Fair Enough


Hey all, it’s BossLady here. I still have my mighty purse (although it’s a new and different one from the green monster I showed a while back) and an eye on things here at the House. I have been working on a lot of things behind the scenes, making some headway on some issues that need addressing (our website, the content on it, etc). I also have been reading more than a few things out and about and came across something I want to explore.

It’s not a single comment, per se. It’s a series of unrelated comments that all happened in a certain time frame that just happened to touch on the same idea, in such a way as to get my attention and make me want to look at the idea more deeply. I’ve touched on it before, but I don’t think I ever got to the meat of the problem or how I think about it. I know I can be an outsider here,  with a very different opinion and worldview, but I think this concept merits discussion.

My purse agrees.

Fairness keeps popping up here- in comments and in real life. I like the concept of fairness, because it seems that everyone gets something. Maybe what you get isn’t perfect, but you do get something and you can make what you want with it or not. SinSynn is real hung up on fairness in a gaming sense; he likes the idea of balance and a sense of synergy in games and nags companies that don’t know how to apply it well pretty fierce. (Being nagged by SinSynn isn’t all that hard, just to be honest.)

But what does “fair” mean in the senses we use it here? In gaming terms I think it’s appropriate to say that “fair” signifies that a ruleset is balanced and the terms used in that ruleset make sense. It probably also means that stuff has been thought about, considered, and made with actual gameplay in mind, rather than “that looks cool” or “wouldn’t it be fun if” ideas.

I like the idea of fairness. I want to be clear that fairness and equality aren’t the same thing. If everything in a game was equal, it wouldn’t be the kind of game most of us want to play. Chess and Go are games where everything on the board is equal to everything else, but most people don’t imagine them as very fun.

As much as fairness in gaming is interesting, it’s fairness in LIFE that has my attention. Some comments that have come up recently:

MerryWidow: I miss my mullet. My wife won’t let me get one, and even if she did ….

Someone I know on FB: [Mate] is adamant that I quit {HOBBY} entirely. [Mate] says I have spent more on {hobby} than I will ever earn in a lifetime.

(indicating that the end result of hobby can be sold for profit; and implying that the POINT of hobby is to make money)

SinSynn: And I read it, and I played Warmachine for a few months, until my friend’s wife had her shift changed at work, and she just couldn’t stand fer us to be in the crib smokin’ and drinkin’ and cursin’ and generally having entirely too much fun, and she killed it. And when I say ‘killed it,’ I mean she didn’t let my friend play minigames anymore, period. Crazy, right?

This kind of thing burns my bacon. It’s dehumanizing, and it isn’t FAIR. I am in my relationship not to be an equal partner, but to have a fair balance of what they need and want vs what I need and want.

Sometimes that means sacrifice, and sometimes it means not getting what I want, but overall it means I treat him like a person and he treats me like one. We act in a fair manner to each other. Cutting out hobby isn’t fair. What benefit does it offer? It makes someone resentful and angry and infantalizes and just is bad news.

So why and how does it happen? Why do we LET it happen? I have to know.


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