D&D General "Red Orc" American Indians and "Yellow Orc" Mongolians in D&D

Filthy Lucre

Adventurer
However, your feelings or how you liked the edition isn't the point; the fact that this was most definitely used to gate keep is.
Saying that a tool to an end is intrinsically tied to that end is a pretty silly way to go about things.

"This thing was used for this bad end, therefor this thing can only ever and has always been used for that bad end".

I was on the WotC boards during the great 4e flamewar, and I remember the backlash to the ToB and how there was much accusing of videogameisms. That, however, does not mean that drawing comparisons, paralells, and other inferences from video games to D&D is just inherently illicit.
 

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Something I have wondered about after finishing the Elusive Shift is whether the explosion of popularity of D&D after Egbert had the strange effect of decreasing the number of female gamers (relative to the total).

The 70s culture, especially the sci-fi and west coast coast culture that wasn’t brought in from wargaming, was quite different than the influx of younger gamers in the 80s and from the war gamer culture.

IIRC, there was an anecdote about a misogynistic piece published in a zine in the late 70s that was met with swift censure - and yet I doubt it would have done so if published just a few years later.
I don't, honestly, recall a 'growth' in misogyny in D&D. Its hard to really say though, as being a teen in the 70's was unlike today, we didn't have a ton of access to some wider society. I subscribed to The Dragon, and I don't remember anything that I then thought was hostile to women (more than just D&D's general trappings, which were somewhat sexist, sometimes more than somewhat). There was an awareness that 'gamer culture' of the day was rather male. What I remember, filtered through a vast amount of added experience, is that women would just find themselves as a curiosity in a lot of places. You would be surrounded by pictures of almost-naked fantasy women, and lots of 'horny nerds'. That probably didn't appeal to a ton of women. I recall women participating in games much more in private.

Also things varied heavily. In the mid 80's there was a VERY misogynistic group in a neighboring town. Some of the people I played with associated with some of them, and a couple of their less rabid members crossed over and played with some of us. So, there was, and probably still is, all sorts of different stuff going on there. But I personally would say that the exclusiveness generally decreased steadily over time. At first D&D just appeared in a very male subculture, and then eventually women got more and more into it. Some groups stayed in the 'old days' and were all 'boys', and others didn't, or like mine started out with women in it from day one.
 

Saying that a tool to an end is intrinsically tied to that end is a pretty silly way to go about things.

"This thing was used for this bad end, therefor this thing can only ever and has always been used for that bad end".

I was on the WotC boards during the great 4e flamewar, and I remember the backlash to the ToB and how there was much accusing of videogameisms. That, however, does not mean that drawing comparisons, paralells, and other inferences from video games to D&D is just inherently illicit.

Or board games for that matter, which were getting very inventive at the time and well thought of by many. I think the thing is these are very subjective responses to things. One person might see video game design as benefiting and RPG, another person might not want more video game design in their RPG (another might think people are seeing video game design where it doesn't exist). Those are all honest reactions to the same thing. We can't all like the same editions, movies, books etc. And we all have our reasons we think explain our like or dislike of something.

Where I would agree with people is this type of comparison can become a hindrance, when it then becomes a rule (i.e. 4E is too much like WOW, so any trace of anything resembling WOW in an RPG is automatically bad whenever I see it-------because at that point you are circumventing your own honest reaction to an edition and just using a checklist to decide if you like it: which I don't think is a fair assessment fo a game).
 

Aldarc

Legend
That isn't how I saw it.
Otherwise it would be pretty self-incriminating.

I saw it as there was a genuine divide over an edition, and plenty a lot of folks who didn't like the edition, felt it was too much like a video game for their taste. How is that gate keeping?
This is the bailey argument to the motte that the gatekeepers used to defend their gate-keeping. Do you really want to enable the gatekeepers?

I don't think 4E isn't an RPG. So I never said that. But even then, people can have honest disagreements over what makes something an RPG.
"Honest" is doing a lot of heavy lifting here.

Saying that a tool to an end is intrinsically tied to that end is a pretty silly way to go about things.

"This thing was used for this bad end, therefor this thing can only ever and has always been used for that bad end".

I was on the WotC boards during the great 4e flamewar, and I remember the backlash to the ToB and how there was much accusing of videogameisms. That, however, does not mean that drawing comparisons, paralells, and other inferences from video games to D&D is just inherently illicit.
Just because it isn't inherently illicit doesn't mean that it wasn't an illicit comparison then or still now, especially when it was used as a talking point against the edition.
 

This is the bailey argument to the motte that the gatekeepers used to defend their gate-keeping. Do you really want to enable the gatekeepers?

I am sorry but accusing me of defending gatekeepers or gatekeeping myself because I think it is okay to explain whether we like an edition and or why, I am not buying that. I think people should be free to give their opinion on a game (or a movie, or a book). And I don't think we all have to agree on whether something is great, bad, and why it is so.
 

Otherwise it would be pretty self-incriminating.

There is nothing wrong with saying you don't like an edition of a game and comparing it to another medium. Suggesting that I am somehow guilty of something, and dodging it with words, that is a conversation ender in my opinion.
 

Aldarc

Legend
I am sorry but accusing me of defending gatekeepers or gatekeeping myself because I think it is okay to explain whether we like an edition and or why, I am not buying that. I think people should be free to give their opinion on a game (or a movie, or a book). And I don't think we all have to agree on whether something is great, bad, and why it is so.
You don't have to buy it. You just have to recognize the motte and bailey that's in play here.

There is nothing wrong with saying you don't like an edition of a game and comparing it to another medium. Suggesting that I am somehow guilty of something, and dodging it with words, that is a conversation ender in my opinion.
Not in itself. No. In the context of the Edition Wars? That comparison doesn't exist in a vacuum. There is a lot of heated rhetoric and gatekeeping involved in that context. Context is key. Recognizing that is key. Playing coy with that fact is not.

I'm perfectly okay if you decide to end the conversation you never should have opened.
 

By the same token heeding every instance of a person taking offense, without weighing whether it is warranted, let’s those people run rampant too. It is a dialogue, we shouldn’t just let people automatically take control of a conversation because they invoke being offended. Especially when the thing in question is describing what a game feels like. It is about gauging whether our reactions to things are reasonable and in proportion to the statement. A person critiquing a medium, or a game by comparing it to a medium, isn’t an attack or insult against you personally.
I'm not part of any group which has really suffered constant prejudice (unless you count gamers, lol), however you do want to be pretty careful here IME. People of minorities which are subject to such prejudice aren't just confronted with it once in a while, it typically exists in the very fabric of their lives in every moment. Thus any process of eradicating it, or at least objecting to it, cannot simply be a matter of picking and choosing and "deciding not to get offended by this one." You're on a battlefield, and you deal with each bullet that comes your way, out of necessity. Again, not being subject to it myself I probably don't really understand completely. I've seen it, been married to a PoC and witnessed it all first hand, but I think you'd have to live it to really get why there is no choice, you don't accept it, ever. anywhere. That is the only path that will ever work. It is the only dignified way to live.
 


Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Supporter
One potential issue I would raise is that most of D&D history seems to be presented and published by only one person (i.e., Jon Peterson) with many of the books you make recent reference to (e.g., Playing at the World, Game Wizards, Elusive Shift, etc.) being from that one person. While Jon Peterson does use primary sources, relying too much on Jon Peterson's account also runs a risk of a one true history or singular historiographical narrative, much as was the case with Edward Gibbon's The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire.

Maybe.

But I’d rather trust someone who can cite his primary sources and has done his homework than @AbdulAlhazred who keeps telling me (and others) to shut our pie holes because he is the only person who knew what it was really like, even when it contradicts (a) our lived experiences and (b) what other people who have done the work have written.

In addition, I also tend to think history is more complex than “Everyone plays just like I did!” And I trust the more complicated historical narratives than the self-serving and simplistic ones.

But that’s me. You can draw your own conclusions. The great thing about books with cited source is that unlike personal histories - you can fact check it yourself.
 

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