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Take a look into racism and prejudice in a stratified society.

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This is a repost from City of Steam Content Dev Journal

So far, we’ve often talked about specific races and nations individually, but barely scratched the surface on how they actually interact with each other.

Hmm, where to start… Let’s look at one of the roots of prejudice: class structure. People in Nexus are generally separated into three classes. The lower class consists of laborers, the uneducated or unskilled, and your general undesirables. The middle class are the skilled workers, merchants, artisans and generally hold decent wealth without necessarily being considered rich. Upper class, well, you get the idea: the social elite with all the money, power, and influence.

Humans (Avens, Stoigmari, Ostenians and Heartlanders) tend to be spread out across all of the classes, and therefore tend to be judged more by their origin or social standing rather than purely their race. Heartlanders in particular are the most accepting of other races (comparatively), and are generally less aware of the discrimination affecting other races (ah, ignorance is bliss; racism, what’s that?), as they are used to being surrounded by diversity.

The priviledged riven and draug are, for the most part, upper class. Long lives help a lot with this, and in the riven’s case especially, a knack for political machinations. Privilege doesn’t come without its share of envy from the less fortunate, and their disdainful attitude towards the lower classes is poorly concealed (just look at that riven up there, what a snob!). The draug are hardly liked by anyone but other draug (and even that’s a stretch), their isolated nature (and rather snide comments when approached) wins them few friends. Not to mention when people make fun of draug for being awkward, old-fashioned and nearsighted, most don’t realize how well draug can actually hear (or how well they can subtly get back at them).

But that’s nothing compared to the greenskins (goblins, hobbes and orcs), who make up the bulk of the lower class. Their ‘barbaric’ origins, poor hygienic standards and overall demeanor do little to help them move much higher than that. In fact, some would go as far as to use the words “low class” and “greenskin” interchangeably, without a second thought.

Goblins, well, they can be useful, but mostly just pesky, really pesky (and that’s more than enough reason for most).

Hobbes are in a unique position among greenskins; they are distrusted by even other greenskins, as some of them defected to bring down the Goblin King’s empire during the mid-Residuum. They are the most adapted to civilized life, but preferring to settle matters with fists rather than with words, they are still largely considered unrefined.

Orcs get the short end of the stick, even by greenskin standards. Having to undergo an arduous (and mandatory) re-education process to become part of any of the great nations, they still have a hard time becoming part of society. Despite this re-education, they are seen as gruff, undisciplined grunts, no good for anything but labor and soldiering (and not even that for some). The few who manage to climb out of this fate and build their way up are seen as eccentrics at best, and hardly better than any other orc. I think Ian put it best when he described how most people would initially react to even the most educated and smartly dressed orc:

“OH SWEET MECHANISM IT’S AN ORC! GET DOWN!”

“…Can I help you, sir?”

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