Woke Boston-based MMORPG studio Standing Stone Games has apparently brushed off the concerns of thousands of angry Lord of the Rings Online players and is going full speed ahead with the sacrilegious implementation of the inclusion of African and Asian featured player avatars into their tortured version of Tolkien’s Middle-earth with a new content update called Homesteads and Harvests Coffers.
In one of the graphics, an African woman is holding a pitchfork beside an Asian man hugging a broom. Next to both of them stands a befuddled European man with a bucket. I suppose we should be thankful that Asian avatars don’t come with bamboo hats:
In another disgraceful promotional image, there is an African woman with trendy modern dreadlocks with silver metal, an Asian man sitting at the table, and a brown-skinned dwarf:
This ludicrous Middle-earth multi-cultural celebration would never have been allowed to happen in The Shire. The hobbits would have not allowed any dark-skinned outlanders into their realm and would have swiftly killed any that crossed their borders.
Of course, the inclusion of both African and Asian avatars in this new marketing campaign is no accident. This is an obvious attempt by Enad Global 7 and Daybreak Games to boost their ESG scores via representation. With this promotional image, they have evidence that they can include in their Powerpoint presentations to show their globalist masters that they are towing the party line of diversity, inclusion, and equity.
Standing Stone Games Defeaning Silence on Woke Avatars
Standing Stone Games has still not addressed players who are rightfully upset about the introduction of African and Asian player avatars. I suspect the reason they have not is because what they have done is intellectually indefensible. What they have done to vandalize Tolkien’s lore is impossible to justify.
There was a massive thread about players concerned about the new avatar choices and it’s been erased now that SSG has introduced new forums. How convenient for them!
I simply refuse to believe that anyone at Standing Stone Games really wanted this divisive and ill-advised change. I believe these changes were mandated by corporate drones from above. They came either from EG7 or Daybreak Games. Nevertheless, the people at SSG who give a damn about lore and role-playing could have resigned in protest. Someone at SSG could have spoken out to the public about this and stood up for the integrity of Tolkien and his legacy. That developer would have been a hero for the ages. Instead, they kept their useless mouths shut and took their 30 pieces of silver.
African and Asian peoples do not exist in Tolkien’s universe. Period. No amount of sophistry can justify it. Most LOTRO players love and respect Tolkien and his legendarium; they would never want something that does not belong in Middle-earth to tarnish his universe. LOTRO players never asked for this and they never wanted this.
Given the flawed ideology of representation, SSG could make the same arguments and justify introducing pride month, LGBGQ characters, and drag queens in LOTRO’s Middle-earth. If anyone thinks this is improbable, please take a glance at the pride logo that they displayed in June 2022:
Standing Stones Games is no stranger to wokeness, moral exhibitionism, and radical leftist causes. They retweeted this statement from Daybreak Games on the U.S. Supreme Court decision reversing Roe vs. Wade by sending the question of abortion back to the individual states:
Here’s a video montage of underrepresented black people who might soon be coming to play Lord of the Rings Online. If you see them, please do your best to welcome them with kindness:
The Fallacy of Representation
Beyond the serious lore reasons for not allowing this insanity, the financial logic behind representation is dubious. There is simply no evidence that African and Asian players will suddenly take an interest in playing characters in fantasy virtual worlds that “look like them” and start filling Daybreak Games’ coffers. It is wishful thinking.
The ideology of representation which attempts to pander to people to convince them to use your product is theoretical, specious, and obviously political in nature. The only people that want this are activists who have latched on to video games to garner attention and clout from the woke media.
In a participatory entertainment medium like fantasy virtual worlds, representation directly contradicts the escapism that is being offered to players via role-playing. In a virtual world, you do not bring your real-world persona, you instead are obligated to play a role that fits in with the setting created by the studio.
The meager return on investment in incorporating representation minus the cost of creating new avatars is a pittance compared to the lost revenues from players that will quit in disgust because Standing Stone Games butchered the lore to make non-whites feel more welcome.
Finally, we must consider the cost to the reputation of SSG. This shameful act of political grandstanding has irreparably damaged the studio’s credibility. What owner of intellectual property would ever trust them after how they have butchered Tolkien’s lore?
Standing Stone Games Does Not Respect Tolkien’s Lore
Adding in races that do not belong in Middle-earth, is insulting to the intelligence of bona fide Tolkien fans, many of who happen to be African and Asian.
Instead of being a positive thing for SSG, this will be a negative thing in the long run. They have demonstrated that they don’t care about being faithful to Tolkien’s lore, and they could care less about disrespecting their own players. They are willing to insult their loyal fans all so they can pander to people that don’t even play their game. The same lack of logic and reason was behind the decision to feature transgender woman Dylan Mulvaney on cans of Bud Light. This identity politics foolishness cost Anheuser-Busch billions.
Standing Stone Games could have added African and Asian avatar choices discreetly but instead, they made a big deal about it and are proud of it. Their new promotional graphics which spotlights African and Asian characters is ample proof of this and it gives us insight into the real reason they did this.
People are coming to Lord of the Rings Online to escape to an authentic, respectful facsimile of Middle-earth; they aren’t coming to be lectured by woke globalist game designers who shove real-world political activism shoved down their throats. Standing Stone Games knows this but they did it anyways. Eternal shame on them.
There is simply no excuse. None.
Anyone that continues to play Lord of the Rings Online is indirectly paying the salaries of the cowards who work at SSG. Those that do, are traitors to Tolkien and the authenticity of his universe. If you think this is even remotely okay, then you are probably the kind of Bill Ferny quisling that would side with Sauron if push came to shove. You should hang up your sword and board and find a corner to hang your head in shame, you don’t deserve the genius of Tolkien and the only place you belong in Middle-earth is in a dark, fetid pit in Mordor.
To every shill journalist and craven blogger that thinks the cultural vandalism that SSG did is a “good thing” and continues to promote the apostatic LOTRO with vapid softball articles, I’m calling you out. You have no integrity whatsoever and you should be ashamed of yourselves.