Wizards of the Coast has banned several cards for political correctness from Magic the Gathering. The main reson of these bannings was that by pure coincidence Legends expansions Invoke Prejudice card had multiverseid 1488. Now 1488 is concidered bad number because of what? Some white supremacists have adopted that number (check the wikipedia) for their cause and some group who opposes them noticed this coincidence in Magic the Gathering’s card database.
And of course they got upset and instead of just shruging it off as a coincidence they decided to contact Wizards of the Coast and complain. The end result was that the multiverseid of Invoke Prejudice was changed which IMHO is ok. But in addition they replaced the picture of the card with the following text:
“We have removed this card image from our database because it is racist or culturally offensive art, text , or a combination thereof. Racism and cultural insensitivity are unacceptable and have no place in our games , nor anywhere.”
Then in addition of censuring the card Invoke Prejudice they censured other cards and banned them from all game play. These included such cards as Crusade, Jihad, Stone-Throwing Devils and Cleanse.
First of all: no Magic the Gathering card art has been or is culturally offensive or racist. One could argue that some of the early art was bad, but offensive never. Racism has never been portraited in Magic cards. On the contrary one of the earliest espansions, Mirage, was situated in a world based on African culture.
So this only leaves the text of the card as possibly being racist or culturally offensive. Now the textbox of the cards contains game related text and flavor text. The problem of censuring cards on these text is that taken out of context they can be portraited as racist or culturally offensive. For example the text box of Cleanse contains text: “Destroy all black creatures.”. Now black is one of the colors of game so there might as well be text box: “Destroy all white creatures.” becase white is one of the colors of the game and there is. The card is named Virtue’s Ruin. Is it censored? Of course not as no white group has complained to WotC about it. There even a card Zombie Apocalypse that has the words “destroy all humans” in it’s text box but it is not censured because no-one takes it as serious command.
If you look at the names of those cards: Crusade, Jihad and Stone-Throwing Devils then the text boxes are not a problem because there are cards like Honor of the Pure, Call to Arms and there are many other black creatures with first strike. So it’s the names that has caused the censoring.
But then why is Army of Allah not censored. It’s definately as offensive as Jihad or Stone-Throwing Devils.
So in the end the whole thing is a stupid mess and WotC has made a mountain out of a molehill. So please send Wotc a message that Magic the Gathering and it’s cards has never been or are not racist or culturally offensive as this whole thing is a blow against artistic freedom and freedom of speech.