In a secret place, Wood Ingham and I (and other folks) talk about games and things. Wood posted this as a coda to that discussion and others, about the Zizekian “trash can” of ideology and how it applies to RPGs. Please go read it, then come back.
(I really hate what Zizek says about immigration and Islam, by the way.)
One of the reasons I boost diegesis is that it helps creators take conscious ownership over the statements they make, without just saying that this bit of math does what they’d like and cannot possibly say anything outside that context. But of course they do. In a past incarnation of this blog I alluded to that in games that treat seduction and other forms of social systems as combat or force-over systems.
If you model love with “use a skill to make someone fall for you,” your game assumes romance works the way pickup artists believe it does. It plugs into those assumptions better than whatever nicer thing you believe. But you wrote the words, so you need to take ownership of that. Yet you’re always eating ideological garbage, and creating it for someone else to eat. These problems are inescapable. You can’t avoid them. All you can do is approach them consciously. Come in realizing your game makes statements you can’t control, think about what they might be, and provide appropriate counsel.