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Vincent Schilling
Works at Indian Country Today Media Network
Attended San Francisco State University
Lives in Washington, DC
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Vincent Schilling

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Vincent Schilling

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My attempt at Jar Jar - feel free to send an invite to VincentSchilling
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Native American Culture & Gaming - A Conversation w/@MonteCookGames/ +Monte Cook Games 

This Friday 3/27 at 7PM Eastern on Native Trailblazers Radio 
http://goo.gl/JF8kON 
In the world of fantasy role playing games or any other type of gaming, how can game creators best convey Native culture without lapsing into stereotype? How can they best do it with respect and accuracy? We will be talking to Monte Cook Games - creators of "The Strange" who agreed to make positive changes when they were criticized as portraying Indigenous people in a stereotypical way. We commend Monte Cook Games for their desire to work with th...
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Native American Culture & Gaming - A Conversation w/@MonteCookGames/ +Monte Cook Games 

This Friday 3/27 at 7PM Eastern on Native Trailblazers Radio 
http://goo.gl/JF8kON 
In the world of fantasy role playing games or any other type of gaming, how can game creators best convey Native culture without lapsing into stereotype? How can they best do it with respect and accuracy? We will be talking to Monte Cook Games - creators of "The Strange" who agreed to make positive changes when they were criticized as portraying Indigenous people in a stereotypical way. We commend Monte Cook Games for their desire to work with th...
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Vincent Schilling
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General Discussion  - 
 
+Monte Cook Games - responds to Native American characters in their RPG "The Strange"  PLEASE READ
 
Last year, Monte Cook Games published an RPG called The Strange that involved otherworldly “recursions” based on the fiction of our own Earth. In August of last year, we heard from someone who had concerns about a small section of the game, a recursion called the Thunder Plains. We attempted to engage with that person to understand the concerns, but by January, the person ultimately became abusive, and communications broke down.

Recently, this same individual wrote a petition on change.org.

(Link: https://www.change.org/p/monte-cool-games-we-the-undersigned-demand-immediate-removal-of-thunder-plains-and-all-related-content-from-all-monte-cook-games-publications-current-and-future-and-request-an-immediate-public-apology-for-harm-done-regardless-of-supposed-intent-fro)

The petition did not get much support. We felt personally blindsided and hurt by the libelous portrayal of our company and our employees within the text, but we knew the impact of the petition on our business would be negligible.

Still, we were worried that there was an issue here we just weren’t seeing. We recognized that as non-Native people and as the creators whose intent might not have been well communicated, we might be blind to a valid concern.

This wasn’t a money or even a PR issue. There wasn’t enough support for the petition to put “pressure” on us, and in fact the majority of people that we heard from, privately and publicly, Native and non-Native, said that we really didn’t need to do anything.

So this was not a business question, but an ethical one.

Some called for an immediate response from us, but at that point, our voices were the least important. We needed to listen, not talk. Change.org does not allow for discussion of any kind, so we made as transparent a post as we could on our Facebook page. Because many people have a problem with Facebook (and in particular its backward policies on Native names) we made a post on our Google+ page at the same time. We included a link to the petition. These posts got a lot of comments.

We appreciated the initial, reasonable conversation and exchange of views, but eventually things got vitriolic, both in the comments of our posts and in particular elsewhere on the Internet. There were lies, name-calling, and harassment, and ultimately people got involved whose only apparent agenda was to rile up anger. But despite all that noise, we heard some well-reasoned and clearly sincere voices too.

And these were voices, we knew, that didn’t often get listened to.

We spoke privately and in person with a variety of Native people about cultural appropriation in gaming and other media, about their hopes for the future of gaming, and in particular about our game. We asked them, “Is Thunder Plains problematic?”

The answer was complicated.   

Our major concerns were these:

1. The Thunder Plains material could be easily misunderstood and misconstrued. The people we spoke to made it clear that while charges of racism were overblown, and the respectful intent was clear, Thunder Plains got some facts wrong—alterations that could be seen as slights, not creative license. It fell into the traps of stereotypes and generalities, grouping together peoples, customs, and myths that were not and are not uniform. RPG writers do that all the time, because we have only a few paragraphs to describe what is sometimes an entirely new fictional world. But in this case, that sort of brevity and generalization is the sort of treatment Native people and myth always get in fiction, so to many it just seemed like more of that same problematic treatment.

2. But simply removing Thunder Plains created other problems. When Bruce, the Thunder Plains designer, wrote the material he did so intentionally because Native people were under-represented and as someone who grew up among the Sioux and Lakota, and has Native family members, he wanted to include them and do so with sensitivity and respect. Our intention was one of inclusion. Simply cutting Thunder Plains would mean less of a Native presence in RPGs, and many people we talked to—particularly Native people—did not want to see that happen.

3. We strongly, STRONGLY believe in freedom of expression and abhor censorship of any kind. But if you write something and it turns out it doesn’t convey what you wanted to say, questioning that isn’t censorship. It’s clarity.

Still, we were worried about suggesting that angry harassment is a valid way to enact change. It is not. We strongly reject harassment of any kind and apologize to any of those who have been harassed for speaking up for us. We also apologize to any of our detractors who may have been harassed by those seeking to support us.

We considered taking no action, in no small part because it would present a strong message that harassment campaigns don’t work. But we knew that wouldn't be the right choice. We needed to honor those quiet, respectful voices more than we needed to quell the loud ones.

We have decided to replace the current Thunder Plains material in The Strange with a different Native American themed recursion. We will create this recursion alongside the Native writers with whom we’re already talking. Future printings will contain the new material, and the PDF versions will be altered with a free electronic update. The recursion will also be available to everyone as a free ebook.

There’s a risk here that some people will see this as capitulation—that we’re “giving in” to harassment. Or that the harassers will see ANY Native recursion as offensive, and continue their campaign. But so many Native American gamers asked us to keep a presence on our pages. So rather than delete and back away, we're going to move forward. We're going to learn, and create. We hope our response will encourage more Native designers, writers, and artists—as well as those of other minority groups and cultures—to play RPGs and work on games. 

We cannot stress enough that we are doing this because we were moved by the thoughtful voices we heard, willing to engage with us in conversation. Could we have ignored this issue? Yes. Could we have written a lengthy defense of our creation and our intentions that would have satisfied 99% of the people out there? Yes. Could we have spent our time fighting the petition’s libelous language? Yes.

But instead, we thought, why not just listen to that unheard 1% instead? Not the vitriolic nothing-is-ever-good-enough 1%, but the ones who just quietly wish someone would look at things from their point of view once in a while?

This is a small gesture, but at this time, it’s what we can do to say to those people that someone’s listening.

Is this the right answer? We don’t know. But we believe in positive change. Change doesn’t always just mean “change the world.” Sometimes it means “change yourself.” And sometimes it just means “change who gets listened to.”

This doesn’t mean that every time someone has a gripe with our books we’ll make a change. Quite the opposite: We’re taking this action because sincere people connected with us and maintained a civil discussion with reasonable points of view.

Isn’t that, in the end, the way we all wished things worked every time?
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My video I produced for +Tomlin Hill 

From Virginia - United States
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Remember Dig Dug? My latest Draw Something drawing...
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Ditto

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LISTEN IN AS WE DISCUSS - Native American Culture in #Gaming http://bit.ly/1FQxCWq
Vincent Schilling originally shared:
 
Native American Culture & Gaming - A Conversation w/ +Monte Cook Games 
This Friday 3/27 at 7PM Eastern on Native Trailblazers Radio 
SHOW LINK - http://goo.gl/JF8kON 

In the world of fantasy role playing games or any other type of gaming, how can game creators best convey Native culture without lapsing into stereotype? How can they best do it with respect and accuracy?  We will be talking to Monte Cook Games - creators of "The Strange" who agreed to make positive changes when they were criticized as portraying Indigenous people in a stereotypical way. 

We commend Monte Cook Games for their desire to work with the Native community in order to show the world Native people are most than just a stereotype. 

For over five years, the award-winning Native themed online radio show Native Trailblazers has been delivering the hottest topics in Indian Country to your desktop, mobile or other listening devices! Listen in Every Friday at 7pm EST or any time after in archives!
Native American Culture & Gaming - A Conversation w/ Monte Cook Games This Friday 3/27 at 7PM Eastern on Native Trailblazers Radio 
Today, March 27, 7:00 PM
ONLINE RADIO - THE NATIVE TRAILBLAZERS RADIO PROGRAM - http://goo.gl/JF8kON

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Vincent Schilling
owner

General Discussion  - 
 
Native American Culture & Gaming - A Conversation w/@MonteCookGames/ +Monte Cook Games 

This Friday 3/27 at 7PM Eastern on Native Trailblazers Radio 
http://goo.gl/JF8kON 
In the world of fantasy role playing games or any other type of gaming, how can game creators best convey Native culture without lapsing into stereotype? How can they best do it with respect and accuracy? We will be talking to Monte Cook Games - creators of "The Strange" who agreed to make positive changes when they were criticized as portraying Indigenous people in a stereotypical way. We commend Monte Cook Games for their desire to work with th...
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Vincent Schilling

Shared publicly  - 
 
Monte Cook Games offers a response to Native American based characters in their game "The Strange" 

+Monte Cook Games 
 
Last year, Monte Cook Games published an RPG called The Strange that involved otherworldly “recursions” based on the fiction of our own Earth. In August of last year, we heard from someone who had concerns about a small section of the game, a recursion called the Thunder Plains. We attempted to engage with that person to understand the concerns, but by January, the person ultimately became abusive, and communications broke down.

Recently, this same individual wrote a petition on change.org.

(Link: https://www.change.org/p/monte-cool-games-we-the-undersigned-demand-immediate-removal-of-thunder-plains-and-all-related-content-from-all-monte-cook-games-publications-current-and-future-and-request-an-immediate-public-apology-for-harm-done-regardless-of-supposed-intent-fro)

The petition did not get much support. We felt personally blindsided and hurt by the libelous portrayal of our company and our employees within the text, but we knew the impact of the petition on our business would be negligible.

Still, we were worried that there was an issue here we just weren’t seeing. We recognized that as non-Native people and as the creators whose intent might not have been well communicated, we might be blind to a valid concern.

This wasn’t a money or even a PR issue. There wasn’t enough support for the petition to put “pressure” on us, and in fact the majority of people that we heard from, privately and publicly, Native and non-Native, said that we really didn’t need to do anything.

So this was not a business question, but an ethical one.

Some called for an immediate response from us, but at that point, our voices were the least important. We needed to listen, not talk. Change.org does not allow for discussion of any kind, so we made as transparent a post as we could on our Facebook page. Because many people have a problem with Facebook (and in particular its backward policies on Native names) we made a post on our Google+ page at the same time. We included a link to the petition. These posts got a lot of comments.

We appreciated the initial, reasonable conversation and exchange of views, but eventually things got vitriolic, both in the comments of our posts and in particular elsewhere on the Internet. There were lies, name-calling, and harassment, and ultimately people got involved whose only apparent agenda was to rile up anger. But despite all that noise, we heard some well-reasoned and clearly sincere voices too.

And these were voices, we knew, that didn’t often get listened to.

We spoke privately and in person with a variety of Native people about cultural appropriation in gaming and other media, about their hopes for the future of gaming, and in particular about our game. We asked them, “Is Thunder Plains problematic?”

The answer was complicated.   

Our major concerns were these:

1. The Thunder Plains material could be easily misunderstood and misconstrued. The people we spoke to made it clear that while charges of racism were overblown, and the respectful intent was clear, Thunder Plains got some facts wrong—alterations that could be seen as slights, not creative license. It fell into the traps of stereotypes and generalities, grouping together peoples, customs, and myths that were not and are not uniform. RPG writers do that all the time, because we have only a few paragraphs to describe what is sometimes an entirely new fictional world. But in this case, that sort of brevity and generalization is the sort of treatment Native people and myth always get in fiction, so to many it just seemed like more of that same problematic treatment.

2. But simply removing Thunder Plains created other problems. When Bruce, the Thunder Plains designer, wrote the material he did so intentionally because Native people were under-represented and as someone who grew up among the Sioux and Lakota, and has Native family members, he wanted to include them and do so with sensitivity and respect. Our intention was one of inclusion. Simply cutting Thunder Plains would mean less of a Native presence in RPGs, and many people we talked to—particularly Native people—did not want to see that happen.

3. We strongly, STRONGLY believe in freedom of expression and abhor censorship of any kind. But if you write something and it turns out it doesn’t convey what you wanted to say, questioning that isn’t censorship. It’s clarity.

Still, we were worried about suggesting that angry harassment is a valid way to enact change. It is not. We strongly reject harassment of any kind and apologize to any of those who have been harassed for speaking up for us. We also apologize to any of our detractors who may have been harassed by those seeking to support us.

We considered taking no action, in no small part because it would present a strong message that harassment campaigns don’t work. But we knew that wouldn't be the right choice. We needed to honor those quiet, respectful voices more than we needed to quell the loud ones.

We have decided to replace the current Thunder Plains material in The Strange with a different Native American themed recursion. We will create this recursion alongside the Native writers with whom we’re already talking. Future printings will contain the new material, and the PDF versions will be altered with a free electronic update. The recursion will also be available to everyone as a free ebook.

There’s a risk here that some people will see this as capitulation—that we’re “giving in” to harassment. Or that the harassers will see ANY Native recursion as offensive, and continue their campaign. But so many Native American gamers asked us to keep a presence on our pages. So rather than delete and back away, we're going to move forward. We're going to learn, and create. We hope our response will encourage more Native designers, writers, and artists—as well as those of other minority groups and cultures—to play RPGs and work on games. 

We cannot stress enough that we are doing this because we were moved by the thoughtful voices we heard, willing to engage with us in conversation. Could we have ignored this issue? Yes. Could we have written a lengthy defense of our creation and our intentions that would have satisfied 99% of the people out there? Yes. Could we have spent our time fighting the petition’s libelous language? Yes.

But instead, we thought, why not just listen to that unheard 1% instead? Not the vitriolic nothing-is-ever-good-enough 1%, but the ones who just quietly wish someone would look at things from their point of view once in a while?

This is a small gesture, but at this time, it’s what we can do to say to those people that someone’s listening.

Is this the right answer? We don’t know. But we believe in positive change. Change doesn’t always just mean “change the world.” Sometimes it means “change yourself.” And sometimes it just means “change who gets listened to.”

This doesn’t mean that every time someone has a gripe with our books we’ll make a change. Quite the opposite: We’re taking this action because sincere people connected with us and maintained a civil discussion with reasonable points of view.

Isn’t that, in the end, the way we all wished things worked every time?
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Education
  • San Francisco State University
    Broadcasting / Theater, 1990 - 1995
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Executive Vice President of Schilling Media, Inc. - Award-Winning Native American Photojournalist & Book Author
Introduction
Thanks for following Vincent Schilling on Google+

Want to know about my business profile? Go here

Follow me on Twitter here

Listen to my award winning Native Trailblazers blogtalkradio show here

Bragging rights
In addition to serving as the current Executive Vice President and co-owner of Schilling Media, Inc. a Native American owned Media and Media Relations Corporation, Vincent Schilling is an enrolled member of the St. Regis Mohawk tribe and an Award-Winning Native American author, Photojournalist and Public Speaker that has traveled all over the United States and into Canada. He is also the host of his new blog talk radio show, Native Trailblazers which airs every Friday at 7 P.M. Eastern Standard Time www.blogtalkradio.com/NativeTrailblazers which was nominated for a 2011 Aboriginal People’s Choice Music Award for “Best Aboriginal Music Radio Station / Program” www.AboriginalPeoplesChoice.com. The show has also won for three years in a row the Silver Arrow award from Spirit Wind Records for outstanding contributions to Native American Music. As a nationally acclaimed Photojournalist, Vincent Schilling has contributed hundreds of articles to national publications such as Indian Country Today Media Network (the leading Native American news publication in the United States) Arthritis Today, Woman’s World, Winds of Change, The Tribal College Journal, Children’s Digest and regional publications in his hometown of Virginia Beach such as Inside Business, The Virginian-Pilot and Tidewater Parent. His first book, “Native Athletes in Action” has won distinction with a Moonbeam Children’s award in multicultural non-fiction and acclaim as book of the month from “Native America Calling” A nationally syndicated Native American radio show. He later released his second book, “Native Men of Courage,” in the summer of 2008 and his third book “Native Musicians – In the Groove,” as part of a growing “Native Trailblazer Series.” He has just released his latest book in the Native Trailblazer series about Native Environmental champions entitled “Native Defenders of the Environment.” www.NativeVoicesBooks.com. As an author and photojournalist, Vincent Schilling has met and spoke with a multitude of amazing people in his adventures to include John McCain, Retired Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, and a plethora of award-winning Native American musicians and artists to include Mary Youngblood, Crystal Shawanda, Gabriela Ayala and Michael Bucher. As a public speaker Vincent Schilling has shared his experience and expertise with public, private and tribal schools and colleges, The U.S. Military, Lockheed Martin and several other public, governmental and private entities to speak about diversity in the workplace and in schools, Native American history in the U.S. and in Virginia and ways to overcome the stereotypes of Native American people today. He also loves photography and has had the pleasure of photographing amazing people such as Barack Obama, Sarah Palin, John McCain and many others. To see some of his photos visit http://vincentschillingportfolio.shutterfly.com Vincent now lives in Virginia Beach with his beautiful wife Delores. Together, they have traveled all over the country and Vincent has been fortunate to share his experiences with Native youth and others as far away from his hometown of Virginia Beach as Ronan, Montana.
Work
Employment
  • Indian Country Today Media Network
    Correspondent / Photographer, 2000 - present
  • Schilling Media, Inc.
    Executive VP, 2011 - present
  • Inside Business
    Correspondent / Photographer, 2005 - 2011
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Washington, DC
Previously
Virginia Beach, VA 23462 - Gardena, CA 90249 - Compton, CA
Vincent Schilling's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
How I Built My Monster Video Editing PC (Premiere Pro CC)
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Click here to support NERDS Summer School for HS Makeup Credit by Dahkot...
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It is so hard to believe Michael Jackson has been away from us for five years… #RIPMichaelJackson

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An upcoming Leonardo DiCaprio movie set to film in New Mexico is looking for several Native American actors.

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