Monday, June 25, 2018

Rant: On "#DNDGate" and the sad culture of being a loudmouthed asshole.

Ugh, I take an unannounced year-plus-long hiatus from blogging and I come back to a political shit storm? OK, time to say something about it and alienate some readers.

From what I gathered, someone wants the tabletop RPG community to start its own version of the gamergate silliness in hopes of driving out the darkies. womenfolk, queer-mo-sexuals, and all those who threaten to emasculate the hobby by allowing them to play or avoiding treating them like garbage. Unfortunately, there appears to be more than a little support for this effort coming from some in the OSR community. This bullshit has got to cease.

I got into this hobby as a child, long before I was politically or socially aware. I embraced what would become the OSR because I thought many of the classic edition games deserved preservation and expansion. Unless it's somehow important to a scenario or campaign, political activism usually doesn't figure into any of my games.

However, if you really want to turn me off toward your group, all you need do is start screaming about "social justice warriors" and "political correctness." As a younger, stupider, man I was on the right-wing side of the political spectrum and I fell for the insane notion that scary left wing people (mostly in academia) and their brown-skinned, female, and LGBT minions where out to censor my red-blooded, conservative, racist, sexist, homophobic, jingoistic, theocratic, all-American beliefs. Of course, I didn't see myself as the raging bigot that I was; no bigot does. I thought I was defending freedom of speech from those fanatical Marxist tyrants who hated freedom, capitalism, Christianity, the traditional family, and "Western Culture" (which I would eventually figure out was a dog whistle for the elevation of Anglo-European culture at the expense of all others). As I grew older, I would slowly emerge from my provincial, lily-white, small-town Wisconsin upbringing and the College Republican bubble I took refuge in while at university and I'd start dealing face to face with the people and ideologies that I used to deride and fear. I found out two things: 1) I was horribly wrong about them, 2) I was behaving like a huge asshole.

There is a petulant and callous movement in 21st century America that doesn't seem to give a damn whom they abuse or hurt to preserve the facade of cultural superiority they're so afraid of losing. Showing empathy toward the historically disenfranchised is considered a weakness. Given how the Bible-thumping reactionaries treated our hobby back in the 80s, I would have hoped we'd be better than this. Sadly, this cancer has also infected geek culture. It's the same mentality who freak out about the amount of vaginas and melanin in the new Star Wars movies. It's the same bunch of perpetual frat boys who send threats of death and/or rape to feminist blogger's who complain about about how video games portray women or rant about sexual harassment policies at sci-fi conventions. For all their raving about "freedom of speech" and "the Free Market of Ideas," these are the same wannabe fascists who want to "make America great again."

I have non-white gaming friends. I have female gaming friends. I have LGBT gaming friends. Since I rather not alienate them, I will have nothing to do with the jerks who adorn their Twitter posts with "#DNDgate" without sarcasm. I don't want to play in their games. I don't want them at my table. If I had one, I refuse to serve them at my restaurant. There needs to be consequences for being an bigot, regardless what would-be spray-tanned Mussolini sitting the Oval Office. In turn, if they don't want me around, fine. Just take your hashtag and shove it.

Now, that's said and done, time to get back to our regularly unscheduled blogging. Where did I put those random tables for Lovecraftian dessert menus for my Mu campaign?


  1. So where in Wisconsin?

    Also, boy does this sound familiar...

  2. Hence the need for my OSR For All logo.

  3. Dude you rule. Excellent column.

  4. Brilliant! Thanks for stepping up.

  5. Nobody cares about your gender or your preference if you help kill the goblins that are trying to kill us.