Cultural appropriation, #Gamergate and why Gamers had to die
I keep hearing people talking about cultural appropriation recently, so I thought I’d write something about it here because something seems very off.
People keep on about how cultural appropriation is some heinous act even vilifying a young girl for simply being white and wanting to have braids. The question is what did she truly take away from the culture? Are people so selfish that they can’t allow some-one else to find joy in their culture? Should someone be yelling at me because I'm a white guy who likes Chinese and the odd curry? By eating that food am I somehow some evil monster stealing from a culture?
I get the concept behind cultural appropriation and it goes back more to the idea of people taking cultural artefacts back with them. To that end this is one of the arguments surround the Elgin marbles (the counter claim begin the wouldn't have survived without it).
The idea is somehow stealing from a culture in such a way that damages it. Another example would be the questions surrounding the Washington Redskins, is it paying homage noble people that were treated so badly by American settlers, a reminder of America’s past. Or is it a cheap and tacky insult to their memory?
So with all these claims of cultural appropriation and how wrong it is flying round the question has to be when did it become ok with video games culture? If cultural appropriation is so wrong then why are we having a culture war presently over videogames? Part of the claim is a culture gives you permission of some kind and yet people are acting like there are some evil monsterous gatekeepers selfishly trying to keep video games as their thing. Isn't that exactly what people have been arguing for others to do? Suddenly people are howling at some imagine gatekeepers throwing insults at some supposed monsters because they dare to say “Hey maybe we can have games for all different demographics and that games shouldn’t feel the need to conform to a specific style ?” We have people suggesting that games like Gone Home are some great future of gaming under attack. The big problem with this claim and even ideology is while such games have their place are people calling for the abolition of Chess because Draughts (Checkers) exists? Of course not it’s absurd yet people are claiming games need to be more accessible. Is that not the biggest insult to the audience to suggest they are not smart enough to have to learn games? Look at some of the most loved / watched games on Twitch. You’ll most likely notice at least two moba games in the top 10 games like Dota 2 and League of Legends. These are hugely complex games I’ve played over 800 hours of DOTA 2 and I still consider myself to still be learning. I’ve talked more on this before actually the strange idea that every game should be for every person. Should every Romance film appeal to horror movie fans or is it better that people understand they are different demographics?
You see cultural appropriation in the strictest sense would be outsiders coming in and forcing the culture to conform to different values. So now ask yourself why when gaming is so eager to share even with outsiders that Anita can’t simply admit now she doesn't play many games?
I mean she had no problem admitting it before.
Well it’s simple if Anita admits to being an outsider by the definition of her and her ilk this is cultural appropriation. Very similar complaints have of moving in and trying to change things to fit their own views is the kind of complaint also levelled at Hipsters. What happened however was not some instant praise, some instant change with Anita’s own ideas accepted immediately.
This is why Gamers had to die. If there is no such thing as a gamer culture or the definition is distilled so far that it means nothing then there can be no claim of cultural appropriation being applied. People can push video games culture to conform to their own cultural ideas, in the case many in #Gamergate argue against the cultural norms of Social Justice Warriors (SJWs for short) and the idea of safe space culture.
What is being attempted and many in #Gamergate fight against is SJWs attempting to culturally appropriate gaming to force it to abide by their rules and social conventions. In some cases people seemingly only want games to act as vehicles for some idealistic social change movement.
Gamers had to be dead because otherwise it was people moving in to try and clear out the indigenous population simply to use the culture for their own ends and apply their own rules, regulations and restrictions to it.
It seems funny because for so many SJWs throw up their arms about cultural appropriation, it seems like they’re fine to do it when they believe they should have control of a culture. When the culture produces something they like but it doesn't conform to their standards.
So when people claim this is a culture war it’s true. It’s Video Games Culture shared by a huge diverse range of people coming under fire from SJW culture. A culture which doesn't wish to share the medium so much as forcibly apply it’s own bizarre standards to it.
Video games are a medium that’s evolving and as I talked about in my piece on the price of Freedom it needs to be allowed to grow up and tackle difficult issues and it can’t in SJWs wish to keep restricting the medium and claiming certain topics are off limits. They aren't part of the culture, they don’t understand the culture and as such they lash out and claim gaming is harmful or promotes toxic behaviour. Many SJWs just don’t get not everything is for them.
So to any social justice warriors reading this I put it to you. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t claim taking part and enjoying other cultures isn’t allowed while not only doing the same but going further and actually trying to force a change in the culture itself to fit your views. Video games are a big industry we can all share in or you can keep fighting this petty Culture War that you declared, you can keep trying to impose your cultural values onto video games culture and you can try to keep forcing gamers to side with you. The reality is without Gamers video games culture wouldn't exist and would collapse because your side doesn't pay the bills.
Video gaming is a culture that actively welcomes people and encourages them people to carve out their own niche in the industry. What video gaming isn’t too keen on however are people trying to claim the entire industry must change to cater to them. Or as is used to cover up this objection the idea of masking it in some claim of helping people and doing so to protect people.
Video gaming welcomes those who want their own niche and to have fun. It doesn't welcome those who try to force everything to change for the.
Here’s the kicker. You know why video gaming culture is so open? Because people understand that while having a culture is important, we now live in a multicultural society and what is really the point in holding onto your culture yourself? Why selfishly deny others their chance to be able to enjoy parts of your culture that they chose to want to enjoy? It’s not taking something away somehow it’s being able to give other people joy from it. So if you’re the kind of twee person who objected to a young girl with braids then it’s one hell of a hypocrisy to turn round and start lecturing to video games and gamers about how they should be. In a multicultural society the idea of having a culture just for you is quite a selfish self centured thing, sure I can see why people would be annoyed and people claiming to be part of a culture they are not. But enjoying the culture, that’s surely should be something people want, for people to get joy from your culture. SJWs are welcome to have their niche in gaming culture. The only thing people object to is those asking for the keys to the industry and to be in the driving seat dictating all games to appeal to just them as that would be madness in the end.
So when people are quite ready. Player Two is waiting when you’re ready to share in gaming.