Slay the Spire is a popular roguelike deck-building game which has garnered quite a following since its release. While I love its simple yet deep mechanics and easy-to-grasp, hard-to-master gameplay, I take some exceptions with the title. Is it truly necessary to slay the Spire? Have we not tried any other methods of conflict resolution? I say that before we unanimously decide to slay the Spire, we should at least try negotiating with it first.
As Gandhi once said, “Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.” If we really want to tackle the mighty Spire, then maybe violence isn’t our best weapon. Maybe we should just ask the Spire what it wants and try to find compromise. Instead of building up a deck full of strength-scaling and hard-hitting attack cards, maybe we should instead focus on building a coalition of like-minded voters who can enact slow but steady legislative change.
While the Spire is certainly a scourge causing irreparable harm to our world, the messaging of “slaying” the Spire might be a turn-off to moderates. Regardless of the Spire’s negative influence, some people may be wary of any platform that promotes violence in its very title. Why not try an alternative phrasing like “Defund the Spire” or perhaps “Pro Critical Spire Theory.” Additionally, some may find the use of the word “slay” appropriative, as it also has roots in historically black and LGBTQ circles. Even if we are to proceed with ill-advised violent sloganeering, maybe a softer alternative like “attack” or even “confront the Spire” would be more amenable.
Look, I recognize the problems posed by the Spire, and I am in no way excusing or minimizing those who have been hurt by it. All I’m trying to say is that real lasting change is built on a series of compromises. Anger does have its place in political discourse, but it shouldn’t distract from our greater goals: a future where humans and Spires can peacefully coexist, and where Spire and human romantic relationships aren’t frowned upon, but celebrated.
Maybe we could lay the Spire.