Elfgame industry chat: I guess we’re all professionals here

Decided to write this because well, it’s been on my mind today.

There has been all kinds of nonsense going on lately, mostly centered around Zak Smith, the elfgame blogger and the designer of Vornheim. Google + campaigns and stuff like that, you can find it your yourself but I don’t really have the inclination to repeat all that here.

I pointed this out on rpg.net in a thread about Lamentations of the Flame Princess being on sale, saying that I’ve heard good stuff about Vornheim but I wouldn’t support a designer who acts like that. James Raggi, the publisher of LotFP and apparently a friend of Zak’s got kind of mad and it resulted in him being permabanned from rpg.net.

Which is, like, super bad, because rpg.net is still the most important website in the elfgame industry, like it or not.

It’s kind of endemic in the hobby that emotions run high often and I constantly find it weird. Along with the idea that if someone really behaves in an unprofessional fashion, it’s wrong to point it out. I’ll quote Benoist from therpgsite.

With that said, I think some designers wish they had it both ways, in the sense that they’d like to have personal name recognition and put their own self out there to be credited for their work, while avoiding to be judged for who they are. That’s hypocritical to me. Either you create product and leave it at that, or you start putting your self out there, make stands on various gaming and non-gaming related issues in your name and/or through your products, and should therefore be ready to be judged for them

I don’t think he was really talking about this particular incident but it’s a good and astute observation. If you write games, your games will not just be judged on their own merit but also based on who you are as a real-life person, if you go and put yourself out there. If you consider yourself a professional at all, you should do well to remember that.

I’d rather be known as a fairly nice person because while my opinions aren’t always palatable to everyone, it’s silly to get mad about games. Also the less I get angry about the small stuff in life, the better my life is.


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