Gaming Question for anyone who is not a straight white male. Aug 30, 2015 9:40:12 GMT -8
Post by bevinflannery on Aug 30, 2015 9:40:12 GMT -8
Aug 29, 2015 21:42:21 GMT -8 @stevensw said:Qualifiers matter. If you ask people from Finnland their opinion on a game to be produced in Finnish that will be a released primarily in Finnland, then no one cares. If you are 5th Ed D&D then the rest of the world wants to know why they as the bigger chunk of the RPG audience has been asked to kindly fuck off. Why? Because you weren't standing on a Finnish street asking people in Finnish, you were in Times Square.
If I were standing in Times Square wanting to know how to get tourists to come to my restaurant on West 46th, I'm not going to focus on seeking the opinions of native Manhattanites, especially not if I've already heard from or know where to find places where the native Manhattanites have expressed their opinions at length.
Imagine a world where a product is sold to people of all kinds of different backgrounds. The purveyor is trying to figure out how to market that product in order to appeal to people from all kinds of different backgrounds with all kinds of different viewpoints and all kinds of different values and all kinds of different things they find appealing and all kinds of different things they find off-putting.
For one particular demographic group, there is already tons of information about what they -- as an average, though certainly not every single member of that demographic group -- find appealing or off-putting. If you want to get a sense about what members of that particular demographic group thinks, you can open up any number of other threads on this very forum, or in numerous other forums.
But the purveyor would like to figure out how to increase his/her odds of making the product appealing to people who fall into other demographic groups. So s/he asks, "Hey, is anyone here female/not-white/not heterosexual? I'd like to hear your opinion." Sure, it's not a scientific survey and isn't going to result in statistically valid sampling. But asking for input from members of those other demographic groups is not, simply by the act of asking, a declaration against the one demographic group whose interests/disinterests is largely already known.
And it just strikes me as odd and nonsensical to read the question that way. Because to read it that way screams of self-absorption. The opinion of straight white men doesn't meet the needs of the person posing the question -- they're looking for input from someone who falls outside at least one of those three parameters (non-straight white men, or straight white women, or lesbian Hispanics, or straight Hispanic men/women, or whatever). That doesn't mean they devalue the opinion of straight white men -- it's just not input that serves their particular purpose at this particular time. It isn't a value judgment about a straight white man as a person, or about their opinions or their outlook or the benefit of having them open their wallets to buy the product. It just means there are other people the purveyor of the product would like to sell to, too, and in doing so they want to know what those other people think. Asking those other people to speak up is not the equivalent of telling straight white men to shut up.
This form is a community of gamers, not a group of minority gamers.
Oh, well then. I missed the guidelines that said we all need to pretend we are one and the same, and asking any question that presumes one might have different viewpoints influenced by whether you are a member of one or more minority groups (racial, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, economic background, etc.) might hurt the sensitive feelings of those who fall within the majority demographic of this community. I'll just shut up and pretend to have a penis and just "me too!" when the spirit moves me.
Nothing wrong with that, just is. Imagine someone came to your door from a political group and asked you if you were (insert minority you are not part of here), and then when you said no they left. Now you might be thinking, "hooray! Political people suck." You might also be thinking, "um, I vote too? Am I not good enough for your movement?" Ostensibly as a person who cares about politics (as an analog for RPG's) you would be bothered by this.
Bullshit. If someone were to come to my door and ask me "Are you Jewish?" because they want to know how people from a Jewish religious or cultural background will react to a political candidate taking a particular stance on a particular issue, and I told them, "Sorry, no, I'm a lapsed Freewill Baptist raised in Eastern Kentucky and am now an atheist lawyer living in a mid-Atlantic metropolitan area" and they say, "Thanks, but we already know how that group will vote because we've already spoken with/heard from 6 gazillion other people just like you" and then go on their way, it wouldn't bother me one whit. They're just not looking to know my opinion right now -- I'm not going to get my nose out of joint about it. (I might wonder where the fuck they found all those other atheist hillbilly lawyers because I'd like to invite them over for a barbecue.)
If you've got something to say about what you think people who aren't straight white males would answer these questions:
How does the presentation of a game (be it layout, art, fiction, rules explanation, etc.) effect your interest in that game? What can publishers do or not do to diversify appeal in RPG products? What are some examples of products that appeal to you and why do they?
then have at it. But you haven't. As I've read it, you're bent out of shape because the questions aren't phrased in a way that shows appropriate (however that is defined) deference to and recognition of the over-riding importance of the opinion of the straight white male, and you've done it in a way that seems to say everyone should just accept the fact that this community is "of gamers" who are one big indistinguishable block of people for whom the straight white male is, by default, capable of speaking decisively for every single member of that community. Sure, the odds are most of the members of this community fall comfortably within that demographic as they define their own identities.
But not everyone does -- and asking for the opinions of people who fall outside that demographic is not a big "fuck you" to the majority members of that sausage-fest. (Mmmm, sausage.) On the other hand, saying the question shouldn't be asked at all, because the asking is somehow insulting to the straight white male, does sound like a big "fuck you" to those who aren't straight white males. It sounds a hell of a lot like "know your place and don't expect to be asked what you think" with a dollop of "I need to pretend we're all homogenous and like-minded, it makes me uncomfortable to consider the possibility people are either unlike me in some way, or that their differences somehow influence their opinions" and a flavoring of "I need to all act as if we are the same -- more specifically, just like me -- in order to have fun around here."
As for myself, having failed to actually respond to the questions, I'll just say Forresst pretty much covered it for me in the initial response to the questions. But if you want me to find a straight white male to select as a spokesman for me, then I guess SirGuido (who insists he is curvy, bow chicka wow wow, waggling of eyebrows and making an hourglass drawing with my hands in the air) could get a "me too!" from me, along with a hubba hubba and a wolf whistle, and a "Hey, baby, how you doin'?"