Istanbul - Shut Up & Sit Down Review - boardgamerblues.com

Istanbul – Shut Up & Sit Down Review

Shut Up & Sit Down
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199 Comments

  1. Wow, that Baki piece was FANTASTIC, and ridiculously relevant in this conversation. The depiction of women too, great catch! How on god's sexism-aware Europe did this thing pass the first QC of art?

    It requires a certain amount of vision, and narrative prowess, to incorporate these into a only-a-boardgame-ffs review. Seriously, great content, SUSD.

  2. This game and the review are so weird….I mean, really….bazaar!!! Lol! No? Not even a… it's fine. Totally understand. I'll go 😞

  3. Adding all the expansions and bits turned this into a giant clusterfuck

  4. Edward's Said's Orientalism is worth a read for anyone who wants more Orientalism knowledge buzz!

  5. I think one of the reasons why fantasy is so popular is that it allows exoticism without the bad overtones of orientalism, noble savages etc.

  6. Why does the kebab thing reduce the ottoman cuisine to kebab? Yes, kebab is the most recognizable Turkish food in Europe, but does that then mean that they have to feature every single Turkish dish that exists just to appease those sensibilities? They just wanted to feature a food place and chose the most well known. Hünkar beğendi is great but no one's ever heard of it so how well do you imagine a hünkar beğendi themed expansion would do in the European market?

  7. I appreciate you going through the trouble of counting the men, but did you check to make sure they are 82 individual men and not just the same 10 or 20 men featured over and over?

  8. A European vision of a non European place? I know he's has a PhD and probably thinks in terms of cultures, but Istanbul as it at least partly European.

  9. I appreciate the aside that is considering representation in games. I actually found it to be fair and well considered as opposed to condescending and trite.

    I think it's important that we consider how we render other people down in to limiting archetypes. Like board games, I see this exercise as an opportunity for self-improvement if nothing else.

  10. I watched this review right after watching the Caverna one.

  11. I've bought board games simply because of inclusion. Path of Light and Shadow, Ashes, The Grimm Forest. Though not the biggest of deals, still quite refreshing to see and for me, quite easy to back and support!

  12. Let's not forget that Istanbul was home to the largest slave market in the middle East until the mid-1800s when the British tried to stop it and it moved underground.

  13. 7:31 is likely my favorite SUSD moment ever. . . 🙂 I'm sure that took at least two practice runs.

  14. How many takes did it take to nail that insistent persistent system of assistants bit?

  15. This game is pretty much perfect. It's simple and fast, but has enough thinking ahead strategy and interaction between players to remain interesting after a lot of games. In terms of theme, almost every Euro game I own has a theme that feels non essential to the game. Some more than others. We could put Istanbul in Seattle, and slightly redesign the game to involve running errands on a Saturday. Not sure anyone but the young, naive or foolish would think the game teaches you anything about Istanbul. Just like watching the TV show CSI, doesn't prepare you for a career in forensics.

  16. As Chess was spread more widely
    by the Ottomans from their own conquests, particularly the enslavement of Eastern khanates and peoples, can we call Chess a Turkish-Orientalist co-opting of an Indus valley game?

  17. Excellent, excellent review, (the second best of all time after Paul's review of Azul). More sociology and more obscure anime references please

  18. Bias aside, I literally cracked up several times in this vid. Very entertaining. The game looks interesting and definitely one I'll look to pick up. Now I'll have to check out Concordia.

  19. All I get from the "orientalist" and similar sociological arguments is that "people from foreign land are off limits"
    We can lampoon "our own" history (even if it isn't actually our own. I couldn't tell you for CERTAIN that my ancestors lived in Britain 200 years ago, let alone before that, despite my ASSUMING it is true)
    If we can't employ stereotypes of "other cultures" aren't we ESSENTIALLY saying that they are lesser? They are INCAPABLE of being examined in a less than complex or empathetic way. That we can't mock something, or even use it as inspiration for something PURELY fantastical.
    To me, "academics" have simply painted themselves into a corner to justify criticism that isn't REALLY warranted.
    From "well, you can't represent women in certain ways" to "well, using tropes of foreign nations a player may not be fully familiar with is bad"
    It's just empty noise. It amounts to "well, you can't do this because you're just not brown enough" and there IS a word for that thinking…

    Especially galling when boardgames, and games in general, can feature TRULY horrifying themes.
    If you REALLY take offense at a "sexist depiction" (whatever that ACTUALLY means, but I hear it attributed to women in skimpy clothing. Which I'd regard as a rather sexist assumption) or "racism" (as inferred by "orientalism") in a game, but happily play games featuring genuine human misery.. then you're an idiot. A self righteous, misguided idiot.
    Played a game about war? Where factions of real life nations destroy each others "military assets" or economies? You're playing a game based on the deaths and misery of countless humans throughout history. If you're okay with that, then a game set in the middle east where people ride camels REALLY shouldn't offend you in the slightest. And if it does, you may be a sociopath.

    Now, if people making this critique simply wish to foster BETTER representation (rather than PROHIBIT "problematic" representation) that's awesome. But always remind yourself to put things into perspective. Do not allow yourself to become outraged over nothing. (and nope, I'm not OUTRAGED by sociological arguments. I'm simply criticising the misuse of such)
    Stereotypes or caricatures EXISTING is not a problem. Even if they're considered offensive! Sometimes they're a source of humour, or an allegory or even just a throw away trope to convey an idea quickly.
    Not everything has to self aware or accurate or "representative"
    It's the difference between. "women in Instanbul in this period would have absolutely been part of the economy and really should be featured on tiles" and "the lack of women is sexist, 50% of the game should be women!"
    One is a pertinent observation and a valid criticism. The other is self righteous and would erase the very real role women played (& limitations they faced) which if featured prominently in game mechanics would ABSOLUTELY be sexist by todays standards.

  20. It looks like they listened to you guys, there's even a woman on the box of Istanbul: the dice game 🙂

  21. This game used to be called Constantinople before they changed the name.

  22. I appreciate the part on orientalism and you noticing the lack of women. thank you very much

  23. Anything from Satoshi Kon is a good watch. Sometimes headache inducing but good watch. Also, I appreciate the mid review education session.

  24. I appreciate your critical engagements with orientalism and androcentrism.

  25. sounds fun! i might pick it up. Thanks for pointing out the gender disparity btw. Slightly more than half of my gaming friends are women and it's really frustrating when you get 8 of us together to play, and 6 of us are disappointment because there are only 2 female characters you can play as. Or worse, when I want to play a game with my 13 year old daughter, and the only women are the old one and the boob one.

  26. 20:25 that was exactly your intent, his smile says that it was. Well played.

  27. "Makes us middling Muslims at best" …. really? What is a middling Muslim, or one good, or a bad Muslim? I'm outraged and need an apology.

  28. I'm Japanese, and I'm writing a story where the Fictional Japanese Inspired culture is all Kimonos and Samurai and Magic and shit, so I guess I'm racist against myself .-.

  29. Sometime European companies appropriate cultures for their games with out really thinking. This about players of color. I don't always feel safe playing such games. So Thank You for taking same responsibility for making it clear to those who don't get it.

  30. I really enjoyed the decision to talk about orientalism in this review. I also appreciate how you guys touch on representation in your reviews, acknowledging that the industry can do a better job of reaching a diversity of players.

  31. This Betrayal must be what started Paul's idea to leave SU&SD, I hope you are happy 😕

  32. Dude. You know nothing of the Ottoman Empire. Women COULD technically go to mosques but were “encouraged” (with various levels of vigor) to pray at home. Women’s schooling was basically nonexistent. Women only went to markets if they were slaves or were so poor that they couldn’t have someone else do it—in many cases, husbands did the daily shopping, as women were “discouraged” (again with various levels of vigor) from ever speaking to a man who was not mahram (related to her such that sex was forbidden basically or else her husband—that is, an uncle but not a first cousin). So no. It’s not a particularly unrealistic depiction of an ottoman city, depending on when and where. Women might be beaten for speaking to their own husbands in public in certain times. One of the sacred/holy stories of one of the companions of Muhammad talks about just such an incident. He was portrayed as justified and correct for whipping her because she MIGHT have been talking to an unrelated male.

    Women could NOT sue for divorce. At best, they could beg someone in authority to order their husbands to divorce them. While wives technically owned things, any of their property was to be fully managed and enjoyed by their husbands or fathers or other male relative—they had extremely limited control over it, just as adult women in Saudi Arabia today have their money fully controlled by their fathers or husbands and there have been court cases against fathers who, in one example, refused to arrange a marriage for his physician daughter because he liked her income too much.

    You grossly underestimate how terrible life for women can be under Islam.

  33. ….is this insistent and persistent system if assistants whereby your assistants are either existent and then the system is non-existent or your assistants are consistently disparate and distant……at which point you only have yourself to blame

  34. For me Concordia became boring after 5 plays, and Istambul did not. Istanbul is much more dynamic and controllable (even with funny neutral trader variant). And it's like 30-40 minutes long. I was avoiding Istanbul for a few years and I was WRONG. And I LOVE heavy gaming, for the record… You can retheme Istambul for Star Wars and you would have great pick up n deliver game, with race element, crew sending and collecting, upgrading the ship and your hero, dealing with smugglers, gambling in Casino. Concordia is more dry and mechanical than any Knizia's game. And Herr Doctor liked it dry…. Anyway, great review as always! 🙂

  35. I didn't understand the constant comparison with Concordia. Unless the games are virtually the same, the overpraising of Concordia in an Istanbul review seems unfair. BOTH games are allowed to be great. If in your opinion one is better than the other, admire it all you want in a separate video about the game so that it doesn't interfere with this one. As far as I can tell, this is like comparing apples to oranges and telling everyone they should get apples because its the one you like more when both are perfectly fine.

  36. You may want to edit your title, to include some verbiage to indicate the expansion are covered too.

  37. Love your videos. Love games… Cultural and gender politics not needed…

  38. I downloaded the app, didn't like the first couple of games, then I had an epiphany and understood. It's now on my wishlist and I think it would perfectly fit my gaming group.

  39. Where did they find the idiot that comes in half way through?

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