One way to avoid cultural appropriation: Seek collaborators, not just characters

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The line between cultural appropriation and cultural inspiration is often a complicated one for creators of art, media and entertainment to walk.

Maybe that’s because the line doesn’t actually exist - except for the line between “art I approve of” and “art I disapprove of.” Surprisingly, different people have different opinions about things.


“That line doesn’t exist. Here let me describe THE EXACT SAME THING and just give it a different name. That’ll make me sound smart!”

Anyone play “Never Alone”? Think a sensitive 9 year old girl would like it? It looks beautiful. Though we are in the Middle of FFVII now.

He means that it’s not a hard line. There’s no way to say, objectively, that something appropriates culture. It’s just like saying that something is offensive; it’s an entirely subjective thing.

Does Die Antwoord appropriate poor South African culture? As I recall Ninja went to a fairly good school.


It also depends on WHICH culture you are appropriating.

Wearing lederhosen and chugging some Lowenbrau while listening to an Umpa-pa Polka band? No one cares.


My lived-in-Bavaria spouse does.

Usually it involves yelling “THOSE ARE NOT LEDERHOSEN” to the tv.


At first read, I saw “barbarian spouse”.


That’s not necessarily mutually exclusive.


How is that any different than the original line of saying that it’s a complicated one?

You’re literally replacing the word “complicated” with “not hard” or in the original reply’s case replacing the line between “cultural appropration and cultural inspiration” with “art I approve of and art I disapprove of.”

They are literally just different ways of saying exactly the same thing, but intended to start a fight for some reason? Because you don’t like the idea that cultures can be appropriated?

I’m really not sure what the end game of playing semantics is, to be honest.

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Yes, it’s gorgeous and incredibly fun.

There are some absurdly hard parts though, do keep that in mind. Storywise it’s appropriate.

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Sounds like you choose to ignore the fact that some cultures have been subordinated, disenfranchised and expropriated by others.


That’s just like, your opinion, man.


It does? I’m saying it’s a matter of opinion - maybe you assume I meant “meaningless.” I don’t think there is one correct, objective definition of cultural appropriation. If there was, we could simply ban it and live in a harmonious world of mutual respect. But I suspect we’ll still be arguing over this a century from now.

Cultural criticism is not algebra - at least, not yet. It’s a lot more fun.

EDIT: Not exactly “just your opinion…” but it’s an area where the lines are beyond fuzzy.

I just thought I’d second ubbaK’s response. Gameplay is good (not great) and there’s a few things that are a bit frustrating, but a 9 year old will be able to play it and enjoy it. It’s also possible to play co-op (though I didn’t get a chance to do that).

The gameplay is complemented by the story and the mini-documentaries throughout. If she likes mythology and learning about different cultures.

I probably won’t remember Never Alone as a game in the long run, but through it I’ve learned about the people and culture of Native Alaskan’s and I’ll remember that.

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Because complicated implies that there’s a definite, concrete line, it’s just complicated. It’s far more honest to say that the line is subjective, because it is. What’s considered appropriation is different for different people. It’s not exactly a preference, but it’s something that people can argue about with no strict right or wrong answer. There are easier cases, like blackface, but even then people in Japan or a lot of people in the Netherlands aren’t going to see it that way. It’s inseparable from both the individual person and from their culture at large.


That sounds an awful lot like you’re looking for a fight and wanting to pick apart the semantics.

If it truly bothers you that much just substitute the word “complicated” in your head for “subjective” because that’s what they meant anyway and just move along.

You’re picking a fight that nobody but you really cares about.

Anything to avoid the fact of de facto white supremacy.


Especially with the rest of Germany’s opinion on the Bavarians…

It’s definitely easier for the younger Dutch, but you’ll still find a large support for Piet even among people who otherwise should know better.