Emma and Gil sit down with James Mendez Hodes to discuss his work as a cultural consultant, and the series of “orcticles” he wrote describing how the depiction of orcs in fantasy games can bring up problematic real-world stereotypes.

CONTENT WARNING: This episode includes many references to racism and a section discussing sexual assault.


01m55s: Orcus, a god of the underworld.

04m29s: J.R.R. Tolkien‘s Urak-hai, the strongest kind of Orc in Middle Earth.

27m49s: The Marathi people from India. We also get into the thorny, complicated, and vitally-important subject of intersectionality.

32m57s: Here is the Adam Ruins Everything episode on the “model minority” myth.

34m30s: Gil meant the “domino theory,” a Cold War idea that suggested that one country that became communist would inevitably make its neighbors, and those neighbors, communist as well.

38m04s: More information about James Baldwin’s writings on race.

45m19s: We had John talking safety tools on Ludology 227 – Respect the X.

53m03s: Edward Said’s Orientalism is an important analysis of how a group of colonizing nations perceive the nations they colonize.

57m56s: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story 

1h06m28s: Here is the comic Gil and Mendez are talking about, as well as the Sam Sykes tweet that inspired it.

1h11m43s: Here’s another link to Jiangsi: Blood in the Banquet Hall (which seems to come up every episode!). We spoke with Banana in Ludology 228 – The Roles We Play, and Sen most recently in Ludology 236 – Role With It. Of course, you will hear a lot more from Sen soon on this very show!

We also mention the RPG Agon.

1h14m43s: Blaise Pascal first expressed the sentiment in his 16th Letter from his lettres provinciales: “Je n’ai fait celle-ci plus longue que parce que je n’ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte.” Mark Twain wrote out a similar thought two centuries later: “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”

1h19m08s: More information about Maria Dahvana Headley’s modern-day vernacular translation of Beowulf. Also, Eric Zimmerman’s plea to keep games away from art, because in his words, “enshrining something as art is death.”

1h22m47s: Mendez’ website, Twitter, and Patreon.

Originally posted at Ludology