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Players 'distressed' by gang-rape role-playing game

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Riley37

Villager
Doh. I saying it is worst now.
You're saying that a dozen posts which get Kevin Rolfe's name wrong, are worse than the Hollywood blacklists resulting from McCarthy's Red Scare?

That's a bold, unconventional position. We might even call it... edgy.
 

macd21

Villager
Interview with one of the players here.

Player's description of what happened:

Well, the incident happened about 3/4 of the way through the game. Not at the beginning. We had had a good 2 hours of being silly and fun and getting to know our characters and the others at the table. We were joking and laughing then the GM told us we blacked out, had awoken in the a dark van naked and handcuffed to each other. He told us our arses were sore because we had been raped for many many hours. Then he introduced our rapists, who weren’t even part of the story (not that that would have made it better or anything). They then told us they wanted to see us run, that they would give us 10 mins before catching up to us and raping us again and again. If not they would shoot us in the head. So would we prefer being murdered or raped?

After that he told us he enjoyed seeing the shocked looks on all our faces. That was why he did it.

The game was set as 18+ the premise was that we were meant to be “Essex Boys” in the 90s out on a holiday in Ibiza and things were going to “get messy”. Now, I grew up in the 90s in Essex and went to school with the boys the game synopsis was referring to. When we would say “things are going to get messy” we meant someone would drink too much and wander off into trouble. That’s what we took it to mean when we signed up. The game is about robots and science mysteries. We thought maybe some Austin Powers Fem-bot types would try to seduce us etc… There were absolutely no warns that he was about to turn the tables on us and do what he did.
 

jasper

Explorer
No, we have 12 uses of the wrong name. There is nothing so far that sts they named other GMs. It could have been typos, incomplete names or anything.

This conclusion seemed driven by agenda not derived from what was said.
hhahahhha Swung and a miss. Strike three. Boy I say Boy You are way out in the tall grass with that conclusion.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
hhahahhha Swung and a miss. Strike three. Boy I say Boy You are way out in the tall grass with that conclusion.

We're going to need you to show more respect for the other posters in the thread, even if you disagree with them.

If you find you can't do that, please stop posting in the thread.

And in case anyone might forget - this goes for everyone. Treat each other well, or please walk away until you can.
 

Hussar

Legend
Hrm, so, exactly how much evidence is needed here? We have one of the players directly contradicting the GM's story. The Con says that it investigated and found evidence of wrong doing as well as evidence that a game company might have had a hand in what was going on in order to drive publicity for their game.

So, at what point is is acceptable for cons to say, "Hey, we don't want this guy running games at our cons?" At what point is this not just "internet rage" and actually becomes something actionable?

It's funny in a not ha ha way that every time these sorts of things come up, whether it's sexual harassment or whatnot, there's been a pretty strong body of evidence of wrong doing (up to including admissions of wrong doing) but there always seems to be a branch of the fandom who will forgive anything, sweep anything under the carpet, all in the name of "protecting the innocent". It's baffling to me how many hoops folks are willing to jump through before they'll admit that from time to time at least, people do bad things and it's acceptable for the broader society to censure that member.
 

Elfcrusher

Explorer
What if the DM was being mind-controlled by an insidious yet unnamed regime for the purposes of sowing dissent for political reasons?

Or what if the the DM wasn’t who we think it was, but his hitherto unknown evil twin, trying to discredit his brother as part of a scheme to inherit all of their mysterious father’s wealth?

I mean, really, ALL possibilities should be fully investigated before accepting the victims’ testimony.
 

mythago

Villager
Simple - it denies the potential for rehabilitation.
It's not true rehabilitation when it comes with a sense of entitlement.

Sometimes the price of crummy behavior is that there are consequences for bad behavior - like having to earn back trust over time. Or even people choosing to decide they don't want to risk being on the receiving end of that crummy behavior again.

As long as we're talking about things that piss us off, I'm very, very tired of the Geek Social Fallacy terror of exclusion and the child-bully's "geez, I said I was sorry, okay?!" being substituted for people owning their screw-ups and genuinely trying to earn back trust somewhere other than on the backs of the people they hurt.

There are people I've been a jerk to over the course of my life who've forgiven me, and that's great. There are other people who have decided that there are about seven billion other people in the world and they don't need to spend time with me, necessarily. And that's their right. Being not-a-jerk is something I'm supposed to do on my own, not because other people owe me forgiveness or because some people get into outrage-mob posting on Tumblr.
 

Riley37

Villager
I'm very, very tired of the Geek Social Fallacy terror of exclusion and the child-bully's "geez, I said I was sorry, okay?!" being substituted for people owning their screw-ups and genuinely trying to earn back trust somewhere other than on the backs of the people they hurt.
Thank you for mentioning the Geek Social Fallacy terror of exclusion. You beat me to it! For those who'd like a full explanation of the concept, try this link: http://www.plausiblydeniable.com/opinion/gsf.html

There are some posts which examine the interaction of the GSF, with the "missing stair" concept - that is, the analogy between "oh, there's a missing stair on the back staircase, you just need to step over it" versus "oh, Bob doesn't respect personal boundaries, so you just need to work around that when you're talking with Bob". The literal missing stair, and Bob, are both especially hazardous to people who didn't get the memo. Newcomers show up, they go to the back staircase for a smoke break (or just a fresh air break), and that's where Bob tends to buttonhole newcomers... it's odd, how often Bob's conversations with young female newcomers, happen on those stairs, without anyone else around to corroborate either side of the resulting "he said, she said" dispute.

A passage from one of those pieces:
"On top of this, our good friend recently pointed out a Missing Stair in this friendgroup. Missing Stair has made a few people uncomfortable, and, who knows, may be driving away others. But we just know a couple of anecdotes, and while Partner admits Missing Stair is a jerk, he doesn’t know where he should draw the line. Because inclusivity. And Missing Stair hasn’t done anything egregious and maybe a few people just don’t like him. Partner isn’t comfortable disinviting _anyone_, much less this specific Missing Stair, because he knows how it feels to be uninvited and it’s evil and horrible."

IMO booting Bob from parties, and booting Kevin Rolfe from running games at UK Expo, are unpleasant, but they are a far lesser evil, a necessary evil, compared to the alternative: keeping Bob on your party invitation list, and keeping Kevin Rolfe on your GM list, *knowing the consequences to others, and especially the consequences for newcomers*. Particularly for newcomers with a reasonable concern about how welcome they are, and how easily they could lose their welcome by "rocking the boat". (If you think I'm referring to venues with an good long-term track record of welcoming straight white men, and a mixed record at welcoming anyone else - then yes, you're right, I am; but that's a point which goes beyond the assertions of GSF article and beyond the assertions of the original Missing Stair article by Cliff Pervocracy.)

there always seems to be a branch of the fandom who will forgive anything, sweep anything under the carpet, all in the name of "protecting the innocent". It's baffling to me how many hoops folks are willing to jump through before they'll admit that from time to time at least, people do bad things and it's acceptable for the broader society to censure that member.
IMO these are closely related points. I speculate - without concrete evidence - that those who jump most eagerly to Rolfe's defense, are circling the wagons, to protect someone they see as "one of their own", to prevent the precedent of *anyone* in TRPG (or comic fandom, or computer gaming) ever holding *anyone* accountable for any unpleasant behavior which falls short of actual criminal offense.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
I am friends with a known missing stair...and I have to say, I haven’t seen him in more than a year, at least in part because I’ve finally gotten fed up with his behaviors. I’bpve been around a lot of jerks, some of whom are quite charming and worth the effort to associate with. Especially when you get past their Wall of Jerk.

My friend? Not as much as I once believed. The first time I noticed it fully was when his own younger brother kicked him off of our bowling team. It snowballed from there over the years.

I know he can be a good human. I’ve seen his empathic side up close. But it comes in very small doses.
 

Michele

Villager
This is the worst take.

Start with the basics; as soon as you start comparing "Not being allowed to DM at a convention" with slavery and human sacrifice (?!) something has gone terribly wrong.
If the point of social ostracism is that it's good because it's old, then verifying whether this claim is true by comparing it to other old stuff is nothing shocking.
You'd need to make a better point for ostracism to be good, other than it being old.

Mary tells me that the reason she is divorcing Stan is because Stan gave her an STD that he got on a business trip to Thailand. So I shun Stan, because, dude. Does Stan get due process? Nope.
Several problems here.
The first is, as mentioned by me upthread, that it is one thing doing this with people you know, as, in your example, Mary and Stan. Since you know them, you'll be able to assess every factor, including the reliability of Mary and the likelihood of Stan doing that thing. But here we're not talking about people you directly know. We're not talking about villagers in a small village, where everyone knows everybody and secrets are difficult to keep. We're talking about you taking decisions on the "word" of someone you don't know, about someone you don't know.

Secondly, imagine indeed that it is Stan who is your friend since childhood, and Mary his wife you don't know all that well. Wouldn't you talk with Stan before terminating your friendship? I would.

Also, I find it surprising that at this time in the history of the Internet, in which everyone is well aware of the dangers of fake news, there is no thought spent, with regard to this practice, as to the possibility that these phenomena get manipulated. Nor is this a "new" development. I'm sure you'll dispense me from providing the historical examples.

And finally, you're winning easily by choosing actions and behaviors we can all easily agree are deplorable. The thing with social ostracism is that it's driven by the majority - or, even, by the loudest minority, deciding what is right and what is wrong. And neither are always right.
 

FaerieGodfather

Registered User
I understand that some of these concepts are difficult for people to grasp...

... but unless we're talking about criminal penalties, there's no reason to talk about "due process". The very concept of due process is based on the tremendous amount of harm the State can inflict compared to an annual gaming convention.

And unless the poor, suffering... alleged sex pest... has been hanged by the neck until dead, dead, dead comparing his plight to that of European witches and freed Blacks in the American South is really distasteful.

I mean... let's all of us take a mental accounting of the various social activities we engage in, and the organizations that organize them.

Let's take for granted that his side of the story was 100% legit. According to his version of events... is there any organization you work with that wouldn't cut you loose if you made the same mistake? If you told that story to your clients while trying to close a contract? If you shared it with your pastor and his family at a church picnic?

There were no children present at the table, but there were children at the con. Would anyone worried about due process for this DM actually want him to be running games at a convention you brought your children to? Would you want him running a game for them?

I think there should be a process to allow him back into the Expo, and the other cons he's banned from-- as I mentioned earlier-- but for now, the absolute best and necessary action is an immediate and indefinite ban. It frankly baffles me that there is any single person (except perhaps himself) that is seriously arguing otherwise.
 

Bedrockgames

Villager
Also, I find it surprising that at this time in the history of the Internet, in which everyone is well aware of the dangers of fake news, there is no thought spent, with regard to this practice, as to the possibility that these phenomena get manipulated. Nor is this a "new" development. I'm sure you'll dispense me from providing the historical examples.

And finally, you're winning easily by choosing actions and behaviors we can all easily agree are deplorable. The thing with social ostracism is that it's driven by the majority - or, even, by the loudest minority, deciding what is right and what is wrong. And neither are always right.
My thoughts on this are the game sounds like a very odd thing to run at a con. That said the two news reports I saw on it, looked very poorly handled (like they were primarily relying on a handful of tweets and not investigating the matter and interviewing everyone they could who was involved). I think Cons can do what they want, and if they think he is a problem GM, they can remove him. Not having been there, not really going to cons myself, and not knowing anyone involved, I don't really see how I can get much of a window into what happened beyond some gut reactions. It looks like he could have been a jerk or it could have been a misunderstanding.

I do think there is a danger in public shaming, and in allowing our opinions of events to be driven by large numbers of people quickly and urgently forming opinions online. I don't think I have developed a very strong opinion on this event myself yet, and I probably won't unless it becomes immediately relevant to me. But I do think people would be wise in these moments to take some time, and not feel like they have to form a judgment right away. Especially those of us who are not immediately involved and have no real actual say in the matter.

I have seen mention of the geek social fallacies. This is really besides the topic, but I have never felt particularly comfortable with how that gets handled by people in the gaming community. There is truth to the idea that you shouldn't let people just do whatever they want and not say anything. At the same time, a lot of times it seems like it gets used as a justification for cruelty. And I think geeks in general have a hard time striking a balance between over and undereaction.

Generally I am pretty uneasy about a lot of the reactions and movements I've seen in gaming lately. It has really lessened my interest in the community and caused me to step further away from it. I think we would all benefit from getting less caught up in the latest controversy and being a little slower to react, spend more time thinking through what we are seeing before reaching a judgement.

I do get this isn't a criminal trial or anything. But these kinds of storms also do have very real impacts on peoples lives, and at the end of the day everyone involved is real human being. This person may have done something wrong. They may also have been misunderstood or very badly read the temperature of the room (and it is also possible people playing overeacted or misjudged). I think the people best positioned to deal with it are those present at the con. The further away you get from that, especially as the event becomes a proxy for other issues in the gaming community, I think the harder it becomes to assess.
 

Catulle

Villager
Let's take for granted that his side of the story was 100% legit. According to his version of events... is there any organization you work with that wouldn't cut you loose if you made the same mistake? If you told that story to your clients while trying to close a contract? If you shared it with your pastor and his family at a church picnic?
By this point, I'm pretty comfortable taking away the impression that the GM has tripped over his own concatenation of lies (what he did, what was said, that a recording existed that totally exonerated him you guys) to the point that muddying the water is the very best he can hope to do now, and this confirms UKGE (and the wider con circuit) being best shot of him.
 
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I

Immortal Sun

Guest
If the point of social ostracism is that it's good because it's old, then verifying whether this claim is true by comparing it to other old stuff is nothing shocking.
You'd need to make a better point for ostracism to be good, other than it being old.
You've been running with this made up mockery of what I wrote since you first responded to me and it precisely why I didn't continue to engage with you back there. Because the problem I'm having with you is that you're assuming you know what I wrote without actually reading the words I typed into my post.

My argument was that social shaming was not a new development. Not that it was inherently good or inherently bad. Only that a lot of folks cry wolf that the internet and social media have developed some kind of new social WMD and they really haven't. The system may be more wide-spread than before and faster, but it's still the same system. We haven't created some kind of new monster or let some proverbial genie out of the bottle.

I'm not going to dig back through the thread and quote myself to prove it, that's on you, especially since you didn't bother to read it in the first place I suspect you'd not read it a second time anyway.
 

ajevans

Villager
Read the freaky blog. from the blog.
******
What we don’t need is people spreading wild rumour and supposition, consider that I’ve had more than twenty people contact me, both at the show and afterwards, saying that they’d splashed the name of the GM out there, so as to make sure that they could never do it again…
*****
Twelve of those people had the wrong name…
So 12 out of the 20+ people HAD the WRONG NAME. So we have up to 12 GMS who have been slandered. Again What happens when a Con uses BAD SOURCE information to Ban a GM. And announces the ban.
I think what happened with that was the following:

1. Twitter describes incident in a Tales from the Flood game, not naming GM.
2. UK Expo bans GM, but doesn't name him, and then in the background deletes all his games off the system.
3. People go on the UKGE website, search the Tales from the Flood - it brings up the other GM running and they think it must be him as that's the only game that's listed for Tales from the Flood.
 

lowkey13

Exterminate all rational thought
If the point of social ostracism is that it's good because it's old, then verifying whether this claim is true by comparing it to other old stuff is nothing shocking.
You'd need to make a better point for ostracism to be good, other than it being old.
This was not the point I (or anyone) made; just because you keep repeating the same thing doesn't make it more right. No one is arguing it's good because it's old. In other words, you don't get to re-define other people's arguments. My entire point, that you chose to elide and not quote, was that you were engaging in the due process canard; people are not governments.

I understand that, for you, the entire purpose is to shock, akin to the GM at issue; that's why you're saying that introducing slavery (?!?) and human sacrifice (??!!??!!) into this conversation as the apt comparators to inappropriate social behavior and/or the responses to inappropriate social behavior is fine.

But it's not. It's the type of behavior that, in D&D, is exercised by monsters whose regeneration is best dealt with by torches.


Several problems here.
You mean, other than the fact that you chose the THIRD out of FOUR examples I used in order to make your incorrect point? But to reiterate the actual point that you did not engage with-

People naturally use heuristics all the time. People are not the government. We can freely associate. If I get a bad feeling about someone, I can choose not to be friends with that person- and it can be for a good reason, a bad reason, or no reason.

There is no right to have people like you; for example, if someone goes on the internet and regularly talks about human sacrifice, I may have a dim view of that person. That individual may otherwise be a fine, upstanding individual in meat space, but they don't have some magic right (or due process right) to make me think they are not a creep.



And finally, you're winning easily by choosing actions and behaviors we can all easily agree are deplorable.

Weird. I didn't realize that there was a "winning." Maybe if you focused less on winning (and/or tiger blood) and more on hearing what other people are saying, you might understand their points.
 
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Gradine

Archivist
So, you know that old saw about how when people see the phrase "political correctness" and immediately replace it in their minds with "treating others with respect"?

I've started doing this similar thing where I replace phrases like "mob mentality" and "internet outrage" with "social accountability" and it really brings the overblown hysterics into full view (which is fairly ironic, now that I think about)
 

5ekyu

Explorer
If the point of social ostracism is that it's good because it's old, then verifying whether this claim is true by comparing it to other old stuff is nothing shocking.
You'd need to make a better point for ostracism to be good, other than it being old.



Several problems here.
The first is, as mentioned by me upthread, that it is one thing doing this with people you know, as, in your example, Mary and Stan. Since you know them, you'll be able to assess every factor, including the reliability of Mary and the likelihood of Stan doing that thing. But here we're not talking about people you directly know. We're not talking about villagers in a small village, where everyone knows everybody and secrets are difficult to keep. We're talking about you taking decisions on the "word" of someone you don't know, about someone you don't know.

Secondly, imagine indeed that it is Stan who is your friend since childhood, and Mary his wife you don't know all that well. Wouldn't you talk with Stan before terminating your friendship? I would.

Also, I find it surprising that at this time in the history of the Internet, in which everyone is well aware of the dangers of fake news, there is no thought spent, with regard to this practice, as to the possibility that these phenomena get manipulated. Nor is this a "new" development. I'm sure you'll dispense me from providing the historical examples.

And finally, you're winning easily by choosing actions and behaviors we can all easily agree are deplorable. The thing with social ostracism is that it's driven by the majority - or, even, by the loudest minority, deciding what is right and what is wrong. And neither are always right.
Honestly, I dont see this world you see where "there is no thought spent, with regard to this practice, as to the possibility that these phenomena get manipulated. "

Seems to me in the case in question there was a lot more than just fake news then mob rage pillary going on.

If one wants to take the pulpit about the dangers of fake news, mob rule, knee jerk justice etc etc etc it seems odd to do so for a case where there was an investigation and then actions taken.

Tagging this agenda to cases where it seems to really not apply seems to serve yo diminish the actual case being discussed *and* the cases when the fake-rage is an issue.
 

HJFudge

Villager
Theres a lot of talk about how we should be careful about jumping to conclusions based on second hand accounts.

I think there IS a danger in leaning too hard into the 'Internet Outrage Machine' and simply automatically believing anything negative said about someone else. I think that lives CAN be ruined due to false accusations that get picked up by social media and spread like wildfire.

However, this is not one of those cases. This is not one of those cases where the facts aren't in full view for all to see. I saw the initial news article. I read the report from the man investigating what happened. I even watched/read the accused GM's defense. This isn't a case of me jumping on a band wagon. I weighed the reports available and I made a decision on whom I consider to be telling the truth in this situation.

Also, as has been mentioned before, this isnt a case where someone needs a full trial. The burden of proof and other legal rights simply do not apply. I am free, as is everyone, to make their own judgments on the situation. I think the Con did EXACTLY the right thing. He was removed and banned. It heartens me that they took the issue seriously and addressed the problem swiftly.

Why are we arguing hypotheticals here? Yes. I agree with you: People SHOULD take a moment to get the facts before they rush to judgment. Thats the thing though: WE DID. What more do you want here? This is an example of Social Shaming doing its job: Making people aware of a bad actor and removing them from the ability to harm others in public venues.
 
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