Before I get started with the linkage, a note.
I want to apologize for the recent lack of posting, excepting these linkages. I’ve been struggling to deal with a toxic meatspace situation that is infecting my “real” life with unpleasant drama. I hate drama. I don’t deal with it well at all and it’s left me too drained to do any serious blogging once my job and parenting obligations are dealt with. I’m hopeful that the drama situation will resolve itself soon, but in the mean time, I’ll work to get a “real” post up this weekend and make sure to get another one up before the end of the month.
Thanks for bearing with me, folks. Sorry that I tend to hermit when stressed. Thankfully, the internet has been super interesting this week!
Take that, trolls! Apparently I’m not angry, I’m logical! Booyah!
Thanks to the magic of fMRI, scientists have discovered that “justice sensitivity” operates in the part of the brain tied to logic and rationality, not emotion. Cool.
STEM Women on Google + just put up this fantasic piece (on Google+, naturally) about what you can do if you find that you’re going to be attending Yet Another Mostly Male Meeting. This is particularly relevant as we enter convention season – I know I certainly get tired of mostly male panels.
Ettin Productions just put up this masterpiece of satire on DTRPG: A custom Dungeon World playbook for The Edgy Designer:
You are the last of your kind: a real gamer in a hobby that has been taken over by socialists, feminists, liberals, ethnic minorities and pearlclutching fishwives. You’re fighting back now, and you are not alone. You have a multitude of fans just like you, always willing to soothe your ego when people destroy your life by saying mean words at you, or harrass your targets whenever you wish to avoid the flak—after all, it’s just words on the internet, you know?
The Edgy Designer is an edgy, light-hearted satire playbook for the Dungeon World roleplaying game which lets you fulfil your dreams of being an iconoclast game designer constantly hounded by censors and social justice warriors.
Amazing. Absolutely amazing. (And accurate.)
Mo Holkar wrote a fantastic piece about Orientalism and Exoticism in games and how even positive stereotyping can wind up being harmful. He also cites one of my favorite tabletop games, Meguey Baker’s 1001 Nights, which is an added bonus.
This piece at Polygon is long, but it’s worth reading. It looks at the incredibly problematic idea of placing “fun” and “social justice” at opposite ends of a spectrum (ie either something is fun or it is socially progressive) and how depressingly common that is in the game industry.
Bankuei knocks it out of the park over on his blog talking about the power of fantasy and the need to consider existing power narratives when creating fantasy settings. That shouldn’t surprise you, though, because Bankuei is awesome.
Lastly, some self-pimpage – albeit on-topic self-pimpage.
I was lucky enough to write several thousand words for the revised edition of Dark Ages: Vampire that is currently in development. The project has been much-delayed, but development has re-started and some of my stuff, the revised Road of Heaven, has been posted on the Onyx Path site as a preview!
It’s an early draft with some naming inconsistencies – it has yet to have an editing pass – but I post it here as an example of how to subvert dominant cultural narratives when writing game material. Further, it’s an example that portraying diversity actually makes your setting more interesting, not less.