I want to start by saying that I apologize for any harm I caused by my last post. The original “open letter” has been written while I was angry and frustrated, something you really shouldn’t do.
The topics of racism, sexism, etc. are very complex topics and it’s hard to discuss these on the internet. Quickly things boil down to us vs. them and/or people say things they actually don’t meant to say. The old saying goes that everything is fun and games until someone gets hurt. And I am sure I was not the only one who got hurt in the process.
At this moment I am rethinking the whole affair. One lesson that I learned is to avoid writing posts in anger and to discuss complex matters while angry or frustrated on the net. You can only lose this way, and hurt others, including yourself. I need to rethink how to express my thoughts on this matter.
One last thing: I am an (almost) university educated white male atheist with enough free time and money to have his own blog on the internet that is focused on gaming. In a way I am a privileged person which of course influences my perspectives on the world. Sometimes I may not even be aware of that. It’s definitely fine to point that out to me. I am more than willing to see the error of my ways.
The following is some kind of open letter that I wrote on Google+ a while ago. In the light of recent events I decided to repost it here. If you are interested in the 132 comments it got back then, follow this link. Please note that I shared the post with my Gaming circle only and if you’re not in that circle, you can’t view the post. Sorry.
Dear gaming community,
I am sick and tired of the bullshit that is currently going on in our community. Game designers and fans have to defend the games they design and/or play all the time and are accused of being racists, feminazis, misogynists, whatever even though they have done nothing wrong and/or tried not to offend anyone.
If I enjoy Victorian steampunk games I am suddenly an evil imperialist, if a game I play features artwork with a chainmail bikini I am suddenly a woman-hating monster and if I play a game set into a world based on medieval Europe I am obviously an white supremacist who suppresses basically everyone. *Sigh*
When there’s some cause for concern, it’s ok to point it out and talk about it, but obviously people have become quite oversensitive recently. Sometimes I feel like there’s a witch hunt going on and everyone tries to be the better witch hunter.
As you all well know I am usually not someone who starts fights, rants or throws accusations around. And I don’t intend to do that in the future. But I am tired of what’s going on right now.
Back then I was mainly annoyed but at this moment I am actually concerned. I know of several occasions where people try to hurt people from the hobby/industry and even attempt destroy their businesses by using libel. Heck, some people actually started a petition on Change.org in order to basically drive a small-press publisher out of business. This is definitely going to far.
Recent events have me thinking about time; time keeping in games, the effects on pacing and the meaning for players. As I turn a year older soon and I prepare to return to my long running fantasy campaign I’ve been revising the campaign calendar and thinking about how to make the passage of time relevant to players.
Just to provide some context let me share how I’ve dealt with this in the past. When I began playing RPGs there was very little consideration for time, beyond knowing what season it was, and sometimes not even that. Traveling to the dungeon took X amount of days, a sea travels so many weeks, so on and so forth. If players asked about days of the week I believe I simply used real world days for ease of reference.
Soon after I began developing my home brewed campaign, I began to thinker with calendars. This was back before I had a computer, so I did most of my planning by hand, I might have been inspired by an article in Dragon Magazine, no idea which issue, dealing with just this subject. Eventually I began to use spread sheets and a calendar creation tool in the Irony Games website (apparently now defunct!) to create a calendar for my game.
Continue reading Turn! Turn! Turn! To Everything There is a Season