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Anna Kreider
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Game design/story game folks - request for help and/or signal boost: The ever-amazing +Bronwyn Sperling needs help to stay afloat. It would not be exaggeration to say they have contributed immeasurably to the modern state of story games!

I tease Bronwyn because they have genuinely lost count of the number of TTRPGs and LARPs where they have been credited as a formative design influence. I know that they have been hugely important to literally every game I have written since meeting them.

If you love the Shadow rules in The Watch? Congratulations, you love Bronwyn's design. If you played or read Autonomy, you were reading Bronwyn's design. Bronwyn has contributed so much to so many of the games that you know and love.

PLEASE help.
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OH SHIT, FRIENDS. I DON'T KNOW HOW I MISSED THIS, BUT SOMETHING IS WRONG HERE IS LIVE ON KICKSTARTER.

I was lucky to play this at Origins and HOLY FUCK was it good. If you love David Lynch, Twin Peaks, Surrealism, or emotionally intense games, you owe it to yourself to check out this game. Hell, you don't even need to be a David Lynch fan. I'm not and I still fucking loved it.
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Have you subscribed to our newsletter that showcases the work of gender marginalized game makers yet? ITS FREEEEE. Here's this weeks issue!
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Hello, friends. Because my nano-game zines that I handed out at GenCon got such a good response, I threw together a PWYW PDF on DriveThru.

This includes Business Dogs, Cat Astronauts on Mars, and Imposter Syndrome. My favorite game, You Beautiful Fucking Sunflower, is not included, as it will be part of the upcoming charity anthology Love & Resistance.
Love Notes
Love Notes
drivethrurpg.com
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(Meant to announce this more formally, but I con crashed hard.)

SO pleased that The Watch won the Indie RPG Award for Game of the Year, and was runner-up for Best Support! The other nominees were amazing games, so it's an honor to win.

You can get The Watch from IPR here: https://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/The-Watch-Print-PDF.html?featured=Y
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OH SHIT, FRIENDS.

I PLAYED THIS AT ORIGINS AND IT WAS MAGNIFICENT.
Coming to Kickstarter in September, my newest, darkest game...
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Hell, yeah! The Watch was nominated for Best Art!

I'm proud of the art direction I did, but +Claudia Cangini took our art direction and made it AMAZING. She absolutely killed it, and I'm so happy to see our planning and her work recognized.
The 2018 IGDN Indie Groundbreaker Award Nominees have been announced!

Best Art
Bluebeard’s Bride
Damn the Man, Save the Music
DreamChaser
Eden
The Watch

Best Setting
Arecibo
Dark Streets
Harlem Unbound
Rockalypse
Threadbare

Best Rules
Damn the Man, Save the Music
Eden
Let Me Take a Selfie
Opera Buffa
Pip System

Most Innovative
Bluebeard’s Bride
Feast
Let me Take a Selfie
Opera Buffa
Two Hearts Beat as One

Groundbreaking Supplement
Arecibo
Dark Streets
Deck of Villainy
Harlem Unbound
Rockalypse

Game of the Year
Bluebeard’s Bride
Damn the Man, Save the Music
Feast
Let Me Take a Selfie
Threadbare

Spread the word!

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Over on Twitter, I started a hashtag to talk about the reasons why the new Ontario government's decision to scrap the 2015 sex ed curriculum, which included consent, gender identity and sexual orientation, and cyber bullying, to the previous 1998 curriculum - which is older than any of the students who would be taught by it - is a terrible decision for everyone.

#INeedSexEdFor2018 is a hashtag to share reasons why a modern sex ed curriculum is important to you. If you're on Twitter, I hope that you'll join us and tweet reasons why this is important to you - because this is an issue that affects everyone, regardless of child-having status. The people who are uncomfortable with a consent-based, LGBTQ-inclusive sex education are the same people who would rather see the current epidemic of youth LGBT suicide continue than see LGBT children actually get the care and support they need to be healthy, whole, and accepted by their community.

If you're not on Twitter, then please share so that your friends on Twitter can see and join in. You can see my original tweets here:
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Tone policing, feminist "vitriol", and Leroy Jenkins: Or - here's me commenting about that damn WW piece

Despite my best efforts to stay the fuck clear of this whole fucking mess, because things like this always manage to end up making people who should be supporting one another feel as though they're on opposite sides of the trenches, It appears that I've been dragged into this against my will. So. Let's do this thing, I guess and get it over with.

The tl;dr of the damn article
Some dude who I've never heard of decided to Leroy Jenkins his way into a situation that didn't endanger him personally by putting up a post accusing nuWhite Wolf of being run by Nazis. It was purported to be an analysis of nuWW's marketing strategy of courting the alt-right, but it was sloppily researched, full of inaccuracies, and didn't do a good enough job of making clear the distinctions between various legal entities like nuWW and OPP.

Predictably, the result is that the internet blew up and started sending rape and death threats to female game developers, because that's how this shit ALWAYS goes. Some wannabe Starlord gets mad about injustice in the world and hauls off and punches Thanos, and leaves women and other marginalized folks putting the pieces back together afterward.

So how did I get involved anyway?
As someone who was lucky enough to have dodged rape and death threats up to this point (they're not out of the question going forward now, so, hooray), I did some digging and found the post author's email to see if he was willing to have a conversation about the admittedly inadvertant but still very serious harm caused by his post. His response, initially, was pretty quick and positive that he did want to hear from me. However, when I started politely but firmly laying out the areas where he needed to be accountable for the direct harms that he had caused, that's when he apparently decided that I was being "vitriolic".

As of this morning, the post was retracted with the note that included a mention of "vitriolic responses to the article from at least one popular feminist gaming critic". I rolled my eyes and confined myself to a pair of snarky subtweets and moved on with my day.

But apparently the author felt like that wasn't enough of a parting shot, because his retraction has been further modified and he now names me directly:

"multiple vitriolic email responses to the article from popular feminist gaming critic Anna Kreider, demanding that the site remain complicit by means of silence,"

This is a GROSS mischaracterization of our exchange, and a completely unacceptable way to react to a woman-appearing-person laying out how your mistakes have harmed others. Naming me is a clear attempt to get even by encouraging others to harass me, despite that I have been wholly unconnected to either nuWW or OPP since completing my work on V20:Dark Ages going on four years ago.

While the email I wrote was firm, it was not "vitriolic". I even recruited assistance from the ever-professional +Misha B who has a black belt in communicating in approachable ways on hard subjects to ensure that what I was saying couldn't be construed as "vitriolic" or otherwise harassing.

The exchange went something like this
Me: Hey, I wanted to talk about your WW post? I have concerns.

Post Author: As a long term reader, I'd like to hear your thoughts.

Me: Cool. Are you open to some strongly worded criticism? Because here are the mental health consequences I'm personally already suffering, and here are the harms that I've been made aware of.

Post Author: [no response]

[obviously I came on a bit strong and regretted not being more cautious. However, reports continued to come in of people getting harassed and death threats being sent to devs, so I decided to send one final email, from which are taken the following exceprts:]

[I AM NOT POSTING THE ENTIRE EMAIL BECAUSE IT CONTAINS FRANK DISCUSSION OF MY HARASSERS, AND TO DO SO WOULD BE OPENING MYSELF UP TO ATTACK. So let me assure you that the tone through the email was consistent throughout, and the only things removed are for my own safety.]

Hey, so. No response. Not surprising given how angry I was yesterday and I apologize for that. So here, briefly, are the things that you need to be aware of and the direct harms that your post caused. If you want to talk after that, cool.

And just so we're clear - this isn't motivated by malice or desire for a personal attack. I'm writing this because if you're going to involve yourself in this stuff, there are things you need to know if you're going to avoid harming people even more than you already have.

---

Second: Nazis, and OPP: The other direct harm caused by your post was the conclusion of many who read your post that OPP = Nazis. Thanks to you, women OPP game devs and even former freelancers - who don't even work for OPP! - are getting rape and death threats because what people got from your post is "OPP is giving money to Nazis!". So now there are people contemplating shutting down their social media and canceling projects because they're getting death threats over YOUR post.

_Third: Swedish edgelords? Devastatingly accurate. The art analysis? Very weak.
I actually agreed with your moniker of renaming them Swedish edgelords. And the coverage of the timeline of "triggered!" and whatnot was solid. But the analysis of "nuWW = nazis" was... weak, and as a marketing professional the post didn't deliver. You talked about a lot of statements, but didn't really give any new insights into an overall marketing strategy. Further, some of your claims about WW product just... weren't correct. Like claiming that the sexualization of vampires was... new? I've personally blogged about bad Vampire art for many years now, and as someone who played a VTM LARP for 13 years (2nd Ed, mind), I have enough experience with the source material to know that sexay vampires is just more of the same._

Why is that important? You failed to stick the landing, and the result is that people are having a field day using what YOU wrote to attack vulnerable people who have already been harassed for years. Convention season is synonymous with harassment season in the tabletop industry, and you - someone that people mostly don't know - decided to "help" by walking up and pouring a can of gasoline on the fire. So while I understand that your heart was in the right place, next time you feel like "helping", get someone who has been in the hot seat to check your work first._

In conclusion
If you think a woman-appearing person politely but firmly laying out how you need to be accountable for harming people while also acknowledging your good intentions and giving acknowledgement for the things that were handled well is "vitriolic" and "harassing", you do not truly understand what "vitriol" means. And if you feel she deserves naming and shaming her in a bid to get her harassed so that she feels as bad as you feel, then you do not truly understand what good allyship is.

When you decide to be the hero by running in and punching Thanos, without any consideration for what will happen to the vulnerable people who can't protect themselves from the consequences of your actions, you are not helping. And pointing the finger at women who attempt to educate you with compassion for your intent and the good you were trying to achieve and trying to turn them into the real monsters? Is NOT the way to move forward from mistakes that harm people and communities.
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My only public take on that post doing the rounds

Once again, a man has Leroy Jenkins'ed his way into a situation that doesn't personally affect him and made things significantly worse for women and marginalized people.

Men, if you want to help, don't fucking be Starlord punching Thanos, okay? Because you're never the one who has to pay the actual price for your bone-headed refusal to think about the consequences of your actions.
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