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. strong>

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.

Leave a Reply

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


Guest
Foolish Pride
9 months 8 days 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.

Guest
9 months 8 days 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).

Guest
9 months 7 days 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/

Guest
Patrick Chester
9 months 7 days ago

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

Guest
Christopher M. Chupik
9 months 6 days ago

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

Guest
agenteggroll1
9 months 8 days 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).

Guest
9 months 6 days ago

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

Guest
Pellegri
9 months 3 days 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 they aren’t, and I want none of that.

Guest
the gripping hand
9 months 8 days ago

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

Guest
akornzombie
9 months 8 days ago

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

Guest
NKR
9 months 8 days 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.

Guest
9 months 8 days 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.

Guest
9 months 7 days 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 him differently because he’s not white, he won’t like that either.

Boy needs to grow up and be a man.

Guest
CombatMissionary
9 months 6 days 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!

Guest
Synova
9 months 7 days ago

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

Guest
9 months 7 days 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. :/

Guest
jefflasala
9 months 8 days 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.

Guest
Julaire
9 months 8 days 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.

Guest
Jeff LaSala
9 months 8 days 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. :)

Guest
KHorn
9 months 8 days ago

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

Guest
9 months 8 days ago

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

Guest
9 months 8 days ago

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

Guest
KHorn
9 months 8 days ago

Dammit, my repely was meant to be to Andrew.

Guest
9 months 8 days 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?

Guest
9 months 8 days 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.

Guest
9 months 8 days 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.

Guest
9 months 8 days 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.

Guest
Paul Sparks
9 months 8 days 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.

Guest
Jordan S. Bassior
9 months 5 days ago

Now THAT is dedicated gaming! :D

Guest
9 months 8 days 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 complains that Monster Hunter International doesn’t show the characters eating enough fiber to ensure regular and healthy dumps? Mental defective, right?

People who obsess over politics, and inject it into everything, are just as defective.

Normal, healthy, well adjusted people deal with politics when necessary — stay educated and vote, for Christ’s sake — but the rest of the time they lead a healthy life. People paid to deal with it (newsmen, pundits, politicians) deal with politics because it’s their job.

But these politically obsessed assholes — like those infesting Tor.com — need to get a new goddamn hobby. Because injecting politics into everything is just as disgusting and tedious as telling complete strangers what your last poo looked like.

“Hey, asshole,” I say to people like that. “Keep your shit to yourself.”

Guest
Lemming
9 months 8 days ago

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

and water resource engineers. :)

Guest
9 months 8 days 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. ;) )

Guest
CombatMissionary
9 months 6 days 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.

Guest
John C Wright
9 months 5 days ago

Pure poetry! May I quote you?

Guest
FunkyCrawfish
9 months 8 days 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.

Guest
9 months 7 days ago

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

Guest
Fail Burton
9 months 8 days ago

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

Guest
Steve
9 months 8 days 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.

Guest
CombatMissionary
9 months 6 days ago

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

Guest
9 months 8 days 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.

Guest
9 months 8 days ago

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

Guest
Fail Burton
9 months 8 days 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.

Guest
KHorn
9 months 7 days 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.

Guest
9 months 7 days 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.

Guest
Matt
9 months 8 days 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
9 months 8 days ago

*blank stare*

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

Guest
bjlinden
9 months 8 days ago

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

Guest
Matt
9 months 8 days ago

A few weeks ago. I still like his writing.

Guest
9 months 7 days 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
9 months 7 days ago

Seconded

Guest
9 months 7 days ago

Seconding what MikeZ posted, I mean.

Guest
9 months 7 days ago

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

Delany is one sick fucker.

Guest
9 months 7 days 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 ).

Guest
9 months 7 days ago

MZB is dead and has been for 15 years.

Guest
9 months 7 days 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 royalties, and at the request of her husband Larry Hammer payment for his sale to Bradley’s magazine to the American anti-sexual assault organization Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.[18] On July 2, 2014 Victor Gollancz Ltd, the publisher of Bradley’s digital backlist, announced that it will donate all income from the sales of Bradley’s e-books to the charity Save the Children.[19]

Guest
9 months 7 days 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.

Guest
9 months 7 days ago

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

Guest
Tarl
9 months 7 days 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.

Guest
9 months 8 days 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”.

Guest
9 months 8 days 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.

Guest
Junior
9 months 8 days ago

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

:p

Guest
9 months 1 day 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”.

Guest
9 months 8 days ago

Also, how many black people were running WorldCon?

Guest
9 months 8 days ago

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

Guest
9 months 8 days ago

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

Guest
9 months 8 days 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 doesn’t look like him, or at least stuff them all out of sight in camps someplace. Maybe get some work out of them too.

I can seeeeee you, Mr. George.

Guest
9 months 7 days 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?

Guest
Formynder
9 months 8 days 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.

Guest
NKR
9 months 8 days 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 that imaginative. Mediocrity is hard to hide.

Guest
jefflasala
9 months 8 days 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 is doing to GenCon. :)

Not everyone who writes for it is on the same page. There’s no Kool-Aid that’s been passed around. At least, I haven’t been asked to take a sip!

I guess I’ll just keep trying to say it meekly. :)

Guest
Book
9 months 8 days 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 type, you’re not welcome. If that’s not the case, it’d be great to read some articles or posts by folks of a differing opinion than AA George et al.

Guest
9 months 8 days 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” blah blah blah. Yes, blog regular, we get it. You despise Conservatives. Can we go back to steampunk stuff now?

The blog — the official face of the company — was basically saying on behalf of the company “Anyone who’s Conservative can piss right off because we despise you and don’t want your money”. That may not be the message they intended to send, but it is the message they sent. (Tor might want to consider that.)

The experience influenced me greatly:

1 — A policy of “No politics, ever.” at my own blog.

2 — My coining the phrase Political Tourette’s (http://tinyurl.com/mcd6bmk).

3 — Devising the plumbing/politics analogy, above.

4 — A vow that, should lightning strike me, giving me superpowers of narration and exposition, thus allowing me to become a world dominating best-selling novelist, I will never work with Tor.

In other words, the bloggers on tor.com might not be politically monolithic, but they are the primary example, in my mind, of people more concerned with political bullshit (and sneering at perceived lessers) than the ostensible subject of the blog. And I thought that half-a-decade before I’d ever heard of Larry.

Guest
9 months 8 days 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.

Guest
Fail Burton
9 months 7 days 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.

Guest
Fail Burton
9 months 8 days 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 in a room and say “The Hegemony,” but that is exactly what these PC intersectionalists do. What is the National Hockey League – the KKK? If so, why isn’t the NBA? It’s just nuts – all of it. Meanwhile they have a racially segregated room and dinner at intersectionalism central: Wiscon. Does GenCon have that? Why does George write as if the opposite is the case? Can George actually think? What is Tor thinking flogging this BS?

In contrast to the invisible racist Hegemony, Tor bloggers Liz Bourke, Alex Dally McFarlane, Niall Alexander, Madeline Ashby, Elizabeth Bear, the Nielsen-Haydens’, Arachne Jericho, Brit Mandelo, Kate Nepveu, Ay-Leen the Peacemaker, and Genevieve Valentine share a recognizable ideology with an actual self-described name with a shared vocabulary that is demonstrably hostile to whites, men and heterosexuals. I haven’t counted but that must run into at least several hundred posts.

There is no opposite number to that at Tor since “neutral” is not an ideology. Nor is there an opposite number to that anywhere in the SFF community and there never has been.

And I have not included people like Fabio Fernandes and Amal el-Mohtar because they don’t blog there that much. The point is even one bigot is too many, not “Hurray they don’t have all that many bigots! Look at this pie-chart! Only 16% of our posts defame white people!” And what does any this racial and sexual defamation have to do with SFF?

I am talking about facts, quotes and actual people, not groups with no faces or names, like the hapless unconscious racists of GenCon, if not half the goddam world.

Find me one Tor blogger who’s written something like “Homo peeeoooople” in frustrated exasperated insult and then I’ll show you one that has written “Cis peeeoooople.” After that I have a few hundred more with zero on the other side. I don’t write this stuff cuz I make it up but because I can read. I can also read who’s not doing this.

Guest
9 months 8 days 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 rest? No thanks. Clearly, the problem isn’t that they’re not invited. It’s because – be prepared to be shocked – they weren’t interested. Holy crap! George’s cause du jour is irrelevant because his preferred socioeconomic groups don’t give a damn.

It’s the same way with science fiction. I’ve caught hell because I dared to suggest that maybe the reason why don’t have more non-white science fiction writers is because we don’t have so many non-white readers. Now, no facts were given as to how this was untrue, but I was a bastard for suggesting it.

Yet, no calls for more diversity in rap music. Funny how that works.

Guest
Angus Trim
9 months 8 days 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 I knew he was black. He was one of my favorite authors {and still is} until I didn’t see his name anymore on the store shelves.

Guest
9 months 7 days ago
Guest
Angus Trim
9 months 7 days 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.

Guest
4 months 2 days 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.

Guest
9 months 7 days ago

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

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

Guest
junior
9 months 6 days 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.

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 live action H-movie to snark at during one of our gaming group parties, and yes, the guy in question did have a very tiny one. The surprised actress had to be given props, us girls said, to be able to pretend it was the biggest thing she’d ever seen, and someone else speculated that it was why the guy wore a mask AND shades. A thumb chopped in half was bigger, and her taking hold of the thing in question with two fingers threatened to have it disappear entirely. I’d like to think though that he was one of those poor sods who aren’t in the average or norm.

Guest
9 months 6 days 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.

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junior
9 months 6 days 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 that our would-be betters get up to.

:P

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, not classic feminism.

Guest
9 months 8 days 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 will stand out from the group.

Guest
9 months 8 days 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.

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Book
9 months 8 days 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?

Guest
9 months 8 days 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!)

Guest
9 months 1 day 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…

Guest
Tarl
9 months 7 days 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

Guest
TM
9 months 7 days 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 pictures were my race, or my hair. As soon as I walked in, everyone stopped for a moment and stared (like they do in those old westerns when the sheriff walks into the bar). And for a very brief moment, I was extremely uncomfortable.

Then I realized I was being stupid, settled into a chair to await my turn and everyone went back to what they were doing. When my turn came around, I spoke with the very cordial barber, explained what I wanted and received one of the best haircuts of my life. I then paid the man the usual price, gave the most generous tip I could afford as a broke college student and went on my way, with a fantastic hair cut. Yeah, being a visible minority can absolutely be very uncomfortable, but as adults, unless someone is actively making you uncomfortable, you get over yourself and realize you’re dealing with another human being. Nothing anyone did had any reason to make me uncomfortable, not even the stopping for a moment as I really did look quite out of place in the shop given my hair style and the styles they generally catered to. Sometimes, being uncomfortable is just a personal problem.

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Fail Burton
9 months 7 days 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 man he’ll treat you like one.

I’ve been in illegal after hours clubs with a full bar where I was the only white guy. Sure there were a couple jerks who acted like I shouldn’t be there but my friends stood up for me. Again, some slight cultural differences aside, it was a room full of people. Had a good time. Went back many times. Not many bars where you can sit at a table and openly have a smoke-smoke. It was funny, like speakeasy, and in a quiet residential neighborhood. You had to give a password and from the outside, with all the soundproofing and blackout, you couldn’t hear or see a thing, even though they had a band.

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Joe in PNG
9 months 6 days 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.

Guest
DaveP.
9 months 4 days 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.

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Book
9 months 8 days 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//

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Jordan S. Bassior
9 months 5 days 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
9 months 8 days 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.

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Fail Burton
9 months 8 days ago

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

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Free-range Oyster
9 months 8 days ago

The Safehold series by David Weber.

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Murgy
9 months 8 days 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
9 months 8 days 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

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Andrew
9 months 7 days ago

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

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Brian
9 months 3 days 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.

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Jeff LaSala
9 months 8 days 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.

Guest
9 months 7 days ago

I think David Weber also publishes through Tor as well.

Guest
9 months 8 days ago

I left a comment on the article’s page.

Guest
dyingearth
9 months 7 days ago

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

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Bill
9 months 8 days 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

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RKW
9 months 8 days ago

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

Guest
9 months 8 days 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 SJWs, we’re nice people trying to forget the h*ll that was high school ;) And some of us have left it way behind.

Guest
9 months 8 days 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.

Guest
9 months 7 days ago

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

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Nick Gardner
9 months 8 days 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 class SJW.

Guest
9 months 8 days ago

Female half-elf named Ariel.

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CombatMissionary
9 months 6 days 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
9 months 6 days 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
9 months 5 days 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 :)

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Patrick Chester
9 months 5 days ago

No half-orcs?

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

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Nick Gardner
9 months 8 days 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 class SJW.

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Julaire
9 months 8 days 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’ when it comes to skin color and not when it comes to ‘those stupid orcs, can they be any more moronic’ or ‘man those elves are so twee. Won’t someone stop them shagging all the trees? Think of the trees, man!’

Not that I even see much of that in the games I play in. My current gaming group’s party has two minotaurs and a catfolk along with some humans, and when they encounter other people of various races (in the elf-human-dwarf definition) or of various ethnicities, the general reaction is “Oh, they’re evil? Kill!” or “Oh, they’re good? OK, I guess I’ll talk to them.” They’re more about ‘Can I kill it for XP’ than they are about social issues.

This whole article is just a WTF from start to finish. I get the impression the guy is taking the ‘I’m being picked on as a teen’ and attributing it to ‘I’m not white’ instead of to ‘I’m an awkward teen and I’m a geek to boot in a time where geeks aren’t socially accepted’. I don’t know a geek in my age group that wasn’t picked on in high school, regardless of skin color or male/female status.

Guest
9 months 7 days 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.

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.

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Jordan S. Bassior
9 months 5 days ago

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

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Jordan S. Bassior
6 months 23 days 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?)

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Chokely Carmichael
6 months 23 days ago

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

Guest
6 months 23 days ago

Trailer park elves are epically funny!

Guest
6 months 23 days ago

Hey, yeah, what’s up with that? Are you a Dwarfophobe? Hater of Little People? Tallvanist?!

And just look at his depiction of Gnomes! Gnomes are a diverse and ancient people, who’ve suffered centuries of abuse and oppression by humans and other Tall peoples, but they get shown and little more than ignorant thugs and lawn ornaments!

We need to get some Social Justice Warriors in here to condemn “Mr” Correia’s obvious heightist bigotry and make him check his vertical privilege!

Guest
6 months 23 days ago

Not in the past 1,000 years or so…

Guest
9 months 7 days 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.

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Rob Crawford
9 months 5 days 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.

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Albert
9 months 8 days ago

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

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oldnfo
9 months 8 days ago

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

Guest
9 months 8 days 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 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.”
“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.”
Know what I’m sick and tired of? I’m tired of being discriminated against by people who are prejudiced against me because I’m white. Never mind that my friends are a broad spectrum of races, sexual preferences, etc. That doesn’t matter to a lot of SJWs because I’m evil because I’m white.
And when I do point out that I don’t care about races and several people stand up for me, they pull the card of “If you don’t see race, you don’t see me” or some such load of compost.
I don’t associate with people like this not because I’m racist or white or male or anything else like that. It’s because they’re boring and annoying.
Thanks for another good read, Larry :)

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RightWingProf
9 months 8 days 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 the color was as long as you were a geek.

But I’m sure I was a closet racist. Because white (although I’m probably darker than the ILOH).

Guest
9 months 8 days 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.

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RKW
9 months 8 days 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.

Guest
9 months 8 days 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

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Rob Crawford
9 months 5 days ago

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

Guest
9 months 8 days 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.

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thane6
9 months 8 days 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.

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Jeff LaSala
9 months 8 days 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 D&D at all, so I was already a bit ostracized. Roleplaying games are more popular than ever, but they’re not mainstream yet. We’re all still somewhat marginalized….until we hang out with other people who do what we do. Then we all get along nicely. What’s the problem?

Encounter racism at the gaming table? You chose the wrong table, ugh. I know. Just keep looking, the non-racist tables are plentiful.

A.A. George’s concerns about feeling left out or uncatered-to or prejudiced against? Well, maybe, but it’s not a gaming concern. It’s a people thing. Stop hanging out with the wrong people, would be my answer to that—I guarantee there are a lot of the RIGHT people to be found.

So while I agree with Larry 100%, I don’t have the same level of disgust that I think he and many others have for what’s being perceived as an agenda-bearing consortium of judges. Yes, some of you are right, there’s a prevailing ideology on Tor.com that has more time to write on the site than others, so their voice is loudest.

I’ve interacted with a few of them, and corresponded with the manager of the site, and I can even get in the elevator of my building and go meet them face to face if I want; they’re generally nice people. The POV the site presents seems narrow, to be sure. I’m just telling you it’s not all the same, and they let me yap away from time to time, too.

Me, I just like writing about stuff I like on Tor.com. I’ve only just begun, and I can only write when I have the time to do it. So far my posts have included D&D, the Grimnoir Chronicles, the Welcome to Night Vale podcast, and defending Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth films. I realize that half of my posts have been as an apologist for something or someone because I guess, at the end of the day, I prefer that people explore the things they appreciate rather than try to tear down others’ enjoyment. One of the reasons I wanted to write about the Grimnoir books was because I felt—if I were to generalize—that many Tor.com readers would probably overlook Larry’s books. I wanted to get around his political reputation and just give them a better look at the actual content. A good writer is just a good writer, period.

I’m sorry for A.A. George, sorry he really sees things the way he does. But I also think you guys might be a bit harsh on him as a person. I went and found a couple of Youtube videos he’s in, some panels he’s talked on. Seems nice enough. I bet he’s a cool guy—and he IS a gamer, right?—even if he sees the world through an unfortunately tarnished lens that I can’t wholly accept. I bet if a group of us were all hanging out, this sort of talk in an actual conversation would be far more productive and we’d be civil—and he’d be enlightened. Hah, but I guess that’s the Internet for you. No one can be expected to look the guy up and sees what he’s really about or where he’s coming from. At face value we have only his blog post words and they cast an unjust light on the gaming community at large via GenCon. It’s still on him to be saying it that way.

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 be quick to encourage him to pull up a chair.

But yes, the long-suffering posts on Tor.com (and other sites) will keep coming up implying that racism and patriarchies are ALSO heavy agendas. Humans like to demonize or dehumanize people they disagree with or wish to disregard.

And I’ll keep wishing we could all just get along. :)

Guest
Fail Burton
9 months 8 days 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 ideology as in just this year’s Hugo and Nebula winners.

Let that sink in and stop with the “WE” need to get along. I don’t defame Arabs, Jews, gays, PoC, women or children or cats, nor is there an institution or shared ideology within SF today which does so. Simply taking 4 guys and lumping them all together as a right-wing reactionary bloc and multiplying them into an army doesn’t quite cut it.

Definitions please, one we can all share, followed by quotes. That’s how law and principle works, as opposed to identity.

Thank you.

Guest
Book
9 months 7 days 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 here from an outsider’s context. For us- we’re frustrated with trying to play nice, day in and day out- all while being called racists/ sexist/ label-of-the-day-ists, when, in fact, all we want to do is read good SF/F.

This is one of my favorite lines from his comment above: “One of the reasons I wanted to write about the Grimnoir books was because I felt—if I were to generalize—that many Tor.com readers would probably overlook Larry’s books. I wanted to get around his political reputation and just give them a better look at the actual content. A good writer is just a good writer, period.”

I think that’s awesome. Seriously.

After all, wasn’t that the whole point of Sad Puppies? To get past politics and just support good work?

Guest
Fail Burton
9 months 7 days 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 me – they’re just too stupid to perceive it.

So yeah – dictionary. This is not a he-said, she-said.

Guest
Book
9 months 7 days 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 be quick to encourage him to pull up a chair.

But yes, the long-suffering posts on Tor.com (and other sites) will keep coming up implying that racism and patriarchies are ALSO heavy agendas. Humans like to demonize or dehumanize people they disagree with or wish to disregard.”

And he’s right. I think most of us here ARE good people who would probably have no problem at all inviting A.A. George to our gaming table. Like Larry said, we’d roll our eyes as soon as he started talking about how he’s been a victim all of his life, but outright ostracize him? Nope. That’s the stuff that the SJW’s have been doing and we’ve been fighting against.

That’s a good thing- right?

Guest
Fail Burton
9 months 7 days 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?”

Sorry – uh-uh.

Let me remind everybody of what it is I’m talking about:

Hugo and Nebula Award nominee Saladin Ahmed: “The law is made by rich, selfish, shitty people – mostly white, mostly men – with cockroaches for hearts. Fuck their ‘rule of law.'”

SFF author and president of the SFWA Steven Gould: “Hard as it to believe, somewhere right now, a white, straight male is explaining to a woman or POC what they =really= meant.”

WisCon organizer K. Tempest Bradford talking about a WisCon segregated event: “I do remember the No White People hour, hehe”

SFF blogger and reviewer Natalie Luhrs: “I fucking hate those DirectTV ads with women and children on wires looking for reassurance from white men.”

*

SFF author Ann Somerville referrring to this article: “i see the butthurt white man brigade are out in force in the comments but it’s still a great post”

Reply by SFF blogger and author Cora Buhlert: “It’s also many of the same butthurt white men who show up in the comments of every post on the subject.”

*

SFF editor and Publisher’s Weekly review editor Rose Fox: “I’d say most white men should come with TWs (trigger warnings) for unthinking privileged arrogance, but that’s like saying books need TWs for ‘contains words’.”

Nebula and Hugo nominated author Aliette de Bodard: “SFF is, alas, dominated by white westerners,”

SFF author and Nebula Awards panelist Sunil Patel: “Not a single white man won an award tonight. OPPRESSION.”

Hugo-winning and Nebula-nominated SFF author Mary Robinette Kowal: “At @SFWA’s #NebulaAwards, only one award went to a white male and that wasn’t one of the ones voted on by the membership. #diversityinSFF”

WisCon SF Convention organizer and panelist Jaymee Goh: “Seems lately every week is white stupidity week. And they complain about a month in a year!”

*

SFF author and Nebula nominee Kate Elliott: “Just read another call from a white man about the need for ‘nuance’ rather than shrill ranting.”

Reply from SFF fan and blogger Jenny Thurman: “as if they’d know ‘nuance’ if they tripped on it”

SFF author and Nebula nominee Kate Elliott: “nuance is when we are complaining about what they don’t want us to complain about.”

I don’t want to get along with those people. They can go eff themselves.

Guest
Book
9 months 7 days 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 to keep my political/ religious affiliations a secret or else I’d never work again. Personally, I love the fact that Larry speaks out because he says things that I can’t. (though I would dearly love to)

There HAVE been times, however, when I’ve been able to talk to people who have noticed my quiet or otherwise figured out that I wasn’t as rabidly left wing as everyone I’ve worked with. I’m fortunate that, so far, these folks are willing to keep my secret and I’ve actually had some pretty civil debates with them. The discussions are usually pretty short, but it gives me an opportunity to show the hard-core democrats that a libertarian leaning sort-of republican isn’t the super scary she-beast that their friends would have them believe.

Guest
Fail Burton
9 months 7 days 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 eff off and why.

Guest
Book
9 months 7 days 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
9 months 7 days 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.

Guest
Fail Burton
9 months 7 days 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.

Guest
Jeff LaSala
9 months 7 days 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 we agree.

Guest
Fail Burton
9 months 7 days 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 the user icon to know you’re white and male” when you have a political disagreement with them. Where’s your career at? An entire future can disappear.

Now, I can understand and accept political bias. We can’t have everything in the world nor a perfect world. But when a culture is repeatedly writing racially profiling stuff like that, which is basically like saying “Sambo” and “fried chicken” to a black person, that goes beyond the pale.

But much worse, when that’s coming from a culture that never shuts up about how they’re against things like racial profiling while they merciless profile me, that’s just plain nuts.

A.A. George is asserting GenCon is an unconscious micro-aggressive KKK complete with so many Nazi symbols one can’t swing a cat without knocking over a Himmler cosplay. In fact George’s assertion is as much a fantasy as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and with much the same tone.

The result and aftermath of the Hugos was the same as the Nebulas. “Women dominate Nebula Best Novel list, and the short fiction categories have several PoCs. Science fiction isn’t just reactionary jerkoffs!” – Saladin Ahmed

Now, given Ahmed’s non-stop anti-white Tweets, which for some reason he gets an Orwellian doublethink pass on because besides being anti-white he’s an anti-racist, what that translates into in terms I’ll put in a way everyone can understand is that Jews who are sick of anti-Semitic remarks are “reactionary jerkoffs.”

In such a culture, a white male writer can consider their career subverted just by waking up in the morning. Isaac Asimov had to deal with anti-Jewish quotas in college and others anti-Catholic. We have that again in core SFF. There is absolutely no doubt of it. Ironically, Asimov himself is now portrayed by PC bloggers like Foz Meadows – another Hugo nominee for her anti-straight white male work – as one of “three straight, white Anglophone men” who benefitted from Jim Crow and anti-homosexuality laws.

The Guardian has some dope who, along with scores of others in the SFF community, is repeatedly writing racially defamatory innuendoes about the “overwhelmingly white, male perspective that dominated the genre,” and if you disagree it’s “the bigotry of conservative readers.” Again, never in a thousand years would the PC assert a mere demographic amounts to a de facto bigoted supremacy when it comes to women, gays and non-whites even when they’re sitting in frickin’ segregated “safer-spaces” at WisCon. But they commonly use such tactics, and without facts, when it comes to the straight white male, the evil demon of all human history.

Essentially 3 Hugos were won for a single blog post by Kameron Hurley asserting white males have erased women warriors from history. In order to illustrate her point, she used paintings rather than images from the 165 year history of photography. That is the Orwellian nuttery of the PC in a nutshell: awards for a defamatory sexist post based on myths.