Thank you both for your thougthful replies. I had some time to think myself, as I read your replies some hours ago and was unable to respond immediately. I’m glad of that, because you both said things that helped me understand the issue better, even though I’m still sticking to my ideological guns.
Matt, your example of that commercial is a very good one. I don’t think I’d find it amusing, partly because I never enjoyed people-falling-down-and-getting-hurt comedy, but mostly because American football doesn’t mean a thing to me. But it means something to a large number of people, it’s cultural, and the injuries an American football player are not only well know, they’re something that’s instantly recognisable, which is what made the commercial work. And therefore I would say that it was a good commercial that did the right thing - it gave you all the references you needed and then gave you a punchline.
I said I’ve been thinking about it, and I guess my conclusion is that if these things weren’t going to make SOMEONE uncomfortable then they wouldn’t be funny, or exciting. I mean, a significan part of humour is the outrageous, the totally-out-of-place, sometimes even the offensive. Even as I’m writing this I’m thinking “Except for this and that and those, those guys really go too far”, and that’s my eye-opener - me thinking that someone goes too far and is too offensive or too cruel to be funny, how is that different from you both (and probably more people, including jrw by his admission) thinking that this scene in this game was a bit too close to something unsavoury? Or someone thinking that a certain game about two siblings is sexist? Not different at all, I concluded.
But, ah, as I said I’ll stick to my guns, if you don’t mind. A Bond-style character behaving in a Bond-(or secret-agent-spy-)fashion in a Bond-parody? I’d be surprised if there wasn’t some sexism involved. And I hope that authors and developers don’t start to remove certain things from their stories by fear of going too far. Emily, you spoke about some things that you wouldn’t do today, and that’s fair, but I’m glad you did them all back then - for one thing, if you hadn’t explored as much as you did back then, we wouldn’t have, say, Counterfeit Monkey today. Part of the process. If your process today is to be more cautious - that’s fine, obviously. If as an author you are also more sensitive to some issues in your work and in others - that is to be expected, and indeed shows a good and consistent author and person.
So, bottom line, if that’s ok, I’d say that the authors need to tell the stories they want to tell in the way they want to tell them, even if it means someone will be displeased about something - someone always is, there’s no getting around that, so isn’t it best just to trudge forward with what you want to do? And if no one got displeased or seriously worked up about something, wouldn’t that kinda mean the game ended up being rather lackluster, dull and uninteresting? I don’t think that art has to shock to be art, but I do think that art that doesn’t do a damn thing for you one way or another - lukewarm art - is just a waste of everyone’s time.
Matt, you may be able to access KB here:
drive.google.com/open?id=0B4qjY … authuser=0
drive.google.com/folderview?id= … jFDUjlyQ2M
I informed this board about this collection quite a while ago. No one seemed to be in the least interested (I posted about it in every community, including Spanish, French and Italian and this board is the only one that got zero replies), but it’s still there. And sometimes it’s useful - like, this very exact moment.
PS - I, uh, guess this wasn’t just about MI, obviously. It’s been preying on my mind for quite a while now, and I’m very glad to have had the chance to set it at rest. Many thanks, both of you.