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5E Mearls' "Firing" tweet

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TerraDave

5ever
Mearls said:
Funny how many of the same “fans” who insist on gatekeeping via rules complexity and lore density also have a problem with women in tabletop gaming.

Hey guys! You’re all fired from D&D. Find another game.
I assume there was a good reason for him to merge these two sources of frustration. But the reaction has been fairly predictable. And not entirely unwarranted.

https://twitter.com/mikemearls/status/955153201434525696
 
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Mistwell

Adventurer
I understand his frustration, but I also think that was an inappropriate tweet from someone of his position with the company. Indeed, given he's engaged in plenty of rules complexity in his lifetime of designing role playing game rules, he should know better than to equate that preference with the other preference.
 

gyor

Adventurer
I kept my cool and pointed out to him that WotC made her gender in issue when they added affirmative action to their physical requirements and I pointed out that his type of behavior what disastrous for Marvel Comics.

Look I get their point that no other hire underwent this kind of discussion, but most of those hires happened before twitter was as influential as it has become, did not have as much of a big deal made by the company itself, aside maybe for Cook, and it's occurring against the backdrop of certain political interests trying convert beloved geekdom IPs into propaganda for their idealogy, and their way of thinking, at the expense of good story telling and respect for the IP.

So people are more leery of hires connected to an political agenda and had reasonable concern, of course when you get dumped on for having reasonable concerns, reasons concerns over process turn into rage, which leads to more rage on the other side, and then you have a new front in the complex culture war that makes the edition wars look like cuddly discussions between close friends.

And if it's like what happened at Marvel then SJW creators lash out in rage at fans, leading to a hostile relationship between fans and creators, that ultimately damaged not just Marvel, but the industry as a whole, just when it's on the rise.

So yes, Mearls should apologize, or I hate to say this because I like Mearls, he should be let go for the good of the RPG industry. Any culture war front needs to be nipped in the bud now.
 

Saelorn

Explorer
Indeed, given he's engaged in plenty of rules complexity in his lifetime of designing role playing game rules, he should know better than to equate that preference with the other preference.
It's possible to support rules complexity without intending to use it as a gatekeeping mechanism. It just means players should help new players to learn the rules, instead of denigrating them for not having already done so.
 

darjr

I crit!
[MENTION=2525]Mistwell[/MENTION];

It’s not about the complexity, he means the gatekeepers that use the Lore and complexity as a bludgeon.
 
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Zardnaar

Explorer
Is this about WotC hiring a women game designer?

Personally I don't care but she doesn't seem to have that much in the way of design credentials, that might be an issue for some. Most of the experiences/good game designers are men at least on the D&D/WoTC side of things not sure if Paizo has some high profile ones who have worked on their APs.

I do look at names on the credits now, Bauer, Cook, Gygax, Mona, that new Blackman person on the DMGuild (male?). Only high profile D&D women I can think of are Weiss, Lorraine Wiliams (boo), and Lisa Stevens. I'm about a decade out of date though since Dungeon died.
 

ad_hoc

Explorer
The practice of bombarding women with geek tests before accepting them is what he is referring to.

It happens all the time including in the now closed thread about their new designer, Kate Welch.

It is refreshing to see this attitude from WotC and it has been there from the start of 5e. They don't want toxic people in their game/community.
 

TerraDave

5ever
The practice of bombarding women with geek tests before accepting them is what he is referring to.

It happens all the time including in the now closed thread about their new designer, Kate Welch.

It is refreshing to see this attitude from WotC and it has been there from the start of 5e. They don't want toxic people in their game/community.
So that was probably the trigger.

Still, could have been worded differently
 

TerraDave

5ever
I see this tweet was mentioned in that thread and then it was closed.

But other stuff was happening in that thread.
 

LordEntrails

Explorer
Sometime people in positions of influence would do better for themselves and their cause if they kept their mouths shut and fingers off their keyboards.

Even in this day and age, not every issue needs to be addressed immediately and not every opinion should be instantly expressed.
 

Grimkrieg

Villager
I find his wording a bit off, especially since I like complex rules ;) ... but I have to apply the principle of charity here. I think he is referring to the gate-keeping behavior being the problem, not my love of Champions and Power-gaming nature.
 

TerraDave

5ever
I find his wording a bit off, especially since I like complex rules ;) ... but I have to apply the principle of charity here. I think he is referring to the gate-keeping behavior being the problem, not my love of Champions and Power-gaming nature.
Champions is one of the first things I thought of after reading it.
 
S

Sunseeker

Guest
Is this about WotC hiring a women game designer?

Personally I don't care but she doesn't seem to have that much in the way of design credentials, that might be an issue for some. Most of the experiences/good game designers are men at least on the D&D/WoTC side of things not sure if Paizo has some high profile ones who have worked on their APs.

I do look at names on the credits now, Bauer, Cook, Gygax, Mona, that new Blackman person on the DMGuild (male?). Only high profile D&D women I can think of are Weiss, Lorraine Wiliams (boo), and Lisa Stevens. I'm about a decade out of date though since Dungeon died.
You understand the irony here right? Men have experience because it is easier for them to get into the hobby and the industry, and thus easier for them to gain experience. So if we only hire people with established experience, we're only ever going to get men.

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@OP: Having female friends who have gone into gaming stores only to get the oh-so-stereotypical challenge to their nerddom by some guy who thinks the only way to be a nerd is to know Eleminster's second-counsin's first wife's maternal grandmother's date of birth I understand that Mearls is making a point that is two-fold: established members of the game use rule complexity and lore to bludgeon newcomers and especially women out of the hobby.
 

ad_hoc

Explorer
I find his wording a bit off, especially since I like complex rules ;) ... but I have to apply the principle of charity here. I think he is referring to the gate-keeping behavior being the problem, not my love of Champions and Power-gaming nature.
'insist on gatekeeping' is the key part of the sentence and the complexity and density of lore are given as ways that people accomplish that. If the gatekeeping part was more passive and occurred at the end of the sentence then I would say that it was poorly worded. As it is, the subject is clear to me.
 

iamntbatman

Villager
Funny thing is I actually had the opposite reaction to her hiring. A quick glance over her previous projects seemed to be totally lacking in D&D-related things, but instead experience working with other game systems. While fresh ideas are welcome, my only worry was that bringing in someone with much more of an outsider perspective in terms of game mechanics could actually lead to MORE rules complexity.
 

Zardnaar

Explorer
You understand the irony here right? Men have experience because it is easier for them to get into the hobby and the industry, and thus easier for them to gain experience. So if we only hire people with established experience, we're only ever going to get men.

----

@OP: Having female friends who have gone into gaming stores only to get the oh-so-stereotypical challenge to their nerddom by some guy who thinks the only way to be a nerd is to know Eleminster's second-counsin's first wife's maternal grandmother's date of birth I understand that Mearls is making a point that is two-fold: established members of the game use rule complexity and lore to bludgeon newcomers and especially women out of the hobby.
Yup, I know that, see my new thread about it titles Progressive D&D.

it doesn't bother me that much whats done is done give her a chance. If I wanted to hire a women though I would have been looking more towards Paizo freelancers at least for an initial interview as they have several who have worked on the APs apparently.
 

Mistwell

Adventurer
Monte Cook once wrote this about their design decisions for 3e D&D:

Monte Cook said:
Magic also has a concept of "Timmy cards." These are cards that look cool, but aren't actually that great in the game. The purpose of such cards is to reward people for really mastering the game, and making players feel smart when they've figured out that one card is better than the other. While D&D doesn't exactly do that, it is true that certain game choices are deliberately better than others. Toughness, for example, has its uses, but in most cases it's not the best choice of feat. If you can use martial weapons, a longsword is better than many other one-handed weapons. And so on -- there are many other, far more intricate examples. (Arguably, this kind of thing has always existed in D&D. Mostly, we just made sure that we didn't design it away -- we wanted to reward mastery of the game.) There's a third concept that we took from Magic-style rules design, though. Only with six years of hindsight do I call the concept "Ivory Tower Game Design." (Perhaps a bit of misnomer, but it's got a ring to it.) This is the approach we took in 3rd Edition: basically just laying out the rules without a lot of advice or help. This strategy relates tangentially to the second point above. The idea here is that the game just gives the rules, and players figure out the ins and outs for themselves -- players are rewarded for achieving mastery of the rules and making good choices rather than poor ones.
Now Monte Cook changed his mind later about some of those decisions. But, he's saying they made those decisions when designing third edition. One way to I think fairly restate what he said is that in some aspects of 3e, the designers intended to use the rules complexity to gatekeep the game.

By implication, Mearls is implying Monte Cook might have a problem with women in gaming because he supported (at that time) rules gatekeeping.

I don't think Mearls intends to say that, but then that's my point - it's not a very thoughtfully worded tweet. I don't think there is a strong correlation between the two types of opinions and I don't think Mearls is privy to any evidence supporting his claim they're correlated.
 
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