you want to do is good or bad:
>would you want people to do it to you?
If that doesn't give a clear answer
>would it be good if everyone did it?
And if it's still not clearly bad
>would it still be good if you don't take the consequences in mind
Since most people don't want to be cannibalised and are capable of empathy, the third question isn't even needed.

**laughs** I don't know about you, but I personally don't give a damn what happens to my corpse when I've died and gone. What does it matter, if someone figures my remains look about good enough to eat? Unless, of course, you're assuming that cannibalism intrinsically involves murder. That's a slightly different story, then.
You wouldn't mind if someone ate your body? Time to answer the next question then Very Happy. This was only step 1.
Awh, look Malkav. He likes you.

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Re: To the Naysayers...

Post by Malkav on 2012-03-06, 17:01

MDV wrote:
You wouldn't mind if someone ate your body? Time to answer the next question then Very Happy. This was only step 1.

Ah, whoops! I got side-tracked xD

But yeah; considering that most humans have easily-observable medical histories--and that cooking methods today tend to be rather safe--I can't imagine the public health really changing, were everyone to engage in cannibalism. This would also free up much of the land we currently reserve for graveyards and cemeteries for other, more practical development.

It could also result in a slight decline in demand for meats of other varieties, though to be honest, it wouldn't be that significant. The body of the average elderly man/woman doesn't have enough flesh for more than about a week's worth of meat, if one assumes that all conditions are optimal, so the other meat markets shouldn't experience that big of an economic loss.

There is also a matter of flavor: human flesh could be quite disgusting, and the only ones who would eat it would be the ones who could afford nothing better. On the other hand, it could be quite delicious. The market demand for it could have consequences as far-reaching as "human poaching" for black market sales. Not that we don't already have markets for illegal killing, but it still would be yet another problem to complicate the situation.

Furthermore, even if one developed nation were to suddenly adopt cannibalism, the cultural perceptions currently surrounding the act would likely result in harsh reactions from the other developed nations who did not engage in cannibalism. It's a taboo whose roots are very deeply ingrained in many people, even if its origins are something of a mystery. Such anti-cannibalistic sentiments could result in outright aggression.

From a standpoint of practicality (as far as I can see), cannibalism doesn't seem to be a bad thing. Culture, however, doesn't always operate on a basis of practicality. Thus, the consequences of cannibalism itself do not appear to be the problem. The real issue, it would seem, is the consequences of introducing cannibalism into a strongly anti-cannibalistic culture. As a sociology/anthropology enthusiast, I find this all very intriguing Wink

Worthington wrote:Awh, look Malkav. He likes you.

Really? o.o Usually, people run screaming or try to have me locked up after hearing me say even half of this much. So, I guess you must be at least half right, perhaps? Hehehe!


Last edited by Malkav on 2012-03-06, 17:19; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Because double-posting is ALWAYS against the rules.)
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Re: To the Naysayers...

Post by Zarich on 2012-03-06, 18:00

Malkav wrote: There is also a matter of flavor: human flesh could be quite disgusting

Apparently we taste like Pork....

Source: Armin Meiwes, German Cannibal
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Re: To the Naysayers...

Post by MDV on 2012-03-06, 18:02

Really? o.o Usually, people run screaming or try to have me locked up after hearing me say even half of this much. So, I guess you must be at least half right, perhaps? Hehehe!
I frequent /new/, ideas don't easily scare me Wink.

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Re: To the Naysayers...

Post by Worthington on 2012-03-06, 18:05

AAAAAAAAAAAND as interesting as this is, I request you guys get back on topic a little. Or start a new thread about cultural perceptions of cannibalism.

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Re: To the Naysayers...

Post by encrypted12345 on 2012-03-06, 18:06

Zarich wrote:
Malkav wrote: There is also a matter of flavor: human flesh could be quite disgusting

Apparently we taste like Pork....

Source: Armin Meiwes, German Cannibal

I heard of that. One time, I said that humans tasted like spam. Due to the subject matter, I then said, "So therefore, human vagina must also taste like spam."

One of my friends was hilariously traumatized and complains that he'll never get that thought out of his head. He still has that trauma to this day.Laughing

Back on topic... Haters gotta troll.

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Re: To the Naysayers...

Post by Malkav on 2012-03-06, 22:11

Worthington wrote:AAAAAAAAAAAND as interesting as this is, I request you guys get back on topic a little. Or start a new thread about cultural perceptions of cannibalism.

Of course~! My apologies.

I think many people have jumped the gun and assumed several negative things about this project, yes. Particularly in this case, since mental illness has classically been more of a taboo than physical disability.

But as many people have argued in the Katawa Shoujo forums, people who White Knight over every little thing can end up insulting the disabled more than the "vile, vulgar thing" they're trying to "protect" the disabled from. Despite the occasional desire to be different or unique, most people just want to be treated like everyone else. They want to live normal lives. Nothing more, nothing less. And White Knights often end up pointing out just how not normal their lives often are. It's a shame that the griefers who focus on the "tastelessness" of things like MS and KS don't see this.
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Re: To the Naysayers...

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