TSR Companies & Freelancers Distance Themselves From The New TSR

The new TSR (which I refer to as TSR3 to avoid confusion) has doubled down on its stance--which has been widely condemned online--via an ongoing series of tweets and replies from its TSR Games, Giantlands, and Dungeon Hobby Museum social media accounts (possibly operated by Justin LaNasa) in an astonishing PR campaign which makes the original interview which sparked off the controversy look mild in comparison. Various entities are moving to distance themselves from the company and its activities, including TSR2, the company founded in 2011 by Jayson Elliot, which has now declared that it will not be using the name TSR any longer. Other companies including Gen Con and freelancers such as Jeff Dee have also made statements.

For reference -- TSR1 is the (no longer existing) company which launched D&D in 1974, TSR2 is the company founded by Jayson Elliot in 2011 to create Gygax Magazine and which currently publishes the Top Secret RPG, and TSR3 is the newly launched company.



Catch up on my previous coverage of this story:


TSR3's social media accounts initially sought to distance the company from Ernie Gygax's statements, but within a few hours had reversed course and doubled down on his stance. Note that there have been dozens of social media posts from the company over the last few days, and still continuing as I type this, and I don't intend to share them all here.

(Thanks to Daniel Fox for sharing screenshots below via Twitter).

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TSR2 -- "Update to our earlier tweet - we will NOT be licensing anything from the new company claiming rights to the TSR logos. We are not working with them in any fashion."

Gen Con -- "Gen Con is not associated with TSR Games and we don't support their recent statements. While the foundation of Gen Con is tied with the history of TTRPGs, our goal is to build off the good, acknowledge the bad, and work toward a present free from racism, misogyny, and homophobia."

Gen Con has also indicated that they do not intend to allow TSR3 at the convention.

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GAMA (the Game Manufacturers Association) -- "We’re aware of the appalling statements published by TSR Games and their founder - GAMA does not condone nor agree with any part of it. We pride ourselves on supporting and promoting inclusivity always. Our motto is “A game at every table, a table for everyone”. Transphobia, racism, and sexism will not be tolerated. That means that TSR is not welcome at Origins Game Fair, GAMA Expo or any event affiliated with our organization."

Jeff Dee -- "There is a rumor going around that I am part of this new TSR company. That is not accurate. I have done some work for them as a freelance artist. That’s how I make my living, and spreading the misinformation that I’m now employed full-time by one particular client could stop other clients from approaching me and hurt my business. So, please do not spread that rumor. If I ever become a full-time employee anywhere again, I will announce that myself. Thanks. UPDATE: After investigating reports about statements made by representatives of this new TSR, I have determined that I can no longer do business with them in good conscience. I've returned their downpayment on the next piece of art I was scheduled to do for them. And yeah, I could sure use some new commissions to make up for this big hit on my cashflow"

Jim Ward, an original TSR alumnus and who wrote Giantlands, TSR3's flagship product -- "At the present time I know little or nothing about the relaunch of TSR. Right now I don't see how anyone could pick up where the old company left off. Yes it's a name with some logos, that is all I know."

Luke Gygax -- "FYI- I am not involved with any TSR company nor is Gary Con nor anyone else in my family outside of Ernie. Full stop. That is all ... I have reasons for distancing myself. The way TSR treats people online in their public exchanges is rude. The museum is a for profit business and was asking for donations. Using names of people to promote without their knowledge. Going out of the way to talk gender/woke stuff ... Also basically jacking the TSR logo from Jayson Elliot. The bombastic press releases and claims to old IP. Making a quick nostalgia money grab based on my fathers name and not much else. So I’m making it clear I don’t like this style and I have ZERO to do with TSR"

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TSR3 responds to Luke Gygax

Tim Kask, an original TSR alumnus who worked at the company until 1980, spoke at length on this topic in a YouTube video (below). I've transcribed some bits, but he says a whole load more (ellipses represent sections I have not included, for reasons of brevity), so check out the video for the whole thing.

"There has been bandied about in social media over the last several days several claims about what's going on in Lake Geneva right now. Ernie Gygax made a most egregious mistake in an interview he did on a podcast. He basically waved his bare ass in front of everybody that's concerned about pronouns, and woke, and all that right now in the industry and thumbed his nose at them. The transcript of his podcasts are there for everyone to read. That they were men, and they didn't give a sh*t, and la la la.

But right there they alienated three quarters of the gaming industry. Probably more than that, I don't believe that there's a quarter of the gaming industry that still are the neanderthals that he would make us out to be.

That's another thing. This whole thing has brought the OSR (the old school revival) into serious disrepute. Now there are some little Karens going on some of the social media and painting with the same brush all of us that were there back then based on the stupid ass sh*t that Ernie just said. No. We weren't all like that. And we aren't all like that now. He's a troll, a troglodyte, a neanderthal, if he really means that. It's a foolish person that doesn't wet his finger once in a while and feel the wind shift.

Now there've been claims in a couple of posts, one of which is by Ernie, about how the stalwarts, the old TSR are flocking to the banner. Bullsh*t....

... There is no one of the creative side of TSR from the early days involved with the Dungeon Hobby Shop Museum. No one. Not one creative person. No matter who might be claiming what, they simply do not have the credentials. Being named DiMaggio does not mean you can hit a lot of home runs. Or that you even hit any home runs ....

... Just because you say you're TSR doesn't mean you are."


 
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CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
You can do quite a bit to manipulate the YT algorithm in your favor. When you see a video on your recommendations that you don't want, you can click the three dots button and choose "Not interested" or "Don't recommend channel". You don't even need to watch that video to tag it. If it gives you the "tell us why" option, always choose it and answer it truthfully.
This is good advice. I discovered this option by accident last year, and now I use it all the time. Every few days I'll just scroll down the endless list of recommendations, and start marking the odious ones as "not interested" or "don't recommend." It took a few weeks to start seeing results, but now my YouTube feed is much less polluted.

Every now and then, something from Fox News or whatever will slip in and I'll have to remind the algorithm not to show me that stuff. But other than that, it's an effective way to avoid 2d4 psychic damage every time you want to watch "Tasting History."
 

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This is why, if I want to check on something I'm just curious about, I always go to a private browsing window and click there. Then it doesn't get into my watch history.
I watch a lot of YouTube via the app on PS4 so I don’t have that option as readily available. I just have learned to go down the rabbit hole as needed, then immediately hop onto the app on my phone or tablet and surgically purge my history so my recommendations stay clean and relevant. Not the most elegant solution but it works for me.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Wow. How exactly did your Dad miss:

A) shows too numerous to list from the 50's up to that point in time that had no PoC at all.
Or, at best, often only some random token character of little importance.
Because, see, if a show features only PoC people, then it's a PoC show. But if a show features only white people, it's just a normal show. (do I need a sarcasm tag for this?)
 

You can do quite a bit to manipulate the YT algorithm in your favor. When you see a video on your recommendations that you don't want, you can click the three dots button and choose "Not interested" or "Don't recommend channel". You don't even need to watch that video to tag it. If it gives you the "tell us why" option, always choose it and answer it truthfully.

You might have to do it two or three times before they get that you're not interested in a given topic (and you always have to reload the page to get it to kick in), but I've only ever seen one channel come back up on my list after saying "don't recommend." It was a channel with 1m subs, the video came out about three years after I nixed them, I had been a devoted viewer of that channel, and I'd just gone on a binge of videos with similar topics. I just tagged it again to not recommend that channel and I was good.

YouTube is pretty frustrating to use, but the tools they give you do have an overall positive effect.

Edit: Run-on sentence.
Weirdly I’ve always avoided using that option because my assumption was that it wouldn’t be quite granular enough to say “oh, so gaming is okay but no reactionaries? Gotcha.” and instead would just lower the amount of undiscovered gaming content I see. I’ve stumbled onto a lot of good new channels via recommendations and didn’t want to mess with a thing that was mostly working.
 

On that note, I know it sounds odd, But I make it a point to watch videos outside my comfort zone, and keep track of subjects that I really don't agree with.

It's trite, but I like to know which way the wind is blowing on subjects. For example: This week there seems to be a LOT of buzz around what's appropriate in the Pen and Paper communities. Agree or not with a specific side of the discussion, I feel knowing it's brewing is a good idea.

I will say, there's enough aggression to go around on these subjects.
 


The answer to that is simply Gail Gygax. Garycon is even being challenged by her as of recent, and the two of them are locked in an estate battle which is to be ruled on in September or thereafter.

Then along comes this Justin fellow and the TSR shuffle of doom.

OK. I talked with my "brother" (Ernie still considers me his non-adopted brother from BitD and I am reciprocal).

It was a heart to heart convo wherein I just asked him to listen to me about all of the hurt and damage being done and that he has to own it and be unequivical about his response to it. I'm not very diplomatic when I'm incensed, so I marched, hi to low of all the damage he's caused, an itemization of destruction and self-destruction. It was an eye-opener for him.

One of Ernie's greater failings, if I were to name one, is this generalized POV he has regarding everything, that you can be ambivalent and with good cheer conquer everything. He doesn't like politics because of this as he resists the poles and gravitates to center where everyone can get along to get along. I reminded him that the Centrist can tend to neutrality where nothing is accomplished, a meandering mish-mash of ifs ands and buts. On this issue, and others left unattended to in the past, I told him he has to address these and take full responsibility no matter the outcomes, good or bad. For 62 he is still rather wet behind the ears and for the sake of me I don't know why.

I also asked some Q's about his biz partner Justin. Long and short of it he appears to be a short-fused, reactionary even by Ernie's admission. Not good; and we've seen the hurtful results.

In summary I believe that Ernie is crafting a more cogent and responsible communication and apology, for what it's worth at this point. This Justin fellow should own up as well, but I have a feeling considering his recent F-U attitude that that's a slim hope.

The chips will fall where they may, broken and late as they are.

JFYI, I have been in constant comms with Luke over this and both of us are baffled and angered about this situation, this self created machination, from the dehumanization to all the rest down the scale.
To me, tying things back to games, this feels like a danger of a True Neutral character - trying to keep a semblence of balance. Maybe when a Good alignment is ascendant, things are fine, there's harmony. But as things shift instead of having a more vocal stand, they tend to be welcoming in the sense of 'if everyone remains polite, things will go fine', but the problem is the other edges of the alignments won't let that happen
 

On that note, I know it sounds odd, But I make it a point to watch videos outside my comfort zone, and keep track of subjects that I really don't agree with.

It's trite, but I like to know which way the wind is blowing on subjects. For example: This week there seems to be a LOT of buzz around what's appropriate in the Pen and Paper communities. Agree or not with a specific side of the discussion, I feel knowing it's brewing is a good idea.

I will say, there's enough aggression to go around on these subjects.
I try to do this because I feel if its material you're against or don't agree with, it also can teach you WHY people might think these ideas. Like they say with conspiracy theories, there's an amazing amount of 'leap', conscious or not, and it's good to watch someone 'show their work'
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Ugh, sorry you had to go through that. I always think the Hollywood picture of bullies is dramatized because no one I know ever experienced anything like this (nor my children either). I am horrified to know that I was just lucky and didn't come into contact with this type of behavior.
You were quite lucky.

I, perhaps sadly, wasn't taught to fight, and probably would have been useless in a fight even if I had been.
 

To me, tying things back to games, this feels like a danger of a True Neutral character - trying to keep a semblence of balance. Maybe when a Good alignment is ascendant, things are fine, there's harmony. But as things shift instead of having a more vocal stand, they tend to be welcoming in the sense of 'if everyone remains polite, things will go fine', but the problem is the other edges of the alignments won't let that happen
I almost feel this came from his dads in game mordenkainen avatar. Talk about annoyingly neutral.
 

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