Sunday, July 6, 2014

Moral Panic

I have long understood that RPGnet is an intellectual wasteland ruled by moderator gang mentality, so it's hardly worth posting about. Still, it was one of the first gaming communities I joined online, so there's some weird nostalgic part of me that wishes it wasn't such a festering shithole. That said, I spent 18 days in the hospital last month, and I think they removed the organ that gives a fuck.

If you have consciousness, you have the right to not buy a product for any reason, regardless of if that reason is part of a grand ideology or just petty bandwagon outrage. But nobody has the right to willfully spread disinformation about a person online. That is currently happening in several threads about Zak and Pundit right now. The moderators have engaged in it as well, in a passive aggressive "take a shot at someone, then tell everyone doing the same thing to calm down" way that has come to typify mod behavior in that community. That is fucking lame, lame shit.

Another thing that irks me about this is that I will FUCKING GUARANTEE you that many of these boycotters will about face as soon as they see something they like in the game and want to play it. This is less of a problem, simply because I believe the amount of people that make a stink about games online is a microscopic fraction of D&D players in general. I live in a city with more potential players than I will ever be able to handle, and I have never heard a single one of them mention RPGnet (or any other gaming site, for that matter).

There's a new D&D and it seems to have been heavily influenced by the OSR. I'm really excited about that. Don't like it? That's okay! Play what you like. There are so many options.

There's a LGBT statement in the book that is clearly made in good faith, even though it might be a bit heavy handed. Don't like it? Well, they're trying at least. Progress is good, even when it's slow*.

There's a LGBT statement in the book. Don't like it? Fuck you. Your bigoted opinions have fewer allies every year. Eventually you'll be dead and your gay grandkids will live in open happiness.

The cover thanks consultants who you find odious for whatever reason. Don't like it? Okay, but if you're going to talk shit about those people and accuse them of something, make sure you have accurate, first hand knowledge and produceable evidence. That's just how it works. The telephone game doesn't cut it. People have accused Zak of things that are clearly untrue (transphobia), things that are more complex than the accusation makes them (THE LIST), and things that are true only because the accuser's opinion makes it seem true in their mind (cyberstalking). My observations of the Pundit are limited, but I did spend a month filming in Uruguay once and I liked it a lot so I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt.

Sometimes, it seems patronizing to tell someone online that they need to get outside more, or that they need to get laid, or some other flippancy primarily used to get out of an argument. But this is one of those cases where people really do need to take a step back, man. There are wars happening in the world right now. 

And it's just a fucking game. It's a game where people pretend to be fucking ELVES for christ's sake. It's a fun, dumb, wonderful pursuit that I thankfully do not have to share with bigots and liars. 

I'm really happy with the way 5th edition turned out. I'ma play the shit out of it. I almost wish Geoffrey McKinney had a consultant's credit too, because I suspect the circle jerk of outrage may have actually caused some of the haters to spontaneously combust.

This is an unfocused rant and I'll shut up before it gets too far away from me. 

*Oh, and this sentence was written by a straight white middle class male who's LGBT experience is limited to several friendships and one particular youthful dalliance at the dawn of puberty. I realize that I may come off as ignorant or misinformed here. If so, I will try to do better next time.

1 comment:

  1. My impression of RPGNet mods and admins is a persistent immaturity.

    I also recall the girdle of femininity/masculinity, loads of fun.