I like Scalzi's analogy for the most part, but there are a few big difficulties with it.
In the reactions I saw (on Kotaku and Jezebel), they read it as saying that their lives have been easy because of privilege, like privilege is a golden ticket to an easy life. Many of them were very defensive on that point. Many others missed the point and claimed that another group (usually some variation of "gorgeous white women" or occasionally "asians" or "everyone but white people") were more privileged. This is to be expected: sometimes a message gets lost in delivery, people had already made their mind up about "privilege" being a word that means "they don't deserve what they get," people mistake sexism for advantage, and so on.
They could have read Scalzi's middle paragraphs more closely. Scalzi does a lot of work to not equivocate on suffering and life challenges. His trouble is that, within the game analogy, he struggles to explain himself without trivializing failure as either a lack of build points or player error. It's difficult for him to articulate reasons for failure or success that are outside the difficulty level or the player, difficult to account for incidental misfortunes.
Maybe that's one place where resistance to the word comes in. If a privilege is a status conferred onto someone, it's hard for people to understand the benefits that they do get when they are poor or disliked. So it's like diminishing one's achievements, but in reverse - it also reduces one's suffering.
Scalzi wrote:Likewise, it's certainly possible someone playing at a higher difficulty setting is progressing more quickly than you are, because they had more points initially given to them by the computer and/or their highest stats are wealth, intelligence and constitution and/or simply because they play the game better than you do. It doesn't change the fact you are still playing on the lowest difficulty setting.