Thursday, August 13, 2020

The Right To Suck

So here's a thing a game designer said. It's a simple line of reasoning so I'll just quote it:




The first obvious conclusion here is that if this incredibly elementary idea wasn't even brought up, these game design circles this designer hung out in weren't exactly great or productive places to hang out and someone smarter should've been around.

But more importantly it's mind-blowing that "Do it if you can do it well" is presented as a conclusion to a train of thought rather than an easy second step. Because, of course, whether you did it well is subjective.

It's subjective not just in the sense of one snarky english major will argue that, say, Blood In The Chocolate is an effective satire of the perversity and brutality of colonialism and another snarky English major will argue it isn't and it just feels racist, (and the same dynamic is true for sex in Hot Guys Making Out, or Bliss Stage, or fascism in Warhammer 40k, or any other difficult issue in any other game) it is also subjective in a second and more important way:

Two actual people actually picking up the actual book or playing the actual game and dealing with actual (let's assume) totally valid trauma can have two different actual responses to the edgy art based on their lived experience. For one it may be therapeutic and for another it may be retraumatizing.

So:

1. How the fuck does any adult end up with a platitude like "Just do it well"? How is that remotely acceptable as the cutting edge of thinking on whether you get to morally condemn a fellow human being for their art or not? 

2. And, subjectivity aside, how does anyone learn to "do it well" without doing it poorly a few times first?

Put your answers in the comments.

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66 comments:

Picador said...

Agree with the sentiment, and it applies beyond RPGs obviously. A slightly racist joke that’s hilariously funny gets a pass; the clunker of a racist joke gets people fired. The attractive dude that seduces his coworkers gets a pass; the awkward nerd who comments on his coworkers’ appearance gets fired. And honestly this is somewhat inevitable. But it certainly supports the notion that we need to be less uptight about the “bad” version of all of these things. You can say someone is a creep or a tool or that their book sucks. This should not be enough to get someone fired or blacklisted.

Queen V said...

To the first question, I guess that when you are stuck in a one or the other mindset it can seem quite revolutionary when someone comes around saying that the colour grey exists.

I feel like doing it well requires practice, and thus failing and fucking it up. Naturally someone who has experienced trauma should be carefull when picking these types of work, and hopefully be able to rely on others who can estimate how well it handles the subject.
Naturally this might end you up with some ham fisted or just flat out offensive depictions of trauma, but as a community those can then be used as teaching devices, since after all it is quite a bit easyer to see where something went wrong rather than right.

Chris Lawson said...

1. It’s the same line of thought that concludes “just don’t be a dick” as the yardstick of moral behavior. The adult in question has a bad imagination and is utterly self assured.

2. They don’t. Although P H could mean just don’t publish things for money that are bad, but it’s okay to make bad things privately and/or share them for feedback and testing.

This is close to something you said years ago, something about how you shouldn’t add to the net ugliness of the world. This is also impossible, but you can try to just keep the ugliness to yourself.

You could try asking P H these questions too. Do you think it would be hopeless to ask?

Zak Sabbath said...

@Chris Lawson

It would be hopeless to ask PH, they're a longtime online harasser and (as so often happens) respected voice in Story Games.

It's more interesting to ask readers. they are smarter than PH.

Adamantyr said...

1. An adult who either spends too much time around children or is completely self-absorbed.

Even the argument he presents is suspect. Oh yes, two groups both with bad ideas you don't share (although in this case, maybe that IS a blessing) but trust me, they're bad. And your solution is "Just do it well"? It would be like me attending a software architecture meeting and saying "Let's just do it right!"

2. You don't. The only way we learn HOW to do things is to try, and we won't do it right. Any creative endeavor means getting past the fear of failure and criticism. (Listening to the latter well and rejecting the wrong criticism while learning from the right criticism is a whole other skill to learn.)

I can see the OP in question has a Patreon which earns them a grand total of $408 per game they release, which is roughly 2-4 a year. Not exactly lighting up the RPG world there...

Zak Sabbath said...

@Adamantyr

They were VERY influential in the Story-Game scene

Kyle T said...

Oh hey, the phrase that's the bane of the freeform RP community, haven't seen that in a while.

In that community it doesn't come up in a game design sense but it does come up in character and concept design. In those circumstances:

1. It comes up because it provides a fig leaf for taste. Player A can say they'd like to play with Player B's vampire catgirl "If it's done well," never provide standards for what "done well" means, and then continue to silently ostracize the player for running a character or storyline they don't like. It exerts a kind of soft social pressure to bully people into playing "acceptable" concepts, which can include trying to ignore gonzo or silly concepts like above, but Serious topics as well.

This can also happen because players in the hobby buy into a large-scale myth that because everybody can play together in one shared setting, they ought to. This is a stupid idea that causes a lot of problems and abuse, but people cling to it. Therefore if concepts aren't "done well" then they can't fit the shared, faux-community ethos, and be ostracized accordingly. I sometimes think this attitude passes over into a lot of TTRPG design circles.

2. Within that circle, "doing it poorly" means "do what you want, but do it somewhere else, out of my way, where I never have to hear/think about it." By the same token, you can make whatever game you want, just never put it on the internet where I have to look at it or provide feedback on it, or write a viral thinkpiece about it directing angry people to my Kickstarter, which does the same thing "well," and certainly never play it.

Zak Sabbath said...

@Kyle T

Yeah, having a vague "read the room" standard that:

1. defines worth moral condemnation/not worth moral condemnation

2. carries significant consequences for the condemned

and

3. only comes up -after- its been transgressed

...is the standard tactic used to soft-censor sex workers on social media and pretty much every other kind of difficult content. It's also the effective standard on most RPG forums.

Basically going "Just don't upset the tiger or it will eat you, we don't know what exactly makes the tiger upset but just don't do it and you'll be fine".

It's evil and exists only to put a fig leaf over existing bias and unfairness.

Fredrick James Rourk said...

There are plenty of the same people in Wargaming as well. Just a fact of life they are everywhere. Modern science has had old Darwin outwitted for a long time now. They had him almost stopped completely from culling the herd of humanity. Who is laughing now? Old Darwin is working some serious Over Time of late!

Totktospit said...

IMHO, answer to the first question is that some designers are too full of themselves. They are soooooo influencing. Such people logically must support all moral panics associated with art, games etc. The most silly part is that they somehow believe that games like d&d completely avoid traumatasing and serious topics. How about violence and death? Humor is also subjected to such concerns, and there are always people willing to set boundaries for legally fun.

Second question is associated with the point of view refucing to give any agency to art/game consumer. This is the most ridicolous in the games case. Let people decide what is good and bad for them.

Zak Sabbath said...

@totktospit

the “ let people decide“/“ you don’t like it dont buy it” Argument is not completely bankrupt but the fact that people still use it after 10 years suggest that they are making an Attempt to completely talk past the people who have concerns like the person in the OP does.

their concern is that even if someone else buys it and they don’t that this will have a larger negative affect on something important in society or possibly even on someone in their game group.

I think a lot of these fears are unfounded and untrue and come with a terrible price but I really also think that Smart people need to know saying “ don’t like it don’t buy it“ are as guilty of not engaging as they are.

And it hasn’t worked because of the lack of engagement

Totktospit said...

By my argument I don't mean lack of engagement. I believe that authors or designers have other tools to prove their point, not only "good taste" enforcement. For example I have almost ooposite views on some political issues with my best friend. If can't imagine that i will try to prohibit publication of his game/book/movie/comment since it expressses opinion I'm disagree with. Another example is the book Mein Kampf. My country lost 27 million human lives because of nazi ideology. All brothers of my grandmother didn't return from the war. And still I believe it is useless to prohibit this shitty book. Now there are lot of dumbfucks who praise nazi-bastards despite their plans to erradicate all our ancestors and despite book prohibition. Also trying to prohibit all fascits related leads to people disability to recognize fascism.

Zak Sabbath said...

@totkospit

That is all very obvious but it doesn’t address what I said

Totktospit said...

Then I must admitt I'm not completely get your point. Could you please expand it? I will yet make another guess. It associated with "concerns". I believe many artsy people overstimate their influence on reality and make attempts to enchant it with their creations, but the world doesn't work in such way.

Zak Sabbath said...

@toktospit

i guess what im saying is:

do you understand that

“if you dont like it, dont buy it”
and
“whether you buy it or not, it just doesnt affect the world that much”
are different arguments?

theyre related, yes, but do you get they are different?

Totktospit said...

Yes, I suppose. The thing is that many of these topics are created by mutual misunderstanding. I believe "concerned" people do see opposite side as evil trying to push evil agendas, and "unconcerned" don't realise what "concerns" are about. It just seems so obvious that influence of games is rather limited. Many games include violence in some way to have a conflict (sometimes in rather abstracted way like chess). Such games imply that the way to win is directly harm to your opponent ability to influence said game state. Can we say that chess make people more prone to direct conflicts? And I am really, really puzzled that violence in general not considered to be a serious topic. Fighting or running because your are attacked by robbers is very stressful experience. It can happen at random moment, say like random encounter. And after that sound of steps behinf your back may make you nervous for the rest of your life. So, why violence is subjected to other standards? Why is it ok to treat fighting for life lightly?

Zak Sabbath said...

@totkospit

Well the answer they'd give is either:
-Violence is a problem and clearly violence in society is (somehow, no science here) the result of games and lets make terrible boring games with less violence
or
-Well the aesthetic presentation of a subject counts for a lot and raw extreme violence can feel more real than something softened by genre tropes

HOWEVER

i'd both these arguments are still bad in most contexts and the bigger problem is:

people who are skittish and detached from real life enough to care about the supposed moral effect of RPG content are ALSO skittish and detached from real life enough that as soon as you approach the holes in these arguments they will :

-Flee the conversation
or
-and/or attack you for engaging in it and THEN flee the conversation
or
-flee the conversation then attack you for engaging it to their friends

so regardless of how much water these arguments carry, nobody can ever figure out what their strongest form is, because the personality problems that make people believe these things are the same ones that ensure they will not ever engage about them

Totktospit said...

That is one of the things that amuses me in life. People talking about peace and commom good often are mercyless in their actions and will attack you without hesitation if you are not absolutely agree with them. Anf frankly I won't call it hyporicy, since hypocricy is something conscious.
Also the lack of some basic ideas about honor is buffeling. For example when I was a child It was considered to be pathetic to harm person atfter he is defeated and in general to try ruining someone life. Not to prevent misbehaviour but make somebodys life a freaking hell on earth. Apparently now people can be even proud, that they taking part in such things.

Zak Sabbath said...

@totkospit

The ” we don’t have to debate Nazis” loophole is self-reinforcing. the goal becomes not be able to justify what you do or understand it except to avoid dealing with Nazis but simply to find a way to call anyone who disagrees with you a Nazi to escape having to be articulate or thoughtful.

The obvious problem with that: It allows everyone to simply deal with every new situation on instinct even if it’s potentially harmful and redefines debate as essentially completely useless (which is fascism) is lost on people because they’re stupid and too busy typing in all caps about their feelings.

the problem is that it just doesn’t work and they will never be able to build anything lasting if they can’t take in information that isn’t the same as what they already thought

chris mcdowall Is currently experiencing this on the OSR discord—He change the rules to allow lying (as long as the person is performing emotion loudly enough while they lie.) Which completely predictably has led to totally incompatible accusations of abuse that he has no tools to sort out since he’s banished investigation

Totktospit said...

Such behaviour is also harmful to the medium. Of course It is only anectodal evidence, but as the person who looks at OSR from outside, my first impression on the whole movement was far from stellar. The movement looked like an abuser club, where everyone tryed to rape everybody and the content was essentially d&d for perverts. And I felt a little bitter about it, since it made all hobby look pathetic (usual steriotypes about gamers are less disgusting frankly). So it can be a huge problem to introduce friends to hobby, since you must say something like - Just don't google it or ignore all shit in the internet, that is not whole thing is about.

Zak Sabbath said...

@Totkospit

And of course the image of "everyone trying to rap each other" (which literally never happens in any game I've ever seen) was the result of an absolutely 100% conscious campaign of harassment and misinformation, including:

-P H Lee, the op here who, along with Ash Kreider, invented the idea that there was a game designer who threatened to rape his critics, then dozens of major game designers from outside the OSR plussed it (without checking anything) and then said trying to hold them accountable for lying about this was "harassment"

-Icequeenerike / Erika Muse, who erased all the women in the OSR by claiming their was a conspiracy to push all the women out of it (see the letter to Chris McDowall a few entries ago on this blog) who, along with her Something Awful cronies like Ettin continually just fabricates misinformation like a factory

-Paul Matijevic / Ettin, Jacob Randolph / Gnome, Kai Tave and the rest of the Something Awful goons who pushed the idea that Kiel Chenier's "Blood In The Chocolate" was a weird fetish adventure, erasing Kiel's queer status and his total willingnes to engage about the supposedly problematic depictions in his work.

-And these Something Awful folks are now completely ensconced in the OSR discord and their word is taken as gospel truth, as if they didn't spend a decade lying about things you can just go ahead and google. Like OSR people who suffered under the exact stereotypes these people created on purpose are now like "Zak Smith and Mike Mearls conspired to harass unknown people for unknown reasons by unknown means? Sounds legit to me"

Allegedly reasonable OSR creators are just lying there and going "Yeah, sure" to people who they spent a decade proving were wrong. It's clownshoes.

Totktospit said...

I have just searched information about "Blood In The Chocolate" and I have not seen anything super offensive. It looks kike weird adventure. And things like possible fun cannibalism are actually omages to the actual table top play. The main selling point of RPGs is the freedom to do anything. And If you invite a new player to the game (assumption is she is not resident of nerdy states of geekdom) she will try to test it freedom. If players without sticks in their asses and have not wanked on elves too much, they will begin to invent weird often immoral actions to test limits. It is similar to people playing computer games testing the boundaries of sandboxes. And in my humble opinion it is easier to interest people with something like weird Willy Fona factory or Pirates of Caribean Asteroids or any other weird original setting than in forgotten realms bullshit. I can't even imagine that somebody would care about Llolth or Garosh or other lore. Lore is overestimated in general. Even if something is weird fetish adventure it is not big deal, players with freedom can make booring LoTR in fun hobbits vs hookers without outside help. Fun police should calm down a little bit.

Zak Sabbath said...

@titktospit
i agree, but others disagree.

and when that happens, the only important conversation is about proof

Zak Sabbath said...

@iwouldrumpherstiltskin

Erased: misinformation is not allowed.

But do note your continued harassment even now makes it easier to prove ongoing damages in court.

Zak Sabbath said...

@iwouldrumpherstiltskin

As always, you don't get to comment until you address and apologize for the misinformation in earlier comments.

You should know this by now.

ralphfromthesimpsons said...

Hey Zak, what is the deal with so many upper middle-class people that have drug/DUI records but didnt serve any jail time? Is this a big thing in California? I'm from albany and almost everyone who can afford to own a house and does six figures a year has a DUI or some kind of minor assault. Sorry for the off-topic but I'm asking any californians I know. Looking forward to Demon city!

Zak Sabbath said...

@ralphfromthesimpsons

I don't know. I don't know anybody who I know for sure has a drug or DUI record in California.

ralphfromthesimpsons said...

Oh you can probably look it up I dunno

thanks anyway, please sue chris mcdowall, he banned me from his server for defending you

ralphfromthesimpsons said...

also because i threatened to stab aura for being a furry

Zak Sabbath said...

@ralphfromthesimpsons

Don't threaten to stab people or hurt them.

ralphfromthesimpsons said...

It was a joke

Zak Sabbath said...

@ralphfromthesimpsons

Even as a joke, the upside is less than the downside.

As for legal action:

Chris's February 18, 2019 post where he says...

"Zak's response and those of some of his close friends haven't addressed the accusations, instead focusing on discrediting Mandy and painting Zak in a positive light. "

...(among other things) makes him a viable target in his jurisdiction, since, whether you believe me (and the witnesses and the documents) or not, the post absolutely and undeniably does address the accusations.

Chris is good at convincing other people he's reasonable, but he has no talent for details.

If you want to help with that case, get in touch: zakzsmith AT hawtmayle dawt calm.

ralphfromthesimpsons said...

play any videogames, zak? i heard animal crossing might be a nice thing

Zak Sabbath said...

@ralphfromthesimpsons

Nope we're just playing D&D and Demon City. I like video games but usually if I have time to play one I've got time to organize an RPG instead.

I'd like to have time to play more video games but I'm mostly working.

teamslope said...

okay fair. do you watch any political youtubers as background noise? Any...breadtubers(i hate that name)

teamslope said...

on top of that, going off ralph's video game question, what's your favorite video game (that you dont have any time to play?) :p

Zak Sabbath said...

@teamslope

"do you watch any political youtubers as background noise? Any...breadtubers"

No. I listen to podcasts tho.

"what's your favorite video game (that you dont have any time to play?)"

I like Worms: Armageddon, Star Wars: Battlefront, the Justice League playstation game, Peggle, Space Marine

Kyle T said...

Addendum: Also seems like this provides justification for a professional class of game designers, the people who already know how to "do it well" and will avoid causing harm by doing it poorly.* The people who already have the experience and training to Do It Well can pick up the business of game design and the commoners can leave the rest to them.

This also seems like a really stupid idea for a low-to-no profit cottage industry attached to a major mainstream success with very few barriers to entry and a peripheral field of design that functions like manuscript culture; on the other hand, if you believe in the hiring and inclusion of diverse voices, this also works as a justifying ideology to ensure only the "right" diverse voices get hired. We certainly don't want, say, Jewish designers telling people they can just use golems in their game if they want, as in the recent twitter thread on the subject! They might get all sorts of ideas.

*Harm always outweighs even exponentially greater amounts of help in this line of thought, so your example of one work simultaneously retraumatizing and comforting two different readers is already doing it poorly by default.

Zak Sabbath said...

@Kyle T

Yeah, most of the Extremely Online RPG people besides the OSR used that logic a lot to push the idea that games that required Rulings were poor/lazy game design.

The D&D 4e obsessives at Something Awful, the endlessly wheel-reinventing at Story-Games, and even the 3.5 devotees at The Gaming Den all proclaimed the superiority of their approach because leaving a call to the GM as opposed to the game designer was just -not working hard enough- (no matter what other benefits there were to leaving a rule short or open-ended).

In terms of both morality and house rules for falling damage the answer really is the same: if you are engaging in a leisure activity with friends and you can't trust that ring of friends and their friendliness to be smart and stable enough to remain friendly and fun despite a golem or someone taking too much falling damage then the problem is the people involved suck.

Sucky people don't tend to like that conclusion, and seek new friends on the internet.

Семен Цевелев said...

Okay. The "do it well" thing seemed natural to me, probably because of my perfectionist approach to creative stuff. So I read the comments and thought about it some more.
So.
1. In this context "just do it well" is useless and stupid, because it tries to mix two questions together.
1a) Can you talk about anything you want? Yeah, sure. Dunno why you're asking, it's kind of obvious.
And
1b) Should you hurt other people that play with you? Uh, no. Also kind of obvious.
I'm not sure if I should carry on about dealing with it because it's all pretty much obvious.

2. Even after you've learned to do something well, you'll probably make mistakes. It's okay to be imperfect. If you make a mistake that hurts someone but you manage to fix it, it's okay, too. And when we talk about role-playing games, it's hardly brain surgery, no one's going to die immediately if you make a mistake, there's usually a chance to fix things.

Zak Sabbath said...

@Семен Цевелев

1a You've conflated "can you?" (a boring question about censorship, which almost nobody publicly supports) with "should you?". And the "should you" here is about asking whether public speech is -influential- and in what way is it influential.

1b You've approached this issue as a private citizen--a GM who raises things in games to be dealt with by 4-5 fellow players. Because: a) most people in PH Lee's circle are game designers or possible designers--that is producers of products and because b) they appear to be miserable people who therefore play often at conventions with strangers...
....they are thinking a lot more about public speech, not about private speech, which returns you back to the question in 1A about -influential public speech-.

2. Again: they're talking about mistakes in =published products- not at your table.

Семен Цевелев said...

Ah. That's bigger.
I'm thinking that...
1. "Just do it well" is still meaningless. That is, here it seems to mean "stick to the tastes of the group that you want to like and buy your stuff". Wow, that's unorthodox. And it takes the questions of morality and influencing the audience, and replaces them with a term that has nothing to do with morality, creativity, talent, skill, or anything meaningful. This game is good, because it is well done; and it is well done because it is good. Kind of like they taught Marxism in USSR - the teachings of Marx are eternal, for there are true, and there are true because they are eternal.

2. You can get lucky and do something well when you try it first, or you can be a natural and do it well every bloody time, but, obviously again, you learn to do something by failing a couple times and learning from it. If we talk about objective stuff and not Soviet Marxism.

Zak Sabbath said...

@Семен Цевелев

1. It certainly is.

2. The problem is the method of -informing- the creator you believe they made a mistake, which seems to be a choice between:

a. The obviously good and most productive way if you actually want to change things:
https://dndwithpornstars.blogspot.com/2016/08/monte-cook-and-you.html

and

b. The obviously awful and least productive way designed not to fix things but simply to earn the author nerd points for their own audience at the cost of whoever's being critiqued
https://twitter.com/arthur_affect/status/1292581036933537793

Zak Sabbath said...

@Семен Цевелев

...and it should go without saying that the second way strangely -assumes the critique is right and can have no rebuttal- and so morally licenses total cruelty from the critic(/harasser).

ralphfromthesimpsons said...

i generally find it amusing that most of the clique that cancelled you hates each other now from the constant infighting. everyone's an innocent victim of horrific abuse every few months. The faces change but otherwise it remains the same

ralphfromthesimpsons said...

In general I find clout-chasing to slowly be climbing the ladder of people I despise the most.

You don't like, say, er, Swords and Wizardry? Better make dark implications and insult the creator a bunch. Keep it vague like the fash do and resist all attempts to say something concrete.

Not to be a bad dude, but if you just banned people that subtweeted twitter would be perfect

Zak Sabbath said...

@ralphfromthesimpsons

Yup:

Shoe Skogen was Mandy's friend in the game industry who kinda helped gin up the harassment campaign, now I guess Shoe dated Cavegirl and then they broke up and now they're mutually accusing each other of abuse. And Chris McDowall took Cave's side so Shoe's now posting snarky tweets about how people should think harder before cancelling folks. Can't roll my eyes hard enough at that.

Then Cavegirl gave cover to Something Awful goons like Icequeenerika to be on the OSR discord and Erika's accusing people of abuse

And all the 4chan dipshits hate Cavegirl because she is a 4chan dipshit with a name outside 4chan.

Meanwhile all the important OSR authors fucking hate the Something Awful Goons because they spent years fending off their "OSR are all cavemen" bullshit and know they're effortlessly dishonest.

And the Lancer guys including Kai Tave are all Something Awful goons and they dogpiled Kiel Chenier.

And Chenier probably doesn't really appreciate that since he spent years dealing with Ettin and the other goons saying he put out a fetish module.

Paolo, the cause of the argument where Patrick decided to post about it online and give up on me instead of call me, now calls Patrick names

Anybody who ever worked with Patrick professionally will tell you Patrick's got serious issues (not that it makes him dishonest, but his judgments of other people socially are like...come on, dude, you don't leave the house) plus now like Jeremy Duncan and Humza Kazmi and those guys are like "Patrick's racist!" because of Patrick's dumb twitter joke.

But given a choice between Patrick and Skerples, they'd all choose Patrick bc everyone seems to be gettin now that Skerples isn't just 4chan trash but just kinda boring.

And everybody hates James Raggi for doing -kinda- the right thing by not trashing me when he threw me under the bus.

And all the OSR people on twitter kinda hate most of the storygamers bc they still after 20 years won't stop inventing new ways to be snobby about dungeoncrawls

And all the storygamers has to stan for Wundergeek/Ash Kreider because they play victim so hard but also kinda hate them because obviously not that bright and they dont' want to be associated with them.

And, really, I don;'t think anyone believes Filamena Young and Olivia Hill claiming I sent photos of their kids' school to them.

I mean: if any one of these people was accused of a crime, everyone else could line up and go "Oh I knew it all along" because they don't have any grown ups in the room anymore.

ralphfromthesimpsons said...

well they've already been doing that, since from what I saw, mandy's accusations were considered solid gold because they already hated your guts. cancelling of shoe was followed by "yeah haha she was literally always a missing stair" and this just goes on and on. I hear nothing about these people, and then they get their turn on the wheel and everyone goes "I knew it, the whole community did, they were always a missing stair!" and I dunno.

No way to fix it, I hope they think its worth it to just tear one another apart.

Zak Sabbath said...

@ralphfromthesimpsons

oh there's most definitely a way to fix it

ralphfromthesimpsons said...

oh please elaborate, I'm bored and I like it when you make longer posts. I wa waiting for one :p

Zak Sabbath said...

@ralphfromthesimpsons

if you want to help, email me, if you don't -- no need to tell you

ralphfromthesimpsons said...

I'm not really in a position to help anyone. poor nobody

Zak Sabbath said...

@ralphfromthesimpsons

There are lots of things anonymous people can do. Anonymous people were a big part of causing the problem to begin with.

ralphfromthesimpsons said...

Can you name any?

Zak Sabbath said...

@ralphfromthesimpsons

Yes.

But, to repeat myself:

if you want to help, email me, if you don't -- no need to tell you

Cartilagewalker said...

re: ralph's request for advice, why on earth would you not just make it public? Like, on a globally ethical scale, I believe what was done to you was wrong, but that doesn't mean I like you enough (I don't) that I want to start a private dialog with you. I'm willing to help on a larger-scale for ethical reasons and because shit needs fixing, but I don't want to talk to you. Neither of those things is wrong, and you could help other people (and yourself) by just posting some of those thoughts on how to help in a useful, concise way.

Zak Sabbath said...

@cartilagewalker

The whole situation was caused because so many people in the online RPG scene are too scared of confrontation or real human interaction to deal with disagreements directly by talking to people, and who saw attempts to resolve differences as scary and entangling.

If you don’t even care about fixing things in the industry enough that you’d get over whatever issue makes you more comfortable talking anonymously in public to a victim than to the same person via email then you’re -definitely- not someone who should be getting active online.

Zak Sabbath said...

@cartilagewalker

Like if you don't like someone you insist on interacting with:

Be honest. Say what are issues are with them. Listen to what they say back. Engage fully. Try to resolve what can be resolved.

If you can't do that: you are 100% part of the problem. I certainly am not going to encourage you to be more active in the community.

Zak Sabbath said...

@cartilagewalker

erased. misinformation and first-strike personal attacks are not allowed.

if you believe you haven’t done either if these things: make your case.

if you won’t: you’ve proved my point. You aren’t engaging about problems you have w/ other people

teamslope said...

i dont know why everyone is acting like it's a big mystery: zak's game plan has been detailed on many comment sections both here and the official announcements blog. It's not an easy path, he doesn't have a button that makes people stop acting like shitters.

Zak Sabbath said...

@teamslope

Over the years it's become obvious that a lot of people who leave comments like that are hoping that there's some "gotcha" phrase that they can use on 4chan or Discord or Something Awful Goon Twitter to make it sound like there's some terrible new scary (or laughable) phase of me trying to not let people lie on the internet.

They're also kinda either stupid or playing stupid, asking basically "Why don't you apologize for the crime you didn't commit?" "Why do you want the bad people who did bad things to be held accountable and stop doing them?"

If these are earnest questions then they suggest the level of cognitive empathy they've got going on is pretty low. When the neighbors get robbed do they ask them "Why does he want to catch the burglar and get his stuff back? I don't -understand- him"

It must make watching TV inexplicable.

teamslope said...

I mean from my understanding it's simple with the lawsuits and then having people go out and ask earnest questions like "Why is Zak banned on the testimony of proven liars/admitted abusers" and that's not easy but eventually there's not going to be any justification left.

Zak Sabbath said...

@teamslope

There's a lot more people can do right now to fix things besides wait around.

The people who caused this problem didn't wait for any court decisions--and it will only get worse in the meantime. People are tearing into each other left and right.

teamslope said...

I didnt want to give away the whole game, because again, I assume your "email me" would at least require a troll to make a throwaway account and they're expecting you to be like "go burn down X's house" or "dox y person". They myth of Zak sending out his minions continues to this day. It'd be funny if it wasn't believed, evidence-free by shitheads.

And then it's a panicked screenshot to discord, twitter, SA, 4chan, wherever. Shit-ass humans. For my own part I just bought a bunch of your shit in the LOTFP fire sale(including another copy of ARaPL because one of my players borrowed it, ran some games with it and wrote all over it...sigh) and run it for my group. "Yeah the guy who wrote this is pretty cool, here's a link to his onlyfans". It's not much, but I like to think I helped.

Zak Sabbath said...

@teamslope

Thanks!
If you want things to run in the same vein, definitely check out the Cube Worlds.

teamslope said...

*opens wallet and a single cartoon moth flutters out*

In a few weeks, my dude :)