Monday, March 30, 2020

Ostriv and the Ignorant

Rock, Paper Shotgun posted a glowing story about Ostriv today.

It's a city-builder set in the 18th century, and it's fantastically detailed. It focuses on small towns, not enormous ones, and it looked like it was right up my alley.

Since it's in Early Access, I went to look at the forums. Oh, no.

Someone politely asked why certain worker roles were gated off for women, and then it started. "SJW! SJW!" shouted assorted manbabies. "Not historically accurate if women can do XYZ!" shouted more.

I'm really tired of this shit.

One, I'm tired of the reaction. People who don't know a damn thing about history are the first ones to start yelling about historical accuracy. They want to so badly to keep women out of gaming entirely, whether it's as characters or actual players. It's gross.

Two, they're idiots. To believe that women's roles were so rigidly defined, you'd have to believe in amazingly even population distribution, as well as an abundance of workers.

The 18th century, though, wasn't an Excel spreadsheet.

Population distribution was even more likely to be uneven in smaller locales, which is where much of the game seemingly takes place. It was also most likely in smaller towns to have an imbalance of workers.

Villages have to function. If they don't, people die.

So while it wasn't common for women to be carpenters or laborers or whatever, of course they were when it was necessary. Here's a conversation that literally never happened:
"We have a critical shortage of workers. If we don't finish the harvest/complete housing before winter/etc., many people will die."
"Damn, I guess we better pray that six more men move in quickly."

Good grief.

I'm not saying it was common for women to fill those roles, but it wasn't unheard of, either.

Here's an idea. Maybe let people choose who they want to do which job. If someone wants to create a village of super women and have them take on every physical laborer role, they're not hurting anyone. If you wanted to get really ambitious, there could be different body types (even frail/stout would be enough), and body type, not sex, would determine the job type.

That doesn't seem so difficult.

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