Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Question

So, given:

-The online RPG community (including probably you) is made up of game masters
-The online RPG community is quite capable of cancelling people
-Luke Crane (of Burning Wheel) is head of Kickstarter for games, teaches tabletop RPG design at NYU Game Center, and has high-level connections all over the RPG industry
-Luke Crane has quite provably said all of you are abusers:
All of the games talk about fun and fairness, enjoyment and entertainment, but then they break that cycle by granting one member of the group power over all of the other members of the group. It's classic power dynamics. Once you have roles of power and powerless, even the most reasonable and compassionate people slide into abuse. [source]

Why haven't you either:

A) Cancelled yourselves for being abusers.
or
B) Tried to cancel Luke Crane for spreading misinformation about you

?

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For some of you, engaging in the comments will be its own reward.

If you're sick of this shit and want game content: for every serious and engaged answer, I will give you one content post.
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204 comments:

1 – 200 of 204   Newer›   Newest»
Zak Sabbath said...

@Mason

What abuses did you perform?

Zak Sabbath said...

@themaxsteele

So, in one sentence:

Why haven't you attempted to cancel this person you call a bully?

Zak Sabbath said...

@Mason

In what way? Give a detailed account

Terje Meling said...

A) I’ve not cancelled myself because the notion that I should is preposterous.

B) I’ve not tried to cancel Mr. Crane, nor any of his like, because Its not worth the greif. I just want gaming stuff!

Zak Sabbath said...

@Terje

Why do you supposed it's worth the grief for so many others but not for you?

TabelleCasuali said...

note: English is not my first language, so I may have misunderstood or may not express myself correctly.
I don't care who Luke Crane is or what he says; I play to have fun with friends, I have little "virtual life" and I don't think his words, however influential in the world of role-playing games, will have great weight on my table (of which I, as DM, are the most nerdy and therefore more influenced by what I read on the internet).
It will be selfishness and selflessness but I am not interested in replying to his words.

Zak Sabbath said...

@TabelleCasali

You do apparently read this blog, though, and so presumably want some of what's on it. Is that true?

Russ Winterson said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Zak Sabbath said...

@Russ

So:

1-Have you confronted Luke? If not, why not?

2-And why should any particular offender (no matter how serious) be outside "the confrontable"?

Nitrous Gold said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Zak Sabbath said...

@Nitrous Gold

So, despite having some ideas about what could work:

-you currently take no action in response to bad actors online
-while bad actors do take action

...this creates a situation where in effect, bad people can harm innocent people at will and you (currently) don't even try to do anything.

How do you feel about that?

Adamantyr said...

I wasn't aware of Luke Crane, or what he's said, before you brought it up. It definitely bothers me, though. I can vote with my money by not backing anything he's involved with, and I can refuse to play any game he's had a direct influence on, what else can I do to reduce the influence of such people?

The RPG industry is really full of the "You're playing it wrong" types. People who can't stand YOU having fun doing something in a way they find offensive or incorrect and they can't help themselves but interject or make it a point. I generally ignore the noise, and if someone has the gall to tell me to the face I'm doing it wrong, I'll tell them to fuck off, politely at first, and with general venom if it has to be repeated.

I've only played Burning Wheel a few times, when a good friend of mine who liked the system really wanted to run it and I was in a period of GM burnout and I wanted to play something. Right now the same pattern is going on with Runequest, with the same GM. (Which is okay, although I find percentile systems to be really volatile, and my good friend has a bad stutter that comes out when we game.)

Zak Sabbath said...

@Adamantyr

So your move is, in effect, a boycott.

He also did Mouse Guard and was involved in publishing a lot of games (under the Burning Games imprint)

Adamantyr said...

That is correct, a boycott. Money talks, right?

I haven't bought anything from Burning Games. And if someone recommends one I'll be happy to tell them why I won't be buying any of their products.

At some point I hope to find another hard copy of Blue Medusa.... my cat Jack (the lovable rascal) chewed up the blue ribbon bookmark, and I want a pristine replacement. That's where I'll spend my money.

Zak Sabbath said...

@adamantyr

to be effective, you gotta organize a boycott--involve lots of people

if you want Medusa: https://twodollarradio.com/products/maze-of-the-blue-medusa

if they don't have it, ask them to republish it

Adamantyr said...

Ah thank you for the link! I ordered one immediately. And then I'll keep it on a high shelf away from the cats. For the record, I consider it one of the best mega-dungeons I've ever read, and probably the ONLY one I'd ever try and run.

To create a boycott, I would have to be passionate about it. Which, given I just learned of Luke Crane and his statements, I'm not. For me, it's just noise from some idiot. The same kind of noise I've heard for decades. And against the background of a serious viral disease impacting social, political and economic landscapes, somewhat trivial. Does it warrant a pithy twitter rebuttal, or more than that?

What about his statements bothers you, that you think greater action is needed?

Zak Sabbath said...

@Adamantyr

Crane was just an example.

However: Given your reaction to being able to get a copy of Medusa, one might assume you are passionate about this blog or at least the continuing availability of books like Maze of the Blue Medusa, and there will never be another due to lots of Crane-like RPG jerks who you might otherwise ignore.

Basically, because people who like things like Maze of the Blue Medusa and who can spot bullshit when they read it were totally inactive when the rpg jerks went to work cancelling me, my ability and desire to make and sell you game stuff has been annihilated. Is that worth getting passionate about?

Adamantyr said...

It is absolutely worth fighting for. If you choose not to write or publish material because you feel you aren't supported, I can't stop that.

What I can tell you is I personally 1) Didn't believe what Mandy posted whatsoever. I was even incredulous like "WTF? That makes no sense.... that's not Zak at all."

And 2) The reactions of various individuals and companies, cutting you off, was absolutely unwarranted and over the top. Their only serious reason to do so, which I am sure you know, is that "He's a porn star and we can't defend him."

That has always been the elephant in the room. At least in the US, there is a puritanical streak that shuts off any avenue in that direction. There's a post on the daily WTF (an IT related site) about how someone mentioned his involvement in porn in an interview and then later found out it not only didn't get him the job, it got his recruiter banned from the company and he was blacklisted with any company they had contact with.

Is it fair? Absolutely not. But all I can do is is argue for the quality of your work with anyone who questions the source because I don't have a problem with that line of work or your involvement in it.

The one thing none of them can take away from you is joy in the game. Run your game with your favorite players who know the real you and don't believe shit on Twitter. They can't touch that, ever. And if you choose never to publish anything again, I would understand why.

Zak Sabbath said...

@Adamantyr

I don't need a pep talk, Ad, I am asking you a question:

You said you would need to be "passionate" to take action. Do you feel this is something you are "passionate" about? Yes/No.

Adamantyr said...

My apologies, I know you prefer direct answers, Z.

He (Luke Crane) hasn't personally offended me as yet (but his statements definitely rub me the wrong way), so I will look into it. I'll post my conclusions and actions here.

Zak Sabbath said...

@adamantyr

That isn't the question I asked. I didn't ask about Crane and I didn't ask about you being "personally offended".

I will repeat myself:

"
Given your reaction to being able to get a copy of Medusa, one might assume you are passionate about this blog or at least the continuing availability of books like Maze of the Blue Medusa, and there will never be another due to lots of Crane-like RPG jerks who you might otherwise ignore.

Basically, because people who like things like Maze of the Blue Medusa and who can spot bullshit when they read it were totally inactive when the rpg jerks went to work cancelling me, my ability and desire to make and sell you game stuff has been annihilated. Is that worth getting passionate about?
"

Kyle T said...

I tried cancelling myself, but a weeklong stay in a psych ward, the suffering of my loved ones, and a lot of medications has told me I'm not to do that again.

I haven't cancelled Luke Crane because I am an unknown figure, the RPG community runs on status games, and I would lose the effort and instead be cancelled in kind.

Zak Sabbath said...

@Kyle T

If you're afraid of retribution why not just use a different name or be anonymous? Many of the people who attacked me did that

Kyle T said...

Because a set of social signals has arisen around the use of pseudonyms and anonymity in which the argument is discarded on the basis of anonymity, and a hunt begins for the identity of the anonymous. The cancellation is worse when that identity is revealed.

You are anomalous in your willingness to engage in argument regardless of user identity. I think you know this.

Zak Sabbath said...

@Kyle T

"a set of social signals has arisen around the use of pseudonyms and anonymity in which the argument is discarded on the basis of anonymity, and a hunt begins for the identity of the anonymous. "

That isn't true, lots of people, like Skerples, for instance, use fake names to cancel people.

Please address that

Kyle T said...

Sorry, I don't know enough about those people, Skerples included, to speak with any authority on the aubject, not do I know enough about those instances to know which you are describing to take that as authoritative.
Please provide examples.

Zak Sabbath said...

@Kyle T

Examples:

Skerples' blog is called "Coins and Scrolls" and they (Skerples) have a dogpile post about me that's widely cited as somehow authoritative that I did something wrong ( because I apparently asked Skerples not to promote the work of known harassers).

Many people on the OSR discord are anonymous ("Goatman's Goblet" for example) and their made up stories are likewise cited as authoritative.

SecretGamerGrrl on twitter, ditto, cited by well-known game designers as if they're an actual source.

Nearly everyone on Something Awful and Reddit use pseudonyms.

None of that has stopped them from campaigning against people in a variety of ways.

Kyle T said...

I don't know why they are not afraid of retribution. I am still afraid of retribution. Those examples have not convincede to stop being afraid of retribution. Perhaps I am more cowardly than they are.

Zak Sabbath said...

@Kyle T

Thank you for answering the questions you were asked.

Kyle T said...

You're welcome. Sorry that wasn't very edifying, best of luck finding a more satisfactory answer.

Zak Sabbath said...

@Kyle T

It was satisfactory.

I am attempting to understand a catastrophe after the fact and your answer is as explanatory as any other

Matrox Lusch said...

The RPGnet forum topic is from 13 years ago.

It seems folks did a good job about taking Luke Crane to task about his blanket statement which forced him to clarify “I merely provided that in many trad games the potential for abuse is hard coded into the game.”

Crane says “game rules absolutely reinforce or alter social contract! Some game sets do it explicitly, most do not. The games that do so explicitly are, unsurprisingly, the best at smoothing over rough spots. No game is the ultimate fix, but certain games are more agile and adept at aiding players navigate problem areas.”

Crane’s has this weird grip that personal decisions about who a person decides to game with doesn’t matter “Because that would be inappropriate in that context and it would fail ward (sic) against behaviors I want excluded from the game.”
Crane writes that his game rules “… instruct players (all of the players) to follow the text as written. It is not a traditional game. You don't need to hack it to make it work. You don't have to ignore rules. If there's a rule dispute, you look it up in the book, figure it out and play on. No one is allowed to ignore a rule because it's inconvenient.”

“The game then produces the ground for trust and equity, this provides the foundation for intensity and reaching beyond your traditional boundaries.”

This sounds vaguely cult-like. Doesn’t this method put the “rules” is in the role of power and the players all the powerless?

Crane goes on “But there's one more step! By putting the authority of rules enforcement in the hands of all of the players, there's a greater chance of equity and consensus. It's essentially a system of ye olde checks and balances. The rules give power to the players to check an abusive player.”

This is weird because the poles are “equity and consensus” versus “an abusive player” implying disagreements over rule interpretation is in itself abusive.

“Fuck being nice to each other as friends. I want to be able to point to the game text as a neutral and fair arbiter.” Yikes. Then the thread by page 58 seems to turn into Luke’s Burning Wheel pitch, ha, except page 61 where Crane threatened to “… pull out his gaming cock so we can compare.”

Then Crane says the whole topic was “… a little thought exercise...” and that he’s “… disturbed by gamers with little sense of humor.”

I didn’t know two-shits about Luke Crane before reading through two-thirds of his posts on this forum thread, again, from 13 years ago.

The options A) or B) are a false dichotomy because Crane did write he didn’t intend the meaning that everyone who DMs abuses.

However, Crane’s fanaticism that game rules alone can mandate social interactions is like inventing a new language where the words and context for abuse are missing as a way to eliminate abuse, enforcing proper use of the new language through group-think, then proposing English is bad because of English’s potential for abuse all the while not acknowledging the new language’s own inherent abusive power over people even thinking outside the new language. Woe to the utility of our friend the Devil’s Advocate.

Matrox Lusch said...

Now, the “Catastrophe” is that for years there was an antithetical group-think (apparently to aspects of both your social and design persona) attempting to mandate your social interactions online. Certain people didn’t like or perhaps understand Socratic method and labeled you mean and abusive. Your friends pushed back with some success, to most folks it was inside baseball, and you wrote, illustrated, and had published terrific works. And were heralded for it.

Then Mandy’s letter came out and it was bad, bad as could be if it was planned to fuck you up. You are alleged to have violated social interactions by committing abuse in a way the fell right into the pre-existing group-think about your persona, and in the realm of the national movement standing up for abuse against women by men in power. This created a wave of indignation that overwhelmed even your friends, many of whom were just coming into there own with projects already or close to being in the pipeline (not to mention funded by Kickstarter which demands community participation to fund).

And no matter if folks spoke up in your defense, there is always an aspect of real or imagined he-said she-said that no one can really know for sure what happened.

Matrox Lusch said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Zak Sabbath said...

@Matrox Lusch

Address these:

-Even if Crane's conclusion is merely " “I merely provided that in many trad games the potential for abuse is hard coded into the game.”"

This is an unproved accusation, so exactly as cancel-worthy as the original statement, so: same question again, despite "The options A) or B) are a false dichotomy because Crane did write he didn’t intend the meaning that everyone who DMs abuses."

-"And no matter if folks spoke up in your defense, there is always an aspect of real or imagined he-said she-said that no one can really know for sure what happened."

This is untrue since when Mandy et al are put in a position to answer questions and square them with facts they accept or that get discovered they change their story and it becomes "No wait actually we all agree".

It's like Mandy saying "I will grow to Godzilla size next thursday" has an element of "he said/she said". Only until you test it.

Zak Sabbath said...

@MatroxLusch

Your off-topic comment removed for obvious reasons.

TabelleCasuali said...

@Zak
"You do apparently read this blog, though, and so presumably want some of what's on it. Is that true?".
Yes! you yourself advised to immediately say if English is not the first language, so as not to create misunderstandings.
if you look at my blog it is full of random tables generated with your advice.
your pages and products, as well as those of Raggi, have improved my game. Luke Crane products, which I never bought, no.

Zak Sabbath said...

@Adam

Don't advertise harassers' products in the comments.

Zak Sabbath said...

@TabelleCasuali

So,if you like this blog and use the things I make, and since people like Crane actively worked together to prevent me from being able to publish, even if...

" I don't think his words, however influential in the world of role-playing games, will have great weight on my table "

...the fact people like him are influential but cannot think in a sane way affect your table.

If I can't publish because of them then influential bad people online are affecting you.

Adam said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Zak Sabbath said...

@Adam

A bizarre question: I didn't say he did anything to stop me from publishing. I purposefully chose, for the example in this blog, a known and obvious bad actor of whom I could not be accused of having a personal grudge.

(Thus the phrase "people like him"--including his business partners)

I pointed out he was:

A) Influential and
b) bad

and gave the cancellation of me as an example of the danger posed to even casual fans by people who are influential and bad.

----

Like if someone says "that drunk driver up ahead can't affect anything I care about" it is reasonable to question that logic by pointing out other drunk drivers who might've killed their kids.

Matrox Lusch said...

Hi Zak. I don't see “I merely provided that in many trad games the potential for abuse is hard coded into the game,” an unproven speculation about an intellectual creation, as cancel-worthy as the original statement "Once you have roles of power and powerless, even the most reasonable and compassionate people slide into abuse," which basically is a fairly (unfair) offensive characterization of everyone who DM's a D&D game.

As to "aspect of real or imagined he-said she-said" I meant everyone other than you and Mandy. From the perspective of a third-person, statements that do not stand up under scrutiny (e.g. false, misleading, unsubstantiated) go to credibility about other statements, but do not absolutely disprove them. And when there are have layers of testimony, there are multiple credibilities to weigh. He-said she-said is the somewhat parochial term for the testimonial evidence that is left over after scrutiny, neither proved nor disproved, that must be tested on credibility.

Zak Sabbath said...

@Matrox Lusch

-"I don't see “I merely provided that in many trad games the potential for abuse is hard coded into the game,” an unproven speculation about an intellectual creation, as cancel-worthy as the original statement"

Why not? He is making a negative claim he can't prove about other peoples' work.

-You ignored what I said: Asking Mandy for details solves the credibility problem. Address that.

Matrox Lusch said...

Crane's making a 13-year-old speculation or perhaps even a hypothesis (he does seem to go on about it, poorly) about (I infer) D&D, a game with multiple authors. I don't square that with a believe about every person whose ever DMed falling into abuse. Bad hypothesis does not equal a slur.

"When" Mandy is put in a position to answer questions and square them with facts that solves the credibility problem related to those facts (if by facts you mean something apart from testimony) and lends weight, but does not "solve" the credibility problem with conflicting testimony.

Conflicting testimony can be nefarious (lies) or innocent (faulty memory), adding all this up for multiple testimonies (because you've already resolved for facts) lends a weight rather than a solution.

Zak Sabbath said...

@Matrox Lusch

-Hypothesis

No--he doesn't say "_It is my guess_ that that in many trad games the potential for abuse is hard coded into the game,”.
He presents his claim as fact.

The fact that you and I (high-information voters as far as RPG info is concerned) might know this is a mere hypothesis does not mitigate the fact that he's presenting to any less-informed person of good will a false or at-best unproven piece of information as if it were true. An American newspaper, sociology journal or legal concern could't print what he said as fact without getting in trouble.

- lends weight, but does not "solve"

No--if Mandy goes "He's a train robber!" and then you ask "Has he ever been near a train or taken anything from a train or asked anyone to or planned to?" and she goes "Well, no, I just typed that" then that completely solves the problem. It doesn't merely "lend weight".

Matrox Lusch said...

Perhaps, but the forum was pretty robust at pushing back on this claim from the giddy-up so if anyone viewed the statement there they would have been presented with a number of refutations or at least pointing out the simplistic nature of his evidence. Not to mention his plugging of Burning Wheel as the more desirable alternative seemed a kind of cheap hucksterism.

Hmmm, "He's a train robber" is a conclusion, which is not good testimony anyway because your goal is to get the fact finder to reach the conclusions (although the courts of law and public opinion are two different beasts).

A witness contradicting their own testimony completely solves that particular problem, and also lends weight that perhaps other statements by that witness may be similarly suspect. That's the thing with testimony, you test as much as you can and the results of those tests lend credence or lack of to the untestable testimony, which in many cases is still evidence.

"I heard he robbed a train" is inadmissible hearsay. "I saw him rob a train previously" is inadmissible past act to prove a present act (unless to show a plan or pattern).

"I saw him enter the train emptyhanded and leave with a money box" is admissible evidence that occurred within the presence of the witness. "He told me he robbed the train" may be a party admission, admissible because the party is there to affirm or deny.

And the court expects that everyone is telling the truth until someone gives them a reason not to by either faulty memory, or lying (bad).

But all this is a formal process designed as best can be done to ascertain truth or the lack thereof. People say all kinds of things into the public sphere which, as you suggested with Mr. Cane, a less informed or invested person might presume is fact. And that is very difficult to undue which is why in some cases such speech is a tort i.e. a personal injury.

Zak Sabbath said...

@Matrox Lusch

-"but the forum was pretty robust at pushing back on this claim from the giddy-up so..."

That only means that _that statement_ is perhaps neutralized--it doesn't solve the problem that _a person disturbed enough to believe that_ wields power in the game industry. It doesn't solve the problem of Luke Crane, unmedicated or un-therapized, existng out there being a bad actor.

-"And that is very difficult to undue..."

No. It's not. Even even one person anywhere in the public sphere had actually asked Mandy to go into details she would've been forced to contradict her own claim. thus making it absolutely cease to be any kind of he-said/she said.

And if she refused to answer: then the refusal to go into detail proves she's full of shit.

Matrox Lusch said...

I have heard of Burning Wheel, but literally never knew the name Luke Crane until today. Pat Pulling said a lot of crappy, unsubstantiated things about D&D and basically my only goal for her is to make a one-shot RPG out of all the game stats she cited for "Dungeons & Dragons: Witchcraft, Suicide, Violence"

You were defended by many people before Mandy's letter, still "a less informed or invested person" presumed fiction was fact. Just like the James Egbert died in the tunnels beneath Michigan State (nope, he was hiding at a friend's house). Having more receipts is good, but doesn't eliminate situations where there were no other witnesses or qualify episodes comprising the same events but vastly different characterizations of motives, emotions.

At some point there are things that inevitably come down to he-said she-said, and to weigh those statements all the prior statements must be qualified or not. And as I mentioned, conclusions aren't helpful. They don't change minds. Someone must be both invested and open-minded to wade through this stuff - an almost impossible combination (why judges get paid the big bucks).

I actually tried to plot all the allegations out, similar to what I did with my Lamentations Timeline from McKinney's Carcosa through Mandy's letter. To kind of correlate all the claims with other things that I had recorded going on previously, but the dates are often ambiguous or non-existent.

If there is still an active lawsuit and Mandy were my client I would advise her to keep quiet about anything related to your and her. Like I mentioned, and at least in California, typically any statement by a party is an admission and admissible as evidence.

Well, hang in there. Ha, you know I'm in recovery among my many talents. My psydoc told me about problems "Which side of the Serenity Prayer is it on?" and my friggin drunk sponser would say "This too shall pass." Fuck.

Zak Sabbath said...

@Matrox Lusch

-I didn't ask what you knew about Luke Crane, I'm asking about the problem of people who are irrational and in power in a small pond you (apparently since you read this blog) care about.

Please address that

-I also didn't ask about any of the stuff you wrote after, please address this situation:

"
-"And that is very difficult to undue..."

No. It's not. Even even one person anywhere in the public sphere had actually asked Mandy to go into details she would've been forced to contradict her own claim. thus making it absolutely cease to be any kind of he-said/she said.

And if she refused to answer: then the refusal to go into detail proves she's full of shit.
"

There were months before any lawsuit was filed or even threatened. It would have been 100% totally possible to ask Mandy questions at that time.

Please address this.

Zak Sabbath said...

@erased anon

No anonymous comments--erased.

If you have a different interpretation: say what that is.

Fonkin said...

Until I read this post, I had no idea who Luke Crane was, nor did I care.

Now that I have read the post, and the linked source article, I know who Luke Crane is, and I still don't care.

A) I have not canceled myself for being an abusive GM because firstly, I am aware that the nature of the game is consensual and collaborative and try to *allow* the campaign to develop along those lines, even if I'm stumped by the actions of pcs or parties, even if I have no idea what to do next, and even if ti goes against the course of the narrative I would like to establish. Despite being a mere, faulty human carbon blob.

B) If I attempted to cancel every shitposting idiot I saw online, I would be unable to sustain myself financially, emotionally and physicially. There's just too much stupid online to fight. Flying turds like this guy are masturbating off in their own little universes and I simply cannot summon the will any longer to attempt to correct them.

Perhaps not inspiring but honest!

Zak Sabbath said...

@Fonkin

"masturbating off in their own little universes " implies he has no power over other people, but due to his position he does--how do you address that? He can affect people whose content you presumably want to read or se

Pubby88 said...

Zak,

I think this post asks the wrong question of the wrong audience, if you're trying to get a greater understanding of what happened to you (as you seem to suggest in at least one of the comments I skimmed through above). The people that still read your blog, including me, are likely deeply skeptical of so called "cancel culture," so asking us about why we haven't canceled someone else doesn't seem like it would get much in the way of useful information about why so many were willing and eager to cancel you.

What are you trying to accomplish with this post?

Zak Sabbath said...

@Pubby88

It seems like exactly the right audience for exactly the question I mean to ask.

Asking people skeptical of cancel culture why they are skeptical when their skepticism is costing them things they value is EXACTLY the question I want answered.

The Nazis are burning your homes, why not do something about it?

Zak Sabbath said...

@pubby88

in short, I'm not asking why bad people are bad, I want to know why good people just sit by and watch

TabelleCasuali said...

@Zak
You asked why not "Tried to cancel Luke Crane for spreading misinformation about you (regarding the figure of the DM who abuses his players)".
This is not related to his attempt to stop you from publishing.
You're right: if you don't publish products and you don't write blog posts, my game can't improve thanks to you. In the same way a lot of events (politics, wars etc.) influence my life but I don't commit myself besides the vote: I would go crazy to be behind everything; I prefer to focus on my private life.

Pubby88 said...

If the Nazis were burning homes - anybody's homes - I'd like to think I'd do something about it. But even as I type that, I note that this exact occurance is likely going on without my notice and I do nothing about it AND there are occasions when similarly deplorable acts occur which are remote enough from me that the extent of my "action" is merely to think, "That's terrible." Maybe I'll post a Facebook status about it if I think I have something to add to the conversation. This might be the information you're looking for.

I think the analogy is inapt to your circumstance, though, in ways which further inform the issue. Your cancelation didn't pose the kind of existential threat to me or my loved ones that Nazis burning homes would. At worst, I miss out on future great DnD content. That's a disappointment, but not one different from you having been hit by a bus: we all new there would be a day when there would be no more new Zak content. It came sooner than many would have liked, but it wasn't something people were prepared to go to war over.

I do understand why it was something you were ready to fight for because it was your livelihood and your reputation on the line. But not knowing you personally, the stakes were much much lower for the rest of us.

Fonkin said...

But Zak, what is the reach of his power? Over his employees, certainly, and anyone else who chooses to sign themselves up with him or BW in some contractual arrangement. He has a bigger mouth than some, but that doesn't automatically grant him power over people. The world is full of people with big mouths. Some of them have power, but not by virtue of volume alone.

I guess my confusion stems from why you think he is worth pursuing as an enemy. What, besides blathering and shitposting his own attitudes (which, per the OP of that thread, refer to HIS game design philosophy specifically). He cites rules that he doesn't agree with it. OK, fine. What is it that he has done that elevates him to the level of Worthy Adversary rather than just another asshat? I don't get it.

Meta said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Zak Sabbath said...

@Fonkin

"But Zak, what is the reach of his power?"

Like most trusted people in the indie RPG scene, he can completely destroy anyone's life in that scene just by spreading rumors about them.

His friends include the most powerful people in RPGs (Matt Mercer, Peter Adkison of Gen Con, folks at WOTC), the biggest people in indie gaming including Adam Koebel, the biggest streamer and lots of folks in games academia. All he has to do is lie about you (or anyone) to them and their career is over.

That's without even going into the structural power his roles at Kickstarter, NYU and one of the largest indie publishers give him.

If he decides a game or designer is good, he can funnel tons of money toward them on Kickstarter, if he decides he doesn't like them, he has tremendous leverage over cons and online revenue.

It's hard to think of a way to make money in games that he can't fuck with. You can make stuff independent of things he's involved in or has influence over but you'll make less and you'll get more resistance.

Zak Sabbath said...

so, @Fonkin, address that

Zak Sabbath said...

@Pubby88

Why are the stakes so much lower for you than for the people who did it?

That is: the bad people are motivated to do bad why are you not symmetrically motivated?

Zak Sabbath said...

@Meta

"biggots and believers are far more motivated than real scientists,"

Why?

Meta said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pubby88 said...

I tried to post a response, but it looks like my phone may have freaked out and ate it instead. Sorry if this is a double post. I've added more in this version of the response after thinking about your comment more, so it if is a double post, use this one.

I'd like to think that if Nazi's were burning homes - anyone's homes - that I would do something about it. Yet even as I type that, I know it isn't probably true: there are undoubtedly home burnings which occur that I'm not aware of, and other similar scale horrors which cross the news daily and are too remote in time and place to elicit a meaningful reaction from me. That feeling of remoteness I think plays a significant part in what you're asking about.

To use your example, Luke Crane writing the philosophical assertion that DMing inherently leads to abusive conduct doesn't FEEL like a personal attack on me, even though I'm a DM, because I know I'm not abusive and it reads as a generalized comment that isn't truly intended to apply universally. So it only gets a "That's dumb" response from me.

I think your analogy is inapt in a way that further answers your question. As a casual (and infrequent) reader of your blog, the stakes for your cancellation were that I wouldn't get any more interesting and high quality DnD content from you. That's a disappointment for me, but not one I haven't been prepared for since I started reading your blog. A day was always going to come when I wouldn't get any more content from you, whether it was because you decided to quit, where drummed (rightfully or wrongfully) out of the business, or were hit by a bus. It came sooner than I would have hoped, but the stakes for me were not equivalent to "Nazis burning my homes."

I can totally understand and respect that those were the stakes for you and those close to you. Your livelihood and reputation are on the line.

That leaves the past part of your comment wondering why good people stood by when faced with what you say was a slanderous hit job. You asked this at first by asking why these bad actors haven't themselves been canceled by the good people, which I think presents a false choice. Cancellation is not the only means of action, and not the only means of fighting back against cancellation. Cancellation can be fought back against by arguing that the cancellation is undeserved and by buying your products anyway. It doesn't require engaging in the same tactic.

Matrox Lusch said...

(working at job now for a time) The short answer (minus folks in power issues) is this was the timeline I have:
Mandy Morbid Facebook post about abuse, 2019-02-10
Patrick Stuart “You should read this,” 2019-02-10
Scrap Princess “Obituary for Zak S,” 2019-02-10
Contessa Statement about Zak S., 2019-02-12
Mike Evans “Demon City Update,” 2019-02-12
Vivka Grey Statement, 2019-02-12
Zak S. Statement, 2019-02-13
Peter Seebach Statement on Zak. S., 2019-02-14
Frankie supporting Zak S., 2019-02-15
Michelle (Connie) Statement supporting Zak S., 2019-02-17
WotC Statement about Zak S., 2019-02-19
LotFP Statement about Zak S., 2019-02-20
Michelle (Connie) Statement supporting Zak S., 2019-02-20
Zak S. post with Receipts, 2019-03-02
After Mandy's letter came out, there was a period of time before you responded, there was some discussion on Google+ as discussion there was winding down with no common replacement, all this all occurred just prior to the April 2(?) shutdown of Google+. The replacement forums such as Discord had mods that shut down any discussion. There was support for you on Reddit and somewhere else when Frankie's statement was out (and Connie's too I think). Then the shoe started dropping from all the publishers and GenCon. I seem to recall at the time a claim that folks addressing Mandy directly, other than in support, were having their posts deleted or not posted.

It was the proverbial perfect storm.

I will ruminate/research before I get back to my computer, and also think/try to address about bad folks in power.

Pubby88 said...

I think because the stakes were similarly low for them is precisely WHY they cancelled you. Cancelling you cost them nothing and gave them the good feeling of validation for having "supported the victim" without having to do anything but buy a product they weren't likely to buy anyway.

Zak Sabbath said...

@Pubby88

-" You asked this at first by asking why these bad actors haven't themselves been canceled by the good people, which I think presents a false choice. "

I haven't asked that question nor presented that choice. In this post I am simply asking about Luke as an example to understand the value systems of the people involved.

------------

-"Cancellation is not the only means of action, and not the only means of fighting back against cancellation. Cancellation can be fought back against by arguing that the cancellation is undeserved"

Duh. (But nobody has done that much either.)

-"...and by buying your products anyway"

Which ceases to be possible at a certain (approaching) level of cancellation.

-"Cancelling you cost them nothing "

Then why are you claiming it costs you -something-.
You can't have it both ways: cancellation as costing nothing and cancelling as being too much effort to go through. There needs to be an explanation for the asymmetry.

Pubby88 said...

Sorry if I put words in your mouth, that's how I interpreted the intent of the post and the ensuing discussion. For clarity's sake, do you think that those RPG "tastemakers" (for want of a better term) that supported your cancellation should themselves be cancelled for canceling you?

Re: the asymmetry and the costs of canceling

There's a couple different modes of cost from cancellation. There's the mode you just wrote about ("too much effort to go through") and the one I wrote about ("loss of product").

The primary reason I don't like cancellation as a tactic is the latter. Even if I were to participate in canceling an RPG author I thought was a bad actor, I've still lost out on their future products which may have been something I was interested in in the future. So any victory there for me (as fundamentally a consumer) is Pyrrhic at best.

Then there's the secondary issue which I agree is related to the remoteness piece I wrote about before and DOES point to an asymmetry. The act of canceling has two parts: the decision process and the act of not buying/writing against the person. The act of boycotting and speaking out is a very low cost endeavor in the internet age. The decision process leading to the boycott, etc. varies wildly from person to person. For me, it's resource intensive, and I suspect, given what I've seen you write elsewhere, it is for you too. I would freely acknowledge that many who have made accusations at you have used a much shorter process that I would not find satisfactory. I would also agree your "goodness" as an actor correlates to the extent you require a meaningful review of the facts before arriving at a conclusion.

But supposing I've seen enough to determine that someone has engaged in bad conduct: then what? Unless I'm prepared to start handing out death penalties left and right, people who have engaged in bad conduct need to make a living too, and I generally think there's little reason they can't do by working at what they're good at or passionate about. If that means I have to ignore them when they call for your head or Evil Hat's head or James Raggi's head, just so I can continue to buy their products when they make something cool, then so be it.

Fonkin said...

Thanks for the fill-in; I just didn't understand who this guy was. He's a big shot in gaming circles. I remember browsing through BW at some point and not being impressed by it. Now I'm glad I didn't.

I suppose my only answer to your question is that since people consider him an authority/celebrity of some kind and he speaks/writes with volume and conviction they defer to his opinions. It's also possible that they are ignorant (like me).

Zak Sabbath said...

@pubby88

-"do you think that those RPG "tastemakers" (for want of a better term) that supported your cancellation should themselves be cancelled for canceling you?"

I think they should apologize and, if they do not, there's a wide variety of consequences they might face that I would find acceptable. Cancellation is one.

-Your last paragraph begs this question:
Since you're essentially saying bad actors for attacking good ones should face no consequences, the obvious logic end result will be a field where only bad actors are able to produce. They have a magic button they can press to get rid of rivals and innocent people don't.

Zak Sabbath said...

@Fonkin

So, back to your original statement

"Flying turds like this guy are masturbating off in their own little universes and I simply cannot summon the will any longer to attempt to correct them."

Does the fact he wields power that could be effectively used against basically anyone who produces indie RPG content change your lack of will-to-correct?

Or are you just like "Oh well, sometimes shitheads I don't like will gobble up ones I do and I'll do nothing"

Pubby88 said...

"the obvious logic end result will be a field where only bad actors are able to produce."

I mean, there's certainly people who will argue that this is true for broad segments of the economy, if not the whole thing.

My view is that the tastemakers do have a check on their power within their particular community insofar as if they use their authority within the community for ends intolerable to that community, then they will no longer be followed. Or put another way, a certain piece of their power (and for those without any kind of "hard" power, all of it) is given by their followers, and they can take it away.... which I think is your argument vis a vis cancellation.

I think it can be taken away simply by ignoring their exhortations to cancel others, instead of resorting to outright cancellation. And just like with a move to cancel someone, a move to counteract a proposed cancellation will be carried in significant part other tastemakers. That seems to me to be the inherent nature of leadership, particularly in small communities.

In your case, I don't think we've yet seen a test case where you've published something new (admittedly a challenge when most of the present facilitators will not work with you) to see if you've still got an audience who will buy your products or not. *hint hint*

Zak Sabbath said...

@Pubby88

"if they use their authority within the community for ends intolerable to that community, then they will no longer be followed."

Since the community is evil, that is only a check in a bad way and can never be used for good.

"I think it can be taken away simply by ignoring their exhortations to cancel others,"

Lots of people ignoring exhortations has not prevented the cancellation, so that's an objectively false claim.

"I don't think we've yet seen a test case...."

"Selling an RPG or not" is not the stakes here: the people who've cancelled me have destroyed my life completely in nearly every dimension. Even if I sold lots of games tomorrow, it would still be -just as destroyed-.

You seem to be arguing that some whole other person (certainly not you) will suddenly act to prevent bad people from being bad int he face of the village being burned to the ground a year ago. The horse is wayyyyy out of the barn.

Contracts have been cancelled, selling platforms denied, reputations trashed, free time to make games is gone: there will be no new product. And you are saying "this hasn't been tested yet"?

Anders said...

Oh man what a load of bullshit. If you can't sit around with your friends and play elfgames without sliding into cycles of abuse, you and your friends are the bad guys, not everyone who plays rpgs.

It's the old "if everyone you meet all day is an asshole" aphorism. Crane's statement is practically a self-own.

As to your questions, I'm ethically opposed to cancel culture in general, though even if I weren't I don't think this delusional neckbeard Crane is worth any more mental effort on my part than it takes to write this post. Hadn't heard of him before now, and I really don't see a reason to give a damn what this socially stunted alpha-nerd reprobate thinks about me.

Zak Sabbath said...

@Anders

So, Anders, that begs the same question many others in the comments have been asked:

Since you read this blog (and therefore want RPG content) and this "socially stunted alpha-nerd reprobate" has tremendous power over the lives of the people who create RPG content--up to and including the ability to destroy their lives, why don't you care?

Are you happy with a situation where socially stunted alpha-nerd reprobates destroy people who are making things you like and you just shrug and move on to the next thing?

Pubby88 said...

"Since the community is evil"

I don't agree with this premise.

"Lots of people ignoring exhortations has not prevented the cancellation, so that's an objectively false claim."

I was speaking to the power dynamics generally, not as applied in your case. In your case, the problem was people believed the allegation and - even worse for you - there were many people with positions of authority within the industry who were predisposed to believing the allegation(s). Compounding the problem for you is the prevailing ethos that purchasing from someone is a comment on their moral character rather than on the quality of their product. In the broader economy it's more common that appeals for a boycott are unsuccessful: https://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-boycotts-history-20180228-htmlstory.html That's what makes successful boycotts/cancellation so notable.

""Selling an RPG or not" is not the stakes here:"

Those are not the stakes for you, agreed. But that's all the stakes will ever be for your fans who aren't a part of your personal life. We only interact with you through your creations - we're not a part of your personal life and we're not going to validate your pain. We might buy your stuff if you post it for sale again, but to my knowledge you haven't posted anything new to test whether people will buy it or not.

"Contracts have been cancelled, selling platforms denied, reputations trashed...."

My understanding is you have a lawsuit going to recoup for these damages. What I'm saying is that after everything you had in progress was suddenly halted, we haven't yet seen you put an adventure up on DriveThruRPG (or even on here, if you're blocked there too) to see if people will still buy your stuff. Your comment a couple of paragraphs before this point ("Even if I sold lots of games tomorrow, it would still be -just as destroyed-.") suggests you're not really interested in the income, but rather you're wanting the validation. I think the closest you're ever going to get to that is if you (a) win your lawsuit, and/or (b) sell games again. You've ruled out (b), so we'll see how things work out for you with (a).

Zak Sabbath said...

@Pubby88

None of that made any sense.

"Validation" is not the point:

You've said you want product from someone (me).

Yet you've sat by for a year while every single condition that would make it materially worthwhile or convenient to produce said product was destroyed.

The conditions that could lead to the creation of said product no longer exist due to inaction via fans. You sat and watched the mob set fire to the factory and the fire's been burning for a year, and you didn't throw a single bucket of water on it. Which part of that don't you understand?

Anders said...

@Zak

No, I'm not happy with that. Unfortunately, it's not something that's within my power to change, beyond merely voting with my wallet and voicing my opinion online.

I'm sure I could, if I wanted, dedicate a great amount of time and effort to marshaling my own nerd-following and possibly effect some sort of change. But I have other, larger real-life concerns and, frankly, the politics of the rpg scene doesn't rate highly on my list of priorities.

I realize that this is the same attitude that facilitated your own cancelling. I've continued to follow your blog, and I'll probably buy your future work if it's good. I'll do the same for anyone else who gets this treatment, but that's about as far as I personally am willing to go.

Zak Sabbath said...

@Anders

Why do you think shitty people are so willing to put in effort to hurt people but folks are you are so reticent to put in effort to help them?

Pubby88 said...

When a factory catches fire, I don't agree with blaming the fact that it burned down on the people who passed by on the street. And if it was an act of mob violence, as you say, I don't agree that the appropriate response is to form a new mob to go burn down one of the alleged perpetrators' factories.

Tortured metaphors aside, I wish you luck in your next endeavors, whatever they may be.

Zak Sabbath said...

@Pubby88

So when the factory burns, what -DO- you do?

And if the answer is "nothing, even though I like what the factory makes" why is that?

Anders said...

@Zak

One of the inherent flaws of our species, sadly. So much easier to destroy than to support and build.

People like me are spending most of their effort trying to get by and keep their own lives together. Not enough time or energy to engage in internet politics.

Better people than me, who are willing and able to take take actual action to help, I imagine are likely afraid of having their lives destroyed by online lynch mobs as well. This is a greater cultural problem.

Zak Sabbath said...

@Anders

Thank you for answering the questions you were asked.

Trent_B said...

Regarding A): Because I think he is wrong about that.

Regarding B):

- I hadn't read that before

- I think he is wrong, and that is a silly thing to say, but I don't feel it's targeted specifically at me.

- I think it is wrong and silly enough that I can't imagine having a productive conversation with the person that came up with it.

- None of which, I acknowledge, really addresses the importance of this part: "-Luke Crane (of Burning Wheel) is head of Kickstarter for games, teaches tabletop RPG design at NYU Game Center, and has high-level connections all over the RPG industry"

- I feel it's kind of like political divides: you can start a fight about it, but all that will do is a) encourage many people to pick a side, b) entrench people on the other side, c) not eradicate the silly idea.

- I am a bit lazy about these things.

Zak Sabbath said...

@trentB

-Targeted at you or not, this is a person behaving irrationally in a position of power over people you claim make things you like.

-While you say "starting a fight" will do nothing, the other side starts fights all the time and they have a real and concrete effect. Why is it that they have confidence in their effectiveness and you don't?

Trent_B said...

Good question, I hadn't thought about it.

I suspect it is because they are fervent in a way that I and many other people who I like to speak with are not? It is very difficult to convince a fanatic of anything that contradicts the subject (object?) of their fanaticism.

And I suspect it is very difficult to unify people without a degree of fanaticism? They have spent a long time at social politics online, and so their crew is unified and strong and fanatical. I haven't. We haven't?* So it's piecemeal resistance and it gets trampled.

*I don't want to perpetuate "Us & Them", but whatever.

Zak Sabbath said...

@TrentB

So in your view there is no hope for anything good to happen ever: the bad people will always be more motivated than the good ones.

Matrox Lusch said...

Hi again.

Regarding asking Mandy questions:

It seems lawyers were involved early on. You consulted lawyers before publicly responding to Mandy, and Mandy apparently consulted with a lawyer before she made her statement; and Frankie posted around mid-February 2019 that Mandy had deleted posts and otherwise tried to silence women close to Mandy that called “bullshit.”

In your first statement February 13, 2019 you mention “talking with lawyers.” Stacy D. in two Tweets February 11, 2019 wrote “I've been tracking this shit with Zak since before Mandy left,” and “I helped her get a lawyer to look at it, I spent time writing letters to mutual friends of ours, telling them what was coming down the line and why they should sever ties, now.”

The posts on Frankie’s Reddit statements from early February 2015, before you released receipts, Frankie posted “All women close to her have called bullshit and she has deleted their posts or tried to silence them in multiple ways.” (As a related aside both Frankie and Michelle were initially accused of being sockpuppets and some user(s) on Reddit were calling for closing comments to their threads.)

It seems in any event Mandy probably would have been advised not to discuss the veracity of issues in writing. (I don't know if you would be considered a public figure for New York Times Malice, or if there is a related theory in Canadian law, but there are probably various ways knowledge about events would inform the court on resolutions and remedies related to some kind of defamation claim.)

Regarding the problem of people who are irrational and in power in a small pond I care about:

I think this is a larger question about information and communication. A person must become willing before they can take action.

So who gatekeeps the information? I mean, sure this comment by Cage has been around for more than a decade, but how do I even find out in my little b/x bubble when nothing breaks through? If I have some relevant facts about a complex or controversial subject, how do I share them with others in a way that is relevant?

On January 30, 2019 Google announces that the sunset date for Google+ would be April 2, 2019. (Perhaps coincidentally Google+ was practically a ghost town by February 10, 2019.)

Replacement platforms (MeWe, Discord, ProBoards) were setup without much of a clear idea (at least by me) who many of the gatekeepers are.

In March 2019 I commented on the OSR Discord regarding the letter from Mandy’s father and some professional experiences related to domestic violence restraining orders, and was warned because of triggers to sexual assault victims that their claims are false. This isn’t a bad thing, but if no comments there, where?

You shared information about Cage from awhile back, and it seems there was a robust discussion and Cage modified his opinion at the time, but there was also this weird element of “puffery” promoting Burning Wheel that seemed to motivate Cage’s statements. What are Cage’s views about D&D now? Are their examples of his views affecting managing Kickstarter projects? (I have no idea of the inner workings for a Kickstarted project.)

Ha, and “irrationality” is probably an imprecise measure to exclude someone from power. Being bigoted, close-minded, feigning friendship, treacherous rumor-mongering, Machiavellian bullshit. Essentially folks who are prejudiced liars. Those folks can go. Unless they redeem themselves. I am by nature a big fan of redemption. Especially undeserved redemption as I resemble that remark. People do change.

Zak Sabbath said...

@Matrox Lusch

-Mandy wrote her attack on a Sunday, everyone (including Satine) said to me "get a lawyer" . I got one then released my statement a few days later. I had not decided to sue I just wanted to put out a careful statement and have the proper paper trail.

Mandy did not have a lawyer until I did decide to sue months later. There were months where anyone could've asked the necessary questions, nobody did. That makes them bad actors immediately and undeniably.

-"You shared information about Cage from awhile back, and it seems there was a robust discussion and Cage modified his opinion at the time, "

If you mean Luke Crane: he has never responded to anything I said directly but has gossiped about me to his friends. This avoidance of confrontation alone is enough to damn him.

-"“irrationality” is probably an imprecise measure to exclude someone from power"
Not on this scale: Everyone shold be willing to justify their behavior. If they won't even -try- that's enough.

It only becomes subjective when they try and then we have to judge squishy evidence--but it never comes to that, they just avoid the issue, which is totally evil and there is no excuse for that.

As for redemption: anyone can apologize. Int he RPG community: they don't. The harm done by bad actors while we wait for them to be redeemed is never considered by people trying to sound all humanistic by talking about "redemption". What about the victims?

Trent_B said...

@Zak "So in your view there is no hope for anything good to happen ever: the bad people will always be more motivated than the good ones"

No, not always. In this case and time, the bad people are. There is definitely a path to get the good people more/sufficiently motivated, but it hasn't happened yet.

Zak Sabbath said...

@TrentB

"Anytime but now, anywhere but here, anyone but me"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eo3a5oJABdo

Trent_B said...

"Right here! Right now! Do it. Now. Do it."

Similarly: "What better place than here.... what better time than now?"

I don't know how to RATM/Fugazai myself and everyone into action.

There's like... this thing and also there's everything else. What fight/s do I choose?

Matrox Lusch said...

I am sorry I didn’t advocate for you more. The “catastrophe” is complicated and nuanced and pretty easily oversimplified against you. I was pretty well-informed, but tiptoeing to fit in with folks on the new Discord.

Plus, like a lot of people, I liked Mandy and watched her facing her health challenges for almost 10 years – from back when you two didn’t know what was going on and you tattooed possible illnesses on your arm to remember at the emergency room. I remember when folks were accusing Mandy of faking her illness to promote your brand.

A perfect storm manifested to demolish you (Google+ demise plus the timing of Mandy’s accusations were freakishly complementary). You’re still here.

Zak Sabbath said...

@TrentB

I don't know Trent, all I know is it's literally a life-or-death issue at this point for me and a lot of people spent the last ten years pretending they gave a shit.

Zak Sabbath said...

@Matrox Lusch

I appreciate the apology.

As for me being here: Who cares? I spent ten years going "Letting grown-ups with jobs act like lunatics while they run this scene is a bad idea," and everybody spent those ten years going "Right on man" and when the worst-case consequences of that are manifesting themselves nobody seems to give a rats ass or be able to connect the dots.

As far as I can tell, not a word sunk in.

Trent_B said...

I think resolution of the legal stuff is an important next step. Hold together until then, + some time for people to get their shit together. It's something solid in what is apparently a bit too shaky for a lot of people to take a stand on.

Zak Sabbath said...

@TrentB

The longer people repeat fake narratives "Oh he deserved it anyway because he ate babies and put an alligator in Vincent Baker's moms' dollhouse" the more the legal stuff doesn't matter, Trent.

Like if I win a case against Mandy after two years of being accused of whole other shit I didn't do to literally every other person in games they'll just find a way to shift blame again. Waiting for whenever the courts get off their ass is just letting all the other shit--which you know as well as I do I didn't do--sink into the gamer consciousness.

Like nothing I ever do in court is going to having anything to do with proving I did fuck-all to randos like Paolo Greco or Olivia Hill, but you know that the game scene will be happy to use that shit to keep me cancelled and keep the bad will that keeps people from admitting they were lying going.

When nobody says anything, then anything goes and anything has been going for years. By the time the legal stuff's done there may be nothing left to build on.

Trent_B said...

Yeah... yeah. I've tried speaking to anyone who would listen, and a few more who wouldn't. I've tried supporting the few other people who said anything. I see how it plays out - after any progress the goal posts shift and I've got to surmount a whole different bastion of faith. It's like a whole desert full of Jerusalems and the army that is my willpower wilts and starves without support and resupply. I don't know who Bohemond is in this metaphor.

I'm frustrated and I don't want to get trampled also.

Zak Sabbath said...

@TrentB

The number of people who say they're "afraid" in these conversations proves I was right all along: these fuckers are dangerous and always were and if folks had taken how nuts they are seriously back then instead of going "They're crazy bro relax" none of this would've happened and people wouldn't walk around being "afraid" to say innocuous shit like "Hey maybe the way to deal with this alleged -felony- is an investigation?"

You were in a war, Trent. You must know what happens when one side sits around waiting for air support while the other consolidates the gains they already made.

Trent_B said...

Indeed. I think a key difference is that I knew I was in a war those times. Also there are a lot more external motivations to participating in a real war than in this one. Sadly.

But also like... the war analogy thing to do is... well it depends. You gotta assess the potential of your force. Like how much of an actual force could you get if you did some rallying and mustering? If it's still not enough to beat the flagellants then the wise move is guerilla or surrender. Guerilla is tough because... the analogy doesn't work too well anymore. So I guess it's Hearts and Minds, rallying, mustering, etc.

Anyway gotta sleep, check in tomorrow.

Zak Sabbath said...

@Trent B

The only difference is, for me at least, this one isn't optional

Matrox Lusch said...

(Was the Luke Crane/Kickstarter topic a not subtle hint?) So Demon City is getting released, probably issues with distribution and refunds and who gets paid and such. Damn. And even if LotFP agreed to release something new from you, DriveThru won’t stock your PDFs (technically you are still on Lulu by way of Secret Santacore). And most folks probably get that lawyers are expensive have no idea how high just a run-of-the-mill civil lawsuit can cost, then when depositions and discovery, and other subpoenas are added in. Whew. And may end up with “judgment-proof defendant” where plaintiff prevails but defendant has no proceeds to pay damages. When I suggested the healing aspect of time I didn’t understand the matter’s not merely repairing a reputation at stake but dollars and cents wasteland. Fuck and double-damn.

As to the war analogy – you won. If there hadn’t been the allegations from Mandy, Demon City is a best seller and you just concluded a successful Kickstarter for I Am the Weapon.

Jim from Nebraska said...

Zak - do you work a job currently or can you still afford to live the life of a californian hipster? Until you're full paperhat, you aren't in amy real trouble.

Zak Sabbath said...

@Matrox Lusch

-(I don't do subtle hints. It's been 10 years: I'm one of the most infamously direct people in the history of the internet so far as I know.)

-Demon City will be released when the graphic designer's done, everyone's gotten properly paid and distribution et al's taken care of. It's a Kickstarter and its an obligation I must and will discharge. It will be the best game released in the last 2 decades. No refunds and no reason for refunds.

-Yes, there is no chance Mandy will ever pay her damages unless a miracle cure or another person stupid enough to marry her is found.

-I don't understand why you'd say I won on any level. My life is destroyed and the allegations -are- there.

-I Am The Weapon was never going to be a Kickstarter, I was on salary until it got cancelled.

-------

You didn't address this stuff:

-"You shared information about Cage from awhile back, and it seems there was a robust discussion and Cage modified his opinion at the time, "

If you mean Luke Crane: he has never responded to anything I said directly but has gossiped about me to his friends. This avoidance of confrontation alone is enough to damn him.

-"“irrationality” is probably an imprecise measure to exclude someone from power"
Not on this scale: Everyone shold be willing to justify their behavior. If they won't even -try- that's enough.

It only becomes subjective when they try and then we have to judge squishy evidence--but it never comes to that, they just avoid the issue, which is totally evil and there is no excuse for that.

As for redemption: anyone can apologize. Int he RPG community: they don't. The harm done by bad actors while we wait for them to be redeemed is never considered by people trying to sound all humanistic by talking about "redemption". What about the victims?

Zak Sabbath said...

@Jim

Strange "or" : I've always had a job and I've never been a hipster.

And you are phenomenally stupid and privileged if you think the only thing that defines quality-of-life is income.

Zak Sabbath said...

(or are you one of those people who think art isn't a "jobs"? baffled)

Zak Sabbath said...

@Jim

This is grown-ups table conversation: You don't get to ask new questions until you engage and address the response you already got.

Erased.

Zak Sabbath said...

@Jim

Same response again. You don't get to ask new questions until you engage and address the response you already got.

Matrox Lusch said...

Ha, yes famously direct is true. You won in quality and accolades until February 10th, 2019. Bad actors were not laying a foundation in wait for an intimate partner of yours to make explosive allegations they could exploit, rather explosive allegations no one predicted lent seeming weight and substance to the previous claims.
Good to hear that Demon City is not a liability.
LinkedIn says Crane's distributed over $1 billion dollars to game creators. I should figure out what the Kickstarter process is, I just thought it was like an Uber for funding. So the more their are gates to pass through the more there should be a rational process. I don't quite understand exactly what Crane's role is.
Crane's comments on DMing though don't seem completely irrational in the sense there was this weird interplay to pump up his Burning Wheel stuff.
Victims don't get un-battered, un-scammed, or un-neglected for sure. Hmmm, I'll ruminate because what to do (prevention/restitution) for harm to victims is a bigger problem than just in this small pond, so there may be some alternate strategies from outside.
I hope you have a good day today.

Zak Sabbath said...

@Matrox Lusch

-Crane can, for instance, as he did with Bluebeard's Bride, spotlight a game on the Kickstarter browsing page. He can also sell someone's game via his own (major indie) distributor, poison someone's name to his many many friends in the indie scene, etc., responses above highlight his instance. Again: he's only an example since he's not someone with whom I've had any specific clash.

-"Crane's comments on DMing though don't seem completely irrational in the sense there was this weird interplay to pump up his Burning Wheel stuff."

I don't understand what you mean. Are you saying that "Saying something that's objectively bullshit is fine if you're selling something?"

-"I hope you have a good day today."

If you want an update in 24 hours, ask. If you don't: maybe you didn't really hope it.

Kyle T said...

Regarding the status of the lawsuit - presuming that the courts rule in your favor, what position does this put organizations like DriveThruRPG into, given that they were very explicit about banning your work because of the defamatory speech? Will you be pressing to have your work rehosted on sites that banned you on those grounds and were explicit about doing so?

Bill "Goodman Games supports Nazis" Brunhill said...

Are you saying Skerples uses sock accounts to attack people?

Fonkin said...

@Zak

The former. I can only formulate an informed opinion if I'm informed. Since I don't spend a great deal of time on the online portion of the RPG community, I have to hear about these things secondhand, preferably through channels that I recognize as having value (like you!), and then I try to do my due diligence. Nothing dilutes the quality of a discussion string like someone who has no idea what they are talking about, right?

The question now becomes - what to do? I already don't buy the guy's stuff and I obviously don't hang around on RPGnet.

Matrox Lusch said...

Saying something that is objectively bullshit is not objectively irrational if someone is selling something. It is a justification for that person's behavior, "puffery."

Numerous people, however, cited their subjective experience table top gaming to dispute Crane original and updated hypotheses.

Slide into objective Bullshit:
1. "Once you have roles of power and powerless, even the most reasonable and compassionate people slide into abuse."
2. "I'm not accusing you of abuse. I merely provided that in many trad games the potential for abuse is hard coded into the game."
3. "I'm not talking about power over life and death or power to punish a child. I am talking about power within the specific contextual content of the game as it is being played."

Ha, Friday morning I'll be sure to remind myself to ask.

Zak Sabbath said...

@Kyle T

The only reason I remain alive is to be sure the people who did this face accountability for what they did. So I will do whatever it takes to make sure that happens.

Zak Sabbath said...

@bill

I'm saying Skerples does not tell the truth.

Zak Sabbath said...

@Fonkin

What to do?

1: You began with an assumption this person had no influence over anything you deemed valuable. In the future, don't do that: know that fanatical RPG people have more influence in the scene in general than reasonable ones.

2: Decide how much you care about the content/people being threatened in this way.

3: Contact victims privately to ask what you can do to help, put in an amount of effort commensurate with your dedication to 2.

Zak Sabbath said...

@Matrox Lusch

Saying something false just to sell something may be rational from the point of he liar's self-interest but that doesn't make it less evil.

So we have a certain degree of evil or a certain degree of stupid (or insane). All of these are equally undesirable, create situations with victims, and require a response if we claim to value the victim. Right?

Zak Sabbath said...

@Mason

@ThatMaxSteele

@Terje Meling

@Tabelle Casuali

@Russ Winterson

@Nitrous Gold

@Adamantyr

@Adam

@Pubby88

@Meta

We don't ghost half-conversations here. Everyone needs to respond to comments which address your points and answer questions when they're asked. If you don't do that in 24 hours your comments will be deleted.

Zak Sabbath said...

(*"host" not ghost)

Adamantyr said...

Weird, I answered this same day but my reply didn't appear.

Yes, it is worth getting passionate about. I didn't realize this wasn't about Crane, but your general frustration with people's lack of action.

I buy your products. If someone said something disparaging about you that was based on false news, I'd challenge them and tell them they're wrong.

When you win your lawsuit, I would write companies like WotC and demand they restore your name to their credits. As one person, I can only do what's in my direct power. What else would you want people to do?

Zak Sabbath said...

@Adamantyr

"If someone said something disparaging about you that was based on false news, I'd challenge them and tell them they're wrong."

Well then hurry up and do that, please, it's been a year.

"What else would you want people to do?"

If you seriously want to know there are literally dozens of things you could do: email me-- zakzsmith AT hawtmayle

Zak Sabbath said...

@erased anon

No anonymous comments.

Pubby88 said...

"So when the factory burns, what -DO- you do?"

I tell the factory owner that I still want to buy his products. If I can help him rebuild, I do. I just don't join his posse to go burn down another factory.

I wouldn't agree that refusing to go start more fires is doing "nothing." If I wanted to do nothing, I wouldn't have commented in the first place - although that offer of additional games content was a nice inducement too. But I don't come to this site or any other one to participate in the recriminations and personal attacks that go around - I come for the content. If it's truly an either-or between only getting the content if I have to fight to get it or losing the content entirely, I'd rather lose the content than perpetuate the cycle of recriminations and calls for cancellation.

Zak Sabbath said...

@Pubby88

1. At no point have I said the only possible way to address the bad actors is cancellation. Do you grasp that?

2. Do you, in general, believe that there should be no negative consequences for people doing bad things?

3. You still haven't addresses the issue of the consequences of inflicting no negative consequences on bad actors. You said only Q: ""the obvious logic end result will be a field where only bad actors are able to produce." A: "I mean, there's certainly people who will argue that this is true for broad segments of the economy, if not the whole thing." So: is that acceptable to you?

Pubby88 said...

1. You have not said that cancellation is the only means of response. The originating post makes it sound as if it is your preferred one. Do you agree that you gave been a frequent advocate for cancellation?

2. In general, I think there should certainly be consequences for bad acts. Not every act I disagree with is inherently a bad act, though, and not every bad act requires my personal involvement in the consequence. Indeed, some bad acts create their own consequence. See discussion item 3.

3. Refusing to deplatform bad actors only results in a field of exclusively bad actors oif the bad actors have the ability to deplatform all of the good actors. In the internet era, I think that's nearly impossible because the barrier to entry for good actors to start their own competing platform is quite low. Forcing out good actors from the bad actors' platform, if the good actors make good products, ultimately hurts the bad actors. Who shops at a store that to doesn't have the good stuff, especially when the good stuff ends up being only a click away?

Zak Sabbath said...

@Pubby88

1. "Sound as if" is how all of this happened. Never write or think based on what something "sounds as if". Ask clarifying questions. I am indeed an advocate for cancellation, also a wide variety of other measures meant to limit harm, including everything from apologies to incarceration. My original post has absolutely no point of view on what I think should happen: it is a question, not a statement.

2-3 "Forcing out good actors from the bad actors' platform, if the good actors make good products, ultimately hurts the bad actors. "

This is objectively not true. Lots of people have participated in banning me from platforms and suffered no ill consequences. You are relying on a market-based punishment that does not exist.

TabelleCasuali said...

@Zak
I answered you. See March 11, 2020 at 12:13 PM
@Zak
You asked why not "Tried to cancel Luke Crane for spreading misinformation about you (regarding the figure of the DM who abuses his players)".
This is not related to his attempt to stop you from publishing.
You're right: if you don't publish products and you don't write blog posts, my game can't improve thanks to you. In the same way a lot of events (politics, wars etc.) influence my life but I don't commit myself besides the vote: I would go crazy to be behind everything; I prefer to focus on my private life.

Zak Sabbath said...

@TabelleCasuali

Ah yeah i see your answer above.

So: you've resigned yourself to a world where everything is shit because people who fuck things up take action in public life and you don't?

TabelleCasuali said...

@Zak
"you've resigned yourself to a world where everything is shit because people who fuck things up take action in public life and you don't?"
Yup.
I think, without offense, that you, like everyone else, do the same. I don't know you, but reading your blog I don't think you agree with Trump's policy. I suppose you don't do everything to change its policy.
Surely you've always been ready to fight some aspects of the role-playing community, like racists etc., but it's still a small aspect of the world in general.

Zak Sabbath said...

@TabelleCasuali

No, you're totally wrong. "Everything" is not the bar here. But if I -say- I care about something I sure as fuck do something.

It's just I don't care about that many things.

TabelleCasuali said...

@Zak
and I, as I said, don't care what Luke Crane says.
I was interested in answering your question, and the post on music puzzles is magnificent!

Zak Sabbath said...

@TabelleCasali

But the question is not whether you care -what Luke Crane says-, its whether you care about the things he can affect. And you say you do care about game stuff.

TabelleCasuali said...

@Zak
I'm interested in your posts and your books (as well as those of others, like those of Raggi), not those of Luke Crane.
at the moment, but I could be wrong, I think you are more influential than Luke Crane, since you worked on D&D 5.

Matrox Lusch said...

Good morning, so was your Thursday good overall? I have almost lapped myself back into a somewhat normal sleep pattern.

I should have wrote "Slide out of objective Bullshit" for these Crane quotes:
1. "Once you have roles of power and powerless, even the most reasonable and compassionate people slide into abuse."
2. "I'm not accusing you of abuse. I merely provided that in many trad games the potential for abuse is hard coded into the game."
3. "I'm not talking about power over life and death or power to punish a child. I am talking about power within the specific contextual content of the game as it is being played."

"So we have a certain degree of evil or a certain degree of stupid (or insane). All of these are equally undesirable, create situations with victims, and require a response if we claim to value the victim. Right?"

This goes to what I was getting at by "redemption" that, for example Crane, "redeemed" himself in a sense by modifying his original statement. So, does a response accord a response on behalf of the victim based on the original "evil" or "stupid (insane)" statement, or based on the modified or "redeemed" statement.

I think there is some weight to a person's attempt to mitigate harm they may have caused, but that a response must acknowledge and factor in the original harm caused regardless of attempts by the harmful person to modify/mitigate/redeem.

Acknowledgements as to original and subsequent harm by the harmful person often can produce a settled outcome, a joint "response," that may benefit both the harmful person and the victim. For example the link joint statement of Frog God Games and BJ Hensley regarding her incident with Bill Webb.

(AFK for awhile now)

Zak Sabbath said...

@TabelleCasuali

You're missing the point completely.

Luke Crane (and people like him) have control over people like me and people like Raggi, because Crane has power in the industry.

You don't have to care about Crane's work to care about the danger he poses to other creators.

Zak Sabbath said...

@Matrox Lusch

"was your Thursday good overall?"
No.

I don't understand what you're saying about Crane because his new statement was not better than his old one. He probably caused no harm with either, but they both prove conclusively he is not remotely rational and so should not wield power.

Like if you believe the sky is made of cheese then this may hurt anyone but it tells us you shouldn't be in any position of influence.

The Webb incident is irrelevant in this context.

Matrox Lusch said...

Crane’s statements are marginally better, from a blanket assertion that a “power” and “powerless” situation it is inevitable that anyone (“even the most reasonable and compassionate”) will abuse in general DMing traditional RPGs; to a more limited statement that the “potential” for abuse is hard coded into traditional RPGs, and that he abuse is not general, but confined within the “contextual content” of the game itself.

And Crane’s statements are in the particular context of Crane advocating for his own product that he alleges will solve the potential for abuse, the exaggerated or false praise that may note be accurate, but is not irrational (advertisers do it all the time).

Bill Webb wielded power (a president and CEO), and admits (apparently, the statement is from Frog God) engaging in harm in the form of inappropriate and unprofessional interactions will BJ Hensley.

“So we have a certain degree of evil or a certain degree of stupid (or insane)...create situations with victims, and require a response if we claim to value the victim.”

Circling back to your original premise, “Why not try to cancel Luke Crane…?”

1. Crane’s statements in question are 13 years old, and occurred prior to his position of power.
2. Crane, however marginally, mitigated his original statement to clarify he was not talking about every person who plays traditional games, or that he intended to imply physical abuse, or that any abuse he referred to would occur outside the “contextual content” of the game.
3. Crane was trying to sell his stuff, giving exaggerated governing importance to single bits of tip-like advice. As evil as advertisements for the old X-ray specs and “Hero of the Beach.”
4. Crane is only an example for his comment (no specific clash).

Contrast with Bill Webb situation where Frog God Games and BJ Hensley arrived at a mutual solution.

1. Webb’s harm is recent and occurred while he held power.
2. Webb took “ownership” of his own “bad actions” and that he “acted like an idiot” with a specific victim.
3. Webb was also worried about selling products from Frog God Games, and made a statement to distance himself from many other folks who work there, although he did not relinquish his potition of power.
4. Hensley apparently specifically suffered “attacks” by third parties.

So I guess my premise is, I am not sold (insufficient information) that Crane is completely irrational today. My hypothetical question is would Crane be worthy of cancellation, in the sense Webb is not worthy of cancellation (if Webb is not), for the sole reason that Crane has not acknowledged any offense? Is failure to acknowledge “harm” the irrationality/evil that persists?

If that is the reason, wouldn’t it be more effective to engage with Crane to inquire if, during the intervening time since his “harm”/”irrationality,” he’s refined his past views on the abusive potential in rules of traditional role playing games?

You mentioned people in the RPG community don't apologize. It seems this is precisely what occurred between Hensley and Webb: Webb apologized, Hensley and Webb arrived at a mutual statement that resolved both of their concerns, and they agreed not to litigate.

Zak Sabbath said...

@Matrox Lusch

You've outlined two possible scenarios with Crane:

-Crane, a powerful person in the RPG community, is spreading a claim he cannot prove and presenting it as true because he believes it ( a terrible situation because it indicates an influential person who does not think about game design rationally is influencing the conversation)

-Crane, a powerful person in the RPG community, is spreading a claim he cannot prove and presenting it as true in order to make money ( a terrible situation because it indicates an influential person who lies to get your money is influencing the conversation)

Both are terrible and should not be the case.


-----

" Is failure to acknowledge “harm” the irrationality/evil that persists?"

100%.

Everyone makes mistakes. Failure to apologize (the first step in preventing them in the future, because it indicates you recognize what you did was wrong) separates the good from the evil in most cases.

Matrox Lusch said...

The point I question is how to factor in the time span (13 years) between "spreading a claim" and being "a powerful person in the RPG community."

Persons in entertainment have been held accountable for bigoted statements from years past (e.g. Kevin Hart homophobic tweets, he apologized first, but refused to re-apologize to keep his Oscars' hosting gig).

Does a person who comes into a position of power have a duty to amend every past harm upon their ascension? Or, is there some point in time where, absent some other intervention, a person in power is not faulted for their silence?

I suppose if the latter that is problematic because that leaves potentially the victim the only one incumbent to call attention to the harm, and questions arise (a-la Christine Blasey Ford/Brett Kavanaugh) of why a victim bring attention to the harm earlier.

I know major vetting goes on for powerful positions, so is there any fault that lays with the organizational framework (whatever that is, public private) for failing to properly uncover past harm to deny the person a position of power or otherwise address past harmful acts? And does it matter if the organization addresses prior harmful acts publicly or privately?

Ha, it is funny when I took immigration law I learned the is a question on immigration applications that asks (paraphrase) "List any action that could have been charged as a crime even though it was not." Christ, I was shitting a similar question would be on the State Bar moral character evaluation! (It was not.)

Zak Sabbath said...

@Matrox Lusch

"Does a person who comes into a position of power have a duty to amend every past harm upon their ascension?"

Power or no, every single human on the planet has a duty to amend every past harm.

And, MUCH, more importantly: by apologizing, show that you're at least trying to stop being the kind of person who thought the past bad thing was acceptable.

Terje said...

@Zak

In response to my comment, you asked: "Why do you supposed it's worth the grief for so many others but not for you?"

The answer is easy; these others you speak of have more integrity than I do. I have limited time for 'fun' outside of my real life and I have no desire or stomach for spending that time on internet drama/BS with bad actors and trolls. For what it's worth, I have a bad conscience for the fact that inaction on my part had a part in screwing up your shit, and I'm sorry for that.

Zak Sabbath said...

@Terje

Thank you for your apology

Zak Sabbath said...

@unknown

Sorry, no anonymous comments allowed

Lurk said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Zak Sabbath said...

@Lurk

Ok
Your comment is below. Address this stuff...

1. How would you engage in cancellation? The same way they did. Write lots of comments int he right places, organize with other people and refuse to stop.

2. "Cancellation is pointless what does it do" It takes away the targets ability to exercise influence in the world. If someone is mean in Florida or RPGnet, then banning them prevents them from acting in Florida or on RPGnet.

Cancellation definitely does things. It can kill a person.

3. Presumably the "passive engager" wishes to continue to passively engage. Therefore they must be aware something they like to do is threatened.



---
-
-

Zak Sabbath said...

Lurk said:


"
To answer both questions, I don't engage in cancellation. I'm not even entirely sure how I would do so as I don't have much influence or social media presence. I present what I think is true and what evidence I have to counter misinformation when I come across it, and I feel up to doing so, but I don't seek out misinformation to counter. I also only engage in very shallow ways within the community. Occasionally commenting on blogs like this, or on reddit, or even Youtube.

In general I don't boycott things, but I'm also poor, so I don't purchase much either.

To answer a larger question that you have asked many here. I think the reason people who have said they care/support you in this, have not marshaled as much of a presence to fight for you, is twofold: 1st) It is always easier to tear something down than build it up. From what I've seen Cancelling consists of barraging places of discussion, and people of influence with speech that instructs them to stop engaging with something/someone. This usually puts those barraged in fear of whatever causes that influence being threatened, or a loss in social status/perception. Remedying that just means no longer engaging with that person, and/or publicly saying "Hey that person you're mad at, I have nothing to do with them any longer." Whereas fighting to protect or build up someone (you) is a more complex action. If I mount a campaign to get you back on the 5e credits I'm pushing WOTC to do something, and they're gonna look at what they are doing now, see there's little threat, and an extra action might cost them, more so because I'm pushing against the thing they were already pushed into. If it was having your stuff up on DrivethroughRPG they'd have to reengage with you (I don't know what that process actually consists of, but I imagine some contact has to be made to sell your products there) whereas they just had to stop selling your products and then not worry about you any longer to satisfy the crowds. People are way more willing to be pushed into doing something once, that means later they have to do nothing about a situation. This is why I feel cancellation is a pointless task, it rarely actually solves anything, it just makes it seem like something was solved. (Using yours as an example. If you were an abusive monster, what has your cancellation done to stop your ability to abuse? Nothing you were accused of was empowered by your ability to make and or sell RPG stuff, it was all in your personal life/communications with others. If you were an abuser you could be abusing people RIGHT NOW (gasp) and nothing your cancellation would have done would have stopped it.)

2nd) I feel those who support you do not get the moral reward feedback/acceptance into the ranks of the "good" that those who vilify you do, as they are not participating in a larger movement. And/or they are not generally inclined to be part of a movement in the first place. I can only really speak for myself, but from what I have noticed a common refrain from those supportive of you is "I don't actively engage with the community." so their pattern of behavior is not one conducive to joining or leading crusades. Because they are passive observers, they processed the facts of your situation, formed an opinion based on what they could find out, and continued to passively engage with your stuff because they didn't think you were bad. Maybe they voiced an opinion or two here and there, but in general as there is no "Anti-cancellation" movement, that's the extent of their involvement.
"

Lurk said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Zak Sabbath said...

@Lurk

Address these things:

1. You asked how, I explained how. Whether you choose to is another issue.

1a Also: I did not say "harass" people. Why did you introduce this idea? You should never harass anyone.

1b I also did not say "be unreasonable". Why did you introduce this idea? You should never be unreasonable.

2. All the people who cancelled me are, by definition, abusers. If they lost their jobs and inflence and went offline, it wold solve that problem of them being abusive online.

3. "what are they to do about it, without completely engaging in behaviors they are not suited to? "

Learn and change.

" Do you think that by engaging in the same behavior, using the same strategy to correct the wrongs against you, we can correct your situation?"

Yes--because at a certain point the cost of doing evil can outweigh the benefit of it.

And, more simply, people could google their targets without seeing only one side of an argument. This goal is _completely- within reach.

Lurk said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Zak Sabbath said...

@Lurk

1. There are lots of things you can do without being "influential". They require work, but they don't require being well-known.

1a & 1b Cancellation is denying people platforms and opportunities. If you call Hitler and say "Don't let Hitler work at the Jewish community center, he has a record of genocide" and they use this information to make a decision to not hire him, you have not harassed him nor been unreasonable but you have cancelled him (at least partially).

Spreading TRUE statements is not harassment. Spreading FALSE ones is. Therefore supporting me does not require harassment, supporting them does.

True and false things are morally different, if you didn't know--as are good and bad and right and wrong. You are acting as if good actions pursuant to good ends are morally equal to bad actions pursuant to bad ones and that's silly.


2. " If all the people who cancelled you are by definition abusers, than wouldn't we then be abusers by cancelling them?"

Of course not.

Cancellation does not make them abusers. Cancelling someone -over a crime they did not commit after no investigation- makes them abusers.

This is kindergarten-level morality, you can't possibly be this stupid.

2b. The goal wold be -some- kind of accountability, greater than what they have now which is zero accountability.

3. "Learn to do what, and change into who?"

People willing and able to defend things they claim to value.

"How would one effectively use those tactics without being abusive, and engaging in the same behaviors as those who cancelled you?"

By telling the truth and only making evidence-based decisions

"What would be the cost?"

Nothing but time.

"But considering no one seems to care about that, how are we supposed to push them out? "

If you actually care, contact me and I will give you a list of steps you can take right now. If you don't: don't ask.

"Why do you think you have so few allies with a voice, or who are of a nature/willing to fight for you?"

Sturgeon's Law

Zak Sabbath said...

@Matrox Lusch

You have 24 hours to address the last comment made in response to you or all your other comments will be deleted.

Zak Sabbath said...

@Tabelle Casuali

You have 24 hours to address the last comment made in response to you or all your other comments will be deleted.

Zak Sabbath said...

@Pubby88

You have 24 hours to address the last comment made in response to you or all your other comments will be deleted.

Lurk said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Zak Sabbath said...

@Lurk

1. Simply notifying someone who is unaware of the problem that it exists makes a difference . you don’t have to be well known to do that .

1a&1b it is not in anyway harassing the Jewish community center to warn them of something that affects them . It would only be harassing if they said they understood the problem and then said that they decided they didn’t care and told you to stop contacting them

you’re also wrong about true and false : to Spreading false negative statement about someone Is to harass them. to spread a true one is journalism.

2. say why you do not agree in detail. note when you write this that I’m not saying you should do everything that they did but I am saying that many of the things that they did would’ve been fine had their beliefs been accurate and true and that you can do those things to fight them .

You can for instance upvote comments that are accurate and call out people that are lying


2b A public apology would be enough . however if they do not make a public apology there should be more severe consequences .

3. I never said everyone was capable . most people suck.

it is very important to remember that the promary audience for fact checking is not the person who lied or made the false statement —The primary audience is the third person who googles the subject and find their inaccurate statement and no counterstatememt.

pointing out that someone lying is lying is not harassment — The liar is doing evil (possibly Breaking the law defamation) and you are helping to undo the damage caused by that

we have to change norms at least locally so that being especially cautious (That is: conservative) And stupid is not socially acceptable . this can be done in small communities it happens all the time

just because most people suck doesn’t mean I have to accept injustices that can be fixed .

Lurk said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pubby88 said...

@Zak

Was there a question? You don't think a market based solution will work. I do - at least in the aggregate.

Zak Sabbath said...

@Lurk

1. Ok, good

1a & 1b. "Yes spreading misinformation is harassment, but journalism can also be harassment if it's intrusive and unasked for"

But in no case would this be "intrusive" or "unasked for". Publishing a comment in a place that asks for comment is neither.

" or making someones life/situation uncomfortable... To call them enough to get to the level where they ask me to stop means I have harassed them. "

Oh no, not at all--any revelation of bad actions likely makes the bad actor's life/situation uncomfortable. This is not harassment. It is not harassment to say "Hitler kills jews". You are simply wrong on the most basic level.

Basically no wrongdoing could ever be revealed under the paradigm you propose.

2. " Requesting that you don't appear in the 5e PHB is an abuse, regardless of what you did or didn't do it's erasure of history."

No: had I actually harmed people the way they described, pretty much any kind of career destruction would have been justified. But that's a question of degree, the far more important issue is above in 1a&1b

2b. Ok

3. "Pointing out someone is lying if they don't want to engage in that conversation is harassment"

That is totally insane

Hitler "Jews eat babies"
Journalist "They do not"
Hitler "You are harassing me"


". Stupidity should be unacceptable, agreed, though if someone is legitimately stupid (instead of just ignorant) there's not a ton of room to improve there"

Obviously there is: once someone is proved stupid (ie to be making non evidence-based decisions and not apologizing when called on it) they can be denied access to public conversation until they get help and improve.

"I agree that we don't have to accept injustices that can be fixed."

You have said the exact opposite: you said pointing out injustice is "harassment" this is insane.

Zak Sabbath said...

@Pubby88

What is your evidence?

Solely market-based solutions to internicine toxicity have either

-never worked in RPGs
or
-worked on suuuuuch a slow timescale that the number of people and products destroyed by them and bad actors promoted by them while waiting for "the aggregate" to occur that its not relevant on the scale of a human lifetime

While waiting for The Market to right itself, Vampire V5 was successfully destroyed by these people, their own products were promoted, their own social and material capital got built up and they had more resources to work with.

Same with me--in the time it takes The Aggregate to wake up to what these folks are doing lots of indie creators' creators careers can be destroyed. And the people responsible benefit for decades.

Are you seriously asking people to wait decades to see justice?

Pubby88 said...

@zak

I'm not familiar with the Vampire V5 example you referencing, and I can't point to other examples in RPG history because I don't really have a background there either.

All of what's been talked about, though, are various market solutions. Whether they're boycotts/cancellations or they're taking your wares across the street.

The folks that advocate "justice" are the ones that pursue boycotts. I'm not really interested, as a general proposition, in justice when I do my shopping. So I don't generally favor boycotts.

I've already said I'm prepared to sacrifice yours (and other's) products rather than try to cancel other creators. If that's "asking people to wait decades to see justice," then yes. If, as you say, the industry has such all encompassing gate keepers that they can quell any upstart they want, then yes, they can and will continue to do that until there's someone else selling that buyers buy from more. Nobody's yet presented that other option for purchases, though, so boycotting those gatekeepers means not buying anything at all until that new market shows up. I'm not willing to do that.

Zak Sabbath said...

@Pubby88

So it’s not actually that you are sure the market will solve the problem of good creators and products being shot down by jerks, its that you’re not invested in helping solve that problem.

Given that the problem results in:

a) less stuff you want
and
b) serious harm to the people who make the stuff you want

...why aren’t you willing to take any steps to fix it? Especially since there are things you could do that take no more effort than posting a comment here

Pubby88 said...

I don't agree that:

a) Telling a creator of products I like I'll buy his stuff even though he is subject to a boycott; and

b) Doing free advertising of his recent post on music puzzles on r/osr

Is doing nothing. As a said above, I don't want to boycott other creators (even if they are abusing their gatekeeper roles) because that boycott results in even fewer products for me, especially if the boycott us unsuccessful.

Zak Sabbath said...

@Pubby88

Address these:

a) I appreciate any attempt at support, but -help ceases to be help when the entity you are helping is suffering a crisis that will render that help ineffective- (i.e. rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic).

If you go "I'll happily buy products that won't ever exist" or post a supportive message without sticking around to defend it those become empty gestures.

b) "because that boycott results in even fewer products for me"

So you value the work of the abusers more than the abused?

Zak Sabbath said...

@Lurk

I hope you're well, thank you for warning me you wouldn't be able to finish the conversation

If that situation changes, let me know and I will re-add your comments and continue the conversation.

McCabre said...

Blogspot ate a much longer post

But the short of it is, there are a bunch of cowards knowingly making shit up, then knowingly treating lies as facts because it's convenient to make you go away.

It's not unlike people showing up in droves to vote against Bernie Sanders because he's too challenging, even if he has their best interests at heart and the alternative is a proven monster.

When held accountable to nobody, given the chance to anonymously support one side or another, people knowingly and deliberately choose the wrong one for reasons I can't fathom.

I'm not equipped to deal with the cowardice at the heart of groups of pathetic people, especially online, and tabletop games attract pathetic people in droves. In person you can confront these kinds of people in a way such thay they're forced to acknowledge you or back down, but they'll just move on to hurting someone new.

Pubby88 said...

A) I... guess? I'm not clear if you're talking crisis in an economic sense and a personal well-being one. If the latter, I'm sorry for it but that's beyond my ability to help. If the former, then yes those gestures may make no difference if the producer is truly done. But attacks on his "abusers" aren't going to do anything for him either, then, from an economic perspective.

B) I don't consider purchases to be value judgments. Buying a book written by a murderer doesn't mean I support murder, only that they've written a good book. I value the work, not the identity of its creator or their actions in other fields.

Zak Sabbath said...

@McCabre


why are you not equipped? What equipment do you need?

Zak Sabbath said...

@pubby88

A) " But attacks on his "abusers" aren't going to do anything for him either, then, from an economic perspective."

Incorrect. If abuser A engaged in an activity which negatively affects victim B, then rendering abuser A unable to influence the world (via any action against them) can positively affect victim B.

B) It does give the murderer money however which makes it more easy to murder--and that is down to you. Is this meaningless to you?

Pubby88 said...

A) my comment there was limited to circumstances where "victim B" has already decided to stay out of the business. If you're never going to produce another professional RPG item, then attacking those who ran you out makes no difference to you economically - you're out of the business. The sole exception is back catalogue items which I'm assuming is a small enough relative figure that we're not really arguing about that.

B) I have to start off by committing the cardinal sin of answering a question with a question: do you favor the death penalty? Sticking with our murderer example, unless we're prepared to kill the murderer, he's going to continue to need money to live. If he doesn't work to get it, he's going to get it through government welfare. So whether it's through my taxes or my purchase, my money will help keep our murderer alive. In my example, our murderer writes books - I'm not buying murders, I'm buying books. If I'm buying murders, I agree I share in the responsibility for the deaths.

To apply this the RPG arena, Luke Crane sells Burning Wheel and trolls the internet with utter nonsense (see your original post). I'm not buying utter nonsense, I'm buying Burning Wheel (although in this particular case, maybe I am buying utter nonsense....). If I repost his utter nonsense or cheerlead it, I agree I'm responsible for it.

The way to deal with the murderer is not to stop buying his books; it's to stop the murders. The way to stop destructive Internet witch hunts isn't to figure out who the real witch is, it's to stop hunting altogether. If our murderer, our witch, or our RPG gatekeeper is doing bad things with the money they get, then let's stop the bad thing, not just stop giving them money.

With the RPG gatekeeper this means: ignoring their calls to boycott other creators, refusing to perpetuate the "cancel culture" that empowers them, and buying from creators who are the targets of boycotts.

Zak Sabbath said...

@pubby88

a) Oh no. If that was your takeaway that's a mistake on my part or yours.
I will -definitely- make more stuff if the fans and industry start showing some backbone.

b) I don't have strong feelings either way about the death penalty.

"So whether it's through my taxes or my purchase, my money will help keep our murderer alive."
It's more if you buy his stuff and therefore give him more clout to act in the world. So that's not a useful answer.

c) Ignoring the call to murder is useless if you also don't prevent other people from carrying it out.

Pubby88 said...

a) Thanks for clarifying, my mistake for probably overreading into your comments. Although I imagine my input here hasn't done much to show the "backbone" you're looking for....

b) Buying a product doesn't inherently give clout or cause murders, even in a small pond like indie RPGs. You've sold lots of product and advocated boycotts before to (as far as I know) no effect. And there were plenty of people - including, I think, some successful creators - who were trying and failing to push you out for years until Mandy's accusation dropped. Mandy's claim didn't coincide with a sudden upswing in sales for your attackers that allowed them to cancel you. Rather, her allegations played directly to the kind of moral panic that makes cancel culture so dangerous.

c) Since buying doesn't cause murders (see b above), not buying can't prevent them. And to bring it back to our actual fact pattern, buying is the only thing that CAN prevent the murders. "RPG People" attempt to murder Zak by refusing to buy or carry his stuff, but if enough of us keep buying it anyway, he's not dead.

Zak Sabbath said...

@pubby88

a) Yeah no

b) It's harder to stab someone if you ca't afford a knife or an uber to the victim's house

c) No, he's dead. Because no matter how many games I sell, the accusations destroyed my life. Like I could be a millionaire and the fact those accusations went viral would still make life basically unlivable.

So even if making games makes money the -human cost of engaging the industry in order to make that money- is horrible. Because the "good guys" cede the rhetorical field to the bad guys.

Like you're saying y "well the mutants that live in the mine and cut your arm off if you work in the mine don't stop you from mining coal and selling it, so I don't mind giving the mutants money for food and flashlights and chainsaws"

d) (also, in a million ways they made it harder to make money and sell things near a living wage because the RPG supply and advertising chain relies on like 5-10 guys all of whom are shit scared of "getting complaints" from customers--like Steve Wieck at OneBookShelf controls a lot of pdf sales, th reddit owners effectively control advertising, Gen Con--Peter Adkison--controls a lot fo sales, etc.)

Pubby88 said...

b) Knives and ubers are cheap, just like internet attacks. My buying the murderers' book doesn't make his task more affordable in any meaningful sense of the word.

c) I can't begin to imagine how difficult all of it was on a personal level for you and your loved ones. If, as you say, the accusations are false, then all of it was very much undeserved and you have my sincere sympathy.

The fundamental difference between us, based upon our entire back and forth here, is that I would still buy your products even if the accusations against you are true. In point of fact, I don't know whether the accusations are true or not, but resolving that dispute isn't relevant to my purchasing decisions.

Your reference to coal mining is somewhat apt, in so far as the actual coal mining industry does, literally, chew people up and spit them out, costing miners their limbs and their lives with some regularity. But I don't blame the people paying their electric bill to a coal plant for that, even though that activity makes a more direct contribution to the harm suffered by the miners. So I certainly don't blame people who buy a coal company executive's autobiography.

d) This is legit and a bad side effect of cancel culture. It's another reason why pursuing a cancel culture isn't something I'm interested in.

Zak Sabbath said...

@pubby88

b) This is not true.
Buying and talking about a creator's work in a small community of a few thousand people gives them clout--that is, they say something and other people repeat it. The more positive attention they and their work get, the more heavily their words are weighed.

If you buy something from an abuser and/or chatter positively about it, you're giving them the exact weapon they use against their victims--the weight of their influence, popularity and reputation.

c) Wouldn't it be better to steal the autobiography?

d) Why do you weigh negative consequences for bad people who have done wrong equally to negative consequences for innocent people?

Peggy Sue said...

Lol you supported cancel culture when you were on the other end of the cancellations...

Turnabout

Just desserts

Irony

Look em up dude

Zak Sabbath said...

@Peggy Sue

"Lol you support punishment for bad people but not good ones"

Leaving aside how stupid you must be to have written that, all these games where adventurers fight -bad guys- because they did bad things to -innocent people- must really confuse you.

Kindergarten must have been rough on you, Peggy.

McCabre said...

I actually have no idea what gets through to these people when it's an online space - they make even less sense to me than they do to you and not for lack of trying to understand. Where you try and drive your thoughts forward and productively online, for many there seems to be an unwillingness to be anything but validated and it's impervious to most criticism and argument.

In person I can use a wide variety of different social skills that just do not translate to the online space to challenge people off of acting like morons if what they're doing is bothering me, and if worse comes to worse I'm comfortable making them leave.

"You all seriously listen to this idiot?" doesn't undermine online leadership the way it does some cult of personality dickhead at a party


I suspect the only way to get around it is to become a leader in the community and I certainly don't have the motivation to be a leader in a community of people I mostly can't stand at this point.

Zak Sabbath said...

@mccabre

There's dozens of things people with no clout at all can do to help with a situation like this.

Pubby88 said...

@zak

b) I already responded to this argument in my comment on March 23 at 11:41 p.m. with two examples of sales not equaling clout, or at least not enough clout to cause cancellation/boycott. People buy products all the time without endorsing the other statements of the sellers; or do you really think that everyone who bought a Chick-Fil-A hates gays?

c) From who's perspective? From the person stealing? The one being stolen from? Or the person who wants "bad people" to suffer harm? Are we really going to continue this conversation down a line of whether there's such a thing as ethical theft? That doesn't seem fruitful to me, or particularly on topic.

d) I weigh the fear-of-retaliation effect of cancel culture as a net negative because (1) it hurts me as a consumer regardless of who it is applied to, and (2) there's not an enforceable mechanism for ensuring that it will only be applied to "bad people who have done wrong" - it's always subject to the prevailing winds of the mob.

Zak Sabbath said...

@pubby88

b) Yes you did and I pointed out you were incorrect that time too. Having a lot of sales and followers does objectively give people more clout because more people read them when they talk.

When you give someone money you increase their ability to get new followers/people listening to them and taking them seriously. Just because someone can have MORE than another person changes nothing.

c) The people harmed by the bad actor being stolen from.

'Are we really going to continue this conversation down a line of whether there's such a thing as ethical theft?"

Why would you ever not? Jews in a concentration camp stealing from Nazis is certainly ethical theft. It is a Morality 101 level idea. Nobody cold possibly say they've thought seriously about right and wrong for even a second if they haven't considered that.

d) This logic goes for literally all actions that support good things instead of bad things. By this logic nobody should ever do anything good ever for fear that a person who wants a bad outcome will apply it to you.

Pubby88 said...

b) You still haven't provided any evidence that "having a lot of sales and followers does objectively give people more clout" to cancel other people. I'll give yet another example that it doesn't: it was Mandy's accusation that led to your cancellation within the industry, and she has NO sales as an RPG designer.

c) Whew! I was worried we were going to go through this whole thing without a reductio ad hitlerum. Nice save.

d) I don't understand your response at all, and suspect we're talking past each other. I think you're responding to part (2) and saying "of course there are no certainties in life and tools designed for good can always be co-opted for bad; that's no reason to not use the tool." But there are other tools out there less able to be co-opted, whereas the mob rule cancel culture is demonstrably easily misused, as you contend it was in your case. My preferred tool is to put my dollars to work supporting high quality products, and to ignore the proselytizing of the seller so as not to empower their possibly bad words or ideas. I bolster this tool by arguing for its merit and efficacy - at length - on the blog of a cancel culture proponent.

Zak Sabbath said...

@pubby88

b) People who sell things get followers. It doesn't matter if they're -RPG- sales or not: Mandy has a large following due to porn (people buying stuff), her messages was spread by allies who have clout due to their business. Matt Mercer (Critical Role), Sage LaTorra (Dungeon World), Adam Koebel (Dngeon World and his YouTbe show), etc.

If nobody ever bought dungeon world or watched critical role those people wouldn't have clout

Do you seriously think anyone would care what Bill Gates had to say if he'd never made a dime?


c) Stupid nerd evasions aren't allowed here. Address the issue of the existence of ethical theft.

d) "My preferred tool is to put my dollars to work supporting high quality products"

This tool becomes impossible if the means to produce, distribute and make customers aware of such products are destroyed as they have been by people using more powerful tools.

So: the tool you choose may be "less likely to be co-opted" it is also too weak to be effective here. Or at least it's been rock-paper-scissored away.

Pubby88 said...

b) Thanks for fleshing out the argument more. I agree that an accusation broadcast by Mercer or the others gets heard more because they have more followers, but don't agree that heard = clout. There are plenty of instances where people mistake having an audience with clout: it's practically a cliche for successful artists/actors/musicians to speak out on a current event only to be shouted down for getting to political and be told to stay in their lane. It happens with such regularity that you can't simply say that purchasing a product gives a person clout. It gives them, at most, an audience. Getting that audience to do something requires more than just waving sales reports at them - and it's that extra something that gives them clout.

When Bill Gates talks about how to build a successful company, he has clout because he's done it. When he talks about pandemic response, he shows his work to show he's not just talking out his ass but has been building a knowledge base in the area. But if Bill Gates started posting anti-vaxxer memes Reddit would year him a new asshole no matter how many copies of Windows he sold.

C) Sure, Jews (or Roma or other similar victims) literally in the midst of the Holocaust are in the clear, ethically, to steal food to survive.

Any argument that the Holocaust or Nazis has anything to do with our conversation here is a reduction to the absurd. It's off topic and not productive.

d) In your case, I agree it lost. But I'm happy to try to win with it next time.

Zak Sabbath said...

@pubby88

b) Having an audience is necessary but not sufficient for clout. Giving people money helps them get an audience. You give money or positive attention to my abusers you help them on the path to continuing clout

c) Totally incorrect, it is a matter of degree but not kind, as with most Holocaust analogies.

Good people stealing from someone who is only going to put the money to bad use or to benefit bad people is a good thing. There is no ethical reason they should have that money, only a legal and perhaps practical one. Neither matter more than ethics.

d) So you're saying you're aware your actions don't work with the current problem and you don't value a more desirable outcome enough to change tactics.

Pubby88 said...

b) Yes, basically. If a+b=c, I think giving them a without b doesn't make me responsible for c. It's a fine line, but it's where I draw it.

c) "Good people stealing from someone who is ONLY going to put the money to bad use or to benefit bad people is a good thing." (Emphasis mine). In reality there are of course very few "only"s, but as you've stated it, I'll concede the point.

d) Yes, with corrections: "I'm aware my actions didn't work with the current problem, I don't value a more desirable outcome enough to embrace cancel culture as a tactic, and I don't think I have enough data yet to abandon my current tactic."

Zak Sabbath said...

@Pubby88

b) That's an arbitrary line though. You have the option to take some fuel from the fire, why not do it? (see also, D below I guess)

c) So, conceded so we're done with this point.

Please don't do the Godwin Etiquette Evasion thing ever again.

d) Why does taking -literally any action beyond just buying a thing and saying you'll buy it" count as participating in a "culture" at all? Like you can take steps counteract bad things without buying into every single thing you associate with "cancel culture".

e) Is it more a fear of the practical effects of escalation (in which case theres no reason not to take many actions which would be anonymous) or simply "it's not worth it bc i jst don't value the good outcome more than the work"?

Pubby88 said...

b) Because "a" also leads directly to "d" (here, owning a new game and having a creator around who will make more good games). So not taking "a" costs me something. I value the relative certainty of "d" over "c."

d & e) A hefty portion of it is your last point. The amount of work to keep up with just this thread is pretty much my limit and probably beyond it, when weighed against the other things I can and should be doing in my own personal life. If you half-ass some of the other tactics, all you've really done is give more fuel to the fire (as you say in (b) above), without getting any benefit. I don't really have that commitment to this in me now, as evidenced by your having to poke me a couple of times in this thread to keep responding.

Zak Sabbath said...

@Pubby88

So rather than all this philosophical argumentation, you could've just said "Doing the right thing is just too much work for me, because I care less than the folks on the other side and they are more certain than me"

Pubby88 said...

What's "the right thing?"

Zak Sabbath said...

@Pubby88

To participate in the attempt to prevent the evil from harming the innocent.

Pubby88 said...

It may be that the philosophical argumentation wasn't necessary, as it seems my point still isn't being understood.

When the evil say, "don't buy products" from the innocent, and I buy from the innocent anyway, I am participating in the the prevention of harm. Your objection is that when the innocent say, "don't products" from the evil, I still buy the products because you contend this helps the evil. If I succeed in defanging the evil from doing evil, then it doesn't matter if I buy from them. It didn't work in your case after Mandy's allegation dropped. We'll see if it works in others.

Zak Sabbath said...

@Pubby88

"
When the evil say, "don't buy products" from the innocent, and I buy from the innocent anyway, I am participating in the the prevention of harm."

Incorrect, because the loss of income is the least of the harm. The real harm was the destruction of my entire life by the rumors they spread.

Pubby88 said...

"Incorrect, because the loss of income is the least of the harm."

So you agree that "buying from the innocent" is the "right thing," but now are arguing that it's just not *enough* of the right thing.

I think loss of income being the least of the harm would be unusual among cancellations from an industry, where the act of cancellation is leveraged through economic means. It is impactful precisely because of the loss of income. I'm glad to hear this wasn't a significant problem for you (or maybe just sad that everything else was so much worse). But what you're saying then is that your real complaint isn't with your cancellation from the industry, but with the alleged slander. I can't offer you any support on the alleged slander because I don't know what the truth is. You've got a lawsuit that will resolve that question - I'm not adding any value there for you.


Zak Sabbath said...

@Pubby88

"So you agree that "buying from the innocent" is the "right thing," but now are arguing that it's just not *enough* of the right thing."

Just as rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic might be the "right thing" until the whole ship's going down.

"everything else was so much worse"

Yes.

"But what you're saying then is that your real complaint isn't with your cancellation from the industry, but with the alleged slander"

No because it was The Industry that carried out that libel (slander is spoken). Nobody in the grown-up world carried this signal, only gamers. And these were largely people who should've been ignored long ago because they've been doing terrible things for years.

If these people had no clout or were countered immediately, the libel would not have been effectively spread. It would've been like any other conspiracy theorist jabbering.

"I can't offer you any support on the alleged slander because I don't know what the truth is. "

Incorrect, because objectively the right response to the allegations (for everyone who didn't know) would be:
A) do nothing, or
B) Investigate.

The many people in the industry who didn't do A OR B should've been countered. They were objectively doing the wrong thing--inflicting consequences before any investigation. Better people should've prevented that or created consequences for that.

You could advocate for handling accusations properly even if you don't know the truth.

Zak Sabbath said...

@unknown

Erased.
No anonymous comments allowed.

Pubby88 said...

"Erased. No anonymous comments allowed."

That may have been me, I just attempted a post, not realizing my sister-in-law had logged me out of my google account.

The gist is I agree with this statement:

"You could advocate for handling accusations properly even if you don't know the truth."

I think for someone like me, who have virtually no clout within the community, that this is highly unlikely to be effective and to do in a way that doesn't simply add oxygen to the fire is a time consuming endeavor. However, upon further consideration, this thread has made me more likely to do so in the future.

Zak Sabbath said...

@pubby88

There are dozens of ways that anonymous people can help (much of the damage was itself done by anonymous actors).

If you actually care, email me and I can give you a list.

Pubby88 said...

Sure. Do you have a public email? I just cruised the site for a second and couldn't find it.

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