But he didn’t, because that is how he chose to make the game. He used whatever logic or research that he saw fit to create the code that he did.
Slapping something together to mitigate criticism is the opposite of what anyone should want in games or any sort of art. Creating entertainment media with fears of how critics might react cuts the edges off of things. Why should developers plan to mitigate their development from social criticism? They should plan their development based off of their vision for the final project. This is how we get Marvel formula films. Design by committee. This is how we get boring media.
_(Hyperbole Warning)_Games are art, but I often think that the media doesn’t treat them as such. Which is probably do to how much deeper games like Rimworld can be, with thousands of lines of code orchestrating individual experiences. Would you berate Manet for only painting white people? Or tell Picasso to fuck off with the triangles, he’s done that before? I wonder if those thinkpieces were being written back then, probably.
(Again, I am being ridiculously hyperbolic)
Thinkpieces like these are really negative to the dialog that we have in the community. Rather than speak with the developer, the author decided to cut off contact with him. I can’t imagine being an editor and allowing the article to be published this way.
The wide range and breadth of human sexuality is impossible for anyone to correctly interpret. How was he supposed to do it? It is an impossibility to not offend someone when this topic is implemented. Slapping it together just didn’t fit in with his vision for the game. Genders, by definition, are not equal. It may be flawed, but it seems like the article is calling out the developer as being harmfully sexist. It is possibly that inequalities he chose are wrong, but it is what he chose to put in the unfinished game.
But, like the TV show Westworld, Rimworld is not real.
And this is a really tough subject to take on for a very not real game. It is obvious that he attempted to make some sort of judgement call on how to set up his system in the game, and it is very obvious that he decided not to just make the genders equal. Too easy, gotta attempt to make it more nuanced and complicated.
I appreciate to some extent, someone going through the code, and finding something interesting in the code and sharing how that can effect the game world, but this article makes a near accusatory jump in logic that is uncalled for.
I really do think that the discussion that this article brings up is potentially very interesting. How do you code the complicated gender roles in society (or a future society) for that matter? How do you temper the human dream for sexual equality with the realities of the social systems that we live in? How do you also temper that with the pure biological facts and mechanisms of humans and attraction?
But this article doesn’t ask those questions, it says that the game has a sexist worldview. We don’t have the dialogue that the writer and the developer had in private. I would think if you wanted to publish this article, you would want to work with the developer on this more than she did. It sounds like as soon as he expressed concerns, the conversation ended.
What would happen if RimWorld only allowed same sex couples? That certainly would be easier to accomplish, and it certainly would have drawn some ire (deservedly so, the world is not a same-sex only world, and a simulation needs to reflect that) but many games have done this in the past. He attempted to make a world that is somewhat less homogeneous than equal genders, and you can criticize him that he got it wrong. But, this article makes a bit of a leap.
Maybe RimWorld is just a sexist place? The world we live in unfortunately is.