D&D General On Early D&D and Problematic Faves: How to Grapple with the Sins of the Past


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Hussar

Legend
I meant to type Tolkien's orcs and accidentally typed elves.
But, again, it's still not the point I was making.

The issue is that people ignore the actual topic and keep trying to wander off into the weeds. My point wasn't about the changes to orcs or about Tolkien. My point was about people ignoring the topic at hand. While at least changing your post to orcs does relate somewhat more to what I said, it's still a good example of ignoring the bigger picture to keep focusing on the unimportant details.
 


But, again, it's still not the point I was making.

The issue is that people ignore the actual topic and keep trying to wander off into the weeds. My point wasn't about the changes to orcs or about Tolkien. My point was about people ignoring the topic at hand. While at least changing your post to orcs does relate somewhat more to what I said, it's still a good example of ignoring the bigger picture to keep focusing on the unimportant details.

I get that but I was responding to that paragraph with that point about orcs because it was relevant to what I was saying in my post and relevant to the broader discussion (which is both sides lose the nuance of what the other is saying in these conversations and both sides can't seem to abide people interpreting things differently, more or less charitably, etc. Like I said, I don't really have any interest in this particular debate, because we have had so many of these it is always the same old story. But I think we would all benefit from taking a step back and not assuming the worst about one another, and rather just assume we come away from the same topic with different conclusions. There may well be a handful of nasty people in the mix, but I think most folks are simply seeing these situations differently and often viewing them through totally different lenses. The pain in these threads come when can't let go of the desire for others to completely take our own view
 

Meech17

WotC President Runner-Up.
It would also be helpful if people actually bothered to try to understand the issue as well.

Absolutely no one is wringing their hands about Gygax. The whole thing stemmed from the foreword in a history book about DnD that included some less than flattering bits about Gugax and then how a group of older statesmen representatives of DnD decided to lose their poop over it.

Absolutely none of it is actually about demonizing Gygax.

And this, right here, is the biggest problem with these conversations. This black and white mentality that divides everyone into two simple camps without nuance.

Saying that you think that depictions of orcs are possibly problematic and the game would be improved with more nuanced orcs is not a condemnation of Tolkien or anyone else.

But that’s how it’s interpreted. Zero nuance. Zero attempt to actually understand the issue. Someone said that something is bad and that means they are attacking ME!!!

It’s so tiresome.
There's a popular twitter post that get's shared around the internet that I love. I can't share it as it would essentially be using an image to circumvent the vulgarity filter, but the essence is

"The internet is the only place where you can say 'I like pancakes' and the top reply will be like 'So you're saying you hate waffles?'"

It's really, really frustrating.. It makes you feel like you're losing your mind, and that you're apparently the only person in the world left with the ability to see nuance.
 

There's a popular twitter post that get's shared around the internet that I love. I can't share it as it would essentially be using an image to circumvent the vulgarity filter, but the essence is

"The internet is the only place where you can say 'I like pancakes' and the top reply will be like 'So you're saying you hate waffles?'"

It's really, really frustrating.. It makes you feel like you're losing your mind, and that you're apparently the only person in the world left with the ability to see nuance.
That's funny. And true.

A different way to look at it is a person goes through twelve years of school. They learn a lot, but all they talk about are the classes they had with the mean teacher that did disgusting things. The other hundred teachers and the multitudes they learned diminish with each story told of the terrible teachers.

We can all agree that D&D and Tolkien (for most of us here) did wonderful things for our childhoods. They helped us belong. They helped us find friends. They gave us a creative outlet. They probably even let some of us escape. D&D and Tolkien did the same for millions of other people. That is another way it can be viewed.
 


Argyle King

Legend
This is a question without answer because context is so important. Single blanket answers are almost never appropriate.

Which isn’t very satisfying but it’s still true.

I agree that context is important.

Though, my perception (based upon recent threads both here and elsewhere) is that tabletop games may face a different standard than other media/art.
 

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
I agree that context is important.

Though, my perception (based upon recent threads both here and elsewhere) is that tabletop games may face a different standard than other media/art.
Those standards are entirely internally developed so ot is no wonder there are such conflicting ideas about what is "appropriate." The outside media is not weighing in on the "D&D is inherently colonialist" debate, as far as I know. The situation with Gygax might get a mention someplace like Forbes where there is a TTRPG evangelist on staff, but that's about it. The Satanic Panic wasn't even really ultimately about D&D. D&D got caught up in the larger Satanic Panic which was a predictable example of a cycle you can demonstrate throughout history. The Q Anon stuff of a couple years ago is part of the same cycle.
 

Please note that I am not prescribing any particular opinions, and simply posting some thoughts that I continue to wrestle with. Please do not use this post as a launching point to write about anti-inclusive content. Enworld's Faq is here: Terms and rules There is a section titled, "Keep it inclusive". Thank you!

I'm going to go through the following sections in my post; as usual, I will name the sections according to whatever bizarre reference happens to be going through my head at the time.

A. An examination of the issue using the Potterverse as an example
B. An overview of the offensive and/or problematic nature of people, and artists
C. A discussion of the general issues of separating art and artists (text and author)
D. Thoughts on why individual and collection action matters, and why it doesn't
E. Concluding opinions on the relevance to D&D and Gygax
Thank you for your work. I wanted to take a minute to say I always enjoy the time I spend reading your pieces.
 

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