Okay, to be straight in advance – Yes, I am using this post to try to explain why the “Game is really just martial arts” explanation does not move me. By way of analogy:
You go to a martial arts class, curious. The class is the most popular your town has seen in years, maybe ever. The martial art is one you don’t recognize, called “mugging”; the name seems familiar to you, but you can’t quite place how.
When you walk in for the first time, the sensei gives his daily speech to new students:
“I learned and practice mugging daily – by going around, picking fights with, and beating the ever loving shit out of anybody and everybody who happens to get in my way, then robbing them. I managed to perfect a whole range of moves to mug a wide number and variety of opponents, and now I’m willing to relate my teachings back to you, for FREE (I won’t stop my mugging, of course – it’s fun!). Using my moves you’ll learn how to pick out the smallest and weakest targets, how to pinpoint the parts of the body that will cause the most pain, how to counterattack successfully even while protecting your vital organs, and how to pick the best prey to rob.
“Also, while it is totally free and all, if you really like my classes you can buy my book too, and show it to all of your friends. No, really, buy it.”
Disgusted, you start to leave the room when you spot your friend in the back, preparing for the lesson to officially begin. “What on EARTH are you doing here?” you ask, horrified. “Don’t you realize that this class is supposed to help you learn how to beat people up and ROB them? Don’t you know that’s evil?”
Your friend rolls his eyes. “Don’t be stupid. Of course I’m not actually going to seek people out to rob them. I’ll just learn the techniques and use them for self-defense. And, of course, if the very rare situation arises when I’ll actually have to mug somebody, like if he steals something from me first.
“But really, I’m disappointed. This is exactly the sort of shaming behavior I’d expect from an SJW. In fact, our very sensei was attacked by Amanda Marcotte for disproportionately targeting fat and retarded people. Do you stand with people like HER now? What do you want? For people to just go around defenseless, all because you aren’t smart enough to sift out legitimate self-defense from robbing and beating people? Don’t you know how cruel and unmerciful you’re being to defenseless men? Now be quiet, sensei is about to start his lesson on how to make it all look like the other guy started it in case you’re caught.”
With a roll of his eyes, your friend goes back to his lesson. And they fiddled louder as Rome burned.