Saturday, February 16, 2019

Schrodinger's Review


So, Endzeitgeist posted his review of Sexual Predators over on his blog.

There's a few things to say about it, so I'll just dive right in...

Apparently, not having the numbers on a map is a big deal to virtual tabletop gamers.  I knew about secret doors, labels saying "this is a trap right here", and obvious icons like the nuclear hazard symbol, but didn't know that an unnumbered map was even more useful to those folks.

But now I do thanks to Thilo's review and Sexual Predators has an unnumbered Crimson Dwarf map as of last night.  FYI, I'm not so high up in my emerald tower of tentacles that I won't listen to fans of my work.  If you guys want something, first ask me if I can provide it before cursing at the darkness.

Next, I'd like to discuss the title.  Yes, Alpha Blue is a sexual game, Predators is the name of the movie I was referencing and showing in the cover image, so Sexual Predators seemed like the perfect fit.  Indeed, I was also trying to be provocative... but not actually offensive.

For one, the main adventure's antagonist actually is a sexual predator, and the PCs struggle against him and what he represents.  Any RPG title that mentions dungeons or lairs or keeps is inevitably about entering someone else's home, slaughtering them, and stealing their belongings.  I get it, there's a reason we don't title scenarios "Home Invasion Butchery & Theft."  That's an ugly thing to dwell on and we have a host of rationalizations to assuage any negative view of our selves or our characters' actions.  Nevertheless, that darkness is in there.

Sure, there's some deeply unpleasant, not to mention morally repugnant, things associated with "sexual predators;" however, like most English words and phrases, there are a variety of meanings.

Here's the "sexual predators" wiki page and it mentions the really bad stuff like human trafficking.  But it also mentions having to hunt for your sex partners or habitually seeking sexual situations that are self-serving or exploitative.  And it's not always "toxic masculinity" displaying "problematic" behavior towards women.  As we all know, the female of the species can be deadlier than the male.  So, the title is apt in several regards.

I just want to make it clear that when I titled that Alpha Blue scenario Sexual Predators, I wasn't trying to pull off a Tournament of Rapists.  That's a line even I don't want to cross.

Lastly, Endzeitgeist posted his review of Sexual Predators on rpg.net yesterday morning.  Since then, the listing on rpg.net has disappeared, reappeared, and occasionally disappeared with no explanation. When I check the review page (like just now), it shows up.  But the main page shows there are no reviews for Friday, that OSR reviews will resume on Monday.  Likewise, there's no thread in the review board of their forum.

So, it's like the Sexual Predators review both exists and doesn't really exist on rpg.net.  Hence the title of this blog post, Schrodinger's Review.

I'll end by mentioning the continued polarization of the entire world that seems to increase every single day.  It's gone far beyond politics.  It's in everything, and I don't think we can ignore it any longer.  It's gone from existential crisis to palpable atmosphere of fear and hatred and irreconcilable differences.

While I'm fucking sick and tired of it, I can't simply pretend that it'll go away on its own.  Deep, foundational divisions don't get better over time, they only get worse until substantive repairs are made.  And I don't see that happening anytime soon.

VS

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