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What We Lose When We Eliminate Controversial Content

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mythago

Hero
I don’t think the poster was speaking of the companies but of the designers and people whose names go on the cover of the books, who talk about the games in question publicly online. I am sure many have felt those things when gauging online reaction to something they want to make, abd even more sure those who have had their name dragged through the mud publicly have felt those things (who hasn’t felt a twinge if that just opening their notifications on Twitter or Facebook at times: for people putting their creative work out in public, when the stakes have raised so significantly, those are very real reactions. I am not high profile but I have opened social media and physically felt like i was having a heart attack some days. This stuff has a real impact on people who are just trying to make games in a very niche industry (often people doing it out of live as a side gig or even as a hobby. People whose livlihoods completely depend on it, probably have much stronger reactions

You know who really feels a twinge of fear on opening their social media? Small, indie game designers who are from marginalized groups, and who are producing games that deal with their issues openly. I already linked to a thread on this very board where people lost their entire minds over an indie LARP anthology based on reading the table of contents.

And a lot of these small indie designers are dealing with exactly the "controversial" topics that people are wringing their hands about "losing". But I guess that doesn't fit the narrative of how oppressed and colorless the RPG industry is.
 

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Scribe

Legend
No which is why I am hopeful. If you check online you can see people cautious of their products looking for problematic content, and then others worried that they are "too woke" for including female NPC or sample characters, so they are certainly a target of both sides of people just looking for something to complain about.

However on the other hand you have WotC doing stuff like, actively sanitising the Dragonlance setting, rewriting the history of Lord Soth for example. Now he doesn't murder his wife and child, or leave his second wife and infant child to die in a fire, and this is the villain. They changed his history from hiding the murder of his wife and child waiting the appropriate six months of mourning before marrying his second wife. To his wife dying of natural causes, him getting married days later so got kicked out the knightly order for disrespecting his ex-wife, rather than later being found guilty of murdering his wife and exiled then.

He fails to prevent the Cataclysm and gets cursed for that, rather than cursed by the second wife falsely suspected of cheating after he leaves her and their infant child to burn to death, because the Cataclysm comes about as he abandons his quest because he believes the lies about his wife. The main villain of the setting goes from being a double wife and child murder, to disrespecting a corpse as his crime.

We all know infanticide is wrong, we all no wife beating and murder is wrong, having the evil villain of your fiction commit such acts doesn't condone it. D&D and Dragonlance in the 1980's was still aimed at the same demographic, if anything it was aimed at a younger audience, I know I was part of it. So I doubt it is to protect the children. Why do you think they sanitised it?

Seriously?

This is it right here. This is the 'disney-fication' the 'sanitization' the 'softening' whatever one wishes to call it without getting offended or offending others.

I had no idea they retconned this, and I'm now extremely glad I did not pay for this work.

Laughable.
 

Irlo

Hero
There is an implicit assertion in this that stepping away from the topic to please an audience is somehow different from stepping in to the topic to please an audience.

If we expect some creators to be "allowed" to address the topic, we must also expect creators to be "allowed" not to address it, and their making that choice shouldn't be a big a deal.
Well put. And there is another explicit assertion that creators are not stepping away from a topic to please an audience but rather to avoid displeasing a loud but insignificant minority. And that the creators, some would suggest, want to include the controversial subject matter, but they're scared away by the perceived threat of online abuse and impugnment.
 

Scribe

Legend
And there is another explicit assertion that creators are not stepping away from a topic to please an audience but rather to avoid displeasing a loud but insignificant minority. And that the creators, some would suggest, want to include the controversial subject matter, but they're scared away by the perceived threat of online abuse and impugnment.

Brink.

I’ll be frank here, the Dark Sun setting is problematic in a lot of ways. And that’s the main reason we haven’t come back to it. We know it’s got a huge fan following and we have standards today that make it extraordinarily hard to be true to the source material and also meet our ethical and inclusion standards... We know there’s love out there for it and god we would love to make those people happy, and also we gotta be responsible.

It seems clear to me, that they dont want the smoke (from "both sides"), and its as simple as that.
 

mythago

Hero
This is it right here. This is the 'disney-fication' the 'sanitization' the 'softening' whatever one wishes to call it without getting offended or offending others.

I'm old enough to remember when complaints about, say, RPG supplements with pin-up covers or rulebooks with gross stereotypical NPCs were met with derisive sneers that "this is what sells" and "they're just doing what the market demands" and "maybe if you don't like it go write your own game". Now that the market has changed, all of a sudden everybody is very concerned about sanitizing and Art.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
I'm old enough to remember when complaints about, say, RPG supplements with pin-up covers or rulebooks with gross stereotypical NPCs were met with derisive sneers that "this is what sells" and "they're just doing what the market demands" and "maybe if you don't like it go write your own game". Now that the market has changed, all of a sudden everybody is very concerned about sanitizing and Art.
Yeah, it used to be that when haters acted like they had a right not to have their sensibilities offended, they were told exactly what they could go do with their righteous indignation. Now the complainers' sense of entitlement has been catered to, and so people are concerned about what that's done to the hobby.
 

Scribe

Legend
I'm old enough to remember when complaints about, say, RPG supplements with pin-up covers or rulebooks with gross stereotypical NPCs were met with derisive sneers that "this is what sells" and "they're just doing what the market demands" and "maybe if you don't like it go write your own game". Now that the market has changed, all of a sudden everybody is very concerned about sanitizing and Art.

Did PF1 sell?
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
But why lose colors?
Because it's a really, really ugly color. It's the Pantone 448 C of the visible spectrum.

But it is less, and limited, by definition. And again: why? It smacks of discrimination at the very least. Or denial.
Discrimination against who, exactly? Against people who are pro-slavery in RPGs? Against people who are pro-slavery in real life?

You keep limiting this discussion to a singular campaign/adventure. I'm discussing the system as a whole. There are great G rated movies, but that's not all I want out of streaming.
It's shockingly possible to have even R-rated films without slavery.

So question for you: what do you gain when a company puts out an adventure with slavers?
 


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