Gender and Race equality is a big issue in society today, and it has profound effects on the entertainment sector such as films, books and video games. We can also add equality of different sexual preferences to that list.
In the gaming industry we have seen how many video games came under fire, even video games with a strictly historical context. Despite the fact that some things might not have existed in history it is still a point of criticism when that history is not re-written to be more inclusive according to modern day values. But then again, when these video games do this (like Battlefield V) they come under criticism of a community that resents the alteration of history.
The truth is that there are arguments to make for all sides and it is impossible for game creators to get it right. Whatever choice you make, you will always make someone unhappy as the topics of equality of race, gender and sexual preference are highly polarized in this time frame.
So how does a historical game like Rulers of the Sea, that claims to be as true to real history as possible, deal with this?
Regarding these topics Rulers of the Sea will potentially be controversial, because staying as close to history as we can (while still keeping the game enjoyable and practical) will introduce the good and bad of history, and the 1750's were not Utopian times.
But we have one advantage: our premise is actually to re-write history. So that what was not the reality on 1-1-1750 when the game starts can quickly change. In our game design we allow for great freedom for gamers to shape the world, and in this context it is entirely legitimate that things change. So one could say that Rulers of the Sea is an experiment in this sense. Will the gamers in 152 different nations change traditions and values, will they modernize society much faster than it happened in reality?
In Rulers of the Sea there is a duality, the world of the game is split in that of the environment and that of the gamers. The world environment we create, we shape true to 1750. The npc's will reflect this time period.
For instance, all soldiers are men. It was just not the case (with a very rare exceptions) that women were soldiers, and we will not alter that. The crew on a ship are men. Certain professions are men, others women, sometimes mixed. There was generally a clear and global divide in 1750, and this was sometimes tradition, but for a large part also practical. Work as a soldier was physically enormously heavy, and even men didn't last too long in such professions, women would have found it practically impossible. Crew on a ship were all male, it was brutally backbreaking work and the men were usually together for years on end, completely isolated. Women on board would have caused a great deal of tension and if a woman would get pregnant on board that would almost certainly lead to death, considering diseases and lack of hygiene and vitamins. There were good reasons why men were exclusive to certain professions, altering that would be a fallacy.
But there is less of an argument for the leaders of society being exclusively male. There is no physical reason why women would not be able to lead. And this is the gamer part of the world. The gamers are the leaders. Gamers can play with both women and men and there is no mechanism in the game that makes them different. They all have the same opportunities. A female can be a Captain of a ship, an Officer of a Company or a Director of a business. She can become Prime-Minister, Governor or Party Leader. The only thing barring a female from public office are other gamers, like anyone else she needs to win an election or get appointed by someone who has.
So is it historically realistic that females can be leaders just like men? It was very rare in the 18th century, but there were definitely examples of female Captains, Governors, business managers and the like. So it was not impossible. There were also female Monarchs. So the concept of female leadership in the 18th century was not foreign to people. If we see a lot of female leaders in Rulers of the Sea, than that is an example of how history is re-written. And example of how, when we re-play it with our present way of thinking, things would turn out differently. This is exactly what Rulers of the Sea is about.
Regarding race the same principle applies. In the family creator a race can be selected for family members, associated with the place they were born. This can be anywhere in the world. Next a nationality can be selected, and this can be anywhere too. So it is possible to create an African family that lives in London. It is also possible later in the game to change nationality and move house, so gamer families from any background can move somewhere else. So it is feasible that an (originally) African woman becomes a Prime-Minister of Britain, all it takes it to win elections. It might be the case that one nation is very liberal and another very conservative, this is local culture, determined by the gamers that govern and vote in those nations. So we might see the 152 different nations develop very differently.
As to sexual orientation, or transgenders, that not a factor in Rulers of the Sea. If you want to be gay you can role-play to be gay. If you want to be a person born in the wrong body, you can role-play that too. Role-playing is part of Rulers of the Sea. In the 18th century there was no such thing as gender correction surgery, hormone treatments or even gay marriage, so those things do not exist in the game. The lack of these things might have been frustrating for some people in that time, and that can be part of the role-playing.
So gamers are free but the npc's are true to history. And there you will find the controversy.
In management you will constantly have to deal with issues created by your staff, crew, soldiers or workers. And you, as the leader, need to resolve the issues. These issues can range from promotions, development, crime, misbehavior, illness, injury, etc., etc. In these issues we will also introduce problems like same-sex relations, which were an issue at that time. The choices you have to make range from tolerant to harsh, and this will have wider effects on your staff. You will have to deal with the culture and misconceptions of the 18th century and make choices between your personal principles and the cultural values.
Another controversial topic is slavery. Slavery is not a specifically race connected controversy, as quite a few nations also had Asian slaves or (white) European slaves. It's a controversy of abuse and violation of human rights. Slavery abolition is a real thing in Rulers of the Sea, nations can declare it illegal. If slavery is allowed it will be a realistic and very unpleasant display in the streets. Poverty and lack of education will equally be controversies in Rulers of the Sea. Governments have different economic motives for investing in their population's welfare, but there are also the sights on the streets, where everyone will be confronted with hungry and homeless people, begging children and dirty streets. The fact that gamers will have their home in such a place will make these things not just an economic but also a moral issue, possibly causing more pressure on the governments to invest in people and welfare. Or maybe not. That is the social experiment of Rulers of the Sea.
But how will we, as game moderators, deal with racism, sexism and any other discrimination?
Just as you will expect, with zero tolerance.
We want to be a warm and caring community where we have respect all of our community brothers and sisters. There is enough hurtful stuff going on in the world. In the world of Rulers of the Sea we all want to immerse ourselves in history and have a break from the unpleasantries of the real world. And let's face it, if you are a fan of Rulers of the Sea not much can be wrong with you. You're a person of excellent taste. It will be a community effort to make sure everyone understands that we are the coolest game community around.
If you hadn't guessed yet, I'm the game designer. Ask me anything, that's what I'm here for!
Personally I think this setup will work. I am pretty tired of the whole gender/woke discussion in gaming and films/series. We are falsifying history on a large scale, instead of learning from it. Here we get it how it is, and then get to alter it as we are and think today, which makes for an interesting contrast.
I think you have some balls taking on slavery as you do, as it will be confronting when you get gamer communities/governments that really don't care. You are testing the morals and might find them lacking on occaision. Just like with poverty. But that's realistic, and showing humanity at its finest and worst. As a game community we should stand behind the truth of the design. I like it.
I agree there can be some risk. But will will certainly not be 'the most shocking game ever made'. We could attract attention of the wrong people perhaps, but that is something we can guard against with the help of this community. Games always need a measure of moderation, you can't prevent some people coming in with the intent to ruin it for others, you do need a process and effort to keep them out.
If you hadn't guessed yet, I'm the game designer. Ask me anything, that's what I'm here for!
One of those things you need to haven an answer to these days. You have a good answer i.m.o. "Rewriting history" is a clever theme, you find it as it was and can change it if you want. That should get support from anyone.
Ef þú þýðir þetta gætirðu forvitnað hvort ég sé virkilega íslenskur.
History always repeats itself... or as they say. However, with such a nice community I strongly believe that rewriting it will be the case.
...Just playfully selling out documents and secrets that are a matter of national security to anyone who pays the most for it, regardless of their gender or race 😎
Pacta sunt servanda.
Of all the topics, this one really has me optimistic and excited for the game; it shows that you're not just throwing aspects of gender and race into the game for "Because," but rather taking a dynamic, historical, and gameplay-oriented approach to it. It's interesting, as you also appear to be taking the lighter/easier(?) way of it, as opposed to, say, how games like Mount & Blade dealt with such topics (i.e. You could play a woman, but there would be various, historic drawbacks to doing so, like not being able to hold a fiefdom, essentially making playing female "Hard Mode.")
You're also not shying away from controversial topics, but putting them on display in their appropriate historical context. I've always felt that slavery shouldn't be touched on in games, but only because it needs to be done right for it to work, and the way you have outlined, I believe is just the case. It really is in the execution: if it is portrayed in an accurate, and therefore respectable manner. Taking the time to add whatever details necessary to show and explore all the nuances and facets of the Slave Trade (and not just the African Slave trade, but also the Barbary Slave/Captive trades and others you alluded to)
"lack of these things might have been frustrating for some people in that time, and that can be part of the role-playing."
This, all of this, in spades.
Fair Winds, and Following Seas
Thanks, your praise is well appreciated. The game premise of 'rewriting history', in combination with placing gamers in management positions, gave us a credible way to allow genders and races to be equal in all things, without making disingenuous alterations to existing history. So we were fortunate with those features. But it is in the hands of the gamers. Maybe things will be less equal because of gamer cultures in some nations. Just like the real world. Wouldn't it be interesting if we find out that despite the level playing field in the game mechanics and the opportunity to play with male and female characters within the family, 90% of game characters that become Prime-Minister are male? That could give rise to some interesting discussions. Yet another moral discussion, just like slavery, poverty or the class system.
If you hadn't guessed yet, I'm the game designer. Ask me anything, that's what I'm here for!
March 1, 2020
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Thank you for using Rulers of the Sea. At Rulers of the Sea, we want to give you the best possible gaming experience to ensure that you enjoy our service today, tomorrow, and in the future. To do this we need to understand your gaming habits so we can deliver an exceptional service specifically for you. That said, your privacy and the security of your Personal Data is, and will always be, enormously important to us. So, we want to transparently explain how and why we gather, store, share and use your Personal Data – as well as outline the controls and choices you have around when and how you choose to share your Personal Data.
This Policy sets out the essential details relating to your Personal Data relationship with Deadeye Games B.V., a private company with limited liability and existing under the laws of the Netherlands, having its registered office in The Hague and its principal place of business at XX and developer of the Rulers of the Sea game. The Policy applies to all Rulers of the Sea Services and any associated Services. The terms governing your use of the Rulers of the Sea Services are defined in our Terms of Services (the “Terms of Services”).
From time to time, we may develop new or offer additional Services. If the introduction of these new or additional Services results in any change to the way we collect or process your Personal Data we will provide you with more information and additional terms or policies. Unless stated otherwise when we introduce these new or additional services, they will be subject to this Policy.
The aim of this Policy is to:
We hope this helps you to understand our privacy commitments to you. For information on how to contact us if you ever have any questions or concerns, please see the ‘How to Contact Us’ Section 15 below. Alternatively, if you do not agree with the content of this Policy, then please remember it is your choice whether you want to use the Rulers of the Sea Services.
“Personal Data” is Data that we have collected from you that identifies you, or which, in conjunction with other data that is in our possession, or is likely to come into our possession, may be used to identify you.
“Non-Personal Data”, is information that we have collected from you which cannot be used to identify you.
You may be aware that European Union law, called the General Data Protection Regulation or “GDPR” gives certain rights to individuals in relation to their Personal Data. Accordingly, we have implemented additional transparency and access controls in our Privacy Center to help users take advantage of those rights. As available and except as limited under applicable law, the rights afforded to individuals are:
In order to enable you to exercise these rights with ease and to record your preferences in relation to how Deadeye Games BV uses your Personal Data, we provide you with access to the following settings via your Account Settings page:
The Privacy Center puts you in control of how Rulers of the Sea processes your Personal Data. It provides you with information about what happens if you adjust your settings on your Account Settings page and how to opt out of receiving certain messages from Deadeye Games BV and/or Rulers of the Sea. If we send you electronic marketing messages based on your consent or as otherwise permitted by applicable law, you may, at any time, respectively withdraw such consent or declare your objection (“opt-out”) at no cost. The electronic marketing messages you receive from Deadeye Games BV and/or Rulers of the Sea (e.g. those sent via email) also will include an opt-out mechanism within the message itself (e.g. an unsubscribe link in the emails we send to you).
If you have any questions about your privacy, your rights, or how to exercise them, please contact our Data Protection Officer using the ‘Contact Us’ form on the Privacy Center. We will respond to your request within a reasonable period of time upon verification of your identity. If you are unhappy with the way we are using your Personal Data you can also contact and are free to lodge a complaint with the Dutch Data Protection Authority (Autoriteit Persoongegevens) or your local Data Protection Authority.
We process your Personal Data in the following ways:
Through your use of the Rulers of the Sea Services – when you use the Rulers of the Sea Services, we collect Personal Data about your use of the Rulers of the Sea Services such as your email address, date of birth, gender and country;
Personal Data collected that enables us to provide you with additional features/functionalities – from time to time, you also may provide us with additional Personal Data or give us your permission to collect additional Personal Data e.g. to provide you with more features or functionalities. As described further below (see Voluntary Data), we will not collect photos, precise mobile device location, voice data, or contacts from your device without your prior consent. You always will have the option to change your mind and withdraw your consent at any time.
In general, we use log files to monitor traffic on our Website and to troubleshoot technical problems. In the event of user abuse of our Website, we may block certain IP addresses.
We (will) use anonymised and aggregated information to optimize your experience of the Rulers of the Sea Services but also for purposes that include testing our IT systems, research, data analysis, creating marketing and promotion models, improving the Rulers of the Sea Services, and developing new features and functionality within the Rulers of the Sea Services.
In addition to Sections 5.1 and 5.2, if we reasonably suspect that any of the Rulers of the Sea Services or your Account is being or has been misused, including without limitation, by virtue of any:
Deadeye Games B.V. may collect further Personal Data and Non-Personal Data to verify or refute such suspicions within the limits of applicable law and taking into account your reasonable data protection interests. We will use this Data to comply with applicable law and enforce our rights under civil and penal law against the respective users.
Optionally you may choose to send crash reports or contact Customer Support for any technical and commercial issues.
In addition to the data collected in Sections 5.1 to 5.3 above, the data provided by you may include:
The collection of the data set out in this Section 5.4 is not mandatory. However, we might not be able to fix bugs or handle the technical and commercial issues you have without this data. For legal reasons this information will be stored as long as your account remains open and for the applicable statues of limitations thereafter.
We have set out in the tables below the categories of Personal Data we collect and process about you:
|Categories of Personal Data||Description of category|
|Account Registration Data and Commercial transaction||This is the Personal Data that is provided by you or collected by us to enable you to sign up for and use the Rulers of the Sea Services. This includes your email address, date of birth, gender and country.|
Some of the Personal Data we will ask you to provide is required in order to create your account such as account ID, login ID, display name, password, community moniker, user handle, and referral code. You also have the option to provide us with some additional Personal Data in order to make your account more personalized such as birth date.
The exact Personal Data we will collect depends on the type of Rulers of the Sea Services you sign up for (paid or non-paid).
Personal data collected through your use of the Rulers of the Sea Services
|Categories of Personal Data||Description of category|
|Rulers of the Sea Service Usage Data||This is the Personal Data that is collected about you when you are using the Rulers of the Sea Services – this may include:|
|Categories of Personal Data||Description of category|
|Voluntary Mobile Data||In addition to the mobile data we collect to provide you with the Rulers of the Sea Services (outlined above), you also have the option to give us your consent to collect additional Personal Data from your (mobile) device to provide you with features/functionalities that will enhance your Rulers of the Sea Services experiences.|
We will not access any of the Personal Data listed below without first obtaining your consent:
|Payment Data||We may collect such Personal Data if you sign up for a Trial or purchase any of our Paid Subscriptions (as defined in the Terms of Services) or make other purchases through the Rulers of the Sea Services. The exact personal data collected will vary depending on the payment method (e.g. direct via your mobile phone carrier or by invoice) but will include information such as:|
|Marketing Data||This Personal Data is used to enable Deadeye Games B.V. (and our partners / service providers) to send you marketing communications either:|
You can find out more about the Personal Data collected and the controls you have in relation to the marketing communications you receive via the Privacy Center.
When you use or interact with the Rulers of the Sea Services, we use a variety of technologies to process the personal data we collect about you for various reasons. We have set out in the table below the reasons why we process your personal data, the associated legal bases we rely upon to legally permit us to process your personal data, and the categories of personal data (identified in Section 6 ‘What personal data do we collect from you?’) used for these purposes:
|Description of why Rulers of the Sea processes your Personal Data (‘processing purpose’)||Legal Basis for the processing purpose||Categories of Personal Data used by Rulers of the Sea for the processing purpose|
|To provide, personalize, and improve your experience with the Rulers of the Sea Service and other services and products provided by Deadeye Games B.V., for example by providing customized, personalized, or localized content, features, and advertising on or outside of the Rulers of the Sea Services (including for third party products and services).|
|To understand how you access and use the Rulers of the Sea Services to ensure technical functionality of the Rulers of the Sea Services, develop new products and services, and analyse your use of the Rulers of the Sea Services, including your interaction with applications, advertising, products, and services that are made available, linked to, or offered through the Rulers of the Sea Services.|
|To communicate with you for Rulers of the Sea Services-related purposes.|
|To process your payment to prevent or detect fraud including fraudulent payments and fraudulent use of the Rulers of the Sea Service.|
|To communicate with you, either directly or through one of our partners, for:|
via emails, notifications, or other messages, consistent with any permissions you may have communicated to us (e.g., through your Account Settings page).
|To provide you with features, information, advertising, or other content which is based on your specific location.|
If you require further information about the balancing test that Rulers of the Sea has undertaken to justify its reliance on the legitimate interest legal basis under GDPR, please see Section 15 ‘How to contact us’ for further details on how to contact us.
The following Personal Data will always be publicly available on the Rulers of the Sea Services: your ID and/or username and potentially a profile picture.
The following personal data will only be shared with the categories of recipients outlined in the table below if:
|Categories of Recipients||Reason for sharing|
|Support Community||When you register for Rulers of the Sea Support Account on the Rulers of the Sea Support Community, we will ask you to create a specific Rulers of the Sea Support Community username. This will be publicly displayed to anyone who accesses the Rulers of the Sea Support Community along with any questions or comments you post.|
|Your Rulers of the Sea Followers||There also may be times when you want us to share certain Service Usage Data, specifically information about your use of Rulers of the Sea, with other Rulers of the Sea users known as ‘Your Rulers of the Sea Followers’.|
Learn more about how to manage notifications, your publicly available information, and what you share with others in the ‘Your rights and your preferences: Giving you choice and control’ Section 4 of this Policy and on the Privacy Center.
|Categories of Recipients||Reason for sharing|
|Service Providers and Others||We may use technical service providers which operate the technical infrastructure that we need to provide the Rulers of the Sea Services; in particular providers which host, store, manage, and maintain the Rulers of the Sea application.|
We may use technical service providers to help us communicate with you, as described in Section 7 of this Policy.
We use marketing (and advertising partners) to show you more tailored content, or to help us understand your use of the Rulers of the Sea Services, to provide you with a better experience. We also may share Personal Data with certain marketing and advertising partners to send you promotional communications about Rulers of the Sea.
|Rulers of the Sea Partners||We might share your Personal Data in a pseudonymised format with marketing partners who help us with promotional efforts and with advertisers that allow us to offer a free service.|
|Academic Researchers||We may share your Personal Data for activities such as statistical analysis and academic study but only in a pseudonymised format.|
|Other Rulers of the Sea Group Companies||We might share your Personal Data with other Deadeye Games B.V. Group Companies to carry out our daily business operations and to enable us to maintain and provide the Rulers of the Sea Services to you.|
|Law Enforcement and Data Protection Authorities||We will share your Personal Data when we in good faith believe it is necessary for us to do so in order to comply with a legal obligation under applicable law, or respond to valid legal process, such as a search warrant, a court order, or a subpoena.|
We also will share your personal data where we in good faith believe that it is necessary for the purpose of our own, or a third party’s legitimate interest relating to national security, law enforcement, litigation, criminal investigation, protecting the safety of any person, or to prevent death or imminent bodily harm, provided that we deem that such interest is not overridden by your interests or fundamental rights and freedoms requiring the protection of your Personal Data.
We keep your Personal Data only as long as necessary to provide you with the Rulers of the Sea Service and for legitimate and essential business purposes, such as maintaining the performance of the Deadeye Games Services, making data-driven business decisions about new features and offerings, complying with our legal obligations, and resolving disputes. We keep some of your Personal Data for as long as you are a user of the game.
If you request, we will delete or anonymise your Personal Data so that it no longer identifies you, unless, we are legally allowed or required to maintain certain Personal Data, including situations such as the following:
Deadeye Games B.V. might share your Personal Data globally with other companies in the Deadeye Games B.V. Group in order to carry out the activities specified in this Policy. Deadeye Games B.V. may also subcontract processing to, or share your Personal Data with, third parties located in countries other than your home country. Your personal data, therefore, may be subject to privacy laws that are different from those in your country of residence.
Personal Data collected within the European Union and Switzerland may, for example, be transferred to and processed by third parties located in a country outside of the European Union and Switzerland. In such instances Deadeye Games B.V. will ensure that the transfer of your Personal Data is carried out in accordance with applicable privacy laws and, in particular, that appropriate contractual, technical, and organizational measures are in place such as the Standard Contractual Clauses approved by the EU Commission.
For further details of the security measures we use to protect your Personal Data, please see the ‘Keeping your personal data safe’ Section 12 of this Policy.
We may display advertisements from third parties and other content that links to third-party websites. We cannot control or be held responsible for third parties’ privacy practices and content. If you click on a third-party advertisement or link, please understand that you are leaving the Rulers of the Sea Service and any Personal Data you provide will not be covered by this Policy. Please read their privacy policies to find out how they collect process and protect your Personal Data.
We are committed to protecting our users’ Personal Data. We implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to help protect the security of your Personal Data; however, please note that no system is ever completely secure. We have implemented various policies including pseudonymisation, encryption, access, and retention policies to guard against unauthorized access and unnecessary retention of Personal Data in our systems.
Your password protects your user account, so we encourage you to use a unique and strong password, limit access to your computer and browser, and log out after having used the Rulers of the Sea Services.
The Rulers of the Sea Services are not directed to children under the age of 13 years. However, in some countries, stricter age limits may apply under local law. Please see our Terms of Services for further details.
We do not knowingly collect Personal Data from children under 13 years or under the applicable age limit (the “Age Limit”). If you are under the Age Limit, please do not use the Rulers of the Sea Services, and do not provide any Personal Data to us.
If you are a parent of a child under the Age Limit and become aware that your child has provided Personal Data to Rulers of the Sea, please contact us using the form on the Privacy Center, and you may request exercise of your applicable rights detailed in the ‘Your rights and your preferences: Giving you choice and control’ Section 4 of this Policy.
If we learn that we have collected the Personal Data of a child under the age of 13 years, we will take reasonable steps to delete the Personal Data. This may require us to delete the Rulers of the Sea account for that child.
We will occasionally update this Policy. When we make material updates to this Policy, we will provide you with prominent notice as appropriate under the circumstances, e.g., by displaying a prominent notice within the Rulers of the Sea Services or by sending you an email.
Please, therefore, make sure you read any such notice carefully. Annually this Policy will be reviewed for accuracy and changes in GDPR. If no material changes are made, you will not be notified.
If you want to find out more about this Policy and how Deadeye Games B.V. uses your Personal Data, please visit the Privacy Center on RulersoftheSea.com to find out more.
Deadeye Games BV is the data processor for the purposes of the personal data processed under this Policy.