On gatekeeping and the 'live-streaming edition wars'

DemoMonkey

Explorer
"Why do you feel the need to make that distinction? Who does it benefit?"

I was kind of thinking it might help me pick what topics to discuss with the person. "What characters do you play?" would be my follow up to a player. "Who do you watch?" would be my question to a streamer. Different flavours of fan will have different interests. If It's considered impolite or actively offensive to ask I won't do it, but I fear that will lead people to just stick to their own cliques instead of engaging more widely.
 

TwoSix

The hero you deserve
AND THEY MUST BE STOPPED AMIRITE? You'll stand at the gate and make sure they know they're wrong?

Seriously. Why does it matter to you how somebody describes their fandom? This, right here, is what we mean by gatekeeping.
To be charitable, I've always perceived as being similar to the psychology that underlies prescriptivism versus descriptivism. The idea that words have a fixed and correct meaning, versus that language is simply whatever enables the best transmission of the idea.

If I wanted to extrapolate further, I'd look at Jonathan Haidt's Moral Foundations theory about the differing moral values of "purity". Whenever I see people desire that their fandom fit into certain definable boxes (the contentiousness around The Last Jedi comes to mind here), I assume there's an underlying psychological basis behind it.

I'm not saying it needs to be accepted, but I think the desire to see language codified comes from a real psychological place.
 

Olrox17

Explorer
Here's an interesting point - "old" does not mean "traditional". I went to see a movie on X-mas day, once, a decade ago. That does not make it my X-mas tradition. Traditional is the thing I usually do, not the thing I used to do.
Yes, ok. I don't see how this invalidates my point.
Greyhawk is a traditional Dnd setting because it's been around since forever and has been played by literal millions over literal decades. Is that statement alright?

Honest, and possibly rhetorical question - how many characters have you played in fullness in those two years? How many of the options of Xanathar's Guide have you really explored?

Heck, I haven't even played all of the neat Player's Handbook characters I'd like to try, much less fully explored Xanathars!

Do I need new, for the sake of new? No. I only need new for the sake of using the material. And, by admission... until someone invites me to a game that calls for it, I don't really need new material to use. A friend just started up a game, and literally asked me to play an artificer. I didn't buy the new Eberron to do that - I'm using his, because I only need one class.
I don't get to be a player often, I'm usually in the DM seat. I'm also the kind of DM that likes creating helpful NPCs and villains using PC classes, full details. Which means, I probably played (alongside or against the PCs) at least 80% of the fifth edition character options! The leftover 20% is stuff I don't like, such as the champion fighter subclass. So yeah, new content, please.

Rick and Morty and Stranger Things are starter sets. Nobody who isn't starting has a real reason to buy them. Meanwhile, crossing with a popular property seems an excellent way to start people.

That leaves Eberron (hardly cross-promotional, is it?), Ravnica, Acquisitions Incorporated, and now Wildemount. All setting books. The fact that they are cross-promotional... isn't relevant. It is a setting book, and you have as much reason to buy it as any other setting book (either lots, or none, depending).
Didn't count Eberron, counted Wildermount. Hence the number 5. And don't get me wrong, cross-promotional books are a great idea. They expand the player base, which is cool.
 

LuisCarlos17f

Adventurer
I am a D&D fan but not a player, but more a collector.

If CR has been a great hook to get new fans you can't blame WotC to take adventage about this.

D&D is my favorite children cartoon, but now lots of currents fans would say it was destroying the canon.

Today if players aren't true collectors, they would rather to buy PDFs to get lore/fluff, even from previous editions.

Somebody wants to see changes in the timeline or metaplot, not only an updated version of the old books. I dare to say some fans would rather new Dark Suns novels set after the Pentam Prism.

I suggest for future streaming shows to use something like a digital tabletop, where miniatures are replaced by a videogame screen. Watchers would hear players' voices but seeing something like a machinima animation on the screen. This videogame would be like an asymetric e-sport where a player is the DM adding traps and monsters (like Resident Evil: Resistance).
 
I prefer Matt Mercer's classy approach to the issue. It's a lesson we could all take to heart.

Sure, but it didn't work, did it?

The only lesson to take to heart is you can't reason with unreasonable people.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Yes, ok. I don't see how this invalidates my point.
Greyhawk is a traditional Dnd setting because it's been around since forever and has been played by literal millions over literal decades. Is that statement alright?
Kind of like saying caroling is a traditional X-mas activity... when almost nobody actually does it these days? This is a traditional setting that they haven't really supported*... within the lifespan of many of their players?

How much weight do we put on tradition like that?

I don't get to be a player often, I'm usually in the DM seat. I'm also the kind of DM that likes creating helpful NPCs and villains using PC classes, full details. Which means, I probably played (alongside or against the PCs) at least 80% of the fifth edition character options!
Okay, I wasn't clear about what I meant by "played", so I won't chafe at this. But, I gotta tell you, I find "the GM has used lots of the classes in the book" a weak reason to need more classes.



*Now begins the argument on what constitutes "real support". The Living Greyhawk Gazeteer was published in 2000, and there hasn't been a new version of the setting for two whole editions. I call that "not supported".
 

Olrox17

Explorer
Kind of like saying caroling is a traditional X-mas activity... when almost nobody actually does it these days? This is a traditional setting that they haven't really supported*... within the lifespan of many of their players?

How much weight do we put on tradition like that?
Traditions can indeed die out. They become old traditions, or even ancient traditions. I feel like we're starting to argue semantics here, though.

Okay, I wasn't clear about what I meant by "played", so I won't chafe at this. But, I gotta tell you, I find "the GM has used lots of the classes in the book" a weak reason to need more classes.
Eh, fair enough. Being a full time DM, this is the only honest answer I can give. Everytime new player options (especially subclasses) come out, I get real sparks of inspiration for new adventures or campaigns. The meager amount of crunch that was in, say, Ravnica, just isn't enough for me.

*Now begins the argument on what constitutes "real support". The Living Greyhawk Gazeteer was published in 2000, and there hasn't been a new version of the setting for two whole editions. I call that "not supported".
Nah, I'm not gonna get into that argument, especially since I just used Greyhawk as a "legacy" example and I'm not the biggest fan of it. Dark Sun, on the other hand, is something I would really like to see published in 5e. Planescape, too.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Sure, but it didn't work, did it?
One post won't change the world, no. Recycling one plastic bag won't stop climate change. Being kind to one person won't change society. Placing down one brick won't build a house. Skipping one soda won't make you lose weight.

I find all of these things to be very poor reasons not to do it.

The only lesson to take to heart is you can't reason with unreasonable people.
You do you, I guess.
 

Gradine

Final Form
Here's the sad truth: this isn't a new war. It's a new front in a war that's possibly older than the hobby itself.

Gatekeepers gatekeep for a reason; they don't want certain types of people in their hobby (or certainly not being welcomed and catered to, at the very least). Stream fans are, by and large, a younger, much more diverse audience (regardless of how true this actually is, it's hard to deny that this is the most common perception of that audience). And grognards lamenting younger, more diverse D&D players is about as old as dirt.

Honestly this whole thing has much more in common with the whole chainmail bikini thing or even gamergate than with any edition war.
 

DemoMonkey

Explorer
Don't worry. The streamers will themselves fracture over which stream is the best - their own modern version of the Edition Wars - and then we can all be happy in our insular, warring little tribes.
 

ccs

40th lv DM
Sitting here and marvelling for a moment.

Gamers, for decades, have been itching for a major media representation of their stuff - like a halfway decent movie. Folks have been saying the are dying for a good D&D movie for ages.

When they actually get a major media movement (in streaming gaming) they want to draw lines between themselves and it.
Myself?
I'd rather watch a D&D movie (hopefully a good one) than watch others play the game.

But hey, watch whatever entertains you.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest
Is it a war?
streaming fans won’t take arms to defend anything! They like the play, the social, the fantasy, they feel attach to people not necessarily the game.
OK, everyone. Let's say "Hello" to the problem post. What's the problem? You're ascribing behavior or beliefs to someone else. How do you know what the streaming fans will do or that they don't necessarily like the game?

The worst part of any of these wars, edition or fandom gatekeeping, is the ascribing motives or feelings to the other side and posting on that topic as if you know the truth. That's when the conflict gets personal. It's OK for someone to go into their own personal feelings and opinions. But don't presume to know anything about anybody else unless they specifically tell you - and don't use that to generalize about everyone else.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest
If someone says they're a "big fan of D&D," and I ask them about what kinds of characters they've played and what kinds of campaigns they've played in, it's not because I'm trying to figure out if they're a RealTrueFan or anything like that, it's because I'm thinking about inviting them to a gaming table.
You could start with "Are you interested in joining a game?" rather than use gatekeepy questions. It's a little like approaching a potential sex partner and starting by asking if they prefer 69 or taking turns for oral sex.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest
Sitting here and marvelling for a moment.

Gamers, for decades, have been itching for a major media representation of their stuff - like a halfway decent movie. Folks have been saying the are dying for a good D&D movie for ages.

When they actually get a major media movement (in streaming gaming) they want to draw lines between themselves and it.
Technically, the ones who wanted more media representation might not be the same people who are drawing lines between themselves and it.
 

Bardic Dave

Explorer
Kind of like saying caroling is a traditional X-mas activity... when almost nobody actually does it these days? This is a traditional setting that they haven't really supported*... within the lifespan of many of their players?

How much weight do we put on tradition like that?



Okay, I wasn't clear about what I meant by "played", so I won't chafe at this. But, I gotta tell you, I find "the GM has used lots of the classes in the book" a weak reason to need more classes.



*Now begins the argument on what constitutes "real support". The Living Greyhawk Gazeteer was published in 2000, and there hasn't been a new version of the setting for two whole editions. I call that "not supported".
I'll say it again: you're being super pedantic and effectively "gatekeeping" the use of the word tradition.

It's pretty clear what the poster was saying: "I wish the next release was for a setting that I already know and enjoy; something that gets the nostalgia flowing; something drawn directly from D&D's past; something traditional. However, I don't begrudge anyone their book."

What's wrong with that? What's wrong with calling old things "traditional"? Why do you need to quibble over the use of that word? What's the point? The way they used it makes perfect sense within the context of their post.

EDIT: nor is there anything wrong with saying that from a certain perspective, Wildemount is a traditional D&D setting (pseudo-medieval euro fantasy that has its roots in a home game). They're just two different and incompatible ways of approaching the issue, each with different aims.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
streaming fans won’t take arms to defend anything! They like the play, the social, the fantasy, they feel attach to people not necessarily the game.
This is exactly the kind of gatekeeping comment we don't want. We'll let people decide for themselves what they like or what they'll do.
 

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