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Players 'distressed' by gang-rape role-playing game Tuesday, 11th June, 2019 12:34 AM

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Tuesday, 18th June, 2019


Monday, 18th November, 2013

  • 10:35 PM - Janx mentioned mythago in post [Dread] Jenga beat up my dice! My results from the indie horror RPG.
    Sounds like a cool setup mythago. I like how you accepted the player's surprise decision to put the grave on the island. I think that ought to be standard. Once the GM writes a loaded question to guide the PC's creation a certain way, the GM needs to accept almost anything the player writes down. This forces the GM to adapt to the organic situation in the same way the players have to, thus ensuring each run of the game is different and surprising for the GM as well. There's naturally going to be exceptions, but they should be over game balance or group disruption issues.

Friday, 6th September, 2013

  • 05:18 PM - Bagpuss mentioned mythago in post That Penny Arcade Controversy
    mythago I don't really think censorship is really the main issue here, I was just pointing out censorship doesn't need to be by a government agency, and that factions on both sides of this issue would like to silence the opposition, rather than have the debate continue.

Monday, 3rd June, 2013


Friday, 31st May, 2013

  • 08:28 AM - pemerton mentioned mythago in post Should the next edition of D&D promote more equality?
    ...rently) are all sexy temptresses who lure lustful men to disaster. The whole raison d'etre, then, of these creatures is to present themselves to men who view them as sexy, and as ready and waiting for sex. So I'll rephrase my objection to much fantasy art, including D&D art, in this way: why are all the women in it presented as if they were sirens or succubi or classical mermaids, that is, as ready and waiting for lustful men to have sex with them? People like looking at alluring photos and art, I don't see why D&D art should be held to some different standard.It's a fantasy RPG, not soft porn. If you want to enjoy yourself looking at alluring photos, go to one of the 10 billion websites that will satisfy that desire! I have two young daughters. They receive a lot of social signals telling them that what they should really do, if they want to be accepted and liked, is to make themselves sexy and sexually available for the men who want to look at them and "do" them (to borrow mythago's language). Why should I have to worry that, in reading through my gaming books, they're going to get more of that message? I have coworkers who make fun of my RPGing as childish, or as juvenile wish fulfillment, purely on the basis that (like superhero comics) all the women have enormous breats. I don't want RPGing books that portray most of the women in them as if they are just waiting for the right man to come along, notice them and do them. That's what porn is for.

Tuesday, 28th May, 2013

  • 03:29 PM - Piratecat mentioned mythago in post Dread
    There's a long running Dread thread here: http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?194714-Dread-Jenga-beat-up-my-dice!-My-results-from-the-indie-horror-RPG Right! mythago, check out that thread -- a ton of good information from lots of people. Recommended. Dread remains my favorite horror game. It's the only game I know of where the mechanics make me a better GM.
  • 10:28 AM - pemerton mentioned mythago in post Should the next edition of D&D promote more equality?
    ...ther amplifying her cleavage. Some of my thoughts on this illustration. First, it seems to me that there is no dispute that this woman is drawn in a sexualised way, in the sense that she is deliberately presented as a sexually attractive figure. Second, the artist has made some degree of effort to achieve this result - the woman's arched-backed pose is not the most natural way to depict a person descending a cliff-side stairway. Third, this sexualisation appears to have little to do with the context. For instance, there is no indication that the woman is flirting with anyone else either in the scene or off-canvass. I guess it's possible that the two people are not actually adventurers about to assault or infiltrate a ruined fortress (in the typical mode of D&D adventurers) but are in fact on their way to a party in the fort where her mode of dress would fit right in, but even if that were so it still doesn't explain why she is stopping for a sexy stretch half-way down the cliff. mythago has made the broader points I would have made about censorship, so I'll focus my response to this pictrure more narrowly. The cover of DMG2 is an illustration on the cover of a commercial product. It therefore serves a range of communicative functions: the main one is conveying, in somewhat general, abstract and allusive terms, the subject matter of the contents; a related one is marketing the work, that is, making it an attractive object of consumption for likely consumers; a somewhat secondary function is conveying, in some fashion, the artist's ideas about fantasy adventuer, the human form, etc. If, from the publisher's point of view, the cover fails in the first or second of these functions that is, in itself, a good reason to get rid of it and try again. If, from the purcahser and user's point of view, the cover gives a misleading impression of the contents of the book, that is also a reason to get rid of it, I think. And for me, as a purchaser and user of that book, I think it...

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Tuesday, 11th June, 2019

  • 12:19 PM - Bedrockgames quoted mythago in post Players 'distressed' by gang-rape role-playing game
    Look, kindergartners can grasp the concept of "If you are mean to the other kids, they won't want to play with you anymore". We as adult gamers should be able to understand that too. And we should also be able to expend a little emotional energy on worrying about the aftermath for the people who were on the receiving end of the crummy behavior, instead of focusing solely on whether the dude who experienced the natural consequences of being a jackwagon got a feelings-booboo. What I see in a lot of these incidents is people using another persons perceived bad behavior as an excuse for cruelty. Just look at the language of your paragraph. Was he being mean? I didn't get that impression. I got the impression he may have been clueless or been behaving like a bit of an ass trying to push boundaries. But I can also see a scenario here where this is just a misguided attempt at humor, or where he failed to read the room. That the game was marked Mature makes a big difference in my mind. To me it looks...
  • 01:00 AM - Bedrockgames quoted mythago in post Players 'distressed' by gang-rape role-playing game
    Someone has already linked to a blog post by one of the con organizers, who explained exactly what they did, who they talked to, and why they took the actions (banning him from the con) that they did. And he did not name the person or encourage anyone to shame or shun him. Where on earth are you getting this idea that it was 'very poorly handled'? Is this the thing where we assume exclusion is probably bad and mean, and therefore anything that resulted in exclusion must have been a flawed process? Look, kindergartners can grasp the concept of "If you are mean to the other kids, they won't want to play with you anymore". We as adult gamers should be able to understand that too. And we should also be able to expend a little emotional energy on worrying about the aftermath for the people who were on the receiving end of the crummy behavior, instead of focusing solely on whether the dude who experienced the natural consequences of being a jackwagon got a feelings-booboo. I was saying the news c...

Monday, 10th June, 2019

  • 03:39 AM - Riley37 quoted mythago in post Players 'distressed' by gang-rape role-playing game
    I'm very, very tired of the Geek Social Fallacy terror of exclusion and the child-bully's "geez, I said I was sorry, okay?!" being substituted for people owning their screw-ups and genuinely trying to earn back trust somewhere other than on the backs of the people they hurt. Thank you for mentioning the Geek Social Fallacy terror of exclusion. You beat me to it! For those who'd like a full explanation of the concept, try this link: http://www.plausiblydeniable.com/opinion/gsf.html There are some posts which examine the interaction of the GSF, with the "missing stair" concept - that is, the analogy between "oh, there's a missing stair on the back staircase, you just need to step over it" versus "oh, Bob doesn't respect personal boundaries, so you just need to work around that when you're talking with Bob". The literal missing stair, and Bob, are both especially hazardous to people who didn't get the memo. Newcomers show up, they go to the back staircase for a smoke break (or just a fresh ...

Sunday, 2nd June, 2019

  • 11:29 PM - LordEntrails quoted mythago in post Players 'distressed' by gang-rape role-playing game
    Why 'relatively quietly' (which is somewhat of a contradiction to 'openly')? Nothing is served by shutting up and agreeing never to speak of it again. For one thing, the convention's quick and decisive response is a good model for other groups to follow. For another, it's great PR for gaming to be a more welcoming place that it's historically been. 'Relatively quietly' because what value is it to blow it up and make it the front page? Those that need to know, know. I never said or even implied that anyone should be "shutting up and agreeing to never speak of it again." Quite contradictory to what I said. It almost seems like you just want to start some big, useless, internet debate. We agreed it was handled appropriately. It has been socialize/publicized to the community. Nothing more needs to be said about it.

Friday, 2nd February, 2018

  • 03:06 PM - Nytmare quoted mythago in post RPG Legal Advice
    Anything "can be argued". The problem is that the players shouldn't be arguing this. I had meant argued by their defense, which would be handled by Celebrim, the GM. For starters, while they're justifying why they went to all those lengths to subdue the person, they are admitting to having shot him - something that a prosecutor would otherwise have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. Why aren't they just saying "I would like a lawyer, please" and otherwise keeping their fool mouths shut? It sounds like that boat has sailed already. I'm a little baffled by most of this discussion because it feels like rules lawyering to explain why the players should be able to talk their way out of a situation. Which is fine, but not in a game where you're trying to approximate how the US justice system more or less works. I thought that the discussion had been the GM asking for people to help him think through the process of "what makes sense for the NPC police and legal teams to do now, if t...

Tuesday, 7th November, 2017

  • 03:22 AM - MackMcMacky quoted mythago in post Harassment At PaizoCon 2017
    This is an excellent example of how one can use the curious grammar of English to sanitize awkward facts. "The incident happened" excises the actor. Mr. Webb didn't do anything; he certainly didn't make a decision to get drunk and harass someone to the point that he had to be physically restrained from doing so. An "incident" merely "happened", like an errant meteor striking the earth, or a freak lightning strike burning a house down. Mistakes were made. These things happen. Move along. "Those wronged felt that it had been resolved" again centers that most-regrettable-but-certainly-blameless incident as the only thing that needs to be resolved; certainly not the question of why Mr. Webb felt he could get away with this or whether he is going to be a problem at future conventions. No need to discuss this; the people wronged by that unfortunate-but-morally-neutral incident feel it is over with, so shouldn't the rest of us shut our yaps and move along? This is an excellent example of how on...

Tuesday, 9th May, 2017

  • 10:46 PM - doctorbadwolf quoted mythago in post Hidden
  • 01:45 PM - ArchfiendBobbie quoted mythago in post #Feminism Is A Collection of 34 "Nanogames" From Designers Around The World
    But I doubt that we would have gotten the same "I haven't read it but it's awful" criticisms if the anthology had been called #ExperimentalNanoGames. You're right. That's because #ExperimentalNanoGames wouldn't have been bringing politics into discussion to begin with. The idea these games at all allow people to consider these ideas without being tied to their emotional responses? One good, hard look at this very thread proves that is wrong. Even some of us who agree with feminism, such as myself, reacted negatively to it because we don't like how the games portray feminism. This very thread stands as a testament to why ENWorld's ban on politics is necessary. And as sad as it is for me to say this, I'm going to have to suggest that ban should extend to nanogames as well after this. It may mean we miss out on some news, but tell me if you honestly want to have this discussion again when the next set is about something like Black Lives Matter or Donald Trump.
  • 08:19 AM - Dualazi quoted mythago in post #Feminism Is A Collection of 34 "Nanogames" From Designers Around The World
    To answer your questions about specific games: "Lipstick" and "Riding to Reunion" are exactly what you think they are; but, ironically, these are two of the games that LEAST enforce a stance, as they present dilemmas for which there isn't an easy answer. "Shoutdown to Launch" is one of the funnest looking games and it's designed to make you experience a phenomenon that's already happening. The discussion afterwards asks you several things about it, but the game itself doesn't assert any particular position on the issue. While I guess props to Lipstick for not being heavy handed, it still doesn’t really address the other complaint that I have made that these aren’t games. A game, largely by necessity, needs an objective or scoring metric to denote a winner, or at least a score to later attempt to beat in cooperative titles. Without ranking value judgements and in essence picking a ‘right’ answer, how are these games and not simply debate topics? Also, I’m going to have to ask you to conf...

Friday, 21st April, 2017

  • 06:12 AM - doctorbadwolf quoted mythago in post How to keep women in the game?
    "Quasi-realistic" is another way of saying "not realistic". And it's not about whether a particular setting is or isn't 'okay'. If everyone in the group is happy with things, then by all means, set your game in Aggressively Unrealistic Medieval England and deviate from real history all you like. Port over a thinly-disguised version of GoT. Heck, run a strictly traditionalist game of Murder-Hobo Lords of Gor if that's what the GM and players clamor for. But it's disingenuous to take a vastly unrealistic setting - cherry-picking bits here and there of "medieval Europe", slapping in new ones that never existed, and excising realistic elements that are boring or distasteful - and then insisting that elements A and B are there because realism demands it. As you note, it's a fantasy setting. So when a GM is happy to have wizards throwing fireballs, open borders, and a distinct lack of enforced monotheism, but insists that women can't be fighters or a lifted skirt clouds men's minds without fa...

Thursday, 20th April, 2017

  • 11:37 PM - TheCosmicKid quoted mythago in post How to keep women in the game?
    But it's disingenuous to take a vastly unrealistic setting - cherry-picking bits here and there of "medieval Europe", slapping in new ones that never existed, and excising realistic elements that are boring or distasteful - and then insisting that elements A and B are there because realism demands it. As you note, it's a fantasy setting. So when a GM is happy to have wizards throwing fireballs, open borders, and a distinct lack of enforced monotheism, but insists that women can't be fighters or a lifted skirt clouds men's minds without fail or consequence, well. That's not actually a game with a historically-accurate setting. That's a game where the GM wants particular gender roles, but won't cop to it, instead letting History take the rap. (Poor History!)Yeah, it's pretty ridiculous to insist that historical realism demands anything in this crazy game. There is another sort of "realism" that is worth consideration, though: literary verisimilitude. Simply put, fictional cultures ought to have ...
  • 08:45 AM - Lylandra quoted mythago in post How to keep women in the game?
    "Quasi-realistic" is another way of saying "not realistic". And it's not about whether a particular setting is or isn't 'okay'. If everyone in the group is happy with things, then by all means, set your game in Aggressively Unrealistic Medieval England and deviate from real history all you like. Port over a thinly-disguised version of GoT. Heck, run a strictly traditionalist game of Murder-Hobo Lords of Gor if that's what the GM and players clamor for. But it's disingenuous to take a vastly unrealistic setting - cherry-picking bits here and there of "medieval Europe", slapping in new ones that never existed, and excising realistic elements that are boring or distasteful - and then insisting that elements A and B are there because realism demands it. As you note, it's a fantasy setting. So when a GM is happy to have wizards throwing fireballs, open borders, and a distinct lack of enforced monotheism, but insists that women can't be fighters or a lifted skirt clouds men's minds without fa...

Wednesday, 19th April, 2017

  • 07:52 PM - aramis erak quoted mythago in post How to keep women in the game?
    Unless you're running a Harn-esque straight up simulation of a particular region and time period, "realistic" isn't accurate. It's a matter of which elements the GM chooses to keep and which to discard. Which is fine, but then own it, instead of shrugging and saying that golly gee you just can't help sticking female PCs with discrimination and femme-fatale powers with a helpless shrug and the pretense of Realism Made Me Do It. And the PC SJW rears its ugly and ignorant head... discrimination was the norm for 99.9% of recorded history. It's still the legal norm in about 40% of the world, and the social norm in 60%. When I run a historical game, I run it with historical biases. At no point do I tell a player of a female character "You cannot attempt X"... If it's a social task, the difficulty may change severely, but they can try it... Nothing I hate more than the hyper-lib "You must hate women if you play historically accurate" -which is how I read your whining...

Sunday, 9th April, 2017

  • 10:13 AM - Dualazi quoted mythago in post News Digest: Controversy Abounds! New Vampire Edition Details, Green Ronin's Talent Search, 7th Sea Explorer's Society, Int'l Tabletop Day, and more!
    "Forced female involvement" is a very odd way to phrase it. I don't think they're going out press-ganging female game designers. Blind audition format is not how any game company does business. Game companies work with writers they've worked with before; they work with big-name writers whose byline will attract attention and money; they work with people whose style they like better or who they know to be reliable. Is any of that unfair? Are they risking inferior product because they're not opening a blind casting call to all and sundry? Yeah, my phrasing could use work, but they're still ultimately boiling it down to "female or bust". It's forced in the sense that I think there are very few industries that see 100% of either gender reliably in people entering the workforce, and GR is forcing that scenario to occur here. Those issues you outlined aren't unfair because in many cases they're value adds that elevate their product. A big name writer is more valuable to the company specifically ...
  • 09:32 AM - Dualazi quoted mythago in post News Digest: Controversy Abounds! New Vampire Edition Details, Green Ronin's Talent Search, 7th Sea Explorer's Society, Int'l Tabletop Day, and more!
    I missed the part where GR said that they're limiting this to female authors because they think men are worse at writing or that men are jerks? Because that sure would be sexism against men. But I'm not following how wanting to give an opportunity to an underrepresented and often marginalized group of people is automagically bigotry. It's not so much that they think men are worse that they aren't interested in finding out. In my discussions with Jester I pointed out a blind audition format could be completely fair to any applicant and would likewise ensure the company and consumers get the best product possible. GR has instead essentially said that they're not interested in merely offering an opportunity for women to be involved in the project, but are instead saying that they will force female involvement whether or not it would be the optimal decision. The only way said involvement wouldn't be forced is if zero women apply and they have to open it back up to the general public. Furthermore,...

Saturday, 12th November, 2016


Thursday, 21st November, 2013

  • 04:49 PM - Umbran quoted mythago in post Pronouns in D&D - How should gender be handled?
    Actually, the easiest way out of this is better writing: "The DM first describes the room, then indicates what monsters are present." Or "The DM describes the room, and then describes the monsters in that room." No need for the pronoun at all, and I suppose you could throw 'to the players' in there somewhere, but isn't it assumed by the reader, in the context of (say) a module, that the DM is addressing the players? That works well for a single, isolated sentence, but in the context of a paragraph or chapter, it leads to highly repetitive structure that becomes less easy to read. "The DM does X. The DM does Y. In Z, the DM then...." The whole point of pronouns is to avoid the repetitive use of the specific reference.
  • 04:48 PM - Umbran quoted mythago in post Pronouns in D&D - How should gender be handled?
    Actually, the easiest way out of this is better writing: "The DM first describes the room, then indicates what monsters are present." Or "The DM describes the room, and then describes the monsters in that room." No need for the pronoun at all, and I suppose you could throw 'to the players' in there somewhere, but isn't it assumed by the reader, in the context of (say) a module, that the DM is addressing the players? That works well for a single, isolated sentence, but in the context of a paragraph or chapter, it leads to highly repetitive structure that becomes less easy to read. "The DM does X. The DM does Y. In Z, the DM then...." The whole point of pronouns is to avoid the repetitive use of the specific reference.
  • 04:39 PM - ClarenceInWonderland quoted mythago in post Pronouns in D&D - How should gender be handled?
    Actually, the easiest way out of this is better writing: "The DM first describes the room, then indicates what monsters are present." Or "The DM describes the room, and then describes the monsters in that room." I did mention that later in the same post: ... Try best to avoid needing a pronoun: “The DM first gives the players a description of the room, then indicates what monsters are present.” But there are still going to be places where a pronoun in necessary ... I find it interesting that singular "them/their" has taken over as an anaphoric pronoun (making reference to a noun earlier in the sentence), but English speakers have yet to develop something similar for subject pronouns. I suspect it’s because subjects necessarily carry semantic baggage which indicates the specifics on who is doing the action. Anaphoric pronouns just refer back to something already indicated, so "3rd person" is enough info. It seems that semantic baggage on "he" is dependent on speaker: so...

Sunday, 3rd November, 2013

  • 07:19 PM - Olgar Shiverstone quoted mythago in post Racism in RPGs, especially related to fantastic races
    Please note that I'm not commenting on what you "should" do in your campaign, I'm just addressing this particular sentiment. Other groups of humans compete for resources, territory, etc. - why wouldn't The People hate those-across-the-river and their strange, barbaric ways? Oh, I'm sure that would happen. It's just that with other sentient races around, you can extend the history of human conflict from "me against my brother; me and my brother against my cousin; mme my brother and cousin against the village; my village against other villages; our region against other regions, etc" to include "all humans against not humans" ... all of which would tend to reduce the influence of internal racism in favor of specism. On the other hand, if a campaign is human only, or has very limited contact with sentient non-human species, I'd expect human racism to be all the rage. (BTW -- aside from demons and devils and the like, I'm not a fan of "race X is evil because they are" ... I prefer the "from a...


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