Multiple "AI Art" Updates and Controversies in Tabletop Gaming

Three news stories this week came out about algorithmic generation aka "AI Art" in the tabletop gaming industry.

backerkit-ai-policy-1.png
BackerKit announced that effective October 4, no project will be allowed with any writing or art assets that were entirely created by algorithmic generation aka “AI”. From the blog post:

At BackerKit, our team is passionate about people’s passions. For ten years, we’ve supported creators in their journey to launch projects and build thriving creative practices and businesses. We’ve developed deep relationships and respect for the people who breathe life into crowdfunding projects, and we are committed to defending their well-being on our platform.

That’s why we are announcing a new policy that aims to address growing concerns regarding ownership of content, ethical sourcing of data, and compensation for the process of creating content. […]

As part of this consideration, BackerKit has committed to a policy that restricts the use of AI-generated content in projects on our crowdfunding platform.

This policy goes into effect on October 4, 2023.

[…] This policy emphasizes that projects on BackerKit cannot include content solely generated by AI tools. All content and assets must first be created by humans.

This doesn’t impact content refined with AI-assisted tools like “generative content fill” or “object replacement” (image editing software functions that help blend or replace selected portions of an image), other standard image adjustment tools (saturation, color, resolution,) or AI language tools that refine human-created text with modifications to spelling, grammar, and syntax.

Software assisted by AI, such as transcribers or video tracking technology are permitted under these guidelines. However, software with the purpose to generate content using AI would not be permitted.

The post includes image examples of what content is and is not allowed. Additionally, BackerKit will add an option to the back end for creators that will allow them to “exclude all content uploaded by our creators for their projects from AI training”. This is opt-out, meaning that by default this ban is in place and creators who want their work used for training generative algorithms must go in and specifically allow it.

altisaur.png

This move comes alongside a pair of recent controversies in tabletop gaming. Last month, Wizards of the Coast came under fire as it was revealed a freelance artist used algorithmic generation for artwork included in Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants. Wizards of the Coast quickly updated their stance on algorithmic generation with a statement that the artwork would be removed from the D&D Beyond digital copies of the book and will place new language in contracts banning the use of algorithmic generation.

This week, Gizmodo reporter Linda Codega reported that the artwork in the D&D Beyond version of Bigby Presents has now been replaced with new art. No announcement was made about the new artwork, and Gizmodo’s attempts to contact Wizards of the Coast for a statement directed them to the statement made in August. The artist who used algorithmic generation, Ilya Shkipin, has been removed from the art credits from the book, and the artwork has replaced by works by Claudio Prozas, Quintin Gleim, Linda Lithen, Daneen Wilkerson, Daarken, and Suzanne Helmigh.

IMG_7777-e1696254650600.jpg

Meanwhile, the largest tabletop gaming convention in Europe, Essen Spiel, recently ran into the same controversy as promotional material for the convention used algorithmically generated artwork including the convention’s official app, promotional posters, and tickets for the event.

Marz Verlag, the parent company for the convention, responded to a request for comment from Dicebreaker:

"We are aware of this topic and will evaluate it in detail after the show. Right now please understand that we cannot answer your questions at this moment, as we have a lot to do to get the show started today," said a representative for Merz Verlag.

"Regarding the questions about Meeps and timing, I can tell you quickly that the marketing campaign [containing AI artwork] has been created way before we had the idea to create a mascot. The idea of Meeps had nothing to do with the marketing campaign and vice versa."

Meeps, a board game-playing kitten and totally innocent of the controversy (because who could blame a cute kitty), is the new mascot for the convention announced this past July voted on by fans and was designed by illustrator Michael Menzel.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Darryl Mott

Darryl Mott

dragoner

KosmicRPG.com
Dofresh posted on x it is almost over, that companies he had prior contracts with, now contacted him only when their AI technicians were too busy. As someone using stock art from shutterstock etc. at least I am happy I can use a filter to not get AI pictures, I mean the other day searching I got hundreds of thousands of hits, and when I filtered out the AI pics, it literally cut nearly 90% away. Tbh most AI art I see is awful.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
(edit) what I meant to say was, “Clearly this is an emotional topic for many.”

(Drat, too slow.)
 
Last edited:

dragoner

KosmicRPG.com
Yeah, I find that plausible. “Hey we are reaching out because our AI technicians are too busy…”

But since it was posted on The Platform Formerly Known as Twitter it has been fact-checked by a team of diligent researchers, so I guess I’ll accept it at face value.
So? Anyways, as someone who buys art, and from what I see, those are the most important to me. I see it in just about every product now.
 





Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
I'll refer you to a mirror and won't be commenting further with you.

"Soooo..." (best Maxwell Smart voice) "...the old attack-me-and-then-try-to-end-the-debate trick..."

Ok, for anybody else who is reading:

This little exchange exemplifies exactly what bothers me about the larger debate. I expressed skepticism about a comment made by somebody who happens to be an artist, and to some people this demonstrates a general pattern of "contempt for artists".

I once knew a motorcyclist, and also first responder, who responded (or maybe just heard about?) an incident where a guy went down on his bike, slide across the pavement, bounced over the curb, and then his helmet caught on the edge of the curb and broke his neck. His conclusion? It's dangerous to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle.

Same thing.

And same thing that is happening in this whole debate, by people who don't understand how generative AI works.

P.S. It's actually my deep respect for artists, and for art, that makes me skeptical that AI will ever actually replace them. Change some of what their jobs look like? Probably.
 

Fun fact, it doesn't actually matter how the AI works. That is a complete non-sequitur and a frankly repetitive argument thats always trotted out in these discussions.

If a given image-based AI cannot do what it does without consuming the art of human beings, and in turn if said art is taken and used (nevermind sold) for this purpose without permission and compensation, then there is a huge problem. It literally does not matter how the AI works. At all. That was never the issue.

AI didn't become controversial because people are just being luddites or some other nonsense. It became controversial because contemptuous people abused the open nature of the internet to fuel their AIs and started profiting off the work of countless artists all over the world.

And now even as many of these AIs are being stripped of this problem, there are still a large gaggle of incredibly smug techbros going to bat against any criticism of AI just on principle, and their rallying cry is always about how nobody "gets" how these AIs work.

Most people don't know the inner workings of a lot of terrible things. Doesn't make them wrong when they recognize they are, in fact, terrible.

Fact of the matter is, nobody cares how these things work because it doesn't actually matter to anybody except the people making them and their sycophants that throw appeals to authority around like a baseball.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Fun fact, it doesn't actually matter how the AI works. That is a complete non-sequitur and a frankly repetitive argument thats always trotted out in these discussions.

If a given image-based AI cannot do what it does without consuming the art of human beings, and in turn if said art is taken and used (nevermind sold) for this purpose without permission and compensation, then there is a huge problem. It literally does not matter how the AI works. At all. That was never the issue.

AI didn't become controversial because people are just being luddites or some other nonsense. It became controversial because contemptuous people abused the open nature of the internet to fuel their AIs and started profiting off the work of countless artists all over the world.

And now even as many of these AIs are being stripped of this problem, there are still a large gaggle of incredibly smug techbros going to bat against any criticism of AI just on principle, and their rallying cry is always about how nobody "gets" how these AIs work.

Most people don't know the inner workings of a lot of terrible things. Doesn't make them wrong when they recognize they are, in fact, terrible.

Fact of the matter is, nobody cares how these things work because it doesn't actually matter to anybody except the people making them and their sycophants that throw appeals to authority around like a baseball.
How things work is usually the difference between ethical and not ethical.

Example: A pair of shoes made in a factory. Ethical! Except if factory is using slave/child labor. Unethical!

I’d say the details actually matter a great deal!
 

Related Articles

Remove ads

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top