Foolish pandering to pressure groups by RPG companies that SHOULD know better.
FYI – any images I use I cite “Fair Use” – privately hosted blog.
This BloggVs MaXXXimVs is an open letter of sorts to Dungeons and Dragons – and other major gaming companies who have or are contemplating getting “Woke” not just with foolish virtue signalling but with wholescale redesign of classics.
I’m not directing it towards used toilet paper (One Man’s Opinion) such as Zweihander, MonteCUCK publishing, Fate of Chthulhu – those that pretty much were WOKE from the start. Any Rainbow Unicorn Snowflakes? Go there. Play their games. Case in point, Zweihander has PILES of games and at least my local outlets NOT ONE sold in a year, a year before the virus/lockdown thing. Buy it and play with other SNOWFLAKES – just don’t mess with people who like OLD SCHOOL games. We ain’t Munchkins anymore – but you are an insult to that term.
No, my question is for major gaming companies I used to like but now are modifying the silliest of things to pander to people who are not and will never be their customers – save ‘therapy’…
My argument is not really some rant on ‘sacred’ traditions from the 70s, 80s – but even before I get into censorship there’s something that should have stopped this right off;
“If it ain’t BROKEN don’t FIX it…”
It was “Dungeons and Dragons” never “Klusaders and Kool Klansmen” – and it was a fantasy game of other lands other times other worlds – beyond the fields we know, of sword and sorcery, rings and treemen and wizards, of dying earths and odd but satisfying spells… A love letter to fantasy, sci fi and pulps of yore and dreams of young men in changing times.
It was NEVER racist or Sexist. Oh, some things some have ‘issues’ with. FUCK THEM. Some have “Issues” with EVERYTHING. Cater to those and you’ll have NOTHING. But I’ll get to that later.
The fact is the genre is a product of the 70s but progressive as with most players – BY FAR. Oh, sure some rare niche aberrations (F.A.T.A.L., RAHOWA – done much MUCH later) and this or that ‘gaming group’ might have issues – but by far most who played the game were as or more progressive of the times. TTRPGs tend to attract liberal people though old school liberal.
So the games base settings tended to be inspired but generic fantasy (and sci-fi, western, etc.) settings that could be springboards for adventure – and the DM and Players had fun in this shared fantasy. But the only way there were ‘racist’ or ‘sexist’ issues was from the people doing the game, not the setting.
Thus “Fixing” things people complain is problematic is only alienating the core audience without doing ANYTHING to get NEW customers. But again getting to that later.
This is what gets me angry – what makes me really clamor for people to BOYCOTT D&D (and White Wolf) over pandering;
Gamers need to be fantatical to defend FREE SPEECH and rabidly fight CENSORSHIP…
The 80s taught us that lesson HARD.
Remember the 80s? Well F— you if not, and if not BORN then or some silly excuse… LOOK – IT – UP.
For a quick in a nutshell we had the steady decline of America continuing despite the appearance of a deficit financed economic boom. People felt a little more better than in the 70s and if they didn’t blamed themselves and tried to work harder, make more $ for more toys. Kids were getting RAMMED to go to college and soon it’d not be worth what a High School Diploma was worth in the 70s. The internet and computer culture was in its infancy though electronic based music had made huge strides. The record companies screamed about music being copied – though people used cassette tapes for it.
And Dungeons and Dragons was popular, spawning TV shows, toys, competition… AND McCarthy on Acid stereotyping and libel/slander by religious and political figures attacked it.
We were in a dark time. On the edge of Nuclear War – the war-mongering actor president ‘joking’ about bombing Russia… AIDS was growing but because it was associated with Gays (and BLACKS) little was done. The S&L scandal had raped the heartland’s savings and the country faced being taxed to pay for it or face another Great Depression – while the thieves ran like bunnies… This later funded a lot of the “NeoConservative” political push next decade…
Oh, and Televangalists were a bit worried. People were having less cash – especially the ones dumb enough to send money to them – and still trying to pretend they were prosperous coz ‘Murika… All that silly money going to Disneyland… Heh – the “Disney Boycott” was a failure of the 90s, but same thing.
They needed attention but might lose their tax exempt status if they got social issues because that’s a hair’s breath away from political issues. So, how to keep in mansions, yachts, distracting the ‘official’ wife with endless shoes while the Floozy gets the latest Jacuzi…?
“Who…could it be….? SATAN!?” Yep. See the Devil everywhere, ‘cept when you look in the mirror.
So, when the country was being looted, when a “Big disease with a little name” was doubling again and again, when we were on the edge of Nuclear War as slowly the standard of living was sliding…
“You CHILDREN are being lured to SATAN by Black Magick and witchcraft via the board game DUNGEONS and DRAGONS!!!”
And they filled the airwaves with speculation on the game causing kids to get into the occult via playing fantasy wizards… And about kids that killed themselves. Or committed crimes to buy more D&D books…
Except it was all LIES.
And “Zombie Lies” to use a term coined by Bill Maher recently.
It didn’t matter if they were untrue – they kept repeating them again and again till they seemed like the truth.
Case in point – the “Steam Tunnel” incident.
A closet gay college student who maybe played the game a few times faked his suicide (fake letter, tried to start new life in other city) and the media rammed in he’d played LARP stuff and got lost/died/killed himself in massive maintenance tunnels under universtiy/town…
Was the inspiration for the movie “Mazes and Monsters”.
“The scariest monsters are the ones in our minds…” – best line in a movie about ever. Too bad it was all FAKE.
Combine that with the “MacMartin Preschool” prosecution (also complete lies that destroyed lives) “Recovered Memory” of “Ritual Abuse” that led to people being jailed for imaginary crimes…
Well we had to hold on to our RPG books for DEAR LIFE. We had to FIGHT at every single F-ing level from the home, the school, college, retail, the workplace.. (yes boss, I play the game, no you don’t need to fear I’ll steal the stapler and no I won’t sacrifice the office corgi to Satan, I promise… I just play with my college friends. You don’t pester Norbert from Accounting who comes in every Monday hung over and you advanced him $30K when he ended up in a foreign jail on his latest sex tour aka vacation…)
The company itself (and other RPG companies) had to hire lawyers, lobbyists, spend money on ‘press’ articles – all to defend themselves. And the same “Zombie LIES” kept repeating and repeating.
The funniest highlight was Gary Gygax going on a news show. He’d made sure they couldn’t do other than show the ENTIRE interview, NO cuts. (ever watch a Simpsons – “Homer Badman”? That video treatment was epic, still is used) The long and short was that he pointed out that since D&D players had reached millions the science of “Raw Statistics” came into play. Overall the rates of suicide, crime, any other negative/degenerate activity were microscopic compared to the rest of the population. When you pretend to be an ELF in the Basement of your friend’s parents or his dorm room late into the evening/weekend well that’s less time to Drink, do drugs, seek casual sex – or kill yourself, commit crimes, attend black masses, etc.
It was a battle that lasted the DECADE – and in part defined it.
Like, remember when GURPS got busted by the Fed Fuzz over its “Cyberpunk” supplement. Even though ZERO advice on any real “Hacking” in the book? IMO it was pure harassment designed to try to get them to shut down.
NOPE. Cold Dead Fingers.
One thing a liberal, ‘soft’, kinda left wing Old School Gamer has with a militant right wing GUN NUT… I could imagine the latter “You Swar you not into da Debil?” – gamer “Not in any way. Matter of fact I play a Paladin that SMITES them, kinda like old King Arthur stories…” Gun person “Well, If you respect the Second Amendment I’ll be for the First then…though might not play yer game…”
SO – the gist of this is a gaming company that CUCKS to CENSORS is NOT worth it.
Yes, I remember the Cuck Cuck CUCK of calling Devils Blaatezus for a while – you lost a bunch of customers to competitors, including those that didn’t run from an artist drawing a nearly naked woman… Did any “Moral Majority” types start playing D&D – have a fantasy world where they could be Crusaders smiting Infidels? Nope, just “hah! We proved they were EVIL. Now to ask for more MONEY!”
D&D, White Wolf – any legit “Gaming Company” out there with any ties to the past – and the new ones… Do NOT cater to “Social Justice Warriors” braying and screaming because they find things “problematic”…
No you won’t lose customers if you IGNORE them or even double down and make things WORSE…
That’s the “STUPID” on your part that really BURNS me – you’ve had DECADES of “Market Research” proving how pathetic, how WORTHLESS these Social Justice pieces of SHIT are – how catering to them will only COST you customers and not gain you one. How they’ll only latch on and complain more. How if you are dumb enough to HIRE them (cough cough Monte CUCK games?) they’ll drive down your company.
Let’s go to memory lane.
First – in the wake of the emergence of Dungeons and Dragons, surely the old timers remember the “Publishing” world – those nice folks that printed all those books and magazines full of Fantasy, Science Fiction, Pulp that you read and enjoyed? Don’t you remember how they were BORED of a pile of “I wanna be the next Francis Knowlan…” predictable plots for decades – so they moved to the “new wave” both exploring stuff they didn’t dare touch (sex, radical politics, more dark issues) but also going into a Nihlist and bizzaro angle? So just as “Star Wars” and “Star Trek” made the genres go “mainstream” at last the people running from the movie house to the bookstore got boring, bizarro and alien stuff only fit for a VERY jaded editor?
And then they got WOKE and got BROKE to use a modern term – the head of DAW had a heart attack and his militant Feminst daughter took command. She cancelled (and allegedly blacklisted) Gor by John Norman and other books. And started publishing “Feminist” stuff – such as by Marion Zimmer Bradley – a “Friend” (allegedly more) from college. MZB at least was a solid 3 star writer – (Check out her daughter’s tell-all book on what she did) but they published tons of SHIT by token “Writers” that were plagarist at best – just “I’m imitating this famous plot but it’s a woman as hero and uh all men, especially white men are pig squares…!”
The industry collapsed on itself – due to Lin Carter dying of Cancer with Ballantine books bankrupt and Warren having cancer also and deep financial troubles there was no ‘fair competition’. The industry shrank to a shadow of itself and STILL shits out “Woke” stuff, bashes past greats like Lovecraft but makes MONEY republishing…
—bit simplistic, but I part lived this – I’ll go into more detail later perhaps, when it won’t make my head go boom to think about the STUPID…
Second – Comic Books – the “Underground” of the Sixties spawned what later became an “Independent” comic scene in the 80s – besides bypassing the “Comics Code” they did all sorts of neat stuff like expanding to “Adult” stories.
Catering to complaints they put on “Labels” to make it clear that stuff that was for grown ups was NOT for kids… Did it help? Yep. When police wanted to go for a quick bust to ignore murderers and drug dealers who’d fight back they avoided screaming “Little Lulu” was obscene before a judge – those nice labels saved da Fuzz some embarrassment.
Most will remember how mockingly absurd “political Correctness” was in the 90s even though the 60s generation was so influential and people legit wanted a far more fair, more equal society.
So I’ll skip to recent – like WEEKS ago and 100% related to RPGS…
The “Social Justice Warriors” turned their hateful eyes to RPGs – with “orcs are RACSIT!” whining about how Orcs were portrayed. “Orcs = Negors” etc. Obvious they didn’t PLAY the games really, since “Drow” were more problematic – and when they went to that they didn’t even scream right. It was nothing new – years back there was an article on this on the Shi-Tor.com.
However – overwhelmingly people reacted.
Old School Roleplayers like me remembered the 80s and how it taught us to FIGHT for our games – how important free speech and free expression was. How pathetic worthless fashionable rebels without a CLUE would jump on something, anything to give meaning to their worthless lives and attack something they thought couldn’t fight back.
And even more “New” players, a different breed of ‘liberal’ and plenty ‘conservative’ etc. frankly did NOT like such slander on them and their hobby.
They RAMMED this back to the “Social Justice” crowd – as if it was the Divine Emperor GaiVs GermanicVs Caesar giving a “Blessing” at a wedding..
And the SJWs slithered off crying.
This was WEEKS ago.
Now, regardless of “Black Lives Matter”, the “Riots” etc. any modification to the game is WRONG. It’s non-sequiter.
For the record – G-d help me – I’m “Liberal” though Old School – think influenced by Hippies, Yippies, etc. For LEGIT racial, sexual, social tolerance and progress but in no way, shape or form “Politically Correct”. The modern “Hipsters of Hate” are disgusting insults to everything legit progressives lived and died for. If I wrote a fiction of some evil media machine making a fake social group to disrupt progress and bait a backlash of real racism, sexism I could NOT do better than the “Social Justice Warrior” save that reality TRUMPS fiction and no one would read it/buy it it’d be so ABSURD.
Next issue – kind a blends with the last but remember when YOU went out of your way to be sensitive?
I’ll specify – “Oriental Adventures” and “Al Qadim”.
Worldbooks of adventure ideas set in a fantasy East – or also a Middle East – the “Arabian Nights” as westerners imagine them…
You went out of your way to be ‘culturally sensitive’…
Great research was done to make the lands of “Kara-Tur” an alternative world where lots of the cool things about the far East were done – but again second world so you weren’t just ripping off or crudely playing someone’s deeply held history or traditions. IMO if the world was a bit larger and “Kara-Tur” existed next to Ancient China… Heh – well it captured the imagination – it was wildly popular with kids playing the game and a brilliant finishing of lots of old “Dragon Magazine” articles.
The press, any “Asian” groups…
What is sound of NO hand crapping Glasshopper?
And this was a time where you still had Breakfast at Tiffany’s as a celebrated movie, lots of scary/goofy asian stereotypes on tv and in cartoons – where “The Japanese are BUYING the USA up!” was reviving the “Yellow Peril”. You bent over forwards to try to be fair and understanding. To not cheaply use Asian cultures – China, Japan, etc. but do tribute to them…
Then you bent over BACKWARDS for “Al Qadim”…
The work into it – characters wanted to play “Arabian Nights” style adventurers. Oh, btw, those classic stories themselves are “Arabesques” (aka “Sword and Sandal”, “Desert Punk”) of other lands, other cultures, other times with far less accuracy. Aladdin, btw, is a China boy who’s a slacker not an Arab Street Thief…
But stuff legit “Problematic” – such as there’s lots of “In the name of A—- I tell this tale for there is no G-d but A—- and M— is his prophet….” – saying that phrase 3 times if an adult you LEGALLY convert to Islam…
So you went out of your way to make a “Loregiver” faith (Female prophet) that was 90% Islam and could fit into such a setting. But nothing that’d directly insult/play wrong with real world followers of the faith of Islam.
This is when 99.9% of all Americans only knew “Arabs” and “Muslims” from our mass-media which never was kind. They were “Terrorists” in TV and new movies. Religious fanatics who inspired children to blow themselves up in crowds. In old movies they were decadent Oil Shayks and in those crumbling “men’s adventure” magazines on that old barbershop your grandpa dragged you to to remove that “Hippie” haircut your parents let you wear they were the “Whip Mad Shayk” a degenerate pervert who lusted for WHITE WOMEN – (well all women but especially) for torture as much as unlimited sex…
Serious – at the time D&D did that, THIS was the NORM…
Well, that flopped, didn’t it? No major sales despite all the art and time.
ZERO thanks from any Muslims for legit trying to be sensitive either.
Then forgotten save “RPG Geeks” like myself…
OH, and NOW the “Cancel Culture” trying to get a company to get WOKE and go BROKE so they can smash someone else’s TOYS – are savaging it. Yep, on top of Orcs, Drow now they scream about “Oriental Adventures” despite being very old and out of print and sooner or later Al Qadim. Your attempt to CATER to these HIPSTERS of HATE only made an easy target for their VENOM – just like “Adults only” labels on comic books led Da Fuzz right in to what to put in the box so they don’t have Little Lulu next to Bodysee…
So – D&D – have some RESPECT and do NOT cater to these “WOKE” screamers. They are “Hicksters out to strike it rich” per the classic Donovan song (link) and care NOTHING save making money blackmailing you – excuse me – advising you and getting a salary to do nothing. Any “SJWs” and snowflakes, woke, special, exceptional, intersectional safe space people who they get to play are those SHAT there by their bored and on the edge of legit going nuts PSYCHO-therapists “At least I got patient … to socialize – give me that final check Mammon Insurance” We do NOT want them in our games.
Yes – it’s “Gatekeeping” but guess what – the head writer of Zweihander is also for it – as long as its him gatekeeping out people he doesn’t like or banning people from his social media after he shits his hatred in their comments.
Fine – they don’t want us to play Their games unless we agree 100% with people marching and RIOTING over some “Social Justice cause” … yeh, “Black Lives Matter” these snowflakes really believe that!?
We do NOT need “Woke” people being turned into the “Norm” that gaming companies cater to. They ALREADY have that…
Again – Zweihander, MonteCUCK games, etc. already have that niche. WOKE gaming. Tell them to GO there.
Not demanding you re-tool D&D to be deliberately racist and sexist – but do NOT ruin it bending it to a tiny fraction of people who will NOT be your customers in any shape or form
Oh, and BTW – I’ll again cite “Mazes and Monsters?” that old LIE HYPE movie that helped parents decide to BURN so many copies of D&D way back?
Well it was based on a LIE but these “Snowflakes” are a level LOWER than the fictional fragile broken man a young Tom Hanks played. The “Steam Tunnels” was <> D&D. But have you tried to interact with these “Social Justice” characters – especially seen them in their “Safe Space” where they are racking up $100K debt for a “Gender Studies” degree? They are a level LOWER. Even the stereotype of an old school gaming geek could laugh at them.
IF anyone is pathetic enough to let a fantasy ttrpg take over his life (or her or some other mixed gender…gah!) and wanting attention from people sick of giving it actually kills himself this time – and it’s connected to the game not them being a failure fuck-up and the media / religious types need a fresh VICTIM a Scapegoat… The DEVIL to hunt…
Well that’s probably the one lasting thing the “Social Justice” crowd will accomplish.
And YOU will enable this by catering to them.
So – I do call for “Boycott” of modern Wizards of the Coast/D&D stuff.
Plenty OLDER sets available – via used bookstores, online stores – file sharing sites. Plenty of ALTERNATIVES – Goodman Games – Korthalis publishing – Labyrinth Lord
And to top it off we can play the game we DAMN well see fit.
So go ahead – D&D, Wizards of the Coast, White Wolf…
Get WOKE and go BROKE – just like the Video Games industry is doing… Alienate your core base by “Fixing” what was never “Broke” and file off all the rough edges to make a bland products that snowflakes might not whine they got a boo-boo from… Yeah, they’ll appreciate you… The people that work 3 Starbucks jobs to pay that “Gender Studies” degree will buy an ARMLOAD of RPG books at $40 each if they’ve been made “Sensitive” so SURE they will… It’s working SO good for the videogame industry, not spawning a sub-genre of Indie games and Pixel retro games and Steam to keep open did NOT allow ADULT ONLY games including tons of Japan imports that make the worst stuff (sexist, female objectification) in American media look tame… Why it’s just rumors spread by Incels or whatever that a major game had to DMCA like mad to try to supress incredibly negative reviews of a Zombie game and pay gaming sites to bridge the gap between “Critics” (they paid for) and the public for a time at 90% different because pandering to “Social Justice” they made a game that SUCKED but spent HOW many MILLIONS?
Too bad they can’t force people to BUY the product.
So that’s the choice – don’t Fix what ain’t broken, make sure your real customers are ok – anyone whines you change it consider IF they’ll be customers to make up for it…
OR – Just plain drive away Social Justice Warriors, make them SCREAM and drive up SALES with the attention they get you screaming and you standing for FREE SPEECH.
Seriously GATEKEEP out the SJWs from ANY mainstream games. They got Zweihander, MonteCUCK, EvilHat… They got their cookie – don’t let them demand OUR cookie is made gluten free with no nutz in case they bite and get allergies – they have their ‘special’ cookie and ‘safe space’ they need to GO THERE.
THIS is all an SJW will bring to an RPG…