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Domestic Abuse in URealms?



  • I get the 10% serious bit, but my issue is that I felt like, outside of the confrontation conversaton with Zakhar, it wasn't being treated as serious, but as a bit - like, come on, emo makeup, a spiked heart collar, and a low cut maid-esque dress on a super high-voiced demure girl. Maybe I just overanalyze the female characters because there are fewer of them and I get hopeful whenever one of the guys decides to play a girl.

    I agree the campaign was serious toned... except when Tania was around! I felt like she broke the serious tone a lot, honestly. DB and Justin's characters were funny at times, but fit the theme well. Coe's was.... idk somehow it felt more feasible to me that some dumb kid would wander in and be mistaken for a jimmy than a mopey woman wearing a maid dress would be kept in the order without at least being issued some armor. The only part when I felt like Tania was truly a serious character was during the discussion with Zakhar - that was done pretty well. It's the rest I think trivialized abuse. @heartgold3
  • @Gent western media as a whole is pretty desensitized to violence - brutal murder has been used as a comedic device since most of us were kids watching cartoons. We're all used to video game violence and the death of nonplayer, nonstory characters as pretty mundane. But emotional complexity and topics as still misunderstood and misrepresented as abuse tend not to be considered "fair game" for comedy except when handled extremely carefully, especially since a lot of people can get triggered by that sort of thing if they've been in a similar situation (and those situations are much more common than murders). 

    Would rape be "crossing the line?" Even in violent shows like GOT, producers often get criticized for depicting rape - even though blood, guts, and gore are dished out liberally in every episode. This is just an example of how society tends to react to different deplorable acts differently, and, as a whole, violence is generally tolerated better than anything sexual or perversely manipulative (and yes, although Tania apparently wasn't sexually abused, her portrayal evoked similar themes). Not criticizing your opinion or saying this is "fair", just want to hear your thoughts.
  • I honestly think the whole thing makes her even more tragic. Like, Zakhar took this noble and accepting organization that was her hope at finding some kind of joy in life, but managed to twist and pervert it. Plus, I can roll with most of what befalls her because of the first part of her backstory. Roamin established that she isn't (unfortunately) very bright by having her runaway from home due to her parents not actually having her as their favorite. So she was from the start either not that intelligent or very emotionally unstable. That fact in mind, you can see how badly Zakhar could ruin her already contorted worldview. I think it is a serious matter and if it is brought up again, it could be handled better, but Roamin did alright.
    I do agree about the armor. There's the situation where she was offered something better from Lance's private armory, but I don't really think that addresses the problem 100%.
  • Roman's character's story is a tragic one. But URealms goes to dark places anyway... Gwenith was pregnant and got stabbed, losing her child. Characters frequently murder each other. And Elves have a socially accepted attitude of killing goblins... Because they are viewed as vermin, and "not people." Honestly, I like that serious themes can be parodied in the show. I like that the kid gloves are left in a drawer. That's not to say something like Gwenith's timeline is something humorous. But in my opinion, it makes the world seem like consequence and actions matter.
  • @emcuttsy That's a fair point. I just think it is a superficial standard set by society. I can kind of see your argument applying to a more tasteless joke.

    Also, Johnny Feo was essentially raped. This doesn't exactly seem like anything new to the show. (although, he did get his poetic justice when he high nooned the town)
  • @Gent Actually, weren't there two or three rape-y situations during those campaigns? I even remember the guys (or Rob, maybe?) talking about how they started dancing around it, but couldn't make the full dive into that kind of thing.
  • I would like to add that it was a not a shame but I wish that lance said something instead of ignoring that the abuser had done anything wrong, maybe add to the lore that he got booted from the paladin order, or getting "fired?". I like my previous post will argue more so that this is acceptable, and in the end rob knew about this and it is his show he can do whatever he wants, but he is also a business man he reads these posts and sees the response it gets, and the response it gets compared to what is gained will dictate the future response and portrail of future characters. If these topics are brought up than I believe that the person "in the wrong" should be shown in a negative light and end up with a punishment
  • @heartgold3 In defense of Lance in-cannon, he was at least tipsy, barely knew Tania, and had no idea what was actually going on.
  • @CongenialVirus the tragedy isn't the part that made me uncomfortable. Tragic moments rock! I just don't like trivializing tragedy. Gwyneths loss was portrayed tactfully, as a tragic event, not as a joke. Alyssa for the most part had that going on too. Michael Langstrom's demise was similarly emotionally loaded and sad. I just felt Tanias situation wasn't intended to make us feel or move us so much as it was hoped that daddy jokes and emo makeup would make us laugh. I suppose I just want more female characters except gwyneth whose whole deal isn't being a) slutty b) broken and her struggles made a joke of c) bitchy or d) some trope of a specific type of woman, i.e. deadbones' Jewish mom stereotype Cobblers character, and Tania fell in there. But i digress - gender rep is another issue entirely.
  • @emcuttsy I don't think you're being too sensitive. I'm someone who has, unfortunately, experienced abuse and watching those scenes didn't feel great. Thankfully it was only a minor part of the story and I just kind of suffered through it because I love the show and the community. I have no problem with them handling serious things within the story, but that character and her entire story was just a collection of harmful stereotypes that have been used to mock abuse victims. Then having her story end with her going "insane" and eventually killing herself made it even worse. "Jokes" like that make me feel awful and I sometimes feel ashamed for being a fan.
  • I think Roamin made a good character but just kinda slipped a little considering it's live. The actual plot for the character seemed pretty believable. Tania already has a distorted world view leaving her parents because they had more children and loved them all equally, but made her feel like she wasn't being loved anymore. Then the only companion she had after that twisted her vision of her new "family", the GPO, making her believe yet again her family didn't love her.

    If you want Tania in a more heroic light she also could've saw through Zahkar's lies and out of anger at him smashed his Pocket Watch which activated a spell Zahkar put on it making her go insane, but I think the first story was more implied.

    To me the only problem was the presentation could've been better, but it wasn't bad. It is a live show after all and sometimes the stories won't get told exactly how they would if there was a script. 
  • Are your okay with all the death and murder that goes on in the show? Because if you are, then really I don't know what else to say. We treat death and murder as a joke and 99.9% of the audience is okay with that. We don't really purposely try to be insensitive, but what should we do? Pretend like these types of stories never happen? Is URealms is to become a world where no one is raped, abused, suffer emotionally? Just violently killed because the audience can stomach one form of violence and not another? That just seems wrong. I want the deaths of pretty much any living creature in URealms to get to a point where you feel for them regardless if possible.

    You don't have to enjoy everything in the show. That's okay! But I don't think we should listen to fans on what we should or shouldn't do in terms of storytelling with the show. We try to stay away from some sensitive to topics that might upset some people, but if we have a story to do with those topics we are doing them regardless because it makes the world feel more real and relatable. Like if you yourself lost a child, you could fine the Sunsword campaign very upsetting, but does that mean we should never tell that story? Gwyneth's suffering is an important part of her Character and by exposing people to the different ways we as people can suffer, it allows them to relate to others around them who suffer in similar ways. We don't even really need to perform it well as to be honest URealms Live is no longer the real show, what people will end up remember is Nader's Unforgotten Tales which allow us to go through campaigns and take those events and tell them in a much more serious way.

    Art/Culture is all fundamentally about sharing the human experience with others. The more I can tell stories that connect with more people about these sensitive issues, the more they themselves will be able to relate to others around them for their entire lives when they experience similar situations. It might sound dumb, but exposure to the suffering of others and feeling empathy to that suffering can greatly change a person to bettering themselves and being able to better handle the suffering they will experience in their own life. 

    I'm sure I don't handle the sensitive subjects we cover very well, but we just aren't skilled enough creators to do that in a live improv show and I'm not sure anyone is to do it like this. But if URealms to feel like a real world that you can truly relate to the Characters of the world and their suffering, sometimes it's important to build these sad dark stories. Roamin plays a dark, depressed, physically and emotionally abused Character who becomes mentally unstable and ends up murdering random characters until taking her own life. It's a hard Character to play as and for a player like Roamin, he did very well considering how he normally plays Characters. 
  • edited May 2017
    When I saw Tania in the GPO I knew what we were getting into. Some poeple would say she had emo haircut, skimpy dress and other things on purpose, and I did too. (Because of attribute). But while Roamin was telling her backstory, he showed that, though Zakhar wasn't hurting her physically, Roamin himself said that Zakhar saw Tania, a poor, homeless girl without food for many nights, and manipulated Tania through some sorts of abuse (Since Tania was easily manipulated according to her backstory).

    Though there were many chances for her to stray away from anti-party side of the story. When she was given armor instead of her dress .(Which made her somewhat weaker. Stamina wise atleast).
    But maybe Lance and the Paladins were being respectful and didn't want to judge her. When Lance comforted her multiple times, even when a person who is a worthy candidate as a "Grand Vizir" hated her. A man, a very important man showed her respect and treated her as family. And she thought she was special. She thought that the Lance Willakers himself showed her respect and invited her to the order, I would expect that Tania would feel like what she thought before she had more siblings. She thought she was special.

    Eventually the party happened, where she thought people would hate her or would hurt her, she was approached by Lance and was inspired by him. Telling her that she went out and became Harder than before, and that made her believe she was very special. So when Zakhar arrived, Tania fought back, but Zahkar knew exactly how to manipulate her. Using what Lance would say against her. And since Tania was easily manipulated, she believed him in a way. Though not fully, since she knocked him out. But there was some doubt in her. Especially since when Lance came by (Though tipsy) and said some good things to Zahkar, that was more of a reason for her to believe that the GPO was with Zahkar and that they were manipulating her.

    Though I agree, I was confused by why you need to break the watch for it to make you bloodlusted, it would also make sense that it was enchanted with a curse that would charm and throw someone with a weak will into a bloodlusted state. And that's where roamins character shined for me. That's where it showed that, in the show, and much like in the real life, A person could only take to much before she could snap And though everyon reacts in different ways when they snap, Tania's was more butal. Especially when Dejavu happened making her relive all the horrible experiences in her life, and rememeber, she technically snapped before that, how much worse would it be for her if all the traumatic experiences came back, that it eve drove her to the point of suicide

    And that was all the obvious things.

    So do i think Tania was the best character? No, she was somewhat average at best

    Was her character taken not as serious as the other traumatized character? Yes, but it's because It's a show. Though rob and co. have said that they want to keep the show somewhat real to life if possible, with scenarios that could happen in the real world. But they also want to not dive deep into that most of the time due to most of the audience would be offended, and so they would try to joke around it and divert what the scenario is going at times. (Example. The Murder Bros. Like look at the encounter with the Marie character ).

    Was this because of Roamin OR what he got? No, personally I think it's only because of how it was delivered, a bunch of people not expecting it and trying to keep it suitable for the 

    But then again, this is just my opinion. You don't actually need to have the same as mine

  • @Rob

    My problem wasn't the dark subject matter, but more that it felt too 'gamey' and Roamin seemed like he was just looking for an excuse to be anti-party. It's clear his character went through hardships, but after the talk she had with Lance and the Jimmy that saved her, the decision to go anti-party felt more like Roamin (the person) wanted to go hostile against his fellow players. I think he envisioned his character going anti-party from the get-go, but when the story decided to take a different turn on his character he didn't like that and went anti-party anyway because that was his original plan and his mind was made up in advance.
  • @Rob Well number one I do appreciate you responding to the concern, and number two although I don't have any problem with the creation of the character, my biggest concern is the taking away of the lighthearted nature of the show. It's not that these struggles of rape and abuse should be avoided, just spread out. Having a very serious show after the long break startled at least me personally when my memories are more of having four goofball characters run around. Again nothing wrong with the idea of abuse, just try to make the rest of the story as lighthearted as possible to keep a fun nature.
  • @Rob thanks for your response. I didn't mean to start this thread to be negative, but so long as there is going to be dark stuff in the show, people are going to want to discuss it. I LOVED Gwyneth's story partially because it was such a departure from the normal lighthearted stuff and they guys really treated it like that. It was somber, respectful, and dark. Perhaps I phrased my post poorly, but what I was more curious about was whether other fans thought that Tania was portrayed similarly or if her struggles were used more as a comic bit. Part of why I love URealms is because sensitive issues are addressed - Michael Langstrom's storyline of losing his kid, Alessa's horrific backstory, etc. What put me off about this specifically was just that I felt like dark stuff was being brought in to run a joke bit, not to be the 10% serious that we all love in the show. 

    As far as all the violence? It's a weird thing, society just tends to desensitize us all to death, especially violent fantasy-esque deaths from the moment we start watching cartoons. Maybe we're more okay with that because the likelihood that we ourselves will die like that is so unreal - who is going to decapitate you with a sword these days? Or, maybe since we all die, we're more willing to make light of death while the'res no reason that all of us will have to deal with things like abuse. It's certainly not "right" that things are this way, but they are: people tend to be more sensitive about this stuff. 

    Again, love the show. The 10% serious makes it great. Just wanted to know how other fans felt about this in particular, and if they thought it was "serious" or more meant to be funny. 
  • @emcuttsy nisovin's Johnny Feo was raped on stream but no one cared back then even though it was presented as a joke
  • @TJKuhl I didn't remember that! That's pretty touchy. I haven't watched those in a while (and I don't like reddit so much so I haven't been active in discussions there) but geez, yeah. That's a pretty sad example, especially since a lot of people have trouble wrapping their heads around the idea that a guy can be raped. A difference might have been that that particular event wasn't the formative element in Johnny's story. He had a personality distinct from that, and he wasn't "broken" (even though geez, he probably should have been!) and his story just moved on without revolving around that. Johnny wasn't a victim stereotype. Tania, in many ways, is a stereotype of abuse victims: unstable, mopey, runny eyeshadow, demure, and ultimately insane and self destructive. Since the Johnny event was so fast, people might have just glossed over it when they were thinking about the show.
  • edited May 2017
    @emcuttsy I understand what you're saying, but stereotypes exist, and I think that they should have equal opportunity to be presented because no one person can represent everyone that goes through that

     I found this for you. in response to what @TJKuhl said

     Johnny Feo passed out and Beautatrice "had her way with him" at 18:16 she notes that he is inebriated, at about 21:00 he passes out. A little after 31:40 it mentions the act.
  • I have watch most of the campaigns twice now in the past two months and there has been a lot of dark stuff in the show. Sometimes it was just for comedy or it had a place in the story to give it a more realistic feel. I mean we had plain old murder, Fetus murder, attempted child murder, drugs, pedophile stuff (if phineas is underage which they go back and for on/ the whole bob thing on a bridge), rape, people killing in the name of a weird cult. Those of the few I could remember off the top my head. I could see where a lot of that stuff be serious but they do a good job of keeping it light hearted the bob making out with Phineas had me laughing so much my sides hurt. These dark things can make a characters story so great. I can see why this stuff makes people uneasy but that's okay that's human. So in a way I get why you have a issue with it. I'm glad its not stopping you from being a fan and think its a good idea to talk about it. I think sadly rob took it to far with the deal with it speech but ive watch his stuff back in the unforgotten realms day so I know he can be a dick to his fans sometimes (even if it breaks rule 1). But still love him and the show so keep it up man.
  • @AndyTheBrave Again. That's just our lack of skill. Keep in mind that Roamin knew the different paths his storyline could go and that if he gets his legendary it essenstially locked him into going that direction. This is why getting the Legendary was as impactful as it was because it changed the way Roamin was going to play as he knew what his Legendary did (not exact details, but that he would be anti party).
  • @heartgold3 It wasn't a serious show. It was a show that had seriousness in it. Your comment doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me when tons of fans echoed how much they loved The Sunswords campaign and would even recommend it as a first campaign for fans to watch. You can have serious stories alongside the rest of the show, in fact you need to if you really ever want to learn anything about any character.

  • One final thing I will put in this thread for you to all think about. We are people are not always good at knowing what why we like or dislike something. This show has so many different elements to it that it is very hard for you as a person to know how you feel about every single part of the show taking out of context. You might watch a campaign and part of it was really hard to stomach and you feel like you utterly hated that part, when in reality without that part you might of gotten bored and stopped watching completely.

    I'm not really trying to say you don't know what you want, but sometimes you might not be completely clear on exactly why you want or don't want something. URealms depends on fans basically having an obsession with it as it needs a certain amount of very dedicated fans to keep going. I don't believe that I could make this show work by just doing 100% funny because everything I have learned over the years tells me that the 90% funny 10% serious split is so much more powerful because as you grow and watch the show more and more, you start watching the show PURELY for that 10% serious.

    There was serious stuff in this weeks campaign, but it was still 90% funny. The way characters talk to each other, even when being serious, is almost always goofy because it's improv and light hearted. For some, that light hearted take on sensitive material could extremely upset them and for that I am very sorry that something they watched for entertainment only brought them down. You are allowed to be upset, you are allowed to be offended, and if telling me you were bothered by something will help you get over it then do it. It's silly to tell me to ever to not tell the stories that just upset you while you laugh and giggle at all the other violence in the show because if you were level headed you might be able to see that there are tons of things about the show you like that someone else could be just upset as you are in that moment.

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