Monster Hunter Nation

No, Tor.com, GenCon Isn’t Racist. A Fisking.

I read this article before arriving in Indianapolis, so I was able to ponder on it a bit as I observed the gleeful masses at GenCon enjoying themselves and having a fantastic time proudly flying their geek flags high. Little did those poor gamers realize that they were actually engaging in racist-cismale-patriarchal-micro-aggressions and invisible privilege. Luckily for us Tor.com has once again swooped in to suck the fun out of everything.

http://www.tor.com/blogs/2014/08/gamings-race-problem-gen-con-and-beyond 

As usual, the original article is in italics and my comments are in bold. Before I get going, let me just skip ahead a bit and say that the author of this article says he wanted to have a conversation on race in gaming. Okay. Here you go. Be careful what you wish for.

First off, so you know my preexisting biases, here is my opinion on GenCon: http://monsterhunternation.com/2014/08/18/gencon-2014-report/ In short, it is friggin’ awesome.  

Gaming’s Race Problem: GenCon and Beyond

A.A. GEORGE

 

Tomorrow I will be attending GenCon, the biggest table-top gaming convention in the United States. Held in Indianapolis, Indiana, it is four fun-filled days in celebration of the art and hobby of role-playing. There is something for everyone there: games, films, seminars, workshops, dancing, music, and parties. It’s an annual event where people from all over the world come to let their hair down and their inner geek out. As a lifelong gamer, I am excited to go to GenCon.

This is standard operating procedure with Tor.com articles, start out with an intro about how something everyone enjoys is great fun before they helpfully explain how it is actually horrible, and thus you should feel bad. They even did the same thing explaining how Guardians of the Galaxy hates women, minorities, and gay people. http://www.tor.com/blogs/2014/08/guardians-of-the-galaxy-we-need-to-talk

As an ethnic minority, I am apprehensive about going to GenCon.

Seriously?

For all that GenCon offers, it lacks in minority gamers.

Huh? Not particularly, but we’ll get back to that.

Last year was my first GenCon, and as I explored the convention, I saw almost no one who looked like me.

Why? Are you physically fit?

By far, the most visible minorities at GenCon were the hired convention hall facilities staff who were setting up, serving, and cleaning up garbage for the predominantly white convention-goers.

Think about that for a moment… George is upset that the employees of the Indianapolis convention center, an establishment which is located in the downtown area of a major American city is staffed by locals who are demographically different than the masses of attendees from all over America who have the disposable income to travel across the country just to engage in their hobbies.

His problem isn’t with GenCon, it is with Econ 101, geography, and social studies.  

 It was a surreal experience and it felt like I had stepped into an ugly part of a bygone era, one in which whites were waited upon by minority servants.

I’m guessing George hasn’t ever eaten at any fast food restaurants in any urban area anywhere in America. Why yes, I did notice that there were African-Americans working there, but according to the 2010 census the whole city of Indianapolis is 28% black, and if I’m getting my geography right http://zipatlas.com/us/in/indianapolis/zip-code-comparison/percentage-black-population.htm , the neighborhoods around the convention center are up to 74% black.

Strangely enough, the employees are of a similar ethnic makeup when I’m at an event in Atlanta, NYC, or DC, yet when I walk around the SLC ComicCon in a city that is only 2.7% black and 22% Latino, the local employees cooking my burgers look different. LA and San Diego conventions have more Latinos working there. Gasp! You mean the local employees are people who live where the con is?

This bit would be like hosting a WorldCon in Bejing, flying there, and then getting upset that the employees of the convention center are Chinese, and how it hearkens back to the days when westerners had Chinese immigrants doing their laundry.

All that is besides the fact that these are just regular people with jobs, and if you treat them like “servants” the security will remove you from the building. If you somehow mistake people being employed by a convention center as the equivalent of house slaves in the antebellum south you may want to reexamine your notions of how things like jobs work.

Gaming has a race problem. For all its creativity and imagination, for all its acceptance of those who find it hard to be themselves in mainstream society, gaming has made little room for people of color.

I’m calling bullshit on this one. After reading this ridiculous article I was curious, and paid more attention than I normally do to what the people around me looked like over the last few days. Since I’m not a Social Justice Warrior I usually just judge individuals based on the content of their character, but this is for Tor.com, so I was on the lookout.

What did I find? All sorts of people too busy having fun to give a shit what color the person standing next to them was.  Having traveled all over most of America, I saw a group of people that looked basically like America, only these were all united in their love of gaming and having a great time.

Wild ass guess, as if I’m back in the corporate world preparing a mandatory EEOC report blacks are statistically under-represented. Asians were probably over represented. On the Latinos it is hard to tell, because as we learned from NPR last week, it is hard to pick us out when we don’t wear sombreros for easy identification. http://monsterhunternation.com/2014/08/07/fisking-npr-about-latinos-in-the-movies/  

Having read this on the way in, and not having paid attention last year, George made it sound lily white. It isn’t. Not even close. There were also lots of people of indeterminate ethnicity, folks like Owen who’d check the Other box, and women… Holy moly. GenCon has lots of female attendees. Maybe I’m biased because I was on the writing track for most of it and maybe aspiring writers are disproportionate, but I’d guess 70/30 male to female ratio, and considering the social stereotypes about gamers being dorky or uncool, that strikes me as pretty damned good. 

I couldn’t tell you about the gay or transgender percentages because I didn’t think it was polite to ask.  “Hey dude, yeah, I think X-Com is awesome too. Were you always a dude? Uh huh.” Checks box.

“The problem is that white people see racism as conscious hate, when racism is bigger than that…

Racism is an insidious cultural disease. It is so insidious that it doesn’t care if you are a white person who likes black people; it’s still going to find a way to infect how you deal with people who don’t look like you. Yes, racism looks like hate, but hate is just one manifestation. Privilege is another. Access is another. Ignorance is another. Apathy is
another. And so on.”

–Scott Woods, author and poet.

And so on… So basically what this quote says is that everything is insidious racism somehow.

Yay. So from this premise, everybody is racist all the time, even unconsciously. Fantastic.  

To those of us who actually have to function as grown-ups in society, the dictionary definition of Racism is:

noun

1.

a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule others.

2.

a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.

3.

hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

Did I see any of that at GenCon? Nope. Zip. Zero. Everybody seemed cool.

Did I see unconscious micro-aggressions and invisible privilege?  Beats the hell out of me. I’m not a mind reading Social Justice Warrior, constantly perched like a falcon, ready to swoop in to right wrongs.

I am the first in my family to be born in the United States. The child of immigrants, I struggled between cultures.

I get that. I truly do. I grew up in a Portuguese culture in a really poor dairy farming town, where the men were manly men, problems were solved with fists and the problems that couldn’t be solved with fists were dulled with beer, reading books was a waste of time that could better be spent milking cows, and D&D was for worshipping the devil.

I was the only non-white kid in the neighborhood and one of only a half-dozen minorities in my high-school.

In my school, half of us could speak English. Half of those could read.

 I was an outsider.

Try being an outspoken republican at WorldCon sometime.

I found refuge in Dungeons & Dragons in my freshman year. I could escape who I was in those heroic characters and epic stories. I could be someone I was not. I could be strong. I could be fierce.

I could be white.

Whoop de fricking doo. I could be a half-orc.

As an awkward teen, like other awkward teens, I wanted to be accepted. But acceptance meant something different to me, as perhaps it does to other minority teens.

You ever notice that SJWs are always perpetually reminiscing about the wrongs they suffered in high school? Yes, you are a special snowflake, unique among all the snowflakes. How could the average gamer nerd attendee of GenCon possibly understand what it was like to be an AWKWARD TEENAGER?!

Acceptance meant being white.

The broad acceptance that white people enjoy is the unspoken—but clearly visible—rule of our society, reinforced through a thousand structures and symbols. It pervades everything around us, reminding everyone that white people are the center of the story, no matter what story is being told.

Or it could be that all of RPG gaming originated when Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax added a narrative to a war game, and war gaming was historically an upper middle class activity, so most of the original gamers were educated white males who came from that social strata. And at the time the only huge thing in fantasy was LoTR and the early game creators drew upon Tolkien’s works to establish worlds that were based on a northern European setting. Most of the first and second generation gamers worked with what they were familiar with, and being descended from western culture, there was a whole lot more western culture source material to take inspiration from. Since our hobby is a relatively recent development in American culture, it has taken a while for it to evolve from its granddaddy progenitor.

Naw… Can’t be that. It must be racism. Because obvious.

As a kid who desperately wanted to belong and fit in, white was the color of god.

Literally. Because he is very shiny.

Most games—the genres, the artwork, the characters, the stories—were Eurocentric and white. It was easy, perhaps even expected, to be white when playing a character. I was always Eric, or Gunthar, or Francois; I was never a person of color.

That just shows a massive lack of imagination on your part. My first childhood character was grey-green (and my strength was 18/00 because I cheated at character creation, but that was the perk of being the only kid at the table smart enough to figure out 2nd edition rules. THAC0!)

My name was never my name.

Trust me on this one. My parents didn’t call me Bahutarg. We named the dog Bahutarg. 

(And no, that isn’t the Indiana Jones reference, I literally had a Queensland Healer I named after a PC.)

And no one thought it was strange that I played people so different from myself.

The beauty of gaming is that you can be things different than yourself if you want. I suppose you could be yourself… If you’re BORING. 

It has been a long and complex road to finding myself, and comfort in my own skin and ethnic identity.

My all-time favorite character I’ve ever played for a long campaign was a samurai named Makoto. For those of you who read this blog you know I wrote up a novel worth of character journals, and I’m fairly certain I’m not Japanese.

In my current IKRPG campaign I’m playing an investigator that is a rip off of Luther, and yes, I look like Idris Elba. This week at GenCon I played Amiri the female barbarian pregen in a Pathfinder game (and killed a gelatinous cube with a shovel), and the next night I played a berserker as if I was Danny Trejo. I named him Asahino de Vagos (that’s Murder Hobo to you pasty faced gringos), I had the Lady of the Lake tattooed on my chest, and I only spoke in lines from Machete*. When we faced the boss I greeted him with Hola Motherfucker and stabbed him in the face.

How’s that for finding yourself?

* I’ll admit, when we entered the Forest of Doom, and I said “We didn’t cross the border, the border crossed us” that was a bit of a stretch.

The first step was simply realizing that white wasn’t the only color of value. It came in drops: a character in a movie or a book that was of my ethnicity, who I could empathize with and imagine myself as. These characters, when they appeared, gave me my own heroes, heroes that were like me.

Good for you. And the average suburban white bread kid isn’t a Halfling rouge. Play whatever makes you happy.

Gaming never afforded me those options.

Yes. It. Did.  I’m 39 and even in ye olde tymes before the internet in the land of staunch Catholic “D&D and heavy metal lead to Satanism” I got my grubby little hands on sourcebooks with all sorts of different world settings. I don’t know how old this writer is, but in my teenage years Forgotten Realms had books like Dragonwall, Parched Sea, and Feathered Dragon. (and holy shit, I can’t believe I remember that!)

Not to mention settings like Dark Sun, where you could play a Mule, but who cares what race you are there, because you’re ALL GOING TO DIE.

I had to force them, going against the pressure to conform. The pressure was so intense that the first time I played a character of my own ethnicity was actually online.

In online gaming, nobody knows who anybody is, unless they say they’re a 16 year old girl then they are either an undercover cop or Melvin the Troll. This was especially true in the days before voi
ce chat, so unless this blogger is really young, he is the only person who knew what race he was. If the only person who knows what you are is you, and you’re still hung up about it, you’ve got a problem, and it isn’t what 50,000 ambivalent strangers in Indiana think.

 Eventually, I did become confident enough to bring non-white characters to the table, but I still sometimes faced puzzled looks, and questions about ‘whether I was trying to make a statement’ when all I wanted was to simply be me.

It is possible that George’s game group was just made up of morons, which does happen, but considering this guy is so intellectually dishonest that he has no problem ascribing racist motives to complete strangers because of the psychological hang ups he picked up as a kid, I’m guessing the puzzled looks from his game group were probably due to “oh, what the fuck are you spun up about now, George?” more than invisible privilege or whatever it is we’re supposed to be outraged about this week. 

I don’t think there are official surveys and statistics on the gaming subculture, but perhaps this study on the top 100 domestic grossing films in science-fiction and fantasy is an indication of similar trends in gaming: There are only eight protagonists of color in the top 100 science-fiction and fantasy films. Six are played by Will Smith and one is a cartoon character (Aladdin). None of these protagonists are women of color.

Yeah, already went through why that particular survey was utter crap in the link above talking about NPR. If you don’t want to click on that link, in short, as a retired auditor the stats were laughable, but I’d encourage you to read it, because poking out the obvious holes in it was pretty funny. 

Things are changing in the world of gaming, but too slowly.

That’s an extremely presumptive and broad statement. Just like the definition of racism above where everything under the sun is racist, even if you’re doing things right you’re not doing them right enough. No matter what, the perpetual outrage seekers have to find something to be outraged about. 

The designers are mostly white, especially lead designers and executives.

You know who becomes a game designer? Somebody who designs games. Nobody is stopping anybody of any ethnic makeup from designing games and selling them. The market of ideas is truly colorblind.

Executives are the ones who actually make money at it.

Equally, the key officers of most conventions are almost entirely white.

In my experience people who work at conventions are the ones who VOLUNTEER and actually SHOW UP. If you do a good job at this over a period of time and the other volunteers and committee members know you and trust you, then that’s when you become one of those “key officers”.  That actually showing up for a few years, learning stuff, and working could be seen as discriminatory to the perpetually stupid I suppose, but just think of it as gaining XP before leveling up.

Nobody is stopping anybody from volunteering. I’m sure your local concom would absolutely love volunteers regardless of what they look like.

Usually, they are well-meaning people who do not realize how their roles and decisions impact the larger gaming community and its lack of diversity.

So, voluntary positions and positions that are filled by people who choose to go into those fields don’t have enough people who chose not to go into them… Okay then. Well, obviously somebody has to do something!

GenCon is emblematic of this problem.

I still don’t think George has established what the problem is (outside of his personal guilt and hang ups) but we’ll run with it.

Of the twenty-seven Guests of Honor (in various categories), only two are people of color.

Hold on a second… I didn’t keep my program book, but I’m betting he didn’t count me in there and I was a GoH and am legally a Person of Color (holy shit, how I fucking hate that term. It is just Colored People backwards). But of course, I didn’t wear my sombrero like NPR wanted so I wasn’t “easily identifiable”.

This is really kind of silly when you think about it. He was just complaining that there weren’t enough minority attendees… Where does George think the guests come from? This isn’t a chicken and the egg thing. Most of the guests are there because they are now interesting for some reason, but most of us started out as just regular gamers, and he was just complaining that there weren’t enough regular gamers who were minorities. Adding more minority guests isn’t going to cause minority gamers to randomly spawn into the convention.

The judges of the prestigious ENnie Awards for role-playing, hosted at GenCon, have been almost exclusively white since its inception.

The question here is how do you become a judge? I’m guessing it is related to the above bit about who becomes game designers or guests.

The same is true for the nominees and winners of the Diana Jones Awards. There may be more efforts to include people of color in gaming artwork,

Efforts? Rather than condemning and shaming people, you should be giving props and kudos to some game companies for going above and beyond what you’ve asked for. I think Pathfinder is actually the biggest selling RPG out there, and Google search what their iconic characters look like: https://www.google.com/search?q=pathfinder+iconic+characters&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=3VfzU-HZDOjMigKe_YDYAw&sqi=2&ved=0CDUQsAQ&biw=1366&bih=624

Quit awesome-shaming us, George.

but where are the real life people of color on the grand stage of gaming?

Yeah. Where are they? Rather than knee jerk assuming it is an unconscious racist plot, let’s think about where gaming and gamers came from and extrapolate out from there.

D&D started in 1974, one year before I was born. In the grand scheme of things it hasn’t been around very long. Most of the early designers were imaginative types who read high literacy things like LoTR for fun and came from backgrounds with the disposable income and free time that enabled time consuming things like war gaming. In the 1970s and 80s, what group had the most of that stuff? Suburban whites.

The designers of now were mostly the people who grew up reading and playing the stuff from that first group. And when they grew up, gaming was an unpopular dorky activity that wasn’t’ seen as cool. You know that whole stereotype of playing in the garage. Yep. Who could get away with being “uncool” in the 80s? Suburban white kids mostly, that’s who. “Uncool” in poor, rough areas was a good way to collect an ass beating. Where I lived in the 1980s I didn’t exactly brag that I liked to roll dice so my imaginary elf could sword fight an imaginary dragon. Hell, reading books was considered sissy behavior.

But I’m sure in the projects of west Baltimore or the Brick Yard of north Birmingham back then gaming was looked upon as a perfectly acceptable pastime by your peer group… Uh huh… I’m guessing this is why most of the black and Latino gamers I know around my age are the ones who grew up in the suburbs… Or after thinking on it for a minute, they were introduced to
it in that bastion of all hatey-hate-mongery that Social Justice Warriors despise so much known as the US Military. The military is lousy with gamers, and the military is real diversity, not that namby-pamby college gender studies skin-deep diversity. Gaming is a fantastic Morale Activity when you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere, and even if it was dorky and uncool at home, playing with your buddies when you’re otherwise stuck and bored off your ass makes a great gateway drug.  

It isn’t a race thing, it is a poverty and accessibility thing. Sadly poverty and accessibility go hand in hand with race in this country. George is taking a big, complex bundle of problems made up of economics, education, and social issues and dumping in the lap of people who have nothing to do with it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African-American_middle_class

Don’t blame the gamers. Blame LBJ for his legacy of failed Great Society social programs.

Let’s face it. Gaming is really a luxury activity. You want to increase the number of gamers in any community, increase their disposable income, increase their free time, increase their literacy rates and the numbers that read for fun… Oh, but wait… George was offended earlier by the people from inner city Indianapolis simply having jobs. Never mind.

I grew up poor. My dad can barely read, but my mom liked it, romances mostly. My dad tolerated me reading westerns, because those were “tough” and our little local library, tiny as it was, was free, but it had a lot of Louis L’amour. Then one day a friend of my mom’s gave her a box of used books, and among them was the Sword of Shannara. That was my gateway drug to fantasy. Then my uncle found a used red box sourcebook for me. Then my race/sex/socioeconomic status all became irrelevant, because I could punch monsters in the face. 

You want to get kids into this stuff, present them with the opportunity to create fun stories. No amount of bitching at the kids who did get the opportunities is going to right the social wrongs of the past. Guilt doesn’t create gamers. Fun creates gamers.

Furthermore, GenCon is disturbingly tolerant of deeply offensive material. Shoshana Kessock wrote about her experiences with Nazi cosplay and paraphernalia at Gencon shortly after returning from GenCon 2013, and I had similar encounters.

Just speed reading this one because of time, and I must be missing the “disturbingly tolerant” part… So out of 50,000 people there was a guy in a Nazi outfit, but it was out on the streets of the city, totally devoid of context so no idea what he was doing, or if he was playing the bad guy for some production, or who knows what, but fine, whatever, there’s a Nazi. And then some little fly by night place bought a booth that had some Nazi crap in it…

 Yeah, just not seeing this as an epidemic of racism to indict the other 50,000 people, and I really hate Nazis. My grandmother’s family is from Poland and her maiden name was Byreika. I don’t think I have any relatives left there. I’m all about shooting Nazis in the face. I had an incident earlier this year where I had to physically leave a place because there was a guy there with a swastika tattooed on his face and it was taking too much of my self-control not to draw my Benchmade and cut it off.

It would be impossible to imagine minority players running around GenCon in t-shirts that read ‘Kill the white man!’, yet the convention welcomes and profits from images of racial hatred.

I think Kill the White Man is the name of the blog of a Nebula award winning writer, but hey, go for it. Normal people will sneer and avoid you, just like they do the moron with the swastika tattooed on his face.

Welcomes? Bullshit. Out of the tens of thousands of people there, somebody did something you don’t like, and you have absolutely no idea what the management did about it, if they even knew. Profits? You mean out of the hundreds of booths and millions of products, somebody brought in something obnoxious and you make it sound like a chemical company profiting off the production of Zyklon B.

GenCon has weakly worded policies to prevent these horrific violations, but it has failed to enforce its own rules.

No examples of this systematic racist failure. Just throw the allegation out there and insult GenCon. Classy.

These are symbols, important symbols. If the color of all the leadership, of all the roles of power and recognition, the entire structure is white, and if this same leadership is tolerant of hate-speech, it gives a clear unspoken signal to the non-white community: You can join us here, but only if you leave your history, your people, and your emotions at the door.

Speaking of symbols, get off your cross. There is no “clear unspoken signal” to be extrapolated out of all that straw. Nobody other than your fevered imagination told you to abandon your history, your people, or your emotions, George.

You want to know why real instances of racism are often overlooked? Because the public is the villagers and you SJWs are the boy who cried wolf. When every unconscious action or event is somehow racist, after a while we tune you out. Real racists disappear into the tall grass of micro-aggressions and invisible privilege.

I’ve been told time and again by gamers, “I don’t see race” as if they were doing me a kindness. This is not enlightenment or progressiveness. It is ignorance. If you do not see race, you do not see me. You do not see my identity, my ethnicity, my history, my people. What you are telling me, when you say “I do not see race,” is that you see everything as the normal default of society: white. In the absence of race and ethnicity, it is only the majority that remains. I am erased.

I may be guilty of uttering the words “I don’t see race” at some point but perhaps I could better rephrase it to say “I don’t give a flying fuck about your race, because I care far more about your individual actions, personality, beliefs, choices, philosophy, and culture, and in this particular case we share the same culture of Gamer. And race is an artificially limiting concept primary used by statist control freaks to keep everyone in easily managed stereotype boxes. When I notice your race it is probably the same way I’d notice if somebody was tall, short, fat, thin, bald, beautiful or ugly. Now shut the fuck up about micro aggressions because you are harshing my mellow and roll the fucking dice.”

How about that? Better?

 More often than not, people are actually pretty cool, and what somebody perceives as “subconscious racist unease” is actually some well-meaning white person terrified that they might accidentally give offense and be burned at the stake by Social Justice Warriors. You want that to go away, quit screaming at these people about their white guilt and they’ll quit walking on egg shells around you.  

Is it any wonder, then, that so many people of color in the community try and submerge their own ethnic identity? They do not wish to stand out or to be recognized. In most societies it is dangerous to be an “other,” and in a subculture as white-dominated as gaming, things feel especially unwelcoming.

Luckily for you, you’re talking about the Indianapolis Convention Center in 2014, not the Selma Bridge in 1965, so it seems kind of silly that you’re worried about being The Other while complain
ing about a place where people are walking around in Furry animal costumes. Furries! Unwelcome, my ass.

Stand out? Hell, when I grow out my Duck Dynasty beard I can pass for the twin brother of one of the terrorists we just let out of Gitmo. I’m 6’5” and when I was young I could bench 365 and looked it. I was genuinely scary looking enough to make normal people uncomfortable when I walked into the room. Spare me your bleating about being profiled. That is simply human beings paying attention to their surroundings, which has been genetically coded into the very foundations of our grey matter.  http://monsterhunternation.com/2013/07/22/on-profiling-and-stand-your-ground/

Too many conversations on race and gaming die before they even start.

Is that because it isn’t actually a conversation, but rather you giving them a lecture? I’ll be glad to talk race issues all day with you, but for some odd reason that often seems to go something like this:

Social Justice Warrior: Let’s begin. You’re racist.

Normal Person: What? Wait. No I’m not.

SJW: Well denying it just proves it.

NP: No, really, I’ve never done anything racist at all.

SJW: Invisible privilege, subconscious micro-aggressions, cismale gendernormative fascism!

NP: What the fuck?

SJW: Racist.

Here is a prediction. By me writing this fisk, the resulting “conversation” will have a handful of people who disagree with me actually argue their stance with logic and opinions, (and I truly love those) but the vast majority of dissent will be from SJWs who skimmed until offended, and then either attack me as a racist, or dismiss me because of privilege. Why yes, I have had a few conversations about race. How can you tell?

I have seen more energy, debate, and engagement by gamers on the minutiae of rules and trivia than I have on the weighty topics of race and gaming.

No shit? People who love a hobby, when gathered for that hobby, prefer to talk about that hobby rather than your personal cause? I’ve seen the exact same thing with sci-fi/fantasy fans fleeing in droves because they’re tired of getting preached at. It is funny how somebody trying to enjoy themselves doesn’t like to be repeatedly slapped in the face and insulted. They must be racists.

Gamers will spend endless days and millions of words fighting over the pros and cons of the Wacky Wand of Welding, but when a person of color brings up issues of race and diversity in the community, too many gamers roll their eyes and say, “Oh not again. Why do they have to be so politically correct? Can’t they just have fun?!”

I can only assume you brought it up in as ham fisted a manner as you did here, and started out with “Hey guys, I got baggage and shame issues from my childhood. Why are you all racists?” so I can’t imagine why they’d have that reaction to you.  

Despite the apathy and dismissal, I know that there are people who want to work with the minority community to change these realities. I know there are allies and advocates who want to make gaming a different place, one that’s open in new ways to minorities and their communities.

And here we are at the end, after insinuating gamers are all racists, game companies are racists, and GenCon management loves Nazis, George gets to the useful part about actually getting more people from different backgrounds into our hobby. Way to go, buddy.

If you’re one of those people, here’s where you can start:

  • Listen. The Gaming as Other series is a great place to start. There are a handful of panels at Cons on the topic and I’ll be sitting on two of them at GenCon: “Why is Inclusivity Such a Scary Word?” and “Gaming As Other.” Keep engaging, listening and supporting. We notice your support and it gives us the strength to keep going.

If con panels give you the “strength to keep going” then you really need to seize control of your life, man.

  • Hire more people of color and give them agency, visibility, power, responsibility, and credit in a wide variety of meaningful and important areas in your organization.

How about companies hire the best person for the job based upon their skill, knowledge, abilities, and talents so that they can provide the best possible product to their customers?

Do not simply hire a token minority.

I’ve personally seen how this is a double edged sword of Social Justice. When they say “token minority” that often means a minority that disagrees with them or fails to fit in the proper box. They’re all about diversity as long as it is skin deep and in perfect lockstep with what they think.

Do not use people of color as a form of marketing.

Another double edged sword of Social Justice. So you’ve got an RPG. Let’s say you put some non-white looking characters on the art. You could easily be praised for this, or you could somehow anger them and be attacked for “tokenism” or “cultural appropriation”. Flip a coin. Either way, I’m sure Tor.com will run an article about how you’re racist.

  • Reach out to minority groups and invite them personally to conventions. Your neighbors, your co-workers, the people at your church, all of them.

Holy crap yes. In this entire thing I finally found something I agree whole heartedly agree with!

However George left something off. After you invite them MAKE IT FUN. Sadly, SJWs can even suck the fun out of Guardians of the Galaxy, so it is up to us people who aren’t total psychopaths to invite more people, because if a regular person goes with a SJW then the whole con is going to be Diversity Panels, until the guest escapes out a window.

  • Offer and play games that are actively and intentionally more inclusive.

Inclusive sounds great, but notice that he never mentioned enjoyment, entertainment, or fun. That’s because SJWs have their sense of fun surgically removed because it might interfere from their listening carefully to make sure the GM doesn’t perform any invisible micro-aggressions. Curious, I did a Ctrl F. It turns out George only used the word Fun twice. Once in describing how GenCon currently is and another in an insulting manner, in the bit about how DARE gamers rather want to have fun rather than discuss how they’re unconsciously racist.

This is the same uphill argument I’ve been making about sci-fi/fantasy fiction. Our SJWs flip out about needing more diversity in our readers, and their solution to that is being preachy, oversensitive, humorless, and obnoxious to the majority demographic. It is hard to entertain when you’re motivated by guilt and shame. I say make it fun for everybody and they flip out and call me a racist. Meanwhile my fan base makes their diversity panels look like a Klan rally.  Go figure.

Oh, by the way. While wandering around the con in search of Social Justice and checking to see what color everybody was, the most diverse group of fans I saw the entire time was the line for my book signing. Suck it, WisCon and your racially segregated “safe zones”.

There is a lot we can do together as a community. Gamers have always prided themselves on being accepting of those outside the mainstream.

Furries, dude… Furries. 

People of color want to be accepted too.

And nobody isn’t. So quit insulting us.

You want an example of acceptance among gamers? One of the guys I traveled with told me this story. He and another of my friends were standing in line for some GenCon activity Saturday night. He asked another dude in the booth for something, and that guy flirtatiously responded “Only if I can get your phone number.”

Now this guy is straight, and he’s being hit on by a gay man, and said gay man is also a really tall, muscular black man. Did this white gamer from North Dakota flip out? Nope. He was a little surprised, there was an awkward silence, but then he said his girlfriend wouldn’t like that much.

Now, through the lens of the Social Justice Warrior this case would be super confusing. Was my friend a victim of sexual harassment because he was uncomfortable (Cosplay does not equal Consent!), or was he homophobic for turning down the advance, or was he racist? Shit. I don’t know. This stuff is super confusing. There are so many aggressions and counter aggressions that I’m sure Tor.com could write a whole series of blog posts condemning everybody.

Meanwhile, back at GenCon on Planet Earth, all of these individuals had a laugh, and went on with their lives.  

GenCon is the flagship of gaming, and thus is a golden opportunity to start this process. Let’s start to have a conversation about the structures that led to the low number of minorities as Guests of Honor and ENnies judges.

Notice, no suggestions as to who. Just a vague “you need more. Make it so”. 

When my RPG didn’t make it as a finalist, it wasn’t because there weren’t enough Latino judges, it was because I’m competing against super creative products like Numenera or Deadlands. What difference does the ethnicity of the judges make?

Let’s push GenCon to make changes to those structures so that people of color have a seat at the table for those important decisions.

The world is run by those who show up, and nobody is stopping anybody from showing up. If you’ve got some suggestions for qualified judges, I’m sure GenCon would be happy to listen. But I’m going to go out on a limb and guess if George didn’t have that straw grasping example of racism it would be something else.

 For many of us, gaming is not simply a hobby, but a home. Let’s make it both inclusive and diverse.

I know when I want to be inclusive I start by insinuating that 50,000 complete strangers are racists.

I think George owes GenCon and its attendees an apology.

Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS
GenCon 2014 Report

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545 Comments on "No, Tor.com, GenCon Isn’t Racist. A Fisking."

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Foolish Pride
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Foolish Pride
2 years 1 month ago

My first serious Skyrim character was a Redguard, and unlike my Oblivion character I didn’t make him look Italian.* This guy is just an insecure self-reject. I’m about as Nordic in appearance that someone could be and I had no problem identifying with my clearly non-white character.

*I had an excuse for that. The vanilla textures for Redguards was horrible, and I wanted to see if it could be done. My attempt at a black Nord didn’t work out as well.

AgentEggroll
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

I also check the Other box in the Race section and my current Skyrim character is an orc named Mickey Rourke that’s basically just being Mickey Rourke on a giant drug fueled bender. I believe I last logged out with him dressed up as Batman running around punching wildlife in the face.

I wonder what the SJWs would find racist/micro-aggressive/gendernormative about that character (other than the fact he’s actually punching small animals in the face).

Kristophr
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

BTW, Honey Badger Brigade did a thorough disecting of the feminist attempt to shame the Gencon crowd:
http://honeybadgerbrigade.com/radio/honey-badger-radio-having-fun-killjoy-to-the-rescue/

Patrick Chester
Guest
Patrick Chester
2 years 1 month ago

So… you have Mickey Rourke running through the forest, picking up the field mice and bopping them in the head?

Christopher M. Chupik
Guest
Christopher M. Chupik
2 years 1 month ago

Holy crap, I just realized I know the host of Honey Badger. She used to be in my writer’s group. Small world.

agenteggroll1
Guest
agenteggroll1
2 years 1 month ago

I also check the Other box in the Race section and my current Skyrim character is an orc named Mickey Rourke that’s basically just being Mickey Rourke on a giant drug fueled bender. I believe I last logged out with him dressed up as Batman running around punching wildlife in the face.

I wonder what the SJWs would find racist/micro-aggressive/gendernormative about that character (other than the fact he’s actually punching small animals in the face).

wodun
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

I bet AA George would freak the f out if a white person role played as another race.

Pellegri
Guest
Pellegri
2 years 1 month ago
Probably. Exactly that kind of behavior is why I, as a person of Russian/Germanic descent, do not play human characters of another ethnicity in modern settings. (Fantasy settings where there’s a well-defined culture for them that I can also read up on in a matter of hours is a-ok.) Part of it is SJW-avoidance; part of it is I really don’t think I can internalize everything I’d need to to play a character of another culture really well and I’m kind of a perfectionist. :C But I have seen other players get attacked for playing a “person of color” when… Read more »
the gripping hand
Guest
the gripping hand
2 years 1 month ago

Interestingly, I didn’t see anything in George’s screed about the “Gaymer” panels and events at GenCon.

akornzombie
Guest
akornzombie
2 years 1 month ago

Oh, I bet ol’ Georgie is just a *blast* to game with. He has the reek of a rules lawyer about him.

NKR
Guest
NKR
2 years 1 month ago

That’s exactly what I was thinking. He imagines people don’t like him because of his color when it’s really his downer personality. He’s a living, breathing parody.

T.L. Knighton
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

Sounds like a woman I had to deal with once upon a time. She was convinced that no one liked her because she was fat.

About the sixth time she’d pissed me off that day, I pointedly told her that no one at the SCA even cared she was fat (she was hardly alone, after all), but that she was an obnoxious harpy.

Sounds like George has found something about himself beyond his control that he can blame his lack of popularity on, rather than the fact that he’s just an asshole.

saintonge235
Guest
2 years 1 month ago
George strikes me as prejudiced against himself. Someone who isn’t comfortable in his own skin. It reminds me of a story I heard from a psychotherapist, about a gay guy afraid to come out to his mother. Eventually, said gay asked himself, ‘What do I care about what Mom thinks about gays? Whatever it is, it won’t change me.’ What’s really telling is George saying that if someone doesn’t “see race”, they don’t see him. If you see George, he doesn’t want you to treat him the same way as you would a white dude. Betcha if you do treat… Read more »
CombatMissionary
Guest
CombatMissionary
2 years 1 month ago

I saw this recently at Duh Progressive:

http://duhprogressive.com/index.php/456-non-gay-americans-celebrate-end-of-go-tell-somebody-who-gives-a-sh-month

I don’t hate somebody because of their skin color, religion, background, orientation, etc.
I just get sick of being around people who never stop haranguing the world about what an oppressed victim they are, AND IT’S ALL THE WORLD’S FAULT!

Synova
Guest
Synova
2 years 1 month ago

I thought that “rules lawyer” was a prereq for table top. (runs)

Jusuchin (Military Otaku)
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

I’ve seen rules lawyers who are not this whiney. Actually, most of them aren’t this bitchy. They’ll bitch about the rules, not the fact they’re the token minority. :/

jefflasala
Guest
jefflasala
2 years 1 month ago

I’ll just add that Dungeons & Dragons—THE game in the epicenter of GenCon—has never been more inclusive of all types of people. There’ve been numerous articles about that. The recently released Player’s Handbook (5th Edition) does not display a white male as the default image on the page for humans (p. 29). And that’s totally cool. Humans are diverse.

As are gamers. More now than ever. One of the most fun (if sadly short-lived) D&D campaigns I ran was with these guys: http://tinyurl.com/mu9olyv And we had a blast, and everyone liked everyone.

Julaire
Guest
Julaire
2 years 1 month ago

Jeff, clearly you’re sexist because your group is all male, and most of you have beards which women can’t grow and–

Nope, I can’t even keep that up for two lines. I fail as a SJW.

Jeff LaSala
Guest
Jeff LaSala
2 years 1 month ago

Hah. True indeed. Well, in my OTHER campaign (2 years and running), there’s actually a 50/50 division of men and women. I think I’m mostly “safe” then. 🙂

KHorn
Guest
KHorn
2 years 1 month ago

Au contraire my friend, there is also Jack Daniels, a libation of color.

Andrew Rothman
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

There’s ZERO diversity in that campaign: Seriously: nerd, nerd, nerd, nerd, nerd, nerd, nerd! 😉

Jeff LaSala
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

Guilty. Not one cool guy (or girl) among us!

KHorn
Guest
KHorn
2 years 1 month ago

Dammit, my repely was meant to be to Andrew.

thewriterinblack
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

And I’m sure the author of that piece has a similar piece ranting about how racist the NBA is in lacking a representative number of white players, right?

Right?

John
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

Good post Larry 🙂 People like George just suck the fun out of things. I had to recently drop a long time friend who constantly played the victim card.

youretheworst
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

Haha! West Baltimore shout-out! I’m a walking, talking example of how you can’t stuff people into little, labeled boxes and expect everyone to take you seriously.

thewriterinblack
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

Are these the same guys who think that the incidence of male players playing female characters is an indication of “exploring gender roles” and, thus, evidence of “ending default binary gender” (as opposed to “if I’m going to spend all day staring at a butt, it’s going to be an attractive butt”)?

Nope, no cognitive dissonance here at all.

Paul Sparks
Guest
Paul Sparks
2 years 1 month ago

Some of my most memorable characters from gaming are the ones I had while deployed. Nothing like being in the middle of a fight and the sirens go off for a mortar attack, we just picked up the map and our dice and went to the shelter and continued our adventure.

Jordan S. Bassior
Guest
Jordan S. Bassior
2 years 1 month ago

Now THAT is dedicated gaming! 😀

Daddy Warpig
Guest
2 years 1 month ago
Politics is like plumbing: a nasty necessity of human existence, because humans produce a lot of shit. Normal people deal with plumbing when they have to (a couple of hours after a meal, a broken pipe), and people who get paid to do it (plumbers) need to deal with shit all day. It’s their job. But mentally healthy civilians don’t. Only a mental defective obsesses over feces and the disposal thereof. What would you think of a person who talks about feces during every single meal, talks about the quality of Captain America’s bowel movements after seeing “Winter Soldier”, and… Read more »
Lemming
Guest
Lemming
2 years 1 month ago

> Only a mental defective obsesses over feces and the disposal thereof.

and water resource engineers. 🙂

Daddy Warpig
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

I’m pretty sure they fall under the “paid to do it” exemption. (And, before anybody asks, Larry falls under the “only when necessary” exemption, but is veering dangerously close to pundit status. 😉 )

CombatMissionary
Guest
CombatMissionary
2 years 1 month ago

How do we know a civil engineer designed the human body?

Because only a civil engineer would route a toxic waste disposal pipeline through a recreational area.

John C Wright
Guest
John C Wright
2 years 1 month ago

Pure poetry! May I quote you?

FunkyCrawfish
Guest
FunkyCrawfish
2 years 1 month ago

When a half-orc moved into my neighborhood, I was the first one to tell him hello. Sure, he ate my dog shortly thereafter, but at least I tried.

saintonge235
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

Take a goblin to lunch. Talk about why you’re uncomfortable with beings who want to murder you. Expand your horizons.

Fail Burton
Guest
Fail Burton
2 years 1 month ago

It’s nice Tor.com has a group of Stormfront-like supremacist bloggers because inclusion and diversity.

Steve
Guest
Steve
2 years 1 month ago

TL;DR version:

Racist A.A. George goes to a convention, sees “too many” whites enjoying themselves, decides to vent his unpleasant racial fixation while pretending to be some sort of victim. The End.

CombatMissionary
Guest
CombatMissionary
2 years 1 month ago

It’s a new America. Discomfort = oppression. You know, unless you’re White. 😉

thewriterinblack
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

Acceptance meant being white.

Oh, lordy. Really? That’s what he has in his head.

That has got to be the most openly racist statement I’ve heard all week. Not a statement about racism, but an expression of his racism.

I mean. Boggle.

T.L. Knighton
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

I live in a city that’s 70 percent black. I’m curious what George makes of that?

Fail Burton
Guest
Fail Burton
2 years 1 month ago

Don’t boggle. That is not an isolated expression but the “norm” intersectionalists are constantly whining about against which they feel all things are unfairly measured. They call it “hegemony” and it is the centerpiece of radical feminist thought. They mean Anglophone, white, male, Western and straight.

When Aliette de Bodard writes “Apparently only white people have the gravitas to be mythical and represent ‘everyman'” that’s a drumbeat that never ends with these folks.

KHorn
Guest
KHorn
2 years 1 month ago

Yeah, I grew up in a city the was majority Hispanic and then spent the first 10 years of my career in various Asian cities. Oh, and for 2 years my department of 10 only had two men. Never once did I ever feel, oh no, I’m the only white and/or man in the room. But then I like to judge people on their attitudes and actions, not there skin tone or reproductive plumbing.

saintonge235
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

Yeah, as I said above, he ain’t comfortable as a brother, or whatever he is. So he projects his self-hatred onto others.

Matt
Guest
Matt
2 years 1 month ago

You could be a half-orc? Not that much of a stretch from the quarter ogre you are in real life.

On race: I had been reading Samuel Delany for 20 years before I found out he was black. It was a lot later that I found out he was gay. Do I care? Not really, I like his writing.

Guest
2 years 1 month ago

*blank stare*

If you tell us that you enjoyed his book ‘Hogg’, I’m going to question your sanity.

bjlinden
Guest
bjlinden
2 years 1 month ago

When did you find out he was a vocal supporter of NAMBLA?

Matt
Guest
Matt
2 years 1 month ago

A few weeks ago. I still like his writing.

michaelzwilliamson
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

Even if I liked his writing, I wouldn’t support someone who endorsed child molestation. Ditto for MZB, who apparently tortured her children into having sex with her. I’ll never read anything else of hers or touch anything that will put a cent into her freak partner’s bank account.

Guest
2 years 1 month ago

Seconded

Guest
2 years 1 month ago

Seconding what MikeZ posted, I mean.

Guest
2 years 1 month ago

Look up the interview he did with Will shetterly few weeks back…

Delany is one sick fucker.

Kristophr
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

“Delany is one sick fucker.”

Which is too bad. I liked Delany and MZB’s work, but I will not spend another dime on them ( until they are dead and their heirs get the money ).

thewriterinblack
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

MZB is dead and has been for 15 years.

thewriterinblack
Guest
2 years 1 month ago
From her Wikipedia entry: Child sex abuse allegations In 2014, Bradley was accused of sexual abuse by her daughter, Moira Greyland, who claims that she was molested from the age of 3 to 12. Greyland also claimed that she was not the only victim and that she was one of the people who reported her father, Walter H. Breen, for child molestation.[15][16][17] In response to these allegations the author Janni Lee Simner, who has continued to write works in Bradley’s Darkover series, announced on June 13, 2014 that she would be donating advances from her two Darkover books, her Darkover… Read more »
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

AFAIK MZB’ s children don’t get a dime, all the royalties go to her long time girlfriend who was involved in the abuse.

Kristophr
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

Crazdmadman: It’s too bad her kids have run out of time to drag the mess through probate.

Tarl
Guest
Tarl
2 years 1 month ago

I tried to read his books 20 years ago, and they stunk so I stopped. Now that I know he’s a black pervert, I am not really all that inspired to give them another try.

Rick67
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

By writing this piece George has created the awkward situation where, if someone at GenCon sits next to him, says “hey, how you doing? my name is Bob, and you are?” and within 5 minutes George is lecturing Bob on gaming, race, and diversity. And Bob thinks “what a jerk, I’m getting away from this guy” and George concludes “racism”.

michaelzwilliamson
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

The only racist I see here is the whining pussy from Tard.com who expects white people to fix his problems for him.

Also, Maurice Broaddus was there, but I don’t know if he’s properly considered black since he’s also British.

And of course, as an immigrant, I don’t count because of my skin color…which is darker than Larry’s.

Junior
Guest
Junior
2 years 1 month ago

No, no, no, Michael. Maurice is African-American! Get it right!

:p

Wayne Blackburn
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

Wait – I saw you at Liberty con, and I’m pretty sure I’m darker than you. No wonder no one sees Larry as a “person of color”.

michaelzwilliamson
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

Also, how many black people were running WorldCon?

dmonzero
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

I just have one thing to say: Holy shit man, how many words per minute do you type?

Jake Simon
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

I can’t believe you have the patience to even read this crap, let alone respond to it line by line

The Phantom
Guest
2 years 1 month ago
I’m a person of colour too. My colour is pink, shading to beet red if I go out in the sun too long. Love the way the SJW dude makes RAAAAACISM!!! into a disease, only to be healed by… well really there’s no cure. “Racism is an insidious cultural disease. It is so insidious that it doesn’t care if you are a white person who likes black people; it’s still going to find a way to infect how you deal with people who don’t look like you.” Clearly the only solution for Mr. AA George is to kill anyone who… Read more »
saintonge235
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

Yes, now that I think on it, it isn’t at all clear how George wants people white people to treat non-white people, is it?

Formynder
Guest
Formynder
2 years 1 month ago

“Start with…” You know, I only have so much time available. If I’m reading something game related, chances are it’s going to be errata, tips, how to min max a character, how to take advantage of a tricky rule, etc. Stuff that makes it fun. I’m not going to go out of my way to bore myself to death.

NKR
Guest
NKR
2 years 1 month ago
Excellent fisk, Larry! One of your best. I really don’t understand why someone like this AA George person doesn’t just design a game that works for his special desires? I mean, that’s what creative people do, right? And I’ve always found gamers to be creative. It seems, after all the talky-talk, he’s really just found an angle in a community where he can’t compete on the traditional level (creativity) but he wants some status anyway so he’ll do whatever he has to do to get it. And I feel confident in criticizing his creativity because his bogus accusations aren’t even… Read more »
jefflasala
Guest
jefflasala
2 years 1 month ago
I think it’s fair to disagree with A.A. George all you want. I certainly don’t agree much of anything in that post. But I’m a Tor.com blogger myself (and a hardcore gamer/sci-fi nerd): Tor.com isn’t an organized cabal spewing discord and discontent trying to bring down the white man or even subvert the dominant paradigm. It’s just a sci-fi/fantasy community site that yeah, happens to have a large percentage of folks who lean a decidedly different direction politically from the folks who follow Larry’s blog. No need to generalize or slander the whole site. Don’t do to Tor.com what George… Read more »
Book
Guest
Book
2 years 1 month ago
Good point, Jeff. I think Larry was just pointing out that it was another Tor post. Not speaking for him, of course, that was just how I read it when I saw it. I can see how it might be misconstrued, however. BTW, I freely admit I don’t read Tor’s articles too often unless someone has passed one on to me. So I was wondering- and speaking of diversity- does Tor ever post articles from other points of view? I only say this because the perception from us SF/F uber geek fans is that if you’re not a lefty/ SJW… Read more »
Daddy Warpig
Guest
2 years 1 month ago
> Not everyone who writes for it is on the same page. This may be accurate, Larry said the same thing just up the page (and again while the web was kicking my ass trying to get this to post). But… I started reading Tor.com at the very beginning, when you had the 5 free ebooks giveaway to launch the blog. I even participated in discussions. (Username Aperios. Look me up.) I left when the unnecessary and sneering insertion of politics into geek culture articles got to be too much to deal with. “I always laugh at Conservatives when they”… Read more »
Brian Niemeier
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

“… I will never work with Tor.”

That’s a perfectly rational response when an organization clearly signals that conservatives aren’t welcome at its table. I wouldn’t describe Tor Books that way just yet. They do have a long relationship with John C. Wright and just agreed to publish the rest of his COUNT TO ESCAHTON series.

Fail Burton
Guest
Fail Burton
2 years 1 month ago

The king at Tor Books is Orson Scott Card. He is persona non grata at Tor.com. That’s because they’re two different things.

Fail Burton
Guest
Fail Burton
2 years 1 month ago
Mr. Lasala, I think you mistake our intent. We are pointing out the difference between the presence of an actual institutional expression of a shared ideology and the complete absence of one. George (and others at Tor) consistently assert a mere straight white male demographic not only equals an ideology but a white supremacist one hostile to gays, women and PoC. According to George GenCon is in essence some kind of analogue to a hostile supremacist entity hostile to women, PoC and gays. The problem there is in making a case for that. You can’t put 10 straight white guys… Read more »
T.L. Knighton
Guest
2 years 1 month ago
And no one thought it was strange that I played people so different from myself. I’m currently playing a half-orc neutral good cleric. I may be neutral good, but that’s where the similarities end. That’s true of most people…because it’s a game where you play elves, dwarves, and a whole bunch of other crap that doesn’t freaking exist!!!!! Of course, this is from a man who complains about how few non-whites game, yet offers no meaningful way to combat that. I mean, I’ve invited plenty of non-whites to play. Had a couple who were avid gamers who said yes. The… Read more »
Angus Trim
Guest
Angus Trim
2 years 1 month ago
It’s not like that non-white authors haven’t existed for a long time. They have. Samuel Delany, black Mack Reynolds, black. I can’t remember the author’s name, but years ago, I bought the first two books of a series by a Korean author. I’ve walked by fantasy offerings by a Japanese author. Not because the author was non-white, but because I only had enough jingle in my pocket to buy one novel, and there were three that were worth buying that evening. I personally was introduced to Mack Reynolds’ writing in Analog SF in 1967. It was the late 70’s before… Read more »
michaelzwilliamson
Guest
2 years 1 month ago
Angus Trim
Guest
Angus Trim
2 years 1 month ago

Thank you Mr. Williamson

I guess he could be black like I’m Nez Perce {at least four generations back}.

Or I could have had the wrong information for the last twenty + years.

Oh well, something about the fumes coming of the grinder where the blade meets the belt probably affects the memory. My memory certainly isn’t what it used to be.

sinperium
Guest
1 year 8 months ago

Man, I am really late to the party here but just wanted to respond and sa,y “OUTSTANDING points here!”.

You can take political correctness today and spin any person, statement or activity into being “bigoted” without even making an effort.

I’m just waiting for, “Why are there no real-life ethnic character classes in D&D?” and “Shouldn’t character genders be determined at creation by random dice throws to prevent gender bias?” posts to pop-up somewhere.

Nice, well thought out replies.

saintonge235
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

Obviously, we must force non-whites into gaming, so that there will be the proper racial balance.

Shadowdancer Duskstar / Cutelildrow
Guest

I was gonna say “Would importing them count?’ but then I remembered that Asians ‘don’t count’ as ‘non-white’ to the SJWs, so never mind… /chuckle

junior
Guest
junior
2 years 1 month ago

Speaking of which, Asians make up a *huge* chunk of the video game RPG community. And much of the genre – both in on-line games and off-line games – appeared first in Asia.

Shadowdancer Duskstar / Cutelildrow
Guest
Yeah, but as noted if we’re not doing the toeing of the SJW line and since Asians notoriously refuse to fit in the boxes they want us to climb into, we don’t ‘count’ as ‘not-white’ to them. Probably because of all the Achievements that keep getting racked up and the whole ‘we’re too busy studying / nerding out to computers / insert random Asian stereotype here’ aren’t exactly things to cry about. Except possibly the one about Asians having small …equipment. That’s one I really couldn’t verify, being a girl. Although, there was that time some friends brought along a… Read more »
saintonge235
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

Shadowdancer Duskstar / Cutelildrow wrote:
“I was gonna say “Would importing them count?’ but then I remembered that Asians ‘don’t count’ as ‘non-white’ to the SJWs, so never mind… /chuckle”

Well, we have it on good authority (the racial determination “experts” of the late apartheid regime in South Africa) that Asians are “honorary whites”, so no, roping in them slant-eyed folk won’t help.

junior
Guest
junior
2 years 1 month ago
Yeah, but as noted if we’re not doing the toeing of the SJW line and since Asians notoriously refuse to fit in the boxes they want us to climb into, we don’t ‘count’ as ‘not-white’ to them. Probably because of all the Achievements that keep getting racked up and the whole ‘we’re too busy studying / nerding out to computers / insert random Asian stereotype here’ aren’t exactly things to cry about. ———————– That, and the whole “affirmative action will screw the Asians over” thing, which tends to make them less than eager partners to some of the racial shenanigans… Read more »
Shadowdancer Duskstar / Cutelildrow
Guest
Took me FOREVER to find the comment in my email so I could hit the reply button. That, and the whole “affirmative action will screw the Asians over” thing, which tends to make them less than eager partners to some of the racial shenanigans that our would-be betters get up to. Just to prove that not all Asians are en-bloc smart critters (because human beings aren’t those convenient widgets that the SJWs would like us to be), there are some who do get scammed into the whole racial shenanigans. And the ones who get sucked into the modern radfem crap,… Read more »
Eric Vander Linden (@evlred)
Guest
2 years 1 month ago
Surest mark of a racist is someone who sees race and skin tones first and foremost. He’s going to a gaming convention and his biggest worry isn’t about whether he’ll get to talk to some of his favorite game designers, it isn’t about whether he’ll get to see all the booths and cool stuff, it’s about whether he’ll see others that share a skin tone with him. I know that makes perfect sense, I mean my first worry about open D&D sessions isn’t about whether the players are cool and the DM is prepared, it’s all about whether my skin… Read more »
michaelzwilliamson
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

To be fair, being a very visible minority can be uncomfortable.

However, if he goes ten blocks north from the convention center, he’d have found I was the only white person in the restaurant.

Book
Guest
Book
2 years 1 month ago

I get this. But who needs to make the changes in attitude- the person who is uncomfortable, or everyone else?

Put this another way- if no one in the room cares what color skin I have except myself, who is it that actually has the problem here?

accordingtohoyt
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

Yes, but you can’t change the whole room. When I open my mouth, I’m an audible minority and this leads to stuff like trying to avoid talking to strangers on the phone because it’s uncomfortable. BUT I know it’s stupid and also that it’s my problem. I’m not going to demand everyone speak with a fake Portuguese accent! (Though think of the fun!)

Wayne Blackburn
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

I’ll bet if I listened to you for a few weeks, I could pull off the fake accent.

Actually, my main problem is trying to NOT pick up other peoples’ speech patterns…

Tarl
Guest
Tarl
2 years 1 month ago

Sounds to me like the same rule applied there as the last time I attended a game convention in Baltimore, i.e., don’t leave the convention center. =D

TM
Guest
TM
2 years 1 month ago
Funny story. Back when I went off to college in the south, I needed a hair cut (as you do when you don’t want to look like a rain forest is growing from your head). Being completely new to the area, I did what any sensible person would do and went for a walk down main street looking for a barber shop. When I finally found one, I walked inside and sat down, and very quickly realized I was in “the wrong place”. Not a single person in the building was my race. None of the example hair styles and… Read more »
Fail Burton
Guest
Fail Burton
2 years 1 month ago
Thats a good story TM. I had a friend who needed a haircut and we went into what was clearly a barbershop whites didn’t use. My buddy’s attitude was like “They cut hair, don’t they?” You could tell the guys inside were amused and surprised we came in like “are you guys lost?” but didn’t say anything nor treat us bad. Doesn’t matter if you’re in a crowd of 300,000 Muslims, 200,000 Brazilians or 50,000 white Americans. Some cultural differences aside, at the end of the day they all have five fingers and if you treat a man like a… Read more »
Joe in PNG
Guest
Joe in PNG
2 years 1 month ago

The really funny thing is that if snowflake was to travel to a country full of people that looked like him, color wise, he’d find that he fits in less than a convention full of gamers.

DaveP.
Guest
DaveP.
2 years 1 month ago

OTOH, I’ve had my custom refused at a barber’s because I was white and “we only cut black people hair” (I had been served there before, but the shop had changed ownership since I had been through that neck of the woods last) and, many yeas before that, also been refused because “I don’t cut long hair” (dude, I’m asking for a buzz cut- you shouldn’t have a challenge here).

My attitude in both cases was “Fine, then you don’t need my money.” No marches, no protest signs.

Book
Guest
Book
2 years 1 month ago

I was an outsider.

*Try being an outspoken republican at WorldCon sometime.

//chuckle//

——

As a kid who desperately wanted to belong and fit in, white was the color of god.

*Literally. Because he is very shiny.

//lost it here//

Jordan S. Bassior
Guest
Jordan S. Bassior
2 years 1 month ago

I’ve never seen God, and I think that if I did the least of my astonishment would be whatever skin color he felt like manifesting.

Guest
2 years 1 month ago

I am having a difficult time coming up with a solid reason as to why anyone would give Tor any of their money, ever again.

Fail Burton
Guest
Fail Burton
2 years 1 month ago

Tor.com is not Tor books but a web site associate. It may be a subtle difference but it definitely is a difference.

Free-range Oyster
Guest
Free-range Oyster
2 years 1 month ago

The Safehold series by David Weber.

Murgy
Guest
Murgy
2 years 1 month ago

I tried to get through that series, but when John Smith becomes, Zhahn Zmy’thee, it just became too much work. Oh well. There are lots of other good authors.

Guest
2 years 1 month ago

WEBER!!!! (said in Jerry Seinfeld’s ‘Newman!’ voice)

Ok, there’s a few things they’ve got, I’ll give them that. I’m still glad that more of JCW’s stuff is getting released on Castalia House. :-p

Andrew
Guest
Andrew
2 years 1 month ago

You might want to try Safehold on Audible and just bypass the spell-mangling.

Brian
Guest
Brian
2 years 1 month ago

I have to agree with Murgy on this one. I love the Honor Harrington series although Weber can get a bit long winded in techno babble even there, so I figured Safehold would be awesome. I have read the first three and the fourth will be unfinished because it just got to be too damn much work.

Jeff LaSala
Guest
Jeff LaSala
2 years 1 month ago

As stated by others, Tor (aka Tor Forge) and Tor.com are separate entities that exist under the same umbrella. Tor Forge puts out plenty of great books. Tor.com is a “publisher agnostic” SFF fan community site that has put forth its own short stories and now has an imprint of its own. But it’s still a separate thing.

Joseph Capdepon II
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

I think David Weber also publishes through Tor as well.

Minimum Wage Historian
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

I left a comment on the article’s page.

dyingearth
Guest
dyingearth
2 years 1 month ago

Is it still there? Or have the moderator decided that it’s offensive and racist?

Bill
Guest
Bill
2 years 1 month ago

I was last at GenCon in 2001, but I distinctly remember that I went to a panel on running a convention. The guy giving the panel was the guy who ran GenCon. He was black. Somehow I doubt he would agree with Georgie about anything. He also made a potentially boring topic into one of the most interesting panels I’ve ever been to at a Con.

Good fisk Larry

RKW
Guest
RKW
2 years 1 month ago

Hey, 2001 was the last time I went to GenCon too! We may have met. Unlikely, sure, but stranger things have happened.

accordingtohoyt
Guest
2 years 1 month ago
I’m a first generation immigrant from a Latin Country. As in, I wasn’t born here. The only time I feel out of place in SF is when people start talking about how I SHOULD feel out of place. My “lost it moment” was the idea of walking around a con with a clip board. “were you always a dude?” or “Do you like girls or guys?” I started giggling because with our people instead of offense, I’d likely get a couple of clumsy passes. I’m still having sporadic giggle fits over the idea. G-d bless science fiction. Except for the… Read more »
Drang
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

1) “Rogue”, not “rouge”. Unless that was a “people of color” thing, I can’t tell, WASP, you know.
2) I got started on D&D in, um, ’78, and there were black (we could still say that then) gamers in Detroit then. Women, too. Not a demographically representative percentage of either, but if Eastern Michigan University had tried to make us recruit certain percentages of racial and ethnic and sexual groups, we’d’ve moved off campus.

Kristophr
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

“Rouge” is tongue in cheek. It got mis-used so much in WoW that it became a standard silly name for sneaky-petes.

Nick Gardner
Guest
Nick Gardner
2 years 1 month ago
When I first read the article last week my response was “when I was an active Gannett the only color we cared about was the color of your new dice.” Or in Larry’s case, the color of the gallons of paint he bought for the steamer trunk full of models he bought. Our idea of racism was “Oh, you’re a half-elf, how original. Thanks Larry, you summed up the gaming culture perfectly. We’re inclusive off anyone who wants to show up and game. What a shock this guy doesn’t feel accepted when his character is a Paladin with the sub… Read more »
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

Female half-elf named Ariel.

CombatMissionary
Guest
CombatMissionary
2 years 1 month ago

Does that mean you’re a redheaded half-elf/half-mermaid? Sorry, I’ve never played D&D yet, although this comment section is piquing my interest.

Guest
2 years 1 month ago

No, I as just filling in the stereotype from when I was gaming in the ’80’s (Well before the movie). Nobody played Female Dwarves or Halflings. But if you did run across someone with a female character, she’d be a beautiful elf maiden, named Ariel.

Guest
2 years 1 month ago

Ahh Ariel… so beautiful, and all looked exactly alike. delicate features, long flowing hair, magnificent bosom. Only difference was what color contacts they wore and what color hair dye they were on.
Sometimes i miss my youth 🙂

Patrick Chester
Guest
Patrick Chester
2 years 1 month ago

No half-orcs?

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0555.html
(“chief grukgruk frankly not want dwell on that very much.”)

Nick Gardner
Guest
Nick Gardner
2 years 1 month ago
When I first read the article last week my response was “when I was an active Gamer the only color we cared about was the color of your new dice.” Or in Larry’s case, the color of the gallons of paint he bought for the steamer trunk full of models he bought. Our idea of racism was “Oh, you’re a half-elf, how original. Thanks Larry, you summed up the gaming culture perfectly. We’re inclusive off anyone who wants to show up and game. What a shock this guy doesn’t feel accepted when his character is a Paladin with the sub… Read more »
Julaire
Guest
Julaire
2 years 1 month ago
One of my favorite RPG settings is Shadowrun, and in the core source book (not sure if it’s in the newest version, but it was in the older ones), there was a comment about racism (since, there’s a group called the Humanis Policlub who is all about eliminating the dwarves, trolls, etc.), and it went something along the lines of “who cares about that really brown guy sitting next to you on the subway when that THING across the car has hands the size of your face?” I always find it weird when people who play RPGs complain about ‘racism’… Read more »
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

I was on a forum for writers of fantasy novels. By and large a good bunch, but there was quite a bit of confusion when a guy wandered in with a question about interracial couples… and was highly offended when no one took him seriously. He had a black and white romance thread in the story. And everyone was going ‘are they at war or something? and do the elves care?’ because we’d been expecting an elf and a dwarf… an orc and a dragon. You know… that sort of thing.

Shadowdancer Duskstar / Cutelildrow
Guest

He’s seriously in the wrong place if he thinks by ‘interracial’ we’re talking about skin color between the same species. Though, elf/darkelf I’m not so sure about and I think it’s dependent on the world setting.

Jordan S. Bassior
Guest
Jordan S. Bassior
2 years 1 month ago

The guy we both know who is most hostile to the concept of elves self-identifies as radical leftist.

Jordan S. Bassior
Guest
Jordan S. Bassior
1 year 10 months ago

Shadowdancer, I don’t even know whether or not skin color is a racial distinction among Elves. Just because we use it as such is no reason to assume that they do — they might either have no racial distinctions or (more likely) set up racial distinctions along some other lines. (Magic auras? Ear length? Body type?)

Chokely Carmichael
Guest
Chokely Carmichael
1 year 10 months ago

People still write novels with elves and dwarves and orcs and dragons? Haven’t they become passe?

Guest
1 year 10 months ago

Not in the past 1,000 years or so…

Guest
2 years 1 month ago

“I always find it weird when people who play RPGs complain about ‘racism’ when it comes to skin color and not when it comes to ‘those stupid orcs, can they be any more moronic’”

Don’t worry, people bitch about orcs being racist standins all the time.

Rob Crawford
Guest
Rob Crawford
2 years 1 month ago

There’s a great scene in one of Joel Rosenberg’s “Guardians of the Flame” books where they try to explain racism based on skin color to a guy from a world with elves, dwarves, etc.

Albert
Guest
Albert
2 years 1 month ago

Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society didn’t fail. It accomplished exactly what it was supposed to do.

oldnfo
Guest
oldnfo
2 years 1 month ago

Well done as always Larry! Sounds like this guy is STILL 17 and ‘awkward’…

Parrothead Jeff
Guest
2 years 1 month ago
Back in community college in San Diego, I was told that I was racist by someone I’d never met before. When I pressed her on what I’d ever done to deserve that title, I was told that it wasn’t me, it was my race (FYI – I have a lot of different ingredients in the mix, but I look white and answer that on forms when needed). I confirmed that I really heard that – “So, you’re saying I’m racist based only on my race?” She confirmed it. There was a somewhat uncomfortable silence before she stormed off. ““The problem… Read more »
RightWingProf
Guest
RightWingProf
2 years 1 month ago
Grew up in a northern Mill Town (mostly Eyetalian immigrant). Was the only kid who read fantasy in grade school. So yes, there were beatings (I also weighed 105 lbs in high school). As a result, I became one of the best runners in the state and competed in Sport Judo in College (in the lower weight classes). When I got to college and found out about D&D, I didn’t care what group you were. The group I played with had a gay, a lesbian, and a black guy (along with a couple wimmen-folk). Nobody gave a rat’s hiney what… Read more »
Emerson
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

As a Native American (Pawnee) I am personally affronted by your usage of the word “rouge”. Beyond the pale there Correia.

Seriously though, I found the original article by George to be a call. A call for attention and maybe a few hugs. Don’t let what you look like define you, what you do ultimately defines you.

RKW
Guest
RKW
2 years 1 month ago

Ummm… slight correction. “Asahino de Vagos” isn’t “murder hobo” but rather “hobo murderer” as in “one who murders hobos”. I’m much better with Spanish, but I think “murder hobo” would be more along the lines of “vago assassino”. Though I’m sure Mrs. Hoyt could correct me if I’m wrong.

Junior
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

There’s a story I’ve heard about Mike Pondsmith. Or more accurately not about him, but…

Mike Pondsmith is the owner of R. Talsorian Games, and the list of games that he’s created includes Mekton and Cyberpunk. Quite a while ago, someone who enjoyed his games noted that he was going to be giving a presentation at a con. So the fan went to the presentation. Everything was going swimmingly with the presentation until the fan asked a rather unusual question – “Isn’t Mike Pondsmith black?” He is, and the presenter, who promptly fled, was not.

:p

Rob Crawford
Guest
Rob Crawford
2 years 1 month ago

ISTR Kim Mohan, from “Dragon” in the ’80s, mentioned once finding a woman claiming to be him.

SBP
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

Google up the pictures of the Tor company party for an example of where more ethnic diversity would be of use. I’ve seen more melanin in pictures of Klan rallies. Mote. Beam. Think globally, act locally!

Of course, that would just be a first step toward getting some diversity of thought around that place.

thane6
Guest
thane6
2 years 1 month ago

As a Native American (Pawnee) I am personally affronted by your usage of the word “rouge”. Beyond the pale there Correia.

Seriously though, I found the original article by George to be a call. A call for attention and maybe a few hugs. Don’t let what you look like define you, what you do ultimately defines you.

Jeff LaSala
Guest
Jeff LaSala
2 years 1 month ago
Wow, Larry’s posts inspire can-of-worms-style conversations! I don’t even know what to reply to anymore! Hah. In brief: I pretty much agree with Larry’s full argument here—namely, gamers game and fun, and I think most people are open-minded about who they game WITH, and anyone else. And while I sympathize with what A.A. George is talking about, I think he’s gravely overstating the problem. Is that easy for a white person to say? Yes, maybe it is. Maybe I really have no idea what it’s like. But then I also grew up as one of the very few people playing… Read more »
Fail Burton
Guest
Fail Burton
2 years 1 month ago
I already knew radically politicized people aren’t going to come at me with fangs and knives and that David Duke pets his dog and loves his children. Get a dictionary and let yourself fully buy into a race and sex-neutral definition of “bigotry” and you’ll see there is no he-said, she-said. This is a matter of facts and quotes, not two sides of a story. In the entire history of genre SFF dating from 1912 to 1970 – in other words the era of racist and sexist horror – there are not as many SFF writers who shared a supremacist… Read more »
Book
Guest
Book
2 years 1 month ago
Hey, FB, no offense here, I know you’re pissed, but this is Jeff La Sala- the Tor.com guy who wrote that positive review of Larry’s book “Warbound” when everyone else was loudly chest-thumping and making oaths to never-ever read it because Larry is a [fill in strawman blank here]. Here’s the link: http://monsterhunternation.com/2014/07/15/tor-com-posts-a-really-positive-review-of-warbound/ I just think that telling him to “get a dictionary” might be a tad… well, harsh? It’s possible he doesn’t know how long we’ve been dealing with the Scalizis and Damiens of the literary world attempting to censor and label us, so he’s reading the comment section… Read more »
Fail Burton
Guest
Fail Burton
2 years 1 month ago
I know who he is. He’s saying this is a he-said, she-said and I’m saying adopt a race and sex-neutral definition of the word “bigot” and then start laying out quotes on each side that match. He’ll find the ratio of what would be considered racist, sexist and supremacist remarks within SFF’s institutions is 100 to 1 against the PC and Tor is one of the most blatant offenders. If I took some of the things Tor’s bloggers said about whites and changed them to black or gay they’d ban me in a heartbeat. In other words Tor.com agrees with… Read more »
Book
Guest
Book
2 years 1 month ago
I’m sorry, FB, I’m just not seeing where he said it’s a “he said vs she said” argument. The closest I could find was here at the end where he said “Forgive my long-windedness, I’m just a bit weary of the us-verses-them paradigm that’s common just about everywhere. (Part of the very complain I think a lot of you have of Tor.com.) It’s probably harsher on the Internet than it REALLY is. I bet most of you, were you to find yourself in a real scenario, where A.A. George is walking around looking for a group to play with, would… Read more »
Fail Burton
Guest
Fail Burton
2 years 1 month ago
Below Mr. Lasala writes about “two camps getting further entrenched.” That more than implies both sides are being equally unreasonable. I’m sorry, but in what world is me not liking a thing like the KKK or neo-Nazi racial supremacy being “entrenched?” In what world is me tired of being defamed for my ethnicity, sex and sexual expression being “entrenched?” What is the implication – that I need to adjust my principles until being defamed as a straight white man seems okay? Does a Jew need to draw closer to an anti-Semite’s position in the name of “let’s all get along?”… Read more »
Book
Guest
Book
2 years 1 month ago
*I don’t want to get along with those people. They can go eff themselves. Ok, that’s fine, and that’s your choice. I agree that their demonizing our side makes reasonable discourse fairly impossible. I don’t think Jeff here is one of those folks, though, so I think we can probably put the pitchforks away for the moment. 😉 As far as the idiots who spout that nonsense- well I personally prefer ridicule like Larry’s fisks to flames or whatever, it might just be me, but I think it’s more effective that way. I work in an industry where I have… Read more »
Fail Burton
Guest
Fail Burton
2 years 1 month ago
Hey Book, do me a favor – stop suggesting I’m lining up Mr. LaSala next to the rest of the racist idiots at Tor; I’m not. I was discussing a completely different angle – that of the idea this is just two sides not communicating. I never said Mr. LaScala is one of those folks and I don’t think he is. I have no pitchforks for Mr. LaSala. He’s nothing like Daffy MacFarlane or Bourke. Is that clear enough? And the fisk vs. flames thing is semantic gibberish. I don’t do anything different. I list quotes and tell them to… Read more »
Book
Guest
Book
2 years 1 month ago

Never said you were equating them. You’ve not exactly been friendly, however. And since I happen to LIKE Jeff’s article as well as being all nice and friendly like to the newbies in the comment section, I thought I’d speak up. If you’ll note, I’ve been trying to do it as kindly as possible to both of you. I take it I shouldn’t have bothered?

Guest
2 years 1 month ago

Book (and Mr. LaSala) , just an FYI. If is an exercise in futility arguing with FailBurton on any topic. Eventually you will get to the point where you’ve seen enough of his rants to predict them. He’s as irascible about art. I haven’t been around to see all his push button topics, but don’t raise your blood pressure unnecessarily.

Fail Burton
Guest
Fail Burton
2 years 1 month ago

What are you, his familiar? I think Mr. LaSala can speak for himself and we need no go-between. And I don’t need you grading my friendliness.

Jeff LaSala
Guest
Jeff LaSala
2 years 1 month ago
FailBurton: >> Below Mr. Lasala writes about “two camps getting further entrenched.” That more than implies both sides are being equally unreasonable. <> What are you, his familiar? I think Mr. LaSala can speak for himself and we need no go-between. And I don’t need you grading my friendliness. << Let's just leave this as is. No reason to argue here. It's just boxing shadows. Also, we're doing this talking on Larry Correia's blog. This isn't some middle-of-nowhere message board. I think we're here because his original post is full of relevance and calls out a lot of rubbish, and… Read more »
Fail Burton
Guest
Fail Burton
2 years 1 month ago
Well… fair enough. I’m actually happy you’re at Tor and hope for good things. But this is actually the perfect place to argue these points given the post. I just won’t make it seem like you’re part of the problem if that’s what you wish. I never thought you were. We don’t feel like we’re boxing at shadows, as the very post above attests. Imagine you’re an SFF writer and dream of a career and maybe some recognition and an award someday. Then imagine an editor at the largest publisher of SFF in the world Tweets things like “Didn’t need… Read more »
Fail Burton
Guest
Fail Burton
2 years 1 month ago

Wyrdbard has hurt fee-fees over the Monster Truck Iron Man Italics and Filter Forge School of Visual Design.

Guest
2 years 1 month ago
“We could all get along”… Tell that to the tor podcast folks who think sf&f will be better when the right wingers are gone… Or to the mods/contributors (bourke, butler, Gallo, Nielsen Hayden) who took turns lying about, misrepresenting, and insulting Col Kratman, and when he responded they edited/removed his posts and banned him… Or to TNH who used to treat threads as her personal fiefdom, removing/disenvowling posts that dare question her opinions… I have been going to tordotcom since before it was tordotcom, but i dont go so much lately since they have made it clear through one sided,… Read more »
Book
Guest
Book
2 years 1 month ago
Jeff- you have the attitude that, if we’re honest, we all should have. The politics don’t matter- is their writing good? Yes? Then shut up and read. I think that was Correia’s whole point to the Sad Puppies campaign. So I like that you think George has some good characteristics. Maybe he does. It’s a shame that he blasted everyone at a con as racist- I found that to be pretty harsh… and more than a little offensive. I think that it would be great if we could have a civil discussion about this in person. It would be great… Read more »
Jeff LaSala
Guest
Jeff LaSala
2 years 1 month ago
I appreciate that. Yeah, I don’t like taking blame for something I’ve never been a part of. I’ve been privileged enough to have introduced lots of people to D&D—men, women, and kids of all different cultures—and I feel like I’m at least some small part of the solution. But being a solution means there’s a problem, and I think the problem has been dwindling on its own for years. Things are looking up. I don’t understand why it’s so enticing to be offended. Then the people who are “being offended” at in turn get offended. That’s a lot of what’s… Read more »
Book
Guest
Book
2 years 1 month ago
I know. It sucks, and I can’t speak for other people, but I *think* people are mistaking you for a troll. That sounds really harsh, but let me explain- We get a lot of people who “concern troll” us around here. In other words, in a really super “polite” way, they tell us how backwards and racist we are and if only we’d be a little less backwards and racist, everyone would like us! Which is kind of why a lot folks have given up on playing nice. That’s a shame, because I think that keeping up good sense of… Read more »
Jeff LaSala
Guest
Jeff LaSala
2 years 1 month ago
Oooh! I’ve never been mistaken for a troll before (“concern” or otherwise). Fun! Truth is, yeah, I guess I would love everyone to calm down, because zero gets done and absolutely no one gets swayed one way or another otherwise. Wouldn’t it be amazing if some of what Larry says in his fisks actually penetrated a bleeding-heart, easily-offended commenter and gave them pause? Or if even just one thing in the one of the more liberal Tor.com posts was worth conceding? Rather than two camps getting further entrenched and angry about it. It would be a start. I suppose that’s… Read more »
Daddy Warpig
Guest
2 years 1 month ago
Jeff: “I don’t like taking blame for something I’ve never been a part of.” An eminently sensible position. Jeff: “Then the people who are “being offended” at in turn get offended. That’s a lot of what’s going on here.” Maybe. But it doesn’t necessarily matter. Here’s why: You join a gaming club. There’s a dozen tables every Thursday night, each playing a different RPG. You’re an AD&D 2e fan, but sit in on Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0. Five minutes later, one of the players says, out of the blue, “AD&D 2e fans are idiots. You know what I hate most about them?… Read more »
Jeff LaSala
Guest
Jeff LaSala
2 years 1 month ago
Daddy Warpig, I love your analogy. Sounds like that might be spot on, too. Certainly the misinformation and demonizations in some of those Tor.com posts are rampant. BUT…to extend your analogy, I regard Tor.com as the gaming store that hosts the aforementioned Thursday night game club. Given the ridiculous rhetoric they’re spewing about 2E, I simply opt out of their games and instead browse the rest of the store for good books or cool game swag. Maybe pick up some minis. Meanwhile, I’ll listen from a distance to their games from time to time, see if things ever change, or… Read more »
Book
Guest
Book
2 years 1 month ago
Jeff- HA! Love the graphic. Hey- have you had a chance to read MHI yet? I’m no savant so unfortunately I can’t recall if you mentioned having read it. Just wondering if you knew who Melvin was. 😀 And I appreciate that you can hold your own here. I didn’t want you to feel like you were being run off because that would suck. Some of us are really pissed and are beyond being able to compromise on issues. And I get that- I really do. I’m not there, personally, but I understand the frustration. Because in the end- hell… Read more »
Jeff LaSala
Guest
Jeff LaSala
2 years 1 month ago
Book: Yes to MHI. In my defense to not having read all of them yet, this is my son: http://tinyurl.com/khwyd8f Hey, listen, I’m all for getting pissed and for righteous indignation, I just think it needs to be productive. Which I feel Larry’s posts are, but some people only get riled up and angry and it ends there. Trust me, I’ve read plenty of stuff on Tor.com I absolutely do not agree with—and some is exasperating. But I am generally not so vocal about it so as not to draw a target on my chest when I’m hoping to write… Read more »
Book
Guest
Book
2 years 1 month ago

He’s cute! Where’d the little guy get those fancy duds?

Book
Guest
Book
2 years 1 month ago

And I hear ya about drawing target on your chest. I just mentioned to someone else in a comment above that I work in an industry that is heavily left wing- and loudly so. I have to stay in the closet or I will never work again.

Which is why I love Larry’s fisks (and Sarah Hoyt’s articles- she also rocks) -they both say things that I can’t. Ever.

Well, not until I make a bazillion dollars like Correia here and have the weight behind my name. But until then, I get to quietly read this stuff and smile.

Jeff LaSala
Guest
Jeff LaSala
2 years 1 month ago

Oh, to answer your earlier question, Book:

http://www.cafepress.com/monster_hunters/7964487

greyratt
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greyratt
2 years 1 month ago
i’m a little late to this conversation but here is my 2 cents worth. to use an analog… the people on the left, with includes the people of tor.com (not all, but the ones under discussion) refer to members of the tea party as rasist. no evidence just their shooting. they refer to members of the republicain party as the same … hate women hate black hate gay hate jew hate hate hate. and repeat this over and over and over… this is from the party of jim crow… that has re-writen history so that now they are the ones… Read more »
Andrew
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Andrew
2 years 1 month ago

If he didn’t want me to treat him harshly, he shouldn’t have called me a racist.

Guest
NR Pax
2 years 1 month ago
“But I also think you guys might be a bit harsh on him as a person.” Really. Someone who doesn’t know any of us decides that we’re all bigots and he doesn’t have the balls to back it up with any evidence other than his case of chronic soreass. And he posts it on a blog that is maintained by a publisher. If anything, I think we’re being far too nice. I respect you trying to play Devil’s Advocate but I’ve gotten past the point where I feel the need to respect someone who dismisses me out of hand because… Read more »
saintonge235
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

Thing is, Jeff, George doesn’t say he’s being discriminated against by racists. If you’re white and don’t give a damn that he isn’t, you’re a racist. If you’re white and like him BECAUSE he’s not white, you’re a racist. If you’re white, you’re a racist.

He’s not comfortable around whites, but somehow that’s our fault. Me, I say that’s his problem.

grendel
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grendel
2 years 1 month ago

Please oh please make a Larry in a sombrero t-shirt.

Book
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Book
2 years 1 month ago

Strawman Larry wears a sombrero.

Rob Reed
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Rob Reed
2 years 1 month ago

I wonder what Saladin Ahmed thinks of this. He’s a gamer and writer and his “Throne of the Crescent Moon” is heavily D&D influenced. I wonder what experiences have been.

Fail Burton
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Fail Burton
2 years 1 month ago

It doesn’t matter what his experiences were. He’s an intersectionalist. I couldn’t even pull all the anti-white quotes from that guy’s Twitter feed without an assistant.

Dave Lange
Guest
2 years 1 month ago
“Furthermore, GenCon is disturbingly tolerant of deeply offensive material. Shoshana Kessock wrote about her experiences with Nazi cosplay and paraphernalia at Gencon shortly after returning from GenCon 2013, and I had similar encounters. Just speed reading this one because of time, and I must be missing the “disturbingly tolerant” part… So out of 50,000 people there was a guy in a Nazi outfit, but it was out on the streets of the city, totally devoid of context so no idea what he was doing, or if he was playing the bad guy for some production, or who knows what, but… Read more »
Mike
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Mike
2 years 1 month ago

I’ll admit to some racism… I’m a white dude, but when I want to think up a really badass character to play, he’s almost always black. It’s entirely a visual thing — there’s something about Peter Mensah that just screams “badass.”

Synova
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Synova
2 years 1 month ago

Heh. When I do character-create on an MMORPG I tend toward dark skin tones because it’s fun and different (and pretty) not to be my RL nordic self.

I don’t play male characters, but I’m not all that interested in “just like me”…. who would be?

junior
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junior
2 years 1 month ago
Back when I played Everquest, the very first character that I created was an Erudite. Which meant that he was black. I’m not. Did I care? No. The original Guild Wars had two expansions that included character creation (and a third that didn’t). Both of the expansions (Factions and Nightfall) featured new races and cultures as opposed to the vaguely fantasy European race and culture of the game’s original release (Prophecies). New characters that started in the expansions were from the local races. And that didn’t just mean recolored characters, or differently shaped eyes. You always had the option in… Read more »
Kristophr
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

Here is one of the WoW characters I play.
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/kirin-tor/She%C3%ADla/simple

If you had ever met me in person, you would find this hilarious.

Shadowdancer Duskstar / Cutelildrow
Guest

Here’s a figure of what my MMO’s favorite race’s females (…wow that’s an awkward sentence, I’m sorry) look like.

http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10227999

Totally does not resemble me. WE TOTALLY LOOK LIKE OUR GAMING CHARACTERS.

… I can’t write that with a straight face.

junior
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junior
2 years 1 month ago
The first episode of the Japanese anime series “Sword Art Online” (and presumably the light novels that the series is based off of) has an hilarious scene toward the end of the first episode where all of the players in a VR MMORPG suddenly find their characters being “remapped” to look like the players in real life. The protagonist and a friend of his get fairly boring remaps. But a male and female couple shown a few times throughout the episode go through the more expected changes – he suddenly puts on a lot of weight, while she becomes a… Read more »
dyingearth
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dyingearth
2 years 1 month ago
The anime Log Horizon deals with that a bit differently. One of the dedicated role playing character in that show never voice talked in the game prior to the show start, but seek out the main character because he has a appearance changing potion (limited time available item). The character was a girl in real life playing a male character, and you’re kind of stucked with the character you created once the show started. Out of gratitude of fixing this situation she pledge her undying loyalty to the main character (she’s role playing a ninja, so the role playing aspect… Read more »
junior
Guest
junior
2 years 1 month ago
I haven’t seen Log Horizon, but I understand things work slightly differently in that “game”. In Sword Art Online (like .Hack), the players are playing a game with a VR interface. So they essentially see and interact with the game world in largely the same way that they would interact with the real world (which is the point of VR). And the reason why they’re stuck in the game is because they’re unable to log out. My understanding of Log Horizon is that the game in that series was pretty much the same as a modern-day MMORPG, i.e. a player… Read more »
dyingearth
Guest
dyingearth
2 years 1 month ago
Best way to explain the difference between two shows is this: Sword Arts Online uses some MMPORG trapping to tell a fantasy story (with a Marty Sue). Characters there uses VR gear and are stucked. Log Horizon (8 novels published thus far) still haven’t explained what’s happening yet, but the characters there are playing keyboard & mouse MMPORG and are now in their online avatar, which presents a genuine problem for those characters that doesn’t want to get stucked in their current gender. Sword Arts Online has a much bigger budget and it’s mostly better animated. Log Horizon is broadcasted… Read more »
junior
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junior
2 years 1 month ago

Now that I think about it, the main character of .Hack//Sign was a female player stuck in the game as a male character. But she was suffering from amnesia at the time and couldn’t remember anything outside of the game world, so it didn’t affect her at all.

Fail Burton
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Fail Burton
2 years 1 month ago
Here’s the PC think tank in action: “Retweeted by Cora Buhlert Ann Aguirre @MsAnnAguirre · 21h Reverse racism is not a thing, geniuses. People of color don’t have the institutional power to systemically oppress whites.” Neither do whites since there is this thing called “law” now.” This is why the PC so abuse words like “institution” and “systemic.” If they couldn’t distort them and engage in what then becomes nothing more than weird hypotheticals they’d have to write SFF or something. Even as a hypothetical, is she talking about ratios, cuz I’m pretty sure the East India Company effed an… Read more »
Christopher M Chupik
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Christopher M Chupik
2 years 1 month ago

Ah, so they’ve redefined racism, so they can’t possibly be guilty of it. That explains a great deal.

60guilders
Guest
2 years 1 month ago

They redefined “racism” sometime in the ’80s or ’90s, I think, around the time when the kids of the people who grew up in the Great Society started growing up and weren’t all that great.

jic
Guest
jic
2 years 1 month ago

She’s right about one thing: “Reverse racism is not a thing”. It’s just racism, plain and simple, no matter what the skin tone of the person spouting it.

DaveP.
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DaveP.
2 years 1 month ago

First response: *Of course* AD&D is racist. All those damn drow cluttering up the place…

Second response: M.A.R. Barker could not be reached for comment.

George
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George
2 years 1 month ago

Dave, You got there before i did. M.A.R. Barker’s Empire of the Petal Throne was one of the earliest Game settings.