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Monday 28 May 2018

Is There an "Alt-Right" Influence on the OSR? Or Is This Just Leftists Calling Everyone Nazis Again?

So this past week an OSR Blogger named Gus L picked up his toys and declared he was leaving forever, closing down his blog. The reason, he claimed, was that there was a pernicious Alt-Right influence in the OSR these days and that it had 'ruined' the OSR for ordinary gamers like him.

He also added some bullshit about the evils of capitalism and how now the OSR was all about making filthy dollars and so it was bad now or something like that, but that's less relevant to what I want to address today.

This has led G+, still the main social media home of the OSR into a tizzy of self-recrimination and witch hunts and declarations of how we need to be inclusive and everyone declaring how bad the Alt-Right Nazis of the OSR are (as opposed to Twitter, the main home of D&D cool kids, where nary a post on the subject was found).  This frantic moral questioning has of course included people loudly declaring "There can't be any evil Gatekeepers in the OSR!" while at the same time saying "So to prevent that we need to let some of us censor and throw out Evil Harassers from the OSR"!  See what they do there?

And of course, some assholes talking a lot about the OSR "Community"; using that now-standard tactic of redefining a design school/hobby as a "Community" because "Community" is a vague term that doesn't require standards to be in it but allows for people claiming to speak for everyone to protect 'community values' and to throw out people who may be players of the game or designers within the school but who they feel break 'community guidelines'. This is how they take control.

I'm still waiting to hear of what 'minorities' have been harassed for OSR games they wrote. I can't think of any myself. No one on G+ that I have seen, including the ones making wild claims, have seem to have been able to bring up even one example.

I CAN think of a few OSR designers who are not (as far as I know) minorities (unless you count me being Latino as a "minority"), who have been harassed or faced censorship by the people who seem the most concerned about declaring this a "community" so that they can take control of said invented "community" and decide who's allowed or not allowed to write or play in it.

So here's what I have to say about this:

Number 1:
I don't know of ANY authors in the OSR who are actually "alt-right".

The people who have written OSR stuff that have gotten the most attacks that I can recall are:

-Grim Jim (UK Lefist Atheist)
-Venger Satanis (voted for Hillary and still claims she was a good candidate)
-James Raggi (fucked if I know what his politics are, but I'm pretty sure he's not on Richard Spencer's mailing list, and suspect he doesn't even like Trump)
-Zak Smith (douchebag who constantly tries to court the SJW crowd but they want nothing to do with him because he made porn)
-Alexander Macris (Cultural Libertarian)

and myself, a pro-choice pro-LGBT non-Christian Cultural Libertarian with a quaint fondness for Classical Liberal Enlightenment values.

Note that these people have almost nothing in common. They don't politically agree. So why do they all get attacked, why are they all people who the Totalitarian Left of the hobby has tried to censor or blacklist? Why are some people calling them all "omg alt-right nazis"? Why is Gus L so terrified of us all that he's leaving?

The one thing they have in common is that everyone on that list (other than Zak) have been absolute in their Defense of Free Speech.

THAT is what the SJW Totalitarian Left object to here. That's why they want to pretend that there's nazis in the OSR. And it's also the reason why Gus L is leaving.

Number 2:
Gus L was one of the main actors in trying to push Ideology into the OSR, on the "SJW" (totalitarian left identity-politics) side of things. He was active in supporting the blacklisting or shunning or censorship of the people on my list above. He was active in social media with trying to define the OSR as a hobby, so that HE (and his fellow 'better people'/ ideological fellow-travelers) could control that 'community' and throw out all his ideological enemies.

His is not the story of a nice guy who just wanted to write about dungeons feeling as though he's been driven out of the hobby by "omg alt-right nazis".
It is the story of a little prick who wanted to control the hobby throwing a tantrum and running away because we wouldn't let him.


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Volcano + Blue Boar


  1. These creators named and shamed just need to start the Roleplayer's Dark Web or something of that nature. Penal colonies tend to blossom into their own communities. We can be Australians! Australians are cool!

    1. Well, that already exists, sort of. There's theRPGsite for starters. It's the only free-speech RPG forum, run by people who are never going to be going for the SJW agenda.

    2. Not the only one. Ruins of Murkhill where I reside/post is also free speech and rejects the SJW/collectivist mindset.

    3. Fair enough. Not really familiar with that one.

    4. I can concur to Rob Kuntz's assertion, as I am a member there, he & others came to my defense when a member with SJW leanings attacked me because I used "non-whites" to describe non-Europeans in context to forced diversity - I simply want in game logic for such inclusions, which I make in my campaigns. It is a good but small community.

  2. Be it flap or idle (c)rap, it's not on my Map. But, and no surprise, tiny pricks usually end up in tiny holes.

  3. I'll just be hanging out waiting for Gus to wander back into town in a week or about six months to court some attention again. Meanwhile we'll see if this latest B.S. helps to air out the OSR for while.

    1. Yeah, these assholes who say they're "Leaving Forever" is like all the celebrities who promised they'd move to Canada if Trump won (who were the same celebrities who promised they'd move to Canada if Bush won). The worst thing about all this is that you know they'll never commit.

    2. Yeah and conservatives said they would leave when Obama was elected and they didn't.

      One of which was Rush Limbaugh. But then again, You can never believe anything a junkie says.

  4. Hell, I left D&D because these people are already in the upper echelons of WoTC, found a refuge in the OSR and they have to come here too. Only good thing is I would love to see them try and stop me from self publishing my upcoming games.

  5. The reasons this is going on is because it's another "community" where they think they can make some fast bucks if they just push everyone else out, and they became aware that the people they ostracized and mocked had a hobby they didn't control, so...

    On the attack they go.

  6. Gus was the Dungeon of Signs guy right ?

    I don't follow the flamewars on G+ so I have no idea what this meltdown was about. Of course, the people in the OSR tebd to be older guys and maybe tend to be a bit conservative but I never saw actual Alt Right speech on OSR blogs or on G+ (sure, freedom of speech is a catchphrase of the Alt-Right but only as a recruitement tool. They don't actually believe in it).

  7. Btw, what's wrong with Zak ? Last time I checked you were calling him a hero.

    1. He's joined in calls for censorship and denouncing of almost everyone who supported his right for free speech. Just to try to win the approval of people who despise him.

    2. You're lying Pundit and here's how we know wiht 100% certainty:
      if you were telling the truth you'd be able to cite a source.

      I never call for censorship: I just think if someone's lying there's no legal or moral reason they should get to lie on a platform a good person controls.

      From day one, like any good journalist, I refuse to publish or allow to be published anything that isn't verifiable.

      This wasn't "courting" anyone: this is a necessity for any rational conversation--misinformation must be removed.

      If that's "censorship" then fact-checking is censorship.

    3. Did you or did you not suggest that the blacklisting of certain OSR designers was acceptable?

      You've spent the past two years increasingly frantic to try to condemn all kinds of people in the OSR who once defended you from the totalitarians, all in a desperate effort to try to win the approval of the fashionable leftists you're so desperate to be part of.

      But they'll never ever love you, Zak. Because you did porn.

    4. Wait, who are these nebulous people who hate Zak for doing porn, and where can I see them demonstrate views that prove they hate Zak for doing porn?

    5. @Pundit

      I have maintained since Day 1 that anyone who lies should be blacklisted, Pundit, regardless of what kind of game they make.

      Like: if you do bad things, you should not benefit from the RPG community and if you don't you should.

      Defending me doesn't automatically make someone a good person, anymore than being right about 1 thing ever does.

      Anyone who defended you and I against the post-5e harassment but then lied about some other thing: they can fuck off.

      This isn't Carcosa: all morality isn't about picking one of 2 sides.

      No matter who you are or what games you make, if you lie about your enemies online as part of your strategy to promote it, you're making things worse. Blacklisting is one of the _many_ bad things that should happen if you lie.

    6. @Zak

      The main villain in my Carcosa campaign is modeled after you. Should I tell my players that they stand a better chance of surviving the many horrors you unleash upon them if they always, always tell the truth ?

    7. I've took for a progressive for a long time Zak so I wonder where that new SJW label comes from. Perhaps have you been less likely to get into fights with people The Pundit doesn't like these days.

      Anyhow, your stance seems to be less about Ctrl-Left or Alt-Right and more about if and how there should be consequences for bad behavior.

    8. Blacklisting IS Censorship. You are pro-censorship, Zak. You're also a pathetic piece of shit that desperately wants to be accepted by people who will never ever accept you.

      And now you lied about me being a liar. Maybe you should be blacklisted?

    9. Blacklisting *would* be censorship in the RPG sphere if it were effective and complete but it never is.

      Nothing anyone can do can ever take theRPGsite away from you or take your blog or away or remove your ability to self-publish.

      RPG people can't effectively _be_ blacklisted Pundit. You can only have people recommending they not hire them--which happens all the time formally and informally.

      You are, right now, pretty much recommending lots of people not be hired.

      Every time you talk smack on someone you're saying "This person isn't good, I recommend don't hire them or buy their stuff" and it is exactly as effective as people trust you. There is no effective difference between a person going "blacklist Dave" "Dave sucks" and "boycott Dave" and "I don't recommend you hire Dave".

      And, *if you didn't think that* there would really be no point to talking about Dave's bad qualities.

      The ONLY practical reason for us to complain about anyone is, effectively, o get them to change (unlikely) or to recommend to others they not patronize them.


      As for "Maybe you should be blacklisted?"


      If you think someone has done wrong then it is 100% legitimate for you (or anyone) to tell people to blacklist them.

      That's a measure that makes sense: if they're bad, don't use your platform to promote them.


      You still have to have a good reason.

      If you don't , your as bad as anyone who punishes a person for a crime they didn't commit.


      I personally have seen you attribute attitudes and claims to people on multiple occasions and not be able to back them up with quotes or facts. You assume motive.

      You get asked for evidence and--point blank--just ignore the call, or try to change the subject. (The exact same sin committed by the people who harassed you after 5e.)

      I think that makes you a bad person and it definitely makes you a liar. And I think that being a bad person should have consequences so that we can have useful discussions that are built on facts.

      I think (like every modern democratic nation) that lying about facts isn't the point of freedom of speech--and punitive measures against people who do it are necessary for any kind of productive exchange.


    10. Uh... I used to read your blog pretty regularly Zak and over the course of a few weeks I saw this happen with my own eyes:

      Zak: "OMG, these jerks are going after me and my girlfriend and trying to get us fired! What a bunch of jerks!"

      Also Zak: "This guy said something on his Twitter about trans-gendered people I didn't like. Let's all write to his employer and get him fired."

      I remember it well because I was shocked that someone on one end of an outrage mob would be so quick to call for an outrage mob against others.

    11. @brendan

      "Something I didnt like" in this case = fascist hatespeech.

      Bad people should be fired by any legal means.

      Good people shouldn't.

      This isn't a complicated moral concept: I didn't say "Don't punish us because punishment is bad" I said "Don't punish us because we did nothing wrong".


      The fact, Brendan, that that EXTREMELY simple subtlety isn't clear to you (I was complaining about the choice target not the tactic) suggests you're not talking in good faith or can't be very smart.

      Whether or not you believe in nuclear weapons, you must know that *who you should and should not use them on* is always a basic moral question.

    12. "Bad people should be fired by any legal means."

      Even if their "wrongdoing" has nothing to do with their jobs?

    13. Zak "it's not censorship because I don't have enough power to do what I'd really like to do" Smith, everyone!

    14. Also, to me a 'bad person' is someone who takes a considerable amount of money from a guy doing him a solid favor to do his little webshow, and then not only fails to deliver but turns on him in social media.

    15. @fred: Yes. Absolutely. If you rape a child -but not at work- you're not protected.

      @RPGPundit:1. You're changing the subject

      2. I dealt with Alex directly and honestly when he put me in an untenable position. We had a civil conversation about me leaving and the $ involved.

    16. And, since you changed the subject: bye.

    17. "Yes. Absolutely. If you rape a child -but not at work- you're not protected."

      Of course you're not protected, because that's an actual crime regardless of where you do it. Nobody will be trying to get you fired from your job, because you'll lose it anyway when you go to prison.

      Fascist hate speech is still free speech, as long as it's not libelous and doesn't cause an imminent danger. You can dislike it all you want, but that doesn't make it a crime. Why bring the person's job into it when it has nothing to do with that?

    18. Zak: I was responding to your post about 'bad people'. You took a bunch of money and provided no product. That's something bad people do.

      As for the central subject, you already admitted you support blacklisting, which is a form of censorship. Therefore, you were lying about me being a liar.

      The thing is that child rape is a CRIME, not a speech issue.

      And Fred, 'fascist hate speech is still free speech' is true, but there you're buying into the games of people like Zak, who want to claim that this is what is in question. It's not. What is in question for them is "not agreeing with us is hate speech'.

      Note that even Zak has failed to point out the existence of any true "Alt-right" ethno-nationalists in the OSR, because there are none. So this is not about "OMG alt-right nazis" being 'bad people' and worthy of being banned, this is about leftists like Zak wanting to ban people who support President Trump, or people who supported Hillary but are dubious about Feminist agenda, or people who are dyed in the wool marxists but who don't cotton to Identity Politics.

      To them, ALL these people are "alt-right", and if the notions Zak lays down about "bad people" were to be followed, all of them would be Eliminated.
      Of course, so would Zak, that's the irony he fails to grasp, he'll never get to be the one who DECIDES just who are 'bad people', because the people whose dicks he's currently desperately trying to suck have already decided HE is the "bad person".
      If you wanted to be an SJW, Zak, you shouldn't have done all that porn.

    19. No one is 100% innocent of wrongdoing. We are born with "sin" and miss the mark in our daily lives. I would not like to be judged and sentenced because of something I said or did in the past. Maybe it was trivial, stupid, or a misunderstanding.

      Society/culture course-corrects eventually. One man's scapegoat is another's martyr.

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    21. Let's see what you've offered by way of explanation so far Zak:

      1) Pics or it didn't happen!

      2) Even if it happened, it's impossible to blacklist someone because internet.

      3) Any criticism is the same as blacklisting anyway, so you're all as guilty as I am.

      4) It's fine that I did these things because I'm on the side of the angels and anyone I don't like is Hitler.

      5) You're probably too stupid to understand my great intellect, so STFU.

      6) That's it! I'm taking my ball and going home!

      I want to thank you Zak for proving my point far better than I ever could have. Yours truly is a penetrating and scintillating intellect; and your extensive training in the art of making collages has clearly prepared you well for dialectic.

    22. I'm mainly curious about what anybody's job has to do with anything. I mean, I know the REAL reason: "hit 'em in the pocketbook" is the most effective way to attack just about anybody. But what's the rationalization for it?

      Like if a waiter was spewing hate speech at work, I'd expect the restaurant to fire him. That's perfectly reasonable. But if he's doing it on his own time (and not while representing the restaurant in some capacity), what justification could there possibly be for trying to get him fired from his job?

      I mean, why not say "Bad people should have their drivers' licenses revoked by any legal means," or "Bad people should have their electricity shut off by any legal means?" Those things have about as much to do with it as anything. So why specifically attack their livelihoods?

      "I don't like what you're saying, so I want you (and anyone who depends on you) to starve."

      I find that much more insidious than some redneck spouting racial garbage (that nobody is going to listen to anyway), because at least the redneck is honest about his hate.

    23. @Zak

      No idea if you'll see this, not sure how blocking carries over to here. I'm trying to foster some conversations across the divides and had Mark Rein-Hagen on a stream a few days ago to discuss this kind of stuff. Would you be up for such?

    24. Why would you go out of your way to offer a platform to someone who thinks you deserve to be fired and silenced?

  8. Dungeon of Signs was a good blog. It contains some cool scenarios and a lot of interesting setting ideas. It’s a pity Gus L left but he’s not the first OSR blogger I’ve seen leave (or talk about leaving) over personal or political issues.

  9. I'm just commenting here to remark that I never see Zak S' comments on G+. I'm still blocked after all these years. But thats more of a "personal censorship", I guess ;)

    Then again, the G+ gaming communities have become increasingly political and I avoid most of them these days. There is no actual discussion, just the shouting down of the views of others that some folks disagree with.

    1. Blocking is for pussies, but I don't think it's censorship per se. You have a personal right not to see things, or for people not to get to talk to you. It means you lack a certain amount of testicular fortitude, but it's not the same as trying to stop OTHER PEOPLE from seeing what someone other than you writes.

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  11. When even YDIS these days is equal parts doomsday prophets, baby trolls and bleeding hearts, it's hard to argue that the OSR as a whole has been hijacked by some ill-defined "alt-right". Fact is, our G+ communities are ageing, the new blood is playing 5E, and some among our Perky Pat crowd are more and more frustrated about the way the world goes. Good ol' conservatism, and nothing to throw a tantrum about. Conversely, most kids don't give two fucks about the liberal crap the Critical Role edgelords are spouting and are just happy to slay monsters. No SJW conspiracy either (at least none that is working).

  12. All this petty shit is pedantic and the reason why /osrg/ is much superior to G+ for OSR discussions. Once you remove ego and identity from the equation, you can actually talk about the games. Skerples is waiting on the flipside when you schmucks understand how fucking petty this bullshit is.

    1. The one which Zak has certifiably visited at least once, where Skerples, Lungfungus, and cavegirl dwell.

    2. for future reference: this means 4chan's /tg/ board.

  13. Everybody on this blog post is secretly in bed with each other. I call this cabal the "alt-ctrl". They get together to manage their online personalities (and orchestrate fake fights, like this one) to manipulate men over 35 to purchase their fantasy games.

    1. Jeesh. You should be writing fiction! LOL! Seriously.

    2. No one has to manipulate me to purchase fantasy games. I am quite capable of buying them without any influence sir!

  14. Heh I've not seen anything so far from Alt-Righters in the OSR, most are Centrists, Conservative leaning Libertarians or Classical Liberals. Personally I am a Patriotic Libertarian Minarchist that is leaning heavily towards An-Cap these days. SJWs tend to conflate pro-Free Speech advocates, Conservatives & Libertarians as alt-right to try to silence us. I like the OSR & Old School RPG community that plays OD&D, B/X D&D, Arduin & other classic RPGs like Runequest & Traveller. SJWs can kick bricks.

  15. Props to Pundits never seen Zak chased off before.

  16. Lying usually means you believe X to be true but you say Not X in order to mislead. Fascist Hate Speech presumably means speech that is fascist and hateful. But Zak S blocks people and recommends that others block them simply for having political and/or religious views that are opposed to those of Zak S. So when Zak S initially implied that the reason he blocks people is because they were lying, he was, well, lying.

    Nor does he exclusively block people for Fascist Hate Speech unless, again, "speech" can be stretched to simply having or holding a view that Zak S doesn't like. In fairness, I suppose holding politically incorrect views (as defined by Zak S) is one of the things that might make one a "wrongdoer."

    1. I generally agree with these points. I don't know how they apply to Zak S. specifically and the current "discourse" as I am not up on (and neither do I want to be) the day to day kerfluffles of Internet board manias, contrived or other. Creating and playing games seems, since 1968, a more important endeavor. All of this minutia, its concentration--its so very in the bubble-zone as the Internet "stuff" is not, and will never be, representative of the greater scope of public games and gaming. Conventions, now there's a distillation of games and gaming I can come to grips with, and with everyone putting aside their bias and opinions to just get on with it.

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