Fantasy racism: Magic the Gathering bans ‘controversial’ playing cards
“The events of the past weeks and the ongoing conversation about how we can better support people of color have caused us to examine ourselves, our actions, and our inactions,” MtG makers Wizards of the Coast said in a statement on Wednesday.
There is no place for racism in our game, nor anywhere else. For Magic, our first step will be to start with this change today. There's much more work to be done. Read here: https://t.co/inkf5jlb9D— Magic: The Gathering (@wizards_magic) June 10, 2020
The seven cards eliminated from the MtG roster going forward are Invoke Prejudice, Cleanse, Stone-Throwing Devils, Pradesh Gypsies, Jihad, Imprison and Crusade. They will be removed from official databases and prohibited in “all sanctioned tournament play.” Their ban is just a “first step,” as the company added on Twitter that “there's much more work to be done.”
these cards have been banned from play and scrubbed from the magic the gathering website for being racist obviously pic.twitter.com/Sl7QMtQjZ2— DB (@Just_someNobody) June 11, 2020
In addition to some of their names considered to be ‘politically incorrect,’ some of the fans have objected to descriptions of their effects as well.
For example, the ‘Crusade’ card has the effect of empowering “white creatures” and ‘Cleanse’ destroys “all black creatures” – albeit referring to colors of magic schools in the game, not anyone’s race. Meanwhile, the card ID number for ‘Invoke Prejudice’ happens to be 1488, a number given symbolic significance among US neo-Nazis.
The ban quickly became a controversial topic, with critics calling Wizards overzealous.
Others argued that the cards were “historical” to the game, but can be seen as “quite frankly, racist” in the present climate.
The publisher of Magic: The Gathering @wizards_magic is straight up banning a group of historical cards from play because, quite frankly, the cards are racist and one was illustrated by an actual Nazi. https://t.co/VQp1QMgZBS— Ken Sweet (@kensweet) June 10, 2020
TIL Magic: The Gathering had a racist card whose id was literally 1488. https://t.co/RN6GtozoSp— Ken Schwencke (@schwanksta) June 10, 2020
The most unusual take belongs to the Scottish YouTuber Count Dankula, who thanked Wizards for taking the cards off the market – as the ban would vastly increase their value as collectibles.
Wizards are banning MTG cards that have racist imagery.I already bought a bunch from the market just as this happened, the value of them is already going way up.Thanks Wizards, your virtue signalling earned me a profit. pic.twitter.com/mWQzb6MA5N— Count Dankula🏴 (@CountDankulaTV) June 11, 2020
The ban comes amid a wave of similar censorship by corporations eager to show their support for Black Lives Matter, a US movement for “racial justice” that has organized protests over the fate of George Floyd, an African-American man who died last month after a Minneapolis, Minnesota police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
Much talk of how Magic the Gathering is a racist game.In chess, there are black and white anthropomorphic pieces. White goes first.Within 10 years, will the rules or availability of black/white sets change to address this characteristic of chess?— Molson Hart (@Molson_Hart) June 11, 2020
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