Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Forced diversity

I'm reading a pamphlet named "Gamescom Report 2017: The Heart of Gaming". I don't really know what kind of event it is, but I find the photographs interesting.

Page three is the first page with photos in it. The first photo has a woman showing something on a laptop to two men. Another photograph has a group of cosplayers, most of them female. There's a third photo of what looks like some dudebros relaxing on some chairs.

Page four: A group photo. Half of the people in it are women. Right in the center is Angela Merkel (urgh!) Second photo: What looks like a motherly woman and a younger boy playing a video game. Third photo: A woman making a skateboard trick. Fourth photo: An overall view of a lan party; many of the participants seem to be women. Last photo: A beautiful woman front in center, playing a game; behind her is another woman likewise. And some dudes further back.

The same trend seems to continue. Interestingly, at the back of the pamphlet there's a list of "your contact partners". Five people in total. Three of them are women.

"You misogynist! Why are you so upset that there are women depicted there? You hate women in gaming! You are nothing but a misogynist pig!"

No, I don't hate women, and I welcome women in gaming. And I don't mind at all women being depicted. I'd rather watch beautiful women than ugly men. ("Oooh! You are objectifying women! Reee!!!" Whatever.)

Like said, I don't mind women in gaming, or anywhere, at all. Why would I? But the over-abundance of women in those photos makes me suspicious about why there are so many of them depicted.

Let's be realistic. Gaming is still in large part a nerd hobby, and it's overwhelmingly male. I'm not trying to imply anything about whether that's a good, a bad, or a neutral thing. I'm just stating a hard fact. I doubt that the majority of participants in that conference were women. Yet that's not the picture you get from the pamphlet. If one were to judge from that pamphlet alone, one would get the picture that women are actually the majority there. I have my doubts.

I suspect that this is a quite clear case of forced diversity, and an attempt at social engineering. Photos are carefully selected to "beautify", in a way, the apparent gender distribution of the participants of that event in particular, and gaming in general. Rather than choose photos that represent the average, they deliberately choose photos that accentuate a minority, giving the impression that they are more prevalent than they are. And, I suspect, this is done to try to influence people's perceptions and attitudes. In other words, social engineering. It's like a mild form of subtle propaganda.

I don't mind women in gaming (or anywhere) at all. That's completely fine by me. What I do mind is entities, corporations and governments trying to influence people's perceptions via propaganda. I do mind social engineering attempts. I do mind artificially forced diversity for the sake of social engineering.

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