Subject: "Midget"

Posted on: April 20 2014 @ 01:53 AM
By: dizzyizzy

Content:

Borderlands Lead Writer Anthony Burch explains why the franchise is dropping the "midget" terminology (caution: reddit)

I hadn't really given it a thought here (after all, Midget isn't midget, I think is how it's currently justified), but Anthony raises some really good points that we might do well to discuss here. It's important, I think, to read his whole post (as wells as his response to someone protesting the change, but if you want a little blurb to make a snap judgement off of, here's one:

If that means some people throw up their hands and say, "well, it's all a bunch of politically-correct bullshit now," then, okay. But the modicum of irritation you feel at that is probably significantly less intense than the frustration someone might feel when they come home after a long day of work, boot up a videogame to relax, and then have to grit their teeth as the game mocks who they are.


I've had a ton of fun playing as Nigel, but a lot of the laughs I got with him were people's reaction to how disgusting he is. Not just in terms of general cleanliness, but his all-around unattractiveness, a large part of that being his midget body. Reading through Anthony's post was something of a gut check for me.



Replies:

Re: "Midget"

Posted on: March 26 2015 @ 01:30 AM
By: Count+Sessine

Content:

Quote by: Docenspiel

But that's boring. You could at least have a group of community-minded Midgets, say the Society for Height-Impaired Tolerance, that calls for (read: demands with threats of violence) them to stop being called Midgets.

Go for it. It sounds fun!

And someone else might have an even more amusing idea. Hard to believe, I know, but Islanders are a talented bunch. Why should we all be in lockstep? That would be boring. Not having a canon story means freedom to make up anything you please and have that be your explanation.

If there's an official explanation, it'll have to stand up to all the nitpickers like me who'll point out, logically and unfairly, that the Midgets have been threatening and delivering violence since the beginning of time. Why would Jokers, or Robots, or anyone, really, suddenly change their habits of speech, all in unison, because the Midgets demanded it? No, as far as I am concerned, the only way a mass change like that could suddenly happen is Improbability.

But comedy doesn't need consistency. Go ahead and RP the demands of S.H.I.T. -- I'll bet you make it hilarious.

Quote by: Docenspiel

And I still really don't like Squat.

Not everyone will. But CMJ does, so it's settled. We'll get used to it soon enough. So will the Midgets Squats.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: March 25 2015 @ 06:35 PM
By: Count+Sessine

Content:

Hurray! Squats it is, then.

As for voting-in an official story to fit it into canon? My advice is, don't.

Officially, let's just say there was a ripple of Improbability across the Island, after which the height- and manners-challenged residents of Squat Hole had always been called Squats. It only makes sense. Why else would the place be called Squat Hole? ...What? Midgets? What you talkin' about?

Oh, right. Some Islanders may be immune by now to the memory-modifying effects of Improbability. It happens. They may remember that the race used to be called Midgets in much the same way as some remember that they used to be able to pry cameras open for req, or that there used to be trains. If they're veterans, they know that sometimes you just have to shrug and accept that weird changes happen.

Unofficial stories, though? Go nuts.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: March 25 2015 @ 11:28 PM
By: Docenspiel

Content:

But that's boring. You could at least have a group of community-minded Midgets, say the Society for Height-Impaired Tolerance, that calls for (read: demands with threats of violence) them to stop being called Midgets.












And I still really don't like Squat.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 10 2015 @ 10:59 PM
By: Naldru

Content:

Instead of debating the issue, why not discuss what we can do with the term. For example, "You don't know squat" means "You don't know anything", similar to "You don't know jack", and "diddly squat" means "nothing". At least this is American English slang - the meaning may vary around the world.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: March 25 2015 @ 04:24 AM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

We're going with Squats. Don't bugger about with the translation engine - I'll make it a codey project, maybe this weekend.

Sorry this has been so damn slow, I got caught up in fucking dayjob/freelancing bollocks. Razz


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: March 24 2015 @ 08:44 PM
By: Count+Sessine

Content:

A. Right now, we could do a patch that changed the name and nothing else. Benefit: We'd no longer be using a word that in some parts of the world turns out to be a nasty slur. It would be labour-intensive, but much of it can be done by moderators, so it is doable.

B. In Season Three, Midgets can be rethought to be something entirely different. We have CMJ's word that this is going to happen. Only CMJ can do it. (Or in a fit of creative inspiration he might avoid the issue altogether by some ingenious reworking of the entire concept of a character. You never know.)

This thread is doing a great job of mixing ideas for parts A and B together as if they were one thing, but they aren't.

As I see it, we have two options here:
1. A + B.
2. {do nothing now} + B.

I hereby volunteer for Option 1: Do a new-name patch now and address the rest of it in S3. CMJ, what'll it be? Give us the replacement name, tell folks it's happening via MoTD, and turn us loose on... the Wiki, the monsters, and as much of the game text as you'll let me touch with the translate engine.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: March 24 2015 @ 10:51 PM
By: Docenspiel

Content:

Quote by: Count+Sessine

A. Right now, we could do a patch that changed the name and nothing else. Benefit: We'd no longer be using a word that in some parts of the world turns out to be a nasty slur. It would be labour-intensive, but much of it can be done by moderators, so it is doable.

B. In Season Three, Midgets can be rethought to be something entirely different. We have CMJ's word that this is going to happen. Only CMJ can do it. (Or in a fit of creative inspiration he might avoid the issue altogether by some ingenious reworking of the entire concept of a character. You never know.)

This thread is doing a great job of mixing ideas for parts A and B together as if they were one thing, but they aren't.

As I see it, we have two options here:
1. A + B.
2. {do nothing now} + B.

I hereby volunteer for Option 1: Do a new-name patch now and address the rest of it in S3. CMJ, what'll it be? Give us the replacement name, tell folks it's happening via MoTD, and turn us loose on... the Wiki, the monsters, and as much of the game text as you'll let me touch with the translate engine.


If those are the only two options, I'd honestly rather have B, in the hopes that it'd spur Joe on to finishing S3 before the inevitable heat death of the universe. But if I could suggest an alternative?

Do a race rewrite contest like the Robo-Heart one. Stipulate that the Midgets need to keep their in-game characteristics (so Joe doesn't have to actually make a new race) and have people vote out of the top, say five, that Joe chooses. While the voting's going on, you can figure out a suitable name and start Ctrl+F Ctrl+X Ctrl+Ping everything. Then have a small Thing that fits the winning idea in to canon and explain why the Midgets changed their looks/name.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 21 2014 @ 07:45 AM
By: Waverly

Content:

You Tommy Lee Jones'd me? Don't make me come out there

(okay, I'm sorry, enough with the off topic I just had to)


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: March 24 2015 @ 05:28 PM
By: Docenspiel

Content:

Going back over this topic, another idea came to me. Instead of the Midgets just being a play on dwarves, why not have them be a play on all the tiny fantasy creatures? Fairies, sprites, pixies, gnomes, the Iris- I mean leprecauns. We'd be able to keep Midgets' physical characteristics as well as add new ones. And honestly, who doesn't want a Midget with giant butterfly wings?

That doesn't fix the name problem, though. Best I can think of would be Fetcher, as a play on fey. I'm her Fetcher godmoudder, innit.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: March 24 2015 @ 12:39 AM
By: Hairy+Mary

Content:

This has slid for a while now. Maybe too long. Can we at least pick a name other than midget?

I know a lot of people have argued that just changing the name is rather superficial, and that it's the whole racial characteristics that needs to be looked at. They have a good point. But the name is at least a start.

We've just received a distraction to say that the term midget is in itself considered a slur where the petitioner lives, and we can at least change that.

So - can we have an executive decision on a new name please CMJ? Then I can get stuck in going through the wiki and changing it all.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 21 2014 @ 07:38 AM
By: Count+Sessine

Content:

Quote by: Matthew

So I guess this is my opinion: Midget's not worth saving, get rid of it.




Tell that to Big Su, Matthew.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 20 2014 @ 06:08 AM
By: Omega

Content:

Which leads onto the next questions, what word/name do we replace it with?


I think that wouldn't be very difficult.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: December 04 2014 @ 11:48 PM
By: Mogar

Content:

Since reading post #1 (and the subsequent SO MANY POSTS AFTER), I've been thinking a great name, albeit long, would be: Squat Bastards.

Also, since Squats and Bastards have been suggested, maybe it's even a better idea than I thought. The two-word thing does detract from it a bit, though.

Or maybe just Wee Bastards.

Bahahaha, I think I like that one. 'Wee' brings up images of not just small, but cute as hell, too. Cute, which Wee Bastards certainly aren't. I am American though, so that's just my exposure to wee, which we don't use here much.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: December 01 2014 @ 10:28 PM
By: Hairy+Mary

Content:

For some reason this really appeals to me. Don't know why but it does. It also has the advantage of coming with a complete set of physical characteristics which make them not little humans.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: December 01 2014 @ 06:09 AM
By: Kolojang

Content:

So, I'm a little late in the conversation, and it seems that Squat has taken some traction already, but I have a suggestion of my own. I was reading about these Scottish feys called Fachens. Ornery little buggers that look like someone threw up an omelette on their face and burned it there. Sure, they have only one leg and one eye, but with a name like that, depending on how you decide to pronounce it, it really fits our own ornery little bastards.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fachen


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: November 05 2014 @ 04:03 PM
By: Twosocks+Monkey

Content:

Soooooo...

I don't know if some of the ideas in this article might pertain to our Midgets or Squats or whatever we might be calling them... but you guys are just the sort of nerds who I think would appreciate this article that I just found on goblins (which I think have some fundamental similarities to Midgets in II, though clearly different).

http://www.maxgladstone.com/2014/10/goblins-the-fungal-body-politic/

moo


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: October 26 2014 @ 10:33 PM
By: Docenspiel

Content:

Seeing as Midgets and Jokers are the two races unique to II, what if we continue the card allusions and name them Knaves? It accurately describes them as unsavoury and comes with its own adjectival version (foetid Knavish brothels).


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: September 01 2014 @ 07:57 AM
By: Makiwa

Content:

Quote by: Docenspiel

Why not just call em Bastards?



Because they already are? As in;

Thieving Midget Bastards!

I've been rolling this name change thing around a bit and I quite like Squats;

Thieving Squat Bastards!

Doesn't roll ff the tongue quite so nicely as 'Midget' but I reckon it works.

~Mak


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: August 31 2014 @ 05:36 PM
By: Docenspiel

Content:

Why not just call em Bastards?


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: August 30 2014 @ 08:26 AM
By: John+Watson

Content:

Quote by: CavemanJoe

In Season Three we'll be renaming the Midget race to Squats



...that is brilliant on so many levels, and I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHY.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: August 15 2014 @ 05:25 AM
By: Grey

Content:

Don't worry your head Hairy Mary. I have problems playing jokers and robots too, it's just because of who I am, and possibly the large amount of first hand experience with and years of... Accrued distaste fro the real chavs and neds of the world, having grown up in scotland, that prevents me from playing something that is completely against who I am, but that's my short-fallings as a roleplayer and why I will probably never win in a category in the British student nationals of Roleplaying, wargaming, board gaming and collectable card games, my range of characters is very limited because of whom I am.

:EDIT: Yes the, somehow the British managed to find a way to make roleplay competitive


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: August 16 2014 @ 07:10 AM
By: Harris

Content:

Quote by: Grey

Don't worry your head Hairy Mary. I have problems playing jokers and robots too, it's just because of who I am, and possibly the large amount of first hand experience with and years of... Accrued distaste fro the real chavs and neds of the world, having grown up in scotland, that prevents me from playing something that is completely against who I am, but that's my short-fallings as a roleplayer and why I will probably never win in a category in the British student nationals of Roleplaying, wargaming, board gaming and collectable card games, my range of characters is very limited because of whom I am.

:EDIT: Yes the, somehow the British managed to find a way to make roleplay competitive



Grey, methinks you worry overmuch. More than a few of us roleplay by way of self-insertion, and not much else (quickly points at the shifty-looking fella in that mirror ove rthere).

As for main topic- I'm in FML's boat; the more time passes, the more "Squats" just feels like them, as well as feels... well, Island-y.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: August 11 2014 @ 03:08 AM
By: Hairy+Mary

Content:

Docenspiel's right. They're my creations rather than an in-game thing.

I know that in the wiki I've written that they can be used as side characters by anybody (and they still can be). Technically the Skronkys include Julia from the midget massage and Chlamydia from Booz, which are game given characters, and as such are open to anybody who wants to use them. Indeed, occasionally somebody does, usually somebody fairly new to the game, visiting Squat Hole for the first time who have probably never heard of the Skronkys. Often they're used in ways that contradict my own personal vision of them. Tough luck me. I wouldn't want to criticise somebody for that, and I certainly wouldn't want to have a situation where a new player has to spend ages reading the wiki and then pass an exam in Island Studies before they're allowed to play. That's clearly not the way forward.

When I first came up with the Skronkys it seemed to me that they were the sort of characters that would be part of Squat Hole life. They were very much side characters to be brought in when useful, and I thought that it would be nice to let anybody use them as extra flavour in Squat Hole if they so desired.

So Grey, thank you for your comments, it's most flattering to read that they're one of your favourite parts of the Island. It's a wee bit worrying that you haven't played them because you don't think that you could do them justice though. If people read what I've written and enjoy it, then great. If they then have a richer picture of Squat Hole and find that it's helped their RP (even if they don't mention the Skronkys directly), then fantastic. If it's stopping people from RPing midgets, then not at all good. I do hope that this isn't happening too much.

In that vein, it was good to see Zefrieus add something to the Who's Who in Squat Hole about some of the modern street gangs that are growing up there. Good stuff.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: August 06 2014 @ 07:35 PM
By: Docenspiel

Content:

Quote by: Grey

What about simply calling them Skronkies, it seems to be the main family the current midgets revolve around. I have to add, that they are one of my favourite parts of the island, despite never really having played them, as I don't think I could do it justice. This appeal may have come from despising Chavs and Neds and the way the treat the rest of society, so seeing them almost in the form of comic relief almost is highly amusing.


The Skronkys are Hairy Mary's characters, not an in-game Thing.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: August 06 2014 @ 12:50 AM
By: Grey

Content:

What about simply calling them Skronkies, it seems to be the main family the current midgets revolve around. I have to add, that they are one of my favourite parts of the island, despite never really having played them, as I don't think I could do it justice. This appeal may have come from despising Chavs and Neds and the way the treat the rest of society, so seeing them almost in the form of comic relief almost is highly amusing.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: July 30 2014 @ 11:37 PM
By: Full+Metal+Lion

Content:

As time goes on, I find myself more and more attracted to CMJ's original name, "Squats"; it's uncomplicated and conveys the message of shortness in its name, much like "Dwarves".


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: July 28 2014 @ 05:42 PM
By: Hairy+Mary

Content:

Has this been thought about any more? Do we have a definitive new name?


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 20 2014 @ 03:01 AM
By: Boudi

Content:

Yes. I agree. Honestly, it's an offensive term that has been used cruelly in the past for those with dwarfism. I don't have too much of a problem with the race as a whole, but the term is unneeded, I think.

Swampers, bog-butts, whatever y'all would prefer. I do just think it's a little tweak that, as Dizzy has stated, deserves consideration.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 20 2014 @ 03:13 AM
By: Hairy+Mary

Content:

As somebody who's had a lot of fun playing Squat Hole's inhabitants and who can envision having to spend ages going through the wiki (and a few other places) having to change the word, I have to say that this is a fair point. Which leads onto the next question, what word/name do we replace it with? Any ideas?


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 20 2014 @ 06:10 AM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

In Season Three we'll be renaming the Midget race to Squats, and probably giving them some other physical features that help to distance them from actual, real-life human little people.

Y'know, when Season Three gets here.
it was kind of embarrassing and uncomfortable two years ago but i was all like well i'll just change it in s3
by the time s3 rolls around it's gonna be even more uncomfortable and archaic
the world changing fast enough for me to see my own mistakes when they're this fresh is a good thing
the world changes so quickly, and code changes oh so very slowly


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 20 2014 @ 06:12 AM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

IN SHORT WE'LL BE MAKING THEM EVEN MORE DISGUSTING


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 20 2014 @ 06:15 AM
By: Count+Sessine

Content:

I believe the level 1 monster Angry Midget reflects CMJ's original inspiration for including a race of Midgets. They started out (mostly) as poking fun at a certain highly unattractive breed of British hooligan, the Chavs, by shrinking them to miniature size. For players from outside Britain who have never heard of Chavs that part of the joke does fall rather flat. The Island's Midgets are still funny in their own right -- but adding a capital letter doesn't do enough to make it clear we're not ridiculing real midgets. I'm pretty sure he'd be open to changing the name.

(It's not a little tweak, though. I counted by hand the number of monsters I thought were mentioning Midgets and came up with eleven. Then I asked the database. Ha! Nope, I was not even close: there are thirty-five. And that's just monsters. References are woven throughout the game text, not to mention Place descriptions, which would be up to players to fix. It'd be like tracking down references to gold instead of req: doable... but not so small. This, I realized, is why it has not been done already! And why, even if a better name is chosen, propagating it throughout the game is not likely to happen soon. I'm guessing it would be S3.)


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 20 2014 @ 06:17 AM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

Haha, beat you to the punch. Razz


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 20 2014 @ 06:18 AM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

My official stance is: this isn't a matter of if, but when. Do we wait for S3, or do I spend a few weeks changing over all the references and suchlike before S3 - only to scrap the lot when S3 comes around anyway, in eighteen months or two years or never or whatever?


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 20 2014 @ 06:18 AM
By: Count+Sessine

Content:

Quote by: CavemanJoe

Haha, beat you to the punch. Razz

Ninja'd by the Admin! Big Grin


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 20 2014 @ 06:20 AM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

Beat you there too, but man, I pressed Submit and then looked at the page and my reply was before yours. That means we must have hit the button, like, milliseconds apart.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 20 2014 @ 06:24 AM
By: Count+Sessine

Content:

Okay, so. I'd be open to taking this on as a project to change the references I can change. If players wouldn't mind seeing the change creep gradually over the Island, and sometimes fail to take hold in certain remote (ie, hard-coded) spots.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 20 2014 @ 06:26 AM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

Well it's half two so I'm gonna sleep on it


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 20 2014 @ 07:00 AM
By: Clueless

Content:

Most of my question is.. How much does the term actually matter? Midgets here are clearly not some genetic or biological misfortune, but an entire race, the same as mutants.. Though mutants vary even more widely. I suspect, however, that there are far far far fewer people who could possibly be offended by that term. Ok, my point, if Midgets get changed to Squats, but there is nothing else.. Is there really any difference? It's like making up a new slang term with the same meaning, honestly. Though I do agree the name Midget probably doesn't really help much. I think making the difference between Midgets (or whatever they end up being called) and people with dwarfism clearer is much more important.

I'm not entirely sure how to do that though.. Make them more disgusting? That could be erroneously seen as piling more hate upon people with dwarfism. Come to think of it, that name gives me a thought.. Dwarves are well known in various myths and fantasy, and they are already a race of their own, no questions asked. What if Midgets got renamed to Dwarves? Their surlier disgusting natures could be the Island twist on the norm, though there would probably still be some faint attachment to their fantasy origins. I rather like the lack of that fantasy association right now, but I think it would be a very efficient way to sever association between the Island Midgets and people with dwarfism. Even with the name similarity between Dwarves and dwarfism. I've never heard of people being offended about Dwarves because of that, though I have hardly heard everything.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 20 2014 @ 12:29 PM
By: Hairy+Mary

Content:

Clueless: Have a look at the links that Dizzy supplied in the first post, they're not very long and explain things pretty well I would say.

I believe that the term "midget" is used in a pejorative term for unusually short people or people with dwarfism and as such is likely to wind them up.

Try this as a thought experiment. Take your favorite racial slur and imagine that there's an Island race named that. Give the Island race some superficial similarity to the original and then claim that they're completely different. Capitalise the name to stress this.

Does that sound reasonable to you? It doesn't to me. In fact it sounds pretty outrageous. This is a pretty much similar to what we have now. This is why, I think, we should change the name.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 20 2014 @ 12:52 PM
By: Lea.wolfsfeld

Content:

When it comes down to it, I think the time and effort spent changing the name could be spent doing something else. If its going to be changed for when S3 rolls around then I don't see the point of causing an upheaval now.

From what I understand there is already a crap ton of work to do and adding more will just make the current projects take longer. But thats just my opinion.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 20 2014 @ 12:52 PM
By: Twosocks+Monkey

Content:

Interesting!

Since we're all going with the idea of not if but when (which I heartily support, honestly the name has always made me uncomfortable) I can vouch for player assisted 'locating the word Midget in canon text' duty. I'd be happy to go through what I have stored of canon text, monsters, etc to help locate words to change.

I don't really think changing it to 'Dwarf' will fix anything. A: It's super fantasy-ish and we're not playing Tolkienized DnD here (I like it just fine, but that's not what we are/what this place is). B: CMJ has chosen a new name already and it sounds perfect.

As for keeping the IDEA of the race close to what it is without being offensive... I mean something is always going to offend somebody. In some ways I really like that we have a race of smaller sized people. When you keep them on the sidelines, as a minority, they end up being a token, someone who is usually mocked or there for laughs like 'mini-me'. Or perhaps the villain like in 'Leprechaun'.

I know Midget isn't currently a favored race on island, but I've seen a lot of people do stuff with it that isn't just 'hey look he's small hurr hurr' and I think that's really valid and good! Just like I think we need more women in fiction, and more people of color in fiction, I think people of different statures, genders, cultures could also do with a boost, and this feels like a step in the right direction.

By having a whole race of smaller statured people, we invite variety, roleplay where people step out of the rules and play all sorts of Midgets*. Which encourages hopefully thinking about what it might be like to be smaller. Empathy, thought-provoking conversations, problem solving, etc.

The race could just use some refinement is all.

And I think that's what we're doing!? Right? Big Grin

-Rose

*For instance: I play a pair of refined Joker Midgets who are fairly unusual, for one because they're Jokers, and for two because they're refined, pre-french revolution FANCY Joker Midgets. Sure it's not pure canon, but it's another twist, and to me feels like expansion.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 20 2014 @ 01:54 PM
By: dizzyizzy

Content:

Quote by: CavemanJoe

My official stance is: this isn't a matter of if, but when. Do we wait for S3, or do I spend a few weeks changing over all the references and suchlike before S3 - only to scrap the lot when S3 comes around anyway, in eighteen months or two years or never or whatever?



This is what worries me. We could easily end up leaving this offensive joke at the core of gameplay and going "nah, we'll fix it next season!" until the game dies. I understand why other things can't be changed (i.e., the binary gender system), but if all that's holding back Squats is an annoying bit of find-and-replace, not an inherent problem with the engine, then the change should be made.

Of course, it's easy for me to say that, since I'm not the one actually doing the work.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 20 2014 @ 02:06 PM
By: Count+Sessine

Content:

Another point: google 'Dwarf Tossing'. Apparently in some parts of the world it is considered an amusing low-life bar sport to see how far you can throw a very short person.

Try not to be distracted by the continuing argument over whether this 'sport' should be legal; just notice that in most of those links 'midget' and 'dwarf' crop up as exact synonyms, which means that in those parts of the world, despite the common fantasy usage, there's also a nasty derogatory meaning attached to the word 'dwarf'. Besides... yeah. We'd rather not have dwarves here for the same reason we don't want elves -- this isn't a fantasy game.

For my part, I am totally in favour of renaming our Island race Squats, and I'm ready to put in the work to change every reference I can get at (which isn't everything). It's already part of canon lore in the name Squat Hole. It'll take a while to change the game -- and probably even longer to rewire my aging brain -- but the sooner we start, the sooner it'll be done.

I... do worry about how they can possibly become even more disgusting, but I have faith that CMJ will come up with something!

Edit:

Quote by: Twosocks+Monkey

By having a whole race of smaller statured people, we invite variety, roleplay where people step out of the rules and play all sorts of Midgets*. Which encourages hopefully thinking about what it might be like to be smaller. Empathy, thought-provoking conversations, problem solving, etc.

Not exactly relevant to the Island, as we aren't a D&D game -- but worth a smile anyway: In the webcomic Rusty and Co. the formidable halfling character Stabs always calls taller folk 'twicelings'. It's all in the point of view.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 20 2014 @ 03:36 PM
By: Docenspiel

Content:

Squat isn't set in stone, is it? Because I don't think it really fits as a replacer for "Midget". "Filthy Squat brothel" just doesn't have the same ring to it. And while it does fit in with Squat Hole, we don't have the robots living in Robotown or the Jokers in Jokerville; Squat Hole seems like it'd lose a bit of its... essence if its inhabitants shared its name.

And Squat just sounds weird when used as a noun.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 20 2014 @ 04:37 PM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

I'm open to suggestions.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 20 2014 @ 05:26 PM
By: Daedalus

Content:

Stepping out of a long-term lurk to hesitate about posting a thought. (It isn't my strongest introduction ever, is it?)

I think it's highly commendable that the issue has been raised, and that CMJ has voiced his commitment to a fix, and that Sessine has voiced a commitment to implement it sooner than later.

My reservation is that changing the name probably wont fix the problem. It is highly 'envisionable' (yes it's a real word) that a new arrival will read the physical description and the characterisation, and think: "Oh that's nice, they gave (M/m)idgets a new name."

The problem isn't the name. It's the tying together of a discrete physiological set (in this case "short and squat") with a set of negative personality qualities (criminal, violent, obscene). It's still just prejudice by genotype. Try putting a different set of physical identifiers in there (gender, skin colour, polydactylism) and tie your favourite derogatory description to it. Doesn't work as a comedic device, does it? It isn't the name, it's the connection that matters.

What irks me is that I feel like I'm raining on a really good parade. I don't have a solution. I do think that the change to other-than-midget as a noun is worth doing though, even if it's only ad interim. Then again, I may be over-thinking the issue. (It's happened before.)

My only hopefully useful input is to dig up a thought from a comedian (whose name I wish I could remember) that I heard being interviewed several years ago. Asked about where he draws the line regarding mocking people, he said something like:

"What people are is generally off-limits. The choices that they make is entirely fair game."


I want to reiterate that I applaud that the conversation is happening at all. In many places it wouldn't.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 20 2014 @ 05:26 PM
By: dizzyizzy

Content:

I liked Boudicca's "Swampers", that was one worth considering, I think.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 20 2014 @ 05:30 PM
By: Denealus

Content:

Quote by: Count+Sessine

Another point: google 'Dwarf Tossing'. Apparently in some parts of the world it is considered an amusing low-life bar sport to see how far you can throw a very short person.

Try not to be distracted by the continuing argument over whether this 'sport' should be legal; just notice that in most of those links 'midget' and 'dwarf' crop up as exact synonyms, which means that in those parts of the world, despite the common fantasy usage, there's also a nasty derogatory meaning attached to the word 'dwarf'. Besides... yeah. We'd rather not have dwarves here for the same reason we don't want elves -- this isn't a fantasy game.



Depending on how game these people are to participate in it, I think the issue is more with the fact that people are getting tossed rather than any particular name.

Which brings up the other point, I'm not sure the name matters so much. No matter what you call them, it's still people of smaller-than-normal stature being kicked around and the butt of everyone's jokes. Midget might have a bad connotation with the name, but I think as long as you have "this is the tiny race who's treated as little disgusting chav thieves who get kicked around by all the other races," it's still going to kind of be the same thing. So the more you go into them having a unique culture and less of a stereotype, the less it will feel "this is making fun of people with dwarfisms." My two cents.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 20 2014 @ 05:38 PM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

So... full-size chavs, then?


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 20 2014 @ 06:48 PM
By: Docenspiel

Content:

If shortness goes (which it could, since the core part of Midgets is their abrasiveness, low intelligence and general unsavoriness, not their height), there should be some other physical factor that unifies them as a Race and not just a bunch of annoying, disgusting Humans. Which opens up another can of worms, as just about anything given to them could be seen as an insult towards some group of people that aren't the chavs.
The best idea I can come up with is making them ugly fish people (which could still probably be construed as an insult towards some nationalities that're known for fishing industries like Greece or something).


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 20 2014 @ 08:07 PM
By: dizzyizzy

Content:

There's a disgusting Doggymorph monster in the jungle already. That would be fun to play, chasing Kittymorphs, barking at the jets dropping off contestants, trying to get the watcher to play fetch with that really really cool ball you saw her catch out of the sky that one time...


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 20 2014 @ 11:12 PM
By: Count+Sessine

Content:

Quote by: dizzyizzy

There's a disgusting Doggymorph monster in the jungle already. That would be fun to play, chasing Kittymorphs, barking at the jets dropping off contestants, trying to get the watcher to play fetch with that really really cool ball you saw her catch out of the sky that one time...

Hah, oh yes... let's go all out to offend DOG lovers, woohoo! there certainly aren't very many of those in the world...! Mr. Green No, but seriously, the Doggymorph monster is a dog seen from the point of view of someone who really really does not like dogs. The only reason it's like that, making the 'you' character find this doggy-thing disgusting, is that it's, y'know, a monster -- which means the game kind of needs to give you some excuse to fight it.

A sympathetic dog-like character can be very fun to play -- I've seen it done extremely well. (I've heard rumours that in S3 there might be a more general *morph race which could cover all the cat-, dog-, fox-, coyote-, lion-, panther-, snake-, spider-, beetle-, fish-, ostrich-, and other-creature-people... that players are already playing anyway.) But that wouldn't be a substitute for Midgets.

So. What are the parameters? Personality-wise, Midgets are chavs. Physically, they're great at fighting, slow at traveling, and not human any more. Hmm. And... if we're going to monsters for inspiration, the Panthzer is the Island's all-time favourite monster. Here's a crazy thought: We talk about Midgets being 'tank' characters -- what if they literally were half-tank? (Or, since they live in swamplands, I suppose they'd have to be amphibian. 'Swampers' could work with that.)

Edit: We know that Improbability can do this -- there are kittybikes. And how do you make a half-vehicle race disgusting? Well... perhaps one question to ask is, what do they use for fuel?


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 20 2014 @ 11:27 PM
By: dizzyizzy

Content:

Quote by: Count+Sessine

Quote by: dizzyizzy

There's a disgusting Doggymorph monster in the jungle already. That would be fun to play, chasing Kittymorphs, barking at the jets dropping off contestants, trying to get the watcher to play fetch with that really really cool ball you saw her catch out of the sky that one time...

Hah, oh yes... let's go all out to offend DOG lovers, woohoo! there certainly aren't very many of those in the world...! Mr. Green No, but seriously, the Doggymorph monster is a dog seen from the point of view of someone who really really does not like dogs. The only reason it's like that, making the 'you' character find this doggy-thing disgusting, is that it's, y'know, a monster -- which means the game kind of needs to give you some excuse to fight it.



Better change New Pittsburgh's name, too, lest we offend a yinzer... Razz

Dog lovers aren't some widely-discriminated against group, like little people. That's where jokes cross lines. Something that makes fun of little people is kicking a group while they're down. Something that makes fun of dog lovers isn't quite the same.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 21 2014 @ 12:17 AM
By: Kew

Content:

Quote by: dizzyizzy

Dog lovers aren't some widely-discriminated against group, like little people. That's where jokes cross lines. Something that makes fun of little people is kicking a group while they're down. Something that makes fun of dog lovers isn't quite the same.



This here, yes. It's sort of like Crazy Audrey makes fun of crazy cat ladies. I feel like there are a lot of cat lovers on the Island, but no one is really offended by her.

I love that this conversation is happening. I think that the race does need to be more distinguished from humans. I think within the game, it's put into their horribly disgusting culture, their speech, and general hairiness which a lot of players just flat out drop in roleplaying.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 21 2014 @ 12:22 AM
By: Docenspiel

Content:

Quote by: Count+Sessine

(Or, since they live in swamplands, I suppose they'd have to be amphibian. 'Swampers' could work with that.)


Her bulbous eyes stare you down in what is supposed to be a lusty manner, but the way they bulge out of her head do little to excite you. The left one flitting over to the corner to look at the flies hitting the smoke-caked windows doesn't help either. "Loik wut yuz see, luv?" the hooker questions, webbed hands slowly rubbing their way down the nightie stuck to her, from sweat or slime you can't tell. You're about to say no, you don't enjoy the sight of her green-and-brown mottled form, from the few strands of sweat-slicked hair atop her neckless head to her distressingly bowlegged thighs. But the words catch in your throat as hers expands, a massive pouch birthing from the patch of skin between her mouth and her cleavage, followed by a deep, echoing bellow.

She doesn't have time to yell any vulgarities at you before you're out the door and screaming out of town.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 21 2014 @ 12:57 AM
By: Count+Sessine

Content:

Hahahaha! You know, I was thinking of Swampers being amphibious vehicles, but...!

We already have Mutants filling the 'eww, physically repulsive, can't stand to look at them' slot. Maybe the Midget-replacement race shouldn't be made more disgusting after all. Rude, sure. Unsanitary, sure. Thieving, most certainly -- somebody has to be robbing all those fallen contestants of their req. But they're sturdy fighters. I think players might enjoy playing them more if it was emphasized that they're the sort you really want to have on your side in a fight. (Especially if it's a bar brawl.)



Edit: Just to be clear, while I like all these burgeoning ideas about how to make this even better, I don't think they should stop us from doing a simple name change first. Changes that call for a major rewrite may have to wait their turn, but at least we can do something now. (Or, now-ish, as the case may be!)


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 21 2014 @ 03:35 AM
By: Harris

Content:

Quote by: Denealus

Depending on how game these people are to participate in it, I think the issue is more with the fact that people are getting tossed rather than any particular name.

Which brings up the other point, I'm not sure the name matters so much. No matter what you call them, it's still people of smaller-than-normal stature being kicked around and the butt of everyone's jokes. Midget might have a bad connotation with the name, but I think as long as you have "this is the tiny race who's treated as little disgusting chav thieves who get kicked around by all the other races," it's still going to kind of be the same thing. So the more you go into them having a unique culture and less of a stereotype, the less it will feel "this is making fun of people with dwarfisms." My two cents.



This.


Really, they're already pretty damned distinct from real midgets in game canon, gameplay, and generally accepted non-canon. It seems like their physiques and their name are the only two sticking points for being kinda squicky.
(Yes, I'm saying their travel penalties are not a sticking point- because only someone who is not paying any attention would miss that the folks who have a hard time traveling great distances can beat monsters to death bare handed. In context, looks not a problem! Plus, it is a fair gameplay trade off for said combat skillz.)


Also, what about the threefold approach of:

1)Incorporating HM's Midget culture into canon. -That is Very distinct from ANY average folk (of any height).
C'monnn.... it's not like there's much in-canon about Midget society as it is!

2)Making them taller, but keeping them very short (say... no more'n 5'2" as a capper?)

3)Changing their name to Arseholes.



Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 21 2014 @ 05:02 AM
By: Waverly

Content:

Quote by: Harris

Quote by: Denealus

Depending on how game these people are to participate in it, I think the issue is more with the fact that people are getting tossed rather than any particular name.

Which brings up the other point, I'm not sure the name matters so much. No matter what you call them, it's still people of smaller-than-normal stature being kicked around and the butt of everyone's jokes. Midget might have a bad connotation with the name, but I think as long as you have "this is the tiny race who's treated as little disgusting chav thieves who get kicked around by all the other races," it's still going to kind of be the same thing. So the more you go into them having a unique culture and less of a stereotype, the less it will feel "this is making fun of people with dwarfisms." My two cents.



This.


Really, they're already pretty damned distinct from real midgets in game canon, gameplay, and generally accepted non-canon. It seems like their physiques and their name are the only two sticking points for being kinda squicky.
(Yes, I'm saying their travel penalties are not a sticking point- because only someone who is not paying any attention would miss that the folks who have a hard time traveling great distances can beat monsters to death bare handed. In context, looks not a problem! Plus, it is a fair gameplay trade off for said combat skillz.)


Also, what about the threefold approach of:

1)Incorporating HM's Midget culture into canon. -That is Very distinct from ANY average folk (of any height).
C'monnn.... it's not like there's much in-canon about Midget society as it is!

2)Making them taller, but keeping them very short (say... no more'n 5'2" as a capper?)

3)Changing their name to Arseholes.




Well, you could go the approach of making a race so muscular and testosterone-y that they are incredibly strong (but tire very easily), crabby, competitive and general slobs because they don't want to expend too much energy. A froggy swamp race is still just a kind of Morph. After all, Tynan's Gym is in Squat Hole, so the bodybuilder theme kind of fits? I think the 'haha you're short' gag is what's offensive here and could be done away with entirely.

For myself, I think of Robot as the most well-conceived race simply because of the new Random Heart idea. It covers a range of possible character concepts, as if the Network had loosely grouped together anyone that fell under a certain gradient scale, even the Robots that aren't contestants. What if our character races went something like this:

Human: well you haven't been here very long, obviously
(Kitty)Morph: you're mostly human, but part some other type of animal's DNA thrown in
Zombie: you're exactly the same as a human, except mostly dead (insert Miracle Max reference here)
Arsehole(the only name I laughed at): still mostly human, but your hormones have been seriously fucked around with and now you can punch things to death
Mutant: oh god why
Robot: if we're using the Biotic Random Heart idea to explain contestant-to-robot transformations and supposing that all the other types of robot were never human, you're partly organic but with a lot of cybernetics thrown in
Joker: whatever other body mutations/modifications you have, you have now become an avatar of the Improbability feedback loop and can turn people's ears into teacups.

Honestly, characters like JokerMorphs get teased a lot, but unless you're deliberately overpowering your character to be dickish then why can't it be canon? There is a lovely storytelling flavour to having all the races strictly compartmentalized into stereotypes (Zombies eat brains, Jokers dress immaculately) but if you define the general rule as "races are simply loose categorizations of the most common types of Improbability-induced mutations" then it works rather well for player characters too.

Perhaps the people we see in the town's flavortext are contestants who represent what the Network has deemed a "classic" or "true" representation of the race for marketing purposes, when in reality there is a wide deviation of attributes within each race. If someone wants their character to be small of stature, they can just do it. When someone makes their character impossibly small (i.e., leprechaun-sized) it's often hilarious. But that's a personal choice- and what Custom Races are for.



Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 21 2014 @ 06:18 AM
By: Denealus

Content:

I think short's fine. I kind of like them as a short race by nature. But having another defining feature might take them away from being "small humans." The amphibian thing could be done. Or with scaly bits. Either way, yes. I likes.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 21 2014 @ 06:41 AM
By: Matthew

Content:

I'd agree that simply doing a ctrl+H of "midget" to "squat" isn't really going to do much. The stereotype is still there, and I guess I never thought about it, not being a midget myself, but after thinking about it I suppose it is pretty offensive. I'd take a less surgical, more amputational route of simply cutting midgets altogether as a gameplay race.

The joke is still gonna be "they're short and fat and that's funny lolololo" so to me it's kind of like making a race that's black and good at basketball, but it's not racist because they're called beep boom bidops (random scat, if that actually means anything racist I didn't mean it I swear). I dunno.

If somebody wants to play a midget as they appear now, they can very easily be mutants, or even just humans who are short. I'd actually roll a few of the races into one, for the sake of variety and enabling creativity. Here's my suggestions:

Humans are humans, if you don't know what a human being is then get out of here, robot overlords, we cannot teach your cold steel hearts what love is
Robot continues to be the most interesting race in flavor and story, at least in my opinion. The entire canon pretty much hinges upon their existence so they have to be a stand apart option.
Jokers included tentatively. They're far too important to the story to just cut. I suppose Jokers would be more of an umbrella that many specimens of various races can fit under, but for the sake of ease they can be their own entity.
Morphs: Kitty, doggy, hawk, dragon, lemur, octopus, platypus, whatevermorph. Term for contestants that are humans crossed with a beast's physiology. Given that the canon for how monsters came to be has changed, this makes a lot of sense that the Chance permeating the island would have this effect on many contestants.
EVERYTHING ELSE can be a Mutant: Kittymorphs are technically mutants. Midgets are technically mutants. A lot of things are technically mutations. A lot of the gameplay perks enjoyed by other races (eating corpses, freakish strength) can be a subset of abilities that you would be able to choose at the start of a Mutant drive kill. Or, hell, maybe you get a different one every day, make them a little more interesting and worth playing, like Jokers.

These are broad categories rather than specific races. It encourages far more creativity than the current system of "if I'm a kittymorph I have to have a tail and whiskers and lovey fuckpounce everything I see".

Midgets: for the reasons above, axe them. Suggesting another trait to give them just makes them dumb and limiting and nobody will want to play them anymore anyway.
Zombies: as a gameplay race, nix them. They are humans (or otherwise) that happen to be dead. This stops nobody from playing a zombie RP-wise, of course.

Don't tie the outposts to represent the races. Seems harder at first, but I think it would be liberating. You can add as many as you want and they no longer have to 'represent' the new race. Need another town? No problem, just plop down whatever you want.

CLEARLY, such changes would have to wait until season 3, as I'm sure it would be impossible to implement on S2.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 21 2014 @ 07:07 AM
By: Waverly

Content:

Quote by: Matthew



Don't tie the outposts to represent the races. Seems harder at first, but I think it would be liberating. You can add as many as you want and they no longer have to 'represent' the new race. Need another town? No problem, just plop down whatever you want.



I actually reeeeeaaaaaally disagree with this, because I love the cultures of the various towns and removing entertaining flavortext just to allow fewer player races seems like overkill.

For me, Hairy Mary's Skronky family and the general atmosphere of PRAT best represents 'canon Midgety behavior' as written by players. They write them as cunning (but lacking in common sense), devious, opportunistic, foul-mouthed, crabby but not cruel, with a rude and often sexual sense of humor and a thick accent. To explain their really awful spelling I like to imagine they use the logic of a five-year-old, which is 'things should be spelled like they sound'. Physically they are short, but also incredibly strong and durable, with what I'll call a "don't give a fuck" attitude toward personal habits. Skronky Pot. 'Nuff said.
Also, they have swagger and aside from Jokers, the most panache of any race on the Island (even if it's really crude panache). I would be INCREDIBLY SAD to see this specific and hilarious race axed merely for the sake of simplicity.

So... can't we just take away the 'midget' aspect and give a reason for their behavior? Personally I think the idea of insane-level hormones makes sense, for male and female players. After all, this is the description of Julia: "...a midget of above-average beauty, clean-shaven and close to almost being attractive. "

Clean shaven? So she's ugly and mannish with facial hair because she's a dwarf? That seems incredibly offensive. However, change that to "she's ugly and mannish with facial hair because there's enough Improbably altered hormones floating around in her system to kill an ox" is funny- because it can't happen in real life. You'd die or become very sick if someone injected you with so many steroids, but with Improbability it's possible, just like walking and talking while you're technically dead is still possible.

Also, if you get rid of my zombie town I will cry on you Matthew


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 21 2014 @ 07:14 AM
By: Matthew

Content:

Quote by: Waverly

I would be INCREDIBLY SAD to see this specific and hilarious race axed merely for the sake of simplicity.[/i]



But that's the point. You're taking a pretty hilarious character concept and saying "the entire race is like this" which is both completely unrealistic and completely dull.

Quote by: Waverly

Also, if you get rid of my zombie town I will cry on you Matthew



I'm not saying zombies should go away completely. They just aren't important enough/too specific to really deserve their own entire gameplay race. There would be absolutely nothing stopping anybody from playing a shambling corpse character if they wanted to.

Make a race able to buy and sell 'points' that they use to get different traits. Mutant would be great for this! Maybe certain bonuses (freakish strength) cost you points to buy, but you can get a crapload more points by getting a huge defense debuff which you can use to buy the ability to eat corpses, etc. So now you have a stupidly strong zombie who can't take a punch.

That would be so goddamn cool you don't even know, Waverly


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 21 2014 @ 07:23 AM
By: Waverly

Content:

Quote by: Matthew
That would be so goddamn cool you don't even know, Waverly



Okay, it is a good idea but nothing would stop you from making that applicable to all races. Didn't CMJ already say something about this? Like, you'll be able to train for points in certain skills, weapons, armor, etc.

If NP goes away I cannot write my zombie things and you know I love my zombie things almost as much as my robot things. I am making such a face at you right now.





Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 21 2014 @ 07:29 AM
By: Count+Sessine

Content:

...I dunno. I'm all right with 'arsehole' being part of the average racial temperament for comic effect, but I'd really rather not see it enshrined as the actual race name. Two reasons: first, we would need to explain to a lot of players forever afterwards the fine linguistic distinction between being an Arsehole and being a Dick. This would be difficult, since I'm not all that sure myself that there is one! Second, it would be unnecessarily limiting to players, making it virtually impossible to roleplay the race (in canon) as anything other than a single stereotype.

I like Waverley's idea of 'races' being a rough Network classification scheme superimposed for marketing purposes upon the wide variety of changes wrought upon contestants by the workings of unbridled Chance.

I also like the notion of [ renamed race ] being extra muscular with Improbable hormone changes -- like it much better than turning them into frogmorphs.

So far the name I've seen that I like best is Swampers. It's not a current pejorative, it fits because that is where they live, it wouldn't be much of a stretch for most existing Midget characters, and it suggests a low, crude culture while leaving room for player creativity.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 21 2014 @ 07:30 AM
By: Matthew

Content:



Anyhow this is getting pretty off topic. So I guess this is my opinion: Midget's not worth saving, get rid of it.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 21 2014 @ 01:53 PM
By: Full+Metal+Lion

Content:

I'd like to step in at this point to remind everyone that if we change the race of Midget too much, we will destroy one of the most beautiful thematic elements of Improbable Island, The Fantasy Race Joke. As I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere in the discussion of Midgets, I'm going to be a little presumptuous and explain it here. Unfortunately, The Fantasy Race Joke is far funnier if you discover it on your own, but.. oh well, what can you do? Confused

Cast your minds' eyes towards... pretty much all the fantasy written since Tolkien. What are the three most prominent races in those works? Humans, elves, and dwarfs, right? Now, think about the Island. What are the three most prominent races there? Well, in terms of proximity to Improbable Central (forming a nice triangle), the amount of flavor text devoted to them (before the plot about Rohit), and (almost) in the least number of DKs to unlock,* they are Humans, Kittymorphs, and Midgets. The Fantasy Race Joke is, of course, that the human/elf/dwarf combo is both tired and ridiculous, and, thus, Humans/Kittymorphs/Midgets are a mockery of each race, respectively.

Humans are, of course, perfectly analogous to humans. Jacks-of-all-Trades, Homo sapiens, etc. Not much more needs to be said on the subject.

Kittymorphs are analogous to elves. Elves are generally lithe, attractive, Mary-Sue-esque characters who are "at one with nature" or "extremely wise" or something similar. Kittymorphs are the lithe, attractive, Mary-Sue-esque race, but were made to be humorously stupid and lazy, and "at one with nature" only until they get hungry. They are quite like the cats they are mixed with : they look dignified and elegant on the surface, but I have gifs to prove otherwise.

Midgets, of primary concern in this discussion, are analogous to dwarves. Dwarves are an odd concept for a race, as they are referred to by the same term for a normal human suffering from dwarfism**. They are essentially a race of hairy and cantankerous people who are grouped together by their lack of height. Improbable Island makes fun of this by having a race referred to by the same term for a normal human suffering from dwarfism, and making them all chavs. Hairy, cantankerous, chavs.

(I admit, though, that this may be unintentional, and one of those flukes where, when one looks enough, there are patterns everywhere. If that's true, then I hope CMJ, who seems to be reading this thread, will mention it before I make even more of an ass of myself.)

In conclusion, Humans/Kittymorphs/Midgets are humans/elves/dwarves presented in a fresh, irreverent way. I find that pleasing and satisfying, and I hope I've explained the parallels well enough that it pleases you, too, and we would both be distraught if it ceased to be. Perhaps any little people, if they feel offended that Improbable Island is giving traits to a group based on height, can read this post and be assured that Improbable Island is making fun of the tendency of other fantasy writers to do that very same thing. Now, this post has taken far longer to write than it should have, so, if you'll excuse me, I must go to sleep.

*In Season Three, I imagine Midgets will replace Zombies in terms of DKs-to-unlock, both to strengthen The Fantasy Race Joke and to replace the then-extinct Zombies.
**My research tells me that the term for mythical creatures came first. This has no bearing on my point, but it is a fun fact.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 21 2014 @ 02:49 PM
By: Count+Sessine

Content:

Quote by: Laser+Towel

Obviously this is a problem because midgets are people and chavs are not. (Emphasis added.)

Er. Chavs are, in fact, people. It's a Brit term for a particular type of loutish lowest-class youths.

Someone quoted a comedian earlier in the thread to the effect that it's okay to make fun of people for what they do. It's not okay to make fun of them for what they are.

I think that's a good place to draw the line. Chav can be used as shorthand here, while we're discussing the issue, for a certain highly unattractive pattern of behaviour (crude, filthy, unlettered, violent, foul-mouthed, stealing everything that's not nailed down, etc.) which is a legitimate target for humour, but chav is also a contemptuous class-based slur against very poor youths with no prospect of a life. You could probably find some lower-middle-class Brits who would almost-seriously maintain that they aren't people.

CMJ has already said it's not a question of if but when. His Island, his taste. He gets to reword a joke he now regrets. What we're discussing now is how.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 21 2014 @ 03:11 PM
By: Twosocks+Monkey

Content:

Quote by: Harris

1)Incorporating HM's Midget culture into canon. -That is Very distinct from ANY average folk (of any height).
C'monnn.... it's not like there's much in-canon about Midget society as it is!

Seconded!

At the risk of being laughed out of the room, is it worth thinking about keeping Midgets, (Like CMJ said, Taller Chavs), and just giving Squathole more variety?

The zombies are all dead, but they're not all funny or mean or dirty or whatever. They're just dead.

In fact, though all the races have suggestions as to how to play them (Kittymorphs lazy, Jokers wild, Robots impassive, etc) the Midgets seem the most strictly identified by their race/disposition.

If the issue is having a short race, I guess my point is moot.

If the issue is having a short race that is defined by specific possibly hurtful and stereotypically unpleasant behavior, what if we just expanded what a Midget is?

I've been thinking about this A LOT, and honestly the first analogy that came to mind is Port Foley.

Gross, disgusting, flavorful, has ALL TYPES.

So what if Squathole, say, expanded? Not to replace Port Foley, but a similar take on the idea. We can even keep the island lore of what Squat was, but say it drew enough people to it that we could no longer definitively consider it about height.

What if we discover that the Chav can infect ANYONE?

Keep the skronky pot, keep the newly incorporated history of Squat (always loved Hairy Mary's take on it) but EXPAND it.

So we still basically have Midgets, but the race definitions just apply to a wider variety of shapes.

Thoughts?

PS: This idea came from me pondering what I love about Squathole, and honestly I love love love having the characters who embrace it around. I love the dirty, the foul, the reveling in all that is mucky and outlaw and disgusting. Like FML said, the idea has a direct line to poking fun at fictional history. I LIKE POKING FUN!!!!

PPS: The thought occurred to me that this might promote more dickish behavior, but as has been stated by someone else (Sessine?) we have Port Foley and PRAT and Whistle and they manage to draw the line between running a dickish character AND NOT BEING A DICK AT ALL. So yeah, I think we've already proven it's possible, and totally sustainable.

-Rose


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 21 2014 @ 03:13 PM
By: Laser+Towel

Content:

Quote by: Count+Sessine

Quote by: Laser+Towel

Obviously this is a problem because midgets are people and chavs are not. (Emphasis added.)

Er. Chavs are, in fact, people. It's a Brit term for a particular type of loutish lowest-class youths.



I'm well aware. Apparently sarcasm doesn't translate well into text.

Quote by: Count+Sessine

Chav can be used as shorthand here, while we're discussing the issue, for a certain highly unattractive pattern of behaviour (crude, filthy, unlettered, violent, foul-mouthed, stealing everything that's not nailed down, etc.) which is a legitimate target for humour, but chav is also a contemptuous class-based slur against very poor youths with no prospect of a life. You could probably find some lower-middle-class Brits who would almost-seriously maintain that they aren't people.



That pretty much proves my point.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 21 2014 @ 03:33 PM
By: Hairy+Mary

Content:

Quote by: Harris

2)Making them taller, but keeping them very short (say... no more'n 5'2" as a capper?)


I'm about 5'1" WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO SAY HERE????

Quote by: Harris

1)Incorporating HM's Midget culture into canon.



Ahh shucks, you've redeemed yourself.

Quote by: Matthew

But that's the point. You're taking a pretty hilarious character concept and saying "the entire race is like this" which is both completely unrealistic and completely dull.



You are joking here aren't you? Do you even RP to be able to say something like that? The range and depth that you can put into midgets is a much as it is for humans. You just then put a midget slant on it. There's been no suggestion in this thread that will affect that in the slightest.



Quote by: Count+Sessine

...I dunno. I'm all right with 'arsehole' being part of the average racial temperament for comic effect, but I'd really rather not see it enshrined as the actual race name. ... first, we would need to explain to a lot of players forever afterwards the fine linguistic distinction between being an Arsehole and being a Dick. This would be difficult, since I'm not all that sure myself that there is one!



Yup. Arsehole and Dick are pretty much synonymous. In fact I would say that the midgets as I play them are, in fact dicks/arseholes. Come to that, so is RP Whistle...the character. But certainly not RP Whistle the player. And, I like to think, not myself either.

That's the distinction to draw. You can play characters that are dicks, just don't impose it on other players. If you want to interact with them, then make sure that they're cool with what you're going to do first, and don't be afraid to be on the losing end occasionally/frequently/constantly.


Quote by: Laser+Towel

Obviously this is a problem because midgets are people and chavs are not.

My point is that if it was fine several years ago then it's fine now. It's not intentionally singling anyone out for verbal abuse, it's no different than telling off-colour jokes, which virtually everyone does, and people will never stop doing so.

There is a fine line between willfully and intentionally singling out a group of people to ostracise, and creating a group of comically offensive individuals that happen to bear (in Hairy Mary's own words) "superficial similarities" to real-world groups or individuals, with no ill will intended.

You can't please everyone, and that's exactly what PC (ostensibly) strives to do, yet fails so spectacularly at. It's an inherent flaw to political correctness - it neglects literally everyone but the groups it targets.

I had an entirely different post to begin with, but it was very much anger-fueled and it probably would have been quite unwise to post that version, so. :I



Laser Towel, you really didn't think long enough before posting this, did you now. No it was a mistake several years ago and it's certainly not fine now.

There is an even finer line between willfully and intentionally singling out a group of people to ostracise, and creating a group of comically offensive individuals, with no ill will intended, but knowing damn well that you're being pretty offensive. In fact I'd go so far as to say that there's no line at all.

PC, in essence, tries not to be a dick. Doesn't always succeed, but in general it's not bad. Frankly your argument sounds uncannily like somebody who wants to be a dick without it being pointed out to them. Grow up. Take responsibility for your own behaviour. You're not special, and thinking that you can hand shit out but then whining because somebody else doesn't just go along with everything you want is crap. It really is. Please pull your head out of your fundament.

~~~~~

For what it's worth, my take on midgets. As a first approximation I see then as behaving like a bunch of five year olds, but without any parental guidance or adult supervision whatsoever. Sort of like a more realistic version of Neverland. That's only a first approximation, obviously. There's also the way that they're all thick as two short planks, but more importantly, all think that they're really, really clever.

I could bang on about midgets for some while, I've spent far longer thinking about them than could possibly be good for anybody's mental health. But that's the core of it.

And lastly: FML: I'd always seen the midgets as more analogous to hobbits. Recall that the worlds first introduction to hobbits was a thief - Bilbo Baggins. But yes, I'd always thought that about the fantasy race joke as well. You'll note that in Onslaught situations that kittymorphs fight with bow and arrows.

And I believe that dwarves, alongside elves, goblins, trolls, fairies, pixies, gnolls and sprites have been names for "the little people" in various parts of Europe for centuries. It was Tolkien that appropriated the words to what we think of today. But not orcs. They were originally dirty great sea monsters. I'm pretty sure anyway. I'd check that before you gamble large sums on it though.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 21 2014 @ 11:23 AM
By: Wongo+the+Sane

Content:

I don't know if it has much bearing on the discussion anymore, but 'Squats' used to* be a race in Warhammer 40,000. They were basically Space Dwarves.

*Used to because GW had the entire race eaten by Tyranids. Not because of offending people but because they couldn't think of a way to make them cool, apparently.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 21 2014 @ 12:01 PM
By: Laser+Towel

Content:

Obviously this is a problem because midgets are people and chavs are not.

My point is that if it was fine several years ago then it's fine now. It's not intentionally singling anyone out for verbal abuse, it's no different than telling off-colour jokes, which virtually everyone does, and people will never stop doing so.

There is a fine line between willfully and intentionally singling out a group of people to ostracise, and creating a group of comically offensive individuals that happen to bear (in Hairy Mary's own words) "superficial similarities" to real-world groups or individuals, with no ill will intended.

You can't please everyone, and that's exactly what PC (ostensibly) strives to do, yet fails so spectacularly at. It's an inherent flaw to political correctness - it neglects literally everyone but the groups it targets.

I had an entirely different post to begin with, but it was very much anger-fueled and it probably would have been quite unwise to post that version, so. :I


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 21 2014 @ 03:52 PM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

Quote by: Count+Sessine

I think that's a good place to draw the line. Chav can be used as shorthand here, while we're discussing the issue, for a certain highly unattractive pattern of behaviour (crude, filthy, unlettered, violent, foul-mouthed, stealing everything that's not nailed down, etc.) which is a legitimate target for humour, but chav is also a contemptuous class-based slur against very poor youths with no prospect of a life. You could probably find some lower-middle-class Brits who would almost-seriously maintain that they aren't people.



OH NO NO NO NO NIPPING THIS IN THE BUD RIGHT NOW. This was bound to come up at some point, given how many American and Canadian players we have these days. Razz

"Chav" is not a slur against the working class. A lot of people overseas think that it is - and some comfortably-middle-class British newspaper journalist types think the same thing, while writing hand-wringing editorials about class warfare. Basically, anyone who hasn't grown up around a load of chavs thinks that "Chav" is a class thing - it isn't. "Chav" is a slur against antisocial, violent, alcoholic arseholes who are, yes, often working-class, but "Chav" can be applied equally well to middle-class dickheads in those ridiculous blue Subarus.

"Chav" is a label applied to nobheads who exhibit a certain type of behaviour, not to a social or economic class - those who argue that it's a slur against the working class (or, worse, use the term itself as a slur against the working class, further eroding its meaning) always do so from a position of privilege or from a position of not being British and hence not having any experience of chavs. To infer that "Chav" is a slur against the working class is to lump the working class in with chavs, and that pisses off the working class. Razz


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 21 2014 @ 03:59 PM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

Quote by: Full+Metal+Lion

I'd like to step in at this point to remind everyone that if we change the race of Midget too much, we will destroy one of the most beautiful thematic elements of Improbable Island, The Fantasy Race Joke. As I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere in the discussion of Midgets, I'm going to be a little presumptuous and explain it here. Unfortunately, The Fantasy Race Joke is far funnier if you discover it on your own, but.. oh well, what can you do? Confused

Cast your minds' eyes towards... pretty much all the fantasy written since Tolkien. What are the three most prominent races in those works? Humans, elves, and dwarfs, right? Now, think about the Island. What are the three most prominent races there?

...Kittymorphs are the lithe, attractive, Mary-Sue-esque race, but were made to be humorously stupid and lazy, and "at one with nature" only until they get hungry. They are quite like the cats they are mixed with : they look dignified and elegant on the surface, but I have gifs to prove otherwise.



Guys I love it when you get my jokes five years after I make them Mr. Green


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 21 2014 @ 04:03 PM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

Also, having said all of that bollocks above, I still don't wanna put Chavs in as a race, because it's still mocking a bunch of humans - no matter how deserving, dedicating an entire race of my game to taking the piss out of chavs seems cruel (because chavs are still people) and redundant (because everyone else does that for me).

Also I don't wanna have that same argument every time a white, middle-class American comes in off Tumblr and pops their monocle. ;P


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 21 2014 @ 04:07 PM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

Also guys am I missing something here with the whole "Filthy thieving ill-mannered violent disgusting arseholes" being a stereotype against anyone shorter than five foot? I wasn't aware that there were any stereotypes against little people other than that they're, y'know, short.

Oh God did I create that stereotype


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 21 2014 @ 04:07 PM
By: Laser+Towel

Content:

Quote by: Hairy+Mary

Quote by: Laser+Towel

Obviously this is a problem because midgets are people and chavs are not.

My point is that if it was fine several years ago then it's fine now. It's not intentionally singling anyone out for verbal abuse, it's no different than telling off-colour jokes, which virtually everyone does, and people will never stop doing so.

There is a fine line between willfully and intentionally singling out a group of people to ostracise, and creating a group of comically offensive individuals that happen to bear (in Hairy Mary's own words) "superficial similarities" to real-world groups or individuals, with no ill will intended.

You can't please everyone, and that's exactly what PC (ostensibly) strives to do, yet fails so spectacularly at. It's an inherent flaw to political correctness - it neglects literally everyone but the groups it targets.

I had an entirely different post to begin with, but it was very much anger-fueled and it probably would have been quite unwise to post that version, so. :I



Laser Towel, you really didn't think long enough before posting this, did you now. No it was a mistake several years ago and it's certainly not fine now.

There is an even finer line between willfully and intentionally singling out a group of people to ostracise, and creating a group of comically offensive individuals, with no ill will intended, but knowing damn well that you're being pretty offensive. In fact I'd go so far as to say that there's no line at all.

PC, in essence, tries not to be a dick. Doesn't always succeed, but in general it's not bad. Frankly your argument sounds uncannily like somebody who wants to be a dick without it being pointed out to them. Grow up. Take responsibility for your own behaviour. You're not special, and thinking that you can hand shit out but then whining because somebody else doesn't just go along with everything you want is crap. It really is. Please pull your head out of your fundament.



So in essence, you are saying that Dan created the Midgets knowing full well that someone, somewhere, would find it offensive. Otherwise, he'd have no reason to change it now.

I don't particularly care what my argument sounds like. It is what it is. A post made after thinking it out for a good half hour, multiple rewrites in an (apparently failed) attempt to be less offensive, in order to convey the message that THERE IS LITERALLY NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THEIR STATURE BEING OFFENSIVE TO LITTLE PEOPLE AND THEIR PERSONALITIES BEING OFFENSIVE TO CHAVS. Oh, but chavs don't matter because no one likes them, right? See, this is why I dislike PC. It's not equilateral. It's very much not. Especially when people who claim to be attempting to be inoffensive turn around and accuse others of being dicks on the sly when they are trying to point out PROCEDURAL INCONSISTENCIES. You can take literally any trait EVER and apply it to any type of humanoid EVER and someone, somewhere, will resemble it. And if that combination you have made is for the purpose of garnering laughs at the expense of the character you have created, you risk offending the person or persons they resemble.

Just... think about that for a moment.

I take full responsibility for my posts. If they offend anyone, tell me. Let me know why. I've never said I was special, and believe me, I'm not whining. So perhaps you ought not put words in my mouth, and take responsibility for your own behaviour.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 21 2014 @ 04:20 PM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

Also also also guys I find it inherently problematic that a game even has races at all and that the entire race is stereotyped to such a degree (see Why Dan Doesn't Like D&D, With The Whole "All Orcs Are Evil" Thing, It's Troubling To Me That An Entire Race Is Lumped Together And Simplified Like That And Yes I'm Aware Of The Irony Lol Game Design) BUT yikes everyone being human would be boring as hell from a story standpoint and from a game design standpoint, and don't get me started on racist and sexist symbols in video games or we'll be here all day.

...I'm not really interested in turning Midgets into, y'know, tall people. I think we already do a fairly good job of making fun of the Midget race on the basis of their disgusting behaviour, rather than their size. Really, their shortness is incidental to their unpleasantness, and I think the biggest mistake I've made here is not making them short, but calling them Midgets. If I change the name, then people coming in are unlikely to go "They're a slur against little people" any more than can be said of Tolkeinesque races - but the people already in the game are always gonna know, and that background culture will stick around.

Someone above mentioned something along the lines of frog-people, as a race that could replace Midgets - I kinda dig that. I think the route to take here is gonna be making them less human, so that (hopefully) they won't be perceived as a slur against any particular sort of actual human that exists. Of course, that could be argued against, and I'm open to opposing arguments.

There's no rush on this. This is a conversation that's probably gonna go on and on and on, and if we're gonna change Midgets (which we should and we will, no doubt) then we should take the time to do it right. Feathers will get ruffled as they always do in conversations like these but please, keep it as civil as you can.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 21 2014 @ 04:27 PM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

And, after-posting, reading the post that got in while I was typing this one - again, stressing this, keep it civil. That's as uncivil as you get to be - posts that cross my arbitrary line of incivility will get erased, regardless of who posts them, their position of privilege or lack thereof, or the post's merit or lack thereof. You lot know damn well that I'm a tyrant who will quite cheerfully wipe his arse on the first amendment, so you know I'll follow through on this. Mr. Green


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 21 2014 @ 04:31 PM
By: Hairy+Mary

Content:

Quote by: CavemanJoe

And, after-posting, reading the post that got in while I was typing this one - again, stressing this, keep it civil. That's as uncivil as you get to be - posts that cross my arbitrary line of incivility will get erased, regardless of who posts them, their position of privilege or lack thereof, or the post's merit or lack thereof. You lot know damn well that I'm a tyrant who will quite cheerfully wipe his arse on the first amendment, so you know I'll follow through on this. Mr. Green



My apologies. I'll shut up.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 21 2014 @ 04:55 PM
By: Harris

Content:

Midgets are not popular to play (as a race), but man, this IS one of the most beloved parts of the Island we're talking about here. I've tried playing them myself, (but MAN, is it hard to do that dialect! And yes, above and beyond chavs, my British brothers, your accents really are the planetary standard for suave, brutal, or both. So yes, Midgets need an English dialect! But I digress.) ... Hairy Mary, Cantankerous Biggs, Black Jacques Chirac, Pirate Queen Genevive all might be the only people who ever love playing Midgets and never stop, but they have brought so many smiles for years with their antics. So many. "How?" and "Why?" are not questions answered by "Oh fuck, it's because this is a midget joke, isn't it?". Nope. Along with each of their distinct writing styles, they did this by running up to the official and unofficial culture that this race has and EMBRACING it like a giddy five-year-old. It was their own wit coupled with always writing to us that "these folk are cunning, stubborn, crude, lewd, thuggish, and/or petty bastards"! Having played since 2009, I can remember none of these folks (whom most folk remember when they think of Island Midgets EVER making "the joke" as having anything to do with their characters' height (or almost ever noting their characters' heights at ALL) .

Shoot CMJ, even the in-game writing empahsizes Midgets' height very little compared to how in-your-face their attitudes, habits, and fighting prowess is.

I think we need to pare down the point of "how do we need to change Midgets to make them more purely on the point that they're there to MAKE" to the question of "Okay, what do we rename them?" Because outside of height , their name is the only easily definable sticking point. As for height- well, as HM very, very politely pointed out that's an arbitrary factor indeed for us real folk. Take away the name "Midget", and it seems we can keep our favorite game brutes as is.


P.S.-

Quote by: CavemanJoe

Also guys am I missing something here with the whole "Filthy thieving ill-mannered violent disgusting arseholes" being a stereotype against anyone shorter than five foot? I wasn't aware that there were any stereotypes against little people other than that they're, y'know, short.

Oh God did I create that stereotype



Nah. I'd say that one can blame Tolkien, Gygax, and the lot for that.


EDIT: CMJ, Just saw the post you put in above mine about the name, and yeah, I think we agree!


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 21 2014 @ 04:58 PM
By: Count+Sessine

Content:

Quote by: CavemanJoe

Quote by: Count+Sessine

I think that's a good place to draw the line. Chav can be used as shorthand here, while we're discussing the issue, for a certain highly unattractive pattern of behaviour (crude, filthy, unlettered, violent, foul-mouthed, stealing everything that's not nailed down, etc.) which is a legitimate target for humour, but chav is also a contemptuous class-based slur against very poor youths with no prospect of a life. You could probably find some lower-middle-class Brits who would almost-seriously maintain that they aren't people.



OH NO NO NO NO NIPPING THIS IN THE BUD RIGHT NOW. This was bound to come up at some point, given how many American and Canadian players we have these days. Razz



Um. Woops! Backpedaling NOW!

My knowledge of this, as a thoroughly middle-class Canadian, comes entirely from second-, third-, and tenth-hand accounts. I have read a lot of such accounts in an attempt to understand the overtones -- but clearly there's a great deal of misinformation out there, and I've drawn some wrong conclusions. I also expressed my limited understanding badly! I did not intend to suggest it's an insult against the whole working class - only that the people I thought it applied to all did seem to be very poor: forever unemployable, and defiant about it. Apparently that's wrong.

I also ran across vigorously expressed hostility online, so that definitely exists. It sounded to me like most of this hostility was coming, not from the comfortable middle class, but from working class people who were themselves just scraping by. But it seems this is one of those social land-mine fields that foreigners would do best to avoid. From now on, I think I will put it in the same category as American race relations: an area where it's best to keep in mind that however much I might think I've understood, I am always going to be missing really important nuances.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 21 2014 @ 06:07 PM
By: Docenspiel

Content:

Being American, the chav bit of Midgets has always mostly gone over my head (my only knowledge of the group is from jokes made by British comedians and that there's a show called Eastenders that's apparently all about them).

When you take away their accent, what are Midgets? They're brutish, uncouth, uneducated hooligans that care for laws as much as they care for personal hygiene (that is, not at all). And what I've also seen in how people play Midgets, is that they're surprisingly close knit when faced with outside threats. Now who does that describe? You might say chav, but I see the stereotypical American hillbilly as well as the Scots, Irish, punks, people from just about every industrial city and football fans. Just about every culture has one group that could fit as Midgets, the subculture that doesn't want to conform to society's rules.

Another thing I've noticed about how people play Midgets is that they enjoy it. A lot. Midgets allow them to cut loose, to be as disgusting and rowdy as they wish with little social consequence. It allows them to be the opposite of most everything about them; it allows them to rebel. It seems to me that Midgets are less an insult towards Those People, the groups that refuse to integrate into society, and more a parody of people's desire to do whatever they want. Much like Mary's idea of grown-up Neverland, I see Midgets as people without social inhibitions, a more basic, almost primal form of humanity blown to comedic proportions.



So with all that said, Midgets still need a distinct physical characteristic that makes them not just Humans with a sour disposition and sourer armpits. The amphibian people, while fun, skews too far from Humans for the joke to be seen, I think. I had an idea about having them actually made of the swamp they live in, to fit "Swampers" as well as to keep their resemblance to Humans intact. But that brings up problems with how human vices (smoking, drinking, shagging) affect them; how is alcohol supposed to affect a mudman?


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 21 2014 @ 06:22 PM
By: Lea.wolfsfeld

Content:

Part of me is starting to think that the topic is having too much thought put into it. The drive has deemed to create a race of foul tempered humanoids of short stature that have horrible habit of thievery and generally being unpleasant. Perhaps the rancid term would have stuck simply because no one could bring themselves to think of a nicer term due to how horribly most island midgets behaved.

And lets be honest, tags like that would stick very well regardless how offensive it is IRL.

Also, its my belief that if The Watcher declared the race to be called Midgets, they are called midgets.

I am of course only trying to see things from the perspective of someone on the island.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 21 2014 @ 06:26 PM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

Quote by: Lea.wolfsfeld

Part of me is starting to think that the topic is having too much thought put into it. The drive has deemed to create a race of foul tempered humanoids of short stature that have horrible habit of thievery and generally being unpleasant. Perhaps the rancid term would have stuck simply because no one could bring themselves to think of a nicer term due to how horribly most island midgets behaved.

And lets be honest, tags like that would stick very well regardless how offensive it is IRL.

Also, its my belief that if The Watcher declared the race to be called Midgets, they are called midgets.

I am of course only trying to see things from the perspective of someone on the island.



All very valid points, but the fiction has to be considered in terms of how it'll be interpreted by a real-world audience. Regardless of how much I might justify it via story, at the end of the day discriminatory is discriminatory.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 21 2014 @ 06:59 PM
By: Count+Sessine

Content:

It occurs to me that if they're called 'Swampers' and their in-canon physical build is revised to be short-ish but not tiny enough to qualify as midgets or dwarfs, that gets rid of the initial issue.

As for differentiating them from regular-humans, I don't see any need to turn them into frog-people. I'm thinking of the phrase: "Built like a brick shit-house." Rock-solid, dense, all muscle (which some may claim includes the head).


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 21 2014 @ 07:31 PM
By: Matthew

Content:

Quote by: Hairy+Mary

Quote by: Matthew

But that's the point. You're taking a pretty hilarious character concept and saying "the entire race is like this" which is both completely unrealistic and completely dull.



You are joking here aren't you? Do you even RP to be able to say something like that? The range and depth that you can put into midgets is a much as it is for humans. You just then put a midget slant on it. There's been no suggestion in this thread that will affect that in the slightest.



uh. I might not RP much now (work, bills, etc), but I have RPed both a lot on the island and a whole hell of a lot over my entire life, so let's not play that card, please?

Also, you missed my point, because we seem to be on the same side? I'm just legitimately very confused what you're trying to say/accuse me of here!


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 21 2014 @ 07:34 PM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

Quote by: Hairy+Mary

Quote by: CavemanJoe

And, after-posting, reading the post that got in while I was typing this one - again, stressing this, keep it civil. That's as uncivil as you get to be - posts that cross my arbitrary line of incivility will get erased, regardless of who posts them, their position of privilege or lack thereof, or the post's merit or lack thereof. You lot know damn well that I'm a tyrant who will quite cheerfully wipe his arse on the first amendment, so you know I'll follow through on this. Mr. Green



My apologies. I'll shut up.



Bollocks. Your opinion is very valuable, both as a mod and as someone who does awesome things with the Midget race. Lazer Towel's opinion is valuable too, as a player. Don't shut up. Just, like, put smilies in or something. Razz


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 21 2014 @ 08:02 PM
By: dizzyizzy

Content:

Quote by: Count+Sessine

It occurs to me that if they're called 'Swampers' and their in-canon physical build is revised to be short-ish but not tiny enough to qualify as midgets or dwarfs, that gets rid of the initial issue.

As for differentiating them from regular-humans, I don't see any need to turn them into frog-people. I'm thinking of the phrase: "Built like a brick shit-house." Rock-solid, dense, all muscle (which some may claim includes the head).



At this point, you've begun describing Dizzy. Incredibly strong, but slow, brusque, racist, petty, vindictive, foulmouthed, and just generally an arsehole. He's even been described with your phrase, there.

He's not quite human, more some variety of Joker. My halfassed explanation for him is "Strongman" - from whatever circus the Carnie Jokers hail from. Mostly I just like playing a character that's vastly overpowered, just to drop him into situations where strength means nothing (but he'll try anyways). Don't know if that's an idea worth considering.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 21 2014 @ 10:03 PM
By: Full+Metal+Lion

Content:

Quote by: Docenspiel


And Squat just sounds weird when used as a noun.


So it does... but "Swampers" sounds too much like an Aquaman villain for my taste. I suggest we take the best parts of both terms and use the word "Squatters" for Midgets. It sounds nice, and it will only get confusing if people start inhabiting other people's Places without paying rent, which seems unlikely. Besides, Midgets seem like the sort of people to do a thing like that, anyway.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 21 2014 @ 10:52 PM
By: Rowley

Content:

It's my first time to weigh in on the discussion, though I've been following it from Dizzy's first post, before any replies.

This is a thing that should be done the sooner the better, extra work or no extra work. (Everything you do always works out to "extra work" in the end.)

I see no problem with using the word "Squat" as a noun for these guys. It has the proper improper connotations. I agree with Lion, though, that "Squatters" could get confusiong, and would remove a useful word from Island vocabulary. Possible alternatives? Scuzzymorph. Gnome, Goblin, Kobold, or some other word from folklore that's not used as a common pejorative for real people.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 21 2014 @ 11:25 PM
By: Docenspiel

Content:

Why would we rename them a generic fantasy race when they were renamed in the first place so as to not be a generic fantasy race? And my reason for not liking "Squatters" is the same as with "Squats". We really need to know exactly what the new Midgets are going to be before we can give them a suitable name.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 22 2014 @ 12:26 AM
By: Count+Sessine

Content:

All right. I hereby offer: Mudder.

It's got the right cadence to fit into existing texts.

It's suitably sullen-sounding.

It won't even spoil any alliterative phrases.

...and just think of the puns!


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 22 2014 @ 12:57 AM
By: Count+Sessine

Content:

Here's a test for proposed new names... see how they would sound in that original level one monster, the Angry Midget. (Not because we couldn't just turn that monster off if we needed to, but if a name will work there, it can probably be made to work everywhere.) An example:
===
You hear a nasal voice coming from behind you. "All right mate, 'ave you got the time?"

You turn around, bewildered.

“Right 'ere, boss," says the voice. It’s a stocky tracksuit-clad Mudder staring at you.

"I haven't actually got a watch," you reply.

"Nah mate, on yer phone, innit? What's the time on yer phone? Kin I 'ave a look at yer phone?"

You shake your head. "They didn't let me bring it..."

"GIVE US YER PHONE, INNIT!" screams the Mudder.

Not too bright, this one. Fighting back laughter, you assume the combat stance.

You have encountered Angry Mudder which lunges at you with hard fists!
===

All I've done here is change the name -- and take out the tiny.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 22 2014 @ 01:40 AM
By: dizzyizzy

Content:

Mudder is especially hilarious considering II's heritage from MUDs.

I'm not entirely sure losing the "tiny" aspect is necessary. I'm rather hung up on the frog people idea - they're different enough from humans that being short isn't directly offensive, they bring in a new set of physical features to play with, and they're actually literally slimy.

(We could even call them Hoppits.)


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 22 2014 @ 02:00 AM
By: Docenspiel

Content:

Quote by: dizzyizzy


(We could even call them Hoppits.)


PffffffffttHAHAHAHAHA!
I'd still much prefer a more humanoid race but Hoppits is definitely my chosen fall-back. And Murders sounds just as good as Swampers (even if it would be a little odd at first, since it's also what American Southerners who like messing about in mud are called).


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 22 2014 @ 04:07 AM
By: Count+Sessine

Content:

Hel-lo Mudder -- hel-lo fodder!
Crap meat goes with Squat Hole wanker.
Mudder brothel's entertaining,
I just wish the sky'd stop Skronky raining.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 22 2014 @ 04:36 AM
By: Denealus

Content:

...if we end up calling them Mudders, I'm going to make a jungle monster called a "Mudder Fogger" I swear to God.....


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 22 2014 @ 05:20 AM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

Slobbits?


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 22 2014 @ 06:07 AM
By: dizzyizzy

Content:

Quote by: CavemanJoe

Slobbits?



That, at least, won't feel like a forced pun. Razz

In my perfect world, I'd like to see a new race filling much the same archetype as Midgets do now come Season 3, with ways to differentiate them from just begin unpleasant humans. Making them short doesn't make them any less human, they need distinguishing. I'm a big fan of frog people, FWIW. I might take Nigel on a froggy test spin this weekend.

I'd also like to see the new name come about as soon as Cavemanly possible. Maybe retcon the "midget" label entirely, have the "new" race that is essentially unchanged save for the name finish us out whatever's left of season two, and have them all mutate simultaneously come season 3?


(There's another idea - Cavemen. Or is that over your "arbitrary line of incivility"? Razz )


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 22 2014 @ 01:27 PM
By: Docenspiel

Content:

Quote by: CavemanJoe

Slobbits?


Eh, I'd find it hard to believe Midgets would call themselves that, let alone let other people do it. What about Nobbits?


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 23 2014 @ 01:02 AM
By: Count+Sessine

Content:

Quote by: Docenspiel

Quote by: CavemanJoe

Slobbits?


Eh, I'd find it hard to believe Midgets would call themselves that, let alone let other people do it. What about Nobbits?

A good point. They're tough fighters who aren't going to put up with outright insults. ...Which, hmmm. Apparently includes Nobbit, according to the very first google search result.

I have a feeling that trying to riff off 'hobbit' is a joke that would soon wear thin.

What are they proud of? Drinking, brawling, stealing, um... not washing... what else? Regular Midget players, please add to the list!


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 23 2014 @ 01:44 AM
By: Docenspiel

Content:

I had no idea Nobbit was a word. I suggested it because nob is a slang for penis while also being a word to describe a high society person. Because another thing Midgets like is being Midgets; they think they're the best. And they think they're the best because... they're Midgets.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 23 2014 @ 01:49 AM
By: dizzyizzy

Content:

Quote by: Twosocks+Monkey

Quote by: Docenspiel

Quote by: dizzyizzy


(We could even call them Hoppits.)


PffffffffttHAHAHAHAHA!
I'd still much prefer a more humanoid race but Hoppits is definitely my chosen fall-back. And Murders sounds just as good as Swampers (even if it would be a little odd at first, since it's also what American Southerners who like messing about in mud are called).


Look what happened when I googled Hoppits:



http://teenyweenyfamilies.weebly.com/homemakers---rabbits.html

Excerpt:

'Grandma Hoppit has been working all day in the Hippity Hop Cafe and she would love to just relax in the nice comfy sofa and watch TV, but Baby Sally needs feeding - and she's making such a noise with her rattle!'

'It's time for Grandma Hoppit to feed Baby Sally. She's so hungry!'



Why Claudia Hoppit gotta conform to sapiannormative ideals of beauty? That's pretty racist.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 23 2014 @ 02:44 AM
By: Count+Sessine

Content:

Okay, it seems 'Mudder' was not received with general rejoicing. How about... Mucker?

Let's see how it works in that same level one monster:
You hear a nasal voice coming from behind you. "All right mate, 'ave you got the time?"

You turn around, bewildered.

"Right 'ere, boss," says the voice. It's a stocky tracksuit-clad Mucker staring at you.

"I haven't actually got a watch," you reply.

"Nah mate, on yer phone, innit? What's the time on yer phone? Kin I 'ave a look at yer phone?"

You shake your head. "They didn't let me bring it..."

"GIVE US YER PHONE, INNIT!" screams the Mucker.

Not too bright, this one. Fighting back laughter, you assume the combat stance.


You have encountered Angry Mucker which lunges at you with hard fists!

Let's try another one:
Seven filthy Muckers hauling a glass coffin trundle past. Your hand immediately covers your req bag; an automatic reaction when seeing Muckers. "What are they stealing now," you mumble to yourself. The thieving Muckers suddenly stumble all at once, and a unconscious woman tumbles out of the coffin.

And that's when they notice you standing there.

You draw your weapon as they stalk towards you and your coin purse.


You have encountered Seven Filthy Thieving Muckers which lunges at you with songs of, 'hi ho, hi ho, innit'!

Message shown when monster wins: The Muckers rejoice and celebrate their win by turning out all your pockets, taking your bag, and stuffing you inside the glass coffin before picking up the woman and running off into the forest.
Message shown when monster loses: You rejoice and celebrate your win by robbing the Muckers blind, and then rifling through the unconscious woman's pockets.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 22 2014 @ 11:12 AM
By: Twosocks+Monkey

Content:

Quote by: Docenspiel

Quote by: dizzyizzy


(We could even call them Hoppits.)


PffffffffttHAHAHAHAHA!
I'd still much prefer a more humanoid race but Hoppits is definitely my chosen fall-back. And Murders sounds just as good as Swampers (even if it would be a little odd at first, since it's also what American Southerners who like messing about in mud are called).


Look what happened when I googled Hoppits:



http://teenyweenyfamilies.weebly.com/homemakers---rabbits.html

Excerpt:

'Grandma Hoppit has been working all day in the Hippity Hop Cafe and she would love to just relax in the nice comfy sofa and watch TV, but Baby Sally needs feeding - and she's making such a noise with her rattle!'

'It's time for Grandma Hoppit to feed Baby Sally. She's so hungry!'


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 23 2014 @ 02:56 AM
By: CavemanJoe

Content:

Also already a word, across the pond. Razz


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 23 2014 @ 03:04 AM
By: Count+Sessine

Content:

Let's try it in the outpost description...

Squat Hole, Home of the Muckers

You are standing in the heart of Squat Hole. Man, this place has gone downhill.

Rusted-out cars compete for space with empty cider cans, and there's a general atmosphere of meanness about. Piles of dead skunks and excrement lie steaming and glistening by the side of the road. All the windows are broken, and the whole place could do with a good scrubbing, but there's no chance for investment around here - there is truth in the rumour that copper wire was invented by two Muckers fighting over a penny.

The afternoon sun is hot, and makes sweat bead on your forehead. Some locals are enjoying cans of cider near their rusted-out wrecks.

Squat Hole appears to be its usual foetid self. The violence is centered inside the Outpost rather than outside, and the guards patrolling the walls are busy perfecting their skiving skills. The pile of empty cider cans beneath their posts is growing at the rate of several cans per minute - for the moment at least, Squat Hole is secure under their slightly blurry eyes.

Outpost wall hitpoints: 12,857,090

A scratchy voice issues from a nearby speaker - the signal is badly polluted, but you make out enough words to determine that Cyber City 404 is sending an urgent distress call. This looks like a job for some serious fighters. You consider for a moment whether that means you.

Looking around, you see there is only one other Contestant nearby.
Nearby some muckers stand around smoking hand-rolled cigarettes, using a decomposing chicken carcass as an ashtray. Occasionally they shout at each other in irritating, squeaky voices:


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 23 2014 @ 03:11 AM
By: Count+Sessine

Content:

Quote by: CavemanJoe

Also already a word, across the pond. Razz

So I gather. It means something like 'pal' or 'mate', doesn't it? Since Mi-- muckers also sound like they're from across the pond, they're not likely to kill anyone for calling them that!

Nobody needs to tell them about the less flattering meanings.

(And none of the meanings are racial or sexual slurs. The worst one I saw was short for muck-raking journalist -- and nobody's going to believe our Muckers are writing articles for newspapers, slanderous or otherwise.)


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 23 2014 @ 03:17 AM
By: Genevieve

Content:

After spending six days reading this whole thread I've decided to put in my two cents:

Shortness is, to me, an essential part of being that race. I've written dozens of these buggers and I love them to bits and the way I build them I relate height to strength as an inverse ratio. The smaller they are the stronger they are and subsequently more muscularly dense (or mentally, Carlynne being an exception Razz)

I love the absolutely insane and hilarious idea that something small could absolutely wreck shit against something really big. And really, reaaaaaly wreck it's shit. Wreck it so proper that these short bastards have a sinister reputation of kicking ass.

I wrote Carlynne really tiny because it's even funnier to see seven inches of foul-mouthed woman haul off an adult male for various activities both vulgar and violent.

The comedic element of tiny+rank is what I love the most about them! Hell, I have whole jokes written into the Port based on height (see Portia in the bread stand.)

I don't care much what they're called, Mudders (mudder fucker jokes all around) or muckers (mucker fuckers works too!) swampers, gonads, seriously anything. Any name. Just don't take away their height.

To me, it's really important. I think it'd be easy to distance them from humans, I always imagine them with thick, leathery skin and coarse body hair, too many teeth (when they've kept their teeth) hyper dense bones, a few less toes (they're wide enough)

I like the hormone mutation idea but darn it I love the height.

I suppose, to me, the definition of a Midget has been short, ornery, base cunning, hairy, smelly,warty, ugly, thieving, selfish, conniving bastards and I've literally never read them and thought of human midgets! To be honest I always imagine shrunken Popeyes or inflated babies covered in leathery skin and stubble. Smushy faces.

Like bulldogs but people!

Anyway I'm tired and incoherent. There is my two cents.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 23 2014 @ 04:54 AM
By: Full+Metal+Lion

Content:

Quote by: Rowley


I see no problem with using the word "Squat" as a noun for these guys. It has the proper improper connotations. I agree with Lion, though, that "Squatters" could get confusing, and would remove a useful word from Island vocabulary.


You have misinterpreted me, sir! I quite like the term "Squatter" as a replacement for "Midget", and I've never actually seen the term "squatter" used on the Island before. Plus, it's a distinct word due to its capitalization, the way "Joker" is.

Quote by: Count+Sessine

Okay, it seems 'Mudder' was not received with general rejoicing. How about... Mucker?


I'd be alright with that. I'd also like to propose the term "Fecker", while I'm at it, perhaps "Little Fecker". If it's important to make it seem to the Midgets Feckers like it's not an insult, we could allude to its flattering Scots definition of "effect". (Please note, non-Feckers, the additional connotations of theft and throwing things, staples of Midget culture as seen on the Island today!)

Quote by: dizzyizzy

Quote by: CavemanJoe

My official stance is: this isn't a matter of if, but when. Do we wait for S3, or do I spend a few weeks changing over all the references and suchlike before S3 - only to scrap the lot when S3 comes around anyway, in eighteen months or two years or never or whatever?



This is what worries me. We could easily end up leaving this offensive joke at the core of gameplay and going "nah, we'll fix it next season!"


That's not very likely, as Season Three is being built from scratch. As to when the change should be enacted, either when Season Three arrives or just whenever we pick a suitable name, I'd opt for Season Three. Replacing it beforehand will take effort that would better be spent on Season Three itself, I reckon.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 23 2014 @ 05:23 AM
By: Count+Sessine

Content:

Quote by: Full+Metal+Lion

As to when the change should be enacted, either when Season Three arrives or just whenever we pick a suitable name, I'd opt for Season Three. Replacing it beforehand will take effort that would better be spent on Season Three itself, I reckon.

We can do a patch-job of replacing the name starting now. If only the name is changing, it's not that big a job to do a search and replace on the code. CMJ can hand off the parts that are in the database to me, so those won't interfere with his work on S3.

Coming up with entirely new races... I agree, that's better left for S3. Besides, in S3, all bets are off. Who knows, we might not even have races then! That's only one method -- there are other ways to create variety in game play. Point allocation is another tried and true game design, with pre-made templates that would correspond to the S2 races, but many more options. But... we'll just have to wait and see what we get then.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 23 2014 @ 06:01 AM
By: dizzyizzy

Content:

Quote by: Full+Metal+Lion


This is what worries me. We could easily end up leaving this offensive joke at the core of gameplay and going "nah, we'll fix it next season!"

That's not very likely, as Season Three is being built from scratch.


Well, yeah, that's what I'm saying. Season 3 is being built from scratch, and who knows how long it'll take? Season 3 is effectively meaningless. It's the procrastinator's "tomorrow". We can't just keep going "we'll fix it in season 3!" when "season 3" is nothing but an enigma.

Right now, it's really pretty offensive that "midget" is listed as a separate race from "human", and a simple name change will fix that. Not alienating potential players right off the bat is a better place for effort than an enigma.


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 23 2014 @ 11:26 AM
By: Twosocks+Monkey

Content:

Quote by: dizzyizzy

Quote by: Twosocks+Monkey

Quote by: Docenspiel

Quote by: dizzyizzy


(We could even call them Hoppits.)


PffffffffttHAHAHAHAHA!
I'd still much prefer a more humanoid race but Hoppits is definitely my chosen fall-back. And Murders sounds just as good as Swampers (even if it would be a little odd at first, since it's also what American Southerners who like messing about in mud are called).


Look what happened when I googled Hoppits:



http://teenyweenyfamilies.weebly.com/homemakers---rabbits.html

Excerpt:

'Grandma Hoppit has been working all day in the Hippity Hop Cafe and she would love to just relax in the nice comfy sofa and watch TV, but Baby Sally needs feeding - and she's making such a noise with her rattle!'

'It's time for Grandma Hoppit to feed Baby Sally. She's so hungry!'



Why Claudia Hoppit gotta conform to sapiannormative ideals of beauty? That's pretty racist.


It gets worse


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 23 2014 @ 07:02 PM
By: Trowa

Content:

There was an episode of Firefly where a group of serf-like mud-harvesters on a planet were called "Mudders." (Yes, 'mud harvesters' because the mud was really good for building or something or other). Anyway, they had a very common and highly alcoholic beverage they called "Mudders Milk." All the essential nutrients, plus a good buzz! Also pun.

ANYWAY. I like "Muckers," too.

Without repeating a bunch of other posts, I am all for a name change right now. I'm not terribly worried about the offensive nature of the race itself because they're still respected and feared despite being short and ugly. But, I'll let that be a decision for a later time.

Some ideas:
Nimblers/Nimblets/Nimblants
Swotters/Swottits/Swottants
Smuggers/Smuggits/Smuggants
Thuggers/Thuggits/Thugges/Thuggants
Cruggers/Cruggits/Crugges/Cruggants
Crubbers/Crubbits/Crubbes/Crubbants


Every time I read "Swampers" I think of the song Sweet Home Alabama: "Now Muscle Shoals has got the Swampers; And they've been known to pick a song or two."


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 23 2014 @ 11:36 PM
By: Kew

Content:

FML: Kew had a squatter in her studio once. It was Unicorn Hamlon/Meenos.


Okay anyway. I do not think we should take away the shortness aspect. I... don't really like frog people, since that's really just another morph? Pretty much every fantasy canon has a little-people race and I don't think that in and of itself is offensive. I liked Waverly's idea of too much testosterone, and it really fits with most of their character traits. Plus, think of the tiny penis jokes!

...On that note, let's call 'em Knobs. XD


Re: "Midget"

Posted on: April 25 2014 @ 04:16 PM
By: Hairy+Mary

Content:

FML: You can get attacked by a squatter in the abandoned factory. I don't see that that's much of an obstacle to anything though, not least because there's a new abandoned factory in the pipeline anyway.

Matthew: Yes, you do RP. Sorry for suggesting otherwise. Having said that, I still disagree with your comment about proposed changes making them dull. There's plenty of scope for creativity there still.

In my midget playing I've given a lot of them the most appalling names. Sewage, Chlamydia and Mildew from the Skronkys, Mange Whittle, Ratpiss Jenkins, Maggot Braithwaite, Verruca Lynn from the general population. So I would have no problem whatsoever with them having a most unpleasant title and completely failing to realise it. The Squat Hole inhabitants know, for sure, that they are the cleverest, kindest, most charming, most honest, most respected race on the Island, and they assume without question that everybody else sees them in this light as well. Any denial of this is simply jealousy on the other races part. The politics of envy. In short, they are delusional. Whatever they are called, they will assume that it's an honourable name respecting their natural prestige, then devote what little capacity for rational thought that they have in justifying this.

Physical characteristics.
As it stands, these play a rather small part. I tend to forget that they're meant to be hairy. By far the biggest indicator of their average height is the name "midget".

I've been running through in my mind how much of the stuff that I've written for the wiki I'd have to change. And the answer is, not that much. A search and replace for the word midget itself, obviously, but I can't think of much else. There's a line in the page for Mundungous Hobbes (great midget philosopher, spends all his time propping up the bar in Booz and banging on to anybody who'll listen about how the world owes a living to midgets in general and him in particular.) At one point he opines that life on the Island without midgets would be "Nasty, brutish and tall." That would have to go. There's one scene where Cantankerous Biggs is trying to rob the bank "disguised as a kittymorph". The bank staff mistake him for a kid trick or treating. That would have to go as well.

Consider this rather wonderful picture of the Skronkys by Shi.

Notice the lack of beards, even on the males. On her first draft, Cyril (a mutant) was the same height as the main family members. The point here is that the standard midget physical characteristics didn't really occur to her as she was drawing.

So I'm not sure that any change in physical features in canon writing will make much of a difference to how they're perceived.

Having said that, I'm personally pretty attached to their current height. That's because I've spent far too long imagining midgets and have the idea of shortness pretty ingrained now. Changing that will take a little getting used to, but I'll get there if I have to, once I know what it is that I'm going to have to change to. The point of this being that I'm rather too close to have a useful opinion on how useful dropping their shortness is.


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