Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Zak S. Fallout


This blog post's job is to shed light on everything either suspect or outright wrong that's happening in the shadow of the Zak S. #MeToo scandal, in no particular order...

1. DriveThruRPG has deplatformed, unpersoned, and demonetized forthcoming books where Zak S. has contributed.  Here's the link.

While I don't think that's a terrible decision (some consumers are asking for even more activism on OneBookShelf's part), it's a slippery slope.  If such over-correcting nonsense like rpg.net banning support for President Trump and his policies wasn't a thing, I wouldn't be as worried about who's going to be unpersoned next.

While I don't think OBS will risk a full-scale meltdown by getting rid of Alexander Macris, James Raggi, RPG Pundit, or Grim Jim Desborough, (or me, tentacles crossed), the line is certainly getting closer.

False accusations do happen.  All it takes is an edgy persona + offending the outrage brigade + someone accusing you of bad stuff in your personal life = vaporization from the RPG industry.

2. The lynch mob never stays in its lane!  Revolutions have a nasty habit of throwing innocents onto the guillotine, as well as, the guilty.  I've already seen where RPG Pundit and myself have been mentioned on twitter.  Like, we've finally gotten rid of Zak S... who else can we execute in the chaos without too much backlash?

That's not only not cool, but a dangerous path to tread.  If you're going to blame Zak S. (and I believe you should), don't go looking for adjacent scapegoats or bogeymen to also take down just because you're outrage-bloodlust hasn't been sated.

3. A lot of people are catching a whole lot of unnecessary flack for simply wanting more information, for wanting proof besides the word of several women.  And even then, some people believe Zak S. shouldn't be crucified before he's even had a chance to defend himself.

And some people, let's be honest, just don't want to get involved.  Maybe they feel it's none of their business.  Perhaps they're sickened by the sordid details or mob mentality or have some lingering respect for the accused.

In the end, it doesn't matter.  If a person doesn't feel like piling on, that's ok.  They don't have to.  They shouldn't be forced to feel the same way about something as you feel about it or that guy over there.

4. While I mixed my own ideological beliefs with the Zak S. scandal (right over here), I'm not the only one.  ConTessa put out a statement which contained the following, "ConTessa was founded on the principal [sic] that gaming space could be better spaces by letting women, people of color and LBGTQ+ take leadership positions, so that those spaces could be moved into less toxic directions than the default ones lead by straight, white men." Emphasis mine.

Even if her heart is in the right place, that just comes across as disgusting.  If you want to make gaming more inclusive and diverse, don't put down another's race, gender, and sexual orientation.  Straight, white men are not more or less inherently toxic than any other demographic.  Support of fresh faces doesn't necessitate the vilification of traditional ones.

No one is gate-keeping minorities from picking up an RPG, finding players, and running all the sessions they want.  Keep your identity politics the fuck away from gaming!

Those are my 4 points, maybe I'll come up others later, but these are the main ones currently sticking in my craw.  Thank you for reading.

VS

p.s. Well, that's unfortunate...

15 comments:

  1. I find it interesting that Stacy's diatribe defends Zak and Mandy against past charges but does not mention the latest charges or that they came from Mandy. Very strange.

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    Replies
    1. It doesn't mention the latest charges because it's from 2017.

      Delete
    2. The one linked above as "Well that's unfortunate?" It's an old post from 2017.

      Delete
  2. I feel bad. I'm not sure what was/is worse: the weaponizing of my hobby I have loved most of my life, or having to hide the fact I was a gamer for fear of being persecuted as a nerd. I think I liked it better when no one knew what D&D was...

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    Replies
    1. P.S. I miss JOESKY https://joeskythedungeonbrawler.wordpress.com - I wonder what thedungeonbrawler would have to say about all of this...

      Delete
  3. I'd like to believe that Zak will learn something from this experience. As a modern American socialist, he's doubtless supported one of the socialists' favorite weapons: the Trial in the Court of Public Opinion, where the verdict is always guilty.

    I hope being on the receiving end of that process will open his eyes.

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  4. Zak has bit a shit-stirring asshole on social media for as long as his blog has been up. His douche-baggery knows little bounds.

    "... wanting proof besides the word of several women."

    How many women will it take? 6? 10? Two dozen? Sorry, Venger, but this is a shitty take. His online abuse of people is a pretty strong indicator of what kind of person he is offline.

    I believe them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marty, you think 90% of what I blog is shitty, don't you?

      Did you read the prior blog post? I believed them, too. And today... well, I believe them slightly less. My latest blog post discusses Zak S' official statement. Check it out!

      Delete
    2. The plural of anecdote is not data.

      Arguing with people online - often in defense of yourself or your friends - has no bearing on allegations of sexual or emotional abuse, and to make that comparison is disgusting.

      We also, now, have his version of events and the testimonials of people weighing in on his side.

      What's the truth? We don't know, we have no way of knowing without evidence.

      Delete
  5. You make some excellent points.
    Especially:
    "Even if her heart is in the right place, that just comes across as disgusting. If you want to make gaming more inclusive and diverse, don't put down another's race, gender, and sexual orientation. Straight, white men are not more or less inherently toxic than any other demographic. Support of fresh faces doesn't necessitate the vilification of traditional ones."

    ReplyDelete