On the fallacy of relative privation

Originally posted via twitlong, 4 Sep. 2014.

http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1s82pt3

We keep being told by individuals who claim to be the vanguard of a brave new world of socially aware and active gamers that the problematic nature of their own speech is “not as bad as” harassment, threats, and hate speech against women. That’s the fallacy of relative privation, otherwise known as the “appeal to bigger problems” — feel free to look it up yourselves, why it is a logical fallacy. Well, if that card is in play, two can use it.

The confirmed dead in the African ebola outbreak is 1,900. That’s confirmed dead, god only knows how many are dead beyond that, especially in shadow zones, and the outbreak is as of yet uncontained. The Ferguson protests that have claimed lives are dwindling away. ISIS continues to rampage across the Middle East, and Russia is has invaded Ukraine. That’s the top-billed news of this week, that’s happened amid all this nonsense over gaming journalism.

Funny enough, not one word by the champions of new, socially aware, activist gaming. I don’t see any game jams or fundraising efforts to raise money for Doctors Without Borders or MAP International or those affected by the Ferguson protests, the only editorial I see that so much as mentions ISIS does so to compare gamers to them, and not one word about the Ukraine conflict. Of course, the gaming industry is more than happy to profit off global issues by making games about or reflecting them and walking away with the profit.

But please, keep dumping buckets of water on your head, never mind there’s a serious drought tearing through the American southwest, and the city of Detroit is still shutting off access to potable water.

I could pluck the low-hanging fruit as many journalists and developers have and posit that, because they don’t speak about these issues and even go so far as to profit, they’re racist and pro-colonialism. After all, being given a sad on the internet isn’t as bad as your own body pumping the toxic sludge that used to be your own internal organs out every orifice until you die. Or at least, I think so, opinions may differ.

But I won’t, because I’m better than that. I’m just pointing out a logical fallacy and how it’s being employed.

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