On gatekeeping and the 'live-streaming edition wars'

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
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.
Ironically, they were young when they started playing. The idea that D&D wasn't directed towards and mainly played by young adults is hilarious. It still is; it's not D&D's fault that people age.
 

Beleriphon

Totally Awesome Pirate Brain
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.
It goes back farther RPGs. The Fosbury Flop was hated, and nearly deemed illegal to use in high jump.

To paraphrase one social pundit (view of the young by the older generations):

"Little by little, this spirit of license, finding a home, imperceptibly penetrates into manners and customs. From there, it invades contracts between man and man, and from contracts goes on to laws and constitutions, in utter recklessness, ending at last by an overthrow of all rights, private as well as public…. If amusements become lawless, and the youths themselves become lawless, they can never grow up into well-conducted and virtuous citizens…. They will invent for themselves rules which have been otherwise neglected, such as how to show respect to their elders; what honor is due to parents; what clothing and hairstyles are appropriate; and all behavior and manners in general."

Fun fact, that's Plato circa 380 BCE. So I figure people not liking new things has been around since there were people and new things.
 

Bawylie

A very OK person
very tentatively puts hand up

Question?

Everyone can be a D&D fan. You don't have to play, or watch a livestream, or cosplay, or buy the books, or any one particular thing to be a fan. It's a big tent and everyone is equally welcome.

But are the fans who don't - and have never - actually played, considered D&D players? Is it ok to make that distinction, or is that also gatekeeping?

This is a genuine question from someone who may be out of touch with the modern consensus.
IMO it’s like baseball. You can be a fan, watch games on TV, listen on the radio, go to games live, buy merch .... or not. Either way, you don’t have to actually play baseball to be part of the team or fandom.

D&D strikes me as a small scale, interpersonal hobby that traditionally spread by word of mouth. ‘New’ tech is changing how people become aware of and consume D&D. Accordingly, its growth (and how people engage with it) is gonna look different in some areas. If you didn’t come to D&D the old school route of word-of-mouth, how you “do” D&D is gonna be different.

It can be so different that your initial reaction might sound a lot like, “that’s not the d&d I know. I don’t recognize this.” And that sentiment pops up from various parties every iteration of the game. Fair enough. It’s a reasonable and honest reaction. The step-too-far is denigration. The idea that “they don’t do it the way I do so it’s bad.”

I don’t (and haven’t) watch(ed) CR. So I don’t really know if they do it the way I do it or not. I don’t have any direct experience with fans or critters (that I know of). But I don’t doubt that whatever they’re doing “counts” as D&D, even if it IS different.

I mean, shit, how different is “traditional” d&d from one table to the next? Pretty freaking different, IMO. So it’s all good.
 
We should probably also avoid immediately ascribing malice as a motivation to those that ask questions or express differing opinions. I know I am often knee jerk guilty of assuming someone is being disingenuous or arguing in bad faith. Someone presenting the opinion that "streaming sucks" might just be bad at communicating a more nuanced idea. This is what message boards are good for, I think: being able to take the longer route through our opinions and thoughts and being able to express them in ways that other social media makes difficult.
 

Krachek

Adventurer
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.
So let’s talk about the streaming,
it show a way of playing DnD, more social, role play, and joyful.
if their audience continue to grow, it will become a norm, a common way to see DnD. much more efficient than publicity or new product launch.
there is no war, streaming show their way of DnD without any response by other playstyle.

i don’t know how people will react and change their way of playing the game according to the popularity of the streaming play style, but usually people tend to mimic and redo what they like watching.

i don’t what WotC will do in response to this free publicity campaign, but I can guess that they will go with the flow.
 

Undrave

Adventurer
So let’s talk about the streaming,
it show a way of playing DnD, more social, role play, and joyful.
if their audience continue to grow, it will become a norm, a common way to see DnD. much more efficient than publicity or new product launch.
there is no war, streaming show their way of DnD without any response by other playstyle.

i don’t know how people will react and change their way of playing the game according to the popularity of the streaming play style, but usually people tend to mimic and redo what they like watching.

i don’t what WotC will do in response to this free publicity campaign, but I can guess that they will go with the flow.
Are you saying there is a specific 'Streaming play style' that is common to ALL streaming games?

Pretty sure every group has its own style that grows and develop with time.
 

schneeland

Explorer
I have seen pretty nasty comments on both sides of the spectrum (actually more derogatory comments targeted at older players/people not watching streams, but I blame that on my filter bubble at the time). I appreciate that this kind of mutual shaming and insults is kept off ENWorld.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Just stay off Twitter and Facebook. They're literal cancer.
{begin grammarian gatekeeping}
No. Cancer in your body is literal cancer. Nothing that isn't cells from a body growing out of control is literal cancer. Twitter and Facebook are metaphorical cancer.

Using, "literal," to mean, "heavily stressed metaphor," is the work of the Dark Lord, and badwrongfun.
{/end gammarian gatekeeping}
 
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Krachek

Adventurer
Are you saying there is a specific 'Streaming play style' that is common to ALL streaming games?

Pretty sure every group has its own style that grows and develop with time.
Is there any popular DnD stream where players main concerns are tactical and ressources management?
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
Geekdom is so busy "othering" its own members when it should be celebrating the fact that geeks are cool now.
They did, for a while.

Now they feel comfy enough to display their darker sides in public, just like everyone else.

Happens with every normalized subculture.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
"No. Cancer in yout body is literal cancer."

Tell me more about the "yout" body, oh master of linguistic gate keeping.

"Sure. You don't need to be perfectly correct to be a gatekeeper. In fact, you probably aren't. All you need to be a gatekeeper is vehement and self-important!"

He said, as he fixed a typographical error, and gave a quick prayer of forgiveness to the Gods of Propriety for his venal sin, while simultaneously demanding justice for the literal mortal sin....
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I mean, seriously, this doesn't need to said every five minutes. It's just another way to divide people into "us' and "them". We're all D&D fans. There's no need to 'technically' divide people into camps.
Why on earth not?

Many people are hockey fans, but that doesn't at all mean they're going to cheer for every team equally. I mean, Leafs fans and Canucks fans are all hockey fans yet good luck getting them to agree on anything, ever*.

* - well, other than a mutual dislike of Boston...

Same is true in D&D. We're all D&D fans, but D&D is a pretty big tent and within that tent we all have things we support and promote and things we don't support and don't want to see promoted; and those things will be more or less different for each of us individually. Those opinions are going to come out in what we say, be it here or elsewhere; and without divergent opinions there isn't much point in discussion.

Asking everyone to support everything is, IMO, idealistic to the point of folly.
 

Chaosmancer

Adventurer
I see this sort of thing as a matter of energy and focus.

Do we want to spend energy building bridges, or building walls. Do we want to focus on understanding and sharing what we love, or focus on making sure we love the right thing.

And, this isn't limited to anything. This happens everywhere and for everything. For example, I know as an Anime fan there are certain things I like and don't like. One of those is that I generally cannot stand English Dubbing on certain shows, they just sound wrong and stupid to me. I know other Anime fans who don't like subbed, because they don't like reading their shows, they want to watch them.

But, I also know that the vast majority of fans started with a dubbed show. I did. Because that is far easier to get into, watch, and enjoy. And this isn't some attempt to make myself sound superior, because that is also a thing people do "I watch anime the real way instead of using crutches like dubbing" is a thing you will see all the time.

And now let us look at the person who isn't a fan, the person who is just curious about what the heck everyone is talking about. The more toxic the fanbase and the more people are fighting, the more likely that person is to bail.

I know for a fact that I have a few friends who have responded to my getting interested in a show with "oh, that is a good show, but don't go online and talk about, the fan base is incredibly toxic" or "I thought about watching it, but everyone seems to hate it, so I never bothered"


Bringing this to a close (because I am being called) I think one of the early posts said it best. It is about intent. You don't have to like everything, you don't have to support everything, but if you are still being defensive, if you are still thinking "this is the real way to enjoy this"... well, that's just not cool. The world can be a terrible and depressing place, full of pain and sadness for no good reason. We should be kind and accepting, and share the bright spots with people, even if they see them in a different color than we do.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Why on earth not?

Many people are hockey fans, but that doesn't at all mean they're going to cheer for every team equally. I mean, Leafs fans and Canucks fans are all hockey fans yet good luck getting them to agree on anything, ever*.

* - well, other than a mutual dislike of Boston...

Same is true in D&D. We're all D&D fans, but D&D is a pretty big tent and within that tent we all have things we support and promote and things we don't support and don't want to see promoted; and those things will be more or less different for each of us individually. Those opinions are going to come out in what we say, be it here or elsewhere; and without divergent opinions there isn't much point in discussion.

Asking everyone to support everything is, IMO, idealistic to the point of folly.
I don’t think you’re talking about the same thing. We’re talking about not gatekeeping.
 

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