Anorak News | The ‘Guardian Class’ Want Video Games Rated For Sexism

The ‘Guardian Class’ Want Video Games Rated For Sexism

by | 20th, November 2014

In light of “Gamergate”, Sweden’s “government-funded innovation agency” Vinnova are looking at rating video games by their “sexist” content.
The Local catches up with one Vinnova “manager” who “said it was unclear at this stage if all video games produced in Sweden would be given a label, or if companies developing games that promoted equality would be given some kind of certification to use for their own marketing purposes… Video games can help us to create more diverse workplaces and can even change the way we think about things.”
Job done. We think you’re an idiot who treats people who play video games as fools. These people who play video games will not grow up believing all women are sexually available 2D bimbos. Just as the elite tell us that football fans’ speech must be controlled lest they race riot, gamers do not need re-educating.
Every aspect of our lives is being politicised. Unwinding with a video game is now a moral issue. Escapism is not allowed. Where once the fearful right condemend video nasties, acid house and comic books, the authoritarian left is now commanding:

Similar to the old right, the new cultural warriors argue that games promote violence and reinforce so-called rape culture. Arguments that games perpetuate sexism and racism are also fairly common. Instead of being seen as mere escapism, the tastes of modern gamers are portrayed as dangerous and subversive, a threat to right-on values. Gamers ought to be feared and shunned. In this remarkable video, a cultural warrior goes on a tirade against mainstream gamers, culminating in the destruction of a copy of the controversial video-game Grand Theft Auto V before a cheering crowd. The misanthropic disgust with ordinary gamers is palpable.

Here’s a thought experiment: What if he were talking about novels and poetry instead? Or opera, ballet, and fine-art painting? Or even Sweden’s own August Strindberg, who believed that “Woman…is useful only as an ovary and womb?”. You know, the classy sorts of stuff that we educated types consume with our critical faculties rather than the junk culture that the masses gobble down like the Chocolate Wonderfall at Golden Corral?

My guess is that most people—with the exception of the touchy undergrads at my alma mater Rutgers calling for “trigger warnings” before reading The Great Gatsby—would run screaming from the idea of a “government-funded innovation agency” goading writers, composers, and poets into using their art to help “create more diverse workplaces.”

Yet when it comes to pop culture, especially lucrative low-brow fare like video games, there remains a much-higher tolerance for censorship, ratings, and other means of restricting or improving “dangerous” forms of expression. In her excellent 2002 book Is Art Good for Us?, communications professor Joli Jensen explains some of the reasons for this. She argues that in most societies, a “guardian class” of political and social leaders assumes what she calls “an instrumental view” of culture. In this understanding, art is like a medicine or a toxin, transforming its audience for good or ill. If you read “bad” books or listen to “bad” music, you’ll become a bad person. Responsible guardians tend to make distinctions between art (good) and media (bad, or at least suspect) and try to police the latter for the good of society.

People can think for themselves. But increasingly, what people think is being policed.

Posted: 20th, November 2014 | In: Reviews, Technology, The Consumer Comment | TrackBack | Permalink