The new and improved defender of RPGs!

Friday 3 April 2015

Why the RPGPundit and D&D Have Probably Done More For Real Diversity and Inclusion in the Hobby than the Pseudo-Activist Show-Trial Squad

So self-styled 'social justice' guy Cam Banks recently started a thread on G+ about how maybe they should be less critical and more positive (NOTE: not so positive as to want to include me in it, mind you, but more positive in the sense of not devouring each other,which they've started to do lately with increased frequency).  Mike Mearls, creator of the new edition of D&D,  showed up and expressed some very reasonable concerns about how the shrillest voices in the 'social justice' crowd were making it harder for him to talk to people in gaming about making positive changes, and how he's experienced more harassment from that crowd than from gaming grognards or whatever.

Some of Cam's friends responded by accusing Mike Mearls of being a Gamergater, and then making the thread about how awful I am and about demanding that he retroactively denounce the people he hired as consultants on 5e; like a scene out of an old Soviet Political Show-Trial. It was complete with calls for Public Denouncing of Impure Thought, explaining how denial of the charges is itself proof of guilt, and up to and including admitting that the only way for Zak S. to stop being condemned by these guys ever would be if he apologized AND never wrote anything for RPGs ever again.  The only thing missing was the trip to the Gulag for re-education.

Fuck them.
I'm pretty certain for my part that I've done more for diversity in this hobby, actual real diversity, than any of them have.  I'm pretty sure I've brought in more women to gaming, because I actually game (and most of the psuedo-activists do not).  I'm still the one who put my money where my mouth is and had a trans character on the cover of my RPG.  None of them have, because they're all too busy arguing about whether Aleena the Cleric's full-body chainmail is too tight or just how awful a porn actress who doesn't fit their definition of feminist is.

And I'm sure that I've changed more minds than they have, by argument and example, because while they shout slogans that will make their fellow pseudo-activists cheer and engage in witch-hunts that will make everyone else find them repugnant, I'm talking to people more conservative than me and explaining to them how things like Contessa are actually awesome (while the pseudo-activists criticize it for being about "being about women gaming, rather than women talking about being women in gaming"), how having more women gaming makes for more interesting games, how having more LGBT representation in RPGs and settings make sense (and doesn't have to be a 'commie plot' or something).  And they're listening to me, because I'm the Pundit, and not someone they are pretty sure doesn't really game and shrieks at them like they're accusing them of some sort of blood-crime, and seems to despise everything about the hobby and just wants it to cease to exist altogether rather than ever proposing anything positive about it.  When they don't listen, it's usually because those other guys have gotten there first and shrieked at them, and now they're all the more determined to hunker down and refuse to be rational, out of spite.
The Pseudo-activists spend their time using Outrage as a drug, and weaponizing (and sometimes attacking) people they claim to be championing, in order to win prestige and respect among their own little in-crowd.  That preaching to the choir is a lot of sound and fury, but does nothing to win over the people who need to be won over, except antagonize them.

I'm sure some counterexamples can be made, I'm sure some of the pseudo-activist crowd may have at some point, accidentally or even in a rare moment of choosing competence over narcissism, managed to win a heart or a mind here or there; so note that in my case, I'm only saying that I'm "pretty certain" of what I've done and how it measures up compared to them.  But I'm DEFINITELY sure Mike Mearls has done more for diversity in this hobby than they ever have.  Just through the things he's done with D&D, without excluding, without show-trials, without witch-hunts, but with a strong commitment to inclusion in a way that doesn't condemn anyone, he's won over more gamers than any of the pseudo-activists would ever be able to, if indeed it was their goal to win-over anyone and not just to again and again make themselves feel superior and self-righteous to all the "toxic people" in the "toxic hobby" they actually despise.
They should be giving him a fucking medal, or rather they would if they gave a flying fuck about the things they pretend to care about, rather than accusing him of being a gamergater because he once hired someone else they despise that's also done more for the diversity of the hobby than they have (but likes different elfgames than they do, so he 'must be' the enemy).

So again, fuck them.

Oh and again, Pseudo-Activist Outrage Brigade, figure it out: what people don't like? What they hate and fight back against?  It's not your causes, it's you.  YOU are the problem. Because you care more about being "seen" to care than about actually making anything better, ever. There's lots of people out there who have no problem at all with feminism, with diversity, with supporting LGBT-causes, with equality, and with the vast majority of people who do things to promote those varied causes... but they sure do hate the fuck out of you.  Because its evident to most people just what you're really all about and what you're really doing, and the contempt for everyone and everything but your own utterly delusional sense of grandeur that you do it with.

You are ACTIVELY CAUSING HARM to the causes you claim to advocate for... fuck, why am I bothering? You don't actually give a shit, if you did you wouldn't act this way to start with.


Currently Smoking: Stanwell Deluxe + Image Latakia


  1. Jim Norton had some insight about the types you're talking about while waxing opinion over the recent Treavor Noah scandal, you can read it here:

    I personally like "Being outraged and upset and feeling bullied or offended are not only things we enjoy, they’re also things we have become thoroughly addicted to. "

    I'm mad as hell...and I like it...

  2. An undeserved sense of self-righteousness can be a heady drug. Particularly when amplified by knowing that if you denounce someone using the right words you will have a group of comrades praise you for it as though just the denunciation has done something good. The Puritan witch-hunters, the Soviets, the Maoists of the Cultural Revolution, the Religious Right morality-squad and many others through history have known that.

  3. In fact, a lot of the fucked-upness of the Christian Right in the U.S. can be attributed to the fact that people there would get a lot more attention and praise for "taking a stand against the evils of lesbianism" or whatever than, say, for feeding the poor.

    It's tragic and ironic that modern progressives are falling for the same subculture-trap.

    1. Wrong. The Christian Right in the U.S. may get more attention for taking a stand for religious liberty than they do for feeding the poor. That's not to say that do more of the former than the latter. Anyone who believes that to be true has fallen the lies and distortions of those who would see all expression of religious belief barred from the public square.

    2. I'm not saying there aren't a LOT of Christians who very humbly try to fulfill the mandate to feed and clothe the hungry and destitute, and to sincerely care for their fellow man. I know they exist.

      What I'm saying is that there's a certain TYPE of person, and you potentially find them in any subculture. And when that type of person get rewarded for "taking a stand" in a way that alienates anyone not already firmly on their side (and inevitably, ultimately even alienates people on their own 'side'; like what is apparently increasingly happening among young evangelicals who are rejecting the antagonistic theology of the "religious right", while in no way rejecting their Christianity) you quickly end up with a very messed up subculture.

      Feeding the poor is "an expression of religious belief". Blaming hurricanes on gay marriage is an expression of subcultural insanity.

    3. Well now that makes perfect sense. Thank you for the clarification - I never should have doubted you.

  4. I read the post from g+ last night and I got really angry. Do these people play games? I go to Nexus Milwaukee, GameHole Con in Madison, GaryCon, Origins, and GenCon. I don't meet gamers like these knuckle heads when I play with random folks. Last year I ran a D&D Encounter season with new gamers each and every week. Nobody I played with talks this way. Do these people even like the games they complain about? Does Tracy Hurley ever write or talk about the game she is playing? That time she was at half priced books and found an old module she used to love to run?

    I have played with every type of gamer I can imagine. Every type of person. Nobody when we have played does anything but have fun about with the game. At the end of the game we do not talk about racism, classism,sexism, or any other ism. We talk about what their characters did or the guy who made the role to save the day. Then we talk about how we want to play again next week.

    What made me angry is how much influence these knuckle heads seem to have. It is entirely out of proportion to their place with actual gamers. I feel like we are living in a Brave New World, if we tell a lie enough people believe it. They know that a few of them can make enough noise to make their movement seem a lot bigger than it actually is.

    Reading Cam Bank's post it is obvious that he doesn't want more diversity in gaming. That's a fucking lie. They all fucking lie. You know how I know? Because if Michelle Malkin (who used to play D&D) would start posting about D&D they would crucify her. This isn't about gaming. Social Justice Warrior Shepard made that painfully obvious. This is about punishing people they disagree with or people that do not tow the line at all times (when they are constantly changing what is the line) These are really bad people. They should be shunned. They are trying to kill my favorite hobby.

    They do not want diversity. You read what Cam writes and what "social justice" really means is Marxism. They want to have a system that they are in power to end peoples lives. They are evil. Pundit, you're exactly right that they want an old fashioned soviet show trial. I really think their hobby is being outraged and our hobby is niche enough that they can make enough noise to be taken serious when they shouldn't be. Also, because if you disagree with them they'll call you all sorts of names they use the power of fear to keep people from speaking up.

    The thing that keeps me going is that actual gamers. Gamers that show up and Game don't have a fucking clue about these people. Even their favorite game of the week over at has such a small audience that it doesn't fucking matter. Let them live off their patronage because the market surely won't support them. Which is why they hate the market. It's why their need to destroy it. They know that people do not want what they are selling.

    I think that they have or are going to jump the shark shortly. At some people regular gamers, the every joe gamer, is going to rise up and cast these assholes out of the hobby. Fuck them.

  5. Speaking of "Jumping the Shark", here's notable Outrage Brigade under-commandant Andri Erlingsson making a complete fool of himself. Watch him accuse me of "harassing" Tracy Hurley (by which he means I write angry blog entries about her lies), get confronted by him being an ass to Mandy Morbid, and then frantically squirm and wriggle as he tries to find a way to avoid answering the question "Did you harass Mandy Morbid, or did I not harass Tracy Hurley after all?"

  6. #1: who the F is Cam Banks and why should I give a poop what he thinks? Never heard of him.

    #2: Why is it every time someone talks about "social justice," what they really mean is "I should get to decide what's allowed and what isn't and punish anyone who disagrees"? These characters would have enjoyed the politburo in the good ol' Soviet Union where they could execute, exile, or reeducate with impunity.

    #3: What the F does any of this have to do with playing RPGs? Do they even play RPGs? Honestly sounds like they pick up an RPG book and read through it looking for something to be offended by and someone to crusade against. Do they ever post about "Let me tell you about this awesome session of D6 Star Wars" or "holy crap, our party thief bungled so many rolls last night"?

    1. In answer to #1, Cam Banks started out working in Dragonlance for Sovereign Press, for MWP he co-designed Smallville (which was interesting) and Leverage (which was great) and Marvel Heroic (which was interesting). I believe he is currently involved with developing Feng Shui 2nd Ed for Atlas Games, which I expect again to be brilliant like first edition.

      I've met him in person, and he seemed like a nice guy, but that was before all this ballyhoo started in the hobby.

      To C-my-A, none of this should be taken as my agreement or disagreement with anyone's stated or unstated positions on any or all social issues.