D&D 5E Justin Alexander's review of Shattered Obelisk is pretty scathing

Status
Not open for further replies.

Gradine

The Elephant in the Room (she/they)
Here's the thing that a lot of people don't really get... it's not that there are always new things that are suddenly offensive or objectionable. They were always offensive or objectionable; what's changed is the critical mass of social acceptance of the objection/offense.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Staffan

Legend
I think the problem is that what's offensive changes over time. The Overton Window is the term for what's acceptable and not to discuss in public or government terms. That changes over time, and it has gotten smaller over the years. Back when 5E launched, the idea of fantasy character "races" was somewhat controversial but still present in a lot of games. Since then? It's just gone.
I don't think it's so much that what has been acceptable has changed, as it is the combined effect of an expanding market (meaning there's a greater chance potentially offensive material will reach those offended by it) and the Internet letting more people have a voice.
 


Vaalingrade

Legend
I don't think it's so much that what has been acceptable has changed, as it is the combined effect of an expanding market (meaning there's a greater chance potentially offensive material will reach those offended by it) and the Internet letting more people have a voice.
Yeah, it's more about that it's more difficult to ignore or just never come into contact with the people who have a problem with this kind of thing. Like how many people back in the 70's even knew a person whole would know the history and issues that are easily identified ones today. That's the same era where a certain symbol was being spread o'er the land out of simple spite that some people got codified rights after all.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
I think the problem is that what's offensive changes over time. The Overton Window is the term for what's acceptable and not to discuss in public or government terms. That changes over time, and it has gotten smaller over the years. Back when 5E launched, the idea of fantasy character "races" was somewhat controversial but still present in a lot of games. Since then? It's just gone.

Back in the DarkSun days, a game could have slavery in it as something villains did and you fought against. Now? It's something that villains don't even do.

I find it interesting that there are so many things we find acceptable to have in an rpg rather than what we keep out. I suspect over time the Window of what's acceptable will get smaller in terms of mainstream gaming. I am working on an RPG in sort of the same way that some people tinker with cars, so I've seen over time how what's okay in a game changes. I've also had some people ask me how to deal with some issues as a writer and that has changed as well too. Frankly, I think in ten years or so many things that we include in games will be problematic, much as things have changed since the last ten.
Exactly what I was talking about.
 

SteveC

Doing the best imitation of myself
I don't think it's so much that what has been acceptable has changed, as it is the combined effect of an expanding market (meaning there's a greater chance potentially offensive material will reach those offended by it) and the Internet letting more people have a voice.
I think it is definitely a factor of the Internet where people have a larger voice. The issues with races or "evil humanoids" or slavery have always been there. I can recall discussions about them back as far as the 70s. What's changed is how much easier it is to reach that critical mass of people who do have those concerns. And society has really changed. We had the removal of demons and devils from the game by name in 2E but I suspect that no one cares about the people who care about that issue now as customers, as if they ever were. What I see now is just a difference with that Window: there was a time when society just wasn't accepting talking about demons and devils and that's changed. And it will keep on changing.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
Here's the thing that a lot of people don't really get... it's not that there are always new things that are suddenly offensive or objectionable. They were always offensive or objectionable; what's changed is the critical mass of social acceptance of the objection/offense.
So, for example, slavery as a thing villains do was always offensive or objectionable?
 



Staffan

Legend
So, for example, slavery as a thing villains do was always offensive or objectionable?
The issue with slavery is that, particularly in the USA, there are significant numbers of people descended from enslaved people, and who find the topic deeply uncomfortable – particularly if it is made light of, or portrayed as a neutral thing.

This goes back to the two kinds of oppressed power fantasies I think I see, exemplified by Luke Cage and by the Black Panther. Luke Cage exists in a semi-realistic context, where racism and oppression are strong influences – but Luke Cage is strong and tough enough to rise above that and make things right (at least in his little corner of the world). Black Panther, on the other hand, lives in a non-colonized Utopia where black folks were never subjected to oppression by foreigners, but have always acted from a position of strength. I (as a white dude in a country that didn't have all that much to do with slavery or the slave trade – not because we were more ethical or anything, we were just never in a position to do it on the scale of some other countries) see both of these as valid fantasies, but I can definitely not fault someone whose everyday life is still influenced by the effects of slavery for preferring the utopian version for their escapist games.
 

Status
Not open for further replies.
Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top