A career out of controversy

I had sort of planned to not make another post about this subject but since I don’t rule the world, I find myself writing about this again. So hey lets go to town.

James Desborough was interviewed by the Escapist and in a true show of journalistic integrity, they initially let him reveal an enemies list in the interview and after people pointed out that the Escapist was actually enabling harassment, the Escapist cleaned that list up. Not surprisingly, he mentioned minority designers. And mentions that Evil Hat is a company of Social Justice Warriors and Posthuman Studios is bad for banning MRA’s from their forums and so on.

He puts forward an idea that he’s not getting work in the elfgame biz because he has been blacklisted. And that Social Justice Warriors have been “infiltrating” the elfgame biz and especially the Indie elfgame scene. Which anyone should recognize as conspiracy theories.

I don’t know much but I know something. The fact is that before no one even cared about James Desborough, he wasn’t getting too much work in the elfgame biz. Sure, he got to write a few things to Mongoose Publishing and something for Wizards of the Coast back during the great glut of d20 shovelware that didn’t have any staying power whatsoever. Books like Nymphology aren’t getting reprints because they weren’t selling that good in the first place.

The thing is, that his career was pretty much treading water by the time he got some publicity from writing a piece called “In Defence of Rape.” After that, his career has consisted of strange stunts to get attention, occasional meltdowns on social media and no actual games published whatsoever. 

He hitched his wagon to the Gamergate thing because he intended to find a ready audience that he could swindle with his usual theories about why he’s not seeing any success. He blamed Social Justice Warriors for the fact that his Worlds of Gor Indiegogo funding was no great success (it did fund, though) and he plays up the fact that he sees himself as a cutting-edge edgy designer who goes where no one else has gone before. In fact, the Gor game didn’t really offend anyone, most of what I saw was amusement because even the densest person who knows what Gor is knows that it is, in fact, utter tripe. Absolutely no one takes Gor seriously.

The Edgy Designer has no clothes. Desborough has tried to make a career out of controversy and still occasionally gets some publicity and even some money out of his efforts, but the fact remains that he is not a very good designer at all. All he has to offer is controversy and round for round, getting people worked up about whatever he’s come up with this time gets harder and harder.

And for someone who claims to be for freedom of speech, he really is persistent on insisting on that criticizing his actions isn’t proper use of freedom of speech. Funny.

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