I find this kind of thing ponderous. An individual states “This particular thing is offensive to me.” And then there is the response, “Shut up.” Basically. Sure it’s couched in phrases like “well, historically speaking…” And “well, such and such a game has that or this and no one cares…” or “Here are 16 other things that are MORE offensive (though I don’t actually care about those and am just bringing them up to make you feel bad)”
For me, what I see is people basically saying “You are making me mad, stop making me mad. I don’t want to overthink everything!” So, first let’s just dispense with the idea that you can overthink anything. I’m not talking about specific instances where people have conditions such as OCD and can think themselves into an incapacitating loop. I’m talking about what a person who says “stop overthinking everything” means. They mean “I just want to live my life, man. Can you just let me have my fun?”
Sure, of course. All you have to do is not listen to me voice my concerns. Or if you do hear me voice them, just ignore me. If you really don’t care, just ignore me. Because, and I know you don’t realize it, but by trying to shout me down you are violating your own rule. What rule? The “I just want to live my life, man” rule. You aren’t letting me live MY life, man. I’m not coming into your house and saying you can’t enjoy Five Tribes as it is. I’m writing to the game publisher and expressing my concern. I’m writing on my blog expressing my concerns. I’m sharing my concerns in a facebook group. Except “I” am not actually doing any of those things, but others are.
To be honest I haven’t played Five Tribes. So my perspective is one of understanding that people do have a problem with the use of slaves in the game. So, let’s unpack why people might have issue with slaves in the game.
First and foremost, that is a false premise. People don’t necessarily have issue with the presence of slaves in Five Tribes or any other game. It’s the way that slaves are either portrayed and/or used in the game. For instance, are they a resource, as they are in Five Tribes, or are they characters in the game who need to be transported and freed as they are in Freedom: The Underground Railroad?
I can say, without having played Freedom, that one concern could be the lack of agency of the slaves in the game, but in this instance it is historically accurate. Which brings me to one of the arguments I presented above: “But historically speaking…” Yes, historically speaking there were slaves in the setting the creators have placed Five Tribes. They’ve also put jinns in there. While jinns do exist in fiction and stories, they EXIST IN FICTION AND STORIES.” See what I did there? It’s not historically accurate to have them acting in the game. It’s great for stories, but not great for historical accuracy.
“Fine, Brandon, but what about these six other games? Huh?!” Well, to be honest, not only have I not played those, I haven’t even heard of them. So, I can’t really respond to that. I can say that I see on the internets that some people HAVE played those games and are pointing out that in those games(Spartacus) the use of slaves IS historically accurate and that some of these games mechanics ding you for buying/using/selling slaves. You see? It’s not the presence of slaves in a game; it’s the way they are represented and or used in the game.
“But Jimmy and these other people are always talking about this and saying I’m racist if I like a thing and they are mean and rude.” Yes, they do sound mean and rude and if you point me to them I will let them know that. But, I’m not Jimmy, or his mom, and that is not the discussion we are having. I’m not calling you a racist. I’m not saying anyone who enjoys a certain thing is racist. I am saying that people have concerns. Valid concerns. And that asking about their concerns is better than shouting them down. No one is taking anyone’s free speech away. There will be no jack-booted thugs busting your door down and taking your games. And even though some people may have called you racist, the majority of us are not.
When someone voices a valid concern about the social, cultural, historical, or artistic portrayal of a mechanic or character in a game ask more questions. Honest sincere questions to get more information. Don’t set up a “zinger”. That makes you look weak and petty. Ask questions and seek understanding.
Because when your response is “Stop making me mad you PC police liberal free speech hating shut up you are oversensitive what’s the big deal thanks Obama!”
You sound ridiculous.by