Sunday, November 10, 2013

On "On cliques."

Mike Bithell wrote a post, "On cliques," about his perspective on exclusivity in the indie game scene. I think the example he gives, of going to a party while not really knowing anyone and then getting upset when no one is dying to talk to him and then feeling foolish for getting upset, is understandable and human. I'm sure everyone's felt that way at some point. It sucks to feel like you don't belong.

At the end, he says everyone should talk more, and try to be more understanding of each other, and I think that's good. Let's all do more.

However, I've seen some other peoples' responses and takeaways that strike me as, uh, callous, or even poisonous.

"Don't start drama, because you're just imagining it, and my absurd incoherent illusion of one unified indie-love-kingdom melting pot utopia disneyland is more important than anyone's sense of self-worth," is totally the wrong mindset here, if that's what you're taking away from all this. Who gets to decide what's important and what's "drama" to be ignored by the community? Is that how you help someone -- by not believing them and then getting upset that someone had the courage to make themselves vulnerable?

The goal of talking about privilege in any sense is NOT to shame you into giving away all your wealth or whatever. Instead, the goal is just to get you to listen to someone who often gets ignored, and then consider teaming-up with them to share power and to try to solve a systemic problem, thus enriching both of your lives with the satisfaction of doing good meaningful work. No one's going to solve a problem definitively, but at least we can do our part to make it less terrible. No one wants your pity -- instead they want to stop feeling like shit, they want a seat at the table, and they want someone to take them seriously. This isn't a radical notion.

If you are completely satisfied with how things are and you don't think things could or should get better for anyone, then you're suffering from something more than a profound lack of imagination -- you could, quite possibly, just be an insufferable asshole.

(Hopefully you aren't an asshole.)