So today there was a posting sent out to publishers where Steve Wieck gave a handful of answers to questions about his new Banning Policy (sorry, "offensive content policy", but let's call a spade a spade).
Quite a few people expressed relief at the notion that a game, once reviewed (and if not banned, of course) would be "whitelisted", meaning that it would not be subject for review ever again. That's the promise, anyways. Note that "whitelisting" is the opposite of "blacklisting", which is the unspoken second half of this statement, the continued problem that some games WILL be banned because Wieck has gotten too much social pressure from the Outrage Brigade.
Now, here are two reasons why you should still really be worried about this situation:
1. I had been in a conversation with Wieck over the last few days, where he gave some very noncommittal answers about whether the games regular gamers consider praiseworthy would be safe from the tiny gang of self-styled moral justicars who consider those games "toxic" (mostly because of who wrote them, since other games that feature way more 'offensive' ideas in terms of obscenity - stuff like child rape- are considered totally cool by this group because the 'right' person wrote them).
Wieck kept refusing to give a straight answer, so I posted a simple list to him. I asked him to tell me if he could categorically assure me that any or all of these games would be safe from banning:
-Lamentations of the Flame Princess
-Zak Smith's products (Vornheim and Red and Pleasant Land)
-my products (Arrows of Indra and Dark Albion)
-Monte Cook's products (Numenera or The Strange)
I made a point of telling him that if he really wanted to calm the concerns of some of the people most ready to take radical action if they feel they are under threat, all he'd need to say is "yes, all these games are safe, none of them would be banned".
But he didn't do it. He hemmed and hawed, he answered in the form of questions (like "do you really think we'd ban popular and award winning games"?), he said anything EXCEPT "yes, those games are safe". Not even Monte Cook, it seems, is given a guarantee that his books will not be banned. And not just some theoretical future book, his existing titles, apparently, are under direct threat.
Why would Wieck refuse to say these products are safe, unless they were in fact very much not safe?
2. You could look at the above and say "well, I guess we'll just find out soon enough; those games will probably be among the first reported, and then they'll get whitelisted or not". Besides that still suggesting a level of approval of a whole hideous and disgusting process that should not be, it's not as simple as that.
We got a claim today that a book, once cleared, would be secure. But what is to say that if a book is whitelisted, and then enough of the Pseudo-activist Swine rise up in protest about it's being "approved of", Wieck won't change his mind? When they start to argue (not entirely without foundation) that by setting himself up as the judge of a game, his approval of a game that contains what they claim to be sexism or racism or homophobia would "prove" that Wieck himself is an "Enabler" of said sexism/racism/homophobia; when they start going around twitter calling Wieck a "Rape Culture Promoter" or "a protector of Racists", we are now supposed to believe that Wieck won't fold and ban a game he'd previously protected.
Except that this is already exactly what he did, with the 'tournament of rapists' game.
The problem is with the whole process. It is flawed to the very core. It would be flawed even if it didn't depend on us trusting the steadfastness of a man who has already turned on games whose right to sell he was vigorously defending only a day earlier.
Wieck refused to categorically assure the safety of LotFP or Vornheim or Dark Albion or Monte Cook's Numenera.
I guess at least he was being honest. As long as the course of his policy is based on the fundamental assumption is games should be banned if enough people complain about them online, none of these games are safe.
Currently Smoking: Dunhill Shell Diplomat + Burlington's Philosopher's