So, this post just started making the rounds. I am not in with the Malifaux community so I really can’t comment on what was going on to prompt it, but the general call to not tolerate shitty behaviour in geek hobbies is a good one and worth a read.
I wouldn’t have commented here except the RPGPundit, a loud voice in RPG blogging who is on the map mostly for putting out some well-received OSR products and for screaming invective about storygaming back when Ron Edwards was the darling of the RPG community, has made a kind of terrible post on the subject which I wanted to respond to. I would have posted a comment there, but blogger was acting up and wouldn’t let me. (This is a bug I have encountered before on blogspot blogs so I don’t blame Pundit for that – just for the words he wrote.) So I’ll post my thoughts here instead. Don’t bother reading the full thing if you are not interested in me slamming some dude on the Internet for being wrong on the Internet.
tl;dr version: even if Pundit had cast-iron proof that every single line of Latining’s post was a lie (and he doesn’t), the specific criticisms and arguments he makes in response are beyond the pale. And it’s especially ironic because Latining is saying that the community should police itself and freeze out socially unacceptable behaviour, and back in the day Pundit went to bat strenuously arguing that the community should police itself and freeze out socially unacceptable behaviour.
Hang on, Pundit, wasn’t one of your classic posts back in the day all about how socially-maladjusted lawncrappers stink up the hobby and make it an unappealing place to be, and how we need to be less willing to turn a blind eye to that sort of behaviour?
Most of the anecdotes in the post involved seem to be an upshot of lawncrappers of precisely the same variety you have derided, doing their lawncrapping in a gaming community which not only tolerates their horrible behaviour but actually endorses it, with a side order of the police being kind of crap about sexual assault and harassment in the sort of way the police have regularly been crap about it all over the Western world.
“Terrorism” is a tough word, but the author is using it in the sense it is used in the Canadian criminal code, and it’s not like you don’t have a record of going for emotive language to make a rhetorical point.
You claim to be gunning after the Pseudo-Activist Outrage Brigade, but you never seem to go after, say, Gamergaters when they engage in Pseudo-Activist Outrage Brigading – like they are doing right now with regards to the new Baldur’s Gate expansion, because they find the inclusion of a trans character to be outrageous – but I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that perhaps you hadn’t noticed that one yet.
What I find harder to forgive you for is the way that your current Outrage Brigade crusade (one driven largely by your own sense of outrage, like most of your blogging career has been) seems to have led you to knee-jerk reject what this person is saying when, back in the day when you were calling out the lawncrappers, you’d have gladly held this piece up as a useful example of what you were talking about.
The author is arguing for exactly what you were arguing for: for gaming communities to stop silently tolerating (or worse, actively going along with) shitty, appalling behaviour.
I find every single one of her anecdotes believable because it describes exactly the sort of sleazy boy’s clubhouse behaviour I see popping up in toxic sections of the hobby all the time; she also links to a range of studies on harassment in geek hobbies, so there’s a plate of data to go with the anecdotes if you fancy delving into it.
But you’re all about gunning after a “Pseudo-Activist Outrage Brigade” these days despite the irony of you being the most consistently outraged people in the hobby (or at least, your tired Hunter S. Thompson-cribbing persona is).
It is despicable of you to go after this person for being lying or mentally ill on the basis of stuff that she isn’t even alleging. She gives one account of rape in the discussion – lots of harassment and assault, but only one rape – so “I’m sorry, but if you are being raped all the time everywhere you go, you may want to consider it might be you” massively mischaracterises her account. And you will note that she also discusses how she has constructed her own group of gaming friends outside of the gaming community surrounding the store she used to work at and the cons she used to go to where people treat her right, so it doesn’t even hold true that the problem is with her.
What annoys me most, though, is that you are basically suggesting with that line that rape victims end up getting raped because of some sort of problem with them. Even if you are 100% correct and she is 100% wrong and all of her anecdotes are lies, that still wouldn’t justify saying that.
Going after this person for promoting ideas you yourself adamantly pushed back in the day is hypocritical enough. Taking the low road with regards to the rape stuff is absolutely disgusting.
Well done, Pundit. With one post you have justified every scrap of the controversy surrounding your role as a consultant in 5E.