Thursday, April 18, 2013

Some Excerpts From Pat Robertson's Recent Anti-Dungeons & Dragons Rant


"…D&D (and anything close to it) is quite a morally bankrupt game. It's about characters who deliberately choose to go into violent conflicts because of greed; it's about performing violence and trickery…."

"This kind of moral bankruptcy is the core of what makes it fascinating to children — it's "bad" and transgressive…"

"Being a participatory medium, it's actually much more serious business than allowing children to, say, watch violent movies..."

"There's just so much in the system that encourages negative things - like the way you are rewarded precisely and only for how many things you kill and/or how much stuff you take..."

Then there's a weirdly off-topic casual swipe at casual sex, then some complaining about D&D's "morally bankrupt core mechanic"...

Whoa....'Core mechanic'?

Oh wait, these aren't from Pat Robertson, they're from Story-Games.

Sorry.
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90 comments:

  1. "I don't think it's okay to kill them because they're goblins."

    That's racist. Of course it's okay.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whatever, I think that the "save-the-goblins" dad has a point. Some published products from TSR (v.gr. "The Goblin's Lair" boxed set) take for granted that PCs will help farmers or gnomes against the goblins, just because they happen to be goblins.

      In these cases, I feel like rooting for the left side - goblins, Mordor, Cthulhu, you name it.

      Seriously: once I played a game of "Mage: the Ascencion" in which my PC steadely refused fighting Technocrats.

      Delete
    2. WARNING: the author of the previous post (I mean anonimous, not Gorgonmilk) has Asperger's Syndrome. Or is a big fat liar.
      Worse, he still has not grown out of the TSR era (what a looser!).

      Delete
    3. Whoever anonimous is:
      It doesn't matter what the fiction assumes. The fiction is not a guide to real-life behavior and the child has a father who can inform him or her of this. The Save The Goblins Dad is totally wrong.

      Delete
    4. @Zak:
      You are assuming far too much. "The fiction is not a guide to real-life behavior": I'm not claiming otherwise, am I? this is a debate I don't wanna get entangled into. Plus I don't care about other people's children, as far as they don't piss on my carpet.

      But it makes me sick when a piece of fiction assumes that "It's okay to kill X because they're X". This is lazy writing -the author failed to provide an actual reason to destroy X- and I, me, myself, personally won't buy it. Whatever other people do, it's not my business.

      (As a sidenote, I'm okay when a game assumes that "It's okay to kill X becasue they're X". Chess, ludo, battleship: I'm looking at you.)

      Delete
    5. An afterthought:

      If a random dude asks: "I dislike dolls, my son wants a doll, what should I do?", I'd answer: "You should learn to express properly, for starters. WTF do you exactly mean?"

      Maybe the dude is a sexist moron meaning "Boys shouldn't play whith dolls".
      Maybe the dude is a vanilla moron asking "Should I buy a doll for my son?".
      Maybe the dude is wondering "What sort of doll would make my son happier?".

      But that's not what Mr. Dude wrote. Mr. Dude just wrote he doesn't like dolls. Mr. Dude declared he has a trouble, but failed to show what is the trouble (i.e. besides poor writing skills). And I'm not into second guessing what does Mr. Dude meant, nor putting words into his mouth.

      (I don't like dolls, either. Little dead bodies, staring at me with lifeless eyes. Creepy! We people who doesn't like dolls are entitled to declare it loud and proud.)

      Delete
    6. "But it makes me sick when a piece of fiction assumes that "It's okay to kill X because they're X"."

      If it makes you sick when a fiction does things, you have a problem.

      A fiction can do whatever it wants so long as the author is trying as hard as they can to make it as good as they can.

      If you think the author is not doing that, your argument must rest on biographical information about the author. Not your made-up guess about what the author WOULD have done had they been trying.

      Delete
    7. Would you mind rephrase this, please?:

      "Not your made-up guess about what the author WOULD have done had they been trying."

      I'm afraid I don't get it. English is not my first languaje, sorry.

      Delete
    8. If you think and author is no trying as hard as they can to make their work as good as possible then that is the _only_ grounds for moral criticism.

      And if you want to make that criticism, it has to rest on biographical information you have about them not a guess.

      The guess you made here is "lazy writing". As if they were not trying in earnest. You need to prove, rather than merely _assert_ that.

      Delete
    9. "A fiction can do whatever it wants so long as the author is trying as hard as she can to make it as good as she can."

      disagree - a fiction can do whatever it wants FULL PERIOD

      "the _only_ grounds for moral criticism" is if "an author is not trying as hard as she can to make her work as good as possible".

      The keyword here is "moral". It's obvious that I've miserablely failed to convey my main point, which is: I'M NOT TALKING ABOUT MORAL, IT'S NOT ABOUT MORAL, FUCK MORAL

      about "lazy writing":

      By "lazy writing" I never meant an author "not trying as hard as she can to make her work as good as possible". This rather should be called "dosifying effort", and it's not my business.

      By "lazy writing" I meant an author not trying hard enough to make me happy. It was me trying to be colloquial. But the expression is misleading, like I was judging the author, rather than her work.

      I must thank Mr. Smith for calling me down on this mistake. My fault, sorry.

      Delete
    10. It makes me sick (and I won't deny that I have a problem) when a piece of fiction assumes that "It's okay to kill X because they're X". As far an actual reason to exterminate X is not provided, this is substandard writing, and I want my money back.

      Substandard writing can be easily detected. Could I do better shit myself? A work is below standard when the answer to this question is affirmative. Since I'm at the lowest end of the creative scale, any author worth her pay should be able to better me in a cave with a bunch of scraps.

      (A motherlode of substandard crap can be found in the "Star Wars" trilogy starring McGregor & Portman. A commercial blocade, seriously? why not an uprise of gladiator mechas?)

      Back to D&D, it's subpar writing when it's okay to kill Badguys because they're Badguys, when farmers are passive simpletons who can't help themselves (I'd rather let Nature follow its course, and bury the remains when all is over), when "you all meet in a tavern".

      about me, myself and kids:

      If I had a daughter of my own, I wouldn't provide her with substandard stuff. There's enough crap out there already.

      I only take a child to the theater when I like the movie.
      I only give toys that I would like playing with.
      I only tell fairy tales which I feel exciting.

      As a rule of thumb: I don't serve a meal that I wouldn't shallow.

      What if the child asks me specifically for something I loathe? Let's say, she wants a copy of "Cannibal Holocaust" as a birthday present. In this case, I'll bite the bullet and give her whatever she wants.

      Delete
    11. @anonimous:

      "Back to D&D, it's subpar writing when it's okay to kill Badguys because they're Badguys, when farmers are passive simpletons who can't help themselves "

      Incorrect.
      A work of art can be interesting for an infinite number of reasons--it can expand and innovate in whatever direction the author likes.
      HOWEVER, a corollary of this is that it cannot expand in _all directions simultaneously._
      It can't be good _at everything_ because there isn't time and space enough.
      An author has a right to choose the things that will interest them.
      Shakespeare couldn't write realistic dialogue. This isn't "lazy writing"--it's an aesthetic decision to let go of _that_ and concentrate on _this_.
      Taking time to _justify_ why it's ok to kill a monster is not an obligation of an adventure module or GM--there are many millions of other things an adventure could concentrate on besides the problem of motivation.

      There is a difference between "being lazy about (some aspect of a work anonimous finds interesting) " and "making something which expends it effort on )some aspect of the work anonimous finds interesting) "

      There are many RPG groups (mine very much included) which would be bored to tears (i.e. the experience would be worse) if we had to stop and do the cliche thing of finding out the ghouls' motivations. Assuming that this is _necessary_ to have a good adventure is _lazy thinking_ and would be _lazy GMing_.

      So: you are wrong again.

      Delete
    12. "A work of art (...) can't be good _at everything_ because there isn't time and space enough."

      I don't ask it to be good, I ask it to be better than my own (you know: there's no need for a zebra to run faster than the lion, just faster than the next zebra). Since I suck _at everything_, there's no excuse for it to not better me _at everything_.

      "An author has a right to choose the things that will interest her."
      Yes. And so has the audience. (v.gr. Lucas had a right to choose CGI before story, and I had a right to avoid "Star Wars" prequels like the plague.)

      "there are many millions of other things an adventure could concentrate on besides the problem of motivation."

      With _no motivation_, there's _no adventure_ for me. I've learned it the hard way: engaging in an adventure with a PC who lacks of motivation is a recipe for boredom. Now, you can play however you feel like; since I'm not in your RPG group, what you do at home is not my business.

      "There are many RPG groups which would be bored to tears if we had to stop and do the cliche thing of finding out the ghouls' motivations."

      Ghouls??? Are you pulling my leg? A ghoul prime motivation is raw flesh, this is a no-brainer (not pun intended). But, WTF have ghouls to do with the current discussion?

      "Assuming that this is _necessary_ to have a good adventure is _lazy thinking_"

      No, this is "design specs".

      Delete
    13. You have comprehensively confused
      "Not being interested in what Anonimous is interested in"
      with
      "being lazy"
      They are different things.

      Delete
    14. anonimous June 25 already disowned the L-word
      and apologized for anonimous June 17 using it.

      From now on ahead, I'll talk about
      "poor writing", "clumsy writing",
      "cheap writing", "lousy writing"
      or even "crappy writing".

      But I'll never, never type "l*** writing" again.

      Zak S June 12 said "The Save The Goblins Dad is totally wrong".

      I still don't get how can "Goblins Dad" Ry be wrong.
      Looks like we are reading entirely different things into his post.

      Delete
    15. You should not refer to:

      "From now on ahead, I'll talk about
      "poor writing", "clumsy writing",
      "cheap writing", "lousy writing"
      or even "crappy writing"."

      ..in this context.

      It is none of those things.

      It is, again, "Not being interested in what Anonimous is interested in".

      You have confused an objective problem (the writer attempting to express something and failing--"bad writing") with a subjective problem (a writer not wanting to express something you wish that they wanted to express).

      Stop doing that.

      Also, goblins dad is wrong. Even goblins dad admits that his concerns are "stupid" lower down on this very thread. (see below)

      " I do worry about stupid stuff when it comes to my kids. "

      Delete
    16. Zak S July 1 said even goblins dad admits that his concerns are "stupid" lower down on this very thread.

      Yes, I knew it, I have this thread stored in the hard drive (as well as the SG thread), and I've read both of them many times. But being wrong and being stupid is not the same thing. Let's suppose I wrote a post like:

      "Last night I buried my wife alive in my backyard. What should I do?"

      This post is patently stupid, because a) I'm broadcasting a domestic issue that I should keep to myself, and b) asking "what should I do" in the net is asking for rubbish.
      And it also happens to be wrong, because an entirely different set of reasons: i) I'm not even married, ii) I've never been married and iii) I don't even have a backyard.

      In his OP at StoryGames, Ry declares: 'I don't like the violence, the power fantasy, or the use of the concept of "others".' I'm OK with violence, I love power fantasy, and the concept of "others" means that not everybody is me - a true which I forget too often. But the only way Ry could possibly be wrong is if he actually likes all the stuff he says to dislike.

      Or do you claim that there's something wrong about disliking violence, power fantasy and stuff?

      Delete
    17. Zak S July 1 said you have confused A with B. Stop doing that.

      Zak you are an artist, you have an idea in your head and work hard to express it.
      Thus you can judge the result by comparing it with the original idea.

      I have access to the ending product, but I have not a clue of what's in your head besides of what you put on the table.
      I lack of telepathy, how could I know?

      Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but you are acusing me of misjudging somebody else's work by unfairly comparing it with my own ideas, rather than with the ideas of the original autor. Did I get it right?

      Delete
    18. 1st: Ry is wrong to:
      -associate D&D necessarily with "power fantasy"
      -conflate his dislike of real violence with fictional violence
      -assume the concept of "the other" as expressed in D&D has significant child rearing consequences he cannot overcome.
      -ask Story Games what to do about it

      2nd:
      "Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but you are acusing me of misjudging somebody else's work by unfairly comparing it with my own ideas, rather than with the ideas of the original autor. Did I get it right?"

      Close: I am accusing you of a common crime of foolish arrogance--
      assuming your aesthetic needs are universal.

      You don't have to read ANYONE's mind to know that the sentence "This pizza chef is lazy/clumsy/lousy/cheap because they made a pizza with anchovies instead of pepperoni" is stupid.

      So you are making that mistake: the author who does not give you anchovies is not
      lazy
      clumsy
      lousy
      or
      cheap
      until and unless you make an effort to establish that these anchovies were part of that author's goal or were a universal aesthetic need that could be assumed to be part of any responsible author's goals.

      Since they aren't--since even a cursory examination of the lives and reports of other gamers reveals not ALL of them need the same kind of game supplement you do in order to have a fun game, you are simply proposing a foolish One True Wayism.

      You have failed a simple test of human empathy. Your Way is not The Only Way. The worst crime you can honestly and ethicallly accuse the author of is not being into the same stuff as you, artistically, which is not the same as lazy, clumsy, lousy, or cheap.

      Delete
    19. 1st:
      I'd love to discuss these points whith you, but...
      you are blaming Ry by things he didn't write.
      (cfr. anonimous July 1 "looks like we are reading entirely different things into his post")

      Ry said "I don't like the violence", "I'm increasingly uncomfortable with the idea of someone who regularly prevails because they're violent",
      Ry didn't say "I don't like fictional violence because of real violence".

      Ry said "I don't like the power fantasy", "I'm even less comfortable with the idea that violence makes us stronger",
      Ry didn't say the D&D game is always about power fantasy.

      Ry said "I don't like the use of the concept of "others",
      Ry didn't say the concept of "the other" as expressed in D&D has blah blah blah

      I am talking about the OP as Goblins Dad wrote it.
      You are complaining about some twisted interpretation from your own.
      (Is there a proper word for this? It must be some word for this. I'll call it "playing Sherlock".)

      Stop playing Sherlock, please - and focus in the actual post instead.
      It's a mere matter of conflicting tastes: wannabe DM likes pears, wannabe player likes apples.
      I gleefuly admit that Ry make a fool of himself by broadcasting this issue.
      I won't admit that Ry or anybody else's tastes can be wrong.

      Does he love eating flailsnails or newborn babies or bullshit? He's totally right.
      Does he hate eating flailsnails or newborn babies or bullshit? He's totally right.
      Does he like anal raping me? He's totally right (but I want him no less than ten feet away from my asshole).

      Delete
    20. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    21. 2nd:
      Oh, you meant that authors are people!!! People other than me!!! And have priorities of their own!!!
      Took me the entire weekend, but eventually got it! A genius am I!

      From this starting point, it's obvious that an author's set of priorities won't always match mine. So a same work can be faulty from my perspective but excellent from its maker's -or somebody else's- POW. Or viceversa.

      Zak S July 4 said I am accusing you of a common crime of foolish arrogance.

      I declare myself guilty of the charges. On my defence, I must allege that: trying to figure out which are my own priorities -I don't know them beforehand- is hard enough for me (*) and takes all my brainpower.

      (* SIDENOTE:
      v.gr. I disliked "The Matrix" beforehand, but kept me wondering for years until I discovered why
      v.gr. I loved "The Lord of the Rings" at first sight, but I'm still not sure of what's the reason)

      Zak S July 4 said you have failed a simple test of human empathy.

      Indeed, I didn't discover that human beings have empathy until a few years ago.

      Delete
    22. 1st: Ry says he has a possible issue with D&D for his kid because he "doesn't like violence". This must mean either:
      A) Ry has a problem with the fictional violence in D&D because Ry doesn't like real violence (this is stupid and wrong because they aren't connected)
      B) Ry has a problem with the fictional violence in D&D (_for someone else_, not Ry) because Ry doesn't like fictional violence (this is stupid and wrong because Ry's taste is irrelevant to what is good for his/her children)
      c) Ry thinks there is real violence in D&D (stupid and wrong because obviously inaccurate)

      Same for the concept of "other".

      In other words: Ry not only expresses dislike for the concepts--Ry _explicitly ties these dislikes to practical worries about D&D_ : this connection is all stupid and wrong.

      So you should apologize. I am, of course, addressing the post as written.

      2nd: Well I'm glad that's settled.

      Delete
    23. 1st: Zak S July 8 said "Ry's taste is irrelevant to what is good for his/her children".

      If somebody wants to play bingo, the fact that bingo bores me to death is irrelevant.
      If somebody wants to play bingo *together with me*, the fact that bingo bores me to death is *not* irrelevant.

      Zak S July 8 said "I am, of course, addressing the post as written".

      That's fair. Now, just in case I'm misreading the OP, I have a question for you. Going by Ry's words, do you think that he wrote the original post:

      a) before playing D&D whith his daughter?, or
      b) afterwards?

      Delete
    24. This misses the point:
      "
      If somebody wants to play bingo, the fact that bingo bores me to death is irrelevant.
      If somebody wants to play bingo *together with me*, the fact that bingo bores me to death is *not* irrelevant.
      "
      The post is not mostly about Ry complaining s/he'll be bored, it's about worrying about a Moral or Parenting Problem. For example:
      " I don't think _it's okay_ to kill them because they're goblins. "
      "Okay" is the word he uses/
      This theme of worrying about it as a child-rearing problem or moral teaching problem is the idea of the post, not Ry worrying s/he'll be bored by the game.

      "
      I'm increasingly uncomfortable with the idea of someone who regularly prevails because they're violent,
      "
      +
      Why even bring this up when discussing a _game of fictions_ unless Ry thinks that the game has something to do with it? (again: confusion of real and fake violeence)
      +
      The idea that this kind of fictional play is possibly _wrong_ for a child, rather than just not to Ry's taste is itself wrong and dumb.
      "
      Yes, violence is a part of life. But I feel like there aren't enough influences in her life telling her to be skeptical of strong passions and easy answers.
      "
      Again: a rhetorical confusion of what's in the game's fiction with life advice. A common confusion among hippies.
      _
      As for the OP, it looks like Ry hadn't played with Ry's daughter yet when s/he wrote the piece.

      Delete
    25. The original post abridged version [comments from mine between square brackets]:

      a) Ry loves his daughter [let me call her "Ryhanna"]
      b) Ryhanna wanna play D&D
      c) Ry wanna play D&D with Ryhanna, but...
      d) Ry is a hippy and
      e) Ryhanna is metal
      [so, what could possibly go right?]
      f) Ry [foolishly] asks Story Games what to do
      g) [made an stupid question, got twenty stupid answers]

      Zak S July 12 said -kindly answering my request- as for the OP, it looks like Ry hadn't played with Ry's daughter yet.

      I'm glad we both agree about this bit. Ryhanna still has not played D&D, but going by Ry's own words she is already revelling in (fictional) violence, power fantasy and teratocide like a seasoned power gamer.

      (Should I add? "...or like an average five-year older.")

      So the source of Ry's worries is not D&D, but Ryhanna playing hitgirl. This is a family matter which should never have been broadcasted, and doesn't affect D&D at all.

      Zak S July 12 said why even bring this up when discussing a _game of fictions_ unless Ry thinks that the game has something to do with it?

      There can be a thousand other reasons. Now it's my turn to play Sherlock. [My guess is: if Ryhanna was more of a Sansa and less of an Arya, Ry would have not problem in playing hippy-go-lucky Disneys & Dragons with her.

      More idle speculation from mine. The role played by D&D in Ry's concerns is: if they play the game together their respective tastes will eventually clash. Hippy meets metal, what could possibly go right? It's not just that Ry dislikes violence, is that being an spineless hippy he can't cope whith conflict. IOW, Ry is afraid of confronting his daughter.

      Which would explain why he prefers asking random strangers for advice -through the SG forum- rather than talking directly with her.]

      Delete
    26. Zak S July 12 said the post is not mostly about Ry complaining s/he'll be bored, it's about worrying about a Moral or Parenting Problem.

      The post can be read the two ways:
      a) if you add the moral subtext, like Zak (and everybody else?) is doing, the post totally makes sense - but it is wrong and stupid.
      b) if you throw away the moral subtext, like I am doing, the post totally makes sense - but it is stupid.

      For example, "I don't think it's okay to kill them because they're goblins" can mean:
      a) "killing goblins it's not always OK", or just
      b) "I dislike killing goblins without a reason"

      (Notice also that the word "Okay" can also be used without the moral baggage: "It's not okay to desecrate the desert because the wrath of the Crimson God will anihilate us", "its totally okay because otherwise the Steppe Riders will slay us anyway.")

      Possibly Zak is right. Moreover, possibly "I don't like the violence" is hippy-speak for "I want my daughter to stop beating the crap out of stuffed dolls but lack the guts to tell her". But "possibly" is not good enough for my standards. My point is: I WISH GRANTING Ry THE BENEFIT OF DOUBT - merely "stupid" is better than "wrong and stupid" at once. Because I'm a nice guy, or a devotee of Ockham's razor, or enjoy being obnobious, or don't gasp parenting, or whatever.

      Delete
    27. Ry is, as you say, at least doing something stupid AND is a hippy.

      And being a hippy (by this definition) is _already_ wrong.

      "So the source of Ry's worries is not D&D, but Ryhanna playing hitgirl. This is a family matter which should never have been broadcasted, and doesn't affect D&D at all. "

      That is: what he did was wrong. It is wrong to ask Story Games about this. It is the wrong choice. Ry admits this.

      So this thing you said, which a foolish mistake:
      'you are blaming Ry by things he didn't write.'
      No. I am not.

      Delete
    28. I'd prefer splitting hairs:
      - wrong is when you dislike pussycats because "they bark to the moon all night along",
      - stupid is when you dislike pussycats "because the sky is blue".
      But if you insist in putting both words into the same bag, I don't see the point of discussing it further.

      Zak S July 15 said being a hippy (by this definition) is _already_ wrong.

      Maybe. I have nothing against hippies, but they aren't my cup of tea either.

      Zak S July 15 said 'you are blaming Ry by things he didn't write.' No. I am not.

      I take it back. My apologies if I offended you. Since the OP in SG was hideously unclear, it's not a wonder that you read it one way and I read it another.

      Delete
    29. You didn't offend me, you simply made a mistake in public, so I am correcting you.

      Delete
  2. I remember embracing this logic in my 20's, but then it just kept me away from gaming, full stop. I'm glad these people are managing to game in some way despite being handicapped by their misguided view of maturity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not. They should be in therapy 24-7, not running around having babies and typing.

      Delete
  3. The difference between me and Pat Robertson? Even though I play in imagined worlds, I am able to tell the difference between fiction and reality. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Pat Robertson has that same squinty look GW Bush has.

    Goblin.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am a pacifist, and the last time I engaged in physical violence was during a preposterous scuffle over basketball at recess that I had with one of my friends when I was 11 years old.

    All of the above in spite of the fact that I've been pretending to slay and loot and kidnap and torture and sacrifice humans and rob and etc. since I started playing D&D at 10 years old in 1980. You'd think my Satanic hobby would have done a better job of corrupting me than that. At least that old basketball got me in a schoolyard fight.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh, and when I was under 10 I was armed to the teeth with toy guns, toy swords, toy knives, toy soldiers, toy tanks, toy cannons, violent comic books, and various and assorted other lurid and violent entertainments...

    And out pops a pacifist. Is this the best the Devil can do?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh stop with your anecdotal evidence, McKinney, we _all_ know you're a moral monster.

      Delete
  7. Ah, a good natured swipe at Story Games when in fact Robertson states...

    "D&D (and anything close to it)".

    So, in my Superheroes games where we protect the innocent, save lives, avoid killing, stop villains from killing, stop villains from stealing and rioters from looting...that's no good? Champions, Mutants & Masterminds and Marvel Heroic aren't anything close to D&D.

    OK.

    By the way Pat, it's 2013.

    Just FYI.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've read the first part of that 3 times and I can't make head or tail of it.

      Delete
  8. Whoah, this super bums me out.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Somebody on a message board said something controversial!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whoa, someone wrote a 16 line blog entry recording it.

      Delete
    2. Hey, someone wrote a two line response to a one line snark! Meta!

      Delete
    3. Just let us know when you're done, Chris.

      Delete
    4. Holy crap, I thought you were just snarking at Story Games. I didn't realize teh Robertson was back on that horse!

      Delete
    5. Oh, I think I'm done, unless there's someone who hasn't seen the Dark Dungeons retro-clone.

      Delete
  10. Actually, back in the day, if anyone on the Pat Robertson side of the aisle had even looked at the AD&D 1e books, they would have been able to trumpet from the rooftops the obvious part that would have gotten all of our parents to take them away from us.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is being taken way out of context. Here's the thread:

    http://www.story-games.com/forums/discussion/18263/my-little-savages

    The parts you've quoted directly are all from one guy in one short post. The thread itself was started by a dad with a 5 year-old who wants to kill things in D&D, and he's just asking for some opinions about what this means. He's reflecting on fatherly responsibility to a little kid. And almost all the other posters are saying it's okay, don't worry, throw in a couple morals here and there if you like but you're not going to break her by playing some D&D.

    I know that one guy's comment is weird, but he's not even necessarily saying D&D is bad, just that yeah, it's not exactly coming out of a family-friendly place.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know what the fuck is up with the one guy's post about sex and STDs, though. But these are just a couple of guys, and in no way is this a thread about how D&D is the devil. All these posters are gamers, probably D&D gamers, and they're trying to give advice, of varying value, to a father.

      Delete
    2. Jesse,

      please do not lie in my comments.

      The quotes are from 2 guys

      and if you add in the "Oh no casual sex!" that's 3 guys

      and the OP asking the stupid question to begin with that's 4

      and add in nobody going HOLY HELL YOU PEOPLE NEED TO GET OUT MORE that's the whole thread

      and if you add in none of these people being banned for being idiots that's the mods too

      Delete
    3. Q: "My daughter wants to play D&D. What should I do?"

      A:

      # AMBayard April 11 --- might not be bad
      # biffboff April 11 --- I wouldn't presume to suggest it occurs to me I suspect it need not be, but it would (not) be nice me not saying you should let her play. Perhaps.
      # Callan_S April 17 --- fight robogoblins
      # CarpeGuitarrem April 14 --- let her play
      # contracycle April 12 --- let her play
      # DannyK April 22 --- (just snarking)
      # David_Berg April 15 --- let her play. Or maybe not.
      # Felan April 14 --- fight evil goblins, spare good goblins
      # JDCorley April 16 --- let her play
      # komradebob April 18 --- play wargames for now
      # Lula April 13 --- (just snarking)
      # Paul_T April 18 --- let her play
      # Rafu April 16 aka "moral-bankruptcy guy" --- don't let her play
      # RobMcDiarmid April 18 aka "core-mechanic guy" aka "talk-about-sex guy" --- let her play
      # Ry April 18 is the Original Poster
      # Stephen P April 18 --- let her play
      # Veav April 12 --- let her play
      # WarriorMonk April 12 --- let her play

      18 answers: 10 for, 2 against, 3 ambiguous, 3 null

      Jesse April 18 wins!

      Delete
    4. WARNING: the author of the previous post has Asperger's Syndrome or is a big fat liar.

      Delete
    5. Jesse April 18 said the quotes were from one guy.

      That is a lie. That is incorrect. That is checkably incorrect.

      Jesse does not "win".

      Anonimous, you are incorrect.

      Delete
    6. Jesse April 18 said the quotes were from one guy. Wrong.
      The quotes are from Rafu and Rob. These are 2 guys. That is checkably incorrect.

      Anyone can commit a mistake.

      Zak S April 18 said if you add the "Oh no casual sex!" that's 3 guys. Wrong.
      "Oh no casual sex!" is Rob again. There are still 2 guys. That is checkably incorrect.
      Zak S April 18 said if you add the "Oh no casual sex!" that's 3 guys. Twice wrong.
      Rob said "lots of sex" not "casual sex". That is checkably incorrect.

      Anyone can commit a mistake while correcting someone else's mistakes. (Maybe for Mr. Smith "casual sex" and "lots of sex" mean the same, but by my mileage "casual sex" equals "not sex at all".)

      But we are nitpicking here, aren't we? Did this make us wiser?
      So, if you don't mind, I'll shortcut to the Bigger Picture:

      Jesse April 18 main point was almost all the other posters are saying it's okay. Ambiguous.

      anonimous June 12 checked Jesse's ambiguous statement. 10 out of 18 posters are saying it's ok, 2 out of 18 posters are saying it's not ok. Thus, Jesse's statement happens to be mostly true. Thus, Jesse wins 10-2.

      Delete
    7. "Anyone can commit a mistake."

      Yes, but you if you say, in public, that a person did something wrong or incorrect, then:

      1. CHECK FIRST. Especially when checking is as easy as clicking on a web page.

      2. ADMIT IT AND APOLOGIZE when you get caught.

      3. REALIZE that whatever point of view you are representing is damaged by your inattention to simple detial.

      "Zak S April 18 said if you add the "Oh no casual sex!" that's 3 guys. Wrong.
      "Oh no casual sex!" is Rob again. There are still 2 guys. That is checkably incorrect."

      No, you are lying. Callan backed Rob up on that. So that's 3 people.

      "Zak S April 18 said if you add the "Oh no casual sex!" that's 3 guys. Twice wrong.
      Rob said "lots of sex" not "casual sex". That is checkably incorrect."

      That doesn't make it _ANY BETTER_ . In fact, an attack on "lots of sex" (the best thing in the world) is even worse.

      So: no, the idiots do NOT win.

      If you want to "win" you have to make an argument for what you believe to be true. If that argument starts with a falsehood, it not only poisons the logical chain of the argument, it shows the speaker is not paying attention and is not to be trusted.

      The overal point is not "everyone on S-G thinks this all the time" it's that "people on S-G say things like this completely morally bankrupt totally fucked insanity regularly and there are no social consequences to it. Nobody goes 'Hey, you're poisoning the conversation and should seek therapy'.

      And if you are questioning the conclusion that many many game designers and well-respected-within-that-community people on S-G hold opinions that mark them as lunatics, ask for that evidence and I will provide it. It's as easy as Google.

      Delete
    8. [COOL STUFF GOES FIRST]

      Zak S June 17 said "people on S-G say things like this completely morally bankrupt totally fucked insanity regularly and there are no social consequences to it. Nobody goes 'Hey, you're poisoning the conversation and should seek therapy'."

      You are making a good point. I lost any hope in society some years ago -nowadays it's me vs. the world-, but I can guess where do you come from. I declare you a winner.

      Zak S June 17 said "if you are questioning the conclusion that many many game designers and well-respected-within-that-community people on S-G hold opinions that mark them as lunatics, ask for that evidence and I will provide it."

      No longer questioning you. Evidence of lunacy is still welcome, thank you very much. Looking forward for it.

      [COLL STUFF ENDS HERE]

      Delete
    9. [IDIOCY TIME]

      Indeed, it would have been a nice detail from Jesse April 18 to apologize when Zak S April 18 busted him.

      Zak S April 18 said if you add the "Oh no casual sex!" that's 3 guys.
      anonimous June 17 said 'Rob said "lots of sex" not "casual sex".'
      Zak S June 17 said 'Than doesn't make it _ANY BETTER_. In fact (...) is even worse.'

      Of course, it's tons of worse. It's blatantly stupid. Which makes it ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS [cue crazened laughter]. Can't even type it with an straight face. It's almost a pity that one day later Rob rectified and apologized. But we are disgressing here.

      The point of anonimous June 17 was that Zak S April 18 commited a mistake. Going by Zak S June 17 rules, now he should admit it and apologize. (I'm not holding my breath.)

      Zak S June 17 said Callan backed Rob up on that.

      1. CHECH FIRST: Callan said "I think the concern is unloving relationships, STD's and unplanned pregnancy - not lots of sex."

      Callan is calling Rob down on his stupidity. Tell me, how does it back up Rob?

      2. ADMIT IT AND APOLOGIZE. Your turn, Zak. Not holding my breath, again.
      3. REALIZE. Idem.

      Zak S June 17 said "lots of sex" (the best thing in the world)

      Long story made short: Yeah to this, but I prefer crapping.

      [IDIOCY TIME IS OVER]

      Delete
    10. "Unloving relationships" are not really Callan's business, that nosy ass hippie. Fuckbuddies are a fine and good. The other two things could be prevented by condoms, not by helicopter parenting.

      So, no, you are incorrect, again.

      Delete
    11. [IDIOCY TIME]

      Callan's concerns are not really my business,
      neither was anonimous June 25 backing Callan up.
      I have more serious concerns of my own,
      which I won't discuss here.

      I don't know what do you mean by "helicopter parenting".
      Neither I can see how could it be relevant.

      Zak S April 18 said "Oh no casual sex!"
      Rob said lots of sex.
      Callan said unloving relationships.
      casual sex =/= lots of sex =/= unloving relationships =/= casual sex

      Zak S April 18 misquoted whoever he was quoting.
      Zak S April 18 is still wrong.

      [IDIOCY TIME OVER]

      @Zak S June 17: I'm still looking forward for the evidence you kindly offered.

      Delete
    12. casual sex can easily fall under "unloving relationships".

      so I'm right . You are still wrong.

      Oh, you want evidence that S-G designers are lunatics?
      Easy as pie:

      http://www.story-games.com/forums/discussion/15862/history-of-gaming-confessions-of-a-dungeon-master/p1

      http://story-games.com/forums/discussion/11540/dd-with-porn-stars-and-canon-puncture/p1

      https://plus.google.com/117301572585814320386/posts/6qHf396vEhb

      Delete
    13. [IDIOM TIME]

      Zak S June 27 wrote casual sex can easily fall under "unloving relationships".

      Yes, but marriage can easily fall under "unloving relationships" as well.
      It's still not the same.

      OTOH, I must admit a bias of mine: I can't tell apart casual boners from love.

      [/IDIOM TIME]

      Since this discussion has drifted into a matter of idioms,
      I can't win against a native speaker.
      The time has come for me to give up.

      The quotes are from "moral-bankruptcy" Rafu and "core-mechanic" Rob. That's 2 guys. "Oh no casual sex!" are "lots-of-sex" Rob and "unloving-relationships" Callan. Rafu and Rob and Callan is 3 guys.

      So, Zak S April 18 was right. Zak wins. Jesse looses. anonimous looses.
      My apologies for the annoyance and thanks for your precious time.
      Thanks again for the links.

      Delete
  12. yeah, I started that thread , when I thought I might be able to get some good suggestions and links to some good games or supplements. I do worry about stupid stuff when it comes to my kids. I was bummed by the debating club that sprang up club about D&D, my parenting style, and my personal philosophy. If I think about it some more, what I really want is more and better kid-friendly material for playing D&D at their level.

    So here's a better thread - at least so far:

    http://story-games.com/forums/discussion/18280/write-dungeon-dilemmas-for-5-year-olds

    PS: Vornheim is the best gaming book I bought in 3 years and I get that you don't get Zak that makes Vornheim without Zak that calls bullshit on everything in his path. Also his Gravity's Rainbow book is even better than you're thinking.

    ReplyDelete
  13. He's just playing to his base with yet another "shocking" story that will increase his ratings and donations.

    There's no business like show business.

    ReplyDelete
  14. @RY ST: you might enjoy Roles, Rules and Rolls's Egg of the Gazolba - an adventure with a nice Arabian Nights feel and no need for violence.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ry St knows that adventure very well. He commented on the post one and a half years ago...

      Delete
  15. I saw that thread and didn't comment in it because everything I thought of that I wanted to say would have been seen as trolling or abrasive. That guy is a fucking moron and I feel sorry for his daughter, who sounds awesome because she's 5 and she wants to play D&D!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The guy sounded like my freakin' brother-in-law. He's a kook.

      Delete
  16. So if I'm playing D&D whole listening to "Shout at the Devil" played by a Stryper cover band and using a Bible as my MU's spellbook, what happens?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/sleep.htm

      Delete
  17. I knew I had something for the guy! Took me this long to remember: http://rpggeek.com/thread/748423/a-good-introductory-module-for-children-which-is-w

    ReplyDelete
  18. The link was even worse. I can't stomach replying over there. So I will do it here.
    So, his princess wants to be an equal in the world?
    She is realizing early that she has to fight to protect herself and get anywhere in life? Excellent!
    It is a harder fight for women and so many women aren't given the skills or tools to defend themselves.
    In fact, it is discouraged.
    All of the traits daddy listed would have made a proud father...If that were his son.

    I was lucky, I had three brothers that taught me well. It made a big difference. D&D too. I hope she keeps fighting.


    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
  20. @teresa

    the list of qualities sounded more like "these are the things i have to appease. how can i do that without soul-feasting ogre decapitation bathed in virgin blood" rather than some kind of horror at the idea of a girl wanting to be strong. but it sounds like you'd be intent on reading it your way no matter what

    @the actual thread thing

    plenty of people in that thread were like, "whatever, just play. 5-year-olds aren't stupid and they're not gonna get racist and crazy from killing goblins. make some good goblins for her to be nice to if you're worried about it."

    the talk about sex guy was kind of awkward but i respect his point of "don't pretend violence doesn't exist" the same way parents shouldn't pretend sexuality doesn't exist.

    the other guy was a kook but he was pretty much ignored and i think that while it may not be constructive to that particular poster's development as a human being to tell him to stop being crazy, it was probably more constructive to the discussion to just kind of ignore him. (nobody quotes him near his crazy and i don't recall anyone directly addressing him)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think a policy of "pretend people don't exist rather than calling them on their bullshit and drawing a line" is productive and the poor quality of the discussion there in that thread, and in S-G conversations on non-StoryGames in general) are an example of that.

      Delete
    2. I don't really read SG at all, but I'll trust you on that.

      What are you even supposed to do when someone comes in and says something that fucking weird, though? "What the hell is wrong with you?" is much more likely to lead to defensive insanity than introspection.

      Productive is a matter of perspective, I guess, and if you truly believe you can show sense to an internet weirdo, then attempting such a feat could be considered productive.

      I think I see what you mean, though; there's a level of balls-less-ness in the thread and not confronting that kind of stuff is really accenting it.

      Delete
    3. At a certain point of no return, you don't talk to them and try to make them less crazy (or see if they are), you talk to everyone else so you can point out their crazy and collectively ostracize them in order to have more productive discussions and prevent their more destructive activities from getting a foothold.

      Delete
  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I followed the link to StoryGames looking forward for some interesting and fun controversy, but the thread as a whole is as bland as it can get. I wonder why Mr. Smith ever bothered writing about it.

    For anybody who knows the D&D game, it should be obvious
    that those "moral bankruptcy" rants are bullshit.

    Zak, no so long ago you were warning us against something you called "antimemes":

    http://dndwithpornstars.blogspot.com.es/2013/02/antimeme.html

    You are not fostering an antimeme in here, are you?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WARNING: the author of the previous post (I mean anonimous) has Asperger's Syndrome or is a big fat liar.

      Delete
    2. Considering:

      1. you just went out of your way, more than a month after the fact, to lie in my comments about this issue,
      and
      2. the fact that Ry (the OP) actually came out and admitted s/he did something dumb
      and
      3. there are still people who are respected game designers who _actually_ believe this bullshit

      ...I would say the work of eliminating this brand of stupid from the on-line RPG conversation still needs to be done.

      When people who hold this position are immediately treated like they just said FATAL was their favorite game, then it will be an antimeme.

      Delete
    3. It makes sense. You win. Thank you very much.

      I can't afford being rude to people (doesn't matter if they are Rafu, FATAL fans or claiming that the moon is made of blue cheese), but that is me.

      Delete