The average video gamer has been exposed to social justice warriors (SJWs) in many ways. SJWs seek to undermine traditional video game narratives and replace it with something different. For instance, there is a common video game narrative where the hero goes on a grand adventure to save a kidnapped princess. SJWs do not like the use of this narrative because it implies that women are weak and need to constantly be saved by men.
Instead, they would like the narrative to be changed to have a princess save a kidnapped man or have both the hero and the princess team up to take down an evil bad guy. With this change of narrative, SJWs feel like they have succeeded in promoting a sexism free narrative for both genders to enjoy. But why go through all of this trouble in the first place to change the narrative in a make believe video game? I argue there are three reasons why a social justice warrior would do this.
1. Critical Theory
It is important to understand that there is a reason why people do the things that they do on a daily basis. Someone might get out of bed because there would be bad consequences if they slept in (they might miss work and get fired). Staying in bed would ultimately lead to bad consequences in that persons life. For the social justice warrior, they get out of bed every morning in order to fight injustice and inequality in daily life. They are not charlatans. They truly believe that their work is making a positive impact on the world. Even if you disagree with SJWs, it is important to remember this fact.
SJWs use a neo-Marxist philosophical framework developed by the German Frankfurt School in order to push for social justice. Frankfurt philosophers used methods of Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud in order to develop Critical Theory. In simplest terms, Critical Theory states that ideology is the main obstacle that prevents human liberation. An ideology is a system of ideas and Ideals that form a basis for any theory of philosophy, economics, and other principles.
Knowingly or unknowingly, a social justice warrior uses this philosophical critical theory framework to criticize video games. They would argue that the ideology of the hero saving the princess is bad because it is sexist and this sexist view ultimately makes it difficult for women to achieve liberation. Their goal is to replace this harmful ideology with a more positive ideology of their choosing which will help more humans as a whole to be liberated.
Social justice warriors use critical theory as their sword in order to fight injustice and inequality in the world. They are right in a sense because there are historical examples of ideologies preventing humans from achieving liberation. For instance, there was an ideology in the past that it is right for people to own slaves. This ideology was terrible for people who were slaves and unfortunately slavery has been going on for most of human history. When the bad ideology of slavery was replaced with an ideology of everyone having freedom, the world became a better place because of it.
The problem when social justice warriors use critical theory to attack video games is that I do not think it is useful in fighting injustice when compared to the slavery case above. How does a “bad” ideology in a video game negatively affect people in everyday life? We already know that a violent video game does not make people in real life more violent. Also, violent movies do not make people in real life more violent. I believe most people use their common sense to see that a violent video game which might have an ideology SJWs don’t agree with is ultimately make believe.
People know that when they run someone over in Grand Theft Auto that it is wrong to do that to people in real life. People know that when they blow someone up with an RPG in Call of Duty that it is wrong to do that to someone in real life. I would argue these two actions are very bad ideologies that do not have any causational impact on the actions of someone in real life. Until social justice warriors prove through science that bad ideologies in video games cause people to do bad things in real life, then their quest in changing video games is ultimately pointless.
Social justice warriors passionately follow their mission which is to bring justice to the world. I argue that critical theory can be used to fight bad ideologies like slavery to help humans achieve liberation. But using critical theory to “fix” bad ideologies in video games is not so good because it is hard to prove that videos games directly cause people to perform bad actions in real life. It is not so clear that bad ideologies in video games need to be fixed over bad ideologies that exist in the real world.
One thing I would say about social justice warriors mission is that most of the time it consists of armchair activists on the internet. They sit in their comfy little chair and they might type up a blog post about an injustice going on in the world. They might go on a news site and leave comments about how a certain ideology is unjust. It is extremely difficult to make a massive societal change in the world by typing on a blog or leaving a comment on a website.
SJWs are really good at using social media to talk about injustice but I find that ultimately is just dissolves into armchair activism that doesn’t help change society. Instead they should go on strike, picket any unjust organization, and boycott products. I think this makes a measurable difference in the world and goes further than leaving a comment on the internet or trying to change bad ideologies in make believe video games.
Now that you got a glimpse into the mind of a social justice warrior gamer, what is your philosophy and mission?
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