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Big Changes At White Wolf Following Controversy

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Following an online backlash regarding the content of their recent publications, White Wolf Publishing has just announced some big changes, including the suspension of the Vampire 5th Edition Camarilla and Anarch books, and a restructuring of management.


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White Wolf's Shams Jorjani made the following announcement about an hour ago:

"Hello everyone,

My name is Shams Jorjani, VP of Business Development at Paradox Interactive and interim manager at White Wolf Publishing. I wanted to inform you of some changes that will be implemented at White Wolf, starting immediately.

Sales and printing of the V5 Camarilla and Anarch books will be temporarily suspended. The section on Chechnya will be removed in both the print and PDF versions of the Camarilla book. We anticipate that this will require about three weeks. This means shipping will be delayed; if you have pre-ordered a copy of Camarilla or Anarchs, further information will follow via e-mail.

In practical terms, White Wolf will no longer function as a separate entity. The White Wolf team will be restructured and integrated directly into Paradox Interactive, and I will be temporarily managing things during this process. We are recruiting new leadership to guide White Wolf both creatively and commercially into the future, a process that has been ongoing since September.

Going forward, White Wolf will focus on brand management. This means White Wolf will develop the guiding principles for its vision of the World of Darkness, and give licensees the tools they need to create new, excellent products in this story world. White Wolf will no longer develop and publish these products internally. This has always been the intended goal for White Wolf as a company, and it is now time to enact it.

The World of Darkness has always been about horror, and horror is about exploring the darkest parts of our society, our culture, and ourselves. Horror should not be afraid to explore difficult or sensitive topics, but it should never do so without understanding who those topics are about and what it means to them. Real evil does exist in the world, and we can’t ever excuse its real perpetrators or cheapen the suffering of its real victims.

In the Chechnya chapter of the V5 Camarilla book, we lost sight of this. The result was a chapter that dealt with a real-world, ongoing tragedy in a crude and disrespectful way. We should have identified this either during the creative process or in editing. This did not happen, and for this we apologize.

We ask for your patience while we implement these changes. In the meantime, let’s keep talking. I’m available for any and all thoughts, comments and feedback, on shams.jorjani@paradoxinteractive.com."


White Wolf is currently own by Paradox Interactive, who acquired the World of Darkness rights in 2015 from previous owner CCP (who you might know from Eve Online) whose plans for a WoD MMO failed to bear fruit.

The recent Camarilla and Anarch books have met widespread criticism. The former, Camarilla, includes a section which appears to trivialise current real-life events in Chechnya, where the LGBTQ community is being persecuted, tortured, and murdered and uses that current tragedy as a backdrop for the setting. This comes after the company was forced to deny links to neo-Nazi ideology. White Wolf recently announced that "White Wolf is currently undergoing some significant transitions up to and including a change in leadership. The team needs a short time to understand what this means, so we ask for your patience as we figure out our next steps" and this appears to be the result of that decision.
 
Russ Morrissey

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TheCosmicKid

Villager
Humanizing Polanski is misguided, IMO, because there is no need. I don't even believe that people actually forget in any meaningful way that Hitler was human, much less Polanski.
People frequently forget that their waiter is human. Dehumanization is jaw-droppingly easy.

Humanizing Hitler is both uncessary, and ultimately dangerous. It's not just about shying away from his evil, though that often happens in media that seeks to humanize evil. See, reddit posts about how much Hitler loved dogs.
What should we do with the fact that Hitler loved dogs? Suppress it? Are you and I worse off because we know it? Would we be better anti-Nazis if we didn't?

See also, the myth that all villains are the hero of their own story. No, many simply don't care at all about whether their actions are good, and only care about what benefits them.
See, when you dehumanize an evil person, write them off as "just a monster", this is the kind of simplistic conclusion about their motives that results. The reality is more complicated. Hitler was the hero of his own story, to a pathological degree. The OSS created a psychological profile of him which concluded that saw himself as the protagonist of a Wagner epic, and based on that profile made several very accurate predictions of his behavior. Including his suicide -- which is something that people who "only care about what benefits them" by definition do not do. Hitler killed himself, and millions of other people before that, even when it did him personally no good at all. Why? To begin to understand that, you have to picture him as a youth sitting in an opera house and soaking up the apocalyptic romanticism of Twilight of the Gods.
 

Maxperson

Orcus on an on Day
People frequently forget that their waiter is human. Dehumanization is jaw-droppingly easy.
I don't believe this for one second. I've been eating out at restaurants for more 40 years that I can remember(I was too young before that) and I have never once seen this happen. Not at high end places, and not at fast food places. I have seen people be jerks to their servers, but being a jerk to someone doesn't mean that you don't see that you have dehumanized that server. Does dehumanizing happen to servers? Probably, yes. Is it frequent? No it isn't.

What should we do with the fact that Hitler loved dogs? Suppress it? Are you and I worse off because we know it? Would we be better anti-Nazis if we didn't?
Who cares. I don't need to know he liked dogs. I don't want to know if he liked dogs. What he did to the people in concentration camps and countries he invaded makes the rest of his life meaningless to me.

See, when you dehumanize an evil person, write them off as "just a monster", this is the kind of simplistic conclusion about their motives that results. The reality is more complicated. Hitler was the hero of his own story, to a pathological degree. The OSS created a psychological profile of him which concluded that saw himself as the protagonist of a Wagner epic, and based on that profile made several very accurate predictions of his behavior. Including his suicide -- which is something that people who "only care about what benefits them" by definition do not do. Hitler killed himself, and millions of other people before that, even when it did him personally no good at all. Why? To begin to understand that, you have to picture him as a youth sitting in an opera house and soaking up the apocalyptic romanticism of Twilight of the Gods.
It was their job to profile Hitler. It's not my job. If it was my job to profile monsters, I would care more about what they do outside of being a monster.

When I play D&D and build an evil PC, I include aspects that would be considered good, since I understand that what you are saying is true and they do have positive human qualities. That complexity you speak of is why alignment fails so badly to model behaviors in D&D. In the real world I just don't care about those positive human qualities in monsters. It just doesn't matter to me if John Wayne Gacy went to church on Sundays, or if Jeffery Dahmer spent time helping orphans. The evil that those two men did outweighs any positives.
 
D

dco

Guest
With Morrus’ warning, I won’t dig deeper into this than we have. All I’ll say is, humanizing real world monsters isn’t helpful. We have no need of individual empathy toward Polanski, Hitler, etc.

As that relates to the topic, we should not be minimizing real world evil by turning into supernatural evil and conspiracy theories.
Who is we and why not? Because you don't like it?
 

doctorbadwolf

Explorer
Who is we and why not? Because you don't like it?
Decent human beings. I’m pretty sure even trippyhippy agrees with the statement you’re challenging. They just disagree that the case in question is actually a case of such trivialization.

If you think that we should be trivializing real world atrocities as they’re happening, I’ve nothing else to say to you that won’t get me banned.
 
D

dco

Guest
Decent human beings. I’m pretty sure even trippyhippy agrees with the statement you’re challenging. They just disagree that the case in question is actually a case of such trivialization.

If you think that we should be trivializing real world atrocities as they’re happening, I’ve nothing else to say to you that won’t get me banned.
You were talking in general but it doesn't change anything
I understand that writting about something happening now is more problematic and has more backslash, as this is a RPG it makes perfect sense that they don't use the polemic parts but if they wanted to use them it would still be fiction. This discourse about what people should write doesn't make any sense.
Writters are free to write about what they want and if they are breaking any law then the law will punish them, following what you say a lot of books would not exist. Books can have different audiences, themes, purposes, they don't need to be politically correct or push some virtues or social interests that make you happy, they are written by people who are complex human beings who think different, are under different laws, etc. I also don't care about your labels, the author of that section of the vampire RPG could be a better human being than you and me...in any case what is important is the quality and if you like his work.
 

doctorbadwolf

Explorer
People frequently forget that their waiter is human. Dehumanization is jaw-droppingly easy.


What should we do with the fact that Hitler loved dogs? Suppress it? Are you and I worse off because we know it? Would we be better anti-Nazis if we didn't?

See, when you dehumanize an evil person, write them off as "just a monster", this is the kind of simplistic conclusion about their motives that results. The reality is more complicated. Hitler was the hero of his own story, to a pathological degree. The OSS created a psychological profile of him which concluded that saw himself as the protagonist of a Wagner epic, and based on that profile made several very accurate predictions of his behavior. Including his suicide -- which is something that people who "only care about what benefits them" by definition do not do. Hitler killed himself, and millions of other people before that, even when it did him personally no good at all. Why? To begin to understand that, you have to picture him as a youth sitting in an opera house and soaking up the apocalyptic romanticism of Twilight of the Gods.
I would hope that you don’t think that no “villains” of the real world were/are apathetic to the notion of being good or bad, hero or villain. Plenty are motivated by power, petty revenge, or just simple greed. Whether Hitler specifically was motivated by X or Y or both wasn’t the topic of my comment about motivations.

I agree with [MENTION=23751]Maxperson[/MENTION] on the idea that folks dehumanize servers wih any regularity.
 

doctorbadwolf

Explorer
You were talking in general but it doesn't change anything
I understand that writting about something happening now is more problematic and has more backslash, as this is a RPG it makes perfect sense that they don't use the polemic parts but if they wanted to use them it would still be fiction. This discourse about what people should write doesn't make any sense.
Writters are free to write about what they want and if they are breaking any law then the law will punish them, following what you say a lot of books would not exist. Books can have different audiences, themes, purposes, they don't need to be politically correct or push some virtues or social interests that make you happy, they are written by people who are complex human beings who think different, are under different laws, etc. I also don't care about your labels, the author of that section of the vampire RPG could be a better human being than you and me...in any case what is important is the quality and if you like his work.
Ethics and morality are always more important than quality of writing.

No one is calling for writing being illegal, so maybe stop with that particular strawman.

You didn’t answer the question of whether you think that it is good to trivialize real world atrocities.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
You didn’t answer the question of whether you think that it is good to trivialize real world atrocities.

Thank you. I think this thread is done. This is now a *PERSONAL* argument, not actually about the topic, but about trying to score points against other speakers to discredit them, rather than to discuss the logic of positions. This isn't helpful.

Thread closed.
 
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