But I have read it. I have bumped into it and re-read it many times, in fact, since it was published, lo, these many years ago. Although I’ve come to think the games metaphor is too complicated, over-developed, and not very useful, I agree with what he says about privilege there.
But my point isn’t much about me or what I believe.
You really seem to be finding fault with Scalzi…
I don’t think Scalzi has any place in the discussion, so I didn’t bring him into it. The phrase has developed a life of it’s own; he doesn’t control what it means, to anyone, anymore.
What sad irony, here, really. “You didn’t read what I wrote, go back and read it again” is no way to persuade anyone, it’s a bad-faith style of debate, a refusal to engage, it’s technically not an argument at all. It’s a sign that one’s original phrasing was ineffective and a doubling down on that phrasing all wrapped up in one stinky package.
Yet here we are, now, accusing each other of not reading things. Would anyone here find it persuasive if I complained that obviously, none of you had actually read my first comment here in this thread?
I think you would not find that persuasive and I think you should not. But you shouldn’t find it persuasive when Scalzi does it, either. It’s a crappy cop-out, a refusal to defend or explicate a position. You shouldn’t find it persuasive just because the person saying it is “on your side.”
You’ve brought this point up many times and I truly don’t understand it. Of course it’s possible to lose on easy mode… if you suck at the game. “Haha, I didn’t mean to call you a loser, I just meant to say that you suck at life.” I don’t see how that’s better.
No, of course they don’t, but this is only relevant if you’re thinking in terms of what they deserve. If you’re trying to figure out how to convey a message that a few of them can understand and empathize with, that might not be the thing to focus on.
This isn’t even about their comfort. Of course they’re going to become uncomfortable somewhere along the way if you’re really offering them a new point of view. It’s about preventing that angry shut-down, shut-out denial reaction that makes someone unreachable.
Kids talk about “cooties” as some intangible aura of ickyness, a condition that exists outside the control of the possessor, perceived only by one’s peers who sit in judgement. If we you talk about privilege in the same way, you’re going to have the same divisive, unproductive reaction. We will even persuade some people that privilege is not real the way cooties are not.
Rather than scornfully suggesting privileged people are weak or naive or sheltered (“playing on easy mode”) – however true that might be – maybe it would work better to focus on how fortunate they are. Or to talk about how, as a privileged person, they have an opportunity or a duty to reflect and amplify the concerns of less fortunate people.
But I am only spitballing, and I didn’t come prepared for this, and I’m not a genius, and it’s late. There may be better ways to talk about privilege. Is that so upsetting to contemplate, really?