#RPG – X-Cards Revisited

maxresdefault

“Censorship is telling a man he can’t eat steak, because a baby can’t chew it.”
– Mark Twain

The X-Card is a tool that is supposed to make roleplaying more ‘safe’. I’m not quite sure how sitting around a table rolling dice and talking is supposed to be ‘unsafe’ unless you tread on a D4.  Leaving the base absurdity of the whole idea aside, I want to articulate my problems with them, long form, as it seems that the point is hard to get across on social media.

As with so many things these days, opposition to a concept that people have decided is progressive and inclusive is taken as automagically people hateful, nasty, uncaring or whatever else is the opposite of what people assume the thing they’re trying to impose is. As is also the case with many of these things, my opposition stems from the exact same values they claim they are trying to uphold.

The idea of the X-card is that if the game strays into uncomfortable territory for one of the players, they can play down the X-card and that scene or thread is stopped and the game skips on ahead. This is meant to protect vulnerable players from PTSD, offence, the triggering (used unironically for once) of phobia and so on.

Opposition to this idea is characterised as bullying, mean-spiritedness and so forth.

Alright, let’s engage in a thought experiment to try and demonstrate why this is a bad idea.

Imagine you’re riding a roller coaster, but everyone has access to a button that will immediately stop the roller coaster and bring it gently back to the start. A panic button, if you will. The coaster slowly climbs that first rise and is about to drop when… someone pushes the button. Ruining the experience for everyone on the roller coaster who was up for the ride from the get-go.

That doesn’t work for you? How about this then?

You buy a ticket for a horror movie and enter the theatre. Taking your seat you discover that every seat has been fitted with a button that will skip to the next scene if you find it harrowing. The film starts, the slasher appears behind the first teenage camper, raises his machete and… the film skips over the murder to the next scene, a pair of teenagers sharing a dooby behind the boat sheds. One, squeamish person has ruined the experience of the film for everyone else.

No analogy is perfect, but by transferring the X-card idea to other entertainment experiences, hopefully the absurdity and selfishness of the concept is made more obvious.

The X-card doesn’t prevent bullying, it empowers it. It gives one person at the table the power – albeit only by social convention – to interrupt and spoil the fun of everyone else at the table, and to greatly inconvenience the Games Master.

There are other issues with it too.

Firstly, it’s hard to see where an X-card would ever be used. If you have a regular group then you already know each other’s social, emotional and other boundaries and have negotiated them – probably – for years. In that context an X-card has no role whatsoever.

In convention or store games the use of such a card will be purely disruptive and, by and large, you should know what you’re signing up for when you sign up for a game. If you have arachnophobia then you probably shouldn’t have signed up for a game entitled: The Spawning Caves of the feral miscegenated Neo-Arachnid Variants.

Secondly, gaming is a safe environment, automatically. There’s nothing there that can actually hurt you. It’s all words and numbers, descriptions and choice. While gaming isn’t therapy, it can provide a cathartic environment to live out a variety of fantasies and to face up to and overcome things you find difficult. The avoidance of difficult subjects can entrench and strengthen your issues with them and therapists who do deal with this kind of thing tend to recommend facing it and gradual acclimatisation. If you let a player avoid anything that upsets them or sets off their issues, you’re not doing them any favours – quite the opposite.

Thirdly, the idea of X-cards is part of a general trend to try and homogenise and beat down gaming into some sort of family-friendly, pablumesque milieu where anything irreverent, dangerous, challenging, sexual or violent – anything that could even potentially upset or offend someone is done away with.

X-cards may be limited to certain groups and you might be able to choose to play or not play in a group that does or does not use them, but it’s part of a greater context and continuum of censorship, control and well-meaning interference that now extends all the way from publishing to the table itself.

The responsible thing to do, if you’re someone who has a hard time with certain plots, actions, monsters or whatever else at the table, is to remove yourself from the game at these points – or completely – rather than to selfishly screw it up for everyone else.

The only X-rated cards at the table should be Cthentacle.

Footnote:

Some additional, useful observations from @Haunted_backlog:

1. Give people a system for it and it’ll be more common.

2. Refusing to explain (the problem that made you use an x-card – G) compounds the problem, nobody else knows what to avoid or why.

3. In the absence of a pressing demand or notable benefit, adopting X-cards is a proxy for a group’s overall vulnerability to SJW fatwas, and who knows what it’ll require next. Vegan snacks only? Villains can only be certain races? Sky’s the limit.

#Gamergate Book Crowdfunder

InsideGG.jpgGamergate was many things to many people, depending on their perspective. For some it was a harassment campaign, even terrorism, for others a key fight for ethics, against censorship.

Sadly the prior view had all the mainstream attention and is likely to be the only point of view that will go into the long term record.

It’s important, for posterity, to present and record the other side.

I was part of Gamergate. I want to tell it’s own story. I want to correct the record.

Linkypooh

#Gamergate – For Great Ethics Versus Against SocJus – FIGHT!

15105767._SX540_

The guy with the horse penis is the broader context.

With so many enemies now crushed and defeated beneath Gamergate’s armoured boots, with increased ethics all around and with the separate but related victory of Chairman Pao being removed by the glorious counter-revolutionary wing of the Reddit Revolt, GG seems to have turned in on itself a bit and a divide that has been felt before (with the exit of Internet Aristocrat and others) has reared its head up again.

Are we fighting for ethics in game journalism – and ONLY ethics in game journalism, or are we fighting against the authoritarian censors of the Social Justice mob? What is appropriate to post on the tag and what isn’t?

Let’s get a couple of things out of the way quickly first.

  1. You can’t control the hashtag. People can and will post whatever the fuck they want on it. You can’t control other people’s output, only your own. If someone spams a lot of stuff you’re not interested in, mute them or something. Jesus. This isn’t difficult.
  2. Proposing a new hashtag is going to go down like a cup of cold sick. There’s strength in unity and some shitposting, spam and off-topic or semi off-topic material isn’t the end of the world. By all means, go make a new tag if you like (#mediagate was tried, I believe) but it’s unlikely to garner the same traction and impetus that #Gamergate has.

Now that’s out of the way, let’s take a look at the ethics part.

The fact is, games media has been corrupt since forever with in-house magazines, bribery, extortion, threats (mostly coming from distributors and publishers rather than studios, to be fair) and because this was the status quo people kind of navigated around it while quietly seething. This was financial corruption, where threats and money are used to protect and further the bottom line.

This was all ‘background radiation’ to Gamergate, what made it achieve critical mass was a different kind of corruption. Political corruption and agenda pushing, initially exposed via Literally Who’s sexual shenanigans but much, much bigger than that. Political corruption is when threats, coercion, ideological naivety, bribery and shaming are used to push an agenda and socially engineer.

What, I think, made this blow up so hard was that the indie scene (like many other indie scenes in music, tabletop games and elsewhere) had become synonymous with activism, not independence. The kinds of people making these activist, high-concept games were looking down on popular games and their audiences (as exemplified recently with the meltdown of hate and arrogance from  Tale of Tales when their housework simulator failed to excite audiences). When people looking down on and criticising you for your moral failings turn out to have feet of clay, people get understandably upset at the hypocrisy.

One of the greatest tragedies of all this, for me, is that it was a massive missed opportunity for games media to sort its life out. Here was a massive consumer uprising which could have been leveraged against those companies offering bribes, threatening to remove early access, bullying for higher scores AND to assert press neutrality against egregious ideological corruption. Backing, using or surfing Gamergate could have allowed the press to assert themselves – with popular backing – against distributors, publisher and PR flacks and could have been used to regain trust.

But no.

And that exposes the first part of the problem in trying to separate these issues into two separate things. The big reason the games media didn’t do the right thing here is because whole wings of it ARE SocJus and that is seemingly the entirety of their identity and raison d’etre. When you ask for them to act ethically you’re asking for them to act against their core beliefs and personal identity. As we’ve seen, many think the ends justify the means and many think opposing their means, means that Gamergate is against their ends (Gamergate is not anti-diversity, anti-women etc, it is broadly very liberal on these things as a whole. It just values creative freedom higher and prefer organic, consenting change).

This entanglement of the ethical issues and the SocJus issues shows why the two are inseparable.

Another reason to include the fight against SocJus within Gamergate is that it builds alliances. There’s people in other communities who have, or are, facing the same kinds of issues that Gamergate has, from Sad Puppies in fiction, to ConsultantGate in tabletop gaming (and everything around it). There’s issues of this sort all over the place and things are starting to turn. Just as with Gamergate itself, internally, we’re stronger together.

Another aspect to this is that a lot of these other enterprises feed into games.

If writers are suffering in this way, generally, then writing for games will suffer by extension.

If artists are suffering in this way, generally, then art assets for games will suffer by extension.

If the internet becomes more controlled and legislated, then games are harder to sell and may fall afoul of the same legislation.

If shops are pressured into censorship then the same applies – and this is doubly true of online sales platforms and payment processors.

Let’s try an analogy.

Say your local political situation is horribly corrupt. The local council is full of shills for companies and they’ve all been bought off.

Voting them out won’t really solve the issue, money can buy whoever else is elected.

Changing the rules could work, but it’s almost impossible to change the rules in a system that is already corrupt.

Say you do manage to change the rules. Congratulations, you now have ‘ethics in local government’, but there’s still financial corruption everywhere else. Contractors that the government uses, the unions, companies are still offering bribes at every level, interest groups are still lobbying – sometimes via underhanded means, and on a national level the parties are still compromised – and they select the candidates.

Only fixing ‘local government finance sourcing’ does practically fuck all to repair the broader issue.

To point to another, analagous example, unwinding the Satanic Panic of the 80s  (we’re now in an Ism Panic) came about because everyone came to reject it. The groups being attacked and smeared, the media, the science. There was a broad group – if not a full-on alliance – of people all saying ‘this is bollocks’, and they were able to prove it.

Trying to separate these two strands is impossible, because just as the threats to gaming used to come from a broader cultural movement of the religious right, now it comes from the authoritarian left. If you want ethical journalism and free expression, you have to take an holistic approach to understanding it.

If you don’t want to, then don’t, but you’re not going to be able to stop anyone else anyway – so the whole discussion is fucking pointless.

#Gamergate: Attitude Polls

The Political Compass was a good way of having an immediate way to counter people’s claims that #Gamergate is a right wing, reactionary, conservative movement but arguments still persist. Arguments that Gamergate is about ‘bullying women’, or denying criticism (I know, hypocritical already) and all the rest.

I know some people see it that way and I know why they see it that way (because they’re being lied to constantly and because it plays into a pre-existing false narrative).

What I see is a movement that is finally standing up against censorship, politicisation and abuse from the very sources that are supposed to be acting in our interests as consumers. I see witch hunts dressed up as criticism, and then I see counter-criticism dressed up as witch hunts. I see people held up as not being accountable, I see the denial of conversations about the issues in favour of pronouncements. I see a line in the sand against this creeping malaise that has infested tabletop gaming, SF&F and many fandoms as a whole. ‘The long march through the nerd institutions’.

I continue to be disappointed in friends and coworkers, especially those who – like me – lived through and experienced previous moral panics in music and D&D, buying into this moral panic because it dresses up in the language of equality and fairness.

It’s my hunch that Gamergate is full of people who, like me, want to see more diversity, more mature plots, more experimental and artistic works, but don’t want everything to be forced to fit into a narrow, ideological, inoffensive pigeonhole. People who want art to be created by the creators, to their vision – whether singular or aggregate – without these kinds of interference, bullying, force, collusion and – yes – conspiracy.

Please answer the polls honestly, I know some people will try to distort them one way or the other, but still it might help to have something like the political compass results that we can point to.

For those who want to see more diversity, FOAMYOs.

7e1

Snapshot of results. Keep in mind it was an open poll based on accusations, so the questions were not well crafted and a troll presence was definitely there. Even so, I think it’s useful

GGrep

GGfem

GGmisogyny

Boys Smell & Girls Have Kooties

Shirts Vs Skins

Yet more gender-wars have been erupting on the internet. Yesterday it was about ConTessa an online con intended to step aside from the gender wars and promote the positive contribution of women in gaming and general nerdery. Ostensibly a great idea. Ironically, and somewhat predictably, it immediately became a lightning-rod for the gender wars and this was in no small part due to the policies and self-described nature of the event in its rough-draft guidelines (it explicitly excluded men from aspects of the con EDIT: And still does in its second incarnation).

Today it’s the #1ReasonWhy hashtag on Twitter which is being used to try and describe the trials and tribulations, under-representation etc of women in the gaming (and more general nerdery) industry. Again, predictably, this fairly rapidly descended into man-bashing and this from people who claim to be anti-sexism.

In both cases the laudable and original aim of promoting female contributions and driving for egalitarianism has been undermined by its own proponents. In the case of LadyCon/ConTessa because of its policy that no men are to be involved in the organisational or presentational side of it. In the case of #1ReasonWhy it’s not only the parade of sexism but also the condemnation of anything men might happen to like as being badwrongfun.

This, needless to say, does not foster an atmosphere of tolerance or understanding and appears to those of us sensitised to unfairness and sexism to be deeply hypocritical.

Judge Judy and Executioner

The fact is that the world of the do-gooder is as riddled with presumption, prejudice and privilege as the injustices that they attack. The presumption, in these cases, that men go out of their way to exclude or dismiss women. The idea that the things that men like and want in their games or media are necessarily bad or necessarily exclude women from liking the same things.

Prejudice also exists in other arenas such as erotica, pornography and sex-work. Often from the very people who claim to be out to help. Today that was an Irish organisation’s ‘Man Up’ campaign on Twitter against domestic violence which failed to take into account that men can be victims too and that ‘man up’ means to endure in silence – not helpful.

Previously I’ve seen sex-workers vilified for enjoying their work and have seen them be confused with human trafficking issues. I acknowledge that my more libertine point of view may not fit everyone but I don’t see the harm so long as it’s all consensual and by choice. Same with people who make porn and who suffer a great deal from nasty commentary, lack of understanding and judgement from people who would consider themselves ‘progressive‘.

When you look at an entire industry and broad-brush paint the men in it as sexist, self-interested or conspiring (somehow) against women you are being as sexist as the very few men that would actually fit that description.

Part of the problem here is the presumption that everyone else is ‘like you’ and that things need to be homogenised and changed in order to fit you, or your group’s, desires. Homogeneity isn’t equality and I doubt you’d see people argue that Die Hard needs more time spent on romance or Pride and Prejudice needs more explosions. ‘Games should be for everyone‘ is a frankly facile and stupid thing to say. More ‘There should be games for everyone’ (and there are even if they don’t necessarily meet with massive commercial success).

This homogenisation would mean a loss of diversity, not a gain. Women cannot presume that men react to these games/comics etc the same way that they do or indeed even that other women necessarily react or think the same way they do. It’s much better to argue for addition than for change since change attacks and removes something that someone else loves. That’s going to lose good will and cost opportunities to make points and create change.


Accept Diversity

People like a lot of things. People like different things. That one person reacts to something negatively or perceives it as negative doesn’t mean that it is.

Some people like curry, some people like cucumber finger sandwiches. Some people like to ogle Lara Craft while they put her through a gymnastics routine (and some of those are women) others don’t.

It undermines your message of acceptance and diversity if you fail to accept and accommodate the needs and desires of others. It invites people to ignore your needs and desires in return.

To take an example from the feminist movement of a breakdown of this sort, some meetings and rallies have had a ‘Women born women’ policy. That is to say no m2f transsexuals permitted on the grounds that they’re ‘not real women’.

Now, this is objectively true at a chromosomal and morphological level AND most likely at an experiential level growing up pre-transition (life experience as a male is going to mean different perceptions and exposure to different experiences than growing up female). However, it seriously undermines any sort of egalitarian principle and plays into the same kind of prejudice that lead to two girls beating up a trans woman in a restaurant toilet. They regarded the situation as being that of a Peeping Tom and again, one can understand that POV even if one disagrees with the outcome.

Creating a women only space, implicitly or explicitly, is not going to foster communication. It’s going to be nothing more than a cheerleading exercise. It’s only going to attract the faithful (and Cockatoo Cichlids) and is going to turn a lot of people off who might have useful insights but just happen to have the wrong gender plumbing – and that’s what we’re trying to fight against, right?

ECHO, Echo, echo, echo…

A ‘safe space’, a cheerleader-only space, doesn’t foster communication or solutions to problems. It creates an echo chamber, a positive feedback loop. These kind of closed ‘yes men’ situations are found to lead to extremism. In a very real sense they make compromise and accommodation less likely, not more likely and create levels of alienation from the cause that can cost potential allies.

Dissent is Not Attack

A big part of the problem with these arguments is that any kind of dissent or disagreement is taken as an attack or an insult when this needn’t be the case. Ironically, the same people who are happy to ‘call people on their shit’ are profoundly unwilling to countenance any protest when they’re ‘called on THEIR shit’.

Robust and worthwhile ideas, theories, concepts are able to withstand criticism and they come out all the stronger for it. This is why Peer Review exists in science and why people work so hard to find problems with scientific theories. If it can resist being proven wrong, it’s a good theory. If people find valid criticisms of the way you’re conducting your social agenda, it might be worth taking a look.

Add, Don’t Take Away

So, is there a solution to all this? I think there is and that’s ‘Make Good Art‘. Add to what is here, don’t take away from it. The problem is not half naked women in games. There’s nothing actually, inherently wrong with catering to majority male sexuality (especially if you audience is predominantly male). The problem is the lack of other options.

Things are changing, additions are being made but this never seems to be enough and is rarely acknowledged. Dragon Age and Mass Effect get as much criticism as praise, despite making massive strides for gender equality in storylines and more grown-up and intricate storylines (if we pretend DA2 didn’t exist anyway).

There are games such as Borderlands and Lollipop Chainsaw that cock a wink at and make fun of the existing stereotypes and turn them on their head (seriously, is anyone in BL2 NOT gay/bi?)  but, again, get attacked.

Like I say, we need to add, not take away. Increase our game options and more people are happy, attack someone over something they love and try to take it away and you’ll see their heels get dug in.

For tabletop games the barrier to entry is practically non-existent these days. There’s no reason whatsoever you can’t add to the diversity and scope of RPGs or boardgames but there’s no need to start from a position of ‘man stuff is bad and wrong’. That’s about as mature as ‘girls have kooties’.

For computer games there’s a bit more of a barrier but looking at the #1reasonwhy tag there’s all these women with company start-up experience, design experience, software programming skills and so on so why aren’t they chasing down some venture capital, creating a start-up company or making more indie games? Where’s the Kickstarters for girl games rather than for films bashing boy games?

Can we honestly not accept that different people like different things (sometimes based on gender) and that this is OK and not fundamentally evil? Do we see equal complaint in areas where men are under-represented or sidelined? Where’s the campaign decrying the evil fact that online Bingo is exclusively marketed to women?

Be What You Want to See in the World

If you want to see a more tolerant and inclusive world it falls upon you to be that and most people, taken on good faith, are just out to create things that they love and enjoy themselves. They’re not out to hurt you or even to purposefully exclude you (unless they’re the Westboro Baptist Church). Men want more women to be into games. They want partners who understand their love of Zelda/Xmen/D&D very much.

If you want people to be accepting, you have to be accepting.

If you want gender not to matter, it has to not matter to you.

If you want to see games that emphasise X over Y or Z then you need to make it happen.

Re-Railing for Dummies

A lot of the time these kinds of debates get nowhere because each side is looking for something to justify ignoring the other side. Even legitimate questions or points are dismissed. In the arena of the gender wars Derailing for Dummies is a particular culprit, as is Feminism 101 and the horrendously sexist term ‘Mansplaining’. Armed camps is no way to proceed and like accusations of emotional argument, PMS or bitchiness these things are the WMD of discussion.

As such I propose an open invitation to a calm and open blog debate where no question or dissent is considered stupid or out of bounds and such dismissals are disallowed. One on one – to avoid dogpiling – and with a limit of one post per day or even week.

Without communication there can be no progress and as someone who is staunchly egalitarian and has become increasingly turned off to women’s complaints and concerns by the very people supposedly promoting them, the fact that we seem unable to have that communication pains me.

Topics to be covered might include:

  • Why the demographical bias is as it is.
  • What can usefully be done to change this.
  • Fostering productive communication.
  • Intergender Misunderstandings
  • Examples of good practice.

Just off the top of my head. My debate partner could choose several of their own and I’m sure any debate would throw up new items.

Pax.

I have tried to keep this post as calm and explanatory as possible, as open as possible. Some will no doubt take it as yet another opportunity to misinterpret, misunderstand and/or give me a good kicking but I present it in good faith.

Public Statement Re: Mongoose

I am disappointed today to discover that Mongoose Publishing, with whom I have had a professional and personal relationship for around a decade, have caved to pressure from a libellous petition against me.

The text of their statement will be appended below.

I am certain there are more people out there who support me and my work, the principles of free expression and who understand satire and comedic exaggeration.

I need your support and I need the support of your friends. I think we should be easily able to outdo the amount of support this person’s petition against me garnered.

Just from amongst my friends, my family, my acquaintances, those who know me to even the slightest degree there should be enough people to make this incident and this woman’s petition look ridiculous. When you include my customers, it should be dwarfed.

I understand you might be afraid of sticking your neck out and being associated with me, purely because of the manner of accusations being made against me. They remain untrue, have never been true and will never be true. So please don’t let that hold you back.

If you need reassurance you know how to contact me. I have tried to be reasonable and open about every aspect of this incident since the start. Not that it has done me any good.

A line has been crossed here and it is a very dangerous one.

Someone has set up a counter-petition in support of me (not the other, silly petition that has also been doing the rounds). You can find it here, please sign.

Counter Petition

Many of you will be aware that over the past couple of days Mongoose has been caught up in a controversy regarding a blog post of a freelancer we once hired.

We would like to make clear that we have, and have not had, any plans to hire this freelancer again for any future projects.

We understand that some people have found his previous material upsetting, despite all intentions for it to be humorous. This book will therefore be allowed to lapse out of print, and we will not actively promote it in any way. It will never be reprinted.

Like other publishers, we have a deep interest in publishing a greater amount of female-positive material, and would welcome any discussion of such on our forums.

There have been a few comments raised about an unfortunate phrase that was chosen for a temporary project title on our forums. It was used without sufficient thought as to its implications beyond a reference to a film. It was immediatly deleted as soon as this was pointed out.

We regret any offence given either in private email by myself or on our forums. Our actions throughout this situation, while obviously not a picture of perfect PR, have nonetheless been motivated by a genuine desire to try to understand the other’s point of view and see if any kind of compromise or reconciliation could be reached. At the end of the day, I am a gamer and ex-computer engineer who has found himself running a company – what I know of PR could be written on a postage stamp. However, as I say, the motives were genuine. 

Finally, it has been reported that some… individuals (I would hesitate to call them people) have been sending threats of violence to others. We have nothing to do with that, condemn it utterly and, frankly, those individuals should be ashamed of themselves. There is nothing big or clever in what you have done.

_________________
Matthew Sprange

Face, Meet Palm

I’m taking today off the internet, other than email, but I’ll just leave this here.

As you can see Matt of Mongoose has been perfectly reasonable through the whole thing and the other party… not so much. Their lack of research and conclusion-jumping is pretty obvious but perhaps the most egregious error is in thinking I made the Tentacle Bento game, when in fact they ripped me off. She also seems to see the repugnant episode of TB getting taken down from Kickstarter as a good thing.

I can tell we’ll never be friends (not recognising a Full Metal Jacket quote is another reason).

For the desperately hard of understanding. I have not asked anyone to send her rape threats and I know trolling when I see it. People like this young lady don’t – apparently – know trolling when they see it and take it seriously, then use it to back up their claims of harassment, rape culture etc. I know that’s the emotional payoff for you trolls, but the don’t. Please don’t do it, it really doesn’t help. Not that you mean it to help, nor that you’ll listen to me, but some people think failing to condemn something means you support it.

The Dalai-Lama hasn’t opening condemned buggering marmosets. I guess he must support it then. I expect a Change.org petition on that any moment.

People supporting me have made a couple of petitions.

One humorous.

One not.

I haven’t promoted these previously because, well, I’m British damn it and we don’t particularly like self-aggrandisement but what the hell. Sane and literate people are apparently in short supply and need a little bit of a prompt to sign such things, whereas kneejerk concern trolls don’t. It would be lovely if you’d sign these to show support.

Madam, I think THESE two LINKS may help you understand my comedic work. I also suggest investigating the work of Chris Morris.

You may not like it but that doesn’t make me a monster nor does it make me a rape supporter. I do not condone, support or excuse rape. What I do support is free expression, even when it’s ‘problematic’ and I oppose censorship and attempted censorship whether it comes from governments, companies or self-appointed moral watchdogs.

You have not attempted to engage me, you have not asked and judging by your enormous blog post you have not done even the bare minimum of research or reading (I’m sure you’ll edit it later, but still). Nor were you willing to actually talk with Matthew who was clearly doing his best to be polite and to take you seriously. Do you really want to be another Pat Pulling or Tipper Gore? You seem to have such a low opinion of men and gamers that you can’t tell a parody when you see one because you think people genuinely hold these viewpoints. That’s quite sad really.

Right, I’m taking today off and then it’s back to the business of making kick-arse games and writing fiction. I’ll try to just ignore anymore of this bullshittery that comes along. Apologies to the regulars for getting caught up  in all this so much.