At the heart of the movement to shut down game critique is an appeal to tradition and purity. Discussing how sexualized avatars contribute to the objectification of women in the real world or how playing games with sexist content makes sexist behavior more likely gets framed as an attack, similar to how women entering the workplace in greater numbers in the 1980s was often framed as an attack on the traditional gender roles celebrated in The Bible. Whenever women or other minorities speak up against systems that oppress them it challenges the idea that the current norm is good, and if the norm is not good, then we are bad for having supported or participated in it.

Criticism of the status quo, no matter how mild, is felt like an attack on a person’s morality. Religious people in the ‘80s who were comfortable with traditional gender roles took the idea of someone else rejecting those roles as a judgment. Likewise, players who are perfectly happy with a white, male-centric, violent, heteronormative status quo in gaming feel judged for that happiness when marginalized people and their allies speak up about how it affects them.

Jef Rouner on the new censorship.