WotC WotC blacklist. Discussion

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I mean, I won't hear much against 4E's cosmology, and it's been one of the parts of 4E that has survived more than others (The Feywild and the Shadowfell were the best bits of it and remain intact in 5E), but yeah, more insulting of earlier editions/settings would not have been smart in that context.
The booklets were more positive presentation of what was new, with nice art and all. But still that "we fixed it!" attitude was still present, and then the WotC employees began arguing with people online about how cool the booklet presentation was...
 

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Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
But now, the kids are plugged in, their whole 'lives' revolve around social media that they cannot escape, because their peers are just as connected, and they want to stay connected.

So they not exposed to a few hours a day of some gaming, or cartoons, but are instead perpetually bombarded and exposed to content that the majority of us old people, even I who have been online and gaming and on forums for decades, would have been shocked to see, with regularity and the breakdown, mental illness increases, have been staggering to witness.

What Books, TV, and even 'violent games' failed to do, Twitter, Tiktok, and assorted other sites, has accomplished, and it's tragic to see.
As a parent of several kids, this is a sheer exaggeration.

I'm not saying that it can't be true on an individual basis, but the idea that they are "perpetually bombarded and exposed to content that the majorit of us old people ... would have been shocked to see, with regularity and the breakdown of mental illness increases, have been staggering to watch."

That's fearful hyperbole.

If there is an increase in reported mental illness, it's primarily that - reporting. Instead of it being a taboo like during earlier generations where people did not talk about it which had the double pronged silence of both not being able to even know some of these existed or get information about it to start to diagnose, but even if it was it was not something that would then be reported or told to teachers to work aoround. I personally have ADHD and the various executive dysfunction problems that come with it that I clearly had when I was young but no one knew, no one talked about it. Instead I was constantly told that "I failed to work up to my potential" and threatened to be taken from gifted and talented because of lack of homework in subjects I would ace on tests. Others were not nearly as lucky.

Kids have a lot more access to things, but that doesn't mean they watch them. Many would rather watch a playthough of a game they are interested in, or build something on minecraft, read fanfic on AO3 about their current fixation, or whatever. Social media often happens to be things like their own discord servers where they can share ideas and art and whatever at any time of day or night and not just to people geographically local - and also provide a safe space. Just because these are categories deemed inappropriate for children available - violence in most of the world and nakedness in the puritanical parts - does not mean that the kids want to watch that, or that as a whole they spend a lot of time doing so.
 


Riley

Hero
ADHD is a perfectly normal part of the spectrum of human cognitive abilities. Like Autism, there is little evidence to suggest that the frequency of the condition is increasing- merely that the diagnosis of ADHD has increased as the condition was recognized, and especially as interventions became available for the condition.

Those interventions can be simple, and they can be life-changing. As an untreated kid with ADHD in the 70’s, I was hated by many of my teachers (and classmates) for my apparent indifference to classroom rules, my disruptive behaviors, and my unwillingness to work up to my expected potential. My first report card opened with “Pat does not play well with others” and descended from there.

School remained fairly dire until I was finally diagnosed with ADHD in middle school, and started on a trial of stimulants. Methylphenidate was positively life-changing. School almost immediately went from impossible to easy, and with the help of stimulants I was able to achieve my dream of becoming (and functioning as) a physician (now retired to parenting).

My son’s readily apparent ADHD was (correctly) noted by his teachers as early as preschool, and he started treatment with methylphenidate in kindergarten. The medicine doesn’t in any way change who he is, but while it is in his system it allows him to function to his potential within the rigid confines of our educational system. It’s pretty awesome (for him).
 

:D

That said I tend to forgive them Gleemax and the associated software screwups. I have been involved in software development car crashes and in developing software for managements with no experience in software development. D&D management seem to have made all the classic mistakes.
What i find harder to forgive is them blowing up and purging the old WotC D&D forums when Gleemax came online, and in turn, doing the same to the Gleemax forums once their usefulness to WotC had ended. The sheer staggering volume of realtime D&D history, lore and design notes by WotC authors and designers, and useful resources (as well as stupid flamewars, admittedly...) that was consigned to digital oblivion makes both of those decisions acts of appalling vandalism. Especially since neither site was indexed worth a damn by the wayback machine.

I've been involved in software development as well, and one thing I know is that you never, ever, ever permanently delete anything. Even stripping personal details out of the database and then dumping the raw db contents in a torrentable zip somewhere would have been better than just arbitarily blowing it all away one fine sunny Tuesday. Some archivist could have put together a static (even searchable) copy on the web for posterity. It still makes me cranky to think about.
 

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
What i find harder to forgive is them blowing up and purging the old WotC D&D forums when Gleemax came online, and in turn, doing the same to the Gleemax forums once their usefulness to WotC had ended. The sheer staggering volume of realtime D&D history, lore and design notes by WotC authors and designers, and useful resources (as well as stupid flamewars, admittedly...) that was consigned to digital oblivion makes both of those decisions acts of appalling vandalism. Especially since neither site was indexed worth a damn by the wayback machine.

I've been involved in software development as well, and one thing I know is that you never, ever, ever permanently delete anything. Even stripping personal details out of the database and then dumping the raw db contents in a torrentable zip somewhere would have been better than just arbitarily blowing it all away one fine sunny Tuesday. Some archivist could have put together a static (even searchable) copy on the web for posterity. It still makes me cranky to think about.
I see your point but I do not believe that they have any obligation to preserve this information. I never bothered much with the WoTC forums or Gleemax version is I really hated their web design. Their UI design really sucked.
 



I have not worked at a place for a decade (or more) that did not have strict rules about posting about work. Most even have warnings that you can be terminated for being a chump in public. I long ago purged my job from anything but LinkedIn. And this is from a person that is actually a company spokesperson …

There is no way that Hasbro should allow employees to post here. This thread alone has enough insults about WoTC employees to be a good indication of why.

I do find many threads here to be informative and the moderation is generally on mark to steer the conversation to gaming and away from personal insults and politics, so I think it is useful to monitor for WoTC.

It takes a certain age range and passion to post on a forum vs. social media, after all.
 


Waller

Hero
What i find harder to forgive is them blowing up and purging the old WotC D&D forums when Gleemax came online, and in turn, doing the same to the Gleemax forums once their usefulness to WotC had ended.
And the ending of the d20 STL and the GSL. Why anybdy releases anything on DMs Guild I don't know, because obviously at some point it will all go the same way. Four times bitten, won't get fooled again? Is that the saying?
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I have not worked at a place for a decade (or more) that did not have strict rules about posting about work. Most even have warnings that you can be terminated for being a chump in public. I long ago purged my job from anything but LinkedIn. And this is from a person that is actually a company spokesperson …

There is no way that Hasbro should allow employees to post here. This thread alone has enough insults about WoTC employees to be a good indication of why.

I do find many threads here to be informative and the moderation is generally on mark to steer the conversation to gaming and away from personal insults and politics, so I think it is useful to monitor for WoTC.

It takes a certain age range and passion to post on a forum vs. social media, after all.
It's really astonishing and unprofessional to look back at what WotC employees were doing and saying on boards 15 years ago. I mean, they were getting into protracted arguments with trolls, that's not good for business.
 




Hussar

Legend
:D

That said I tend to forgive them Gleemax and the associated software screwups. I have been involved in software development car crashes and in developing software for managements with no experience in software development. D&D management seem to have made all the classic mistakes.
As far as the software stuff goes, let's not forget that the story there is actually pretty tragic. No one can predict a murder/suicide derailing your software development.

As much flack as WotC deserves, there was a bunch of OTHER stuff too that just dumped all sorts of gasoline on the already burning dumpster fire. @Snarf Zagyg has a really fantastic post about the timeline floating around here somewhere that I forgot to bookmark and really should because it's just spot on.

It's really rather interesting when you think about it. SF&F fandom is so different from other fandoms. We certainly don't expect the coach of the Toronto Blue Jays to post on some baseball website to argue player choices, for example. I'm pretty unaware of any websites where directors or producers of non-SF&F movies interact with the public on anything remotely close to the interactions we get here. But, F&SF fans have always had a very intimate relationship with content producers. You could pretty easily meet people like Patrick Stewart at an SF convention. You could interact with Gary Gygax at Gen Con for years and years. Or Mike Mearls, or whoever. For a very long time, I think because F&SF as a genre has been so tiny, that the fandom has really gotten used to being able to directly interact with pretty much anyone in the genre.

I mean, good grief, I emailed Neil Gaiman years and years ago to ask if I could use his story "How to Talk to Girls at Parties" in my ESL class and he was tickled pink. Emailed me back with a very friendly letter letting me use it no problems. Heck, that's a story that actually got turned into a movie with Nicole Kidman. Not exactly unknown stuff, although, I think at the time it rather was. But, no problems at all. Totally nice about it. Could you imagine me emailing some non-genre writer and doing the same thing? I certainly can't.
 

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
As far as the software stuff goes, let's not forget that the story there is actually pretty tragic. No one can predict a murder/suicide derailing your software development.
This may have affected Gleemax, which was as I recall an internal project but the VTT demoed in the run up to 4e launch was being done by a contracting company and they delivered a demo with no networking code.

That said, almost all WoTC D&D web sites prior to the current one had this magazine like layout, that does not work on the web an is usually (in my experience ) a result of a fixation on the part of senior management rather than the developers.
 

darjr

I crit!
This may have affected Gleemax, which was as I recall an internal project but the VTT demoed in the run up to 4e launch was being done by a contracting company and they delivered a demo with no networking code.

That said, almost all WoTC D&D web sites prior to the current one had this magazine like layout, that does not work on the web an is usually (in my experience ) a result of a fixation on the part of senior management rather than the developers.
I thought that vtt was the second attempt not the first?

Also Joseph would have been in charge of that anyway. He was a video game developer/designer before WotC, and from what I remember was brought in specifically because they wanted a 3D video game like vtt. But I could be misremembering.
 

seebs

Adventurer
Some of the research on "harmful effects of screen time" is vulnerable to a correlation/causality problem. If you verify that two things seem to be correlated, that doesn't mean one causes the other. For instance, depressed people don't go out much, so many researchers concluded that "not going out" caused depression... But it's not actually obvious that this is the case! Similarly, a lot of the alleged negative effects of "screen time" appear to mostly be "if you're depressed and lonely and have no one to hang out with in person, you spend more time on your phone talking to people". Studies trying to tease out the direction of influence don't seem to show the negative effects.
 

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