What the heck is going on with the professional RPG industry in regards to Zak S?

Status
Not open for further replies.
I

Immortal Sun

Guest
Just thought I'd quote that before you get a chance to think better of it.

Why? Because you assume I'm a liar? Because you assume I'm trying to trick you? Because I can't be earnest in the things I say?

There's a reason I'm not engaging in this discussion. One side wants to have a discussion. The other side wants to pretend everyone else is a bunch of liars.

I meant it honestly. If discussion of this subject makes you uncomfortable, you should talk about that. Talking helps.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

MGibster

Legend
You are scared. You are sad. So we should all be silent, and not talk about such matters. I am sure, you are not comfortable. My sympathies for that.

I too wish we could all go back to talking about mechanics, fun game worlds, and plot ideas for our pretend games. I'm not entirely comfortable with the realization the hobby I've been involved with for nearly thirty years now has often times been an environment where many people either didn't feel welcome or were outright victimized. But I'd rather be uncomfortable and talk about it than ignore the issue because sticking my head in the sand means sitting by while other people are hurt.

If someone doesn't wish to discuss the topic on a message board that's just fine and it's easy enough to avoid the topic in places like this because you can simple skip over the thread. But if anyone sees bad behavior while at a convention or a game store they should speak up. People have a harder time getting away with harassment in an environment where it's not tolerated. Confrontation is often uncomfortable but I'd feel even more uncomfortable if I sat by and just let bad people continue to do bad things.
 

Celebrim

Legend

Because it's an egregious violation of the forum rules. Not that I ever report anyone, but I appreciate the irony.

If discussion of this subject makes you uncomfortable...

I've made it perfectly clear that the subject of sexual harassment isn't one that I'm uncomfortable with, or uncomfortable discussing - much less condemning. What I am uncomfortable with, as you put it, is this discussion and not the topic generally.

And I have a lot reasons for that, but ironically the letter of rules here at EnWorld make it against the rules to even tell you the first reason for that that comes to mind.
 

Sadras

Hero
I'd like to respond to this a bit: There is tolerance of disagreement, and then there's tolerance of bad behavior. These are not the same.

If you are a troll, or otherwise not in the dialogue in good faith, we don't need to tolerate your position. If you are in denial of facts for your own benefit, we don't need to tolerate your disagreement.

Respectfully, I'm not sure all of us agree with who or what is a troll or who is arguing in good faith or not. We each have various levels of sensitivity and I have seen many act quite hyperbolic in this thread but I would not be so quick to judge them as not debating this topic in good faith.
 
Last edited:

evileeyore

Mrrrph
That is probably an officer in need of more training.
He probably was very well trained, in the Duluth Model.




I'd like to respond to this a bit: There is tolerance of disagreement, and then there's tolerance of bad behavior. These are not the same.
This is true. And it's great when one side consistently gets to decide that disagreement is bad behavior. It has a real chilling effect on the disagreers...





Silence, Celebrim, is tacit acceptance of the bad behavior.
Very good point, it's why I decided to stop being silent here today.
 

I

Immortal Sun

Guest
Because it's an egregious violation of the forum rules. Not that I ever report anyone, but I appreciate the irony.
Telling someone they ought to talk about the things that make them uncomfortable is a violation of the rules?

I've made it perfectly clear that the subject of sexual harassment isn't one that I'm uncomfortable with, or uncomfortable discussing - much less condemning. What I am uncomfortable with, as you put it, is this discussion and not the topic generally.

And I have a lot reasons for that, but ironically the letter of rules here at EnWorld make it against the rules to even tell you the first reason for that that comes to mind.
Somehow, I doubt telling a personal story of what particularly makes you so uncomfortable is against the rules.

I went and re-read the rules before I hit post, they're surprisingly short. I'm not sure which rule you seem to be accusing me of breaking. Since this entire thread is against the RAW, and you've been freely posting in it, perhaps you should consider this your opportunity.
 

Celebrim

Legend
Telling someone they ought to talk about the things that make them uncomfortable is a violation of the rules?

No, but stating "There's probably a reason Celebrim feels uncomfortable when these issues come up." in the context of a conversation about sexual harassment and rape is, per: "Say how you feel or what you think, but be careful about ascribing motives to the actions of others..."

It's a vague rule, but if it doesn't apply to innuendo concerning my sexual past, I'm not sure when it could ever be applied. But, let's presume you didn't mean it how it sounds.

Somehow, I doubt telling a personal story of what particularly makes you so uncomfortable is against the rules.

Well, first of all, if there was a personal story, I'd certainly not feel compelled to share it publicly. And secondly, what I was thinking of was not a personal story.

Since this entire thread is against the RAW, and you've been freely posting in it, perhaps you should consider this your opportunity.

Well, there is that...
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Being silent wasn't what dealt with that convention staff member. People were silent about Zak, and that didn't seem to make anyone safer. It looks like if we remained silent, Zak would still be able to victimize others. If we remain silent, other men will not recognize that such behavior will not be acceptable any longer, and they will not know of the consequences. And the young daughter of a friend of mine, who I recently taught how to play, who has become a GM in her own right, will have to suffer, because no change happens in silence.

Silence, Celebrim, is tacit acceptance of the bad behavior, in a practical sense. So, no, your discomfort is not sufficient to stop this discussion.

One of my religious teachers once said that evil likes to hide in darkness. I’d have to say it likes silence at least as much.
 

I

Immortal Sun

Guest
No, but stating "There's probably a reason Celebrim feels uncomfortable when these issues come up." in the context of a conversation about sexual harassment and rape is, per: "Say how you feel or what you think, but be careful about ascribing motives to the actions of others..."

It's a vague rule, but if it doesn't apply to innuendo concerning my sexual past, I'm not sure when it could ever be applied. But, let's presume you didn't mean it how it sounds.
Speaking of ascribing motives to others, pot meet kettle. I actually took great care to choose my words as to not imply you are responsible for some kind of bad behaviour. My words meant exactly what they said: that you have a reason for feeling uncomfortable and that talking about those things helps.

See, this is the problem with assuming the people on the other side of the discussion are all liars and thieves. You start assuming things about their motives. Reading into their words and finding things that aren't there.

Well, first of all, if there was a personal story, I'd certainly not feel compelled to share it publicly. And secondly, what I was thinking of was not a personal story.
Strange. I don't recall using Dominate Person on you. In fact, I don't even recall suggesting you tell us. I suggested you talk about it. Doesn't have to be to me, or this forum. And you certainly don't have to.

Maybe you have. Maybe you haven't. Whichever way you cut it, it still sounds like you should talk to someone.
 

ccs

41st lv DM
I wonder if the OP now realizes why the comments weren't enabled in the initial article?
 

Celebrim

Legend
Speaking of ascribing motives to others, pot meet kettle. I actually took great care to choose my words as to not imply you are responsible for some kind of bad behaviour. My words meant exactly what they said: that you have a reason for feeling uncomfortable and that talking about those things helps.

See, this is the problem with assuming the people on the other side of the discussion are all liars and thieves. You start assuming things about their motives. Reading into their words and finding things that aren't there.

Strange. I don't recall using Dominate Person on you. In fact, I don't even recall suggesting you tell us. I suggested you talk about it. Doesn't have to be to me, or this forum. And you certainly don't have to.

Maybe you have. Maybe you haven't. Whichever way you cut it, it still sounds like you should talk to someone.

At this point, I'm not even sure what you are going on about. What reason do you think I have? What is the point of the above post? Who is this mysterious someone that I should talk to and what do you think I should talk about with them?

Did I not make very clear, twice now, that I wasn't uncomfortable with the topic of sexual harassment, but that I was unhappy about this conversation?

And so far as that goes, to the extent that my feelings are political and religious, what makes you think I'm not involved in conversations about those topics elsewhere where they are appropriate and expected?
 

I

Immortal Sun

Guest
At this point, I'm not even sure what you are going on about. What reason do you think I have? What is the point of the above post? Who is this mysterious someone that I should talk to and what do you think I should talk about with them?

Did I not make very clear, twice now, that I wasn't uncomfortable with the topic of sexual harassment, but that I was unhappy about this conversation?

And so far as that goes, to the extent that my feelings are political and religious, what makes you think I'm not involved in conversations about those topics elsewhere where they are appropriate and expected?

Enjoy the thread then.
 


Hussar

Legend
Well, I dunno exactly what I’m supposed to do but I do know that threads like this have certainly influenced where I spend money in the hobby.

So it has had an effect at least on me. What else I’m supposed to do kinda escapes me.
 

Hussar

Legend
He probably was very well trained, in the Duluth Model.





This is true. And it's great when one side consistently gets to decide that disagreement is bad behavior. It has a real chilling effect on the disagreers...






Very good point, it's why I decided to stop being silent here today.

Oh please.

Are we really going to go down this road? Let's compare things shall we? A poster here, after repeatedly violating board rules in numerous threads, specifically compared what we're doing to murdering innocent people (lynching) and got banned. After months, if not years, of bad behavior. Every possible opportunity was afforded to this individual before getting ejected from the community. And this is chilling?

Or, (sorry about this [MENTION=4937]Celebrim[/MENTION]) the comparison between state sponsored public torture of political prisoners by one of the most repressive regimes in modern history (Maoist China) and the MeToo movement. :uhoh:

See, there's disagreement and discussion and then there's stuff like that. And EVERY FREAKING DISCUSSION we have about harassment in the hobby brings out these exact same comparisons. Every time. We have to wade through post after post after post of hysterical hyperbole and people trying to derail the conversation (join me in deploring porn? WTF?).

If people were actually capable of being able to talk about this issue without dragging in all their own personal baggage and ludicrous hyperbole, we'd actually maybe be able to do something constructive. But, no, just like every other time this has come up, we have to flail around blindly. It's incredibly frustrating.
 

Ilbranteloth

Explorer
So does the industry have a threshold on when it takes action? Is 1 allegation sufficient? 5? 20? Because I doubt very many people were surprised by this recent news. Definitely sadenned. But unfortunately not surprised. How many other professionals have met this threshold but are simply flying under the radar until the next lot of bad press swings their way? Because bad press seems to be the only thing to galvanise WotC and OneBookshelf into action thus far.

Abuses that occur at work are certainly something that an employer should investigate and action as appropriate (I also believe most work places would refer the matter to police wherever they can. Something I doubt WotC or OneBookshelf are doing. So trying to describe this as a "work place incident" isn't the most helpful for the discussion).

But if we are going down that road: What is the industry doing in regards to Bill Webb? From what I read at Enworld that had witnesses! Has he been at a PaizoCon since the allegations came to light? Will his work be removed from OneBookshelf? If not, what's the threshold/policy? Are people comfortable with that threshold/policy?

When you do work with a company, your contract typically has some sort of conduct clause. They don’t have to prove it, it’s not a court case. The bad press itself is sufficient for them to break ties.

That is, the bad press itself is specifically the breach of contract.

It’s not their job to pursue legal options, and they probably have no standing to pursue the crime legally. They can investigate the breach of workplace etiquette, but as they are not the aggrieved party, they generally can’t go to the police. It’s the victim that has to press charges, and the company isn’t the victim.

Each company has to determine how they’ll handle such things, and like it or not, there are potential legal ramifications. But the “Me Too” movement has had a lot of high profile firings of powerful and wealthy people. This has both empowered other companies, and set up litigation that other companies will follow closely since it will set up legal thresholds as to when you can fire somebody without legal exposure. The threshold for a contractor or consultant would be lower than an employee.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
If people were actually capable of being able to talk about this issue without dragging in all their own personal baggage and ludicrous hyperbole, we'd actually maybe be able to do something constructive.

Asking people to leave their baggage at home can be a bit of an ask. People carry baggage for reasons.

However, keeping hyperbole to a minimum is DEFINITELY achievable, and helps conversation stay off the hidden reefs of everyone’s issues.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
Well, I dunno exactly what I’m supposed to do but I do know that threads like this have certainly influenced where I spend money in the hobby.

So it has had an effect at least on me. What else I’m supposed to do kinda escapes me.

Threads like this have made me more aware of the problems in our gaming subculture. I think as a result of that, I do approach situations with a different perspective and I watch for harassing behavior now more than I would have without the awareness level. I also find I am more likely to speak out rather than let it blow on by. None of that means I always agree on the right approach to something or agree with every allegation or claim, but I do evaluate them differently.
 

Gradine

Final Form (they/them)
Personally, I find that too much energy is wasted in these conversations engaging with the naysayers and the trolls, and rather than actually having the conversation we end up running in circles trying to justify having the conversation at all, until things get too salty and the thread gets shut down.

Which is exactly what the trolls are trying to accomplish in the first place.

So I suggest we just ignore them and go on with the conversation. There’s no law that says every obnoxious newcomer with a hot take needs to be responded to.

In other words, we need to stop letting the meta-conversation derail the actual conversation.

Here’s where I’m at. There’s a common refrain throughout this whole debacle about how the warning signs about Zak were always there, or how people have been calling him out on this crap for years. If that’s true, and I have no reason to believe it isn’t, why did it take until now for the gaming community as a whole to do something about it? What more could have been done?

I’m not sure the answer is anything at this point, and I’m growing more and more confident that’s not the right question. Part of the reason these threads get bogged down in is constantly rehashing the past. So instead I wonder; where do we go from here? How do we do more than simply react to bad behavior, but instead actively prevent it? This is a community driven hobby; I refuse to believe that we lack any kind of social power. But how to harness it in a way that’s productive and constructive, rather than simply reactive and retributive (not that such actions are not also important and effective) is what I’ve been mulling over today.

I don’t have any answers just yet, but I’m curious if anyone does.
 
Last edited:

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
[MENTION=4937]Celebrim[/MENTION], I thought your post was very thoughtfully written, and I appreciated that you were able to express your stance on a very charged topic in a poignant manner even if I disagree.

This part struck a chord with me.

I don't think we are actually turning some social corner. I think mostly #metoo is advanced for self-centered reasons and I see no sign things are going to get better. I don't think taking a stand is going to make abusers less likely to be abusive. I think real progress and change is made one person at a time, through personal and meaningful relationships.
But we are turning a social corner. People on talk radio and television can't stop talking about how things are changing and how confusing it is. Some comedians are complaining about how they can't tell the same kinds of jokes they used to, workplaces now have mandatory sexual harassment training, the Pope is no longer denying but actively speaking out against sexual assault within the church. Maybe it's not a full 90-degree turn, but society is definitely changing direction. If you feel sad, maybe take heart in that.

It's trendy nowadays to repost the #MeToo hashtag on social media, but it took decades of hard work and sacrifice to get us to that point. We can all remember a time when it was risky and self-destructive to speak out against an abusive partner. Victims of abuse today have more support and respect now than they had when I learned that monsters are real.

Will taking a stand make abusers less likely to be abusive? Maybe, maybe not. But it has made abuse harder to hide, harder to ignore, and harder to profit from. That is real progress. So close, personal relationships aren't the only ways to change things: tens of thousands of people taking a stand can be pretty darned effective too.
 

Status
Not open for further replies.

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top