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Curt Thompson


And one last horrible thought for the day:

I really, really have been tempted, for the longest time, to make the world's most offensive RPG setting.

It would blend action movies and the worst cliches about queer people.

Killer twinks would face off against lesbian bikers, because this coffee bar just isn't big enough for the both of them.

Gangs of roving leather men would battle drag queens for control of the new party drug (which just happened to look like glitter).

And the most feared killers of all would be the bisexual ninjas, who, even if you do believe they actually exist, are terrifying because they can move in and out of the gay world like ghosts.

You'd pretty much have to be queer to play it (and show your membership card at the door) and if done right, you'd never, ever be able to explain or recap a session to anyone without it being wildly inappropriate.

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While I'm burning stuff down and fiddling:

The Battlestar Galactica remake took a bold new direction from being a hokey Mormon allegory to being a slick, stylized brand of fascist propaganda.

Hard men making hard decisions that just happened to take reproductive rights away from women, formalize a caste system with workers doomed to live and die in service of the military and the idea that one strong man with a 'vision' (even if that vision is a lie) should and indeed must override elected governments. And that resistance to those ideas was treason.

It was the perfect science fiction apologia for the Bush/9-11 era and still turns my stomach to see people praising the show.

In the waning days of the G+ empire, before the golden city sinks under the digital waves, I am emboldened to say things that I know will be lost to legend, myth and rumor soon enough. In that spirit:

Robert Heinlein:

I have to admit, I give him a lot of credit for trying. By today's standards, most of his work is wildly racist, sexist, largely homophobic and generally regressive.

BUT for a dude who was born in 1908, you could tell he was trying really hard. He didn't understand a lot of the issues he was tackling, but there was a good faith effort there, I think, that lasted right up until a stroke turned him into an incest obsessed pervert.

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Holy crap. If they have really started telling creatives that they won't be honoring contracts, then this is seismic. And a business model that shifts away from comics retailers is going to be brutal for independent comic stores.

Alright, I'm going to say something I've said before. Something that is maybe a little unfair and little unpopular in certain quarters. And I'm going to preface it by saying this is not me judging the people involved, just pointing out a pitfall that I don't think most of them see.

OSR gaming is a trap.

Trying to recreate the magic of your first days of gaming is toxic nostalgia for most of us. Because for most of us, it is trying to evoke an era that was, by and large, a pretty crappy time and a pretty crappy experience unless you were a straight, white, cisgendered and middle-class or rich man or boy.

The baseline assumptions of early D&D, AD&D and clones/supporting products were vile. Harlot tables, homosexuality as a mental disorder, gender dysphoria as a joke and curse, women characters with lower stats than men because 'that's the way it is', etc. And let's not even get into the crazy racial subtext.

I think I may have seen that earlier than most because I am gay and the guy who taught me to play was black and I watched him try to figure out where that fit in the D&D game worlds where everybody was white by default or later when the only people of color were bad guys or savages. (By the way, Reggie, wherever you are, I owe you for a lifetime of gaming love. Thanks, dude.)

Nostalgia in small doses is not a bad thing. Making it your focus, without critical commentary, artistic expression or attempt to bring the best of those ideas into the modern world and a more inclusive ethos, is very much a bad thing.

If I saw more attempts to transform those old games, rather than venerate them, I'd be a lot less skeptical, and frankly worried, about OSR gaming and the culture it creates. But as it stands now, seeing that culture birth and sustain monsters isn't exactly a surprise. It's all about recreating a time when those guys weren't seen as monsters.

Re: Tonight's Star Trek: Discovery :

I'll be damned. They actually did the thing. I had zero faith they would.

Altogether, not the strongest episode of the season, but given that it rights the biggest wrong of the series to date, I'll take it.

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I watched The Omega Man with +Isaac Sher this evening and it was truly fun for me to watch his reactions coming into it for the first time and to try to put it in cultural and artistic context (with this being the second of three adaptations, the removal of the vampire themes, the racial tensions and the probably coded gay character and such).

I swear, if I could make a living doing this kind of thing, I would. Because there is so much wonderful old media out there that contributes the cultural dialog in ways that people don't see, because the influences are two and three generations of works back from the original sources now and sharing those connections and context makes me very happy.


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In the spirit of Valentines Day, make a little sacrifice for the one(s) you worship and adore.

As a note, if you suddenly discover a burning need to be the gatekeeper of what is appropriate and not when discussing an abuser because the people he abused are in danger of becoming the REAL problem by talking about him and his misdeeds?

You can fuck right off and enjoy my block list for what little time G+ has left.

This PSA brought to you by the letters F and U.

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A certain playtester. Except for the whole 'Consultant' credit in the 5E Player's handbook.

'Early' and no more engagement. Except those bits where Mearls defended him vigorously and dishonestly to several outlets when Zak's behavior was brought to his attention in 2014.

Oh, and let's not forget. Mike asked people to turn in emails of detailed evidence and links of bad behavior on the parts of Zak and the Pundit. And when we did, he promptly handed those emails over to them and the floodgates of shit opened on us.

But hey, he has a rainbow D&D symbol. So you know, dude has to be legit.

I wonder if Mearls took some Druid levels. 'Cause if that's not an example of a man turning into a giant weasel, I'm not sure what would be.
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