What Skyrim can teach us about race in America

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I just figured out a way to explain white privilege without coming off overly angry and antagonistic to my peers who often bristle at the idea of "inequality" favoring them. Bare with me here this might go long

In Skyrim you get a choice of races i believe. Nord, Breton, Wood elf, High Elf, Dark Elf, Imperial, Kadjit, Argonian, Redgaurd, and Orc. Each race has its own starting perks. With enough work each race can have any level of skill in any given category.

Although players can greatly vary the way they play the game, "beating" the game ultimately comes down to 3 areas of skill. Armor, physical combat, and Majical combat. Now i wont go into all of the specifics of how those things break down, but i believe that everyone who has played skyrim knows what im getting at.

The thing is that although you can work to make every character viable in every skill tree, if you ignore the three aforementioned skill trees you are in for a much harder game than those who do not. This is amusingly expressed in the critical miss from a few months back.- http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/comics/critical-miss/9245-Skyrim-Tales

Now how does this relate to race, white privilege etc? If your main goal is to beat the game, you need to pick a Nord, High Elf, Imperial, Orc, or (ironically) a Redgaurd. These races have automatic perks in all of the categories that really matter in terms of beating the game. From my experience Conjuration sucks, Restoration is far too slow to be useful, speech is automatic, stealth and theivery are not required for any element of the game and so on. These characters have the perks/resistances to get through the game with comparatively minimal effort. So think of White Americans as the Nord, and other minorities as Bretons, Dark Elves, Kadjits and the other lesser races of Skyrim. Again, im not saying that the game cannot be beaten with those characters, but there are a few steps to be taken to make it happen.

What this comes down to is the fact that by design, "skyrim is for the Nords." If you have a Nord you already have high combat perks AND you are resistant to Ice spells which are some of the most common and most deadly spells that are in the game. Its almost as if the game was made for them...

The same thing can be said about America. Although there is plenty of opportunity for everyone to find success, the ugly truth is that the road to success was designed(naturally considering the circumstances) with white Americans in mind. When people can understand this, they can start to recognize that part of the reason why many minorities seem to expect special treatment in certain situations is because they recognize the inequalities inherent in the system they exist in. Many are not fully aware of this or able to adequately articulate it, but it is a very real thing. The sad thing is the frustration could be easily diminished if everyone including the minorities tried to recognize the flaws in the system as a whole instead of holding on to the myth of self determination. Dave Chappel does a good job of playing around with this concept.

http://www.comedycentral.com/videos/index.jhtml?videoId=72007&title=black-monsters

What does this all mean... Well a whole lot, but i wanted to throw that idea at you all to see if it resonated enough for you to get the issue.

Edit- the dave chapelle skit isnt the whole thing, but i think the point is kinda there, if anyone knows where to get the full version please post it as it does a better job of illustrating my point.

It teaches us that America needs to invest more in knee armor.

Seriously though you are looking for political significance from Skyrim...an amazing game but one set in a world where you have Orcs and lizard men (Argonians). Plus I think the Nords are supposed to be a bit racist anyway while the Imperials are the most multi-cultural by merit of them being surrounded by a bunch of different cultures.

So what can Skyrim teach us about race in America? Other than the knee armor bit, jackshit.

feeqmatic:
Now how does this relate to race, white privilege etc? If your main goal is to beat the game, you need to pick a Nord, High Elf, Imperial, Orc, or (ironically) a Redgaurd. These races have automatic perks in all of the categories that really matter in terms of beating the game. From my experience Conjuration sucks, Restoration is far too slow to be useful, speech is automatic, stealth and theivery are not required for any element of the game and so on.

Then play it again. I found a mob of summons to be quite effective, if you have the patience for it. And stealth is very powerfull. A bit carefull character building and you can kill a dragon in a single hit. My stealth character clears out most hostile areas without ever being attacked, and before he got to a higher sneak skill, ussually only 1-2 blows in most confrontations.

Quite different from the hack&slash approach where you can get surrounded and sometimes have to pause and regenerate health for quite a while.

Hack&slash is just the simplest approach gameplay-wise, and untill you ramp up the difficulty level it works.

As for the rest of your post: White privilege? Really? That pile of nonsense again? You have a society with little social mobility and wonder why class differences persevere?

Three things:

1) Conjuration after the first tier went from almost meaningless to godlike, especially if combined with archery and stealth (Practically one-shotting trolls with a conjured bow). Best combo I came up with was L = Summon [element] Antioch, R = Summon Bow. Antioch either Tanks or DPSes while you have fun knocking out the big guys. Plus, you didn't have to worry about arrows and you could apply poisons.

2) Stealth is god. When you auto-critical on almost every first hit, you don't have to worry about what to do when they get to you.

3) While your criticisms of the US socioeconomic and political system are correct, trying to read them into Skyrim might be a stretch. For the most part, the individual benefits to each race are negligible in comparison to the skill trees. More substantial traits such as more gold discovered, stronger companion characters, and not having to fight trolls might be more in line with what you are referring to.

Seekster:
It teaches us that America needs to invest more in knee armor.

Seriously though you are looking for political significance from Skyrim...an amazing game but one set in a world where you have Orcs and lizard men (Argonians). Plus I think the Nords are supposed to be a bit racist anyway while the Imperials are the most multi-cultural by merit of them being surrounded by a bunch of different cultures.

So what can Skyrim teach us about race in America? Other than the knee armor bit, jackshit.

You just managed to totally misread everything he was saying.

He was neither looking for political significance in skyrim, nor making any judgement with regards to the racism of the races in the game.

He was using the dynamic of the game's structural design as an illustration of how dynamics of racial privilege operate in the real world. suggesting that Skyrim could work as an accessible teaching tool with regard to systems of privilege. Apparently not accessible enough, though. :\

See Spot Run:

Seekster:
It teaches us that America needs to invest more in knee armor.

Seriously though you are looking for political significance from Skyrim...an amazing game but one set in a world where you have Orcs and lizard men (Argonians). Plus I think the Nords are supposed to be a bit racist anyway while the Imperials are the most multi-cultural by merit of them being surrounded by a bunch of different cultures.

So what can Skyrim teach us about race in America? Other than the knee armor bit, jackshit.

You just managed to totally misread everything he was saying.

He was neither looking for political significance in skyrim, nor making any judgement with regards to the racism of the races in the game.

He was using the dynamic of the game's structural design as an illustration of how dynamics of racial privilege operate in the real world. suggesting that Skyrim could work as an accessible teaching tool with regard to systems of privilege. Apparently not accessible enough, though. :\

He is still wrong there, the game is designed to be fun, not to have some hidden message or social commentary. If you are looking for a deeper meaning to the way that the society in Skyrim is structured then you wont find it unless you flat out make it up.

I also agree with Gentleman's point about the racial traits being highly arbitrary. In Oblivion sure not so much but in Skyrim most of the racial traits give only a tiny advantage in one thing or another. You can still be a High Elf in heavy armor or an Ork that specializes in magic, it may be a bit harder but you can easily do it and have a successful character.

Also why are we focusing on Skyrim? There are a lot of games out there with different races which have different traits that give them an advantage in one area or another.

In Skyrim "racial" skill differences are inherent, which would be like saying that all East Asians have a +10 skill bonus in hand-to-hand and all Black Africans have +5 speed and stamina or something silly like that if we translate how race works in Skyrim to this world.

(What about white guys? +10 computer skills, -5 physical strength and a vulnerability to sunlight?)

There are no inherent racial qualities that will make you better or more successful in the real world (like there are in Skyrim) except in matters pertaining to perceptions of ones race.

Seekster:
He is still wrong there, the game is designed to be fun, not to have some hidden message or social commentary. If you are looking for a deeper meaning to the way that the society in Skyrim is structured then you wont find it unless you flat out make it up.

You're still reading it backwards. He wasn't saying that skyrim was intentionally designed to be a commentary on the social effects of race.

He was saying that by nature of how Skyrim was designed, it happpens that it works as a simplistic illustration of the dynamics of social privilege. That, by coincidence, the structure of the game's racial bonuses functions as a simple model of a real social dynamic.

He was never making the claim that this was by any means intentional, only that it happens to work as an illustration.

Seekster:
I also agree with Gentleman's point about the racial traits being highly arbitrary. In Oblivion sure not so much but in Skyrim most of the racial traits give only a tiny advantage in one thing or another. You can still be a High Elf in heavy armor or an Ork that specializes in magic, it may be a bit harder but you can easily do it and have a successful character.

Uh, yeah. The OP said that. He just said that it's easier for the "correct" racial choice to be better at a given skill than an "incorrect" one. Which was the point in drawing a comparison to social privilege.

Seekster:
Also why are we focusing on Skyrim? There are a lot of games out there with different races which have different traits that give them an advantage in one area or another.

Because it's current and relevent game that the OP assumed everyone would be familiar with? The OP wasn't casting judgements at the game, he was using it as a demonstration.

The Gentleman:
2) Stealth is god. When you auto-critical on almost every first hit, you don't have to worry about what to do when they get to you.

And even if they get to you, you move an inch away and they wander about cluelessly wondering who the hell just shot them. Certainly not that sneaky looking guy with the bow crouching right in front of them.

See Spot Run:

Seekster:
He is still wrong there, the game is designed to be fun, not to have some hidden message or social commentary. If you are looking for a deeper meaning to the way that the society in Skyrim is structured then you wont find it unless you flat out make it up.

You're still reading it backwards. He wasn't saying that skyrim was intentionally designed to be a commentary on the social effects of race.

He was saying that by nature of how Skyrim was designed, it happpens that it works as a simplistic illustration of the dynamics of social privilege. That, by coincidence, the structure of the game's racial bonuses functions as a simple model of a real social dynamic.

He was never making the claim that this was by any means intentional, only that it happens to work as an illustration.

Seekster:
I also agree with Gentleman's point about the racial traits being highly arbitrary. In Oblivion sure not so much but in Skyrim most of the racial traits give only a tiny advantage in one thing or another. You can still be a High Elf in heavy armor or an Ork that specializes in magic, it may be a bit harder but you can easily do it and have a successful character.

Uh, yeah. The OP said that. He just said that it's easier for the "correct" racial choice to be better at a given skill than an "incorrect" one. Which was the point in drawing a comparison to social privilege.

Seekster:
Also why are we focusing on Skyrim? There are a lot of games out there with different races which have different traits that give them an advantage in one area or another.

Because it's current and relevent game that the OP assumed everyone would be familiar with? The OP wasn't casting judgements at the game, he was using it as a demonstration.

But there really isnt a correct or incorrect choice, its just that some races in the game have a slight advantage over certain things. If there were other races besides humans on Earth that would probably be true in real life too.

I swear seekster, sometimes I can't tell if you actually don't understand something, or if you're intentionally playing dense just to fuck with me.

Seekster:
But there really isnt a correct or incorrect choice

Which is why I put those words in quotes. To indicate that I was using the words "correct" and "incorrect" only for want of a better word, and to indicate that the "correct" choice, in context, was the one that would give you the bonuses that best allign with the skills that make success at the game easiest. That is, the game races for which less effort is necessary to achieve the required skill levels.

Seekster:
its just that some races in the game have a slight advantage over certain things.

Uh, yeah.

Seekster:
If there were other races besides humans on Earth that would probably be true in real life too.

Point being that this is true in real life, it just operates in a much more nuanced way, playing off of perceptions and prejudices based in race (or class, or gender, or any number of other traits), rather than actual skills. Thus, you know, the use of the game's design as an illustrative model of life.

Seekster you are still missing my point.

The point is that Skyrim works as a microcosm for race and privilege in society. Each race is given some perks, and each race has the ability to find their way to power and success. However, because of the way that the game is designed, some perks are basically useless, and others require a lot of extra work to become effective in the games engine. This inherently gives those who have certain perks an advantage based on the way that the game is designed.

This same issue is inherent in American society. It can be as basic as a woman going to a beuty supply shop only to find that they dont have any products that work for her texture of hair. Or, it can manifest in hiring practices, law enforcement in education. Again this is not a huge deal in every area of life. But it warrants understanding.

BTW thank you spot for getting my point.

See Spot Run:
I swear seekster, sometimes I can't tell if you actually don't understand something, or if you're intentionally playing dense just to fuck with me.

Seekster:
But there really isnt a correct or incorrect choice

Which is why I put those words in quotes. To indicate that I was using the words "correct" and "incorrect" only for want of a better word, and to indicate that the "correct" choice, in context, was the one that would give you the bonuses that best allign with the skills that make success at the game easiest. That is, the game races for which less effort is necessary to achieve the required skill levels.

Seekster:
its just that some races in the game have a slight advantage over certain things.

Uh, yeah.

Seekster:
If there were other races besides humans on Earth that would probably be true in real life too.

Point being that this is true in real life, it just operates in a much more nuanced way, playing off of perceptions and prejudices based in race (or class, or gender, or any number of other traits), rather than actual skills. Thus, you know, the use of the game's design as an illustrative model of life.

Bah had a long day so maybe I am just not reading what you are typing right. Ill drop the argument here because I get the feeling its incredibly pointless. Suffice it to say that Skyrim is fun and trying to insert social commentary into a game that lets you kill dragons and shout things to death seems like a waste.

Seekster:
Suffice it to say that Skyrim is fun and trying to insert social commentary into a game that lets you kill dragons and shout things to death seems like a waste.

>HEAD ASPLODE<

Yeah. Let's just leave it there.

feeqmatic:
Seekster you are still missing my point.

The point is that Skyrim works as a microcosm for race and privilege in society. Each race is given some perks, and each race has the ability to find their way to power and success. However, because of the way that the game is designed, some perks are basically useless, and others require a lot of extra work to become effective in the games engine. This inherently gives those who have certain perks an advantage based on the way that the game is designed.

This same issue is inherent in American society. It can be as basic as a woman going to a beuty supply shop only to find that they dont have any products that work for her texture of hair. Or, it can manifest in hiring practices, law enforcement in education. Again this is not a huge deal in every area of life. But it warrants understanding.

Fine fine but I dont see how thats different then basically every other fantasy game out there that allows you to choose between multiple races. World of Warcraft does it too, even to a greater extent than Skyrim.

feeqmatic:
I just figured out a way to explain white privilege

How do you explain something that isn't real?

Nickolai77:

There are no inherent racial qualities that will make you better or more successful in the real world (like there are in Skyrim) except in matters pertaining to perceptions of ones race.

I hate to interject with actual science buuuuuuut.... if that was true then someone's perception of their own race wouldn't match up to the genetic profile of said race with only a 0.14% margin of error(aka if you were right we'd be seeing a lot of people mis-identifying themselves).

feeqmatic:
Seekster you are still missing my point.
The point is that Skyrim works as a microcosm for race and privilege in society.

No it doesn't. I've never asked a blacksmith the tutorial question "Need any help around the forge" and get back "I should hire you to be my assistant at this rate, except I can't because you're white, and someone pretty dense decided you're already very privileged".

Neither have I ever completed a bunch of 'help people' quests, then go the Jarl, and get "I'd make you my thane, but my two other thanes are already white, so I can only appoint a black thane now."

Neither have I come across a crazed character living in a cave who shouted at me that Nords are so horribly privileged, cuz, cuz, just cuz, and they deserve to be discriminated against at every turn.

So, no, Skyrim pretty much doesn't work as a microcosm for how it works in the real world.

If only. I'd have such fun chasing the digital representations of affirmative action advocating racists around with a warhammer. You see how that would lead to significantly more trouble if done in real life.

Seekster:
Fine fine but I dont see how thats different then basically every other fantasy game out there that allows you to choose between multiple races. World of Warcraft does it too, even to a greater extent than Skyrim.

>HEAD DOUBLE ASPLODE<

Because he was simply citing Skyrim as one, single example of a simplified model of privilege dynamic.

He was not citing it as the only possible example of a game that could be used to model the privilege dynamic, nor was he assigning any critical judgemnt to the game.

He was simply using it as a current, and relevent demonstration of a point.

Im am hesitant to engage you Blahblab as you have proven on multiple occasions that you are not reasonable. I would just like to ask, if Affirmative Action is the scourge you say it is, why does pretty much every entity (that is not a fringe quasi racist group)that studies and tracks racial equality in terms of employment, education, healthcare, etc. show otherwise?

feeqmatic:
Snip.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and claim you don't realize the fundamental dilemma you've illustrated with this rather cute parallel you've drawn from a video game did you? It's also the primary irritation I have whenever someone mentions "white privilege". I'm going to try and make this perfectly clear since every time I seem to mention it it's casually glossed over...

The advantages determined by a specific set of criteria only function within a specific system.

Now, I'm going to let everyone chew on that for a second...

...good? OK, do you realize the problem now? Once you are no longer in the specific system, the advantages are lost. Using your Skyrim example, Ice resistance means little when dealing with Fire magic (or whatever the hell). In the same vein, being White means little when it comes to certain circumstances within the US.

Outside the US, being White may or may not mean anything, and even if it does, may or may not mean a good thing. Being a Typical American in France won't earn you many points, even though it's a White dominated country.

A tall person has an advantage in Basketball. A fat person has an advantage in being a Hockey Goalie. A black woman has an advantage in scholarship access. Once you start comparing the advantages within any given system, the demographic tends to shift to favor whoever the system is designed to compliment.

Pardon my crude American tongue here; but what is the fucking point of even debating White Privilege? To demonstrate that within the system I currently belong, I have a +1 to a few more perks than you do? It means shit when I hop from Skyrim to Dungeon Defenders. Suddenly my +1 to Ice Resistance does me jack shit of good. Should I suddenly bitch about it and demand the coding of the game is changed to properly reflect the advantages that should be fair?

Now I'm sure some of you might hop on this and explain; "But DWAH, people don't get to choose what class they play in life!" You can go talk to the developers or use cheat codes for all I care. Life isn't fair, you're going to have to get used to it. Society has come a long way in insuring that everyone's +1 to whateverthefuckstat can be beneficial, given again; a certain set of circumstances.

Do advantages exist? Sure, lots of them do. Should something be done about them? I remain unconvinced. The entire argument is like debating the fairness of a Rock/Paper/Scissors game. If your actual goal is to make all classes equal, then the game becomes a game of semantics, not flavor or choice. In the real world, I would expect you to service all advantages and disadvantages equal, without catering to any specific group.

If you seriously feel that the greater problems should be addressed first, fine. Just don't bitch about those who choose to focus their efforts on alternate issues; especially when you're already garnering as much support for yours by your constant incessant clamoring on about how a fat guy with a thyroid problem has to do a few extra push ups then the rest of us.

Until we systematically wipe out all races in our genocidal jihad for equality and procreate VIA clones; we're going to have to deal with diversity... good and bad.

feeqmatic:
Im am hesitant to engage you Blahblab as you have proven on multiple occasions that you are not reasonable. I would just like to ask, if Affirmative Action is the scourge you say it is, why does pretty much every entity (that is not a fringe quasi racist group)that studies and tracks racial equality in terms of employment, education, healthcare, etc. show otherwise?

Forcing equal outcomes IS a scourge.

Unless you have no problem with rising racial tension, racial discrimination(that's what AA is) and so on. When you skip over a qualified brown person for a less qualified black person, how do you think that brown person's going to start feeling about black people? He just got passed over for a job because of his skin color.

Your argument literally makes zero sense.

'Look we gave this underqualified yellow person a job! Now racial tension has risen between yellow people and the white/brown/black/whatever people they've displaced. But that's okay, because now the race gaps are narrowing!'

Whether the racial gaps existed because of ACTUAL RACIAL DIFFERENCES means absolutely nothing to you, and I doubt you would care to find out if they were. In your closeminded view of reality, everyone is equal and thus any discrepancy between the races HAS to be the result of 'dem evil white people' and not any lack of talent on the part of people who aren't white. In other words, your very view on reality is racist and narrow minded.

This is why I don't take anyone who uses the word 'white privilege' seriously. It's a joke, just like the racists who use it to justify their own version of apartheid.

Tell me, how's Rhodesia doing these days?

feeqmatic:
Im am hesitant to engage you Blahblab as you have proven on multiple occasions that you are not reasonable.

I'm never going to subscribe to racist thinking or racist history rewriting, no matter what arguments it's wrapped in, true. But you say it like that's bad thing. Shouldn't you support my position of saying that discriminating people for their skin colour and such is a bad thing?

feeqmatic:
I would just like to ask, if Affirmative Action is the scourge you say it is, why does pretty much every entity that studies and tracks racial equality in terms of employment, education, healthcare, etc. show otherwise?

That's a good one.
First off, I don't subscribe to the idea that if an underrepresentation occurs for whatever reason, racism and discrimination become justified. You can't justify that either, so the point is lost before it's started.

And on a different note, the research that you're refering to are evaluation studies whose research question is always if AA racist policies have reduced whatever underrepresentation it set out to change. That's an incorrect question to evaluate the morality of the racist policies with, because it already assumes that racism is justified in trying to forcibly create a totaly equal representation of everyone in everything.

While it's exactly that justification of racism that's being questioned by me and others. To evaluate AA racism, you only have to ask one simple question: Is racism applied? yes/no

In the case of AA racism, the answer to that question is yes, because race, ethnicity, gender and other irrelevant factors determine someone's chances, and thus, it is discrimination and it is bad thing.

PinochetIsMyBro:

Whether the racial gaps existed because of ACTUAL RACIAL DIFFERENCES means absolutely nothing to you, and I doubt you would care to find out if they were. In your closeminded view of reality, everyone is equal and thus any discrepancy between the races HAS to be the result of 'dem evil white people' and not any lack of talent on the part of people who aren't white. In other words, your very view on reality is racist and narrow minded.

This is why I don't take anyone who uses the word 'white privilege' seriously. It's a joke, just like the racists who use it to justify their own version of apartheid.

I think white privilege is a joke, but because of the very thing you mocked.

If we are all created equal then there shouldn't be "white privilege" and if you believe there is "white privilege" then you don't believe we are all equal.

If anything there is such a thing as "rich privilege" or "ruling privilege" but that doesn't necessarily have to do with race, even if there is a disproportionate amount of X people who fit into that category.

I just beat the game as a Khajiit stealthy archer who uses high level conjuration, illusion, and restoration spells while wearing heavy dragonplate armor and a greatsword I personally crafted and enchanted. Never found a challenge I could not overcome along the way. Your assessment of the game needs to be badly reevaluated in my opinion.

Ironically enough for the purpose of this discussion, the Khajiit are from a country quite similar to Africa and have been used as slaves in the past.

Back onto the primary topic. So far as I am concerned, the only reason racism is still a factor in modern American society is because people who keep protesting against racism that they see everywhere refuse to let it go. If we as a whole were to stop talking about race, stop caring about race, stop thinking about race, there simply wouldn't be any racism to talk, think, or care about left.

I find it incredibly ironic that this is still an issue so many decades after biologists conclusively proved that race itself is an illusion, there is no meaningful genetic basis for any of the categories we've split humanity into.

aPod:

I think white privilege is a joke, but because of the very thing you mocked.

If we are all created equal then there shouldn't be "white privilege" and if you believe there is "white privilege" then you don't believe we are all equal.

If anything there is such a thing as "rich privilege" or "ruling privilege" but that doesn't necessarily have to do with race, even if there is a disproportionate amount of X people who fit into that category.

An interesting point, but I'm going to have to disagree.

I don't believe we're all created equal(not races, and certainly not individuals), but I also don't believe in "white privilege." We're all homo sapiens for sure, but pretending that evolution stopped at the neck for tens of thousands of years when it didn't anywhere else is just plain silly.

Using Skyrim analogies, Nordic frost resistance wouldn't be "Nordic Privilege" in Skyrim anymore than the Tree-Lizards(I hate argonians) resistance to disease and poison would be in Blackmarsh. Genetic racial attribute? Yes. Unfair "privilege" that means we should give everyone else free things at their expense? Hell No.

Don't you think there are, um, somewhat unfortunate implications to comparing the inherent attributes of races in The Elder Scrolls universe to races in real life...?

PinochetIsMyBro:

aPod:

I think white privilege is a joke, but because of the very thing you mocked.

If we are all created equal then there shouldn't be "white privilege" and if you believe there is "white privilege" then you don't believe we are all equal.

If anything there is such a thing as "rich privilege" or "ruling privilege" but that doesn't necessarily have to do with race, even if there is a disproportionate amount of X people who fit into that category.

An interesting point, but I'm going to have to disagree.

I don't believe we're all created equal(not races, and certainly not individuals), but I also don't believe in "white privilege." We're all homo sapiens for sure, but pretending that evolution stopped at the neck for tens of thousands of years when it didn't anywhere else is just plain silly.

Using Skyrim analogies, Nordic frost resistance wouldn't be "Nordic Privilege" in Skyrim anymore than the Tree-Lizards(I hate argonians) resistance to disease and poison would be in Blackmarsh. Genetic racial attribute? Yes. Unfair "privilege" that means we should give everyone else free things at their expense? Hell No.

No, actually what he is saying would be the privilege part is that the system is designed to benefit Nords. So when choosing the challenges they chose ones that Nords would more easily overcome. Now how that's supposed to relate to real life race relations, idk.

feeqmatic:
I just figured out a way to explain white privilege without coming off overly angry and antagonistic to my peers who often bristle at the idea of "inequality" favoring them. Bare with me here this might go long

What this comes down to is the fact that by design, "skyrim is for the Nords." If you have a Nord you already have high combat perks AND you are resistant to Ice spells which are some of the most common and most deadly spells that are in the game. Its almost as if the game was made for them...

The same thing can be said about America. Although there is plenty of opportunity for everyone to find success, the ugly truth is that the road to success was designed(naturally considering the circumstances) with white Americans in mind. When people can understand this, they can start to recognize that part of the reason why many minorities seem to expect special treatment in certain situations is because they recognize the inequalities inherent in the system they exist in. Many are not fully aware of this or able to adequately articulate it, but it is a very real thing.

So if the problem right now is that without preferential treatment Black people find it harder to get hired/promoted. This used to also be a problem for the Irish for example many decades ago. They started off poor and were discriminated against in America. So why did things improve more for the Irish than Blacks?

I think the answer lies in the mentality adopted by many Blacks. That is the toxic mentality of perpetual victimhood. Despite their victory over legal racism in the 60's, many Blacks gave up on trying to improve their lot. They became so convinced that "the man" was keeping them down that they gave up. I think that if they let go of this mentality they will find much more success and societal acceptance despite some lingering workplace discrimination.

feeqmatic:
I just figured out a way to explain white privilege without coming off overly angry and antagonistic to my peers who often bristle at the idea of "inequality" favoring them. Bare with me here this might go long.

I think some of us get fed up with being told how good we have it and how we shouldn't complain about any problems that we might have.

feeqmatic:
In Skyrim you get a choice of races i believe. Nord, Breton, Wood elf, High Elf, Dark Elf, Imperial, Kadjit, Argonian, Redgaurd, and Orc. Each race has its own starting perks. With enough work each race can have any level of skill in any given category.

Although players can greatly vary the way they play the game, "beating" the game ultimately comes down to 3 areas of skill. Armor, physical combat, and Majical combat. Now i wont go into all of the specifics of how those things break down, but i believe that everyone who has played skyrim knows what im getting at.

The thing is that although you can work to make every character viable in every skill tree, if you ignore the three aforementioned skill trees you are in for a much harder game than those who do not. This is amusingly expressed in the critical miss from a few months back.- http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/comics/critical-miss/9245-Skyrim-Tales

Now how does this relate to race, white privilege etc? If your main goal is to beat the game, you need to pick a Nord, High Elf, Imperial, Orc, or (ironically) a Redgaurd.

Why is it ironic to play as a Redgaurd?

feeqmatic:
These races have automatic perks in all of the categories that really matter in terms of beating the game. From my experience Conjuration sucks, Restoration is far too slow to be useful, speech is automatic, stealth and theivery are not required for any element of the game and so on.

Off topic, but as a person who uses magic and stealth, I feel like your not giving them enough credit, and are dismissing them to proof a point.

feeqmatic:
These characters have the perks/resistances to get through the game with comparatively minimal effort. So think of White Americans as the Nord, and other minorities as Bretons, Dark Elves, Kadjits and the other lesser races of Skyrim.

What about the Imperials? I always thought they reminded me of the English.

feeqmatic:
Again, im not saying that the game cannot be beaten with those characters, but there are a few steps to be taken to make it happen.

What this comes down to is the fact that by design, "skyrim is for the Nords." If you have a Nord you already have high combat perks AND you are resistant to Ice spells which are some of the most common and most deadly spells that are in the game. Its almost as if the game was made for them...

Isn't that part being evolved for your environment? I mean the Argonians have a leg up against everybody if you could go to Black Marsh because they can breath underwater and I think stealth would be useful there.

feeqmatic:
The same thing can be said about America. Although there is plenty of opportunity for everyone to find success, the ugly truth is that the road to success was designed(naturally considering the circumstances) with white Americans in mind. When people can understand this, they can start to recognize that part of the reason why many minorities seem to expect special treatment in certain situations is because they recognize the inequalities inherent in the system they exist in.

I realize that their is white privilege, but things like affirmative action seem like a short term answer to a long term problem. Affirmative action to counter racism doesn't make sense because it is basically saying "lets counter discrimination with more discrimination!!". It only makes sense if people follow a very specific form of thinking.

feeqmatic:
Many are not fully aware of this or able to adequately articulate it, but it is a very real thing. The sad thing is the frustration could be easily diminished if everyone including the minorities tried to recognize the flaws in the system as a whole instead of holding on to the myth of self determination. Dave Chappel does a good job of playing around with this concept.

http://www.comedycentral.com/videos/index.jhtml?videoId=72007&title=black-monsters

What does this all mean... Well a whole lot, but i wanted to throw that idea at you all to see if it resonated enough for you to get the issue.

Edit- the dave chapelle skit isnt the whole thing, but i think the point is kinda there, if anyone knows where to get the full version please post it as it does a better job of illustrating my point.

I think (though there are some flaws)that your idea to use Skyrim to let others understand skyrim was good, but I don't get what your trying to do with Chappel show though.

PinochetIsMyBro:
Snip

1- I know i do tread the line in beating a dead horse on white privilege, but these threads are also for me to gain better perspective and on some levels that will mean speaking to the converted or at least the annoyed. Sorry, feel free to let the thread die.

2- The redgaurd thing is Ironic because for my money they require probably the second least amount of effort in beating the game. And theyre obviously black...

3- Im not saying that other skills cant become deadly. Im just saying for combat it takes the least amount of effort to build up 1 handed weapons, sheild, armor, and smithing to turn yourself into an unstopable juggarnaut who can trample into any dungeon completely uncaring of any trap, using no strategy, and fearing no enemy. By the time i got to leve 30 i had daedric armor and weapons and was just trampling through the game unphased by anything killing every enemy with less than two hits outside of dragons and giants. Magic and stealth make this possible but with much more effort.

4- Uh... I guess. But my point was getting at how the game is designed with an emphasis on certain traits, and if you ignore those traits you are at a disadvantage, if you get perks in those traits you have an advantage.

5- YES! that is a very big question to ask with deep and possibly scary ramifications for black people. The Dave Chapelle skit in its entirety touches on this as well. What environment is best suited for black people. Where is our Black Marsh in the NBA? What if you cant dribble? We need to adjust to our enviornment, but unfortunately the real world isnt as "wide open" as Skyrim.

6- You are definitely correct. Furthermore it hardly even works now despite the complaints from others. The problem is that many people dont want to actually address the real problems at hand. This is why White studies, and white privilege have to be understood. By understanding things better we can maybe get people to a better solution beyond the simple symbolic placation of Affirmative Action.

7- The Chappelle skit is incomplete, but in its entirety it comes down to the point that the monster characters were all in bad situations despite their best efforts. At the same time they would also act out their nature of being monsters. In this case with Charlie Murphy ripping a guys arm off. He perceived his persecution as being racial when really it was bigger than his race, it was about his very nature as a monster in a society that is not suited to deal with monsters. Even he didnt understand this which frustrated him more and misdirected his anger. It is an extreme exaggeration of a real problem. Someone asked why do the Irish have more success than Blacks and other minorities... well that is a stupid question. Irish people are much better at being white than blacks and Mexicans and asians. Its not American privilege, (although that exists on some levels too im sure) its white privilege. The Irish were easily assimilated in to white society. The same for blacks is pretty much impossible.

JRslinger:

feeqmatic:
I just figured out a way to explain white privilege without coming off overly angry and antagonistic to my peers who often bristle at the idea of "inequality" favoring them. Bare with me here this might go long

What this comes down to is the fact that by design, "skyrim is for the Nords." If you have a Nord you already have high combat perks AND you are resistant to Ice spells which are some of the most common and most deadly spells that are in the game. Its almost as if the game was made for them...

The same thing can be said about America. Although there is plenty of opportunity for everyone to find success, the ugly truth is that the road to success was designed(naturally considering the circumstances) with white Americans in mind. When people can understand this, they can start to recognize that part of the reason why many minorities seem to expect special treatment in certain situations is because they recognize the inequalities inherent in the system they exist in. Many are not fully aware of this or able to adequately articulate it, but it is a very real thing.

You are definitely right... except for the Irish thing, bad example.

This is why understanding "whiteness" is an important concept for black people. Oddly, many black people who still struggle with the stereotypical issues of poverty have EXTREMELY distorted ideas and images of what it means to be white, and it is even worse on what it means to be black. Im just taking a back end route to figuring this thing out.

So if the problem right now is that without preferential treatment Black people find it harder to get hired/promoted. This used to also be a problem for the Irish for example many decades ago. They started off poor and were discriminated against in America. So why did things improve more for the Irish than Blacks?

I think the answer lies in the mentality adopted by many Blacks. That is the toxic mentality of perpetual victimhood. Despite their victory over legal racism in the 60's, many Blacks gave up on trying to improve their lot. They became so convinced that "the man" was keeping them down that they gave up. I think that if they let go of this mentality they will find much more success and societal acceptance despite some lingering workplace discrimination.

JRslinger:
[quote="feeqmatic" post="528.345783.13829181"]I just figured out a way to explain white privilege without coming off overly angry and antagonistic to my peers who often bristle at the idea of "inequality" favoring them. Bare with me here this might go long

What this comes down to is the fact that by design, "skyrim is for the Nords." If you have a Nord you already have high combat perks AND you are resistant to Ice spells which are some of the most common and most deadly spells that are in the game. Its almost as if the game was made for them...

The same thing can be said about America. Although there is plenty of opportunity for everyone to find success, the ugly truth is that the road to success was designed(naturally considering the circumstances) with white Americans in mind. When people can understand this, they can start to recognize that part of the reason why many minorities seem to expect special treatment in certain situations is because they recognize the inequalities inherent in the system they exist in. Many are not fully aware of this or able to adequately articulate it, but it is a very real thing.

You are definitely right... except for the Irish thing, bad example.

This is why understanding "whiteness" is an important concept for black people. Oddly, many black people who still struggle with the stereotypical issues of poverty have EXTREMELY distorted ideas and images of what it means to be white, and it is even worse on what it means to be black. Im just taking a back end route to figuring this thing out.

So if the problem right now is that without preferential treatment Black people find it harder to get hired/promoted. This used to also be a problem for the Irish for example many decades ago. They started off poor and were discriminated against in America. So why did things improve more for the Irish than Blacks?

I think the answer lies in the mentality adopted by many Blacks. That is the toxic mentality of perpetual victimhood. Despite their victory over legal racism in the 60's, many Blacks gave up on trying to improve their lot. They became so convinced that "the man" was keeping them down that they gave up. I think that if they let go of this mentality they will find much more success and societal acceptance despite some lingering workplace discrimination.

Long live the Stormcloaks.

...well, I assume it could teach us a whole lot if there were actually inherent biological racial bonuses to be found in the real world.

And how would one ever justify the preferential treatment of a Khajitt and discrimination of a Nord who both have the exact same level, skill set, and gear, based solely on the fact that the former was a Khajitt?

Affirmative action is simple state racism that'll always trample on the individual rights of the innocents who're in equally dire straits to the "chosen ones".

Oh, for pity's sake. Can I try this?

Right. Forget Skyrim specifics. For the moment, forget the "white" in white privilege for now. Let's just work on "privilege".

OP's onto something, gamers should inherently get this because no game is perfectly balanced. Especially MMO players. You want to join that top raiding or PVP guild on your server. You know what class/race/spec combinations you should and shouldn't take. These cookie-cutter build elements? Those are privileges. That noob-combo wielder isn't going to have to work as hard for his kills, FPS players, as the guy over there with that weapon everyone agrees is shit. All things being even-- same player skill, same player knowledge-- there are things that give players an edge.

YES, it's a complex interplay of things. We call that "intersectionality". The more privileges you have, the easier a time you have in life. The more you lack, the harder you'll have to work. Yes, the mix varies by culture. (Sure you may look pale, but god help you in parts of Europe if you're Romani, frex.) But you'd have to be an idiot to assume that privilege itself isn't real. That's like being a gamer and saying "if you put your talent points equally across three specs, pick a race with no benefits to your class, and pick the class that just got nerfed this expansion, raid guilds are going to want you just as much as the guy with the cookie-cutter rollout". Yes, some sufficiently talented players are going to be able to make those disadvantages work. But they're memorable *because* they made disadvantages work.

So if life were an MMO and you wanted the easiest and quickest path through the game, wouldn't you roll white/straight/rich/abled/male if you could? If you chose a combo that isn't that one, aren't you going to notice how few of you there are in your guild/clan? Unless you're amazing, how long before you start getting wait-listed for people who picked the "build" above, or just flat-out told to reroll/respec? (Or just laughed at and called a noob by the people running by you?)

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