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