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Old 06-29-2012, 05:14 PM   #1
Phantasm
 
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Default Modern-Day Cultural Familiarities

I know this has been covered before, but I want people to look at this list and give me some feedback from it.

Australian Aboriginal: The culture of the aborigines of Australia.
Balkans: Greece, former Yugoslavia, and other nearby nations.
Bantu African: The culture of the village-dwelling people in the bulk of Sub-Saharan Africa. (The Zulu are the most notable of these people, I do believe.)
Berber African: The nomadic peoples of the Sahara, distinct from the Arabian/Muslim-influenced Middle Eastern culture.
Congo Pygmy: The hunter-gatherer culture of the deep African rainforest, named after the most notable group.
East Asian: Most of Eastern Asia, including China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Indochinese peninsula, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore.
Eastern European: Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and most of the former Soviet Bloc.
Indian: The Indian sub-continent, including Sri Lanka.
Latin American: Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean.
Middle Eastern: Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Libya, and other Muslim countries west of India. Includes much of Saharan Africa as well.
Polynesian: Samoa, Easter Island, and any of the Native peoples of the South Pacific.
Siberian: The culture of those living east of the Urals in what is commonly known as Siberia, removed from the cultural influence of Russia and Eastern Europe.
South African Bushman: The hunter-gatherer culture of the Bushmen of South Africa, and others like it.
West African: The people of western Africa, including the Guinean, Mande, and Bantoid peoples, mainly inhabiting Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Senegal, Guinea, Togo, Benin, Burkina, and Sierra Leone.
Western: Western Europe, Israel, and most of North America, including the United States, Canada, British Isles, France, Spain, Germany, Scandinavia, Iceland, Italy, Switzerland, and Austria. Also includes Australia, New Zealand, and other places where European Colonialism displaced the native peoples.

I tried to keep the cultures with as broad a stroke as possible, but some places are just a mess when it comes to cultures. For instance, "Western" covers not only Western Europe, but every nation/region that has been majorly influence by European Colonialism to a major extent, including such wide-spread areas as North America, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Africa was a complete mess to figure out; I'm not entirely sure I got things right.

I apologize in advance if any of the names I picked offend anyone. (I try not to be offensive, but this does seem like a subject where any name chosen has a negative connotation to someone.)
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Old 06-29-2012, 05:23 PM   #2
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Default Re: Modern-Day Cultural Familiarities

I don't think Greece is all that different from the rest of Western Europe and I don't think the Balkans are all that different from the rest of Eastern Europe. I'm not even sure East and West Europe deserve to be separate familiarites.
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Old 06-29-2012, 05:37 PM   #3
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Default Re: Modern-Day Cultural Familiarities

You are missing Native American and South American Tribal. However, I think an argument could be made that in game terms members of those two and of Bushmen, Congo Pygmy, and possibly Australian Aboriginal should be classified either as belonging to the CF of the "dominant" culture in their region or as a generic "Hunter Gatherer", even though they obviously are different cultures in reality.
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Old 06-29-2012, 05:45 PM   #4
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Default Re: Modern-Day Cultural Familiarities

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Originally Posted by tbrock1031 View Post

I apologize in advance if any of the names I picked offend anyone. (I try not to be offensive, but this does seem like a subject where any name chosen has a negative connotation to someone.)
How dare you use the term "subject"!
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Old 06-29-2012, 05:49 PM   #5
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Default Re: Modern-Day Cultural Familiarities

You forgot CF: Internet. That has developed it's own culture.

CF: Jetsetter: cross-ethnic, cosmopolitan. Marked by easy access to luxury, information, and transportation. This would include the ruling classes, the celebrities of all kinds and so on.
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Old 06-29-2012, 05:58 PM   #6
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Default Re: Modern-Day Cultural Familiarities

I'd probably break Central Asian out of East Asian, covering Mongols, Turcomans, Turks*, Uzbeks, Kazakhs, Uighurs, and various non-Han Northern and Western Chinese (among others).

Maybe also Caucasians or Caspians, covering Afghanistan, Northern Iran, Armenia, Azerbejahn and Georgia.

* Is modern Turkey more European, Middle Eastern, or Central Asian? I have no good answer to that. Obviously Autaturk tried to Europeanize Turkey, but most Americans lump them into the Middle East. But their cultural heritage includes many Central Asian origins.
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Old 06-29-2012, 07:15 PM   #7
Peter Knutsen
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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
I don't think Greece is all that different from the rest of Western Europe and I don't think the Balkans are all that different from the rest of Eastern Europe. I'm not even sure East and West Europe deserve to be separate familiarites.
East Europe vs West Europe does make some sense, but I'm not sure Balkans do.

Also, the trick to this exercise is to divide our planet up in a number of CFs sufficient to warrant the 10 CP cost of... whatever the universal trait is called. I forgot its name, but the one that means you don't have to purchase individual CFs. That suggests to me that something between 15 and 25 is an ideal figure.

If more sub-divisions are needed, and I probably think they are, one of the most obvious ones, although also quite controversial, is between the largely secular North Western Europe, and the not-so-secular Southern Europe. And the various ways in which these have carried over to the Americas and Australia.
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Old 06-29-2012, 07:28 PM   #8
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Is modern Turkey more European, Middle Eastern, or Central Asian? I have no good answer to that. Obviously Autaturk tried to Europeanize Turkey, but most Americans lump them into the Middle East. But their cultural heritage includes many Central Asian origins.
Ataturk tried to secularize Turkey. From where I'm sitting, it looks like he failed badly.

Should Islam be one big CF? If so, it should go all the way from Turkey to Indonesia, which I'm not sure is good. Neither is it entirely and wholly and blatantly obviously ungood.

I've struggled with dividing up multi-dimensionally in Sagatafl, culture on one axis and religion on another, but that's not easy. If it was fairly easy, it would be the obvious thing to do, but it is difficult enough that a one-axis system such as in GURPS also makes some sense.

I think having Middle East and Central Asia as separate CFs in GURPS is good - keeping in mind that Middle East isn't an euphemism for Islam, but also include native Middle Easternes who are non-Moslems. Christians, and Jews (few if any Israeli Jews, but AFAIK some Jews still live in Moslem countries), and those guys, whose name I can never recall, who are Abrahamics but use John the Baptist as their main prophet. And also Middle Easterners who are quite or even completely secular but who are still strongly influenced by Middle Eastern culture and traditions.

Whatever region Indonesia is in should probably be its own CF too. Maybe just Indian Ocean CF? I don't know a lot about that place.
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Old 06-29-2012, 07:34 PM   #9
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Ataturk tried to secularize Turkey. From where I'm sitting, it looks like he failed badly.
Mmm... mixed results. Islamism hasn't been the political force in Turkey that it was for much of the rest of the Middle East through the 20th century. But I did say 'Europeanize', which included moving written Turkish from an Arabic based alphabet to a Roman based one, instilling European parliamentary government, and a European-style mixed economy. The Europeanization succeeded at least well enough that Turkey is a member of NATO and a petitioner to the European Union.
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Old 06-29-2012, 07:35 PM   #10
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You forgot CF: Internet. That has developed it's own culture.
My first inclination was to LOL at this.

Then I remembered that there are still some people who have no clue what WB or AFK means. They can't even figure it out from context at all. Granted, those of such people I've come across have Danish as their native langauge, but still.

The only thing I have against CF: Internet is that I kinda sorta think I want CFs to be mainly exclusive, that is almost everyone should only have a single native CF, with dual-CF people being statistically rare. Then again, I'm not part of Scandinavian culture (there are traits of Scandinavian culture that I wish hunted down and exterminated), but I am part of a wider secular Western culture, so that does make me dual-CF.

Maybe not dual native CF, though. I didn't grow up with the Internet. I saw my first smiley at the age of 14 or maybe 13, and I had to ask the other guy (an older person, a sysop from the BBS Amiga Aarhus) what those weird symbols meant. And my first thought when somebody says "meme" is the philosophy (I won't call it a science) of memetics, not the pop-cultural way in which TvTropes uses the term. So even if I have CF: Internet, It's not a native CF for me, in the same way that it can be argued that English is a partly native language for me. I'm also upset with youngsters who assume that all of the Internet takes place in a browser.
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