Oh, Eldath. The degree to which you "just don't get it" on this issue is staggering. I have a lot of arguments jumping around in my head right now, but really I am not the person best qualified to make them. I hope that the original poster comes back to the thread and drops some education on this joint.

See, I grew up in a world where practically every person represented (ESPECIALLY the "good guys") in any form of media, folklore, fiction, legendry (possibly that's not a word, also possibly it means the same thing as 'folklore', but I'm including it anyway), and art looked basically just like me and my parents. As our worldviews, perspectives, and personalities are mostly NOT created by us consciously out of thin air, but instead are SHAPED by billions of tiny, accumulative influences throughout our lives (especially our childhood), seeing and hearing about "all white people, all the time" guided me into certain ideas. It did this quite invisibly, making it seem to my brain like everything I thought about the world was just "common sense" or "obvious", and not a particular narrow perspective based almost entirely on all of these specific influences during my childhood. So, to me, growing up in that world, it just "made sense" that everything related to whiteness was "normal", that it was the default, that it wasn't one of a myriad of equally important varieties of humanity and culture, but simply the baseline standard to which all other, more "exotic" forms and ideas are compared against as being the "different" thing. The Other thing.

This is part of what is meant when people talk about "white privilege", which is not a topic I am expert on so I won't go into it other than to say that I definitely have it, and I definitely didn't KNOW I had it for a good long portion of my life. But for me it was the privilege of seeing myself and my family represented everywhere, all the time, and painted as the heroes, the visionaries, the builders, the geniuses, the trailblazers, the leaders, and the just plain NORMAL people. So I never had to feel like an Other. I never had to feel like I wasn't valuable to my society. I never had to feel the sting of people actively hating me or discriminating against me or making crude stereotyping jokes at my expense, just because of the genetic variety of human that I happened to (through no doing of my own) be born as.

I never had to worry about whether or not the cops were going to just shoot me for no reason.

Because I was the default. I was normal. I was the standard by which everything ELSE was measured.

Whenever people of color, or people of any other marginalized group ask for more representation, it's not just about them "feeling better about themselves", or being "shallow", or whatever other out-of-touch tripe was expressed upthread. It's also, among many other things, about the world we ALL live in, and how it influences everyone, how it shapes every child's mind into the kind of adults they will become. And how it CONTINUES to mold us, guide us, infectiously mutate our worldview on an ongoing, relentless basis. You may think you're just personally manufacturing all of your own ideas from whole cloth, but I promise you that you are not. None of us are. And so things like representation do have a very real effect on how everyone sees the world, and their fellow human beings. If you have a world in which whiteness and all things associated with it remain the default, remain the definition of "normal", and everything else is Other, then it is INEVITABLE that racism, prejudice, discrimination, and yes, even the murder of black people by the police will be present.

And as much as I can sit here and type words about all of this, the fact is I can't ever REALLY understand. Because I haven't had to live in that "Other" world. So I don't even know what it feels like, beyond what I've heard from people about their lives. But we don't have to share someone's experiences to have sympathy for their pains.

So maybe, just MAYBE, when someone who has faced struggles you know nothing of kindly asks (or even if they ask UN-kindly) for a few minor changes to the way that our culture continues to be formed, asks for such a tiny thing as to be able to see THEIR kind of people in video games more, the usual suspects might consider sitting this one out before they immediately jump in and start disagreeing or making tangential arguments that distract from the actual point. Leave that "actually, I think that ALL lives matter" flavor of statement (not that anyone here is talking about that, but it's cut from the same cloth) where they belong: in the silent vault of your own mind.

This isn't just to Eldath, by the way. It's to everyone who pops up every time one of these threads appears, either derailing or fighting to protect their version of "normal".

Last edited by Firesnakearies; 04/12/20 01:00 PM.