Janet’s decision to hurt her own gameplay to help Missy and Elizabeth touches on a theme that I’ve explored many times in this blog: Is there a difference between ethics inside the game and outside the game? This issue has probably never been explored as much on Survivor as this season. Poor Sandra and Boston Rob. The producers must be thinking: “Sorry, we don’t actually need you. The regular game is way more interesting than you guys.”
Janet thought the issue of sexual harassment transcended the game, and that allowing it to continue inside the game would be violating the ethics of the world outside the game. However, Missy and Elizabeth seemed to disagree with Janet about where to draw that line. Kellee seemed to be pretty flexible about those ethics too, even though she was the main source of complaint about Dan, since she was willing to use her discomfort as a strategic gameplay shield.
To anyone who insists that ethics outside the game have no bearing on ethics inside the game, all I have to ask is: “Can players kill each other?” Unless you’re a psychopath, your answer will almost certainly be no. So that means, like the old joke, we BOTH think ethics outside the game matter inside the game too. The only real question is where to draw the line.
Wrestling with where to draw that line is one of the purposes of philosophy, even though no exact answer will ever be found. I’m not going to make any claims about where to draw the line here, because a quick blog is probably no place for a discussion that weighty. Viewers should use these episodes of Survivor as opportunities to discuss that line with the people around them, because those discussions are vital for a healthy society.
On a lighter note, Karishma claimed that she hadn’t had a food reward in 20 days. But she was part of the reward that got the Applebee’s meal. Was she implying something about whether Applebee’s actually serves “food”?