It’s Not Just A Game

by March 30, 2012
filed under Entertainment
Topics ,

No True ScotsmanEven though the “No-True-Scotsman” fallacy may not be a perfect analogy some of the time, I feel like it applies to the gaming industry occasionally.

As much as I like games, there is a lot wrong with the industry as a whole. There is violent sexism, racism and homophobia that needs to be addressed. But there is also an almost lethargic attitude about it that even I am guilty of.

I see it a lot. Whenever racism or sexism or homophobia or any other ism that comes with gaming pops up, people will ignore it. “Oh, it’s just a game.” “Oh, I’m not sexist/racism/homophobic so I don’t need to worry about it.” The list of excuses goes on and on.

People get defensive when these things are pointed out. And I understand; I really do. It’s frustrating to have the thing you enjoy being torn apart. How dare these PC police come in and trample on your fun? But the problem is, it’s not just a game. These things have real world consequences.

If I may divert from gaming and into movies instead, let’s take a look at the recent blockbuster, The Hunger Games. If you are not aware, there were some “fans” of the series who were upset about the casting of the movie. More specifically, upset at the idea that some characters were cast as black and not white. The little tribute Rue was played by the immensely talented Amanda Stenberg and that got people mad. The most shocking of the tweets outright said that because she was black, Rue’s death was not as sad.

So a 12-year-old girl, the eldest child of her family, is taken from her home and is killed for millions of people to see for a TV show, for entertainment and that’s not said, because she wasn’t white. Anytime someone says “it’s just a book” or “it’s just a movie” I am going to point them in the direction of these tweets and point out that these attitudes really do come to light in the “real world.”

And then there are those who recognize the bad elements, but distance themselves from it. You’re not like those people. You respect people of all races, genders, and sexual orientation. Why can’t people see that! You don’t want to be lumped in with these bigots.

But you are looking at the wrong problem. It is not the responsibility of the offended party to look at something that is quite terrible and try to find the good bits. It is our responsibility to try and change things from the inside. Don’t shrug it off. Get mad at the people spouting off these ideals, not the people who are rightfully criticizing an industry that is kind of built up on sexism and homophobia. Buy games that are put out by better companies and try to improve gaming to make it better for everyone and not just the white, cisgendered, straight male audience.

And to those who bigoted? Get over it. I hope you feel threatened by this.

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