A Note on the Smearing of the ‘Unwoke’ in #TTRPG Spaces

(Just said to Skip Williams, RE: The Woke Vs Slept war in TTRPGs, worth saying more widely I think.)

I feel that you are mischaracterising a lot of the concerns by giving them an easy label and smear. This post also whiffs of implicit bigotry, just going the opposite direction to usual.

There’s a significant portion of people concerned bout the way things are going, for the same reason we were concerned about Pat Pulling, or the Vampire Panic, or Jack Thompson, or Anita Sarkeesian.

There’s a significant number of people smearing the inventors of the games, and the games of the past – from a position of ignorance and perversely, and wilfully distorted perception.

D&D wasn’t Satanic, Heavy Metal didn’t make people suicidal, and games (as a whole) weren’t murder simulators. The ceaseless accusations of racism/sexism/homophobia/transphobia etc are spurious and having a negative effect on the craft, far more than BADD ever did.

We need diversity in design, topic, genre, rules, approaches, emphasis. Turning every game into Captain Planet doesn’t increase diversity, it diminishes it. We’re also sacrificing simulationism, verisimilitude, suspension of disbelief, historicity, consistency and hyperreality for no real gain.

IIRC a lot of this outreach doesn’t seem to be working. The gender etc proportions are (again, IIRC) worse than they were around the 3rd Edition era, but that was probably the tail-end of the Vampire effect. Expanding the audience makes sense, doing so by cannibalizing and sacrificing your existing audience does not. Let’s try to steelman both sides of this debate, shall we?

#Gamergate – The Card Game RELEASED!

141100

Update 5: Steve Jackson Games have refused to sell the product on e23, on the grounds they believe it would negatively impact their digital sales. SJ Games tends to have a fairly right wing and mercenary bent, to the point of not sharing the Munchkin millions with the people who started off the whole thing, in this case it seems like the mercenary bent won out – but at least they were honest and straightforward about it and it’s a purely commercial decision. OneBookShelf (RPGNOW/Drivethru) inform me that there’ll be a consulting period and some actual, generally applicable rules will be come up with to decide what can and should be banned, when and how. So please do continue to contact them and express your PoV as a consumer that free expression is important and that you’re capable of making your own decisions about what you do and do not buy. More importantly, if you’re a creator who sells through any of their sites you should have concerns about any such rules – as they may turn on you in the future – and should make your opinion known. Contact form via this link. For my part it’s simple. If it’s not illegal, it should be allowed – properly streamed and tagged. If you wish to express your displease at SJ Games refusing to host the download, you can do that HERE.

Update 4: The hardcopy of the game is currently up for sale HERE. Hopefully there won’t be any issues with that but it remains to be seen. Be cautioned however that the cards and box have only been virtually proofed at this point, so I can’t 100% guarantee the final print quality – but I’ve had no problems in the past. Shipping outside the US is a sonofabitch via Gamecrafter, so if non-Yanks want copies I suggest clubbing together and sharing the cost. If you want to show support to me please do so politely via this link. You can also support me by buying my products and books (links in the side bar) though I also have free products and downloading these would also be a show of support – plus I’d like to get those out there. Another way to show support would be to support my art scholarship fundraiser. I still have no real idea what the issue with the Gamergate card game is for Onebookshelf (RPGNOW, DriveThruRPG) other than that they were being threatened by some other publishers if they didn’t withdraw it. Otherwise the concern seems centred around assumptions about the game and disinfo about Gamergate itself. I am pursuing other avenues of sale, but for those who do not know, Onebookshelf is kinda like the ‘Amazon’ of ebook RPG sales with a market dominance that is concerning – at least when it’s potentially abused like this.

UPDATE 3: For the time being you can by the PDF of the game HERE.

UPDATE 2: As well as complaint bombing, part of the problem seems to be other companies threatening the site with the pulling of their own products! Interestingly, at least one of them is one of those I called out in the pulled Escapist interview.

UPDATE 1: The game has been pulled from the current sales site without explanation, apparently due to ‘complaint bombing’ at this link. These people man, these people. I’ll explore other avenues and try to find out what’s going on, and keep you posted.

Gamergate the Card Game commemorates THE defining culture war of this generation – by taking the piss out of all sides.

  • Comics fans had Frederic Wertham.
  • Tabletop gamers had Pat Pulling.
  • Computer games previously had Jack Thompson.

Now all we have to contend with are upper middle class people with blue hair, buckling under crippling white guilt… fighting trolls.

A two player adversarial game, you’ll compete with the Social Justice Warriors trying to get away with egregious breaches of ethics before Gamergate can create enough of a fuss and social pressure to expose them, all the while flaming each other on Twitter, screaming for attention and being trolled hard.

Download the Print & Play version HERE.

A hardcopy version should follow at The Gamecrafter next week or the week after.

Review copies available on request, just be sure you disclose it!

5319049+_5ff1d958a44087ba15e0785647b28867