One thing that amused me about yesterdays firestorm of argument was the assumption that I am wholly resistant to any form of change. The line of ill-reasoning goes something like this;

I don’t agree with your idea of needed change;
ergo, I must therefore be against all forms of change.

It is an intellectual jump usually reserved to those with a limited capacity at reasoning and an unstable emotional base with which to work from. The idea to these people that you do not agree with their “noble concept” is terribly insulting to them. Thus, they must jump to this conclusion to save themselves from further emotional pain. They cannot handle at all the creeping realisation that actually:

I have a very healthy attitude towards change, but in this case not to yours.

This is a double layer cake of insult to them. It is much easier for those unstable emotions flying around to take refuge in the belief that the opponent is just some hard-head who is against all forms of change, (as it makes it even easier still to immediately tar their opponent with the brush of bigotry, homophobia, misogyny, etc, accusations of which come forth immediately when they realise that someone is not in agreement with them). Being resistant to all change is obviously stupid. But reading my blog for any length of time and coming to the conclusion that I am resistant to all change is even more stupider still.

In regards to all the misconceptions and incorrect conclusions made in regards to my last two posts, I am not going to defend myself, nor clarify my thoughts. I did that once yesterday when I pointed out to a certain individual that his assumption that I am homophobic was completely incorrect. Did I receive some form of recognition that his public accusation was unfounded? No, I got insulted even further as regards to my writing ability. These people do not want to be reasoned with. They form their opinion and then they will fight at all costs to uphold it. They are not looking for a rational discussion. They are running on emotion. Trying to defend yourself with people like this is like trying to stamp out a grass fire; you think that you’ve finally got it under control and then it pops up somewhere else. But what I will do is spell out, once and for all, my stand on all of this:

I am all for the natural evolution of a game and a gaming genre. But I will strongly resist the idea of change for the sake of making change in order to appease any outside special interest groups, whatever the change or whomever the group may be.

I think that this covers it all quite nicely. Of course, I am not afraid at all of Blizzard bowing to any pressure groups in this way. They are not stupid. And a commentator yesterday asked me why I was bothering to make this stand, as apparently you can never win fighting against these types of people. My response is that to remain silent while these ideas are being put forth is to tacitly condone what is being said, and I will not do that. And above all else, a good poke of the wasps nest every now and then can surprise you with which wasps are actually raving emotional nut-jobs beneath their carefully constructed public persona.

The reaction to yesterdays post was fully expected. I was waiting to be called a misogynist, and it happened, (though to be honest I wasn’t expecting to being accused of being a rapist). It sure is an easy label to throw around. Kind of like if you mention that you happen to think that Israeli settlements are out of order then you immediately get labelled as an anti-semite, (queue all the comments hounding on me about comparing hating women to hating jews). One part of my post was seized upon and taken as the crux of my argument when in reality it was merely a somewhat ironic observation. Because of this it was assumed that I am some sort of sexual drop-kick who has spent the last twenty years of his life gnashing his teeth over the failure of hawt chicks in high school to give him the time of day whilst being unable to hold down a job and thus craves the opportunity to use this against the wymens of the world.

Ironic when you think about it, no? Got to love me some stereotyping.

Perhaps not. People latch onto any part of an argument that will give them ammunition, even if it means ignoring the actual facts that had been put forward.

WoW is part of an imaginary fantasy world which we use as an escape. Attempting to impose real-world issues and conditions on an imaginary world goes a long way to missing the entire point. As a male do I get all self-conscious and insecure because male figures in WoW are of a grotesquely muscular bent and in the real world I am not? Does my pysche suffer due to the fact that most of the baddies in the imaginary world are male, and thus I must jump to the conclusion that all males must inherently be evil and bad? Am I walking around counting how many times I see something that is of a male demographic and comparing it to how many female examples I can find?

It doesn’t even fucking register.

And what right would I have to try and change the game for other players purely based on my own personal set of issues? (If you take what people commented on yesterdays post then apparently I would want to have women thrown out of the game entirely apart from the few that we could string up in the town square for a good round of rape). Trying to impose real world conditions, and attempting to find role models in an online fantasy video game takes self-importance and ego driven delusion to what I thought were unscaleable heights. Which is fine, if that is your own fucked up reality. But attempting to influence the game that I play and change it to suit your own agenda of political correctness is somewhat insulting. Accusing me of being a mysognist for taking a stand against it is a cheap shot and a sign of moral cowardice.

My idea of a fantasy world is not restricted to some scantilly clad female crouched at the feet of a leering barbarian king, (although I’ll never pass that up). But as soon as you step upon the path of imposing real world conditions on a fantasy world, then you may as well chuck the whole thing in the bin and start again. I mean, where would it stop? Where would the line be drawn? I’ve seen feminists trying to decide on a common issue, and it isn’t very pretty. Not to mention we may as well let the gay community voice their displeasure at not being represented and thus this setting a bad example for the little kiddies out there. Why don’t we let religious groups in? And then athiests and anti-thiests just to even the score. Oh and we can’t leave out those pathetic fence-sitting agonstics as well. If you include one, if you bow to one pressure group to get an element of the game changed to reflect a real world issue then you must accept all of them.

Does that all seem ridiculous? Of course it does, which is my point. There is no room in the game for this nonsense. There is no “under-representation” in WoW because that is not the point of the game. Why are you coming to play a fantasy sword and sorcery game to get real world representation? And more to the point, why are you trying to impose that on me?

There has been a great deal of discussion lately about feminism in WoW and the prevelant sexism and prejudice, which then shifted onto the Men. About all that was come up with in the ongoing discussion was the fact that the human male avatars in WoW seem a tad unrealistic, (as in they are all muscly and their head is smaller than their neck and who ever heard of a muscle-bound mage or priest?). At the end of the day though I find that a discussion on why there is sexism in WoW is like having a discussion on why there happen to be fish in the sea.

I am going to try and cast my mind back to when I was in high school. This is a long cast-back by the way. I am now going to attempt to imagine my group of male friends and peers at the time. So far so good. Now I am going to try and imagine what it would have been like if we had had access to WoW and a social communication network with actual females where they didn’t know who we were and we could say whatever we liked without fear of repercussion …

It wouldn’t have been pretty, and there would have been a lot of gossiping and joking in the school-yard the following day. I also fail to see how we would have got any homework done at all. The point is that this game is full of teenage boys with no social repercussions for their in-game behavior. What is there to work out here? It’s going to be a free for all. It is a free for all. This doesn’t excuse it, but you are trying to swim against the tide if you think that you are going to change this.

There is one interesting point here though. When I was at school, video-games, (as well as RPG games like Dungeons & Dragons), were this young adolescent male’s only escape from the horrible realisation that I was a social leper and that I sucked around girls. Looking back, I don’t even think that I would have wanted girls to be included in this activity. It was the only place where I could really relax and be myself without having to worry about whether or not I was saying or doing the wrong thing.

As far as looking in-game for healthy representations of maleness or femaleness, I really don’t know what to say. If you’re looking for this sort of stuff in your life in a fantasy role-playing game then you’re pretty fucking deluded. I mean, have you ever watched Conan the Barbarian? This is what it’s all based on. The caveman dragging the female back to his cave by her hair. This is escapism, pure and simple. The fact that it is so far from reality should indicate that it is not in any way a representation of reality, nor is it meant to be. It is what a fantasy video game has always been as well as the whole fantasy genre; big guys with swords killing each other at an alarming rate with semi-naked females scattered around for your viewing pleasure. That is the demographic, right there. If you are a girl, and you choose to play in it, then great. I’m very happy for you and I hope you have fun. But don’t start crowing about femisnism and sexism and any other ism that gets your knickers in a knot. When I was at school I was openly made fun of by the girls for playing these games. Now twenty years later girls are getting worked up about the fact that those same games don’t have enough female representation in them? Give me a fucking break.