[etoys-notify] [JIRA] Commented: (SQ-668) change "demon's castle" wording to be less offensive/worrisome

timothy (JIRA) tracker at squeakland.org
Mon Mar 8 08:59:32 EST 2010

    [ http://tracker.squeakland.org/browse/SQ-668?page=com.atlassian.jira.plugin.system.issuetabpanels:comment-tabpanel&focusedCommentId=39140#action_39140 ] 

timothy commented on SQ-668:

As I've heard it, many (if not most) in Haiti, and I would presume also Africa, actively believe in demons and curses as a real part of their life.  Pretty much anything bad that happens is attributed to a demon or sorcerer or curse, and there is great fear that such misfortune can extend to the entire family or community.  As an extreme form of this, children born with any health conditions that is not normal (which in Haiti is many children) will be abandoned (in the street, etc) out of fear that the curse (or wrath of the demon) will spread to the family.  One of our partners in Haiti operates an Abandoned Children's Ward in the Port-au-Prince hospital and has been saving such babies for 17+ years.  The mere idea that these XOs contain a demon that will enslave children is a powerful and disturbing notion.  Adults will not reason about this, they will simply react, which will hurt the chances of adult interaction and permission to use the XO.  Such worries will not often be voiced . . . they will instead have a silent impact.

As for "you are my slave, ha ha", there is a long history of brutal, brutal treatment by non-blacks to blacks in the Caribbean region, much worse than the US.  Non-blacks are still looked upon with great suspicion.  Pretty much everyone in Haiti is descended from a former slave, and the memory of this is very much alive in their culture.

This is really an issue of cultural sensitivity, not censorship.   Something comparable would be perhaps to have a project that depicted children being captured by Nazis and brought to concentration camps, then using the project in Israel or other predominantly Jewish settings.

> change "demon's castle" wording to be less offensive/worrisome
> --------------------------------------------------------------
>                 Key: SQ-668
>                 URL: http://tracker.squeakland.org/browse/SQ-668
>             Project: squeakland
>          Issue Type: Improvement
>          Components: etoys
>            Reporter: timothy
>            Priority: Critical
>             Fix For: etoys 5 and showcase
> As we head to Haiti, I'm getting considerable backlash about Demon's Castle from Haitian Americans.  Demons are very real in their culture, as they are for evangelical Americans as well.
> Simple suggestion ... change the name to "Wizard's Castle" and this text:
> "You have been captured by an evil demon!  If you don't escape, you will never see your friends again! You are my slave!  Ha ha ha!"
> "You have been captured by a wizard!  You must find a way to escape!"

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