Thursday, May 17, 2012

Explaining Privilege

John Scalzi says:

I’ve been thinking of a way to explain to straight white men how life works for them, without invoking the dreaded word “privilege,” to which they react like vampires being fed a garlic tart at high noon. [...]

The result? A multiplayer video game called "The Real World". Here's the intro:

Dudes. Imagine life here in the US — or indeed, pretty much anywhere in the Western world — is a massive role playing game, like World of Warcraft except appallingly mundane, where most quests involve the acquisition of money, cell phones and donuts, although not always at the same time. Let’s call it The Real World. You have installed The Real World on your computer and are about to start playing, but first you go to the settings tab to bind your keys, fiddle with your defaults, and choose the difficulty setting for the game. Got it?

Okay: In the role playing game known as The Real World, “Straight White Male” is the lowest difficulty setting there is.

This means that the default behaviors for almost all the non-player characters in the game are easier on you than they would be otherwise. The default barriers for completions of quests are lower. Your leveling-up thresholds come more quickly. You automatically gain entry to some parts of the map that others have to work for. The game is easier to play, automatically, and when you need help, by default it’s easier to get.


  1. Anonymous said...

    What is the point of this futile post?
    Communism always sounds good, but unfortunately it has never succeeded in history.
    There is no reason why people work hard, and that is to make money so that their offsprings can reap the benefits.
    Take this away from them and then they will not create wealth or work harder.

  2. Anonymous said...

    "There is no reason why people work hard"
    I meant "a" instead of "no"

  3. Ungrateful Alive said...

    quest-fork-now-ledge, what is the point of your futile (and uncomprehending to boot) comment?