The new and improved defender of RPGs!

Thursday, 2 November 2017

No, I Don't Need to pay a Minorities Tax to Write an RPG Setting

So the response from some of the Ctrl-Left Swine to their most recent invented drama (about D&D having an African-style regional setting that made the mistake of being too African; of course, if it had not been African enough they would have attacked it for that too) has largely been to say that while people can "of course" (In my experience with the Ctrl-Left 'of course' really means 'for now' because they know they still don't have the power to try to outlaw something they'd really rather outlaw) still write RPG settings that are of non-European cultures, if they are not themselves of the race that culture 'belongs' to then they should have to hire an 'advisor' of the appropriate race to put a rubber-stamp on the product ('SJW Certified')?

Never mind that this is absurd, and a blatant power-grab tactic. Never mind that making such a claim does nothing but discourage publishers from allowing any setting that isn't pure vanilla fantasy for fear of being criticized no matter what they do. Never mind the fact that these are FANTASY settings where you might have black vikings or latino elves, which would not necessarily need to bear any more resemblance to historical cultures than the Alphatians do to medieval Denmark.  Those realities of the Ctrl-Left claim are all facts that make their demands absurd. But the most absurd is the idea that someone would necessarily have something of any use at all to say about a culture, even a historical one, by virtue of nothing but the color of their skin.

Let me ask you this: in what possible way could a black guy from Seattle be any more qualified to write about a fantasy culture based on Africa? Much less a fantasy culture not based on Africa?!

Even if WoTC happened to have, say, a Nigerian on their staff, how would that guarantee that they'd be any more qualified than someone actually capable of research?

I've covered this same topic years ago, when I introduced the world to Dieter Kurt Von Kraut-Angelou, Maya Angelou's fictional great-grandson and a lederhosen salesman from Germany.

Would Dieter, having lived all his life in Germany, be more qualified to talk about a setting based on medieval sub-saharan Africa? Or medieval Germany?
In fact, being a lederhosen salesman, he'd probably be less qualified to talk about EITHER than I, a Canadian-born Latino living in South America who has never as much as set foot in either Africa or Germany but who has advanced degrees in history.

I wrote Arrows of Indra, an old-school RPG based on Indian Mythology and history, and I can guarantee you that both in terms of system and setting I would have done a better job than 99.999% of Indians, because of my academic background and personal experiences.

Skin color in no way provides magically-granted expertise.  A guy  named Heinrich whose family has been living in the USA for the last 200 years, who did a degree in Women's Studies and who has never been outside of Lansing his entire life would have no special expertise *whatsoever* to offer about the 14th century Teutonic Knights, compared to a Mexican guy named Gutierrez who has a Masters Degree in Medieval History.  Of course, having done a degree in women's studies, poor Heinrich would have no special expertise to offer on any subject at all, except maybe how to waste a small fortune at college for political reasons.

If you think that anyone at all requires someone vaguely and distantly connected by mere appearance to the subject being written about to 'sign off' on the project, you're essentially saying we have to pay a Minority Tax. That it's all cool as long as we have a token black person (or brown person or yellow person, though of course not a white person because that's just silly and probably racist, right?) there that's being paid so that we can cover our white guilt to then talk about and present material we already know.
I don't need to consult with some random Indian on the Mahabharata, or most Indian history, mythology or religion. Should I still have to pay someone to 'consult' even if I don't need to?

I'm quite sure that if it were a black guy writing an RPG set in a fake quasi-medieval Europe being told that he'd need to hire ME as a consultant (let's be fair, not just ANY black guy either, let's say it's a black guy with a degree in European Medieval Studies), the response would be HOWLS of outrage at the sheer racism of the very suggestion.  How could anyone dare to possibly imply that a black man can't understand European history by studying it?!  So how is that somehow different when the respective races and cultures are reversed?  How can you possibly justify it without summing it up to what is fundamentally a racist argument suggesting that skin color grants special privileges to some but not to others?

Because arguments of 'cultural oppression' in this situation are bullshit. This is an argument of expertise. And in any case, there'd be no way having someone of color (presumably someone selected from a special list of people approved of by White Leftist Elites, of course) put a rubber-stamp on your work would in any way be either representative of entire peoples (something the White Left routinely fails to get: you cannot claim to represent or speak for an entire race, even if you belong to that race, but especially if you don't! And in the case of the White Left, it's extremely white-supremacist of you to claim to!), nor would it actually do anything to repair any historical oppression in any way, making historical oppression irrelevant to the argument.

In any case, the imaginary people of an RPG setting aren't oppressed by real people, of any color. Modern-day people in the western world aren't being oppressed by any modern day people in the western world (of course, there are oppressed people in third-world shit-holes in the modern world, but I doubt many of those people are involved in writing RPG material).
No one in history/mythology is being oppressed by modern day experts (backward through time?) on the subjects of that history or mythology.

All you're calling for, Gaming-SJW Ctrl-Left, is random racial quotas, based on fundamentally racist assumptions. You are literally judging people by the color of their skin rather than content of character, or merit of study/expertise, or even personal experiences.

You are in short, the Most Racist People in Gaming.


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Volcano + Blue Boar


  1. Did someone tell you that you had to hire a consultant? Are you referring to a particular Canadian?

  2. You are of course absolutely right on this. The alternative view is an utter crock. But, then, the new left has never been known for its logic. Pardon the thought.

  3. If you don't hire a black person as a consultant, you wouldn't be able to write a culturally and historically acurate "African Atlantis". The idiocy of some people...

  4. Since when did logic OR reason matter to these people??

    1. You obviously need to check your sanity privilege.

  5. So I guess that means nobody is allowed to write games about elves either unless they have a fairy to sign off on it.

    1. If the SJWs get their way, probably an Otherkin.

    2. Oh gods, to say I was so far unaware of Otherkins. Merciful ignorance...

  6. This is exactly the same reason that Nora Jemisin and Nnedi Okorafor keep beating the drum more loudly for "more women of color in SF!" And why Charlie Jane Anders and Yoon Ha Lee blow the trumpet of "more trans people in SF!"

    It's all greed and selfishness. No-talent people using liberal guilt to make money.

  7. When you get away from a merit based ideology you end you with a ton of widgets rather than a select number of wizards. It becomea all about production and quotas and not whether these really progress anything that they attach to. Welcome to the age of "progressive" inclusiveness where the meritorious POV is no better than the average and as defined by the "average",a nd all brought to you by the shills foisting PMdrn thought.

  8. So basically handouts to their pet person/cause under the guise of a "consultant" to sign off that you checked your PC boxes and to vouch for you to the others of their mindset. Rather like the shakedowns Al Sharpton does where someone is "offended," you trot out an "apology" and write a check to Sharpton, and then he does a press conference with you to show you're morally upright and it was just a misunderstanding that has been rectified. Good stuff.

  9. Let them do it. When nobody buys it, the fruits of justice is its own reward. Wizards has been doing this a lot with Magic the Gathering too. Stop buying their products and that'll be that. There's plenty of better stuff out there anyway, after just reading your amazing Red Tide, Scarlet Heroes, and Yoon-Suin reivews.