jeregenest: (Default)
The top thing I hope to never every see again in any game is a skill dedicated to flirting, this includes seduction . There are many reasons, from the simplistic to the fact its misogynistic.

Flirting is, usually, explained as a skill to manipulate people who find you sexually attractive.

So lets get one thing out of the way. Communication is pretty much communication, and if you are adept at manipulation you are adept at manipulation. The building blocks of flirting are the same as any type of communication. Also the idea of flirting, like most communication, is culturally dependent. Even two western countries, like the US and France, have very very different ideas of what is flirting.

So, flirting is a communication style, or a set of tools used for a specific purpose. By prejudicing it as its own skill, especially when other major modes or styles of communication are lumped into one skill (or don’t even get mentioned in a skill) your putting flirting on unequal status. And unless your playing a game where every specialty and subset gets its own skill you probably shouldn’t do that to flirting. If your skill system isn’t granular enough to separate radio astronomy from Infrared astronomy than it probably isn’t granular enough to separate flirting from manipulation (or whatever you call it).

I’ve often heard from people “But character X flirts all the time, how would you explain them.” Since I play a lot of spy rpgs that's usually “What about James bond.” The easiest answer, after I stop laughing, is that James Bond just as easily manipulates men around him as he does women. Its just that the tropes are he later shoots the guy and sleeps with the woman. Doubt me? Watch the first 15 minutes of Goldfinger and lets talk.

And then, quite frankly, flirting as its depicted in most rpgs is misogynistic and displays quite a bit of cynicism towards relationships that I just don’t want to be associated with. Flirting in itself can be fine, but in rpgs there is so much baggage that its a bad idea and just reinforces some already bad trends in this hobby.
jeregenest: (quality)
[livejournal.com profile] peaseblossom has already done a good job talking about Jonathan's Tweet problematic post. This post evokes a few things that, quite frankly, cause me to react in a public way.

Tweet is a public person for this hobby, stating these things in a very public way. And when someone comes out with very sexist statements it is only right to have to evaluate their work in the context of their statements. Now I'm the first to admit that we all make mistakes, and we can all say things we regret saying. So it is important to look at people's opinions over time. And in Jonathan Tweet's case there is a long strand of problematic statements. This most recent one is not isolated, and it needs to be looked at in context.

So I'm left believing that Mr Tweet has issues of sexism. Which causes me to consider his works thoroughly. The first way I have to observe his work is whether there is sexism in it, and if so how to deal with it. And yes, I do mean all his work. Now folks who read me regularly know that I was just considering blowing the dust off of Ars Magica, so that is the game I'm going to look at (and yes I recognize he is several iterations of editions back). I don't own other games of his anymore so there is less of an issue for me.

Second I need to consider that even if his work isn't sexist (and Ars Magica is no better or worse than other games) there is the need to send a message. Mr Tweet is a recognized leader in the hobby because of his reputation in large part for writing games like Ars Magica. And frankly I'm not sure I want to continue to give him cachet by playing his games.

I believe firmly that one must hold people to standards, and when they disappoint not to partake in their creative output. The only way I personally can state my disagreement is by refusing my own participation in Mr Tweet's work. He's still alive, he can change, and maybe if enough people make clear their displeasure he'll change. Heck, I even hold out hope that Frank Miller will change if enough people refuse to partake of his sexist work. Not much hope but I'm an optimistic person.

Finally I think there is responsibility on WotC's part. Jonathan Tweet wrote these things on a company forum in his official capacity. He was not operating as a private individual. He was acting officially. And as such WotC bears responsibility for what he wrote. Frankly I'd like to see WotC put him on some sort of probation and require a public apology. And than make clear in very, very public ways that they do not support sexist, gender dividing ideas and dedicate themselves in some very real ways to improving the situation in this hobby.

So in short, I will not support Jonathan Tweet by playing his games. So no Ars Magica for me. And I will not be supporting WotC until they remedy this grievous issue. Which may not sound that big to you when you think of me personally. But remember I have a 7 year old, and he just discovered Magic.
jeregenest: (Default)
As long as men and women who are aware of the problems inherent in privilege and believe that something needs to be done about sexism, racism, classism and other forms of privilege within the gaming community refuse to sever ties with those parts of the community that refuse to deal with these issues, then they are not only not furthering change they are actively preventing change from happening since they are condoning behavior that they supposedly stand against.

The situation has gotten to the point where communities of gamers are actively opposed to dealing with their privilege (either overtly or by the simple absence of any real attempt to deal with the issue). The presence of folks who are cognizant to issues of privilege on these forums basically is telling those who refuse to deal with these issues (or are out-right-antagonistic) that it is okay to continue to avoid issues or privilege, or, as is often the case, to continue to revel in it.

As has been the case in other communities in the past (some not so recent) it is time to separate as a matter of conscience and only lend your credibility to those forums that actively seek to address issues of privilege.

For example if everyone I knew who agrees (all too often in private) that privilege in gaming needs to be dealt with stopped going to the RPG.net, the RPGsite, the Forge, Story-Games and Knife-Fight (and the rest) and instead were to post all their thoughts about gaming to a place like Iris than we'd have a vibrant community dedicated to gaming where issues of privilege could be adapted. And instead of being on group blogs where this issue wasn't dealt with and instead focused on group blogs where these issues were welcomed, we'd soon have a very vibrant community. Its really time for people to put their time and effort where their good intents already lie.
jeregenest: (Default)
I followed some links from the 11th Carnival of Feminist SF and Fanatsy Fans and came across this doozy:

People have wracked their brains in how to attract more women into the hobby and I have to say that I am beginning to see it as futile. There was a huge influx of females (especially hawt gothy babes) when Vampire hit the streets. And now the bubble has popped? They’re gone. Or doing other stuff. there’s been some releases of anime/manga games which are more feminocentric (that’s got to be a new word…) but I look at them and consider them patronising. There are some that even promote love and romance but again, how subtle are they? (from late-gaming)


And I have to say that some people just don't get it. And at this point I am thinking it is on purpose.

One of the reasons Vampire appealed to women (and still does from what I can see) is that a woman could look at itand easily see chacter possibilities. There were plenty of female character types, use in the archetypes, etc. And there was a bunch of active women art. This is actually one of the things White Wolf has always done better than just about anyone else on the block. And one of several things that it annoys me the rest of gaming ahsn't done a good job surpassing. And mostly WW has gotten betetr at this, when I look at the new Mage (for example) I see a lot of positive things.

Now one of the things White Wolf does poorly is their huge preponderence of Cheese cake art, especially in Exalted, but that is a matter for another post.
jeregenest: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] peaseblossom wrote a review of Spirit of the Century that I hope folks will read with the attention it deserves.

As some folks know I've been ona hiatus from gaming since a ratehr regrettable melt-down. I've decided that as my rentry point I want to spend time doing 1:1 gaming with [livejournal.com profile] peaseblossom, something we've never done before. But I'll be honest my original idea was to actually have some rules but I'm being stumped in finding the best set. I was hoping Spirit of the Century would do it, but maybe not (and theres still the issue of Fudge dice, something neither of us have ever warmed up to).

Systems left to check out for resonance with my current gaming wants

  • Esoterrorist

  • Castle Falkenstein

  • Active Exploits

  • Nobilis

jeregenest: (Default)
Shrug, what's the big deal? Role-playing with women at the table is a sensual experience. Not erotic in the sense of watching porn, not in an erection-inducing or fantasizing sense, but definitely sensual, with sexual undertones.


From here

Wow, where to begin? Ron's later statement in that comment where he says that’s just the way all the world is so live with it just makes his comment even worse. I'll avoid going into how this exposes problems in Ron's psyche and relationships with women because I don't know him and one comment is not enough. However, I do think this is indicative of the exclusionary language that is at question here.
Read more... )
jeregenest: (Default)
I have a big problem with a lot of gaming discussions I’ve been reading lately. It’s something that’s long existed on places like the Forge, but frankly I think it’s getting worse and driving me away from places like Story Games. I’m sick and tired of all the hypermasculine language and I’m slightly worried that this indicates a growing disillusionment from the hobby in general.

The Muy Macho thread is a case in point; Peaseblossom has done a good job explaining her frustrations with it. Mine are slightly different. I worry that this sort of hyper masculine, locker-room, pro-Wrestling inspired language is both counter productive and indicative of a type of power relationship that, quite frankly, I don’t want to be associated with. I am finding it more and more difficult to discuss valid and reasonable disagreements about what makes games fun and interesting, and what tools should be developed to make that happen, when every time I turn around I feel like I’m being assaulted by chest-pounding testosterone junkies. It’s making me defensive, and I’ll be honest when I’m defensive I don’t do my best thinking.

It bothers me that this type of language is hidden behind humor, I think that humor is often a refuge for behavior the user knows isn’t that acceptable but chooses to do anyway. I also don’t like how the “humor” defense is disempowering an individual when they point out problems in the discourse.

Quite frankly I think that it’s the user of hypermasculine language job to justify not the responsibility of people who rightly call foul over it. And I’m pretty sure I don’t want to be part of any community that condones that behavior.

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