Slipping Down the Slope: Gamergate Card Game to Today

When the Gamergate card game was banned, Steve Wieck boasted about how Onebookshelf had only ever had to ban one thing ever, and hey, it was okay because it was just Gamergate, the maid rape and crack whores were safe. Well, first they came for Gamergate, now they’ve come for Tournament of Rapists. Because that’s how fucking far through the looking glass we are. Yeah, the inoffensive card game satirizing the events of the first few months of Gamergate was banned first, but now Onebookshelf has gone down the “We’ll ban offensive stuff when we see it” slippery slope that everyone said would happen because of some tacky open d20 product that got brigaded.

So it’s been shown that brigading titles on Onebookshelf could be the new primary means for the perpetually offended to attack things they don’t like in tabletop. In the meantime, James Raggi, creator of Lamentations of the Flame Princess and world famous provocateur of tabletop gaming, has possibly threatened to leave the industry in response to this:

“I checked my stats and according to the ranking function they have in the Publisher tools, I am a Top 2% seller on OBS. (which says more about how small the 98% are more than how big I am) I have done over $100,000 gross sales over the six years I’ve sold through the site, which isn’t nothing.

If one of my products gets pulled, or if the products of my peers are pulled without their consent, I am taking every LotFP product off of that site, which will be something of an economic armageddon for me and a hardship from everyone on my roster getting royalties from sales. I’ll also have pretty much no mechanism for conveniently delivering PDFs to people. (even reinstating PDF sales on my site would leave me no mechanism to provide access to people that do not purchase the title; I have rather cheap software and investing in more sophisticated software will be quite impossible without OBS sales money coming in.)

This past weekend a brainless howling mob showed they were in charge of this industry and have the power to disappear ideas and products they disapprove of. Whether this is the majority or a very vocal minority doesn’t make much difference to me; I consider myself at war with them. That this is within our industry feels like an intense betrayal; I have been literally shaking mad over the past several days. Simply shitting out pieced-together cheap crap POD versions of what I owe people and simply quitting has crossed my mind.

Without the ability to freely create, and freely reach people who might be interested in those creations, participation in this hobby and this industry is simply not worth doing.

Anyone who would restrict that creativity, or make it more difficult to find people who are creating things you might enjoy, anyone who restricts imagination and works of fiction, anyone who works to ban any work, is simply evil.

Evil.

We have lost a great deal over the past several days.” James Raggi via Google+

Frankly, I don’t care much for Raggi’s products and would probably never buy them, but I cannot dispute his importance to the tabletop market as a creator, consultant, and product developer. Tournament of Rapists, disgusting as it is, likely had no importance or significant impact on the tabletop market until this week.

What do you do about gross things? You don’t buy them!

People aren’t mad because you can’t buy a game about rapists, people are mad because they see the existential threat to creative free speech looming on the horizon. We didn’t want to hear Steve Wieck say “Rape is fine!”; what we wanted to hear Steve say was “Tournament of Rapists sounds gross; I’m not going to buy it. If you think it sounds gross, you probably shouldn’t buy it either!”

Gamergate, Professional Victims, and the Privilege of Monetization

(first, some theme music to set the mood)

While in terms of the hashtag being used, Gamergate is still going strong, but in light of a lot of things, not the least of which being the Balkanization of the movement, that have happened lately, it’s pretty easy to become disheartened. There have been a lot of what could be called “losses” in recent days, and while they aren’t necessarily wins for anti-Gamergate as a whole (who seem to be Balkanizing  a bit too, though to a lesser degree, over the fact that most of the prominent ones are really shitty people, some of whom are cashing in), they have been major wins for those individuals who’ve turned themselves into money-making personality cults who are paid for who they are rather than any sort of valuable output.

Some people are adamant that there is no such thing as professional victims, and I’m not someone to ever call people such lightly, but now that Brianna Wu is being paid around $160,000 per year to shit post on the internet I think we can safely say that one CAN turn their having been victimized into a living. Wundergeek, whose blog I still follow* despite disagreeing with quite often, got really mad at me recently when I pointed out that the difference between her and some of these other Patreon personalities being accused of Professional Victimhood is that she’s a content creator being paid for creating content rather than for simply existing.** Her point, with which I disagree, is that the label itself is toxic, while I feel that the behavior is what is toxic, because it is damaging to actual victims of harassment and violence.

Anyway, we live in bizarro world in which those with the least perceived privilege have the best advantages.

If I were a cis (god, I hate that word) woman, I could probably boost my following substantially and be able to monetize it simply because so many people out there value what women have to say on geeky things, whether I was attractive or not. But if I were an attractive cis woman, just imagine the opportunities to monetize my opinions! They’d be through the roof!

While I’m an ethnic minority, I’m not particularly proud of my heritage. All told, the Spanish were bigger shitlords with less positive lasting legacy than the Anglos, so I’m not going to ride a whole Latin gaming thing.

I only talked about my gender identity specifically in a post once, and since I am more on the biological realist side of things, there’s no chance in hell I’d be able to monetize my identity as some sort of cross between a voice of the marginalized and a charity case. “Oh, look at the poor person who doesn’t know what they are in the world! Maybe my money will help their feelers cope with an intellectual paradigm based on the stupid Greeks and their theses and antitheses!”

If I were an attractive cis or transwoman of exotic-looking ethnicity, I could probably have made enough supplemental fan income to fix my house’s crumbling foundations. Instead, I have the privilege of being a man with pale skin who, despite being the child of a foreign immigrant, got to suffer from generational anti-white violence growing up and who’s a little mixed up about who or what he wants to be in no small part because of a society where constant masculity shaming can make boys wish they’d been born girls.

Personally, I wish Gamergate had never happened. I wish it never HAD to happen. I wish that Steve Wieck hadn’t been a piece of shit and I wish I lacked the scruples that keep me from publishing on his site. I’m not ready to say that Gamergate “lost”; the fact that it ever existed at all is something of a victory, but it’s shown a lot of things:

-Fraud is profitable so long as said fraud is perpetrated to advance an ideology that is en vogue.
-Being a victim CAN be profitable if you can do it right. You need the right amount of PR skills to insert yourself into situations, especially if you have not been an actual target and need to make yourself one, but you can make a living at it.
-Women and minorities’ opinions are held, in general, above the opinions of others on their side, regardless of whose side they are on. Whether Gamergate or Notyourshield likes it or not, the women and minorities are held up as a trump card or the fact that they are black or a woman as well as an incredibly eloquent and thoughtful individual is seen as a bonus.
-No one will ever be able to solve the riddle of who is more oppressed: a black man or a white woman.
-Everyone is classist and it’s easy to resent the fact that some people make more money. Full McIntosh hates rich white hipsters because they’re rich and white, while gamergate hates Full McIntosh because he’s every bit the rich white hipster that he complains about.
-Everyone is a hypocrite about something.

*: I particularly enjoy her survey and statistical analysis of the art in Magic: the Gathering cards. Having been a huge fan of Magic, in no small part because of the art from the classic sets (pre-Mirage), I find it fascinating, particularly seeing how more recent art falls in line with what could be considered “modern fantasy art” rather that the more varied look and feel of the old stuff.

**:I probably don’t need to say this, as Cirsova probably attracts a decent class of readership, but DO NOT talk to WunderGeek about this or harass her or say mean things to her or even bring it up with her. It was settled and, so far as I know, things are fine.

***:Lastly, if you’re wondering why I don’t have a Patreon but would even bring monetization up, I’ve got a book for sale over in the sidebar.  If people bought the book, I’d consider something akin to sponsorship, but there’s obviously no demand for paid content from Cirsova at this time.

Steve Wieck Continues to be a Disgusting Hypocrite RE: Gamergate

Steve Wieck CEO of Onebookshelf did an interview with Greyhawk Grognard, in which he inadvertently compares pornographic games on his site which feature child rape to Schindler’s List while doubling down on saying that Gamergate: The Cardgame is morally objectionable.

This game is worse that Hitler raping babies:

I have decided that I will renew my Kindle exclusive deal with Amazon for City at the Top of the World and will not be seeking additional avenues of publication at this time.