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GenCon Adventure Strangeness

Retreater

Explorer
I'm a veteran con-goer, but I don't know if my sensitivity is just up this year, or if my friends and I have gotten into some unlucky strange events, but I'm just curious what others think.
We had a few odd ball adventures and a few unprepared or uncaring GMs. Most games have had at least one in our group walk out of. My friend was in a FATE game that required the party to side with and rescue a group of rapists.
The one that I took the most issue with (and was actually there for) was a game of a popular space opera movie series that was essentially a bait and switch for an Old West murder investigation involving a cult kidnapping and murdering pregnant women and teens. The climax included naked pregnant women chained to altars, hearts being ripped out while we were powerless to stop it. The cult's ritual required sacrifices of pregnant women (nearly to term) and to allow the unborn babies to die inside. Our medic had to take actions to perform emergency c-sections to save the baby from the dead mother.
This was in a Star Wars game. Most of us were visibly upset by the adventure. At least one of us said "not cool."
Has anyone else found con games growing more offensive /adult themed? Am I being too sensitive about this?
 

uzirath

Villager
Has anyone else found con games growing more offensive /adult themed? Am I being too sensitive about this?
I haven't been to a con in a while and I've never been to Gen Con, but I've never experienced anything like that at a game intended for strangers. You are not being too sensitive. That's seriously crazy. What's up with the themes of sexual violence that keep coming up at conventions? I'm baffled that anybody would think that that's acceptable.
 

lowkey13

Exterminate all rational thought
Am I being too sensitive about this?
No, you're not.

I read that and I'm all like, wtf?

That is not appropriate material for a convention, IMO. And it is beyond the pale to surprise players with that.

I would recommend reporting those types of events- sunlight is the best disinfectant, and unless the Con knows this is going on, they are unable to address it appropriately.
 

dragoner

Dying in Chargen
Has anyone else found con games growing more offensive /adult themed? Am I being too sensitive about this?
I've heard more issues like this happening, and no, you are not being too sensitive. The players in my games generally faff about buying candy or nicer clothes, and shooting it out with bad guys. I don't throw that adult themes at them, one did go off with a companion to a private suite, I guess that is adult. Nothing like cutting up pregnant women, that is too far.
 
That's seriously crazy. What's up with the themes of sexual violence that keep coming up at conventions? I'm baffled that anybody would think that that's acceptable.
Agreed. There are obvious issues here around sex- and gender-based exclusion and power dynamics. But even before we get to that there're more straightforward considerations of basic good taste and genre tropes.

This sort of poor judgement is not confined to RPG conventions. I was at a moral philosophy seminar recently where a presenter, to make a conceptual point, used an example involving sexual assault. A sexual assault example wasn't necessary to make the point he wanted to make, and clearly had the potential to upset or anger audience members. More than one person suggested to him afterwards that he drop the example in the rewrite of his paper.

I'm pretty sure that the presenter I've just described isn't self-consciously vicious or misognynist. So it's possible that the same is true of the organisers of those con games. But that just pushes the question back one level - what context are they working and playing in that hasn't given them some basic socialisation around these topics?
 

Campbell

Adventurer
That is not cool on so many levels. The bait and switch was bad. The theme mismatch was bad. The adult material without trying to actually address it in a meaningful way or concern for player emotional safety is super bad. This makes me sad. Sounds like someone inflicting their torture porn on everyone else.
 

Retreater

Explorer
What were the game systems you were playing [MENTION=42040]Retreater[/MENTION]?
Star Wars West End Games (D6 edition), part of an organized play group that has been around for years, apparently.
The GM mentioned that his previous group had a child player and that he tuned it down for that group.
Event description said Age 13+, FWIW.
 

LordEntrails

Explorer
I hope it was reported. As said, sunlight is the best disinfectant.

IMO, I think with the recent awareness of such things being inappropriate it attracts some people to try and push the limits. The best way to get them to stop is to call them out on such behavior.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
For a Star Wars game, or for any PG-13 game, that's incomprehensible.

However, for a KULT game rated R, or similar, nothing is off the table. Heck, you might end up playing one of them cultists yourself. (Or even more gut-wrenching, one of the pregnant mothers!)
 

Psikerlord#

Villager
Star Wars West End Games (D6 edition), part of an organized play group that has been around for years, apparently.
The GM mentioned that his previous group had a child player and that he tuned it down for that group.
Event description said Age 13+, FWIW.
Ah well that is no warning whatsoever, and totally out of sync with what you would expect for SW con game. What an idiot.
 
No, thankfully nothing creepy happened with the games I played at Origins and Gen Con this year. I do like to think that we’re noticing them more because that sort of behavior is no longer being tolerated. Whereas before, the tales might get passed around a social circle as “remember when that terrible GM did such and such…,” now the GMs are being named and shamed, and/or reported to con admins.
 

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