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Spoilers Official Pokémon Sword and Shield speculation thread (Updated June 5th, 2019)

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In thread 22/06/19
The Ghost of Tsushima
Dec 30, 2008
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Evening everyone.

The Video Game Staff want to bring to everyone's attention that we've received a lot of reports in regards to rudeness and condescending behaviour in this thread.

We want to remind everyone to please be mindful of your conduct towards other users. Understandably, disagreements can happen and can turn rather heated, especially amidst the current controversies, but it's important to not let that get the best of us, as it can create quite a hostile atmosphere.

Only complaint- those shoes. Girl get some better shoes, those floaties for your feet ain't saving anything.
Strange clothes and accessories are par on the course for JRPGs, Pokémon's just doing its part ¯\(ツ)
Mar 29, 2019
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It's kind of disappointing we can't keep that same "all inclusive" energy people have with Dexit when it comes to people feeling unwelcome when a well-designed dark-skinned character comes along and suddenly she's five shades lighter.

And for anyone who think everything's the same always, there's a reason Jynx is the only Pokemon to have it's design palette changed, and no one bats an eye at Mr. Mime for "whiteface". The people he'd "represent" aren't gonna be affected by his presence.

I'm gonna drop this now, I eagerly await whatever news we get soon.
Here to ride the rumor train.
Aug 9, 2016
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Well-Known Member
Apr 28, 2013
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I can understand the outrage towards some of the more blatant cases of whitewashing towards nessa (like literally drawing her pale white and changing her ethnicity) but I do feel bad that a lot of eastern artists are under fire for simply slightly altering the colour of her skin (which in every case I've seen has just been due to them playing with color palletes and lighting).

In a lot of those drawings the colors may not be 1:1 with her official artwork, but you can still very clearly tell she's intended to be a dark skinned woman
Laid to Wake
Oct 18, 2012
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eh, fuck it

Yes, color palette/filter does affect this sort of thing, but we don't have to view this in strict, binary, right-or-wrong terms. Artistic choices can have defensible angles to them while still being open to criticism, as all art should be, because nothing exists in a vacuum. What FaeKing is saying isn't insignificant; sensitivity toward stuff like this is important and it's something worth thinking about when you go to create a work of art. The original Jynx design probably has defensible angles too (one could argue that it might just be aiming for the same kind of obscured void-face as seen with the likes of Shellder and Tangela, because Gen 1 had very little room for detail, an extremely small color palette, and apparently were designed as sprites first, before the official art was done), but they sure as shit changed her skin to avoid the negative connotations once those were pointed out.

Secondly, the whole "if we're gonna get mad about whitewashing, then we have to get just as mad about blackwashing" argument is a garbage false equivalence designed to avoid having to relinquish any of the systemically endowed power that oppresses minorities. "I'm not going to acknowledge your criticisms as legitimate unless you also give ground - even though we're not on equal footing to begin with." Incidentally, this makes it a convenient stock argument for bigots, because they love to reframe examples of progress and/or reparation as an attack on their identity, even though their identity has never been institutionally threatened ever, and they aren't really losing anything by having a white, cis, straight, etc. character reimagined differently since they already possess medial representation in absolute abundance. Whereas, taking examples of minority characters and altering them to fit a more normative mold is inherently detractive to the comparatively scarce representation of minorities that exists.

also are people seriously using the term "sjw" unironically? :confused: probably the most coopted-by-Nazis language this side of "snowflake"?
Well-Known Member
Jun 26, 2015
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Finally another topic!

Welp, that's disappointing.
Thats the same image . no level, no weight, no speed. Would think that Hp, attack, sp. Attack and both def +50 and maybe speed reduction -10... But who knows maybe the Guards give boosts and work like substitutes? A Dynamaxed pokemon looks heavier with that amount of energy.
Thievulpes velox
Sep 24, 2013
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Stop being intentionally obtuse. Bleaching a dark skin character inorder to make them lighter has actual real world negative connotations.
To expand on this a little.

The Difference Between Racism and Colorism

Sure, it's easy for a generic white guy like me to look at this whole whitewashing business and just brush it off as no big deal, but I'm not the one who has to experience and deal with these things in the real world every single day.
To all children of the world - congratulations.
Mar 28, 2019
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(I've spent way too long on this post...)


My thoughts below.

Applying IRL race and racial politics to fictional characters who live in fantasy universes unrelated to the real world is a pretty bad idea, IMO. Racial divisions analogous to those in our lives simply doesn't exist in the Pokemon universe as far as we know, so it's pointless to argue if Nessa is black/African-American or not because those categories don't exist. The question is about people - fan artists - disregarding her skin colour because it's "too dark" (implication that it's not pretty or acceptable or whatever).

Whitewashing is really common in anime fanart for some reason; you can tell because the hair/clothing colours have been kept the same, while the skin - only the skin - is many shades lighter and paler. There's a difference between that and a pastel or otherwise lightened palette, where every single colour (hair, clothes, AND skin colours) in the picture has been lightened. A paler palette can also be a result of lighting (ie the colour and intensity of the light source in the scene), not just a stylistic choice.

Artists might whitewash without realising it or intending it sometimes. The shading techniques for pale and dark skin tones is different: pale skin has a strong contrast between highlights and shadows, while on dark skin the true skin colour comes through much more (ie, less contrast, weaker shadow and highlights). You need to keep that in mind while shading. Artists who rarely draw dark skin will apply the high-contrast method of pale skin shading to a dark-skinned person, and end up making them look lighter skinned by accident even if they colour-picked the right base shade. This is not something artists should be blamed for unless they refuse to improve and learn to shade dark skin correctly. We all make mistakes sometimes.

If anyone's whitewashing Nessa, I think everybody here will agree that it's unacceptable. But pastel palettes and the effects of lighting don't count as whitewashing, which is where people are getting confused. The truth is that it's hard to tell if something's been whitewashed without knowing a whole lot of context about the picture (does the artist lighten the colours of all their images?), and artists can end up whitewashing by accident if they shade dark skin incorrectly.
Amphibious Friend
May 21, 2010
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The mods of this section are getting tired of needing to close this thread to clean up as often as they have been. We are going to be opening a new speculation thread soon to hopefully give the conversation a fresh start. We are also going to be enforcing the rules more strictly and we will be developing a system for dealing with repeat offenders of our rules for this thread specifically. We will be transparent about what that system is once it's been finalized, but it will involve threadbans and perhaps more. In the meantime, I have some general notes that I want everyone to read.

First, it should come as no surprise to anyone reading this that we value respectful discussion on this site. You may feel completely justified in your stance, but I would like to ask you to check your tone and attitude (and maybe the rules while you're at it) before hitting "Post." If your post is degrading another user or group in any way, then you're better off hitting backspace. We are not trying to stifle debate or healthy discussion, but that can quickly devolve into bickering and circular talking. If you feel like another user has posted something inflammatory or disrespectful, then please REPORT IT. We will handle it appropriately and do our best to get the thread back on track. That's our job, and you can help us do it by bringing things directly to our attention this way. Thank you very much to those who have already reported things even today, it's been a big help to us.

Second, I'd like to talk about race. No, I am not an expert or an absolute authority on the subject, so I do not want to speak for any marginalized communities. But I want to make it absolutely clear that certain groups have historically been and are currently discriminated against and misrepresented. Trying to argue otherwise is false and is only perpetuating these issues and could fall under a variety of our rules depending on the severity.

That being said, this is a speculation thread. Discussing fanart and controversies is not on-topic. Of course conversation is going to meander naturally, and that's ok, but if you've noticed you've been on the same subject for multiple pages and it's not relevant to the original topic then please drop it and contact or mention a moderator. You can even open a new thread about that topic as long as it's appropriate for our forums.

When we open the new thread, I expect everyone to follow the rules and these guidelines I laid out.
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