Category Archives: Two Minutes of Hate

Judging A Game by Those Who Play It

Division and Drama.  I’m sick of it. Yes, it would be nice if folks would at least be able to politely disagree.

Has this ever happened to you?  You buy a new game and play it and like it. Then you go online and try talk about it.  You might go to a group or community specific to that game or even mention it amongst the general chatter.  And oh my god.  You just kicked a puppy or feel like you rolled around on a fire ant mound.

There’s some communities where you’re judged by how long you’ve been a member, how much you post, and how money you shell out to game’s designers.  You make think that’s silly but that was my experience on the old Paizo Forums when Pathfinder 1.0 was still in beta.  After those initial interactions, I walked away from the forum.  No point in sharing there.

Then there’s those communities, where they spend more time talking about other things rather than the actual game.  They tend to complain about “those people”. Generally it’s anybody that they disagree with on some non-gaming issue. Of course, it gets even more craptacular when the actual game designers/publishers are moderating, posting, and even encouraging it.   Often you’ll see the “we don’t money from those kind of people”. You’ve probably seen that more than once.

But what about when you mention a game in passing like in a normal post some where and you didn’t take the time to do a complete background check on the authors, artists, publisher, or whatever.  OMG, how can you like THAT GAME!  One of the artists did something six years ago that was BAD. But maybe it wasn’t bad.  It wasn’t bad then. It was rumor. It was proven false but is still “true” according to some one out there on the Internet.

If you’ve been around online gaming communities for any significant length of time, you’ve seen one or more of these little dramas play out. Sometimes even the flame wars started by these have literally lasted decades. Yes, the internet has been around that long.

So let me get back to my main point.  Judging a game by its community. You’ve bought a game and played a game and enjoyed then you went looking for the online communities.  Or maybe, you’re interested in a game and you hunt down an online group.  And you’re first  thought is “What the hell is wrong with these people?” You might post some slightly different view on something and out come the pitchforks and torches. It sours the whole experience.  Yeah, I know.  You’ve got your home game and they can’t change that. It still sours that home game experience.  It’s like when eat some bad sushi and get sick then months or even years later you have sushi again.  It’s perfectly good but it still turns your stomach because of that past experience.

I know a lot of these start of as political or moral arguments.  I have a pretty simple philosophy on that.  There’s obviously right and obviously wrong and a big assed gray area in between and in that gray area different people have different lines in the sand.  Any more, there’s very little “agree to disagree” and move on.

I don’t have any solutions for this.  I can’t tell anybody not to do X or Y. I really don’t think anybody is capable of doing anything to that would have any significant effect. It’s just one drama at a time and try to move on and hope there’s something left when the smoke clears.

And a couple of final thoughts.  No matter how many people agree with an opinion that still doesn’t make it a fact.  And who’s see this: If you are friends with/like X then you can’t be my “friend”.

Ugh.  Enough of this for now.  Need to get back and have some fun!

WOTC: Corporate Pandering

Wizards of the Coast has released their newest Diversity statement. Let’s face it. Statements like this one just use inclusive and diverse as marketing buzz words to pander to angry Internet mob that can never be placated. It’s much easier for them to cave to a mob than play whack-a-mole across the Internet. Most importantly. This isn’t just about elf games. Look around you. There needs to be honest and frank discussions about racism not manufactured outrage. There need to be solid reforms to address the problems in our society not pandering and virtue signalling. Folks wonder why it’s so difficult to bring about change. Well, it’s crap like this.
When I first heard the whole orcs are racist thing, I totally thought this was a just of those silly Internet memes. Oh, was I wrong. So for those who didn’t get the memo here’s a rough breakdown on the origins of this whole thing. I’m not going to sit here and rehash old arguments and the best response I found online is penned here.
I’ve said it before. Controversy has more legs than content. Extreme, loud voices get attention. Calm, reasonable voices get drowned out. Trying to debate or reason is useless. Disagreement and dissent are viewed as proof that the mob is not only right but you are an enemy.
I know the argument that the Thought Police aren’t going to kick your door down if you’re playing your home game “wrong”. They won’t take away your books or your dice. Just don’t publicly mention or share it online if you’ve even argued with the mob or associated with the wrong people. You better stay away from conventions too. And don’t play any other games that don’t follow the narrative.
I wonder if WOTC will edit or even remove older editions and content because it is now deemed inappropriate. To be honest, I think that’s a long shot. But I do see the mob as using this ammunition to get any publisher who has spoken out against them banned on Drivethru.
Really hope that I’m wrong on these last points. But based on what’s happened in the past, it wouldn’t surprise me.
I will dare say that most, well beyond 95%, of people are good and reasonable people. They don’t want to waste their time debating with those who aren’t interested in debate. They don’t want to be harassed by an angry mob just because they disagree. I understand that and it’s been my own policy not to bother to engage. Especially in the OSR, we created politics free zones. I mean all we wanted to do was talk about elf games. In a way, we created a “safe space” and even stuck our heads in the sand. We have nobody to blame but ourselves. The net result is that the angry mob is the only voice who is heard. We gave them the power over us and the “RPG community”.
So what to do? You’re a responsible adult. Make you own decisions and don’t let a mob or me make them for you.