#1023 Twisted Fate and Swastikas : Discussion

Bongo · 3167


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on: July 27, 2012, 02:45:49 am
I was reading through the custom map comments and noticed this thread:

"My map has disappeared from the custom map"

"Custom Map #1023: Twisted Fate"

I think it was a jerk move to close the discussion by the moderators. There were some very important cultural issues that Eurocentric westerners might not understand. The swastika has been used in asian cultures for thousands of years before the nazis and will still be used for thousands of years to come. It is often used to represent Buddhism and vegetarianism; the very antithesis of nazi ideology.

Broaden your view from just your 1/3 of the world:


On the other hand asians don't realize the pure evil that is evoked by that symbol and the connotations it has (for westerners). When I was making my map Psychedelic Swirly (#1075) the first few iterations of the field often made a swastika pattern (especially with psychedelic Creeper). At first I reversed it to "left lucky" instead of "right wrong"*. But I knew that people would probably not notice the difference. I had to change it a few more times to make it look like a swirly pinwheel/whirlpool instead of any swastika.

Both cultures need to broaden their world view. Also you should have vetted the map better and given the author a chance to 'round out the corners' or something on his map instead of just deleting his map and locking ALL discussion about it.

By locking the discussion you have virtually guaranteed that some asian/non-westerner map maker will eventually do the exact same thing in the future. Stifling discussion is NEVER the answer.


* On the nazi swastika the leg going up turns 'right' and the leg going down is a backwards 'wrong' letter L. thus "right wrong". For the one the nazi's didn't use the top leg goes 'left' and the bottom leg goes right making a ('lucky') letter L. Most people don't notice this and the use use of swastikas on flags when viewed obverse further confuses the issue. Also the nazi version is the same as the Buddhist/Jain version.


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Reply #1 on: July 27, 2012, 04:12:48 am

Hi Bongo.

Thanks for a concise, balanced round-up of the Swastika debate.

As it happens, I agree entirely with your views and I'm glad you've resurrected this topic for debate.

One thing that you didn't mention is that a Swastika is a simple geometric device. You'll find it in non political/religious situations, including on 2,500 year old Greek pottery - simply because if you have a repeating pattern of lines with right angles, sooner or later you're gonna end up with a Swastika...

The lack of discussion is also disconcerting.

My pet hate (intolerance rearing it's head!) is how in some countries kids can no longer buy historically accurate model aircraft - they're now supplied without Swastikas for the fear of offending... Someone...?

Let's be blunt.

The reason the Swastika causes emotions to run so high among Westerners is because it was used by the Nazis. The Nazis were a horrific, but undeniably important chunk of fairly recent history.

It's important that we learn from history rather than shy away from it or pretend it didn't happen.


I'll leave you with a short story to lighten the mood, but also to demonstrate just how recently the Nazis were an active force in the world.

You know the concept of 'six degrees of separation'?

Guess how many degrees there are between me and Adolph Hitler, the leader of the Nazi Party.

Two. Just two.

I knew a Dutchman who was a student in Germany in the '30's. One night he went to a rally to see a charismatic politician address the crowd...

Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.


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Reply #2 on: July 27, 2012, 08:58:32 am
Thanks for raising this again, Bongo.  One thing that I think is important to note is that even though the swastika might be a good sign in some countries, it still represents the Nazis in Europe/America.  And that probably would have offended somebody.  But I agree, it is better to learn why it is bad, and why the author used in that way, then just to delete and close discussion.

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Reply #3 on: July 27, 2012, 12:26:13 pm
I think it is also important to note that The creator of the map was named "North Korea" and said that he specifically chose the swastika after finding what out what the symbol meant.


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Reply #4 on: July 27, 2012, 03:09:15 pm
You read it wrong. He claims to have learned the meaning of the symbol only after the map was deleted.

Is swastika bad thing? I just have learned the definition of the word today. I never meant to offend anyone in the community.

I just thought he was an asian. A lot of asian countries sat out WWII and don't know much about it (or care). Even the Japanese who allied with the nazis don't understand the connotations of the swastika.


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Reply #5 on: July 27, 2012, 04:37:51 pm
I actually intended that.. Maybe I should have added some conversations between characters in the beginning.

He said he meant to use the swastika there, and then played innocent later.

Since he is no longer around and I never played the map I think speculating at this point is just speculating. What are we even debating? That there are symbols similar to the swastika that are not offensive?


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Reply #6 on: July 30, 2012, 12:17:21 pm
regardless of the original authors intent bongo raises a good point about the lack of discussion.
it is always better to talk about things and reach a consensus if possible, than to stifle debate. this may not be possible on a forum like this one though, as the forum mods have rules to follow about appropriate content. (eg no swastikas are allowed in any pc game that sells in germany, the dev's have to offer government approved mods to war games etc that otherwise have them re. Blitzkrieg the pc game)
this post is a start towards discussing this symbol, but i think you might be in for a rough fight to rehab the swastika Bongo, given how reviled and loathed it is in the western world. personally i think that the west has a slightly odd way of suppressing the symbol but allowing the right wing sentiment that took that symbol to flourish, but then hypocrisy has always been a human failing.
ah well, so it goes   :-\

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.... Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.... Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?.... Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" --- Epicurus