I play WoW because I am violent toward minorities

| Thursday, May 17, 2012
 I am writing this from America, where Asians, Africans, Caribbeans, Arabs, Indians, Indians, Russians, Gypsies, Jews, and the British are all minorities.  I hate all of them.  But that's just my culture.

Of course WoW is a great game for people like me.  Night Elves, Pandaren, Orcs, Trolls, Pygmies, Tauren, Draenei, and Worgen are all based on these groups to varying degrees.  And I get to kill them.

Even better, a game like this which allows simulated violence against minorities is a great place to meet other people like me.  Of course it's a pretty risky place for those minorities, with people like me around!  Ha ha!  Oh but don't worry, it's just my culture.

But seriously, folks...

Isn't it time we told developers to stop making these sickening games where we're allowed, even encouraged, to attack minorities?  It's terrible that we constantly hand over money to these people, these sickening developers, who so willingly depict death and violence as if it were "just part of the culture."  Only in the East, in China, did they take any sort of stand and change anything, covering up some bones, but doing nothing anywhere else, as if just to reinforce the idea that it's "just part of the culture."

But seriously folks...

Isn't that a rather absurd stance to take?  Sure, trolls are obviously based on a Caribbean accent and more than a little bit of voodoo and night elves borrow from Japan.  Would we ever say that because World of Warcraft allows us, and to some extent, requires us to attack them, that therefore WoW is encouraging violence against minorities?  Even suggesting that games could have any link to violence will provoke a heated response, let alone suggesting that the games encourage particular racist behavior.  Let's watch where we aim our accusations of virtual moral decay, lest we shoot ourselves.

We can be disturbed and disgusted by the strangely child-like bunny-eared race with the heart-shaped vagina covers (it can hardly be called armor).  I sure am.  But let's wait a moment before we jump to accusations that the developers and publishers have released Pedophile Online.

It's a common way to mock American culture, that a million gunshots are fine but a single nipple is unacceptably destructive to the psyches of our youth.  But isn't that what we're seeing here?  Kill a million trolls and that's fine.  But dress the aliens the wrong way and oh my god what is wrong with you you sick sick person!?  Why is mass killing something we take in stride but the sexualization of children crosses the line?  It's not about the children, or at most, they are a slight increase, not the root cause.  Female armor gets a similar sort of outrage.  It's the skin.  It's somehow terrifying in a way that a rotting corpse cannot be.

I don't plan to buy TERA.  The very thought of it makes me feel slightly ill, the sort of feeling a person gets from hearing the sound of vomiting.  But should I declare a crusade against it?  Call it an abomination?  Or should I accept that as much as it sickens me, it is ultimately a fictional universe with fictional races and fictional results and is no more responsible for child abuse than WoW is responsible for ethnic violence?

On the other hand...

I've noticed that if one person expresses a negative opinion it can be interpreted as a single negative opinion and if it's about a particular aspect, it may be worth considering change.  If a dozen, a hundred, or thousands have the same opinion, then we call it a crusade and mock it, as if a thousand people cannot have the same opinion without colluding.

Making a race not sicken millions of people on sight might be a good idea, regardless of so-called cultural differences.  Child abuse is not a "cultural difference" any more than female circumcision is a "cultural difference."  Well sure, it is in the literal sense, but it's the sort of inhumane "cultural difference" that should be eliminated or at least reduced (which was done with foot-binding).  I still won't say that the game itself is some horrible abomination (even if it makes me sick), but it is reflecting something wrong (as might also our obsession with zombies: nearly-human creatures which have strangely become our enemies and can only be slaughtered, not reasoned with).

7 comments:

rulez said...

I have a simple mind. For me in the example of traditional MMORPGs, those games are about melee and magic combat in a persistent world. Bringing too much porny visuals into that is disturbing. I think it would be fine in an MMO called Penthouse Online though. At the same time, a porn MMO would be quite annoying with too much non revealing armor.

spinksville said...

Huh. So when I say "I want to play a female character that looks badass, not like a sex worker," what you hear is "omg I'm terrified of skin?"

Anonymous said...

Great post. Also, makes me suddenly nervous about my best friend's life-long obsession with zombie games...

Klepsacovic said...

@rulez: Maybe the non-revealing armor is just the incentive to level up to get the good stuff. Just like greens.

@Spinks: No, but when the problems seem to be about sex and not violence, that suggests something.

@Anonymous: He's probably just a mindless being going along with what everyone else is doing... uh oh.

Azuriel said...

Blame religion. Sex bad, pogroms good.

By the way, female circumcision aside, child abuse is a matter of cultural difference. Male circumcision, for example. Another is how it doesn't count as child abuse in the state of Ohio to not give your child a bed to sleep on. It is not child abuse to spank your child, or tell them to "be seen and not heard," or have them study for exams 16 hours a day. Verbal abuse is technically child abuse, but it's nearly impossible to prove.

In any case: Elin = bad, Toddlers & Tiaras = good. Culturally.

Klepsacovic said...

@Azuriel: I don't think we can lay this entirely on religion. Instead, it's the slow pace of culture. Before contraception and abundant food (in the developed countries), controlling sex was important. We couldn't have people getting pregnant too often. Bearing children is nutritionally expensive as well as a physical burden, even if we left it out on the hillside after birth. I'm not saying religion is blameless, but I can't blame it for absolutely everything that is wrong in the world.

As for toddlers and tiaras, that's child abuse on an entirely different sort. But I'm not a fan of pushing children into careers in general. They're supposed to be getting injured falling off bikes, not making money.

Azuriel said...

The Greeks had effective birth control, by the way.

I don't blame religion for everything. I blame it (or specifically Puritans) for the stigmatization of sex generally. Your underlying thesis is correct: sex is better than violence, and yet only one of those looked upon with outrage.

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