Straight White Male, the game of life's lowest difficulty setting  MAY 16 2012

Using a video game metaphor, John Scalzi explains straight white male privilege for those straight white males who get hung up on the word "privilege".

Dudes. Imagine life here in the US -- or indeed, pretty much anywhere in the Western world -- is a massive role playing game, like World of Warcraft except appallingly mundane, where most quests involve the acquisition of money, cell phones and donuts, although not always at the same time. Let's call it The Real World. You have installed The Real World on your computer and are about to start playing, but first you go to the settings tab to bind your keys, fiddle with your defaults, and choose the difficulty setting for the game. Got it?

Okay: In the role playing game known as The Real World, "Straight White Male" is the lowest difficulty setting there is.

You can lose playing on the lowest difficulty setting. The lowest difficulty setting is still the easiest setting to win on. The player who plays on the "Gay Minority Female" setting? Hardcore.

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