WotC Updates D&D's AI Policy After YouTuber's False Accusations

dungeons-and-dragons-2024-players-handbook-fighter-full-page-splash.jpeg

This awesome art by Nestor Ossandón is not AI

Following a YouTuber falsely accusing an artist who worked for WotC of using AI based on "something feeling off" in a widely watched (but now deleted) video, Wizards of the Coast has updated its AI policy.

For 50 years, D&D has been built on the innovation, ingenuity, and hard work of talented people who sculpt a beautiful, creative game. That isn't changing. Our internal guidelines remain the same with regards to artificial intelligence tools: We require artists, writers, and creatives contributing to the D&D TTRPG to refrain from using AI generative tools to create final D&D products. We work with some of the most talented artists and creatives in the world, and we believe those people are what makes D&D great.


The YouTuber in question is Taron Pounds, username 'Indestructoboy', and made his now deleted video because, in his words, 'something felt incredibly off'. He's an ENnie-winning game designer, and has since posted an apology on Twitter:

I contributed to "rage bait" content this year after the OGL situation. That's on me. If I was frustrated by a situation, I felt compelled to say something to the camera. That's just not okay. I bought in hard on the "anti-WotC" train and should have just put my energy elsewhere.


IMG_2202.PNG

Rage-bait videos are a problematic part of not just the D&D community, but on YouTube in general--as a massive Doctor Who fan, my YouTube feed is full of similar stuff about that show. The D&D stuff I see is overwhelmingly negative about how D&D is dying (it isn't, by the way). Unfortunately, that's what YouTube incentivises, and that's what gets the thousands of clicks: video thumbnails with big text, a controversial statement or question, probably a big shocked face, and a giant question mark or arrow, or maybe a jagged cartoony graph trending downwards. It's important to realise that just because that's what gets the clicks, it doesn't make it true. It is, however, a massive part of what drives the community narrative at the moment.

A shout-out should go to Christian Hoffer, who took the time to actually email the artist in question, who confirmed--with evidence--that the art was completely human generated. The YouTuber did not even make that basic step. You can read his report on Twitter here (and you should follow him if you're still on that site). The artist in question is Nestor Ossandón, who responded to Hoffer as follows.

First of all, I do not use artificial intelligence (NOT AI) for my work and no one but you and my director have asked me. And that image is completely painted. It is one of my favorite recent jobs that I have been able to do. And if you see other old works, you can see that my tendency is very similar when it comes to painting. I always play with warm and cold ones on my face. Thanks to the work together with the art director. They give me the freedom and appropriate time to develop it. This character is completely painted from scratch with a gray and superimposed color technique. Then I paint the cold tones to give atmosphere and light. It took me more than two weeks and my director was very happy with this work.


To be clear, Nestor Ossandón did not use AI to create the above art.

The artist provided proof (not that they should have to) which Hoffer posted on Twitter.

GBqR8ntbIAA5QIS.png


There's not much real journalism that goes on in the tiny corner of the world that is the TTRPG industry; it’s still a niche topic, although it’s more popular than it’s ever been. I myself do not consider myself as such--I report on stuff, but I don't investigate stuff, and my contribution is not much more than simple reportage and aggregation (not that I undervalue that--I've been doing it for 24 years now, and folks still read it, and I recognise my own value!) Christian Hoffer (ComicBook.com), Lin Codega (laid off from iO9, but hopefully they will find a new outlet soon), Christopher Helton (retired) and other folks like that are great examples of journalism in this little industry. YouTube... there's a lot of great, informative, fun stuff on there, and there are folks I follow and enjoy, but you should be careful!

(Edit—I had some examples of video thumbnails here but I don’t want to give the impression they are related to this AI art episode.)
 

log in or register to remove this ad

payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
The best term I've seen for creators who go down this path is "Outrage Merchants". They're basically drug dealers. They want to sell you outrage, because outrage gives you a rush and lashing out against the source of that outrage is a high. So they'll seize on any excuse for outrage, or just outright invent it if none is handy, so they can keep pushing fresh outrage material out to their junkies.

I'm not adverse to bad news or a well deserved takedown, but any channel or news source that multi-classes into Outrage Merchant is one I drop immediately. It's not just bad for my mental health, it's a sign they're about to start spinning or inventing new reasons for outrage as soon as their supply runs low. Happens every time.
They could build a factory, that makes misery.
They could sell the cure, they make the disease.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Clint_L

Hero
Lumping Professor Dungeonmaster in with those others is a great example of reporting, not investigating.
But I suppose he brings it on himself by having those clickbaity thumbnails.
Over the past year, Professor Dungeonmaster has become more clickbaity in his thumbnails, yes, but also more negative in his content, and it's why I stopped subscribing. He's clearly become more negative about 5e, in particular. I have not, and so I was finding his channel to often be kind of a bummer.
 

Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
Over the past year, Professor Dungeonmaster has become more clickbaity in his thumbnails, yes, but also more negative in his content, and it's why I stopped subscribing. He's clearly become more negative about 5e, in particular. I have not, and so I was finding his channel to often be kind of a bummer.
I'll opine that he does still have a lot of positive content. And that his video last week on the new WotC VTT preview was warm in tone and generally positive and upbeat.

I will note that even at the heights of his negativity about WotC this year he did try to focus on boosting independent RPGs and talking about games he likes over dumping on WotC, doing a solid month of reviews and promotion for various cool games.
 

Dire Bare

Legend
Lumping Professor Dungeonmaster in with those others is a great example of reporting, not investigating.
But I suppose he brings it on himself by having those clickbaity thumbnails.

Who did that in this thread?

However, your final point, that Professor Dungeon Master brings it on himself, is why I no longer watch any of his videos. He produces some good content, but as soon as I see a clickbait thumbnail for any video, I pass. I am SO TIRED of rage-bait and click-bait.

Live by the sword, die by the sword.
 

Divine2021

Adventurer
I disagree strongly to this. The solution is simple, and CM explains it:

All "we" have to do is refuse to click on any title that is click-baity. Just don't do it. You don't need it, and if you don't want to promote such garbage, don't.

Don't share links to click bait titles. IMO it doesn't matter how good the article inside is. It doesn't matter how appealing it might be. But if "we" stop feeding the algorithms that feed us this garbage, the companies will change the algorithms.

If you want change, make it happen through your own behavior. The money follows out behavior, so change it.
I’m not sure we actually disagree on this? The answer is don’t support clickbait, even if that is what YouTube/Google strongly incentivizes for creators. So I’m not sure what you strongly disagree with?
 



I’m not sure we actually disagree on this? The answer is don’t support clickbait, even if that is what YouTube/Google strongly incentivizes for creators. So I’m not sure what you strongly disagree with?
Your statement was that you blame YouTube and the platform(s). I don't.

I believe the platforms give us what we say we want by what we click on and what we watch. The algorithms only give "us" what "we" want. "We" are the problem. If we stop rewarding the crap, it will go away.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
Your statement was that you blame YouTube and the platform(s). I don't.

I believe the platforms give us what we say we want by what we click on and what we watch. The algorithms only give "us" what "we" want. "We" are the problem. If we stop rewarding the crap, it will go away.
Like most stuff, ultimately it's our fault.
 

Divine2021

Adventurer
Your statement was that you blame YouTube and the platform(s). I don't.

I believe the platforms give us what we say we want by what we click on and what we watch. The algorithms only give "us" what "we" want. "We" are the problem. If we stop rewarding the crap, it will go away.
To each their own, but I think you are making a distinction in what I said that simply isn’t there, and making a mountain out of a molehill. I don’t appreciate being called out in the manner you did over something so inconsequential as well. Have a good evening, happy holidays.
 

Related Articles

Remove ads

Latest threads

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Recent & Upcoming Releases

Top