In what I can only describe as an insane determination to never offend anyone we are losing our ability to create, play, or discuss anything. Women, and this includes me on occasion, become upset when developers fail to provide an option to play as a female or only to play as some ridiculous stereotype of an overly sexualized female. Sexual preferences that aren’t detailed, even when irrelevant to the content matter, are somehow exclusionary and prejudice. Skin color is right there next to sexual preference when it isn’t an option.
Braxwolf just posted a well reasoned and written post on how the setting of Arkham Asylum makes him uncomfortable. He mentions how even the word asylum makes him uncomfortable. My take is entirely different. Batman, main character in the Arkham series, first appeared in 1939 and the world was embroiled in World War II. Batman as written in 1939 most likely wouldn’t be published today. The same with great works like Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, plays by Tennessee Williams, or The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. All of these modern classics would be rejected by publishers for being racist or non-inclusive; or in the case of Tolkien far too long and esoteric.
Imagine the world without Batman, Frodo, Scarlett, or Blanche DuBois. Imagine a world with no Middle Earth and Elvish, or no Gotham City for Bruce Wayne to grow up in and roam at night in his trusty batsuit. Times, situations, language, morals, etc change and evolve to fit the current world. Our changes in mores and values does not give us the right to impose our values on those that have gone before.
Hindsight is 20-20 and viewed through the lens of history doesn’t give us moral superiority. Someday our ancestors will be judging us through that very same lens of history. Will we provide a clean slate free of moral blemish? Instead, let us read, play, and learn from the past.
Batman has cast of criminally insane bad guys that we all love to hate. Don’t force Batman into our politically correct insane world where we quake in fear to call an act of terror and what it is. Don’t try to make Scarlett On Hara anyone other than the strong, resilent, and yes, slave owner she was in the book. The world and all of its inhabitants are flawed, altering the past to suit the present doesn’t change that fact.
Interpreting history with our morals devalues the past. Do you want to be judged 50 years or 200 years for now through their moral lens? Enjoy Arkham Asylum and Batman without the guilt my friend.