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Saturday 6 December 2014

Should a Guy Who Hates Non-Underdressed Clerics but Thinks Preteen Maid Pseudoporn is "Art" Get to Decide What RPGs All The Rest of Us Buy?

“Should DTRPG be a gatekeeper? Maybe, maybe not. But the hubbub and rage around the game in question kinda indicates a ‘yes’, to me.”

The above is Fred Hicks (of Evil Hat games), explaining how HE, through commercial pressure to DTRPG, should be the Gatekeeper of the RPG hobby. He just out and out admitted it.

You see, Evil Hat just recently put pressure on onebookshelf to get them to ban James Desborough's (admittedly moronic) "Gamergate" card game. In a knee-jerk reaction after Fred Hicks complained to them, instead of bravely standing up for customer choice, or pointing out the inherent conflict of interest Hicks has as a competitor, they instead totally folded and pulled Desborough's product.

Do YOU think that Fred Hicks should be the one to decide what RPGs should belong in the hobby and which don't?
Before you comment, do keep in mind that Fred Hicks is buddy-buddy with the people who publish the Maid RPG, so he has no problem with an RPG where you play a preteen pseudo-slave in a transparent uniform performing humiliating and sometimes sexualized tasks to please her adult male "master", but thinks a Gamergate comedy card game is a moral outrage worthy of censorship.

Is that who we want deciding for all of us what we should or should not be allowed to buy? He literally believes he's more qualified and wise to judge what's best for you than you, to the point that he feels he should get to control what you're even allowed to consider buying.
Note: I'm not even saying Maid should be censored. I'm saying NO ONE ELSE should get to decide for me which games I have access to. I am also saying, of course, that Fred Hicks and his ilk would in any case be the most utterly unqualified people on earth to be moral arbiters of what should or should not be banned.   But of course, that's the irony, anyone who thinks they have so much more wisdom than anyone else that they should get to decide what is best for everybody is by default automatically disqualified from being morally or intellectually worthy of such a power.

And if OBS sticks by the decision to ban Desborough's game, there's no telling which other games will be next. One thing that will be clear is that the choices will be just as hypocritical: obscene misery-tourism storygames that simulate things like necrophilia and pederasty will be kept on because they're written by the 'right people' for these assholes, while D&D OSR sandboxes will get banned because they have drawings of fully-armored female clerics they judge to be looking just a little too sultry.

I'd strongly suggest that if you would rather that YOU get to decide what RPGs you can choose to buy, rather than Fred Hicks, you may want to WRITE to OBS and express your concern about the censorship of Desborough's game.  This is NOT about Desborough, this is definitely NOT about supporting gamergate, this is about making sure a total asshole doesn't get to choose from now on which RPGs will be allowed to be commercially viable and which won't.

Send complaints here? (unless someone comes along in the comments and shows us a more direct route that will get to the people in charge at OBS)


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Solitario Rhodesian +  C&D's Pirate Kake


  1. DTRPG as a private entity DOES have the right to choose which games they carry. That said, free market economics is pretty good at weeding out losers. More companies should give it a try and be more resistant to outside pressure.

    1. DTRPG can legally refuse to carry a product. However, Evil Hat cannot legally require that DTRPG not carry a specific competitive product as a requirement for carrying Hat's products. Their actions are considered monopolist, and it is VERY illegal. Evil Hat could be facing some significant financial penalties, especially because Hat said that they were the cause of a competitor losing one of the biggest vendors in the country for a product.

  2. you know, I like a lot of the games that Evil Hat produces, but Fred Hicks is being such an asshole it is seriously making me rethink supporting the company in any way.

    His attacks on you and Zak S. specifically made me cancel my pledge to the designers and dragons 4 volume set. (sure my $60 didn't make a bit of difference in the grand scheme of things, but I vote with my wallet when I can)

  3. Well I did my part in helping out this community. I even made a blog post in my blog if anyone is interested. Just spreading the word at the best of my capabilities.

  4. Sounds like hypocritical a-hole. But I do business with neither of those companies.

  5. Yeah, that's pretty shitty. I tweeted my response and will try to influence DriveThru's decision once my latest book is approved.

  6. Wake up and smell the allies, pundit. Of COURSE this is about supporting GamerGate because THIS RIGHT HERE in video games as opposed to RPGs is precisely why GamerGate exists and exactly the sort of thing GG fights against. To oppose typical SJW censorship and media smear tactics while also trying to oppose groups whose bad reputation comes almost exclusively from those tactics, is to wholly miss the point, and shoot your own causes in the foot. But thanks for coming down on the right side of this. Too bad your mind is apparently too clouded by media bullshit to see that there are thousands of people, assembled online, who feel exactly the same way you do about this kind of shit, but you see fit to dismiss them as morons and do the ideologues work for them. Good thing *I* haven't listened to all the shit they said about *you*, huh?

    1. I don't have a final or absolute position on the subject of gamergate; I'm not a video gamer myself, and I have not studied the subject sufficiently to judge.
      For the purposes of what I'm talking about, however, gamergate is irrelevant; this could just as easily have been a game about some other charged issue. The point is about how a content aggregator has been intimidated into blacklisting.