Dirt Showdown mangles cars, the English language

, | Games

One of the cool things about the replays in Dirt Showdown is that you can upload snippets to Youtube. That’s me banging up that black and red drag racer looking thing. It belches blue fire from the pipes when I hold down the boost button. Pretty nifty. But one of the coolest things about the replays in Dirt Showdown is that you don’t have to listen to the announcer.

“They just rammed them!” he bellows as I hit another car.

Let’s consider this for a moment. I can see into the cars. Each one has a driver inside. There’s no one in the passenger seats. Unless there’s someone under a blanket in the backseat, each car carries only a single person. Yet the announcer is using plural pronouns. They just rammed them. Dirt Showdown does this constantly. They crossed the finish line! They’re in first place! They’re in the lead! They’re catching up with them!

I know this is a widely accepted way to wuss out of having to commit to a gender specific pronoun. Saying “he just rammed him” would imply that the drivers of both cars are male. That might alienate the women who play Dirt Showdown. And based on the list of nicknames you can choose for your driver, Codemasters clearly wants women to play. Sweetie. Muffin. Honey. Kitten. Stuff like that is in there. Grammar Nazi or Uptight Writer aren’t in there. Codemasters’ priority is clear.

I’ve tried turning down the announcer’s voice. But whereas all the other volume sliders range from 0% to 100%, the voice slider only goes down to 50%. It’s like being in the backseat of a car with windows that only go halfway down so unruly children can’t leap from the car while it’s moving.

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