Media Analysis and the border of rational discussionJuly 23, 2008
Over on Cultures of Play, there’s this really great thread analyzing the use of facist imagery in gaming. It looks at the way in which fascism is glorified, made awesome, and generally, thoughtlessly, tossed about left and right. Joshua even talks about in context to other media, society, and basically why the preponderance of it is problematic.
Though 80% of the points there apply equally to racism, sexism, etc. in terms of gaming, we don’t see the same rational discussion carry over (yes, even in the indie-tabletop-rpg niche). Why is that? Well, in the case of discussing fascism, no one is identifying their privilege with it. You don’t see completely unconnected people jumping up to irrationally defend against his critique because there is no ingrained hierarchy of roles in society based on your role in “fascism”. Though I’m sure no one identifies being a fascist anymore than they identify being a racist, a sexist, or heterosupremacist, what happens when you attack these latter things is that you are attacking a privilege which they have taken for granted- in fact, being asked to actually consider what the world would be like if it was equal in fact, instead of equal because 70/30 sounds fair and you should be grateful you’re even getting that much.
It is even more telling that these rational discussions do take place, about parallel media issues that tells you even more where people are coming from when they get irrational. That is, I don’t have to call you a racist, I just have to watch you show up to defend one for you to tell me, what you’re about.