For those who don’t know much about it, there is a big movement inside many popular culture fandoms about the “problematic” nature of those hobbies. I say big not because they are backed by a multitude, but because they make a lot of noise, the mainstream media panders to them from time to time, and they use the arguments of moral preachers; something which always makes everything look bigger than it really is. In fact, I’m not even sure “inside” would be the correct adverb since many of those movements seem to come from the outside.
A prototypical example would be someone writing a furious article about the lack of women, minorities, transsexuals or whatever in, for example, a video game, or a fictional universe (from Sherlock Holmes to The Lord of The Rings, it doesn’t matter). It should be noted that the tone is always one of moral condemnation. The defining characteristic of these people and their articles is their inability to differentiate aesthetic or stylistic choices from moral transgressions. And those moral transgressions have to be resolved to heal the “damage” done (lack of women in a military shooter, for example,) but that does not really improve the product, it merely “normalizes” it (it doesn’t even make it good, it may still be shit.) This is why these people never look happy or write in a happy tone, because all they see around them is a landscape of mutilated and problematic products. The world is sick, even if it’s a fictional made-up bullshit world, and they are the healers.
While older generations sent letters to the creators and designers of such games, telling them how cool it would be if their already “awesome game” had a few “kick-ass ladies,” contemporary generations write with the mindset of someone who’s ego has been hurt, and demand a correction of what they perceive as a moral transgression. This sad writing on an already sad web page (Mary Sue) is a perfect example.
Note the language being used. The state of affairs is described as being “terrible”, he says that it is difficult to love the game because of those issues (“I do try to love this game, remember?”), and if I didn’t know better, one would think he is talking about something with serious world consequences:
“but it’s only when one examines the gender representation of the other groups that we start to realize how bad this issue really is.”
(He is talking about fictional races, like space elves, robots, demons, and whatnot.)
“Bad, terrible, problematic, issue” and then there is the language of someone who seems to be grieving for the death of a loved one (probably his inner child) or pondering about some existential issue. Then there is his colossal arrogance, and not just because the author describes himself as someone with a “God complex” and on his twitter he says he is “an incurable narcissist with a lot of free time”. No, it’s the assumption that these “problems” are moral ones that he can forgive:
“I can forgive a lot of Games Workshop’s problems with female inclusion. I can forgive […] I can forgive […] I can even forgive […] What I cannot forgive, much less understand, is why GW allows one of their best and most unique armies to languish without any support.”
That’s a funny thing to say because previously he had explained why this happens (because it does not sell very well.) In the end, the whole article is a childish rant about why his favourite army in a fictional universe is too expensive and why that matters for feminism and women representation.
Besides, the author misses the whole point of WH40K. It was a chaotic experiment from the counter-culture of the 80s, and although it has lost a lot from those days, it was, above everything else, a satire and a (dark)humorous fictional universe. There is something very ridiculous and sad about someone asking for more inclusivity and minority representation in what is, in fact, a dystopian future 5 seconds before total apocalypse (“yeah, sure, billions are sacrificed in tyrannical wars for a bureaucratic empire that makes the Soviet Union look enlightened, but we should add a few feminist-friendly characters. Priorities, and all that”). It reminds me of that hilarious video from The Onion about the ruthless female dictator:
There is a common misconception about these individuals who, sometimes, are pejoratively described as “social justice warriors.” The assumption, implicitly accepted even by some of their opponents, is that these people are “the mature ones.”
Not really, SJWs suffer from arrested development, and many of them would score high in a narcissistic personality disorder test. They are the progressive (or regressive) -and way more annoying- version of a nerd who obsesses about the philosophical implications of The Force, or why superheroes would be a problem if they existed (no shit, really?)
They are man(woman)-children who refuse to grow up and have problems differentiating entertainment from the real world, but how do they signal maturity? By inserting real-world problems in fictional worlds. That means they can feel and project an image of social consciousness without actually having to do anything worthwhile or leaving their safe spaces. Games are a safe space for children, so they poison it with their narcissism and proclaim to everyone that is watching them that they are helping the hobby, that they are improving it. And, like all narcissists, they project and can’t distinguish between a difference of opinion, stylistic choice, creative freedom, and moral transgressions. Personal issues (like “awww, this army is too expensive!”) are described in moralistic terms, and nothing is proved, it’s just affirmed with the certainty of a religious preacher.
As I described in another post, there has been a cultural shift in popular culture and entertainment, and the biggest victim has been the death of childhood and adventure. Of fun, in fact. Observe not only what these individuals say, but what they don’t. What isn’t in their books, articles, and videos, but should be? Kids. What we are seeing is the sad spectacle of 20-30s adults with arrested development and narcissism trashing the hobbies of young kids and teenagers (and adults, too.) It’s like a 30-year-old man talking about the problematic issue of animal slavery in Pokemon.