The "Problem" With Forcing Women and Minorities Into Battlefield V - Historical Revisionism and Outrage Culture.
So we all saw the big reveal of Battlefield V yesterday, and look as a massive Battlefield I was entirely underwhelmed by the trailer but it's just a reveal trailer, I'll reserve judgement til I see the game play trailer, but going to the video afterwards and watching the live stream I noticed a lot, and I do mean a lot, like 95% of people, were immediately thrown off the game because it seems to heavily feature a woman even going so far as to having her on the box art of the game, now there was a bit of a snafu last year with CoD WW2 and BF1 having women and minorities in their games but it seems to of come to a head here and I wanted to take some time out to address this issue because it's getting bigger and bigger and even though we haven't seen any game play yet people are already writing this off as a dead on arrival, so today i'm going to explore what happened, what's happening and what will happen if this keeps up.
Keep in mind i'm not adverse to this however there are numerous points that need to be brought up about this and need to be talked about, I also want to give a big fuck you to kotaku and IGN who ran articles basically calling everyone who is against this a sexist child, that's not an argument and it has next to nothing to do with gaming or the problem itself, so i'm going to try my best to explain this from both angles and hopefully straighten some of it out, lets jump right in.
Why it's becoming an increasing "problem".
I used quotation marks on problem because as much as this annoys me, it's not as much a problem as it is an annoyance of sorts, i'll spare you the history and advent of GamerGate and the rise of PC culture because they only serve as a back drop here, what the real problem is here is two fold, the revisionist history and the focus on non important things, i'm a huge fan of Battlefield, I always have been and with the exception of BF 1 iv'e bought every game and premium pack to date, so for me personally I don't care all that much about women and non whites in video games or what role they play, however in this context I do care just a bit, I'm a massive history buff, specifically human conflicts throughout history and there isn't much about WW2 I don't already know, so this is really where the "problem" comes in.
Speaking on a historical ground, women made up such a ridiculously small amount of armed combatants in the British and German forces that representing them as frontline soldiers is extremely revisionist and immersion breaking, a part from French and Russian forces there was only a handful of Women on the battlefield in a combat role, likewise the amount of non white forces in any context outside of Africa was extremely low(excluding ANZAC forces) to the point that having them on the front lines of the battlefield in Europe is again, extremely revisionist, but now that we've got that out of the way on the historical relevance, lets talk about why this actually pisses people off.
It's kind of impossible to ignore the rampant push for "diversity" in the world at large, everywhere we turn we're told there aren't enough [Insert Gender/Orientation/Race] in [Insert medium], it's literally everywhere at the moment so it's nice to have an escape from this in the form of video games, now anyone who knows even the slightest bit of history knows what WW2 was and who fought in it so by inserting these things into video games pisses people off on a more meta grounds insofar as that people don't want forced "diversity" throw upon them in what is supposed to be a historical battle, one of the most important conflicts in human history if not the most important, so when black female Nazi's show up, it can piss numerous people off for numerous reasons.
For reasons I'll get to in a minute, this doesn't annoy me that much even as a history fan , but I can understand why it does piss a lot of people off especially those so inclined in politics and those aware of the shady things going on within the industry at the moment, mostly they just want a video game that is free from modern day politics and social changes to enjoy with their friends without having to deal with whatever political trend is happening in the world, likewise you have the real hardcore historical buffs who to see this is really really immersion breaking and then you have people like me who absolutely abhor revisionism in all forms, so now we understand why it's a "problem" but unlike mainstream gaming sites I understand this and would rather offer a counter argument than just insult people, so here's why I personally don't mind all that much about this.
Reactionary anger and something everyone seems to of missed.
Okay so obviously there are going to be those people who just don't like Women and Minorities in gaming, sad but true, however the point everyone missed here is something that I feel needs to be explained, reactionary anger is the stupidest form of anger, because by reacting to something on an emotional grounds you leave out reason and discussion, likewise you have the counter reactionaries who throw around words like sexist and racist, again no arguments at all and really doesn't lead to any sort of dialogue, as someone who has studied philosophy for 15 years i've learned to read between the lines and look at things from outside the entire argument and that's exactly why I don't have a problem with this because during the reveal there was a very VERY important piece of key information that everyone seemed to of missed.
As you can see from the photo above, characters can now be customized, "No more faceless soldiers" is the tagline, now given that a very VERY large part of the audience is going to be A. Male and B. White, this completely eliminates the "problem" from the get go, female soldiers will be extremely rare, black soldiers will be extremely rare, almost to the point that it will actually be realistic in terms of historical accuracy, however like I said above when you react with emotion this completely went over the heads of everyone involved and caused a shit storm for no reason, yes I do agree that maybe they should of stuck to the historical realism of the fighters but by and large it's not really a problem that needs to be fixed and more importantly it doesn't affect game play in anyway, something i'll touch on below.
It's important to note as well that the vast majority of people who have a problem with this aren't sexist or racist as Kotaku would have you believe, most gamers play with a pretty diverse cast of friends and online friends and it's not just white men who are saying this, iv'e had multiple [Insert Race/Gender/Orientation Here] message me and ask what the fuck is going on with BFV, so lumping this on white people is just race baiting stupidity that needs to be taken out of gaming as soon as possible, but there is one more important point that I need to make in this article, one that I feel that everyone, regardless of who supports it or doesn't is missing and one that pisses me off more than anything when it comes to the modern gaming industry and fan base at large.
It has nothing to do with the god damn game play.
This is what pisses me off more than anything about this, it has nothing to do with the game play, we haven't even seen the game play yet and people are basing their opinions over what color who is and what gender they are, when it comes to gaming there are two things I care about the most, Story and Game Play, they're....well they're aren't the most important parts, they ARE the important parts, the trailer has been live for 24 hours now and people are already calling the game dead on arrival, how? how the fuck can you judge the game from a lackluster reveal? I actually watched all of the reveal and was extremely impressed with what is coming in the game.
Things like fortifications, gun play changes, class changes, map changes, no paid DLC or premium pass, aforementioned customizable characters, timed events and story missions, the list goes on but this has taken a back seat so people can fucking argue about a woman and a hook, also I want to make it very VERY clear IT'S A GOD DAMN HOOK, NOT A MECHANICAL ARM sorry but the amount of people iv'e seen say "Omg why are their cyborg women in WW2" is just....mind blowingly stupid, anyone who knows about prosthetics in the early 20th century knows that's largely what soldiers received to keep them operational in combat, anyway moving on from that.
The fact that game play has once again taken a back seat to fucking identity "politics" and character models just pisses me off, worse than both sides of the "argument" focus on the game play more, the actual game play trailer comes out in June so saying things like "dead or arrival" is just completely invalid at this point, we have no real clear and concise method for judging the game when the most we've seen is concept art and a reveal trailer, i'll be reserving judgement til then obviously and I think people would be better suited waiting for it as well, much like I didn't really jump all over black WW1 soldiers, by waiting for the game play I could make a better informed decision on whether or not to buy it, as it turns out it was the worst Battlefield to date because of a myriad of problems with the game play but a lot of people blamed it on black WW1 soldiers, retarded.
So this is where we find ourselves, two sides arguing about shit that just doesn't matter, female, male, black, white I don't care and you shouldn't either in this context, what's important is the game play and if it's worth your money, if you're going to base your entire assumption of whether to buy this based on what sex or race someone is you're just as idiotic as the people pushing the revisionist past of the "Diverse" WW2, so I guess the real take away from this, is that it's okay to be annoyed by developers choices, but basing your reaction on a game solely based on things such as the above is rather dumb, likewise on the other side, just trying to dismiss people who have legitimate problems with things such as things such as this is also pretty dumb.
Personally I'll be waiting for the game play trailer to drop and making my assumptions based off that, but it would be nice to not see this problem flare up again in the future, and ultimately i'd rather gaming stay about just that, the gaming aspect, not stupid identity politics or outrage culture about things.