Friday, July 13, 2012

Tabletop RPG Gaming and Social Responsibility

I took part in a conversation online about gaming and "Social Responsibility." There are a small, yet vocal, group of people out in the table top gaming community who want to impose their narrow standards upon everyone else who is involved in gaming. That is wrong. I think it is wrong to impose my standards upon others, and I think that it is wrong for others to try to impose their standards upon me.

There are legitimately bad things out there in the world, many of them things that I have experienced myself. I've been homeless, sleeping on benches on building stoops. I have been in halfway houses for those suffering from mental illness. I've been sexually assaulted. I've been robbed, mugged and had guns and knives pointed at me. On the whole spectrum of things whether a piece of art shows a woman's breasts or a tabard is pointing at someone's genitals is pretty damn insignificant.

I am sure that someone, somewhere will misquote or misrepresent what I am saying here, or elsewhere, but that reflects more upon them and their standards and the fact that they have to actively misrepresent the viewpoints of those who have opposing viewpoints means that they have already lost any discussions. Nothing stays static, and no culture should ever stagnate, but that is what happens when some try to impose their ideologies onto others.

I don't know, this is something that I am close to so my language isn't going to be as precise as it probably could be but I am just going to muddle through this. It is OK to not like things. It isn't OK to start telling other people what they can and cannot like. Like George said in the discussion, so many great pieces of art/literature would be lost to us today if publishers and others listened to the loud voices.

Here's the video of the panel:

Honestly, I think that we can get through this patch of things. We have to start by trusting that others are capable of thinking for themselves and that they are capable of coming to their own decisions. We also have to realize that the existence of a game or book or movie or piece of art that does not fit into what we like, what we enjoy, does not invalidate what we do like.

It is OK to not like things, just keep your biases off of me and I promise to do the same and keep my biases off of you. That is what will make for a better community.