Posted by : David Guyll August 01, 2016

About a week ago Mark (Diaz Truman) wrote a really long post. In part of it he blames the entirely of the story gamer "community" for the (what he considers to be) sins of a handful, and in another part he virtue signals his ass off with the usual social justice rhetoric, which includes throwing other indie peeps that didn't do what he wanted them to do under the bus.

A day later, Venger Satanis wrote a shorter post that also had much more meaningful things to say, and without blaming entire communities for issues that only a handful participated in/give a shit about/are even aware of, to boot! He posted it in a bunch of G+ communities, including the Story Games community, and of course they didn't take kindly to his brand of wrongthink:


I really only mention Mark's post because Venger's is a response to that, and the context might help.
Skipping down to the bullet list on Venger's post, I agree with pretty much everything there, especially in regards to not being inclusive enough and constantly being told that there's "a problem" in "the gaming community". Let's elaborate on those:

We're Not Being Inclusive Enough
I also don't care about your race, gender, and/or who you want to fuck (and have never gamed with someone who did), but in my experience the pearl-clutching whinority are focused mostly on, say, how many black people and/or women and/or [other things] you are or aren't putting in your art/character roster, or hiring regardless of qualifications or experience.

Now to me, hiring someone based on skin color and genitalia sounds like you think they're inherently inferior and need the (eeevil) white man to elevate them, but then I'm not a forced outrage brigadier under the delusion that I'll make the world a better place by being racist or sexist against the "right" race or gender.

I also know of at least one person who thinks that every table should have at least one female player to get "their" perspective (because all women are a hive-mind I guess). If you don't have a female player (and just why not you misogynist shitlord?!), then someone must play a female character because...I guess pretending to be a woman for a few hours a week is the same as living your entire life as one?

It's buuullshit.

My daughter (and Melissa) loves the original, actually good Ghostbusters (sorry, trying to shame us into watching and liking the rehash isn't going to work). When we play the board game she'll usually go with the main cast, and she has no problem playing the Rookie in the PS3 video game (even though she doesn't have the controls down). When we play tabletop elfgames she prefers female characters, and when we play the arcade game she tends to go with the elf.

Tends to.

I feel like I should be surprised that a bunch of adults (physically, anyway) are whining about an alleged lack of inclusiveness and/or representation in a hobby that doesn't exclude or discriminate and has ample representation, while my 5 year old has no problem just playing games and having fun. But I'm not, and I blame social media (especially you, Tumblr) for giving people without real problems a way to find people that will for some reason bother listening to their petty bitching.

There's a "Problem"
As Venger says some people have problems, and some people are problems. Others claim there are problems that the people they pretend to speak for don't consider to be problems. Of course, this is when social justice slacktavists tell women they just have internalized misogyny, and minorities that they have internalized racism, because it's okay when they tell you that you're thinking the wrong way, silly women/minority. Still others exaggerate problems, like how obstacles such as time and money are mostly problems for women.

Some other examples include how fantasy characters are being depicted in art: are the women too scantily clad? Not scantily enough? No matter what you do someone is going to call you a misogynist or sexist (and don't forget racist if you don't mix up the skin colors enough, and maybe even if you do). Be careful how you draw them, lest you are also accused of (somehow) appropriating culture. Also, make sure all your women are in "active" poses, and you can't ever show a male character in a position of power over them.

It's like playing/talking about/making role-playing games has become an extension of internet armchair slacktavism, but instead of dumbasses thinking that clicking +1 or Share or Reblog will somehow make the world a better place (or make you a better person), you instead "need" to make a game where you can only play women, or hire someone that has a darker skin tone, is gay, or trans, or preferably all of the above because holy shit that's like catching a(n) [insert super-rare Pokemon here because I've never played Pokemon but it's all over my G+ feed].

If you want to make actual change, donate to a charity or get off your ass and go to a part of the world that has actual problems and do something (not that I expect people making shitty ideologically driven games to do this, as they're interested in garnering money and attention while doing as little real work as possible).

The one thing I disagree with is Venger's distinction between storygame and OSR/traditional games (Storygamers go towards the story, while the OSR lets the story come to us). I prefer this description, courtesy of Tod13 from therpgsite:

"...story gamer means the players get narrative control beyond their character's actions. In the OSR, a character looks over the bar to see if there is a shotgun and the GM decides if a shotgun is found. In story gaming, the player decides if their character finds a shotgun."

In Dungeon World there's a move called Carouse. You spend a bunch of money, roll 2d6 (plus a modifier depending on how much money you spent), and depending on the roll you the player chooses what happens: you can befriend a useful NPC, hear rumors, gain useful knowledge, or not be entangled, ensorcelled, or tricked.

Yeah, the GM gets to describe what those results mean, but ultimately the player gets to choose whether something good or bad happens. Unrelated, another problem is that the move isn't clear if everyone spends money and rolls separately, or if it's a general thing. Mind you it's not always like that, but many times the player gets to make choices, even if they would be outside of the character's control. Plus, some moves don't make any fucking sense.

Getting back on track, there are people in the community with problems. Trying to shame everyone into thinking the same way (or shutting up if they don't because disagreement is harassment somehow) is only going to work on some people (but likely those people already act and think like that). Trying to virtue signal so as to make yourself look better will also only work on some people (but again they probably already like you). In both cases many others are just going to roll their eyes, and maybe write you and what you make off.

Like Venger, I'm willing to talk with those that actually want to talk. I like some games, dislike others, but I won't hate you for liking a game I don't (though if the only thing about you is really liking a game I don't, we probably won't have much to talk about). I've also helped plenty of people make and refine game stuff (usually for free because it's fun). Mostly for Dungeon World, but I did layout for someone's 1st Edition D&D necromancer class (for free because it was quick and easy).

That said...

I'm not going to check my art and make sure that it has the "right" amount of women and minorities (though last time I checked I've drawn more female characters). That's not important, and it wouldn't satisfy you anyway because everyone has their own arbitrary ratio. plus other bullshit criteria and people that don't like me will invent whatever "reasons" they need to. I've drawn at least one woman with plenty of skin showing. That's okay. If you don't like it, grow up and/or fuck off. I've also depicted at least one woman as powerless. That's also okay, and again you're welcome to grow up or fuck off.

Cultural appropriation isn't a thing (even when you don't count the ethnic minorities that want white people to make the games they want, exactly the way they want), so I'm not going to stop making things like monks, oni, rakshasas, and so on. They may not even be mythologically accurate or whatever, and that's still fine.

I'm not going to work with/hire people based on their skin color, gender (made up or otherwise), sexual orientation (also made up or otherwise), and so on. That's not important. What is important is their personality, and skills and experience related to doing the thing I need them to do (and really, if you think your made up gender/sexual orientation is so important that you need to mention it on your bio/tagline, you've got problems).

The above also applies to the people I talk/game with: I'm not going to go out of my way looking for women or minorities to game with. If I'm looking for players, it's a first-come-first-serve kind of thing.

I'm am going to continue saying something when someone makes a shitty game thing, because an actual problem in the gaming community is people making shitty game things and people lying about/pretending that they're fucking amazing and/or silencing people that disagree. Protip: stop making shitty things?

In the end I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing. I enjoy it, others enjoy it, and that's enough. I don't need or care to pretend that I'm somehow changing the world for the better by pandering to of all people a bunch of whiny, entitled millenials without any real problems. Grow up. Step outside of your echo chamber instead of telling everyone else to shut up and agree with you. Get off social media if you can't handle people saying mean things or (more realistically) merely disagreeing with you.

Speaking of not-real-problems, I've gotta go tackle a hallway that my daughter stocked with a yaun-ti fighter, harpy, mezzodemon, and a hatchling blue dragon.

There was a strong undead theme up until then so what the fuck?

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