Magic the Gathering chooses to be less racist

Invoke is an awkward verb choice, though. I bet they picked it to hit that number.

I wonder whether this should go in the idiot conspiracy theories thread. The artist doesn’t pick the name of the card, and whoever designed it when the set was being playtested likely had no way to know and wouldn’t care where it would fall as far as an internal id was concerned.

Giving the benefit of the doubt, they might have seen that number coming up, and saw that they planned a prejudice-related card, and combined them as a little joke. Seems like the kind of thing a bunch of white nerds would do as an easter-egg, especially 20-some years ago, when “racism is pretty much solved” was a more common sentiment.

I get most of these (thanks for the info on “stone throwers” @Gigglemoo, I hadn’t known that one) but what’s the problem with Cleanse?

Is there a reference here I’m not getting?

“All black creatures are destroyed” is pretty bad on its face, although in the context of the game, it isn’t that bad. I assume it’s seen as reference to ethnic cleansing.

Probably if the card was called like “purge evil” or something, it wouldn’t be an issue. I’m guessing there are other cards that function very similarly (with slightly different theming) that are still ok to use.

I mean, that problem is only fixable by changing the colors themselves, you’re not going to resolve it card-by-card. Replace black with “violet” and white with “yellow” or something and the whole issue goes away, but short of that this is going to be a persistent issue. I’m sure that would cause an uproar.

I hadn’t though of “ethnic cleansing” but I suppose that makes sense. Yeah, you’d think a simple title change to “purge evil” (I like that one) would be sufficient here.

Yeah, that’s part of the issue with relying on old tropes like white = purity and goodness while black = evil and darkness. They tried to get away from that over the years, but that association is baked into the fantasy genre.

Also the flavor text is a little iffy in combination.

But yeah, I don’t know that the card is, in and of itself, racist. But it’s easily twisted in that direction and apparently gets referenced by white supremacists. I’m sure there’s some later card that does the same thing that isn’t banned because it doesn’t combine all those elements in quite the same way.

Paging through the newer expansions, I think that they’re been moving a lot more towards iconography (the little mana symbols) and and Swamp/Plains, etc instead of the words black/white/blue when possible.

They still use the colors occasionally, but it seems like they may be trying to rely on that less in card design in general. I can see why they might want to rely less on that, as a lot of color-based cards can become handcuffs in deck design.

I haven’t really played in years though, so I could be wrong there.

Ah, well “getting used by white supremacists to be shitty” is more than sufficient to meet my criteria for dumping it, that’s for sure. On its face I just couldn’t figure out why it was worse than any other white card that specifically kills black cards (and just typing that sentence I can’t help but think that yeah, they probably should just change the colors shouldn’t they?).

I haven’t played Magic in any significant way in like 20 years but yeah, looking at the newer cards it’s clear that you’re right about that. Having “black” spelled out there is kind of jarring in that context.

Back in 1994 I don’t think the contributing artists were as commoditized as they are today. I could be wrong. Even if they were, the card could have been decided and then the art commissioned. I don’t actually think they were malicious to try to make the number line up, either. They probably just thought it was funny back then, like doing something with 666 or 420 or 1337. A lot’s changed.

The database where the terrible four-digit ID was a thing didn’t exist until years after the card in question was made. It really was an accident.

Ah, that makes sense then. Sorry for the bad guesses!

I think that their modern design tends to focus more on “clans” than colors per se, so I think the modern equivalent would be like “Destroy all vampires”, with the understanding that most of the black cards from the current set are vampires.

It’s not worth much, but I took a look at MTG arena the other night. The starting deck is a white mana deck. It has some angels in it. I was pleasantly surprised to find one of the angels was black.

Did anyone who played magic in the 90s think that things that did stuff like “destroy all black creatures” had anything to do with race?

That involve prejudice card though… that seems a bit far.

Apparently that particular card is a feature in some far right memes about ethnic cleansing. I don’t think the issue is really the card text.

Not very familiar with MTG. Stuff like Warhammer 40k bothers me a lot more.

Anyway, is it possible to create a game with multiple races fighting each other that isn’t racist? At some point you reach a NOBODY CARES threshold.

Nope. In context, it is a reach. Moreover most “creatures” are monsters or mythical beasts. You’re suppose to be dueling wizards or someshit.

I feel like the “racism” here stems largely from the fact that two colors in the game are simply white and black.

Although, again, some of that does in fact seen pretty racist.

But the stuff focused on the colors in the deck itself? That doesn’t seem racist to me.