I am very disapointed in PSO2 for having this Independence Day event

@NeirasRothmagia Whew, this is some tantalizing b8 m8 but still too dam obvious, try harder next time.

@NeirasRothmagia "While to some symbols like the American flag and Uncle Sam might seem harmless, to me and many others they are painful icons conquest, oppression, exploitation, hate and murder."

Okay...can you name me a country that doesn't have this sort of sordid history? Once you've given up on that, can you name me a country that currently is better than America when it comes to equal opportunities and rights for peoples of all origins, gender, and sexual orientation? Once you've given up on that, I'll accept your apology in the form of you singing The Star Spangled Banner.

Man..why everything must be brought in to a game ._. , Like or dislike the USA, we must remember that thanks to them, we got our self a PSo2 outside Japan region after the South East Asia PSo2 server shut down (where I came from). I may not like what America had done in the past but that got nothing to do with this game. Just be happy we have an official "Global" version of the game (even if its not officially global yet) PSo2 to enjoy.

@NeirasRothmagia "It's more the specific symbols that I take issue with, as Uncle Sam and the US flag have less of a universal appeal..."

You DO know that Hong Kong protesters were waving the American flag, BECAUSE it represents freedom? Are you anti-freedom? I could see how a fascist or communist (authoritarian extremes) would consider the American flag offensive...

Hi guys, please refrain from throwing insults to each other. Please make the discussion civil. There's no need for unnecessary arguments.

Well, I am surprised to see this thread rise from the grave. I extend my heartfelt thanks to the moderators and the community for deeming my humble topic worthy of preservation and further discussion. To be honest, I didn't think this topic would get very far before being locked or me getting banned, but I am grateful that neither of those have (permenently) come to pass.

To try to bring things back under control a little, I feel that a bulleted list of my specific issues might be helpful. Content Warning: Wall of text.

  • This PSO2 Service is for the North American region. I haven't found a list of all the countries that are officially supported by this particular service, but a list of all the counrties considered to be in North America can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states_and_dependent_territories_in_North_America . I feel that the game should be welcoming and inclusive by corporate standards (which includes convincing people to play and pay for your game) to as many people within this region as possible within reason. For example, the game is only available in English right now as far as I can tell, so I don't expect them to magically conjure up French, Spanish and Portuguese localizations any time soon to accomodate various group within the region as that would likely be unrealistic considering their budget.

  • I could get into the fact the having the USA Independence Day as the universal holiday of the Americas reinforces the US cultural hegemony over the region which has caused all sorts of problems, but maybe I'll save that for next year. For today, we will pretend that Independence Day is regarded in a universally positive light as a celebration of all humankind's struggle to attain and maintain liberty. I will focus solely on the presence of what I consider troubling symbols of US imperialism, the fifty star flag and Uncle Sam.

  • As an extension of point the first, for a company being inclusive has two sides: working to bring people (and therefore money) in and avoiding pushing people (and their money) away. Bringing people in is a bit more difficult (and expensive) since it involves things like marketing and supporting other languages. Not pushing people away is usually free, but it may have opportunity costs associated with it. In this particular case, I think it's safe to say that everyone posting here is already "in," so the discussion largely centers around "what would push us away?"

  • For me, and people like me (who maybe don't even play this game, so I'm effectively only speaking for myself), symbols like the fifty star US flag and Uncle Sam push me/us away. For me, it's not a deal breaker yet, just very disapointing, troubling and uncomfortable, but lots of games are like that for me and I can push those things aside if the rest of the package is worthwhile, which in this case it is (though I think it will be a long time before I spend any more money on the game, if I ever do). If this becomes part of a pattern where enough things build up to push me away, then maybe I'll be out. We already got Police uniforms, Nazi Germany/Imperial Japan look alike uniforms, and a holiday that, and I'm being charitable here, at least evokes nationalist, imperialist and colonialist symbolism. I understand that this is all probably an accident by people who don't get how bad this looks, but, in my opinion, it looks bad. So like I said, I'm still in for now, but decisions like these really make me question it and is a testament to how much I love this game that I'm willing to sort of put up with it.

  • I would like my fellow community members to ask themselve whether not having this event specifically featuring a US centric Independence Day theme with symbols such as the fifity star flag and Uncle Sam would push you away. You were already "in" before this event happened, and I'd be surprised if there was a substantial cohort of people planning to quit if no such event with this specific imagery materialized. How many of your started playing just for this event? How much have we gained by having it? Have we gained anything by having it? How much we have lost by having it? Have we lost anything by having it other than some random internet person (that's me) being made to feel disapointed/troubled/uncomfortable by it? Maybe some of you will consider that last one a bonus.

  • As an addendum to the above, its possible given the large American playerbase that the people pushed away by these symbols are an insignificant consideration compared to the population and spending power of the people who are brought in by them. SEGA has the market research and likely knows better than me the cost/benefit profile of these events. I don't really expect anything to happen or for a large entertainment company to suddenly have a moral awakening, I just wanted to voice how I felt as one data point among many. If there are a lot of people like me and something changes, great! If not, oh well.

  • There are also good symbols in this event! Like I said earlier, history, societies, cultures, nations, they're all very complex and have lots of good and bad elements. I love the Statue of Liberty! I love the Liberty Bell! I love Barbeques, Las Vegas, the Sega Genesis and Diners! I also love the work that went into making this event for us. However, I still stand by my statement that including these politically charged real world elements draws real world issues and conflicts into the game which should serve as a refuge from real world issues (unless we really want PSO2 to become a game focused on making political commentary; I know I sure don't). This ties in with my previous point about avoiding pushing people away. The fact that we're even having this discussion is pushing people away! Now some would say that's my fault for bringing it up, obviously I disagree, but that's beside the point.

I think that just about sums up my most important points that I hope to make today. Thank you all for reading and listening, assuming you did so. I'll do my best to read and listen to each of your comments and time permitting, respond when I have something to say, but for now I'm satisfied with having generated this discussion, such as it is.

@NeirasRothmagia , as an 'outsider' (what with me living in Australia and all) i'd like to offer my two cents if you will on the matter... mind you I may be playing some devil advocate here and there.

So i'd first like to say that SEGA of Japan is the one calling the shots on many things... this is not SEGA of America's (who aren't that involved to begin with) or ESTsoft's attempts at "Americanizing" the game; all content whether it be the Singapore and Malaysian Independence Day event and items the South East Asian version got, the Thai New Years event that the Thai version got, the Chinese New Years event that Taiwan got or the very American Independence Day event that we are discussing here are all organized and created by SEGA of Japan with them maybe reaching out to the Western team on suggestions on how to proceed...

Now... ever since the game was in alpha, the game's directors have always stated that their intention was for each version of the game released across multiple regions to be 'culturally relevant'... thats the reason why we have these version exclusive lobbies and events to begin with, this was SEGA's intentions as far back as 2011.

Now, I don't wanna get too political... I know that not all regions in the world are in the best of relations with the USA and that there are indeed things to criticize about the country at this moment but... the same can really be said for the Japanese version or even other region versions. Lets take the SEA version for example which celebrated both Malaysia's Independence from Britain and then Singapore's indepence from Malaysia back to back... you can kinda see where i'm going with this. Plus im pretty sure had there been a Korean version (like was originally planned) a lot of the more Japanese elements would have been censored (including the portrayal of Yamato from Episode 4 given how uneasy they are about Japan's WW2 history... for good reasons).

US's Independence Day is an actual US Holiday and in SEGA's goals of making each version of the game distinct and 'culturally relevant', there is nothing wrong in what they are doing... maybe they can balance it by also doing other events like Canada Day back-to-back (similar to how Singapore and Malaysia's Independence Day event on PSO2 happened back-to-back) or (once the game's no longer limited to just NA and launches globally like is planned) also do other country's holiday as well. In that ideal scenario... the current Independence Day will not be going away... but at least over the year we'll see other events happening as well).

(EDIT: I wrote this down while you were writing your latest response, sorry if something you addressed in your recent post is not here)

@NeirasRothmagia "I would like my fellow community members to ask themselve whether not having this even specifically featuring a US centric Independence Day theme with symbols such as the fifity star flag and Uncle Sam would push you away." While I'd be fine with them simply not having this event. I'd like to also point out that many games celebrate events from other cultures, like the Chinese New Year. Being an American, I don't get offended that we celebrate a holiday of a country that oppresses not only its own people, but various other people within and adjacent to their country. In fact, I rather enjoy the imagery of the pandas and Chinese dragons. Can we not simply enjoy celebrations of other cultures without getting offended?

My main gripe with the stance you've taken is that you're offended, over seemingly nothing, when you can just enjoy the celebration. Yes, that's correct. I'm offended that you're offended. XD

Onto the next discussion: alt text

@NeirasRothmagia said in I am very disapointed in PSO2 for having this Independence Day event: While to some symbols like the American flag and Uncle Sam might seem harmless, to me and many others they are painful icons of conquest, oppression, exploitation, hate and murder. alt text

Yeah, you're totally right. This icon is completely murdering this dude. Finished him off by doing a D-air as well.

@NeirasRothmagia I can yield Uncle Sam because the entire creation of his image was for the sake of selling war bonds, recruiting for war, and ultimately led to a sense of nationalism that celebrated using a nuclear warhead on a civilian population. The image of Uncle Sam was literally created for propaganda. I don't see the flag as being the same device and has served as many, if not more, good deeds than bad.

Arguing about the flag won't really develop relations any more and risks polluting our initial points due to cultural differences, however I just wanted to make it known that I can see the validity of an argument against Uncle Sam. Would have preferred some kind of Eagle version of him instead.

@John-Paul-RAGE said in I am very disapointed in PSO2 for having this Independence Day event:

@NeirasRothmagia I can yield Uncle Sam because the entire creation of his image was for the sake of selling war bonds, recruiting for war, and ultimately led to a sense of nationalism that celebrated using a nuclear warhead on a civilian population. The image of Uncle Sam was literally created for propaganda. I don't see the flag as being the same device and has served as many, if not more, good deeds than bad.

Arguing about the flag won't really develop relations any more and risks polluting our initial points due to cultural differences, however I just wanted to make it known that I can see the validity of an argument against Uncle Sam. Would have preferred some kind of Eagle version of him instead.

Thank you for trying to meet me partway, I appreciate the gesture. I will accept that having a significant portion or people from the USA acknowledge their flag as a negative symbol is probably a lost cause, at least at this time. I'm familiar with how important it is to so many, how unquestioned its sanctity is, which is why it is so important for me to challenge the assumption that this idol is a benevolent image that represents only positive things. All I hope is that you and everyone else can come to understand that even if you will always look at the stars and stripes with love and pride as a icon of freedom and justice, there are others to whom it represents only terror, subjugation, assimilation and/or anihilation.

This has to be some kind of joke right? Where is the proof? The citations of your claims? This is absurd BS. The USA has stood for freedom and the rights of people for hundreds of years. Just because some people are brainwashed by false claims and false narratives doesn't make it true. Without America the world would look a lot different right now. Being controlled and dictated by actual nazis. Then you would know what real racism is. There has been no country or flag, that has stood against racism, oppression and inequality more than America and the American flag has. Maybe you should open a history book written by unbiased people. Your post is actually offensive too a majority of Americans and all those who fought and died to protect the rights of the USA and the countries they fought to keep free in all those wars. You should be ashamed of yourself.

@NeirasRothmagia I'm going to be real with you. I wear the badge of SJW with great pride, and my political beliefs very much rub a lot of gamers and otaku the wrong way.

...But you really need to pick your fights better.

This is a very strange hill to fight on.

@Kinvesu said in I am very disapointed in PSO2 for having this Independence Day event:

This has to be some kind of joke right?

Your post certainly reads like one. In any case, the event is fine. America's history speaks for itself. It's not clean. It's not innocent, but this event highlights the respectable "ideals" of the country. It's in a bit of a caricature manner, which makes it humorous for me personally but I'm fine with it. I like the event.

@GM-Deynger said in I am very disapointed in PSO2 for having this Independence Day event:

Hi all, chiming in here. Some of you are calling for this thread to be removed, and while we considered it, we do believe in allowing everyone the opportunity to speak, so long as no Community Guidelines are violated. To that end, some comments have been/will be "pruned," and just know that we are watching to ensure that further discussion continues in a civilized and respectful manner. Thank you!

It was originally deleted right after I posted the first time. Cool threads aren't completely nuked, more like hidden lol. Time for the popcorn!