Players 'distressed' by gang-rape role-playing game - Page 13
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  1. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riley37 View Post
    “I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate." - Roy Batty

    Here's the thing, though. I doubt that any of the players in that game at UK Expo had, in their previous experience, been tortured to death, mutated, killed, sacrificed, dismembered, or eaten alive. It's even possible that none of them had ever known anyone who's been tortured to death, mutated, killed, sacrificed, dismembered, or eaten alive. Those are events which are more common in the fantasy genre, than in real life in the First World (with shades of grey on "killed", as death-by-homicide rates vary and war veterans may have killed people and/or seen people killed).

    It's possible that one or more of the players have survived rape. It's darn near certain that at least one of the players knows someone (male, female or otherwise) who's been raped. Not all men hear the stories; not unless they're clearly the kind of man who will listen, without mocking, blaming, shaming or denigrating the survivor; but if you know ten women, then you probably know someone who's been raped.

    So you're lumping apples with oranges.
    I've been mutated. It's how I got my superpowers.

    Just sayin'.

  2. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfcrusher View Post
    I've been mutated. It's how I got my superpowers.
    I was careful not to completely rule out the possibility!

    As an undergrad, I volunteered as a subject in several Psychology and Cognitive Science experiments, for pocket money, the advancement of Science, and the chance of an experiment going horribly awry, causing an origin story. I also spent a semester in Italy, visiting many archaeology sites (Rome is one of the best places to study Roman history), but failed to stumble across any Etruscan or Punic tablets of magical rituals.

    Here's a cartoon on the topic:
    http://www.lunarbaboon.com/comics/powers.html

  3. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mistwell View Post
    I am curious what people thought of the interview with the GM and his explanation for what happened?
    I think his explanation for what happened confirmed that what the players said was true and that the con was right to kick him. ‘If only I’d remembered to cover the characters in poo’ is both the weirdest and lamest defense I’ve ever seen.
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  4. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by billd91 View Post
    Smells fishy to me. If the GM was going for an Inbetweeners kind of vibe in which the PCs start in a compromising position and hijinks ensue, he didn't get off to a good start. My guess, even if he did intend for the PCs to have sore asses because of the squirts, he probably just described them waking up naked in a van with sore asses and left it to the players to infer what that signified. I wouldn't be surprised if he did so deliberately knowing that players might interpret it as being anally raped. While a show like the Inbetweeners might be able to play some of that off with humor (particularly around a character like Jay), it isn't going to work for your average con game. And obviously so.
    Yeah, I pretty much have to go with @billd91 here. His explanation leaves a lot more questions than answers, and, frankly, I'm having a pretty hard time believing that a player would be that disturbed by a depiction of rape that it was a simple "misunderstanding" and that he had no idea, not a single clue that anything was awry. IOW, he's trying to paint the player as fabricating the whole thing just for attention. I'm really not buying it.
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  5. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mistwell View Post
    I am curious what people thought of the interview with the GM and his explanation for what happened?
    I watched a bit of it. What I saw did not impress me. From the start, he refers to the PCs, the adventuring party, as "the lads". A bunch of lads, drunk, at 1AM, outside a kebab shop, trying to come up with the money for a snack... that's an important scene in an adventure story? Did he assume that all of the players would be fans of "lad culture", or that players of all ages and all genders would enjoy playing as "the lads"? Did he consider that (a) one or more of the players might have had the actual experience of waking up with missing clothing and sore private parts, and (b) that a player might have this experience after being raped by a "lad culture" participant (or group)?

    How does that kebab shop scene fit into "Tales from the Flood"? How is that a story about teens versus monsters, in a society falling apart as high tech becomes supernaturally corrupted? Was he was trying to break new ground in TRPG which recreates situation comedy rather than action-adventure stories? I suppose he might have tried Fiasco, but that's not even much of a Fiasco story seed.

    I read elsewhere an account in which he cites lack of sleep as a factor in how well he communicated during and after the session. As if that were some external factor which happened to him, rather than *a consequence of his actions and choices*. When I DM/GM for a con, part of my preparation is good self-care in the 24 hours before the session, so that I can bring my A-game (so to speak).

    Again: not impressed.
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  6. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by billd91 View Post
    Smells fishy to me.
    So to speak.

    If I came across some people who were drugged unconscious and covered in feces, and somehow it was up to me to take care of them, then I'd probably remove their clothes and use a spray hose to wash them clean. I would not handcuff them. Handcuffs indicate coercion or worse. I would not put them in a van. Putting people in a van, without their consent (or on false pretenses) is a sexual predator trope. (See the Urban Dictionary listing for "white van".)

    Either Rolfe didn't think through what conclusions people would form, which is incompetent, or he *hoped* that someone would form the obvious conclusion, so that he could then feel superior to the players when they proved to be wrong.
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  7. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riley37 View Post
    ... or he *hoped* that someone would form the obvious conclusion, so that he could then feel superior to the players when they proved to be wrong.
    This is a definite thing in our little community.
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  8. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riley37 View Post
    It's possible that one or more of the players have survived rape. It's darn near certain that at least one of the players knows someone (male, female or otherwise) who's been raped. Not all men hear the stories; not unless they're clearly the kind of man who will listen, without mocking, blaming, shaming or denigrating the survivor; but if you know ten women, then you probably know someone who's been raped.

    So you're lumping apples with oranges.
    Not only that, but fighting and killing monsters can be very light hearted and fun. Where as rape is never any of those two things, not even when it is fictionalized.

    Wether torture belongs in a D&D campaign is a point of discussion. It's not something I would throw at players at a con either, and always discuss with the players before introducing it in a campaign.
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  9. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mistwell View Post
    I am curious what people thought of the interview with the GM and his explanation for what happened?
    Without the actual recording it is still very much she said/he said. While his explanation leaves some gaps, it does seem very plausible and could lead to misinterpretation.

    What is interesting is where there is a big differences between UK Game Expo's statement, the initial twitter post that lead to the ban, and the press coverage and his side of things.

    Initial Tweet

    * Have our characters kidnapped and gang raped without discussing it with anyone first.

    UK Games Expo

    * The scenario included descriptions of sexual violence involving the players. The players were understandably distressed and shocked by this content.

    Press BBC and Mirror particularly

    * the storyline described sexual abuse

    The tweet is open to interpretation, things could have happened off camera, but it does make it sound graphic. The press and UK Games Expo, make it sound like that actual acts of sexual violence were described. If that were the case I think everyone would be right to be upset and a ban justified.

    However the GM said they were drugged and kidnapped, that matches the tweet and woke up naked, handcuffed together in a van with sore bums.

    So even if the GM is covering now, no description of sexual abuse actually occurred in game. It might have been a misinterpretation by the players in question, or it could have been intentional, if it was intentional then it's pretty dark horror but not as bad as say describing the gang-rape of minors(which some people have been claiming online). If it is as the GM says then it is certainly the sort of humour associated with The Inbetweeners. If it was as bad as the press have made out, I have to wonder why the players all stayed throughout the session and didn't leave or complain at the time.

    He had advertised it as 18+ Horror game, and the use of veils (really horrific things happening but not being described, just implied) is pretty standard practice in horror games. If he had actually described sexual abuse in game then I think people would be right to be up in arms, and that's certainly what the press have said, but we know that the BBC for example didn't speak to anyone involved before running with their version of events. The Mirror said was a D&D game with "gang rape scenario", the actual incident was less than 2 minutes within a much larger game that wasn't D&D. (How do these people even call themselves journalists?)

    Now a cross-over between The Inbetweeners and Hostel certainly isn't the game for everyone, but it certainly isn't some surprise rape fantasy in a game about minors which a lot of the buzz around this seemed to imply. The game he describes I would say is suitable to some conventions, but probably not run it at something like UK Games Expo which is a big family event with people of all ages, you can't predict who will walk past the table in a open room event.

    I think a lot depends on what the blurb about the game was, clearly there has been a clash between player and GM expectations.
    Last edited by Bagpuss; Thursday, 6th June, 2019 at 12:04 PM.
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  10. #130
    I watched the interview, with a couple of caveats. Given “grimjim’s” angle, I am not sure I trust his transcription and editing of the replies. Even so, there are some interesting answers the GM gave, which I think deserved a clarifying question that we didn’t get, and some responses which I think were lies.

    Cards on the table, I talked the to three players concerned, they played in a horror themed game I ran in the morning, I resolve need via DM with one of them to their tweet, and I met them in the evening. I feel I have slightly more direct knowledge of the incident that most commentators, though only from one side.

    At the same time, I have no wish to blacken the name of the GM. I am willing to believe that this was an out-of-Character -up on his part, and so I do not use his name in any discussion. I feel UKGE did the right thing, but I am not interested in joining the clamour to ostracise him from society (yet at least).

    All that said here are the points I want to raise:
    He said that a complaint was not made direct to UKGE by the players. That UKGE reacted inappropriately to a tweet. I know that at least one player did make a direct complaint to UKGE.

    He was a volunteer and thus a representative of UKGE. It is their absolute responsibility to decide how to respond. And as a volunteer he has no rights to any sort of employment tribunal, though there may be a UKGE volunteer grievance procedure he can appeal to.

    Not only did he say he “forgot to mention the poo” (though I don't see how that would have made their players’ perception of the events any better), he also “forgot” to explain that it wasn’t a rape scene when they talk about it afterwards.

    He then claims to have run the game “correctly” for a group of UKGE staffers later (but before he was challenged about the complaint). This sounds fishy to me, as though he realised how wrong he had been and was trying to cover his back.

    The players, when I talked to them later, were complaining not just about the nature of the scene, but his poor GMing generally, including railroading them into the scene, and is more grasp of the system he was using.
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