Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Healing The Divide


I was writing a comment on a welcome blog post by B/X Blackrazor when I realized this message should have a wider audience.

I consider myself a fighter in general.  I fought in the edition wars.  I fought to see my vision of the OSR expand and flourish.  I'm fighting in the current culture wars.

But like any fighter, deep down, I long for peace.  Or at least I'd like to not fight against my fellow gamers.  

Below is a copy/paste of my comment.  Maybe it sways a few people, maybe it's the start of a movement that will save our hobby from continuing this bitter civil war, or maybe no one will give a shit.  

Here goes nothing...


First, thanks for the mention!

Politics has gotten so bad in our gaming spheres that most of us are finally reaching a tipping point.  

We have a few choices ahead of us...

1) We entrench deeper, becoming more partisan, more hostile to the other side, less willing to engage with those not perfectly aligned with ourselves, seeing our political adversaries as not quite human.

2) We look towards moderation and compromise, we try to see the other side's views and engage with more humility, humanity, and understanding.  We treat our political adversaries as colleagues on "the other side of the aisle" like it was for the 1980s, 90s, and 00s... before the hyper-politicization of all things.

3) We agree to put politics completely aside and focus on gaming.  Any mention of politics is either ignored or shot down until there's only gaming and non-politicized culture remaining.  We throw away our lists, boycotts, blockchains, etc.  This also relies on #2 because we need to start seeing gamers as gamers and people like ourselves, not the worst scum you could think of, or inhuman monsters. This will also lead, I believe, to moderation and compromise, which is how we remain a society and country.

Personally, I don't want to stay the course of option #1.  It's as tiresome and unproductive as fighting a protracted civil war.

I hope we can move forward with options 2 or 3.  Not just for our own sakes, but for the RPG hobby.  If we stick with 1, what do we have to look forward to, segregated drinking fountains?  This drinking fountain is for progressives, this one over here is for Trump supporters, and maybe there's a third for everyone in-between.  Yeah, no thanks!

Hmm... maybe I should turn this into a blog post (if I do, I'll link to your blog, hoss) because there's a chance it could gain traction and actually do some good.  Something that Raven Crow blogger guy mentioned - we need more clerics because there are wounds that could do with healing.  


Thanks for reading!  Feel free to comment, talk about stuff, vent, help me figure out what might heal the divide, or anything really.  Communication is key.  ;)


p.s. Just a week and a half left to throw in $1 to support the Crimson Escalation Kickstarter!


  1. I think your forthcoming revision/expansion of Encounter Critical will mend all wounds, save the planet, establish world peace, end Covid, take humanity to the stars and beyond etc.
    Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink. 😁

    1. Ok, sure, fine... that all sounds reasonable. Just don't get your expectations too far above that baseline.

  2. I personally think option 3 is the only answer. Gaming should remain gaming. Before the BS social media crap, we never used to really know each other’s political leanings, because it is generally considered bad form (or was) to go on political rants in person. It’s why we all stopped inviting our old uncle [insert name here] to Thanksgiving dinner. Politics has no place at the gaming table imo - or really anywhere except on the public square and voting box. It wasn’t conservatives and Trump supporters that initially adopted blacklists - commies and nazis and other totalitarians create those kind of things, I.e. bullies. For a time you couldn’t even utter a nice thing about Trump without being called a very bad name and exiled from society.

    The recent movements on the conservative side is a reaction to the nazis on the left bullying us. I’ve never once met or played with a conservative (or even normal liberal) that brings their politics to the physical table. The SJWs are not gamers - they are crusaders who think they can use our hobby as a launch platform. Look at what much of the pro game community seems to have become - D list celebrities desperate to extend their 5 minutes of fame and pandering to the Hollywood elite.

    I have lots of real life friends that are left of center. They are decent human beings that I simply have value and implementation differences with. They don’t play the game different from me because they are liberal. Gaming should be an enjoyable escape from reality - not a litmus test for political or social beliefs. I say let gaming remain gaming and kick anyone who brings politics or “social re-engineering” into it out of their seat at the table.

    1. When you stopped inviting your uncle to Thanksgiving, you did it precisely because of politics. The analogy doesn’t hold unless you’re proposing to stop inviting the gaming equivalent of the uncle to the game table.

  3. Well, years ago I did that old olive branch. Got attacked so bad, fought battles so long, saw friendships shattered that it literally converted me to become a philosophical nihilist. I looked around and saw all the carnage and realized we were fighting causes of people who actually don't care if we live or die and the warfare and carnage, meaningless. I hope that this is not just chasing windmills as the other point of view for the most part has no discussions or plans to back down and make peace.

    1. I know what you mean. We'll have to see how many moderate liberals come forward, ready to accept the olive branch.

    2. Be the change: take the step towards those you wish to reconcile with. Seek to understand their concerns, listen deeply and reflect on how those concerns may be embodied in yourself. Is this an opportunity to move forward and towards reconciliation or are you simply moving the goal poasts?

    3. I would like those who are amenable to moderation and compromise to move forward with me, towards reconciliation and peace. Get in the ship because my peeps are about to nuke this bitch from orbit. That is fo' sho', hoss.

  4. Hell yeah, bud. 2 or 3. I'm all for it.

  5. .a fight is two sides swinging as hard as they can at each other. One person beating on the other isn't a fight but a crime. Saying you do not want to pick sides is a crime to the left. Both Venger with his many products that trigger any leftist in 100 yards of them and Aaron with any of his many over the line "Balls Deep" videos both already have a cancel war coming just isn't there yet. Throwing up your hands and saying"i do not want to fight" is your right I suppose but Ask Grim how that tactic works out. You either fight when its other people being victimized and attacked or for sure get destroyed when it's your turn.

    None of us on the right started here. We all started out saying what you are saying. Politics fing sucks. We don't want that crap in our games. We didn't have any choice. The people being invaded don't get that option. You do not get to say"but that crap ruins fun. We don't want it here" Don't believe me? Go to Enworld or any of the places we all used to meet and talk that have been taken over and say just that. See What happens.

    1. We will still fight the extremists, but we don't have to wage war on multiple fronts. If moderate gamers leaning to the left will join us, maybe we can get our hobby back.

    2. What is in it for moderates to join you? What donyou offer?

    3. We are the moderates. Many of us are 2010 Democrat's who didn't change our views. Our side swung extremely left. Used to be all about Freedom of Speech and Anti-War. Used to be funded by the every man and not the Trillionaire's and huge corporation's. Used to be about the individuals rights and safe guarded people from a power mad government. Used to be about redeeming people who had done wrong and giving them a second chance. Used to believe that skin color mean nothing more than hair color does and all humans were equal.

      We did not change. The left Did. It's a messed up world where those things are now FAR RIGHT.

      What do we offer? Sanity and a world worth living in.

  6. it's a nice dream... but Leftist NEVER stop. the only thing that will end it is bloodshed.

    1. My audience isn't leftists, it's left-adjacent liberals and moderate Democrats.

    2. They don't care. They caucus with the Left.

  7. Kosh: The avalanche has already started. It is too late for the pebbles to vote.

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  9. Leftism will not stop until it is stopped.
    It only takes one side to start a war.
    The war began generations ago.
    Victory is survival. Defeat is death.
    Fence sitters don't matter.

  10. There's a large distinction between our gaming tables and the industry itself. #3 is the order of the day for the vast majority of gaming tables, live and let live, all are invited, leave reality at the door. This should always be encouraged and any "healing" happens there, at the table.

    The industry (including social media) is entirely different and despite the fatigue and frustration, a good objective view of other industries, might offer much wisdom. Take comics for example, they are much further down this progressive road where virtually every beloved superhero for the last hundred years has been turned into a black Muslim lesbian, simply for the sake of doing so. There are undoubtedly a lot of comic fans who would love to have atleast one last drinking fountain that isn't pure sjw poison at this point. They no longer have the option to stop buying from people who hate them.

    And that is what is at stake, the previous poster is right, the Left will not stop until the hobby is annihilated and remade (Comics, Star Wars and Football are good examples). #1 and a seperate drinking fountain is the only real hope, because everything else is capitulation and loss. Whether our gaming tables are #3 or not, if we want even the smallest non-poisoned corner of the hobby, things like the Redlist and open resistance to sjw's are the only weapons remaining. We still have the option of not buying from people who hate us and the industry needs to digest that.

    Grim is a perfect example of #2, I love and respect the guy, but the stress of trying to balance on that fence is literally killing him.

    One party wants to live and let live, one party wants the total annihilaton of the first party, can one really "heal" that kind of divide?

  11. You want to talk in the middle? We can try that, for a brief moment. I hope you understand why we, or at least me, can’t stay in the middle. It’s simply not safe. It’s literally not safe.

    The reality of many of us is not the same of yours. People of color, people of the LGBTQ+ community, and others from other minorities live politics in their daily lives. Not because they want to, or they find it fun (in contrast of you saying it’s fucking boring). But because they don’t have other option.

    People are literally beaten to death for being who they are. By people that share many of your beliefs and political views. Who want them to be quiet and not express their views. If you lived where I live, you, yourself would be at risk. People in Brazil are beaten to death in some places if they are seen as “satanist”, or a “witch” or simply by not being christian.

    I an several friends have been threatened on the street just because we were wearing red shirts, for example. And I’ve seen several people on the news that were actually beaten just because of that.

    Being in the middle and just pretending nothing is happening and we all can get along is not real. Unless there’s profound changes, it’s not. It’s literally dangerous. In the forums where this list was made people are literally calling us “enemies”.

    There’s no middle ground. The middle ground is just the status quo. And we are tired of it. We are tired to live under the rug. We are tired of hiding. We are tired of fear for ourselves just for being ourselves. We are tired of being exploited. We are tired of seeing people struggle and having to eat bones not to starve while there are billionaires out there.

    We want empathy. We want love. We want equality and a dignified life for everyone. And if that makes us the enemy. So be it.

    Not back to my corner.

    P.S: I never threatened you in anyway. The threat doesn’t even make sense. I live in the far away lands of Brazil. I will never see you in a con.

    1. This isn't Brazil. I have no concept of what is going on in Brazil.

      This is America where the left has murdered and burned entire blocks in multiple cities for a year strait.

      The left is beating people daily. The left, mostly white strait men are mostly targeting minority businesses and shops and looting and burning them to the ground. You think these riots are happening in wealthy areas that can afford private security? No, not happening.
      This left is openly socialist and being funded by the most wealthy people in our country. They bought prosecutors all over the country so that people comfiting crimes now walk free. Do you think those crimes were against rich white strait people?

      Also you are being lied to. Come visit the forums where this list was actually made, you will find a lot of people of different viewpoints on the left and right chatting about rpg's and politics that have to do with rpg's and will find people who will argue and debate and even call names when things get heated but nobody is kicked and removed unless they threaten or promote violence or blatantly display bad faith. Not one message board I know of controlled on the left can say the same.

    2. You want love and the end of starvation, intolerance and inequality. I want to fight orcs for gold pieces. Thank you for proving my point.

    3. I'm not out to destroy any marginalized or minority group, only a poisonous, divisive ideology that's ruining our hobby. I don't know much about Brazil, but America is a pretty good place to live. However, civil war might break out any day now.

      As for the threat against me, I can forgive if that's what you want.

  12. Had no idea there was white rascists beating you up in Brazil... go figure...

  13. Pay attention to what Diogo Nogueira is saying and how he is saying it:

    "People are literally beaten to death for being who they are."

    Please point to a link, news article, just something where a person was physically beaten at an RPG gaming table or RPG gaming convention just for being "different"...

    You Can't!

    Nothing you said in your entire post has anything to do with Table Top RPG's.

    Why does you side bring those issues into the RPG hobby!?

    At least you are honest:
    "There’s no middle ground. The middle ground is just the status quo. And we are tired of it. ...

    We want empathy. We want love. We want equality and a dignified life for everyone. And if that makes us the enemy. So be it."

    I get it: 'You want'.

    But why does that mean we have to have it pushed on us through RPG's???

    RPG's are escapist entertainment for us. Why is your side bringing politics into it? We have News channels that cover all the stuff you are fighting for.

    The rest of us go to RPG's to get away from all that drama we see on the news.

    Why does your side have to bring it all into the RPG hobby?

    Can't the RPG hobby be an escape for people like you too?

    Why does your side want to put your issues front and center in our Escapist hobby?

    By shoving personal issues in our face through the RPG medium all you are doing is showing you complete and utter SELFISHNESS!

    You and your fellow travelers are selfish.

    And you have alienated wide swaths of people who would otherwise be inclined to be your allies by trying to our Escapist hobby into another one of your political bullhorns with your crackpot critical/conflict theory talking points.

    We don't want any politics in the RPG hobby.

    If your side dropped politics, EVERYONE ELSE in the PG hobby would go to Vengers choice #3, In a Heartbeat!.

    Why does our desire for lack of politics in RPG's offend your side so much?

    1. Very well said El Rojo. He's clearly not interested in slaying dragons or casting spells or piloting that starship, it's about how gaming can be a vehicle for his political ideology.

    2. Except that Dishaw's whole thing is bringing politics into gaming. He's a co-host on YouTube show that is literally dedicated to that.
      His content is all about "burning the libs" and his internet presence is all about being as much of an "anti-woke political edgelord" as possible.
      So, do your comments about Diogo's post apply to Dishaw as well?

    3. If you remember, I resisted politics for years... until I felt there was no choice. The radical-left forced me to stand and fight.

    4. Firstly, I can only speak for myself. I am an escapist, I do not care about the "real" world or the politics in it. I care about hit dice, armor class, whether my players are having fun and total freedom within the hobby. I was gaming in the buckle of the Bible Belt, fervently opposing the first puritanism during the height of the Satanic Panic. The gaming hobby is currently not being subverted by Mormons, Evangelicals or Hindu Nationalists, this new puritanism is entirely woke. So I support any and all who oppose them.

    5. "Forced" - haha, you are truly oppressed!
      At least you admit in writing what we are all observing: you whinging and having a perpetual public temper tantrum over perceived "injustices" to attract attention to yourself. Pathetic and transparent.

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  15. said divide is simply irreconcilable alignment differences

    (you being lawful evil and all)