Players 'distressed' by gang-rape role-playing game - Page 33
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  1. #321
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bedrockgames View Post
    Hussar, I don't think I look like a ninny at all. I am talking about the situation in general and the posts I have seen where it looks like people are getting far too comfortable with things like public shaming, with global bans from cons for one incident (which I think isn't as cut and dry as people are making it).
    I think you have a problem in that you are discussing what you see as a general issue, in a thread about an incident that does not support your points well at all.

    Find a documented incident where public shaming had a major impact on a GM, and it turns out the public was really wrong, and you might have something. But here, what you have are hypothetical, things you *fear* can happen, but for which we don't have evidence at hand. Without some validation that the fears are reality, what you have is, in effect, a slippery slope argument, and we all know the rhetorical weaknesses of that.
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  2. #322
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    Quote Originally Posted by Umbran View Post
    I think you have a problem in that you are discussing what you see as a general issue, in a thread about an incident that does not support your points well at all.

    Find a documented incident where public shaming had a major impact on a GM, and it turns out the public was really wrong, and you might have something. But here, what you have are hypothetical, things you *fear* can happen, but for which we don't have evidence at hand. Without some validation that the fears are reality, what you have is, in effect, a slippery slope argument, and we all know the rhetorical weaknesses of that.
    In before "Salem witch trials!"

  3. #323
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfcrusher View Post
    In before "Salem witch trials!"
    I don't believe any of the victims of the Salem witch trials were running role playing games, so they are perhaps not a great example from which to extrapolate.

  4. #324
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    Just want to say a bit of a my bad. I misread part of the blog post about someone trying to gain publicity. My misread. Thanks for correcting me.

    heís now been identified by someone who was seeking to use these events for their own publicity, whose name I wonít give out because it will give him the publicity he wants.
    Iím actually a little disappointed that the person in question would not have been identified by the con. I would think that itís in public interest to disseminate the fact that someone was banned for bad behaviour so that others can decide if they want this person volunteering.

  5. #325
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    Quote Originally Posted by Umbran View Post
    I think you have a problem in that you are discussing what you see as a general issue, in a thread about an incident that does not support your points well at all.

    Find a documented incident where public shaming had a major impact on a GM, and it turns out the public was really wrong, and you might have something. But here, what you have are hypothetical, things you *fear* can happen, but for which we don't have evidence at hand. Without some validation that the fears are reality, what you have is, in effect, a slippery slope argument, and we all know the rhetorical weaknesses of that.
    Online campaigns have almost certainly colored a number of firings in the computer game (online and console) game world. Alison Rapp, Jessica Price, Peter Fries. I don't think you have to find a case of an innocent GM being targeted to be wary of social media campaigns and the impact they can have on real people's lives. Fact is - the tool can be put to evil uses as well as good (depending on your perspective), has been, and almost certainly will be in the future. We shouldn't be blasť about them.

  6. #326
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hussar View Post
    Iím actually a little disappointed that the person in question would not have been identified by the con. I would think that itís in public interest to disseminate the fact that someone was banned for bad behaviour so that others can decide if they want this person volunteering.
    Thatís a risky step to take for any group/institution. Itís one thing to fire someone or ban them from your premises or events. Itís another to broadcast that personís name to the public.

  7. #327
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hussar View Post

    Iím actually a little disappointed that the person in question would not have been identified by the con. I would think that itís in public interest to disseminate the fact that someone was banned for bad behaviour so that others can decide if they want this person volunteering.
    So, I am not entirely, 100%, convinced on this one. I could go either way.

    So, here's my (incomplete, subject to change) thought process on this:

    1. In favor of not disclosing his name. So, apparently this GM's actions were a total shock and surprise. He didn't dispute what happened (at least initially, during the investigation). Over a decade of prompt service, etc. blah blah blah. I'm not being dismissive, I'm just pointing out that I can understand that, given that, in the best light possible, this was out of character, this wasn't targeted harassment, and this was a fictional scenario that went terribly wrong- it could be viewed more as a terrible lapse in judgment, and as such, appropriately dealt with by a ban of that individual from running games. Plus there can be liability issues if you are the entity broadcasting the name.

    2. Okay, OTOH ... sunlight is the best disinfectant. The problem that society has had with habitual line steppers (as I tend to call them) is that these matters are often dealt with privately. Now, maybe this is a one-time thing. But far too often in our history, abusers and harassers have gotten away with things because it's a "one-time thing," and because it gets swept under the rug, other victims don't hear about it to come forward. The whole, "Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to do that [insert sexually inappropriate thing]. Don't tell anybody, k, 'cuz it will ruin my reputation!" And someday, years later, it comes out that this was a pattern and practice, and lots of people were hurt.


    Eh, after writing all that ... I'm inclined to go with 2.
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  8. #328
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    I mean, to be fair, demonstrably false accusations started Gamergate. It's funny how it's only "internet mob mentality" when the mob is pursuing goals antithetical to one's political leaning.

    This is what people who insist on speaking in hypotheticals don't get: there isn't a single, one-size-fits all solution to this. Context matters. This is (one of many reasons) why the Central Park 5 example doesn't fit here; the context was extreme racism. It's also why the Gamergate example I just brought up doesn't really work; dudebro gets dumped and decides to get back at his ex by posting what amounts to a "dear penthouse" letter on a forum populated by misogynists. You don't just automatically believe everything you read; context matters.

    I get that there's confusion around this point, especially with the whole "believe survivors" movement; but that movement exists in spaces that recognize the racism that fueled the false imprisonment of the Central Park Five or lynchings in the Deep South. Context matters, even in these cases. Even though the statement sounds absolute it's still not necessarily a one-size fits all thing.

    Communal accountability is necessary for a safe, inclusive community. It means outing "missing stairs" and demanding (if not outright creating) consequences for bad behavior. The biggest trouble is, right now, is that bad actors are often eventually welcomed back into the industry without ever having to apologize for or be held to account for their bad behavior. Case in point: Nick Robinson and Matt Conn are at E3 right now hawking games. Nobody took away Kevin Rofle's license to GM games in the comfort of his own home and I guarantee in a few years he'll be back running games at cons whether he ever changes his story and properly atones or not (I'd be surprised if he does) and with only a handful of people, so easily ignored, crying foul about it. Zak Smith is still making games and will keep making games that will sell and one day, years from now, he'll show up at a con and nobody will question his presence. I do not understand the weeping for these men. Things will turn out just fine for them.

    And that's the one downside to social accountability; it has a shelf life. How long that lasts depends on how genuine and sincere bad actors are in taking responsibility and atoning for their actions. Sometimes they do it right away, and the community largely moves on; see Dan Harmon or James Gunn. Sometimes they have to get dragged there kicking and screaming but eventually make it there, like Aziz Ansari. Everyone else? They understand that if they just lay low for a certain length of time, the recency of their transgressions will fade and they can just waltz back in like nothing ever happened. And the troubling thing is; most industries play along with it, and gaming is no different. Talent and bank-ability trump ethics and accountability every time.

    There's a reason why social accountability efforts keep harping on bad actors long after it seems everyone else has tired of talking about them. It's all they can do to keep what little accountability they're able to muster alive long after everyone else seems ready to forget, if not forgive.
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  9. #329
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    Quote Originally Posted by macd21 View Post
    Thatís a risky step to take for any group/institution. Itís one thing to fire someone or ban them from your premises or events. Itís another to broadcast that personís name to the public.
    There are risks in naming the individual. One can sometimes mitigate those risks by stating only the most empirical facts: "we have, in the past, entrusted (individual name) with DM duties at (convention name), and as of the current con, we will no longer entrust (name) with DM roles." Astute readers may wonder what story lies behind this decision, and may find out - but hey, the con didn't make any public statements beyond literal and verifiable facts.

    There are also risks in NOT naming the individual.

    One of the latter risks, is that when word gets around, about "that DM who ran Things from the Flood", and there are two DMs who ran Things from the Flood games at UK Expo 2019: the omission of Rolfe's name, increases the risk that people will mistakenly blame the *other* TftF DM for Rolfe's actions.

    Another of the risks, with Missing Stairs, is that he'll go elsewhere and do the same thing, getting booted from venue after venue, while at each of those venues he racks up a higher and higher total count of players with shocked faces. I doubt that this particular DM has as many options in the UK, as he would in the USA; but suppressing names has had a someone-else's-problem effect, in other domains, which I will not deign to enumerate here.

    Sometimes people accept risk *to themselves*, in order to avert or reduce risks *to others*. IMO this is the core of heroism. I cannot tell UK Expo what risks it must take, for the greater good; that's their choice, not mine. But if my local game con refused to take risks, and *in the process left others at risk*, then I'd be less interested in going to that con to fulfill my TRPG heroic fantasies.
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  10. #330
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    "Sure it can (and often is) can be used for good, but it can also be used as a tool for evil!"

    This is an argument that holds absolutely no water. Here's a brief but by no means conclusive list of things for which this could said to apply to:

    *Axes
    *Hammers
    *Knives
    *Motorized Vehicles
    *Woodchippers
    *Video Games
    *Tabletop RPGs
    *Genitalia
    *Novels
    *Films
    *Computers
    *Satellites
    *Agriculture
    *Civilization

    The list goes on and on.

    We don't cancel video games because racists make ethnic cleansing games and we didn't cancel Tabletop RPGs when F.A.T.A.L. was published. Using the "libs'" tactics against them is one of the most enduring and, sadly, effective practices of the most vile corners of the internet. Again, see James Gunn. Clutching at our pearls and throwing the baby out with the bathwater is exactly what they want us to do.
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