Social Justice Warriors is a satirical role-playing game that transforms you into a crusader for online morality, a champion of internet justice, and the lone defender standing valiantly against the encroaching morass of willful human ignorance. Contradict the fallacies of internet trolls as a Social Justice Paladin dueling with tweets, a Social Justice Cleric channeling the power of a patron deity subreddit, a Social Justice Mage weaving words into powerful spells of online journalism, or a Social Justice Rogue striking from the shadows of the internet. Warriors fight and fall by the measure of their Sanity and Reputation meters so you must choose: rely solely on logical arguments even if the troll ignores them or stoop to their level and retort with ad hominem attacks of your own?
In late March, an image circulated titled “SJW videogame ‘journalists’ to avoid” listing a number of videogame journalists from prominent websites. While I wasn’t familiar with the journalists or the phrase “social justice warrior,” it struck me as a silly label to use to invalidate someone’s opinions and silence them. The words “justice” and “warrior” are too empowering to be wasted in a pejorative label so I decided to respond the best way I know: with a videogame.
I chose not to depict social justice warriors as the negative stereotype but as a symbol for any human standing up against ignorance. By pairing social justice warriors with the opposing label used to dismiss someone online – troll – in a modernization of a medieval fantasy RPG, I hoped to get people talking about how we interact online and to reconsider their own actions in the future.
Unfortunately the use of defamation and name-calling to silence people has only become more common since then and a nearly identical “SJW game developers to avoid” image has surfaced.
For more information about the intentions behind the game, read Making a Social Justice Warriors Game. To read about the public’s reactions to the game, assigning it dismissive and contradictory labels of “pro-SJW game” and “anti-SJW game,” read Releasing a Social Justice Warriors Game.