We live in a very different world from just a couple of decades ago. Things seem to be a little more stringent today as we have to watch our mouth regarding what to say lest we offend someone. We can’t just go around copying other people’s traditions for fear we might be insulting them, even though we mean well. In all honestly, that’s okay. I’m fine living under these new “rules” of the world. I haven’t been alive all that long (I’m an Asian in my mid-20s, by the way) to be set in my ways. I can still adapt and I know I’m still learning on how to behave in front of other people. This is now a world of political correctness and the Social Justice Warrior, or SJW, for short, and, let me reiterate, I can live with that.
What I do have a problem with, however, is how we’re trying to teach people this new way of living. Instead of trying to teach someone what is right and wrong and directing them to doing the right things, it seems like the world is more comfortable with demanding the censorship of those “offensive” topics. In fact, I think this way may actually be detrimental in the long run.
The reason why I’m bringing up this topic is because, of all things, a video game called Valkyria Chronicles 4. The game is a tactical/strategy game set in a fictional continent of Europa during their second great War. I have enjoyed playing the game thoroughly but I wanted to see what others thought of the game. This is when I came across an article from VG24/7 condemning the game for the way the women are betrayed. Specifically, the way one of the main characters, Raz, looks at women.
I will admit, some of these scenes were demonstrations of inappropriateness. And I won’t be defending Valkyria Chronicles despite the game showing all the females fighting alongside the men like it were accepted on the battlefield and showing women of all shapes and sizes as well. Let’s not talk about that; the VG24/7 only mentions that there is a “diverse cast of male and female characters with unique personalities” without giving any credit to how strong some of the women are and the article makes it seem as if the women in Valkyria Chronicles 4 are mere “accessories to the sexist whims of other men”. The article doesn’t mention it so I won’t be providing a rebuttal, either.
Valkyria Chronicles 4 isn’t the only game to take a hit on this point. Probably the biggest punching bag of sexism and misogyny is the Dead or Alive series. This was a game that was known for its fanservice; it even reveled in it during the early entries. Maybe saying they were proud of being the game with voluptuous women with bouncing breast may be overstating things but they knew that was one of the reasons Dead or Alive was popular, supposedly. Well, that’s what they focused on the marketing in the United States, anyway.
The sad thing is, underneath all that (unrealistic and painful looking) breast physics, Dead or Alive has a rather deep fighting game! The fanservice may have been what brought people to the party but the truly hardcore Dead or Alive fans stuck around for the fighting game mechanics and technique necessary to get good at it.
It never really shook off its “sexy” roots as they made a spinoff series, Dead or Alive Xtreme, that had the ladies cavort in various swimsuits with no real express purpose but for them to cavort in various swimsuits. I actually played the 1st and the 3rd entries because, while the games are pretty dumb, I don’t see the harm of a little cheesecake fantasy now and again.
Unfortunately for Western audiences, the game’s producers didn’t think it was worth the risk of getting the ire of the SJW crowd so they didn’t publish the game outside Eastern shores. To them, it just wasn’t worth the trouble. That didn’t stop a ton of people in the United States and Europe importing the game, though. Oddly enough, I think the controversy actually helped the game’s sales.
Of course, video games aren’t the only ones that are in danger of raising the wrath of the SJW mob. One of the most recent focused on, of all things, the longest running sitcom, animated or otherwise, The Simpsons. Specifically, Apu, the Indian man who runs the local Kwik-E-Mart. During most of The Simpsons’ long run, there was nary a peep about how offensive Apu is. It turns out there were actually a lot of Simpsons fans who were quietly angry at Apu’s stereotypical portrayal. All this was revealed in the aptly named documentary, The Problem with Apu.
I will say I watched The Problem with Apu and I don’t have a problem with it nor with how people stating that they have a problem with Apu. The documentary actually does a good job of showing the point of view of people who have become the butt of jokes because of how the long-lasting stereotype has been on the air. What I do have a problem is how they may be writing Apu out of the show because of the controversy.
I can appreciate the hardship and ridicule they’ve received because of the character but, even with that said, I don’t think The Simpsons should just write Apu off the show as I have grown fond of him, not as the caricature he’s supposed to represent, but because we did get to see him grow as a person who joined a barbershop quartet, an immigrant who successfully passed his US Citizenship test and a man who got married and has 8 children.
Why am I mentioning all of this? Well, it’s because people get offended by those topics and, like I said with The Problem with Apu, I do get it. But is the solution to get rid of them because they’re politically incorrect? I don’t think that will resolve anything. Nothing at all. That’s because political incorrectness in media isn’t forcing people to be mean; it’s that there are just certain people in the world that are mean.
I just can’t believe that TV, movies and video games normalize bad behavior in real life because that’s been the argument of fear mongers and folks who don’t want to take responsibility. In the ’50s, we had Elvis Presley swinging his hips seductively and the uproarious sounds of “rock and roll” music was the causing juveniles to be delinquent. It was something that should be censored because it’s evil! Yet, no one talks about how evil “rock and roll” music is now, do they?
But it apparently not just that loud rock and roll music that was causing juvenile delinquency. In that very same time period, some psychiatrist came out and said that comic books, which had a lot of crime in them, glorified criminality and something had to be done! The entire comics industry had to be revamped and the Comics Code Authority had to be created to censor themselves. Today, the Comics Code Authority has been abandoned since no one uses it. Yet society hasn’t crumbled down to dust despite it.
In the ’90s and early 2000s, the “new” evil was violent video games. Mortal Kombat were teaching kids to grab their sister by the head and ripping off her head with the spine still attached and that’s bad! Lethal Enforcers was teaching kids to shoot at criminals and drug dealers because that’s bad! Night Trap had… whatever this is supposed to be. Whatever it is, it’s bad!
Because of the controversy, the ESRB was created but that certainly didn’t stop kids from playing those more violent and “mature” games, did they? Even while growing up, I watched my brother play games like Silent Hill and Resident Evil. Those are just a couple of games that were rated for “Mature” gamers. At the very least, I have never had the inkling or want to go out on the street and hit someone over the head with a baseball bat or any kind of weapon. I turned out fine.
I guess the latest thing that will cause the downfall of society is “political incorrectness” and, like with rock and roll, comics and video games, we have to get rid of all inkling of it because it’s going to destroy our way of life. But, like I said, that’s not going to fix anything because people generally suck and they don’t need something like Raz grabbing a woman’s butt, seeing a bunch of polygonal video game breasts bouncing around and Apu to learn how to act like a jerk. They’ll learn how to become jerks because it’s natural.
We shouldn’t shield young people from seeing bad behavior. In a certain way, we need them to see it! What we have to do as a society is teach them that it’s bad behavior and they shouldn’t do it. In a show like Breaking Bad, where Walter White starts out as a good guy who makes high quality meth and starts descending into the depths of the criminal underworld, I’m pretty sure most viewers know that making a deadly drug like crystal meth and selling it to people is a bad thing.
Am I saying that everything has to be politically incorrect? No, because that would be insane. I’m not even saying that what the SJWs are doing is totally wrong and I actually want them to complain and voice out their opinions and thoughts. What I am saying is that, sometimes, there should be some room for a little political incorrectness. If the world is too sanitized, we won’t be able to learn from the wrongs other people have done. Not everything has to be butterflies and roses. You gotta have a little dirt and bugs in there as well because that’s what makes a garden beautiful.
Oh, and if you don’t agree with me, you’re a racist because I’m Asian.
Do you think we’ve gone too far with political correctness? Or we haven’t gone far enough? Let me know in the comments section below!