Aka Ironyca Stood in the Fire – gaming blog
Someone in the comments said this:
“Speaking as a SWM, I agree completely with the metaphor. I just never know what the proper play style should be.
The game is obviously an MMO—how do you play well with others? Obviously, PK and griefing are not good ideas, particularly towards people playing on tougher difficulty levels than yourself. But even collaborative play is full of hard decisions.
Should I pair with lower-level players just because they’ve got a harder road ahead of them, even though it means that I’m not going to progress as fast? Should I play less well to avoid outpacing the people around me? People at my level, but playing a harder difficulty level, are often my competition—should I defer to them, even though we’re technically the same level?
It might be that the metaphor falls apart because it treats life like a zero-sum game, but life often feels like a zero-sum game…”
– The thing is, no one can blame the people who are progressing fast, as long as they play morally (don’t grief etc). They are after all choosing the path of least resistance to them.
It’s not about making Straight White Males feel guilty, it’s about becoming aware of how the game is overall imbalanced, so that we can FIX it.
With all the play testing we’ve done throughout history, we know that this game will always need patching!
I’ve been thinking of a way to explain to straight white men how life works for them, without invoking the dreaded word “privilege,” to which they react like vampires being fed a garlic tart at high noon. It’s not that the word “privilege” is incorrect, it’s that it’s not their word. When confronted with “privilege,” they fiddle with the word itself, and haul out the dictionaries and find every possible way to talk about the word but not any of the things the word signifies.
So, the challenge: how to get across the ideas bound up in the word “privilege,” in a way that your average straight white man will get, without freaking out about it?
Being a white guy who likes women, here’s how I would do it:
Dudes. Imagine life here in the US — or indeed, pretty much anywhere in the Western world — is a…
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