I just bring this up for a bit of a brainstorming. On the comments of the last podcast, there is a discussion about how the game winks at the “Aliens built the pyramids” conspiracy, as it is allegedly racist.
As much as I remember, that conspiracy has been around since the 80s, if not before. What I don’t get is: how it is racist? Is it because the prejudice of “they could be doing that because they were ancient Egyptians and not ancient Europeans”? Or is it something else?
I think, from what I can gather, the conspiracy came from a technological point, given the time when they were built and the known available technology at the time. Obviously, given enough crew (and I imagine sadly it was mostly slaves), a colossal built like that goes down a level, but it is still astounding given their size and their significance at the time what brings up the “incredulity” of some people.
But how is that racist? Are conspiracies about aliens and Stonehenge, for example, racist too? If there was a conspiracy about aliens and say, the Great Wall of China, would that be racist? Just because they are another different culture than the European?
I am just a bit confused, so just looking for a bit of enlightenment from the bright minds in the forum. Never too old to learn new tricks.
There is often a whiff of “these peoples couldn’t possibly have had the engineering know-how” with regard to the peoples of ancient Egypt, Mesoamerica, Easter Island, etc. that is not applied to ancient Greeks or Romans.
Racist speech is in the intent and mindset of the speaker and the historical context of the speech. In this case, the speech is a claim about some peoples needing help from aliens to accomplish great feats of engineering. You are in danger of veering into “Why can black people use the n-word and I can’t?” territory that I will not engage with.
It was essentially a slave uprising against a single decadent alien ruler, Ra, plus entourage rather than an entire alien civilization. Ra fled through the stargate and the victors then buried the stargate to prevent Ra from returning. Why Ra didn’t return by spaceship (the pyramids were landing pads for spacecraft, after all), I don’t know.
Oh, I do know the plot of Stargate; after all, I watched on the cinema when it was released. And loved it.
It’s just that selling to your players that aliens (in whatever number) capable of doing interstellar travelling, being defeated by a ragged army of slaves with bronze age weapons, will take some good salesman talents.
From a cursory Google it looks like it’s a mix of the original concept was written by an author with other associated racist beliefs, and the loons who seriously believe this stuff as fact rather than a neat story are the typical sort who indulge in other far less savoury ideologies of racist denialism and revisionism?
I had never really seen it that way either. I certainly wouldn’t accuse art of being racist from seeing aliens building the pyramids depicted.
As Crayon says, I had always associated it with the incredible obstacle in each individual situation (Easter Island - sparse & a solitary island 3700 miles from mainland. The accurate geometry & height of the Pyramids of Giza thousands of years before many mathematical concepts were recorded in history.) rather than denigration of other cultures’ achievements.
I can appreciate it’s such a slippery slope, with no clear delineation between its use as a trope of a genre and a racist ideology.
Which is basically the plot of Lords and Ladies, and arguably A Hat Full of Sky as well, but with otherworldly elves instead of aliens from outer aliens.
Fake news! The Egyptian pyramids have four sides plus a base, not three. Once the excavations have dug sufficiently deep, they’ll discover the bottom halves of these so-called “pyramids” - the most popular RPGs on Mars are, of course, played with giant d8s.