Grognards.txt, progress and non-progress

What with the summer turning into autumn, it’s maybe time to recap some of the issues that have been talked about a lot last summer.

First there was Paul Ettin’s The Edgy Designer which was a sort of a reply to James Desborough’s bad card game. There was a bunch of interesting discussion about it on rpg.net, too.

Then there was the consultants issue, which I’ve written about previously.

One thing that was really obvious during the consultant issue was that which was unfortunately entirely unsurprising to those who got harassed while it was ongoing, namely that there’s precious few people who will stand up to condemn it. Of course, minorities and women already know that happens everytime: whenever a man does something like harass minorities, there’s always going to be a ton of other men who say that we shouldn’t be so quick to judge. Like, maybe there’s another side to the story. Which of course there never is. So that’s the non-progress

For the last four or five years though, things have been changing for the better. If you visit some forums you might notice that there’s people who are utterly obsessed with the grognards.txt threads on Somethingawful’s elfgame subforum. Like both Zak Smith and Tarnowski, the consultants. Why?

One of the more important functions of grognards.txt has been that it has resulted in a lot of things being brought into the light. The misogynia, the transphobia, the racism and all the rest of the stuff that has been the elfgame industry’s unaired laundry. Not to forget the grossly unprofessional behavior of some companies in general.

The reason why people like Zak Smith and Tarnowski are so afraid of people actually talking about what they do and what they say is that it affects them. While there was no real conclusion to the consultants issue, their name is now poison. All because a whole lot of people just wouldn’t shut up about them being essentially terrible people.

The misogynists, the transphobes and the racists end up more and more marginalized every year, because someone has the courage to stand up to face them. And sad to say: it hasn’t been the established industry figures. It has been companies like Posthuman and Paizo, relative newcomers to the elfgame racket. The “established industry figures” have mostly either kept their silence or spoken in the defense of those who have been harassing minorities and women. Like Gordon Ramsay would say, that’s fucking disgusting.

But hey, things are getting better. They lost, and we won.

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3 Responses to Grognards.txt, progress and non-progress

  1. Tom Pleasant says:

    It’s important to fight sexism and racism and the like, but despite a lot of the people who were pulled into the flame wars of the last two years being ‘forthright’ with their opinions (some might say arseholes) it was also concretely proved that the allegations were groundless.

    Just because you don’t like someone or their gaming preference doesn’t mean they’re guilty and should be libelled.

    Direct your anger to where there is evidence of wrongdoing.

  2. Marcus says:

    Fighting libel using angry language, to make sure the lies aren’t thrown out there uncontested, isn’t evidence that the original lies are true. Red herring.

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