Thursday, December 1, 2011

...And you know I think that's adorable...

And over at Kotaku, some interesting set-fail.

The topic is on feminism and stereotypes and patriarchy and oppression, et cetera, so I won't be discussing the rightness or wrongness of any of the underlying viewpoints involved. That way lies the void. The comment thread on that article is exactly what you'd expect: an unreadable pissing match between the offended, the offended that others are offended, and the offended that others are offended that others are offended.

In the specific, there's just one little tangential detail that struck me as interesting:

Critic Tom Bissell:
"If you have no idea what the Elder Scrolls franchise is, you are probably either (a) an adult woman, or (b) the sort of person who once beat up the sort of person who likes the Elder Scrolls franchise...

Aggrieved Facebook commenter Jessica Price:
Between this and the NYT "Game of Thrones is for boys" article, I'm curious as to what, as an adult woman, I *am* allowed to like.

Facetious conflation of trends with permission aside, there's an odd bit of misinterpretation here: the critic didn't say the set of "adult women" doesn't know what Skyrim is. He said the set of "people who don't know what Skyrim is" is made up mostly of adult women and let's-call-them-jocks. His "joke" didn't carry any particular claim about what Ms. Price or any woman thinks about the game; it's consistent with a hypothetical world in which four people haven't heard of it--two adult women and two jocks.

I wouldn't bet that's what the critic meant to say; given the quality of the joke, I doubt much thought went into it at all. I just similarly doubt much thought goes into the majority of righteous identity-indignation.

[Full disclosure: I am an adult man who's seen about 90% of the episodes of all Star Trek series and plays tabletop RPGs now and then, and until last week I had only the vaguest idea what the Elder Scrolls series was. I probably would have guessed it was an MMO. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.]

1 comment:

  1. What's an Elder Scrolls?

    And what does it have to do with that mixed/multiple martial arts thing?