Sunday, September 27, 2015

Comment in response to Blunty's video, "Fat White Hetero Man VS LGBT Video Game Characters - RANT"

I have a bad tendency to write whole articles when I'm replying to comments so I figured that I'd put this habit to good use and post up these kinds of responses on the blog for you all to muse over as well if you find it up your alley. This comment was in response to Blunty, YouTuber that I follow who made a video in response to ReviewTechUSA, another YouTuber I follow, on the circumstances behind Ubisoft's decision to include an LGBT character in the game. Here are links to both their videos and embedded videos for those who wish to watch from right here. It is advised you watch Rich's (ReviewTechUSA) video first by Blunty in their video so I'm placing them in that order.

ReviewTechUSA: What Is The Point Of A Transgender Character In Assassin's Creed Syndicate?

Blunty: Fat White Hetero Man VS LGBT Video Game Characters - RANT

My Comment:

Your argument against Rich's point is fair, and while I can't speak on their behalf, I can posit an addition to his argument that places it in line with my own stance on the matter.

Rich's point was that it's alright for LGBT characters to be included in games and media if there's a reason. You oppose their argument by saying there shouldn't have to be a good reason for the inclusion of LGBT characters in the game. In a respect, you're of the right spirit, but you've kind of missed a point of logic: the reason for inclusion doesn't have to be good. There just has to be a reason. Believe it or not, this makes a very big difference in how you interpret this and other scenarios.

In this specific case, the story goes that the developers at Ubisoft had nearly finished a script and were told it didn't come to par due to a lack diversity. From a business stance, there's no point to even discussing this as the developers and publisher are making their choice and all we should take from this is that someone who wanted diversity made an impact on the choice. That's it. That's the story and in a better world, that would be the end of it. To me, that was the end of it.

However, Rich's commentary on the article inserts the idea that politically correct ideas shouldn't be "shoehorned" in and that they found this to be toxic to the creative community. In this case, he's using this scenario and extrapolating that perhaps the writer didn't want to include LGBT characters and had their creative hand forced for the sake of political correctness. We do not know if this is the case so it's a bit of a leap for Rich to make this statement, but he does use his perception of the situation, biased as it may be, to attempt to voice a concern for artists being limited by the current societal condition of people being quick to lose their wits over situations that perhaps could do with a bit more thinking on the circumstances. I understand Rich's concerns and agree with them, though I feel he could have voiced them a bit better. For reference, here's my case.

I'm a Hispanic individual who was born in America and tend to trend on the artistic side of things. I grew up watching cartoons and anime, playing Nintendo games, and in a scholastic environment filled to the brim with ethnic diversity. As a younger adult, I draw, I 3d model, I make YouTube videos, and in a few months, I maybe able to add make games to the list of my extracurricular creative endeavors.

Whenever I hear of this debate, one of the subjects I don't hear broached upon is that of the actual disposition and preference of the creatives developing the item at hand. I tend to create works in an anime and cartoon styling because the media I latched on to in life has trended in that direction. If some asks were to approach me and tell me that "you should draw in a realistic manner because I don't like anime" or "You have to include more LGBT characters in your work because it isn't diverse enough", I'd find it rude. Why? Because both these scenarios are undermining my creative disposition, myself, by declaring that my output has to conform to a standard that is viewed by the public to be moral and or palatable. In that, the crowd is arguing that my expression doesn't belong just as much as they're saying that the crowd expression should belong. Is that not hypocritical?

There is an argument here to be had, but I find that it is being directed poorly on both sides. The angle your leaning on is better suited for a political arena, where the act of discriminating is a genuinely harmful affair. Fight for gay marriage rights. Fight to better accommodate transgender people in our society. Rich's and my angles, however, are better suited for a peer to peer, CULTURAL standpoint. The civil rights movement happened, but did that "fix" racism? No. The separation of church and state is a thing, but will that stop people from closing bridges and limiting public functions when the Pope come's by? No. Gay marriage has been federally legalized in the US, but that isn't getting rid of homophobia. One of the biggest problems I find with society today is that we often fail to create a proper division between societal norms and the law. The law is meant to be mostly objective, mostly moral, and a proper amalgamation of the populace's beliefs. Art and culture, or NOT those things. Art is subjective, it's free and it's ethereal. Culture is something that's decided upon so much as that comes up on it's own. Anime trends towards having very white characters and low diversity because Japan is a nation with little ethnic diversity and that has an impact on it's creatives. It's sad, but it's likely that America's own disposition of this nature is a product of wealth inequality across races throughout it's history. Most wealthy people in American history have been white and art is a trade often limited to those who have the financial liberty to be able to explore a less practical field, which has been white people throughout most of American history. That history isn't being erased over night and it's going to be a long time before the image of "white beauty" get's "cleansed" from society. I'm not white, but I can't help finding White and Asian stylized cultural affects attractive. It's what I was exposed to and it's what I latched on to.

I don't mean to say your stance is wrong so much as that I feel that it's ignoring the possibility that the "reason" or ""good" reason" at hand could just as well be "because the devs felt like it" or that "the devs didn't care and just did what they liked". We can voice that we want more diversity in our content, but that's just about all we have a right to. We have a right to voice our opinions, but so do the devs and their content is the expression of that. To deny their expression is to deny them their work and their selves. I think the better option is to instead act as patrons to work that do feature diversity and to just make the industry more diverse than it is. Japan isn't likely to make diverse character'd games since their culture and society isn't diverse to begin with. America isn't likely to do so either unless we get more diverse people into the industry to begin with. How's about we have a look at the content produced by other cultures if we want diversity as well. I'm certain that there are plenty of aspiring developers in other nations like Brazil, South Africa, Egypt, and India that wouldn't be as immediately inclined towards creating content that strays towards the white male dominated works we make. The road of societal equilibrium is a long and hard one, and if we want it to work out well, all we can do is to speak with our wallets. I find that speaking with our mouths on the internet in these matters has a bad tendency to stray towards hurting someone's feelings one way or another.

Great video keep up the good work. :)

No comments:

Post a Comment