log in or register to remove this ad

 

D&D General Thaco the angry clown... really?

Status
Not open for further replies.

overgeeked

B/X Known World
That isn't what punching up or down means.
Punching down is attacking someone with less power than you. Who has more power in the RPG community: the writers of official D&D modules or old grogs ranting at clouds with basically zero platform? The grogs, obviously. So, if the writers of official D&D modules attack the old grogs...that's punching down.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Mort

Legend
Ahhh....noooo. It's not punching up. At all. It's punching down. The writers are in a privileged position that none of the gatekeeping grogs they're punching have. Those gatekeeping grogs don't have a platform akin to official D&D modules that go out to millions of people, much less one that surpasses it. That's the definition of punching down. I don't think it's punching at all, but if it is punching, it's definitely down. Some punching down is acceptable, like messing with a heckler at a stand-up comedy show. If this is punching at all, it's that kind of punching. The gatekeeping grogs taking it upon themselves to try to stop the game from changing or denying newer fans a place. If this is anything, this is the writers stepping in and telling the geezers to cool it and that the kids are all right.

The "gate keeping Grogs..." as you term them, are not in any kind of position of inferiority as to the writers, not really - so it's punching up or laterally at the most.

But rather than get into a definition fest. It's not harmful to the old guard, regardless - at the absolute most it could be seen as a (really) mild insult.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
The "gate keeping Grogs..." as you term them, are not in any kind of position of inferiority as to the writers, not really - so it's punching up or laterally at the most.

But rather than get into a definition fest. It's not harmful to the old guard, regardless - at the absolute most it could be seen as a (really) mild insult.
So you think the old grogs are in a similar position of power (within this micro community) as the writers on staff at Wizards of the Coast? Okay. That's certainly a take. Can't imagine how you got there, but whatevs.
 

ad_hoc

(he/they)
Punching down is attacking someone with less power than you. Who has more power in the RPG community: the writers of official D&D modules or old grogs ranting at clouds with basically zero platform? The grogs, obviously. So, if the writers of official D&D modules attack the old grogs...that's punching down.

Punching down is not someone with a platform attacking someone without a platform.

Old grogs are predominately wealthy older white men who defend the racist and misogynistic origins of the game in the name of tradition.

Before anyone starts, 'not all men' etc.

If you think this is an attack on you then you're telling on yourself.
 

J.Quondam

CR 1/8
Ahhh....noooo. It's not punching up. At all. It's punching down. The writers are in a privileged position that none of the gatekeeping grogs they're punching have. Those gatekeeping grogs don't have a platform akin to official D&D modules that go out to millions of people, much less one that surpasses it. That's the definition of punching down. I don't think it's punching at all, but if it is punching, it's definitely down. Some punching down is acceptable, like messing with a heckler at a stand-up comedy show. If this is punching at all, it's that kind of punching. The gatekeeping grogs taking it upon themselves to try to stop the game from changing or denying newer fans a place. If this is anything, this is the writers stepping in and telling the geezers to cool it and that the kids are all right.
Nah, if it's anything, it's punching up. Recall that for the most part, grognards are aging middle-class white guys who have -- and have always had-- the luxury of time (and usually also money) to waste on RPGs, as well as a secure environment and similar people to spend that hobby with. These grognards typically are not ground down by relentless poverty or abuse or discrimination. And while some of them may well have been picked on as kids, they now enjoy life in a society that has not only accepts overt "nerdiness" and pointless leisure, but even celebrates it.

This isn't blackface or chainmail bikinis or something. Most of the people "offended" by this are neither truly harmed, nor even truly offended. For most of these complainers, IMO, this a fake "internet controversy." And I mean that literally: if this Thaco the Clown had appeared in a book in an era without Twitter, exactly no grognard would have given it a second thought beyond a slight scowl or a quiet chuckle, depending. If they noticed it at all.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Punching down is not someone with a platform attacking someone without a platform.
Which is why I said power. Who has more power the old grogs or WotC?
Old grogs are predominately wealthy older white men who defend the racist and misogynistic origins of the game in the name of tradition.
A lot of them, yes. Unfortunately.
If you think this is an attack on you then you're telling on yourself.
Check my posts in the thread. I think it's hilarious. I'm just objecting to the idea that the staff writers at Wizards of the Coast, the 800lbs gorilla of the gaming community, are somehow in a position of less power than the old grogs.
 




overgeeked

B/X Known World
Nah, if it's anything, it's punching up.
Then people don't know what the phrase means. Punching down is attacking or making fun of someone with less power than you. You are in a "superior position" relative to the person you're attacking, hence punching down. Punching up is attacking or making fun of someone with more power than you. You are in an "inferior position" relative to the person you're attacking, hence punching up.

In no way do the old grogs have more power than the multi-billion dollar a year company putting out this module that lightly pokes fun at old gatekeeping grogs.
Recall that for the most part, grognards are aging middle-class white guys who have -- and have always had-- the luxury of time (and usually also money) to waste on RPGs, as well as a secure environment and similar people to spend that hobby with. These grognards typically are not ground down by relentless poverty or abuse or discrimination. And while some of them may well have been picked on as kids, they now enjoy life in a society that has not only accepts overt "nerdiness" and pointless leisure, but even celebrates it.
Exactly like the aging middle-class white guys who're writing the module. So what's the difference? The grogs aren't writing the module that goes out to millions for the 800lbs gorilla of the gaming community. So the power imbalance is decidedly in favor of the module writers.
This isn't blackface or chainmail bikinis or something. Most of the people "offended" by this are neither truly harmed, nor even truly offended. For most of these complainers, IMO, this a fake "internet controversy." And I mean that literally: if this Thaco the Clown had appeared in a book in an era without Twitter, exactly no grognard would have given it a second thought beyond a slight scowl or a quiet chuckle, depending. If they noticed it at all.
I completely agree. I'm glad WotC did it. It's funny as hell.
 

ad_hoc

(he/they)
Which is why I said power. Who has more power the old grogs or WotC?

A lot of them, yes. Unfortunately.

Check my posts in the thread. I think it's hilarious. I'm just objecting to the idea that the staff writers at Wizards of the Coast, the 800lbs gorilla of the gaming community, are somehow in a position of less power than the old grogs.

The comedian has more power in the comedy club than an audience member but they can still either punch up or down depending on who that audience member is and what they're making jokes about.

Who has the platform here doesn't matter. It's the person's power in society and what they're advocating for that is doing harm against those people.

Even if it was a joke disparaging Thac0 and those who use it, those people are not going to be beaten or killed when they walk out of their house for being grognards.

Do you see the difference?
 

Olrox17

Hero
This is honestly a silly response. A bully? Stop and take a deep breath. Not every statement made in the world is some sort of mortal wound delivered personally to you. The attitude that you are exhibiting here smacks of self-centredness. It's precious and thin-skinned.

You are better served by looking at both sides of an argument. Why is this person making this statement? Right or wrong, they have a personal stake in what they've said. You're not going to change their minds by being shocked and offended and over the top. They are making this statement for a reason. Stop being a child and think about what that reason might be. Look at their side of the argument (and yes, there always is one... even if it has fatal flaws). Once you can calmly see both sides, you can make a reasonable and cogent response.
First off, i prefaced by clarifying that nope, I'm not personally hurt by any of this. I'm no grognard, never played with them, don't think I ever will. So your entire first paragraph is pointless and based on either a lack on my ability to communicate, or on your reading comprehension.

"Stop being a child" is condescending ad-hominem you'd be better served avoiding. I have no stake in this, I am perfectly calm and collected, and I'm just pointing out a behavior that, while directed at a group of people I'm not part of, reeks of petty hostility to me.
 

J.Quondam

CR 1/8
Then people don't know what the phrase means. Punching down is attacking or making fun of someone with less power than you. Hence punching down. Punching up is attacking or making fun of someone with more power than you. Hence punching up.
I think I'm just taking issue with your definition of punching up/down. I don't think it's purely about power or platform; we have to also consider who the target is. And in this case, while it's true the target arguably lacks relative power, they don't endure any actual harm because of who they are and their historical role in the context. So this isn't not really punching down, IMO. I admit I may not understand the official meaning of the term, though.
Other than that difference in definition, I sounds like we basically agree!
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I think I'm just taking issue with your definition of punching up/down. I don't think it's purely about power or platform; we have to also consider who the target is...
That's literally part of the definition. It's about relative power. If I have more than you and attack you, that's punching down. If I have less than you and attack you, that's punching up. It's not about my power in isolation. It's about my power relative to yours. So yes, the target absolutely is taken into account.
And in this case, while it's true the target arguably lacks relative power, they don't endure any actual harm because of who they are and their historical role in the context. So this isn't not really punching down, IMO. I admit I may not understand the official meaning of the term, though.
It's not about harm caused. It's literally about the relative power and the attack, or joke.
Other than that difference in definition, I sounds like we basically agree!
Well, definitions are incredibly important otherwise we won't know if we agree or disagree.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
The comedian has more power in the comedy club than an audience member but they can still either punch up or down depending on who that audience member is and what they're making jokes about.
Which is why I specifically added the context of a heckler. If someone heckles, they're fair game, regardless.

Yes, a comedian can still punch up or down depending on the relative power that comedian has in relation to other people in society. That's literally the definition of punching up or down.
Who has the platform here doesn't matter.
It absolutely does. Platform is power. The comedian on stage at a comedy show has more power than your typical audience member from the mere fact that they're on stage with the lights out and spotlights on them with a mic in their hand. Their platform literally gives them more power. Likewise with WotC and the grogs. WotC's platform multiplies the power they already have from being a multi-billion dollar a year company. If you have a Twitter following of 5 million people and I have a Twitter following of 5 people, you're telling me that our power is identical? That your platform, your reach, is irrelevant? That's absurd on its face.
It's the person's power in society and what they're advocating for that is doing harm against those people.
There's literally zero harm caused by a comedian making a joke. Being offended isn't harm.
Even if it was a joke disparaging Thac0 and those who use it, those people are not going to be beaten or killed when they walk out of their house for being grognards.
There's zero harm caused in WotC poking fun at gatekeeping grogs. Literally zero.
 


billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
The comedian has more power in the comedy club than an audience member but they can still either punch up or down depending on who that audience member is and what they're making jokes about.

Who has the platform here doesn't matter. It's the person's power in society and what they're advocating for that is doing harm against those people.

That's literally part of the definition. It's about relative power. If I have more than you and attack you, that's punching down. If I have less than you and attack you, that's punching up. It's not about my power in isolation. It's about my power relative to yours. So yes, the target absolutely is taken into account.

It's not about harm caused. It's literally about the relative power and the attack, or joke.
Ultimately, which is correct depends on the focal length of your perspective. It's very much like the term racism - there are people who hold it's only appropriate for describing institutional differences in power or what ad_hoc is describing as a person's power in society. That's the wide angle lens or macro- view of the terms punching up/down as used here.
Then there's the micro- view of the term that looks at things in more focused perspective and fits the definition overgeeked describes.
And a good political scientist will probably tell you that each use of the term, both the macro- and micro- focus, has its utility in describing the dynamics of a situation depending on how you choose to approach that situation.

Both definitions may be applicable here in certain ways. The gatekeepers haven't had a lot of ability to define how D&D is shaped in recent editions and that indicates a lack of power and influence relative to the people in charge at the corporation or even the social forces pushing for more inclusivity. And yet they have enough power to help fuel the OSR movement and intimidate some people out of the hobby.
 



J.Quondam

CR 1/8
That's literally part of the definition. It's about relative power. If I have more than you and attack you, that's punching down. If I have less than you and attack you, that's punching up. It's not about my power in isolation. It's about my power relative to yours. So yes, the target absolutely is taken into account.

It's not about harm caused. It's literally about the relative power and the attack, or joke.

Well, definitions are incredibly important otherwise we won't know if we agree or disagree.
Yeahbut...You're claiming sole ownership of a definition on a slang term that doesn't have an "official" definition in common parlance, though it appears it might have in academic fields. I mean, I just googled "punching up" and see something like half a dozen related but somewhat different meanings-- and they don't all mirror your specific one.

We've all explained what we're talking about, so understanding has been accomplished, even if the words themselves are squishy. That's a good thing! It's not necessary to be combative on this.
 

Status
Not open for further replies.

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top