I don’t normally approve of my child playing video games due to the intrinsic racism of the controllers and the underlying sociopolitical factors of the programming. The media has made me acutely aware of the cishetero, misogynistic nature of gaming culture, and I am raising my non-binary child to be an intersectional feminist.
It is, however, the summertime. School is out (for both of us), I have an active social life, and I’ve been struggling to find ways of keeping my child occupied. Babysitters are expensive, and summer camp is too bourgeois.
So I decided to buy my child a video game. I thought Minecraft would be tame enough.
It was Quinn Barton’s article on using Sims 4 to run Antifa demo drills that convinced me video games could potentially be utilized in the name of social justice — in this case, providing a temporary parental substitute during the transitional phase between the overthrow of late-stage capitalism and the implementation of Democratic Socialism (at which time children will be raised by the state). Or at least during the month of August.
Unfortunately, my child is not yet of an age in which I would feel comfortable releasing zir into the streets of any major city to bash the fash. Ze isn’t strong enough to lift a crowbar (let alone swing it), they don’t make carbon fiber gloves small enough for zir little hands, and zir impulse control is so poor that I’d be concerned about zir trying to drink the concrete milkshakes.
So Sims 4 was out, but Minecraft seemed a viable alternative. After all, once we’ve finished tearing down the current racist, fascist, racist, white supremacist, patriarchal misogynistic regime of Amerikkka we all suddenly discovered ourselves living in on November 8th 2016, we are going to have to rebuild. And assuming my child is able to prove zirself sufficiently contrite for having been born with the wrong skin color — and if enough POCs are able to forgive zir for having lived such a privileged pre-Revolution existence — my hope is that ze will be able to take part in that rebuilding process.
Which was how I came to settle upon Minecraft.
My child’s first project was reflective of zir independent streak — ze created a bunker. It was a free-standing structure with four walls and a door, containing a bed and a supply chest. Naturally, I was quite proud, as my own bunker exists beneath the home of one of my comrades’ mothers (along with my comrade).
I showered my child with a generous amount of praise and encouragement. My comrades too were pleased at the prospect of having my child out of the way for the next few weeks. I would soon, however, realize my mistake.
After a particularly productive weekend of doxxing Trump supporters on Twitter, I returned from my main boyfriend’s mother’s house eager to impart upon my child the importance of building strong alliances with verified journalists. By way of a conversation starter, I asked my child how zir own weekend had gone, rather expecting to hear that ze had joined forces with other players to create a cooperative farming community, or perhaps taken part in the redistribution of resources held by more privileged players. Zir response chilled me to the bone.
It turned out that instead of being absorbed into an existing collective or organizing one of zir own, my child had chosen to remain solitary while raiding NPC villages, slaughtering the natives, and claiming both lands and resources for zirself. 😱
Make no mistake — these were indigenous non-player characters of unspecified gender — the very sorts of minorities Trump has been literally erasing since he began occupying the White House. These noble savages were farmers, librarians, and blacksmiths — not a business owner or Wall Street stockbroker among them!
My thoughts immediately harkened back to the plight of Nathan Phillips and the abuse he’d suffered at the hands of those horrible Nazi children. But at least the Covington kids had seen fit to leave him alive!
My child recalls zir first victim:
I’ll never forget the night that I killed him. There was a pit and it was raining. I was curious to see if he’d drop anything if I killed him.
No, he didn’t drop anything of value. He was a minority, and in Trump’s America, only white people possess wealth.
My child then proceeded to slaughter the remaining villagers — and of course they didn’t drop anything either — before getting bored, turning off the game, and leaving the apartment in search of somebody to feed zir a hot meal.
I am so literally beside myself right now, I can’t even.
I’m not about to blame myself when this is obviously the fault of the patriarchy, but I cannot help but wonder if there were warning signs I might have missed.
Am I raising a revolutionary or a serial killer? Perhaps I should ask Neville.