Hello, all members of the community.
After some discussion among the overseers, we felt we wanted to bring this topic up in a more formal context. Due to the obvious gravity of the topic, things should have been discussed a bit more thoroughly and openly, and allow everyone to feel they can freely share their opinion and be heard.
In our builder channel on Discord, I posted the image:
With the purpose of demonstrating two things: It’s easy to make a swastika with about any corner texture facing certain ways(which can be intentional or unintentional) and also showing that a swastika when used in the proper historical context of ancient designs can make for a beautiful pattern. The result of me doing so was nothing short of a disaster. While some good points were made, others simply took offense to any point being made and others resorted to insults. This also resulted in 2 members (that we know) of leaving the community with strong words such as “This shouldn’t even be up for debate.”
Well, unfortunately, a debate is coming. While we can avoid making swastika patterns like I did; there are more textures available in the alpha that will have them.
Note: The above is only a minor example of a swastika being noticable. There are plans to add more blocks that have swastikas of varying degrees of obviousness.
Obviously, this topic needs more nuance than simple accusations. So to help add some organization to this discussion, I’m going to break this down into three categories: Pros, Cons, and Solutions. As the public perception of swastikas is generally negative, and for good reason, I will list the cons first.
- Being perceived as supporting Nazism
- Even if not directly seen as supporting Nazism, could leave a bad taste in the public eye
- Retention/Acquisition of new members and builders has been and still could be hampered by concerns over the textures.
- Could lead to direct conflict with content creators(streamers being flagged)
Reclamation of the symbol’s original meaning may not be possible in our lifetimes and no one could seriously expect our small community with few legal protections and limited support to change perception of the swastika.
- The swastika predates the Nazis
- Has been used in many cultures from all parts of the world
- Symbol of prosperity in many Eastern religions
- Our reasons for using it:
- Historical context
- Reclamation of its original meaning
We can request/make an overlay.
Upsides: We can use more of Tolkien’s traditional designs or have textures based on them:
Downsides: We will need to have any modifications to the texture pack generally approved by the developers. There’s no guarantee that they will make changes.
We could just ignore them and choose not to use them
Upsides: This is the easiest way to avoid controversy in our own project
Downsides: A player searching our blocklist can still locate and find the swastika textures and still be disturbed and may cause problems
Luckily, with Gondor we will have lots of cultures to pull from, such as the Egyptians, more of those designs will be added. We can likely avoid swastikas all together if that’s the wish of the community.
With all that being said, us Overseers have generally agreed that this needs to be brought up. We would love your feedback.
However, if you don’t feel comfortable speaking about this topic in a public forum, tell an overseer who will post your comments anonymously. We understand.
Please keep this topic in the AC community. Obviously, this conversation could have an impact on the rest of the Conquest Community where opinions are likely to be more varied/potentially more extreme. Its important that we don’t attempt to be the only voice in the CR sphere and in defense of our project, its important we value the time and efforts of our fellow builders above all else.