Watch: The Saudi prince who's challenging video game stereotypes


#1

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#2

Girls’ revolution? In a nation where women can’t even drive?


#3

I was tempted to post something similarly snide about “Ah, yes, ‘Saudi Prince’ seeks to challenge stereotypes…”

However, on consideration, it seemed unfair. Being born a prince is certainly an excellent choice as far as I-can’t-control-where-I-was-born! outcomes go; but it’s as true on the upside as it is anywhere else. The Saudi aristocracy as an institution are reactionary as hell; but J. Random Prince probably doesn’t have much control over that.

I’d be similarly inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt RE: women’s rights, or lack thereof. His work may only qualify as ‘well intentioned and hopefully helpful’ rather than ‘martyr for social justice’; but as long as he refrains from being the first and claiming to be the second, he’s still scoring above average.

I would say that we need to be alert to cosmetic talk-is-cheap measures being passed off as actual reform, and to people in positions of privilege overstating the nobility of merely doing the right thing; but that doesn’t mean dismissing the work of those who do.

There is a big difference between ‘activist risks imprisonment/torture/disappearance to resist $INJUSTICE’ and ‘Guy does good, seeks to improve situation’; but as long as the latter refrains from demanding the accolades due to the former, he’s still a good sort.


#4

I mean, it looks like the girls in his game can drive - they’ve got a car (and rocket launchers!).

I’m suspicious of a male game dev claiming to fight for women’s representation (I mean, why aren’t there WOMEN game devs doing that?), but pushing the needle even slightly gives others the brain-space to push it more in the future, I’d hope.


#5

I was of two minds, posting that. Thinking it’s a ludicrous irony is snide. But maybe he’s being damn courageous, and is not long for this world.


#6

Indeed. Once we’ve established that he is a (albeit minor) force for good and he isn’t personally guilty of any wrongdoing, it’s a matter of “privilege”.
This is not “white privilege” or “male privilege”, this is “Saudi princedom privilege” which includes “male privilege” for free (with an added feminists-are-illegal-at-home bonus), and can beat your average white privilege any time.

Do we expect him to do anything special about that privilege?

Well, he’s not a direct descendant of King Abdulaziz, but rather the great-grandson of his brother, so I have no idea how high the stipend that he receives just for being a prince is. The least I expect him to do is to donate that ill-gotten money to some worthy cause. Anyone know if he’s already doing that?


#7

A good indication of how much progress they had made: Two Hollywood thrillers had their plots changed for just this reason.

Tom Clancy’s book “The Sum of All Fears” dealt with Arab nationalists trying to start a nuclear war between the US and Russia. For the movie the villains were changed to modern-day Nazis. The Arnold Schwarzenegger movie “Collateral Damage” had the villains changed from Arab terrorists to Columbian drug lords. (Stereotyping Germans and Columbians is acceptable.)

Both were filmed just before 9/11, with release after.


#8

Personally I think one of the best ways to gain understanding of other people is to try to think deeply about their situation and try to imagine what it is like. To say you are suspicious of someone trying to increase that understanding and help a situation is, at least in my opinion, incredibly divisive. I’m male, but I don’t think that means I should not try to work towards equality and women’s rights. Instead of being suspicious, and especially saying you are suspicious, try applauding the effort at least (while calling for more game devs of every stripe).


#9

Here’s an interview, seems i’d enjoy sharing a beer with the guy. Certainly not into running head-on into bullets but seems he’s intent on changing minds a little, step by step during his lifetime which is not the worst “life choice” when you’re born with money… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoG-GLRGNNk


#10

I doubt it. He’s addressing “negative stereotypes”, not actual problems for people in Saudi Arabia. I know that those negative stereotypes exist, but frankly, they’re the least of Saudi Arabia’s problems, and Saudi Arabia is very key to imposing a lot of those negative stereotypes onto surrounding countries.

It’s remarkable how the problems of a shitty, hateful culture seem to fade away when you’re extremely rich.


#11

You can stop with the strawmen any day now.


#12

Well, they do have the worst football program in the Ivy League. That’s not a stereotype, that’s just a fact.


#13

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