Vluut is about recognizing that our entertainment is shaped by our world, but also shapes our world. Being part of minority groups is in part dehumanizing because of the white default. Basically, as a writer, if you are writing a book and you don’t describe the character’s appearance, then that character is white. If you don’t describe their gender, then that character is male. If you don’t describe their sexual orientation, they’re straight. If you don’t describe their level of ability, they have no disabilities. If you don’t describe their hair, it’s straight and probably blonde. And then in most games, the default character is white. Even in a game with some diversity, the stories usually center around white characters or put them in the highest position of authority within the game. Even in trailers like Black Panther, it is a white person who speaks first – as if the audience needs a white person to hold their hand while journeying into a world of black power.
Then the diversity effort, like the original Star Trek. We make sure that there is one of every major race included (although no latinos until Ricardo Montalban). I’m not saying that it isn’t progress – kind of like peeing on the rim of the toilet seat. So close. The problem is that these efforts merely disguise racism. Ohura is given the most menial task on the whole ship – basically the receptionist. In Star Trek TNG between Michael Dorn and Levar Burton we can’t get one normal looking black man. A black man is so threatening that we have to put him in extensive makeup. And the black aliens are naturally the bad guys, almost goes without saying that audiences can pick out the bad aliens by the color of their skin. Even if it’s a purple alien if it’s a dark purple they’re bad and a light purple they’re good. All of this is a way to make the audience feel more comfortable with their racism.
And it’s not just about racism – the truth is that racism sucks the life out of a story. It makes for bland an uninteresting storytelling. You watch an episode of Star Trek today and feels like a cartoon, those episodes really haven’t aged well. The audience is waking up a little as more and more of that white default, the white power structure is eroded. That is where Vluut is going. I’m just going to say it – there will never be a Vluut game where power in the story is inherited from a white character. Maybe you think that is kind of counter-racism, but the bottom line is that if you want that story where power emanates from white people just turn on your tv. Watch anything you like. It is ubiquitous and you have to go a long way and do your homework to avoid it. There’s really no shortage. So Vluut is about doing something else, seeing the world differently. Vluut is about reinventing every genre and transforming every trope. It’s a subtle change, but it makes a world of difference.