SJWs & Meaningless Awards (And Games, And Titles)

Maybe it's just the people in my circles, maybe it's the people they have circled—probably a combination of both—but whining about "social justice" without actually doing anything seems to be a pretty popular trend on Google+ well, not nowadays, but for at least the past few months or so.

I've heard that it's even worse on Tumblr, but when I go to Twitter things drastically shift: contrary to the armchair-activist narrative of every single woman ever being oppressed by evil white men, there's no shortage of women, feminists, minorities, and sexualities that don't feel like they're victims in need of special privileges, play games, work on games, and/or support GamerGate.

Ironically, and perhaps hypocritically, I find that it's a handful of men—and sometimes women—telling everyone else what's globally best for women, minorities, and people of other sexualities and gender identities, while at the same time labeling any combination of the above that disagrees with them as deluded, misogynistic (internalized or otherwise), sexist, racist, idiotic, or whatever it takes to dismiss their argument because they have no way of refuting it.

Oh yeah: if you describe yourself as a feminist they'll just say that you aren't really a feminist (by their definition, anyway, which isn't surprising since they like to redefine words like sexism and misogyny as needed), and in some cases might go so far as to state that you don't even exist at all.

If there's anything positive about the pseudo-activist crowd it's that they're occasionally a source of hilarity, like when some of them were desperately trying to prove that half of all viking warriors were women despite the initial report not actually saying that.

These are the kind of "issues" that social justice whiners concoct in order to get their fingers riled up for a frenzy of clicking +1, Like, and Share, sometimes preceded by empty quotes like "This is important": apparently, regardless of the kind of professions and even games that men and women tend to enjoy, there must be an equal number across the board. Well, for the "good" jobs anyway: let the men get shot up over seas, and work in fast food and coal mines.

Less amusing is that this ideology is also infesting tabletop games. Case in point a while back I'd seen a blog post where a woman painted broad strokes about the alleged "barriers" that women face when trying to make it into the game industry, lamenting issues that ranged from having to deal with kids and not having money—because of course those are only problems for women—but also experience and confidence.

The article could be distilled down to a bunch of whining (along with a reference to the gender wage-gap myth and even "the movement that shall not be named"), with no proposed solution other than to pander to her so that she can get her name in a book with as little work as possible.

Unsurprisingly a few white knights jumped at the opportunity to help out this poor, oppressed, and most relevantly lazy woman: I'm sure there aren't other people out there that are much more passionate, qualified, and willing to work, but even if there are they're probably just men, and as we know all men always have it easier and better.

More recently saw a post on Google+, also by a woman, that won an award I've never heard of—and if you think most gamers have no clue what an ENnie is just imagine the fraction of a fraction that might have both heard and care about this one—for designing what I suppose amounts to a game that I'd also never heard of (I did eventually find it, and holy shit it's fucking horrible).

She starts out by gushing about her meaningless, participatory-grade award before going on to state that the reason she used to never think she could be a game designer, was because she didn't know any female game designers. I mean they obviously exist, and she even admits both near the beginning and end of her post that she is aware of that, but because she couldn't name any off the top of her head this somehow makes it is a problem to her.

The real problem is her claim, that representation matters, that if someone with matching genitals—and if not that, then skin color, sexual orientation, physical competence, finances, time, and so on would presumably be the next set of goalposts—hasn't already done what you want to do (or more accurately, if you can't name them off the top of your head), then what hope do you have? Frankly if that's the yardstick you use to determine whether you can do something, or should even try, then the real problems are merely your self-esteem and work ethic.

Unless all you care about is having your name in a book so you can feel good about yourself, the solution isn't to bitch and moan until some misguided individual that is marginally more successful than you throws you a bone, but rather actually put in some work and make something. Yes, it might suck, and it probably will the first few times, but so long as you can accept criticism, refine what you've created, and keep working then that's fine.

There likely are people like her that "write games", though they probably aren't well known because the games they make just aren't fun, or at least aren't as fun as other games out there that are about things like killing monsters and taking their shit. That's not a problem, but the business, which of course means that for her and the rest of the manufactured outrage brigade it is a problem: people outside of their ideological bubble don't like the things they want them to like.

Honestly no one is going to look at a game and write it off because a woman made it. Well, SJWs will if it doesn't match up with their criteria, which is essentially "being made by people they like".

Anywho, she eventually wraps things up by declaring herself a game designer by virtue of designing what I suppose technically counts as a game. Honestly, if this is how you have to appease your ego, to feel like you're pioneering something, then knock yourself out, but the reality is that the title is still meaningless, just like your game and award.

Not just for the majority of gamers, but even for you, as you yourself have fabricated just about the smallest possible hurdle to overcome in order to qualify for a title that you only care about because you consider it to be prestigious. It's like calling yourself a vet because you can identify why your pet is sick and you know how to treat it, or a Python programmer because you know how to write some basic code, or a mechanic because you can fix some issues with your car.


  1. You got to remember that some people just ain't happy unless they've got something to bitch about. I used to live in Portland Oregon. You know that show "Portlandia"? It's not a parody, it's a documentary. This is a place that manages at least two protests/demonstrations a week rain or shine- and it rains alot in Portland. And it's almost always something stupid. Stupid like protesting the Jewish "occupation" of Jerusalem- like protesting Israel's control of it's capital city halfway across the planet would do anything. Or protesting the defeat of a measure on the ballot. Yeah, they were protesting the democratic rejection of a law. It's only "true" democracy when they get their way. Or my favorite: the replacement of decorative manhole covers. I kid you not, this actually happened. At the end of the day you've got to look at this nonsense and remember what W.O.P.R. said, "Strange game. The only winning move is not to play."

    1. I lived in Portland for over ten years, and fuuuuck yes I agree. It's wall to wall hipsters, feminists, and vegans acting like they're better than everyone else, and the only reason they can't not work and be rich is because of "the man".

    2. sounds like they should rename it Twatsville

    3. Melissa and I moved from there about half a year ago, so go for it!

  2. Still so accurate...things only went downhill since this post. Unfortunately, the RPG community is being taken hostage by this kind of people.

    1. I'm sure. I never really kept up with this crap, and only tangentially heard about it when G+ was still around. I sometimes hear about the state of comics, which seems to also be tanking at roughly the same rate as RPGs.

      This doesn't bother me in the slightest, and I'm just going to keep doing my own thing and ignoring them.


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