Another rant about the issues I have with social justice in the gaming industry.
|Inclusiveness and equality are good things. While they can pave the way for new ideas, content and perspectives, they also get in the way of them too. Whenever I see a game developer tip-toe around his/her vision and alter the content to not get a large backlash from current media, I am truly saddened. I have seen games pulled from shelves, or even withheld from seeing sales in the United States because of these issues. Most commonly, gamers have responded to censorship saying that it is because of social justice. Things like, "this woman is too skinny" "this woman is dressed too skimpy" "there are not enough minority lead characters" "there are not enough gay/lesbian/bi characters" etc. affect how some people can see a game. The thing is, a content creator has every right to create what he/she wants, as does every consumer has a right to choose to purchase anything they want.
I recently purchased Overwatch, and I think it is a great game. It is a fun first person shooter with objective based gameplay and a diverse cast of characters and playstyles. However, I do not like some of the things about the game. I wish there were more maps to play on. I wished there was a story mode, I wished Bastion would get a nerf... but that is a rant for another day. The point is, I went in knowing these things and made the purchase anyway because I saw the game for what it was, and thought it was a good match for me. I have made purchases where the game was absolutely not right for me like the 007 remake for the Wii. Do I regret buying it? Yes. However, I am not going to petition to alter the game based on my personal tastes.
One thing to note; When a developer or team makes a game, they typically have a target audience in mind. The real audience may include others, but is generally directed toward a subset of individuals with specific tastes/interests. Much like how My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic was aimed at young girls, it also gained a mass following of young adult men. Now there is nothing wrong with a new demographic of fans enjoying content for what it is. The creators of the show did not cater to the growing audience of its new male followers, but kept it aimed at their target audience. Why is this such an important thing to note? Take most content aimed at young adult males. Left and right, content is altered or censored to fit a demographic of female gamers entering the marketplace. Take for example Summer Lesson. This was a game directed towards young adult males, and was envisioned as a VR game with (what seemed to me like) dating sim elements and featured an attractive young girl to talk to and build a relationship with. However, japanese developers wanted to not create a western release due to inevitable negative backlash and one-sided criticisms from radical Social Justice Warriors.
Now I am in no way saying women cannot enjoy a game that features sexual content involving girls. If a girl wants to play Dead or Alive Extreme Beach Volleyball 3, by all means! Much like how any straight dude who feels like watching Magic Mike can choose to do, if they feel uncomfortable at any time, they should realize the game was not targeted for them! As a guy, if I went into the women's hygiene section in a store and was outraged at the lack of male representation on tampons, I would seem ridiculous. The thing is, although they are target at women, and MADE for women... men can still buy them. Much like how guys aren't restricted from My Little Pony or girls aren't restricted from getting something that modern media would consider nothing more than a jiggle simulator. The bottom line is that while everyone has the right to critique, no one should force a creative entity to censor itself or change because of inclusiveness.
In my opinion, if there is a great desire for more homosexual characters, more "x" leads etc. then content creators will make it. People will request and commission others to make it. The same thing applies to non-sexualized games as well. When Rare was bought by Microsoft and released Banjo Kazooie Nuts and Bolts, people complained it wasn't what they wanted. Microsoft, didn't care and did not change the game or release another Banjo Kazooie game that the public wanted. However, since the need for the old Banjo games was great enough, members of Rare formed another company and made a new IP in the style and direction of the old game everyone wanted. They have funded almost 12 times what they wanted to make this game a reality, and now Yooka-Laylee is scheduled for release in 2017. Apply this line of thinking to content that Social Justice Warriors want. If they want a specific character, start off requesting or commissioning. If it gets a big enough of a following, it may be funded into its own content one day... but do not try to change the games that the creators want to make. If a developer wants to make a game that is all about sexy girls bouncing on a beach, cool. If you like it, buy it. If you don't like it, don't buy it. If a game revolves around two gay men's relationship and involves sexual themes, cool. If you like it, buy it. If you don't, then don't buy it!
As a side note, I think it is funny that SJWs want games to explore sexuality, while at the same time restrict the sexuality of straight men...
[This piece is a work-in-progress and will be edited and content added later]