Dudes. Imagine life here in the US — or indeed, pretty much anywhere in the Western world — is a massive role playing game, like World of Warcraft except appallingly mundane, where most quests involve the acquisition of money, cell phones and donuts, although not always at the same time. Let’s call it The Real World. You have installed The Real World on your computer and are about to start playing, but first you go to the settings tab to bind your keys, fiddle with your defaults, and choose the difficulty setting for the game. Got it?
Okay: In the role playing game known as The Real World, “Straight White Male” is the lowest difficulty setting there is.
This means that the default behaviors for almost all the non-player characters in the game are easier on you than they would be otherwise. The default barriers for completions of quests are lower. Your leveling-up thresholds come more quickly. You automatically gain entry to some parts of the map that others have to work for. The game is easier to play, automatically, and when you need help, by default it’s easier to get.
Now, once you’ve selected the “Straight White Male” difficulty setting, you still have to create a character, and how many points you get to start — and how they are apportioned — will make a difference. Initially the computer will tell you how many points you get and how they are divided up. If you start with 25 points, and your dump stat is wealth, well, then you may be kind of screwed. If you start with 250 points and your dump stat is charisma, well, then you’re probably fine. Be aware the computer makes it difficult to start with more than 30 points; people on higher difficulty settings generally start with even fewer than that.
As the game progresses, your goal is to gain points, apportion them wisely, and level up. If you start with fewer points and fewer of them in critical stat categories, or choose poorly regarding the skills you decide to level up on, then the game will still be difficult for you. But because you’re playing on the “Straight White Male” setting, gaining points and leveling up will still by default be easier, all other things being equal, than for another player using a higher difficulty setting.
Likewise, it’s certainly possible someone playing at a higher difficulty setting is progressing more quickly than you are, because they had more points initially given to them by the computer and/or their highest stats are wealth, intelligence and constitution and/or simply because they play the game better than you do. It doesn’t change the fact you are still playing on the lowest difficulty setting.
You can lose playing on the lowest difficulty setting. The lowest difficulty setting is still the easiest setting to win on. The player who plays on the “Gay Minority Female” setting? Hardcore.
This is good, read it.
John Scalzi tells it like it is. (Go and read the whole essay, then read the comments.)
4545 Notes/ Hide
- athinkingplace reblogged this from thylakhaleesi
- mxlxssa reblogged this from neil-gaiman
- widgenstain likes this
- cemmerz reblogged this from barbex
- meow-meow-bunny likes this
- barbex reblogged this from neil-gaiman
- freestylerobbery reblogged this from neil-gaiman
- gelunnucifera reblogged this from neil-gaiman
- friendofneville likes this
- zthroo likes this
- heckhound reblogged this from ariaste
- fbstj likes this
- ianinkblog likes this
- kammartinez reblogged this from ariaste
- ariaste reblogged this from greywatch
- greywatch reblogged this from kogiopsis
- professional-lurkings likes this
- elementnumber46 likes this
- kogiopsis reblogged this from neil-gaiman
- wily-caryatid reblogged this from bigfatfeminist
- wily-caryatid likes this
- emsan1ty likes this
- helloleah likes this
- tacosandtrumpets reblogged this from alex-does-mad-science
- godoid reblogged this from optimisticynic
- godoid likes this
- mishalak likes this
- repetitivelyredundant likes this
- callmeamonavis reblogged this from neil-gaiman
- theromanticsdilemma reblogged this from thoughtsofapersona
- thoughtsofapersona likes this
- thoughtsofapersona reblogged this from icamanehatake
- icamanehatake reblogged this from seekingsecondbreakfast
- kaneda-cat reblogged this from impelled-to-roar
- nepenthegold reblogged this from thelongestpuzzle
- nepenthegold likes this
- seekingsecondbreakfast reblogged this from impelled-to-roar
- impelled-to-roar likes this
- thelongestpuzzle reblogged this from neil-gaiman
- wassup-holmes reblogged this from roman-sunshine
- weallwannabebigstars reblogged this from neil-gaiman
- asamiakiyo reblogged this from platonicharmonics
- sluttyfart reblogged this from neil-gaiman
- sluttyfart likes this
- all-states-are-abstractions likes this
- quotes-for-your-consideration reblogged this from neil-gaiman
- venus-gospel reblogged this from thechocolatebrigade
- monikerd reblogged this from neil-gaiman
- playthenotesyourway reblogged this from vegancatinist