This past weekend, I woke up to a text message asking if I saw a review for The King of Fighters XIII published on The Penny Arcade Report. From the start, I knew I was in for click-baiting press coverage; after all, the headline was “King of Fighters XIII PC improves online play, doesn’t improve casual racism, sexism“. I could go on about the review’s thesis, but I believe enough discussion has been had in the review’s comments and various message boards and sites that linked the article.
As I searched my brain for any opinion whatsoever, I concluded that Andrew Groen’s review (and any conversation around it) is yet another cyclical debate about political correctness in an overly sensitive world. Although discourse over sexism, racism and media portrayal thereof is important to have, I believe Groen picked the wrong battle; especially considering SNK’s reasons behind their characters’ designs and other content’s more overt sexual and racial themes.
Additionally, I don’t see anything worth arguing from a reader’s perspective aside from a blatant attempt at getting site traffic. Although SNK has reasons for their racial stage backgrounds and sexual characters, that is exactly what they are: depictions of two things that are often controversial.
At face value, it’s hard for me to pick a side. So instead of writing some lengthy diatribe with me hemming and hawing over this issue, here’s a poem that’s sums up most of my feelings.
“A Fight Over Food”
One morning, at breakfast, young Andrew said,
“I don’t want eggs,” and his mom scratched her head.
“Why ever not?” asked the concerned mother.
“Eggs help you grow strong. Just ask your brother.”
“Eggs look like boobs when they’re sunny-side up,”
Said Andrew as he drank juice from his cup.
His mom stood in shock at what she just heard,
“Okay, dear,” she said with no other word.
The meal went on, but was quiet and queer.
Andrew broke silence and said, “Listen here,”
“Those eggs look like breasts. They’re sexist and crude.”
He pointed at plates, a gesture so rude.
“We’re just eating breakfast. Sit down, be quiet.”
Said Andrew’s brother, ready to riot.
“You don’t have to eat them. That’s cool, that’s fine.
“But I enjoy them, you don’t need to whine.”
“Settle down you two,” their mom chimed in.
“Andrew, let them eat eggs. It’s not a sin.”
“I can scramble them or make French Toast.”
“Or whatever way you’d enjoy them most.”
Yet the fight went on. Words flew with hot fire
While Andrew preached self-righteous desire.
As opinions clashed throughout the small stage,
The father was eating, building up rage.
“Just shut up and eat!” shouted the father.
Andrew sat down and quit being a bother.
The mother and brother cast their eyes down.
Breakfast went on. All faces had a frown.
The lesson to learn is not one of hate.
Let people eat eggs and enjoy their plate.
Partaking in eggs doesn’t make you scum,
And any critique does not make you dumb.
A small food fight is a pointless battle.
It’s messy nonsense and worthless prattle.