There’s a bitter irony in waking up to pictures and hype about hundreds of people getting in line at a theatre to watch a cinematic that will almost certainly glorify the genocide of a peaceful people by warmongering maniacs when that kind of heinous violence is actually happening in the real world.
I get it. Warcraft is escapism. What’s happening to people in a video game isn’t a real thing, and because the violence isn’t on our doorstep… indeed, because we’re witnessing real violence and animated violence through the same medium, we can assign all the real stuff a certain degree of unreality. It’s a coping mechanism. It’s survival mode.
I don’t know what to do about it. I’m not a fighter. I’m a designer. I find problems in stories, in designs, and I come up with solutions. Troubleshooting is my training. When I see problems I can’t solve, it bothers me. So when I see the violence that’s happening and I try to suss out why it’s happening, because both the agents of violence and their victims are real people with real motivations, I lock up.
It’s even worse when I look at what’s happening in Ferguson. Maybe that’s not genocide. Maybe that’s something entirely different; whether it’s an abuse of police power or some kind of trumped-up event where an angry mob makes itself out to look like victims, I don’t know.
All I see are problems and the empty spaces where solutions should be.
Someone asked on Twitter what I would do if I were in Ferguson right now. Would I stand with the protesters and stare down the business end of a policeman’s rifle? Or would I stay home as ordered by law enforcement? There are all kinds of answers that flit through my mind at that question.
- “I have to stay home and protect my family. If I’m injured or killed or imprisoned, I won’t be doing my job as a father.”
- “I have to stand up with the people against this injustice. If I can’t do that, how can I look my son in the eye and tell him that the well-being of the people is the very thing that all people have to protect?”
Then I ask myself what I would do if Mike Brown were my son and I lock up.
I know this has nothing to do with gaming, or remixing. And no, I don’t expect Blizzard to stop their events today because of whatever heinous madness is happening in the world. The show must go on.
I just hope you all can forgive me if the glory of war isn’t something that gets me excited. Not today.
Regularly scheduled programming returning soon.