Today, I kinda got into a fight? Sort of? Over an opinion I started to voice about videogames. On the front of it, I clearly shouldn’t have done it on twitter, so instead, here, as simply boiled down as I can, after the fold, so you can skip it.
The culture and values we see reflected in videogames is as much a reflection of our own values and culture.
I tend to rarely regard religious characters as inherently positive. If a character is shown as religious, and then throughout the story they show themselves to be a good person, that subverts my expectation. On the other hand, I have friends who are neutral to this idea, and there, it does not subvert. For some folks, they have a predisposed bias to see characters with religion as more positive, and then, that same narrative arc is reinforcing of their world view.
This extends to other things. Queerness and representation are pretty big issues in the conversation right now, and I feel that a lot of the time, what we think of as good is just a failure to reinforce bad things. I said it before, and I will say it again, Subtext Is Not Text. If a media form has subtext in it you can enjoy, or even put in it, then okay, sure – but please, rejoice in who made it. Know that you took a thing that did not necessarily want you and see how you improved it.
You deserve text. If people who only dealt in subtext start dealing in text, and the text they craft is awful, understand that that probably reflects the subtext they crafted was accidentally good. Chances are, you are why that work is good. You created, you extrapolated, and your values were put into those blank spaces. And that’s good. That’s part of why we shouldn’t be jumping on people who do like these works, because they are stealing joy from those who would spurn them.