On gatekeeping and the 'live-streaming edition wars'

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Why on earth not?
As I've asked elsewhere - Why are you making a distinction? What purpose does it serve?

Many people are hockey fans, but that doesn't at all mean they're going to cheer for every team equally.
Sports teams are in a literal (yes, really literal) competition. If and when you and Matt Mercer are throwing down - your home table against his stream, then come talk to us about this being a fitting analogy.

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
That last bit... "don't want to see promoted" is the problem. "I don't like it, so nobody else should have it," is maybe the most selfish thing a fan ever said on this planet.

Asking everyone to support everything is, IMO, idealistic to the point of folly.
Aaand... a strawman for the internet argument WIN!

Dude, nobody said everyone had to support everything, or anything like that. I think you just proved the point that the act of dividing Them and Us needs a certain amount of policing. Thank you.
 

Krachek

Adventurer
streaming is a new phenomenon to DnD,
and there is some questions that arise for WotC.

do streaming fans can be good customer?
do streaming fans want to play their games like those they watch?

depending on the answers, which I don’t know, WotC may move to follow this trend. Move may result in additional product, we just get a first one, but also any new iteration of the rules.

streaming may result in fantastic commercial opportunities for DnD. It can give access to new range of customers, the next step is to sell them something.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
"As I've asked elsewhere - Why are you making a distinction? What purpose does it serve?"

Because precision in communication is useful to understanding, and not necessarily indicative of bad faith?
Pedantry for the sake of pedantry isn’t useful to anybody, though. It’s just annoying. Sure there may be some corner cases where you’re researching the market for a book or something, but in general conversation going out of one’s way to divide or exclude groups of people? Not so much.

(And that goes both ways of course; as in my OP, declaring that nobody cares about the opinions of a demographic of fans is just the same behaviour).
 

schneeland

Explorer
streaming is a new phenomenon to DnD,
and there is some questions that arise for WotC.

do streaming fans can be good customer?
do streaming fans want to play their games like those they watch?

depending on the answers, which I don’t know, WotC may move to follow this trend. Move may result in additional product, we just get a first one, but also any new iteration of the rules.

streaming may result in fantastic commercial opportunities for DnD. It can give access to new range of customers, the next step is to sell them something.
I feel short-term these questions have already been answered. I stopped watching CR after season 1, but there were quite a lot of reports of people buying books and starting their first game. Also, the sales rank for the new campaign book is probably a good indication of the willingness of CR fans to buy about everything related to their favourite show.

The main question IMO is: will these people keep playing or do they drop out rather quickly. That's something that probably only WotC's surveys can answer.

Besides: I think this is a separate discussion from gate-keeping, so mods might want to move it.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I don’t think you’re talking about the same thing. We’re talking about not gatekeeping.
My concern is that any disagreement with or dislike of some aspect of the culture will be taken as gatekeeping by those who disagree with the disagreement.

Using my hockey analogy again, if I meet some people who are considering becoming hockey fans I don't see it as gatekeeping when I tell them they're idiots if they decide to cheer for the Leafs. A Leafs fan, however, might call me a gatekeeper for saying just this.

And in the D&D realm, I personally am not a fan of the streamed games as anything other than pure entertainment, as I don't think they accurately portray what happens around a typical table most of the time. Further, I wonder if those brought in to gaming by the streams are being given unrealistic expectations by what they've seen there.

Is it gatekeeping to say that? I don't think so...but my concern is that some would - perhaps maliciously - say it is
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest
My concern is that any disagreement with or dislike of some aspect of the culture will be taken as gatekeeping by those who disagree with the disagreement.

Using my hockey analogy again, if I meet some people who are considering becoming hockey fans I don't see it as gatekeeping when I tell them they're idiots if they decide to cheer for the Leafs. A Leafs fan, however, might call me a gatekeeper for saying just this.

And in the D&D realm, I personally am not a fan of the streamed games as anything other than pure entertainment, as I don't think they accurately portray what happens around a typical table most of the time. Further, I wonder if those brought in to gaming by the streams are being given unrealistic expectations by what they've seen there.

Is it gatekeeping to say that? I don't think so...but my concern is that some would - perhaps maliciously - say it is
Stop complaining about efforts to stop gatekeeping because you're afraid of being falsely accused of gatekeeping. The impact of being falsely accused of gatekeeping is SO much smaller than the effect of the gatekeeping in the first place.

And honestly, that applies double to other... similar... issues that come up in debates about gaming culture.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
My concern is that any disagreement with or dislike of some aspect of the culture will be taken as gatekeeping by those who disagree with the disagreement.

Using my hockey analogy again, if I meet some people who are considering becoming hockey fans I don't see it as gatekeeping when I tell them they're idiots if they decide to cheer for the Leafs. A Leafs fan, however, might call me a gatekeeper for saying just this.

And in the D&D realm, I personally am not a fan of the streamed games as anything other than pure entertainment, as I don't think they accurately portray what happens around a typical table most of the time. Further, I wonder if those brought in to gaming by the streams are being given unrealistic expectations by what they've seen there.

Is it gatekeeping to say that? I don't think so...but my concern is that some would - perhaps maliciously - say it is
You’re confusing the subject with the person.

‘I like/don’t like x“ is not gatekeeping.

’People who like/don’t like x are not real fans” is gatekeeping.

If I tell you you’re not a real D&D fan if you don’t watch streaming videos, you’d rightly object. Because I’m gatekeeping.

Gatekeeping is about excluding people from the hobby. That’s why it’s called gatekeeping.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
As I've asked elsewhere - Why are you making a distinction? What purpose does it serve?
If nothing else, it serves the purpose of discussion and debate.

That last bit... "don't want to see promoted" is the problem. "I don't like it, so nobody else should have it," is maybe the most selfish thing a fan ever said on this planet.
And is also a perfectly valid point of view, reject it as you will.

I'm probably coming across as far more absolute than my opinions actually are, in order to make a point, but I see nothing at all wrong with promoting one's own point of view.

Aaand... a strawman for the internet argument WIN!
Yay me? :)

Dude, nobody said everyone had to support everything, or anything like that.
Yet that's kind of how the OP came across in my view, hence my reply.

I think you just proved the point that the act of dividing Them and Us needs a certain amount of policing. Thank you.
In any debate, on any topic, there's ultimately only three places a person can be: 1. on one side or another (there can sometimes be more than two sides in the same debate), 2. neutral, or 3. uninvolved and-or unaware the debate exists.

People in 1. are quite naturally going to try to convince others in 1. to switch to their side, but they're also going to try to swing people in the 2. and 3. areas over to their particular side or viewpoint both by promoting their own viewpoint and by criticizing the other(s).

And yes, as long as the debate continues there's going to be some level of division between the sides. Sometimes that level is utterly trivial, other times it runs deep - maybe too deep - but to try and deny its existence seems, again, idealistic.
 

Chaosmancer

Adventurer
My concern is that any disagreement with or dislike of some aspect of the culture will be taken as gatekeeping by those who disagree with the disagreement.

Using my hockey analogy again, if I meet some people who are considering becoming hockey fans I don't see it as gatekeeping when I tell them they're idiots if they decide to cheer for the Leafs. A Leafs fan, however, might call me a gatekeeper for saying just this.
Thinking about this some, I think intent plays a big role here.

I am not a sports person, but I'll use the Ohio State/ Michigan rivalry because I know it. If I am walking around a store and see my friend dressed up in a Michigan Jersey, I might call out to them "Hey, stupid michigan fan, your team sucks" We are friends, we probably rib each other constantly, we are not intending anything more than to make each other laugh.

If I am walking through the store and see some random individual in a Michigan Jersey, I am most definitely not going to call out "Hey, stupid Michigan fan, your team sucks." Because I don't know them, I don't their personality, I don't know if they will take it as a joke, or if they will attack me because I'm insulting them, or if they are supporting the team for a highly personal reason (would feel real good to tell the mother of a player that her son sucks at football, despite being a professional, right?). At the very least, I'm being a jerk to this person I have never met. And, is that really the impression I want to give them of myself, and a team I like?


And, so I see your post. I feel like, in reality, you are saying someone would be an idiot to cheer for the Leafs because you are leaning into a rivalry, and culturally, fans of those two teams snipe at each other. But, if I am outside of the context of understanding sport team rivalry's? Then it just comes across as Canuck fans being judgemental and unaccepting of people who don't agree with them.

This isn't about telling people they can't rib each other or have opninions, but about making people aware that sometimes other people aren't in on it, and out of context, you are not sending the message you intend.
 

Haffrung

Explorer
We should probably also avoid immediately ascribing malice as a motivation to those that ask questions or express differing opinions.
How are people going to work themselves into a state of righteous outrage unless they ascribe malice as a motivation to those who express different opinions?
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
You’re confusing the subject with the person.

‘I like/don’t like x“ is not gatekeeping.

’People who like/don’t like x are not real fans” is gatekeeping.

If I tell you you’re not a real D&D fan if you don’t watch streaming videos, you’d rightly object.
Ah, but there's a difference between my disagreeing with your statement (which in your eyes could be perfectly true, for all I know) and any attempt by me or anyone else to deny you the right to express it.

I could come right back and say you're not a real D&D fan because you've tainted yourself by playing (and writing!) other RPG systems. You'd object, of course, and fair enough; and we could call each other names until the cows come home. :)

My point is, on a more serious level, that denying the expression of these things serves no purpose other than to quash debate.

Because I’m gatekeeping.

Gatekeeping is about excluding people from the hobby. That’s why it’s called gatekeeping.
Yes, and it happens at the macro and micro level all the time, as a fully accepted procedure.

Ever denied someone permission to play in your game? That's gatekeeping.
You deny spammers permission to access the boards. That's gatekeeping (of the best sort!!!). Etc.

And keep in mind I'm generally a big-tent kind or person in life as well as gaming: people can do whatever they want, and the only time I'll generally object to anything is if-when I'm expected to join in. But there's still people I'll never allow back in any game I run.

Not all gatekeeping is bad. :)
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
My concern is that any disagreement with or dislike of some aspect of the culture will be taken as gatekeeping by those who disagree with the disagreement.

Using my hockey analogy again, if I meet some people who are considering becoming hockey fans I don't see it as gatekeeping when I tell them they're idiots if they decide to cheer for the Leafs. A Leafs fan, however, might call me a gatekeeper for saying just this.

And in the D&D realm, I personally am not a fan of the streamed games as anything other than pure entertainment, as I don't think they accurately portray what happens around a typical table most of the time. Further, I wonder if those brought in to gaming by the streams are being given unrealistic expectations by what they've seen there.

Is it gatekeeping to say that? I don't think so...but my concern is that some would - perhaps maliciously - say it is
The hockey analogy is gatekeeping, but it's pretty mild. The DnD example depends on how you say it. And also, just let people come into dnd with whatever expectations and preferences they want. Hobby doesn't belong to you, me, or anyone else. The end.
 

Beleriphon

Totally Awesome Pirate Brain
My concern is that any disagreement with or dislike of some aspect of the culture will be taken as gatekeeping by those who disagree with the disagreement.

Using my hockey analogy again, if I meet some people who are considering becoming hockey fans I don't see it as gatekeeping when I tell them they're idiots if they decide to cheer for the Leafs. A Leafs fan, however, might call me a gatekeeper for saying just this.
Cheering for the Toronto Maple Leafs is always dumb. "They'll win the Cup this year for sure!" is a regular refrain of any Leafs fan. But you could pick worse team for enthusiasm of its fans however, they are a crazy bunch. Most of them are in full awareness of how terrible their favourite team actually is.

Gatekeeping in your analogy would be more like asking what position they played in junior hockey, and then kind of dismissing or mocking our prospective fan for not having played hockey (maybe not even being able to skate) but wanted to get excited about participating in hockey as a fan. That's different then warning about the madness they might be in for as a Leafs fan.

And in the D&D realm, I personally am not a fan of the streamed games as anything other than pure entertainment, as I don't think they accurately portray what happens around a typical table most of the time. urther, I wonder if those brought in to gaming by the streams are being given unrealistic expectations by what they've seen there.

Is it gatekeeping to say that? I don't think so...but my concern is that some would - perhaps maliciously - say it is.
I would say no, you're making a valid criticism of a media format as a potential piece of advice to anybody that does want to play. I'd like to think most prospective players can see that CR and its ilk are basically Professional D&D in the way that NHL players in no way represent what you get if you go play adult house league (despite what some jerks that play think of themselves).

Gatekeeping is more akin to being a total douche about somebody saying they like D&D, but only watch CR or listen to a game podcast. Asking a question like "Hey, you don't play? Have you tried it?" is okay. At least from what I read from Morrus is saying.

However, going with some variant of: "That's not real D&D. Go play a game" is gatekeeping.

Ah, but there's a difference between my disagreeing with your statement (which in your eyes could be perfectly true, for all I know) and any attempt by me or anyone else to deny you the right to express it.

I could come right back and say you're not a real D&D fan because you've tainted yourself by playing (and writing!) other RPG systems. You'd object, of course, and fair enough; and we could call each other names until the cows come home. :)

My point is, on a more serious level, that denying the expression of these things serves no purpose other than to quash debate.

Yes, and it happens at the macro and micro level all the time, as a fully accepted procedure.

Ever denied someone permission to play in your game? That's gatekeeping.
You deny spammers permission to access the boards. That's gatekeeping (of the best sort!!!). Etc.

And keep in mind I'm generally a big-tent kind or person in life as well as gaming: people can do whatever they want, and the only time I'll generally object to anything is if-when I'm expected to join in. But there's still people I'll never allow back in any game I run.

Not all gatekeeping is bad. :)
There's a difference between gatekeeping my personal space, or Morrus' personal website, and acting like you're the best and final arbiter of what makes a "true" fan/participant in a hobby. I fully expect that I don't get to play in your game if I'm a jerk. That just means I can't play in your game, but it doesn't mean you decide if I'm a D&D fan at all.

There's the gatekeeping we're talking about, you are somehow taking it upon yourself to "protect" D&D from all those unwashed heathens out there that don't "get it".
 

gyor

Legend
Everybody needs to calm down, this is not the beginning of an edition war, as much fun as those can be (I kid), its just fans of various settings venting because after begging for an update literally before 5e for many of them, sometimes for decades, it feels Exandia is cutting in line (which is not actually true of course).

I feel really bad for Matt Mercier, but WotC deserves this for ignoring their fans for so long.

And most importantly it will blow over, they will vent, something else will come out, they will get distracted, then eventually WotC will start coming out with Setting books for their traditional settings, and while they will never be fans of Exandia, they will be focused on those books, not this one.

The edition wars would never have happened if 4e was just a brief detour for say a few books. In fact when 5e came out it basically died to out.

This is just venting, it has no staying power and honestly WotC could problemly cool things early by announcing the other Campaign Setting Books for this year and bonus points for announcing next years as well.
 

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