Oddly, when someone raises these issues, the people who have been stridently defending their games as “just games” switch to explaining why having women in other roles is unrealistic. A gritty, stylized world built on the corpses of women is defended as a way for gamers to escape from reality, but if someone points out that it makes them uncomfortable, they’re told that they’re supposed to be uncomfortable — after all, it’s just showing how the world really is.
What I uncovered was striking. My survey revealed that there are very strong divides in what people funny, and that these taste differences are strongly associated with socio-demographics. What was most noticeable in shaping these differences is what sociologist Pierre Bourdieu called “cultural capital”.
This refers to highly prized dispositions and cultural knowledge that upper-middle class parents tend to pass on to their children.
“I was out with friends at a lounge, and I heard some women talking about being firefighters. And I approached them: I said, ‘Is there such a thing? A female firefighter?’ And they were like, ‘In fact, we are.’ ”