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Melody “Haren” Anderson
840 followers -
Bringing Dreams into Reality
Bringing Dreams into Reality

840 followers
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I got a delightful bit of information that my Lords of Gossamer and Shadow books will be going out to get signed and then sent to me later. Yay!
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Some cuteness for people with a baby panther.
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Good person making awesome stuff.
With the support of my Patreon supporters, I've been working to create a brand new 13th Age setting called Shattered Horizons, which is a post-post apocalyptic setting where civilization has been forced to live on islands in the sky by mountain-sized monsters as well as magical cataclysms.

As a way of introducing people to the setting-in-progress I've decided to release something to the 13th Age community. This is an adventure called Rescue In The Storm Sea, which involves exploring one of the enormous monsters called Scourge Beasts which devastated the world hundreds of years before.

https://www.patreon.com/posts/15652785

I hope you all enjoy and if you do, please consider supporting my Patreon as even 1 or 2 dollars a month makes a big difference in how much I can create.
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Because ferrets + safe packing peanuts = joy
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GivingTuesday: NEED HELP

Hey all,

Today, and for today ONLY, one anonymous donor has agreed to match all donations up to $100,000. So I could really use your help!

If you're able to donate, please do. Small or large, each dollar gets doubled and closer to our goal!

And even if you can't donate, please spread the word. We really need to reach as many people as possible to hit our target.

Thank you!
Today is #GivingTuesday!
Today is #GivingTuesday!
shantibhavangivingtues.funraise.org
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I don't often have statements on these things of my own, but... let's talk about hostile communities as a form of gatekeeping, and how it's more effective than an actual "door" to entry.

A door is a barrier that you can point to and people outside the community (or those inside who are less perceptive for these things) can see and go "Ok, yeah, that's a door. It's keeping you out." It allows for an easier conversation to start.

Hostile communities are more insidious. They don't keep people out, but force them out over time. The people forced out are more likely to just say "That community wasn't for me." and leave it at that. There's often not as much you can point at.

From a gatekeeping stance, it's the superior method because you can blow off complaints as coming from someone who is being unreasonable, and there's all these other people who left, but THEY didn't have problems. And better yet, you can possibly try and convince the wrong person/people that their perception is faulty. Maybe even get an apology out of them.

Don't let yourself be fooled. Hostile communities are as much of a gate, and a more ruthless one at that.
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Thoughts on inclusivity and the impossibility of being inclusive AND staying neutral

This post is not about the current recurring dumpster fire happening in indie gaming. Or rather, it's not ONLY about that. This week, while all of this nonsense has been happening, I've also been dealing with a frustrating situation in a meatspace Magic: The Gathering group that is being taken over by Magic Bros - who are exactly the sort of dudes I initially joined this group to avoid having to play with.

So if you're the sort of person to skip over posts about "online controversy", I mean. Why are you following me? But also, I ask that you please sit with these thoughts a while.

1. Being inclusive means having to decide WHO TO EXCLUDE.

When you are making or managing a group space, gaming or otherwise, you are going to have to decide who you want to exclude. A lot of community organizers have this pie-in-the-sky idea that they want their space to be "safe and fun" for "EVERYONE", but that is literally impossible.

If your space is safe and fun for racists, it is not safe and fun for PoC.
If your space is safe and fun for misogynists, it is not safe and fun for women and enbys.
If your space is safe and fun for homophobes, it is not safe and fun for queer people.

It IS NOT ENOUGH to say that you want your space to be welcoming and inclusive of women/nbs/minorities/etc without also being willing to actively define who is NOT welcome in your space.

2. Staying "neutral" is a vote for the male-dominated status quo

When you organize a space, if you opt not to take formal steps to support marginalized people in your space (IE implementing an anti-harassment policy, specifying a code of conduct, actively recruiting marginalized members and leaders, etc etc), you are siding with the male-dominated misogynist and racist status quo.

Saying that you want to stay "neutral" on "political" or "sensitive" topics sends a very clear signal to marginalized people that you will not back them up when they need support, because what you are saying is that marginalized people are not allowed to talk about their feelings.

By refusing to make a choice, you are choosing the safety and comfort of white guys over the safety and comfort of marginalized people. In other words, not making a choice of who to exclude IS ITSELF MAKING AN ACTIVE CHOICE of who to exclude.

3. What this looks like in the wild

This isn't an issue unique to gaming. This is true of any group formed for any reason. For example,

When you allow police officers to march in the Toronto Pride Parade while in uniform, you are choosing to include police and to exclude minorities and Indigenous people whom the police violently oppress. Choosing to include minorities and Indigenous people requires excluding uniformed officers.

When your volunteer organization chooses to give power to a known missing stair and harasser, it is choosing to exclude women harassed by that missing stair and women who know about the missing stair and don't want to be harassed. Choosing to include the victims of harassment and those who fear harassment requires excluding the missing stair.

When your company allows Nazis to freely use your platform to promote hate (I'M LOOKING AT YOU, TWITTER), you are choosing to exclude Jews, minorities, queer people, and all of those that the Nazis want to exterminate. Including Jews, minorities, and queer people requires excluding the fucking Nazis.

...but it's also pretty fucking common in gaming. Here are some examples that I've personally experienced.

When your Magic league chooses to include a man who loudly, aggressively gets in a woman's face when she has the temerity to say that she would have more fun if more women participated in the league, then makes her defend her lived experience while angrily disputing the need for harassment policies, you are choosing to exclude not only that woman, but other women who are looking for spaces to play Magic that are not overwhelmingly male and toxically masculine. Including those women requires telling the Magic Bro to behave or GTFO.

When your convention chooses not to implement a harassment policy, or adopts Wheaton's Law ("don't be a dick") as their harassment policy, you are choosing to exclude women and NBs who have experienced harassment at conventions. Including women and NBs who have experienced con harassment requires excluding creepy con harassers.

When your gaming community chooses to include and promote a known bad actor who targets marginalized people, you are choosing to exclude marginalized people who have been targeted by the bad actor or who fear being targeted by the bad actor. Including those people requires excluding the guy who is known to be a bad actor.

TL;DR: If you are a community organizer, you are always choosing who you wish to exclude from your space, even if you don't think you're making any such choice.
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Just in case you needed a pushy ferret mommy wanting her human to lavish attention on babies as well.
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Nazis are grotesque and I loathe all they stand for. And screw techdouchebros too. He might have gotten fired, but you know that there are more out there. I hope they all find their opinions coming out and having to face the music.

Sorry to those I care about who see this and need to avoid it. Anyone who disagrees can move on.

Calling out white supremacy SHOULD be easy, and yet some of the people who most need to do it won't... because they agree. That's the reason.

Let's not mince words. If you're refusing to stand up (and have the mental/physical well-being for it... I don't know I'm in the place for it, but I'm less in the place to stay quiet. I know there are many who need to disconnect from this and I respect that), even just in private groups, you are letting the world be a worse place for it.
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