Multi-cultural gamers for a multi-cultural community
Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 21 March 2014, 8:01 am
There is a discussion ongoing in the blogosphere, of which I'll just link to one post, Better Gamers for a Better Community. Quote: "We all like to think that bigots and trolls are a loud minority, but what can we say about that silent majority? Are they not facilitators and complicit in the abuse due to their silence?". The idea basically is that gamers and especially gamers who write, should strive to create a better community in strict adherence with better cultural values.

Wait a minute.

The cultural values of whom? If you scratch the surface off these wonderful words (who wouldn't want to be a better gamer for a better community?), you'll find out that the underlying conflict in which one side is accused of being bigots, trolls, and abusers, is the discussion of political correctness, with the people pushing us towards "better" cultural values are very much on the ultra-liberal side.

The problem with that is that not everybody is ultra-liberal. For many of us more moderate human beings, some of the extreme political correctness appears hard to understand, if not borderline fascist. For example the politically correct Apple app store has a policy that a game should not depict "people from a specific race, culture, government, corporation, or other real entity as the enemies in the context of the game". And thus proceeded to reject the game "Tank Battle 1942", because it showed Germans and Russians as enemies. They then backpedaled after people pointed out to them how ridiculous that was.

If you know your history, and then watch modern films or TV shows, you will frequently find that history has been "corrected" by ultra-liberal people to rather show events in a way that fits the ultra-liberal world view better, rather than how it really was, for example on gender roles or with respect to slavery. To me that is very George Orwell 1984, "He who controls the past controls the future."

The "silent majority" that often fails to speak out when these ultra-liberals complain about something silly, like a video game character with high heels, are NOT "facilitators and complicit in the abuse". They simply do not share the cultural values of the person complaining. That does not make them "indecent people". There simply isn't just one "decent" set of cultural values. Certainly not over the whole length of history, but not even if you just look at today, not even in one country among people who are nominally of the same religion. And sometimes there are simply no easy answers to a problem, for example if you have to decide between the value of granting religious freedom, and the value of gender equality. Is it okay to forbid a muslim woman to wear a veil? I don't think that there is an easy answer to that question based on a "better" cultural value shared by everybody.

I reject the fascism of ultra-liberal correctness. I would consider myself a liberal (in the European sense, not the US American one), but I abhor zealots of any flavor. The world is full of many cultures, and there is no such thing as one set of cultural values that is inherently superior to all others. We need multi-cultural gamers for a multi-cultural community, not 1984-style groupthink aligning everybody to a single set of cultural values and dismissing every other culture as "indecent".
Tobold's Blog



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