Whenever I hear a man argue in favor of slavery, I get a strong desire to see it tried on him personally. –Abraham Lincoln
One of the lamer arguments I’ve heard from people who want to rationalize the use of slavery (besides “it’ll attract more people”; consider just what sort of people…) is the guise of what I like to call selective authenticity. That is, picking and choosing what “they had back then” while excluding other things.
Now don’t get me wrong, I honestly believe that selective authenticity is necessary in most RP/themed sims. I for one don’t enjoy illiteracy, inquistitions, rampant superstition, or leprosy; but make no mistake they were all a large part of actual life in the actual Middle Ages. What I have a problem with is when people choose to make abhorrent parts of human history part of their fun playtime, and rationalize it by saying it’s for authenticity’s sake.
Yes. Absolutely. They most certainly had slavery throughout humanity’s past. They also had massacres, genocide, unjust wars, and artocity of all sorts. But these were the sickest, ugliest, most shameful parts of our history. Why in the world would you select that to include at your attempt at authenticity? Simple: it’s not authenticity you’re interested in. You’re deceiving yourself if you honestly believe it is.
Hey, are you really interested in playing capture and lock-up, and want to be really authentic? Consider an Auschwitz sim. You get rounded up just for walking down the street, beaten, tortured, stripped of any sense of dignity you may have left, maybe watch your family die, and live out the rest of your very limited existence locked away and forgotten about until you either starve to death or get executed. Doesn’t that sound like fun?
What! They totally did that back then, you know.