So a couple of guys have decided to create what should – in theory – be an Indie Darling. This is a set of one-shot story-game type scenarios that are each centred on difficult and controversial topics from rape and abuse to views of welfare claimants and all things in between. There’s shades of the ‘New Style’ games of old there as well as various other games that try to address controversial topics. My own Little Grey Book would seem to be the type of thing they’re angling for here, but with more structured play.
These kind of one-shot ideas aren’t really the kind of thing that I like to play myself, though it might be fun to write one-shot, hyper-specific game scenarios, but it was brought to my attention in a blatant attempt to use my controversial reputation to aid the project. It’s controversial topics that interest me, more than the controversy itself, but there does seem to be an interesting level of hypocrisy and panic going on here.
People associated with the project have been bullied because of their association and threatened with loss of work. The predictable and usual suspects have gotten their panties in a bunch. At this point it’s a familiar dance. What makes this odd is that these games are not, even remotely, interpretable as glorifying any of these topics (though a fictional setting that did could be interesting to explore). They’re Indie games – which are usually given more latitude – and, though I hesitate to mention it, one of the chaps involved is a Person of Colour.
Given that hysteria about game content has reached such stupid heights that the inclusion of a succubus-like monster in Numenara is enough to set RPGnet off, maybe I shouldn’t be quite so surprised that they’re now eating their own.
Anyway, it’s not tempting enough for me to back as I’d get no use out of it whatsoever, but I admire the attempt, the goals of the project and the attempt to stay reasonable with critics. Unflinchingly tackling difficult concepts is a worthy thing to try to do.