Recently, there have been a rant about how uneducated people who were discussing video games are and why people should study “life stuff” and intersectional studies, brought to our attention by Alison Rapp, on Twitter and described as a healthy conversation, while using a Blockbot App to block anyone who’s related to the counter social justice at controversial subjects, regardless of their attitude towards people who support political correctness. - Which is what you don’t do when asking for a “healthy conversation”
A video game is a compilation of different arts. Talking about the narrative, you do need proper studies to analyze -what you have- accurately and, of course, academically. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to “educate yourself on life” -however that could be accomplished- but you do have to know basics of life which you do get good at as you grow older, theoretically. This still does not necessarily mean that you could get a healthy conversation about video games, because a video game is not just the visual presentation. The storyline and/or the different types of unique presentations themselves, individually, does not represent the video game as a whole; because a video game is where artistic values and goal-driven reverse engineering fuses together to create a whole new level of narrative, not the idea of a particular piece. — In that regard, intersectional social studies could be a part of a narrative or could even become the basis of a narrative but cannot be the narrative itself, thus the narrative cannot be judged by such studies, technically. There’s absolutely no healthy example could be suggested to support such an argument, simply because no single study would be “enough” to even criticize the product’s narrative. However, social studies together could prove a number of points regarding the narrative; which is completely true. But in the end, they would require statistical arguments to prove their points, because social studies rely on these scientific reasearches.
Simply put, if there’s a discriminatory narrative in a particular product, social studies would have to analyze the effect of the product on average consumer, in order to have a saying on how harmful the product’s narrative.
However, there’s very little you can prove by studying out-of-games subjects just to study gaming related subjects. Because the nature of the argument changes quite dramatically. Of course, if you suggest that the harsh nature of narrative affects the non-related subject, such as behavioural changes on individuals caused by gaming narrative, then I would understand the problem lurking beneath the crack. — But such studies has proven the argument itself wrong in the past, so non-gaming related subjects such as discrimination is completely caused by real life influences and the primary source is, of course, the lack of family education and enviromental resistance the individual develops as they get older. It should be noted that I don’t suggest that the nature of the narrative in a particular product wouldn’t help the development of such behavioural problems, they simply cannot be the cause of the problem.
You are completely right about one thing, though; a healthy conversation requires educated arguments and even educated guesses. And this meta DOES work for gaming related subjects. However, where you fail is that the “educated observation” you demand is a huge rainbow and requires all kinds of perspectives and not just one narrative. — This includes the end-user angle, as much as the developer perspective. But both simply do not have to touch on social subjects while talking games.
Technically speaking, I could talk about a delusional, completely inaccurate pathfinding design all day long and that would be a damn video game discussion between me and whoever the unlucky person I may be discussing it with.
If you would like to talk about social studies, that would be out of gaming, unless you prove that games have a huge impact on behavioural changes and present studies regarding how discriminatory behaviour could be caused by games; also games cannot be discussed without social studies. — Because, well, that’s your point.
Until then, Games aren’t a part of Liberal Arts; “Liberal Arts” is a part of Games.