Why I don’t care about your brown paper doll OC’s
Credit to Bianca J. Antoine who I saw using the term “brown paper dolls” in relation folks in a shared fandom for us. For me, someone who never gets to replicate myself in a game’s chargen because there’s no good natural hair options, skin tones, etc; it’s irritating. Also, here’s a good post by Eazzy-Pink about this issue, specific to Bioware fandom, still relevant to the topic. [h/t to Bee on tumblr for the link]
To have someone white whine about not being able to have their black OC have the right hair. Like a big fro’ or “boxer braids”. You’re playing with a different skin and hair in a world that doesn’t narratively change when you’re POC. It’s digital blackface. [Side note; if you don’t know what digital blackface is, here’s an article at Vice about “Thug Kitchen”, and see also; the Snapchat Bob Marley filter debacle, which I argue is literal blackface.]
You get to be brown without consequence. Yet so many people think they’re so “woke” cause they have black OC’s in games like DA or ME. Since games don’t have consequences you for being black (Mafia III being exception) you learn nothing & have a false sense of being allies. It shows too when white players do fanworks with their paper doll as stars. They use poor approximations of AAVE, call them boy, girl or other diminutive pet names, or use food words to describe them. [Don’t use Food Words as descriptors of POC]
See also this video from Laura Kate Dale where we conversed about this topic.
Or give them back stories they think are “authentic” like broken homes, always poor, don’t know how to function, under educated & so on. Which shows they know and don’t care to know anything about actual POC. Their quite content to play with their paper doll & play at allyship. Oh and when you point this stuff out? Woo, the tears flow y’all. You get accused of trying to control fandom & claims they aren’t racist! Except you probably didn’t call them a racist, but pointed out their actions were racist & harmful to you as a POC fan.
They heard or read what you actually said & decided you were mean fandom police who doesn’t want their (faux) support or“help”. So pardon me if I don’t care that a white player can’t have their brown paper doll while I find yet again, I’m left out as a POC. Oh and don’t get it twisted & claim I’m telling you what to do in games. I give zero fucks but don’t complain to me about your non-issue. Especially when I bring this stuff up and get harassment, slurs, etc flung at me while you get cookies for your whining. So find an actual issue in gaming for you, don’t co-opt a legit one for black players cause your doll doesn’t fit your idea of blackness.
Or, if you’d like me to write a longer piece on this topic, happy to do so for $$. @ me or DM if we’re mutuals.