D&D 5E Toxicity in the Fandom

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I want to make sure I'm understanding you here: you are saying that there was not bullying, gatekeeping, and exclusion in the TTRPG space, and that we are mistakenly and unfairly applying those labels to past times? You do understand that some of us were in fact around in "the past" you're talking about, and not only directly experienced bullying and gatekeeping, but saw it for what it was back then?

I think that you are just trying to continue using me for your argument, and you aren't bothering understanding what I am saying.

FWIW, if you are starting a diatribe by saying, "I want to make sure I'm understanding you," then you might want to meditate on the value of performative contradictions, and why they tend to be as effective in promoting conversation and understanding as a holy avenger for a first-level MU.
 

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Faolyn

(she/her)
Most people might want that... but what does them living their lives in peace cost someone else who cannot do so? It's all well and good to be able to live your life in peace, disengaged from these issues. It's great to be privileged enough to do so. Trouble is - the people who want to live in peace and disengaged are often easy to stir up against people who need to have those privileges extended by the people seeking to protect the exclusivity of those privileges. Hence, the dogwhistling, the "othering", and the other divisiveness that certain politicians will deliberately sow in order to gain power.
Well said.

To @Raunalyn, I don't know if you've been paying attention to the NuTSR/Star Frontiers: New Genesis "drama," but it's pretty clear that Ernie Gygax just wants to live in peace so he can peacefully game. Unfortunately, he's doing this by refusing to denounce people like LaNasa and Dave Johnson, who are both outright bigoted--and in Johnson's case, a literal neo-nazi.
 

Well said.

To @Raunalyn, I don't know if you've been paying attention to the NuTSR/Star Frontiers: New Genesis "drama," but it's pretty clear that Ernie Gygax just wants to live in peace so he can peacefully game. Unfortunately, he's doing this by refusing to denounce people like LaNasa and Dave Johnson, who are both outright bigoted--and in Johnson's case, a literal neo-nazi.
No, I haven't been paying attention to it. One of those things that I haven't had the time to investigate.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
No, I haven't been paying attention to it. One of those things that I haven't had the time to investigate.
Well, there's an entire thread devoted to it. But anyway, LaNasa seems dedicated to making fun or harassing "woke" people while being bigoted, while Ernie is trying to just ignore everything while still siding with LaNasa.
 

Actually... I've been thinking if I should mention this concept in this thread, and your post gives me the opening, I hope you don't mind.

First, we have to distinguish bigotry and racism. Most people when they think racism/racist they think of bigotry - the willful hatred of others based on perceived differences. And if you had written "Most people aren't bigots" I 100% would have agreed with you. But racism is not just that. It's not a binary state - either hateful or completely pure. There are all sorts of shades of it, levels, permutations.

We live in a society built on racist foundations - just look at our history, it's undeniable. And these racists ideas, tropes, notions, (and canards as @Ruin Explorer said) are all around us. In our media, in the news, in our laws, in corporate practices, etc, passed on down each generation.

It would be astonishing if I grew up and lived in this environment and somehow managed not to be racist! What am I, some sort of saint?!?

I'll give you a small example. Until about 5 years ago, I sometimes use the verb (spoiler for slur)
"gypped"
, meaning cheated, tricked or swindled. That is, until I learned the origin - this verb was based on prejudice against the Roma! So I stopped, and I've been telling friends when they use it (and they are just as "oh crap!" as I was).

So most of of us are not bigots, absolutely. But most of us - and I definitely include myself in this - have these ideas, these cultural ticks, habits, beliefs, that we have picked up from the past/present. And we have to be on guard, reflect, grow, so that we can be less racist. It's a multi generation project.

Whenever someone says "I'm not racist!!!"... I sometimes wonder how deeply they've thought about it.
Yeah this is an interesting point.

I've (like all human beings) have been accused of being "a racist" before, but it's like, it doesn't even slightly upset me. So when people are acting like it's the worst thing you can say about someone, I kind of wonder about those people - mostly for the reasons you've described. People say "I haven't got a racist bone in my body!!!", and it's like, everyone does, it's just some people are in denial about it. I've definitely said racist things - you example is a good one that I used to use as a teenager. I mean, sheesh, as a teenager thanks to the baleful influence of the internet, I used to use the American homophobic f-word.

What's really telling is how you react when someone asks you to change or to think about it. Like, when I really got that the f-word was homophobic, not just "funny", I stopped using it. It didn't instantly vanish from my vocabulary, but it slowly went away. But I know other people who just got mad when they were told they shouldn't use it, and doubled down, like rebellious twelve-year-olds.

Equally the word you mention, once I realized from an article where it was from, I consciously stopped using it. I didn't double-down. I didn't get mad. I didn't think that society was being unfair to me. It's not a big ask.

I think one random thing that helped me as well as in the mid 2000s Harvard did a sort of assay of racism over the internet, getting people to react to words and faces, and it found that I was negatively biased against South Asian men (but not women, curiously), and honestly, it was right. I'd had bad experiences and whilst I'd never said anything racist nor held conscious racist views, I often had a negative feeling. And I had (and have) South Asian friends (lol the old defence/canard), none of whom had suggested I was racist, but I know that I was more likely to be judge someone negatively or make negative assumptions if they were a South Asian male unfamiliar to me. And knowing that, I could work on it, compensate for it. Whereas if I'd rejected that out of hand as a horrible and unfair allegation, I could not have worked on it.

Having accepted that I had been guilty of racism (like everyone!), it's meant that I just don't get hurt by random accusations of such. So it's weird to me that some people can't face that sometimes they might be engaging in racism, that's it's horribly unfair to even say it, like the worst thing you could say. It's not.
 

Medic

Neutral Evil
Having accepted that I had been guilty of racism (like everyone!), it's meant that I just don't get hurt by random accusations of such. So it's weird to me that some people can't face that sometimes they might be engaging in racism, that's it's horribly unfair to even say it, like the worst thing you could say. It's not.
Like everything, there is a cultural element to this. In multi-ethnic regions, especially those that have existed as colonies or served under suzerains at some point in their histories, people will often balk at the idea that they could be just as chauvinistic as their former overlord, perhaps even more so.

If you tried to sell this idea of everyone being guilty of racism and working to amend it here, not only would people vehemently deny that they are racist, but they would go on to explain that their xenophobic policies are just reasonable measures based on the truth.
 

mythago

Adventurer
I think that you are just trying to continue using me for your argument, and you aren't bothering understanding what I am saying.

FWIW, if you are starting a diatribe by saying, "I want to make sure I'm understanding you," then you might want to meditate on the value of performative contradictions, and why they tend to be as effective in promoting conversation and understanding as a holy avenger for a first-level MU.

"Diatribe"? Well, thanks for confirming whether this was a good faith misunderstanding.
 

SkidAce

Legend
Supporter
In a saner world this would be true, but in some cases, compromise is... reaaaaly hard.

For example, homosexuality. It is a normal and harmless variation in human sexual behavior? Or an "abomination unto the Lord" that should be purged from society?

I used to see myself as a centrist, but I've come to realize that the impulse to compromise, the "both side of the story" ism can be quite harmful at times.
Ahh, I don't necessarily mean compromise, per se. Some things are wrong (i.e. no kicking puppies)

I mean entering into a discussion willing to entertain the thoughts of the other person, as they should yours. Even if you end up still disagreeing.

Because if you start a convo 100% certain you are right, and not willing to "discuss", and they do also...its an argument and a debate, and "I must win".

You know, its easier than what I've said, bottom line is not to dismiss a person you want to have a conversation with.

"full stop"*







* some folks will remember my thoughts on "full stop" and get the joke... :D
 



Hussar

Legend
You know, its easier than what I've said, bottom line is not to dismiss a person you want to have a conversation with.
To be fair though. There are times when it is just better to disengage. There will not be any upshot to continuing the conversation and simply walking away is a far, far more productive strategy. I guess that whole "want to have a conversation with" part covers that. It might be that you might not actually want to have a conversation with someone. It should never really be considered a bad thing to just walk away from a conflict.
 

SkidAce

Legend
Supporter
To be fair though. There are times when it is just better to disengage. There will not be any upshot to continuing the conversation and simply walking away is a far, far more productive strategy. I guess that whole "want to have a conversation with" part covers that. It might be that you might not actually want to have a conversation with someone. It should never really be considered a bad thing to just walk away from a conflict.
I agree totally.

Just commenting to the "toxic fandom" topic about how few really want to converse as opposed to "convert" to their opinion.
 

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