I seem to tackle or arouse controversy in a lot of things that I do. This isn’t necessarily through any deliberate attempt to be controversial or difficult but more to do with the fact that I simply don’t give two tugs of a dead dog’s cock, at least when I’m producing my own stuff. There are limits of course, but they’re my limits, I’ve no real respect for other people’s particular prejudices or tastes and I don’t expect them to have any real respect for mine.
I’m interested in controversial subjects, religion, politics, sex, violence, different interpretations of history and events. Controvesial subjects attract and interest me and I’ll tend to pursue ideas regardless. Self publishing gives me that freedom to pursue these topics without having to be fearful or to concern myself with purely commercial considerations. Controversy DOES sell sometimes, but it doesn’t always. Hentacle and Cthentacle do very nicely thank you but Final Straw – arguably a better game to play – didn’t do very well at all. The subject was, perhaps, a bit too near to the knuckle for the US market and that pretty much doomed it. Shame, because I bloody love that game. Controversy isn’t a seller by itself, good gameplay isn’t a seller by itself and even the two together isn’t a seller. (Sex, apparently is though).
Satire’s always a bit controversial and the whole Shadow World line is nothing but satire really, cutting it fine on various things, including most lately the kind of perverted shit that turns up in fanfic and slashfic. How that’s going to pan out… well, we’ll see how people react over time.
Where I seem to run into problems is with people who either read too much or too little into what I write. When I talk about the English language they presume there’s a concern or goal there that goes beyond correct use of the mother tongue, when I write about hentai tentacle porn, hookers or female gamers they take it on its face and don’t bother to explore the subtext which, most often, conforms to their viewpoint. You really can’t win and, much as I like argumentation, I like argumentation where a point can be made and stick.
If anything recent encounters with these sorts of reactions have strengthened my resolve to keep exploring these topics in this way because, if nothing else, it makes life interesting, creates buzz and engages the community in discussing interesting things.