UPDATE 2 (11/23/2016): Further developments here. There is hope.
UPDATE 3 (11/23/2016): Here’s the controversy from a perspective I had not thought of. It’s a pretty interesting article.
I was scrolling through a Facebook feed when I came across some curious news. Apparently, a Conan board game is in the works, much to the joy of many a Conan fan. It had raised millions of dollars on Kickstarter, and the people in charge of the game put that windfall to work, making the best game they could. Judging from the art, it looks like it’ll be a fun game, worthy of the fans’ admiration and support.
But we live in 2016. And in 2016, that kind of thing just isn’t allowed.
A pair of articles have come out bashing the game as “sexist” for having damsels in distress, too few playable females, and females in scanty clothes instead of some perfect gender-balanced mix more palatable to them.
The goal of these feminists is clear: attack the creators’ character to force them to change the product. To the feminist mind, all big-ticket gaming products must be in line with feminist ideology, or whoever created them will be tarred as dangerous bigots whether or not they engage in bigotry.
The feminists’ defenders state that damsels in distress and scanty clothing must be banned because it’s “just like racism.” That is a self-serving nonsense claim — it is claimed that historical accuracy is racism, or white main characters are racism, or nonwhite villains are racism. Today’s far-left uses intersectionality theory, privilege theory, and microaggression theory to determine what is “racist” and/or “sexist,” and they have made it clear that racism and sexism are whatever they say it is — and if you disagree, you’re a bigot to them, a moral reprobate not worthy of even casual courtesy.
Look carefully at what is going on here. The feminists are declaring that damsels may no longer be portrayed. That no woman may be shown in a sexually alluring light. That all games must hew close to 21st-century Bay Area progressive thinking or you’re Satan Hitler from the Ku Klux Taliban. We’ve seen this thinking wreak havoc in the video game industry, where pro-censorship bloggers intimidate venerable, well-funded video game and comic book companies into altering content. Seeing as the Social Justice crowd has a death grip on the convention scene, they can bring a lot of pressure to bear on any creator that fails to obey the commands of the Volunteer Thought Police.
And when this sort of thing happens, Social Justice usually gets what it wants.
Bullying like this is one reason I do the Appendix N Review Series. The Social Justice crowd wants to impugn all work done before their time as hateful books not worth reading and not worth being inspired by. They want readers to hear of those old works and pass them by because they heard those books were bigoted. I say read them for yourself.
All creators should have maximum liberty to make their work, not tiptoe in fear of character assassination.