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Harassment in gaming

Rottle

Villager
Not all of us gamers lacked the physique of jocks......��

But yeah the Arnold Connan was likely more wishfullfillment but the comic book version was more Tarzan style. Lean mean fighting machine.

Still none of that stuff really strikes me as nearly as important as this harassment issue. I lean on if we can all just be respectful and honest with ourselves things will be much better. And really is that so hard to do?

( in college 2ed was the current d&d for me and it had a max press accociated with each level of strength, I never managed to get out of 18(01)-18(50)...and I tried for four years to do so. ). Yes I am old......get off my lawn.....
 

MechaPilot

Explorer
As a gay man, I'm very familiar with the rhetoric which attempts to reverse hatred in order to be heard. It is cheap. It is lazy. It is unproductive and it actually _increases_ the amount of harm being done.

If you are unable to write effectively without stooping to the level of cheap shots (like using words like "terrorist"), that's really all about your lack of writing persuasively. Get better.
While I generally agree, I do have to say that the term terrorist is at least accurate as far as those who were sending death and rape threats to the lady who wrote the article. If someone tries to use fear of being killed, violated, or otherwise harmed as a weapon to silence you, that person is a terrorist just as surely as a religious extremist who threatens to blow up a school for girls because he objects to women being educated.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I must have not missed something. I've seen a bunch of posts discussing and acknowledging that harassment happens. I've seen a bunch of posts from people waking up to the extent and scope of the problem. I've seen a bunch of posts talking about effective anti-harassment policies (and some not so effective and some counterproductive, even). I've seen LOTS of discussion about the problem and even positive steps to addressing it. Either we're reading different threads or we have a different idea of what a discussion of the problem is. So, let's solve that: what does a discussion have to have to be a discussion that isn't occurring in this thread?
I guess we are reading different threads, because to my eyes this thread is largely dominated by how a handful of white men feel about the technicalities of the discussion's language, and not about the actual harassment. Even this exchange isn't about the harassment our fellow gamers are experiencing; it's still about us. I'm even contributing to the problem by raising it!
 

Ovinomancer

Flip Nazi
While I generally agree, I do have to say that the term terrorist is at least accurate as far as those who were sending death and rape threats to the lady who wrote the article. If someone tries to use fear of being killed, violated, or otherwise harmed as a weapon to silence you, that person is a terrorist just as surely as a religious extremist who threatens to blow up a school for girls because he objects to women being educated.
I don't think anyone has much of a problem with that (aside from the overuse of the word terrorism these days). The issue is with the broad generalization of the term with sexist and racist baggage.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
As a gay man, I'm very familiar with the rhetoric which attempts to reverse hatred in order to be heard. It is cheap. It is lazy. It is unproductive and it actually _increases_ the amount of harm being done.

If you are unable to write effectively without stooping to the level of cheap shots (like using words like "terrorist"), that's really all about your lack of writing persuasively. Get better.
I think you may be confused.

(a) I was not the author of said phrase.

(b) The writing eloquence of those who have tried to draw attention to the issue is not the issue. So what if it's "lazy" and the author needs to "get better" at writing? This isn't a book review. It's an attempt to discuss harassment. If the writing isn't up to your standards, let it go. That's not the important thing.

And yet again, we're still not taking about the issue of harrassment; just your critique of the author's writing style.
 

MechaPilot

Explorer
And that's the problem. Because as long as feminists are complaining about chain mail bikinis, they are undermining their own credibility. No one is going to listen to someone who undermines their own credibility EVEN WHEN that someone is discussing other issues which are real and significant.
I don't know if this was directed at me or not (I was just talking about CMBs in this thread, so I think it could be), but I have to say that I disagree with your opinion here.

I am an old-school feminist, meaning that I adhere to the original feminist philosophy of advocating for equal treatment under the law regardless of gender (and not for special treatment for one gender over another, or overreacting to things in media like the Joker-Harley slap photo leaked from the set of Suicide Squad). I do not have a problem with pin-up art in general. I like pin-up art. However, to claim that the depiction of females in gaming art is not relevant to how females are seen seems naive to me. The overly-sexualized style with which females are often depicted in fantasy art presents women who are typically less-competent, less-prepared, and more fixated on appearance than their male counterparts.

I don't think that anyone is reasonably claiming that the CMB is, on its own, the source of the problems facing women in gaming. If anything, it's either symptomatic of the existing issue, or a potentially exacerbating factor. I will say that a reduction in the amount of pin-up style art over the years has made it easier for me to show off my D&D books to other women who show an interest in gaming. Being able to show off the books without being embarrassed by the art and without having to say things like "I know, I know, but the game really is fun if you give it a chance" improves the accessibility of the game and helps grow the hobby.
 

Ovinomancer

Flip Nazi
I guess we are reading different threads, because to my eyes this thread is largely dominated by how a handful of white men feel about the technicalities of the discussion's language, and not about the actual harassment. Even this exchange isn't about the harassment our fellow gamers are experiencing; it's still about us. I'm even contributing to the problem by raising it!
I think it's more that we're reading the same thread through a different lens. I don't accept that I have to acknowledge that I have any responsibility or guilt over the actions of others. I can see that there's a problem without needing to accept guilt for that problem. My solution set doesn't require that others refrain from talking about poor behaviors because there are worse behaviors. I can see the people that have stated that they weren't aware of the scope of the problem, but are now. I can see the people discussing useful harassment policies. I can see the people that state that they're going to be more aware and more ready to take action. You seem to only see the people that don't want to acquiesce to group guilt. Both are here; it's a matter of perspective.
 

Ovinomancer

Flip Nazi
I don't know if this was directed at me or not (I was just talking about CMBs in this thread, so I think it could be), but I have to say that I disagree with your opinion here.

I am an old-school feminist, meaning that I adhere to the original feminist philosophy of advocating for equal treatment under the law regardless of gender (and not for special treatment for one gender over another, or overreacting to things in media like the Joker-Harley slap photo leaked from the set of Suicide Squad). I do not have a problem with pin-up art in general. I like pin-up art. However, to claim that the depiction of females in gaming art is not relevant to how females are seen seems naive to me. The overly-sexualized style with which females are often depicted in fantasy art presents women who are typically less-competent, less-prepared, and more fixated on appearance than their male counterparts.

I don't think that anyone is reasonably claiming that the CMB is, on its own, the source of the problems facing women in gaming. If anything, it's either symptomatic of the existing issue, or a potentially exacerbating factor. I will say that a reduction in the amount of pin-up style art over the years has made it easier for me to show off my D&D books to other women who show an interest in gaming. Being able to show off the books without being embarrassed by the art and without having to say things like "I know, I know, but the game really is fun if you give it a chance" improves the accessibility of the game and helps grow the hobby.
For some reason I can't give XP to this post (the button is missing), so take a quote instead. 100% agreement on this whole thing. Game art had/has a serious objectivication issue. I've no issue with the occasional cheesecake/beefcake, but it was almost all that. Much better now, and the bit about showing around the books to others is very true.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I think it's more that we're reading the same thread through a different lens. I don't accept that I have to acknowledge that I have any responsibility or guilt over the actions of others. I can see that there's a problem without needing to accept guilt for that problem. My solution set doesn't require that others refrain from talking about poor behaviors because there are worse behaviors. I can see the people that have stated that they weren't aware of the scope of the problem, but are now. I can see the people discussing useful harassment policies. I can see the people that state that they're going to be more aware and more ready to take action. You seem to only see the people that don't want to acquiesce to group guilt. Both are here; it's a matter of perspective.
Group guilt is not the thing. I don't even know where that comes from or what it is, but I wasn't talking about it. But I don't want to exacerbate the hijack by discussing how *we* feel about the way the problem is being discussed. I can't stop you talking about that, but I think it repeatedly distracts from the important thing: that our fellow gamers are being abused.

I'm not going to respond further on this side issue. Not because I'm annoyed or anything, but because I don't want to contribute to the very problem that I'm seeing (the problem with discussion, not the more serious problem of actual abuse). It becomes hypocritical of me to turn the thread even further into yet another a discussion about how we discuss the issue rather than actually discussing the issue.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I think it's more that we're reading the same thread through a different lens. I don't accept that I have to acknowledge that I have any responsibility or guilt over the actions of others. I can see that there's a problem without needing to accept guilt for that problem.
I think it may be important to inject a bit on language here. Specifically about "responsibility" and "guilt". This will be relevant for any number of cases where one is part of, or heir to, a group that committed some wrongs. In colloquial use, we don't often differentiate between these terms, but discussion becomes *tons* easier if we do.

If a person is "responsible" for something, that actually means that they are expected to do something about it, to take some action.

If a person is "accountable" for something, then when we go looking for why it went wrong, we are going to look to them. If you are looking to punish, or assign guilt, you're actually looking for the person who is accountable for it - "the buck stops here" tells you where the accountable person is.

So, in a completely non-criminal example: If you have a software project, the engineers are responsible for writing code - it is their assigned task. If the overall project fails, however, it is the project owner who is held accountable for it.

Those of us who do not commit harassment are not accountable for it - we are not guilty. We may be responsible for providing part of the solution, simply because we are in a position to do so, in a way the victim is not.
 

Lord Twig

Explorer
I agreed with much of your reply to my post (hence the Xp award), but I wanted to highlight this part because I feel that you've fallen into a common trap in the comparison of scantily clad fantasy art. The big, muscly men are not eye candy for us ladies: they are wish-fulfillment for male gamers, many of whom are "nerds" and lack the powerful physique of the jocks that used to torment them in school (the scantily clad men could also possibly be eye candy for a subset of the male gamer audience). Everyone certainly has their own preferences, so nothing is universal, but by and large most women prefer the lean and toned physique (like a runner or swimmer) to the Mr. Universe physique. Even a less toned look is apparently preferred: somewhat recently on the radio I heard about the "dad bod," a little muscular but not terribly toned, being rather popular with ladies. As Dannyalcatraz pointed out (either in this thread or the other harassment thread), Sean Connery, who was seen as a sex symbol when he played James Bond, had a physique similar to the aforementioned "dad bod."

Maybe I've rattled on a bit longer than I should have, but the point remains that the Mr. Universe look hearkens back to the wish-fulfillment seen in superhero physiques and has far less female appeal than the Michael Phelps, Bruce Lee, or Bond-era Connery looks.
I did not say anything about big, muscle bulging guys. Let alone that they were eye candy for ladies, just that loincloths were as common as chain mail bikinis. My wife and several other women I have talked to have expressed a similar view to what you have posted. But I guess it is true that the vast majority of loin cloth wearing males are indeed of the bulging muscle variety.

And speaking of common misconceptions. The idea the nerds are jealous of jocks and want to be like them is BS. I was a big nerd in high school and had no desire to have bulging muscles or to be anything like the jocks. They were a bunch of jerks? Why would I want to be anything like them? And you know where being big and strong gets you today? Nowhere. Unless, maybe, you are able to get on a sports team. But good luck with that. And anyway I don't like sports either! So yeah, really don't care to be all big and muscly. Maybe my friends and I were outliers, but it is definitely not universal.

All that said there is certainly a place for super muscly guys in RPGs. I mean, the Hulk was awesome in the first Avengers movie! So characters that can pull off impressive feats of strength can definitely be fun. Therefore they should be portrayed in the art. The same as a stealthy rogue or powerful spell caster.

So apparently scantily clad guys with huge muscles are not a problem, because women aren't terribly interested in them. So are you suggesting that there should be more "dad bode" guys to provide eye candy for ladies? Or Bruce Lee, young Sean Connery or Benedict Cumberbatch types? (I had a nurse helping me at a hospital that went on and on about how sexy Cumberbatch was.)

And would it be acceptable to show scantily clad women if men weren't attracted to them? That kinda suggests that women need to be covered up because men can't help themselves and will be unable to see an attractive woman without thinking about having sex with her.
 

Balesir

Villager
This is Kafkaesque. "You cannot be upset or speak against the inherent accusation of wrongdoing because, by doing so, you are aiding the continued perpetration of that wrongdoing." The attempt here is to create a binary choice -- either shut up about inflammatory language you disagree with (and that is frankly cancerous, more on this in a minute), or become a de facto accomplice to horrid behavior. It relies upon painting a situation where the reader will kneejerk away from the concept of being an accomplice to behavior they find horrible so that they will accept general guilt and culpability - in this case membership in a group with a terrorism problem.
This whole post was laced with whining about "it's not my fault", but this particular bit (focussed on the bit I have bolded) might throw some light on why that is all unfounded.

Start by reading it in a slightly more widely stated way:

- The human race is a group with a terrorism problem (or, more accurately, several)

- the Kingdom Animalia is a group with (many) a terrorism problem

Neither of these claims, while merely wider versions of what is being objected to, has anything to do with racism, sexism or other "politically charged" prejudices.

Now move to some more specific cases:

- Every nation on Earth is a group with a terrorism problem

- The Islamic faith is a group with a terrorism problem

- White male gamers are a group with a terrorism problem

These groups all have a terrorism problem, in the specific sense that some of their number are trying to keep "outsiders" off of "their" turf by terrorising them into going away. That certainly does not mean that all members of the group are guilty of perpetrating terrorism - in fact it is in all cases a very small minority that do. But if the members of all such groups grew a smidgeon of humility and accepted some shared guilt for the culture, the environment and the lack of clear contrary influence that has resulted in such monsters within their ranks, the problems might actually start getting fixed instead of grinding on without end.

Sadly, however, what invariably comes to the fore is the very opposite of humility; it is a prideful rejection of what is perceived as an attack on the group's social position. The implication is that a measure of harrassment, exploitation and even outright abuse (by a minority and with plausible deniability) is an acceptable price to pay for the continued social position of the group. And are the group members guilty of supporting that implied assumption? Yes, actually, they are as long as they fail to act against it. If you are a member of a group, and that group is doing wrong, you have a duty to act to stop that wrong by whatever means are available to you.
 

Lord Twig

Explorer
I don't know if this was directed at me or not (I was just talking about CMBs in this thread, so I think it could be), but I have to say that I disagree with your opinion here.

I am an old-school feminist, meaning that I adhere to the original feminist philosophy of advocating for equal treatment under the law regardless of gender (and not for special treatment for one gender over another, or overreacting to things in media like the Joker-Harley slap photo leaked from the set of Suicide Squad). I do not have a problem with pin-up art in general. I like pin-up art. However, to claim that the depiction of females in gaming art is not relevant to how females are seen seems naive to me. The overly-sexualized style with which females are often depicted in fantasy art presents women who are typically less-competent, less-prepared, and more fixated on appearance than their male counterparts.

I don't think that anyone is reasonably claiming that the CMB is, on its own, the source of the problems facing women in gaming. If anything, it's either symptomatic of the existing issue, or a potentially exacerbating factor. I will say that a reduction in the amount of pin-up style art over the years has made it easier for me to show off my D&D books to other women who show an interest in gaming. Being able to show off the books without being embarrassed by the art and without having to say things like "I know, I know, but the game really is fun if you give it a chance" improves the accessibility of the game and helps grow the hobby.
It took me a long time to write up my previous post, so I didn't see this till just now. It clears up a lot.

Yes, there has definitely been a problem with overly-sexualized representations of females in gaming art. So the trick is how to portray women that are beautiful, attractive, and even sexy, without that being all they are. Certainly a tall order. Of course you can just not portray them as sexy at all, but I think that is too far in the other direction.

I think some of the Pathfinder art has hit the mark. In my opinion their iconic barbarian, rogue, cleric and paladin are good. Their sorceress probably oversteps into overly-sexual area.

On the flip side D&D probably went to far the other way. The worst, in my opinion, is the barbarian. It's just some average joe in plain pants and a coat, carrying an axe. How is that a barbarian? Wheres the rage? Where's the physical power?

And the wizard is an old man with a beard again. Blah.

I'm trying to even think of any of the females that represent the classes and I'm drawing a blank. They are just so forgettable.

Ok, I looked up the rogue and she looks pretty good. Competent, reasonably dressed, and recognizably female (unlike the bard, which is a difficult call to make). Still managed to completely forget her though.
 

MechaPilot

Explorer
I did not say anything about big, muscle bulging guys. Let alone that they were eye candy for ladies, just that loincloths were as common as chain mail bikinis. My wife and several other women I have talked to have expressed a similar view to what you have posted. But I guess it is true that the vast majority of loin cloth wearing males are indeed of the bulging muscle variety.
That the majority of the loincloth clad males have been of the bodybuilder body type has been my overall experience with loincloth clad men in fantasy rpg art. That said, my experience is simply that, and I cannot claim to have experienced all of the fantasy art that is available for visual consumption.


And speaking of common misconceptions. The idea the nerds are jealous of jocks and want to be like them is BS. I was a big nerd in high school and had no desire to have bulging muscles or to be anything like the jocks. They were a bunch of jerks? Why would I want to be anything like them? And you know where being big and strong gets you today? Nowhere. Unless, maybe, you are able to get on a sports team. But good luck with that. And anyway I don't like sports either! So yeah, really don't care to be all big and muscly. Maybe my friends and I were outliers, but it is definitely not universal.
I didn't say that nerds wanted to be like jocks. I agree with you that saying nerds want to be like jocks would be BS. I was commenting that nerds are often subject to the whims of the stronger and more popular, and that having the strength to make them back-off would be appealing. The desire for power by the downtrodden is generally the nature of wish-fulfillment seen with regard to muscle-men.


All that said there is certainly a place for super muscly guys in RPGs. I mean, the Hulk was awesome in the first Avengers movie! So characters that can pull off impressive feats of strength can definitely be fun. Therefore they should be portrayed in the art. The same as a stealthy rogue or powerful spell caster.
I think there's room for all kinds of portrayals. I don't even mind a small amount of the pin-up stuff, but I'd prefer if there was a rough balance between what appeals to men and women. I'd also generally prefer if it makes sense. The CMB really just doesn't make sense as armor, so it shouldn't be presented as if it were worn for protection. However, I can't say I'd have an issue with a female caster in the slave Leia-ish outfit as long as there was also a shirtless Orlando Bloom-ish elf or swashbuckler. And, naturally, I wouldn't want the pin-up art to represent a significant amount of the art in the book.


So apparently scantily clad guys with huge muscles are not a problem, because women aren't terribly interested in them. So are you suggesting that there should be more "dad bode" guys to provide eye candy for ladies? Or Bruce Lee, young Sean Connery or Benedict Cumberbatch types? (I had a nurse helping me at a hospital that went on and on about how sexy Cumberbatch was.)
Cumberbatch is kind of yummy. But, I don't think there's anything wrong with including the wish-fulfillment art. I just don't want art directors for the books to mistake those images as balancing the sexualized female imagery. What I'd like to see is the female art focusing as much on competence and badassery as the male art. I certainly don't have an issue with a smattering of pin-up style art, dividing it roughly equally between what appeals to men and to women.

Ultimately, what I want out of the art is this:
1) Cool, competent looking characters of both genders that people can look to for character inspiration
2) Pin-up art minimally present, and roughly balanced between male and female appeal
3) To be able to show the books to a girlfriend without feeling as if we're browsing a Victoria's Secret catalog together


And would it be acceptable to show scantily clad women if men weren't attracted to them? That kinda suggests that women need to be covered up because men can't help themselves and will be unable to see an attractive woman without thinking about having sex with her.
The essential problem with scantily clad women is that they are almost always presented as being less-competent, less-prepared, less-sensible (especially if they expect a CMB to actually protect them from harm), and more fixated on having value through their appearance than are scantily clad males. Scantily clad males, who are typically quite muscular, are generally presented as being strong enough and tough enough to deal with whatever comes their way. Although, the simple fact that most scantily clad characters aren't shown with backpacks or other generally necessary adventuring gear makes them all seem less-prepared for the task than characters who are not scantily clad.
 

Gradine

Archivist
I guess I'll take the unpopular position of the defending the original article in its entirety. There's been a lot of tone-policing and double-guessing the intentions of the author, even when they agree with her main theses, that I find to be pretty condescending.

I, personally, found absolutely nothing objectionable about this article. I agree with every word in it. I recognize that I am in the minority about that on this thread, in this community, in this hobby. I'll even go so far as to say that because of these things, some of the language and tone used in this article probably prevents it from being as effective or impactful as it otherwise could have.

And while I can only, as the rest you, speculate as to the author's intention, I submit the suggestion that that wasn't the point.

Tone-policing is a tricky, and many times infuriating, thing to do. I suspect most activists (certainly most activists I've worked with) know that your tone and how you craft your message has an impact on how persuasive that message is. But sometimes the tone is part of the point. Sometimes, the tone has to communicate "this is how upset and pissed off all of this makes me". And if that happens to make other people more defensive than they otherwise would be, that's honestly their problem, not the author's. Because it would take a lot of gall to tell the author they should be less upset or pissed about this, no matter how much more "persuasive" a calmer exploration of the subject should be. We should all be as upset and pissed off as the author here is about harassment and violence and yes, terrorism (the purest definition of which is "causing terror" which is exactly what is happening; bombings and beheadings are tools of a certain kind of terrorist; not the definition of it), in our community. That more of us aren't is kind of the problem.

What's most condescending is the rush to declare her use of the term "terrorism" as a hyperbolic way to get her article noticed, which is frankly playing exactly into the "she's making it up for attention" narrative that makes it so easy for misogynists (or even non-misogynists who would otherwise be sympathetic) to so quickly and easily dismiss women who actually do report harassment and violence. To continue to regularly assert that that was her intention is actively harmful to any attempt at meaningful progress on this issue.

I, for one, have no reason to doubt her earnestness in the least bit, because I happen to agree with her 100%. I find no part of it hyperbolic or overblown, and most of my real-life gamer friends feel exactly the same way. It's totally okay to disagree with her analysis. I would argue it's not okay to question her sincerity because of it.
 

Lord Twig

Explorer
So I totally agree with [MENTION=82779]MechaPilot[/MENTION] last post. But instead of just replying with a "Yep, you're right." I figured I would do some penance for contributing to a derailment of the thread and make some suggestions or actually dealing with harassment in gaming.

Pretty standard stuff I guess, but...

1. Official anti-harassment policy published by Cons and handed out to all Con goers.
2. Training on how to handle harassment claims for Con representatives and security.
3. Guidelines given to (probably volunteer) GMs and/or referees to avoid language, topics or themes that are racist, sexist or likely to cause emotional distress (torture, rape, etc.).

Just a start. Discussion of what an effective anit-harassment policy would be is obviously necessary.
 

Gradine

Archivist
To make one last observation and speak about the common question "is this really worse in our community than it is any others?" From my personal observations... yeah, a little bit. Maybe a lot.

Several years ago I ran a series of roundtable discussions on sexualized violence in the online gaming community, so I'll grant you that I've done mountains of research on the subject. While I was at the time primarily focused on video games (this was post-dickwolves but pre-gamergate), I found a ton, and I mean a ton, of stories from female players along the "my DM had NPCs capture and rape my PC" meme. And by a ton, I mean if I had a nickel for every story along these lines I came across (and have heard since), I could buy myself a movie ticket with it. Maybe a small popcorn, too. It's depressingly, frustratingly, common.

And I've heard plenty of these stories from the perpetrator's side too. These are not all (or even mostly) sexually confused adolescents. These are adult men who know exactly what they're doing and aren't shy about admitting it. It's about putting women in their place. It's about terrorizing them.
 

MechaPilot

Explorer
So I totally agree with [MENTION=82779]MechaPilot[/MENTION] last post. But instead of just replying with a "Yep, you're right." I figured I would do some penance for contributing to a derailment of the thread and make some suggestions or actually dealing with harassment in gaming.

Pretty standard stuff I guess, but...

1. Official anti-harassment policy published by Cons and handed out to all Con goers.
2. Training on how to handle harassment claims for Con representatives and security.
3. Guidelines given to (probably volunteer) GMs and/or referees to avoid language, topics or themes that are racist, sexist or likely to cause emotional distress (torture, rape, etc.).

Just a start. Discussion of what an effective anit-harassment policy would be is obviously necessary.
I think all of those are a good suggestions, and I agree that discussing the workings of an effective anti-harassment policy is definitely necessary. Having never been to a con or engaged in organized play, I don't know what the harassment policies are for those things, but if we can find one that does seem to be effective, that would be good basis for crafting a more broadly applicable anti-harassment policy for gaming gatherings.

I do want to point out that there are three general types of harassment.
1) Non-criminal verbal harassment. E.g. Belittling and berating someone.
2) Criminal verbal harassment. E.g. threatening someone.
3) Criminal non-verbal harassment. E.g. assault, battery, and rape.

This is why I will reiterate that security cameras are part of a well-rounded solution. Security cameras won't be very good for picking up verbal harassment, but they are good for witnessing criminal non-verbal harassment such as gropings. It's all too easy for a person who's been groped to have no actual proof of what happened. I know that if I were being groped, my first instinct would be to remove the offending hand from my person, not to pull my phone out of my purse and catch it on camera (even if that were my first inclination, the offending party could just pull away as soon as my phone comes out of my purse). Once the offending appendage has been removed, there really is no proof that it happened (unless it left something traceable behind, which, eww). Cameras can also discourage or help document thefts and other criminal activities.
 

Lord Twig

Explorer
To make one last observation and speak about the common question "is this really worse in our community than it is any others?" From my personal observations... yeah, a little bit. Maybe a lot.

Several years ago I ran a series of roundtable discussions on sexualized violence in the online gaming community, so I'll grant you that I've done mountains of research on the subject. While I was at the time primarily focused on video games (this was post-dickwolves but pre-gamergate), I found a ton, and I mean a ton, of stories from female players along the "my DM had NPCs capture and rape my PC" meme. And by a ton, I mean if I had a nickel for every story along these lines I came across (and have heard since), I could buy myself a movie ticket with it. Maybe a small popcorn, too. It's depressingly, frustratingly, common.

And I've heard plenty of these stories from the perpetrator's side too. These are not all (or even mostly) sexually confused adolescents. These are adult men who know exactly what they're doing and aren't shy about admitting it. It's about putting women in their place. It's about terrorizing them.
Well I'll add one. I had a DM (Asian Male) who had his NPC (Male, undetermined race, probably white) rape my character (I'm a white male, so was my character). I won't go into specifics, but he thought it was hilariously funny. I didn't think so. So I refused to play the rest of that game. We were teenagers at the time, not that that excuses anything, but it unfortunately typical of that age.

After that the rest of the group agreed that we wouldn't allow that kind of thing in the future and we mostly forgot about it after about a week. There were a couple of times where my friend brought it up afterwards, still thinking it was funny. I stated that it never happened because I left the game and it was my character. Eventually he dropped it. Maybe he finally matured a bit.

Anyway, it took me a while to remember when anything like this had ever happened in any of the games I played. That was the only time I can think of. I've played with quite a few female players and nothing ever happened to them, or any of the other players, in my presence.
 

Eltab

Villager
I found a ton of stories from female players along the "my DM had NPCs capture and rape my PC" meme.
I had a DM who was using an NPC (lord of local castle) to try to seduce his IRL girlfriend's character. She was less than enthusiastic about it.
During a pizza break I went over to him and said, "You do realize that you are trying to seduce her in front of four voyeurs, right? I mean the rest of us."
She blushed dark red, his jaw dropped and he went pale, and nothing more was heard of the idea for the rest of the session.
 

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