Moral Appraisal: Election Emotion & Hobby Gaming
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Post Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 12:19 pm 
 

In our Hobby, the Common Ground of many, new Troubles have arrived.
It's time to take a stand on many things, keeping our common Hobby in mind.

This is filed under Appraisals. You must appraise the Situation, and come to your own decision.

This is my first salvo, reposted from FaceBook.

* * *

Recon

In battle, you have to know where to aim.

In WWII, many battles hinged on failures of Intelligence.
Now we have high-tech intel. Recon has become trivial, except for foot-sloggers.

I'm anti-violence and anti-hate, so take my words in the right context.
We fight for what we believe is right, but that fight need not be physical.
This week I've been thinking a lot about Gandhi.

The crazies are outing themselves. Hate-filled statements and acts of violence are being reported.
Yeah, they're "coming out of the woodwork" (American slang)... from all sides, mind you, Rightist and Leftist and more.

This is helpful. This is an asset... not the acts, but the Intel. Many folks are revealing their True Colors.

As you collect information, reject divisive violence and hate. Please think Unity. Think on the messages of Gandhi.
But as you do, be glad these people standing up and hating and yelling... because now we know.
Maybe we can keep to the high road and Forgive.... though for some, perhaps not.

In battle, you have to know where to aim.

Frank Mentzer


Last edited by ExTSR on Sun Nov 13, 2016 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  

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Post Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 3:26 pm 
 

The D&D I wrote has two alignment extremes, Law and Chaos.
These are visible behavioral clues... but we can't see inner Motivation (for which AD&D adds Good and Evil).

In society, many are now observing Behavior and assigning Motivation...
but some of that behavior is irrational (anxious, impulsive, etc.), and not truly an internal Alignment.

I can't see into souls, and neither can you.
Yet many are quick to claim that temporary irrationality indicates True Belief.
Be careful with that, eh?

  

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Post Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 3:41 pm 
 

One day Chuang-Tzu and a friend were walking along a riverbank.

"How delightfully the fishes are enjoying themselves in the water!" Chuang-Tzu exclaimed.

"You are not a fish," his friend said. "How do you know whether or not the fishes are enjoying themselves?"

"You are not me," Chuang-Tzu said. "How do you know that I do not know that the fishes are enjoying themselves?"


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Post Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 5:31 pm 
 

Greets. This is from Just Frank, one voice, a personal opinion. These comments do not represent or imply any group. It's kinda preachy; sorry.

This is as TLDR as I can make it:

On our common ground, our Hobby, we have learned a lot. Nowadays we're inclusive. We work against harassment due to ethnicity, gender, and all else. Tabletop Hobby Gaming is Safe Space.

Safe, with Full Equality. Religion, politics, and other Issues shouldn't be brought up in this environment. Folks disagree about a lot of things -- but at the Gaming Table we're Inclusive. We leave the baggage at the door.

Baggage: #gamers4her
I posted quietly that I opposed that. I feel I must speak louder.
If you want more details on it, search for the hashtag (FB, G+, et al).

Recently some folks got excited during the American election, and they made an error. (Please forgive them; it's been a rough season.) These are good people, smart people... but they lost sight of the Hobby's needs. They injected Politics into Hobby Gaming.

I feel this is issue is Important to our entire brotherhood of Hobby Gaming. It's Global because the initiators made it so. (In fairness, they DID try to retract the worldwide part... like you can erase something from the internet, lol)

I feel so strongly about the potential damage to Hobby Gaming that I must speak more loudly. And again I remind you that it's just the voice of one man.

"Equality is worth fighting for." -- George Takei -- #ImWithUs

In Gaming as well, I'm with Us. We. Together. Equal.

Tear down this (psychological) wall. Reject the intrusion. Preserve the Safe Space.
But try to Forgive the error.

  

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Post Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 7:44 pm 
 

ExTSR wrote in Moral Appraisal: Election Emotion & Hobby Gaming:Greets. This is from Just Frank, one voice, a personal opinion. These comments do not represent or imply any group. It's kinda preachy; sorry.

This is as TLDR as I can make it:

On our common ground, our Hobby, we have learned a lot. Nowadays we're inclusive. We work against harassment due to ethnicity, gender, and all else. Tabletop Hobby Gaming is Safe Space.

Safe, with Full Equality. Religion, politics, and other Issues shouldn't be brought up in this environment. Folks disagree about a lot of things -- but at the Gaming Table we're Inclusive. We leave the baggage at the door.

Baggage: #gamers4her
I posted quietly that I opposed that. I feel I must speak louder.
If you want more details on it, search for the hashtag (FB, G+, et al).

Recently some folks got excited during the American election, and they made an error. (Please forgive them; it's been a rough season.) These are good people, smart people... but they lost sight of the Hobby's needs. They injected Politics into Hobby Gaming.

I feel this is issue is Important to our entire brotherhood of Hobby Gaming. It's Global because the initiators made it so. (In fairness, they DID try to retract the worldwide part... like you can erase something from the internet, lol)

I feel so strongly about the potential damage to Hobby Gaming that I must speak more loudly. And again I remind you that it's just the voice of one man.

"Equality is worth fighting for." -- George Takei -- #ImWithUs

In Gaming as well, I'm with Us. We. Together. Equal.

Tear down this (psychological) wall. Reject the intrusion. Preserve the Safe Space.
But try to Forgive the error.


Love it Frank. If you look at my profile, you'll see I list my "religion" as Christian Buddhist. I was raised to believe in the Judeo-Christian religion, but as I matured, I realized that the Buddhists had the right idea with the concept of non-violent, peaceful views of life. All the hate and invective being spewed by both sides of the political spectrum has really made me wonder at the future of our country as a whole. We ALL need to work together to pull together to make this country a great place to live again. You are a luminary in the world of RPG gaming and your opinion carries a lot of weight with people, I just hope they continue to listen.

  

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Post Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 11:27 pm 
 

Lively discussion on FB, fwiw:

https://www.facebook.com/frank.mentzer/ ... 9242225158

  

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Post Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 12:29 am 
 

Frank, I agree completely with you on this and I greatly appreciate you taking a stand.

I was very hesitant to even post here because I want to preserve the sanctity of our gaming community and not allow the divisions of society creep into this great venue of mending those divisions. In my modest opinion, gaming needs to be about bringing people together for fun and creating camaraderie, not as a tool to promote an agenda no matter how ennobled you believe it to be.

I am very saddened by the people on both sides of this political fence that somehow believe the ends justifies the means. I've even seen some of the game creators stating, and I paraphrase, "We understand we'll drive some away, but we are OK with that. We don't want that type anyway." That is a dangerously, slippery slope.

Fortunately for them, I've chosen not to patronize them any longer just like I don't advertise with any media that endorses a political candidate. Any candidate. I respect that everyone has an opinion and their own beliefs but when we ostracize those that don't align properly with them, bad things have a tendency to happen.


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Post Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 1:06 pm 
 

Political Passions II

In the month before the US election I attended 3 game conventions and listened to people who identify as Hobby Gamers. Some of them said this:

...
"In this century, feelings about American politics have reached the level of Religion. This is because [reasons].
"Shortly before the election, a game designer waved his cred at me. He said 'remember this game? I created it for you. Keep that in mind. And I, along with lots of other Famous Game Designers say this: your candidate sucks, and you're Wrong.'

" I want change, and you want the Same Old. So my feelings don't matter and I'm a punching bag. When you say my candidate is like the worst Hobby Gamer ever, you don't even REALIZE that you're saying that about ME, too.
"I think the Famous Game Designer, and his Company, his whole intolerant culture, and the whole 'Status Quo' in Washington, can all go shove it. They're all part of The Machine; these game people just proved that. These game people just proved that... and they think they can beat on their customers with impunity.

"You don't think about us at all, except to mock. But we're gonna win, and your Actions have Consequences."
...

The above is an incendiary, slanted, unreasonable stance. And it is a combination of various real gamers' actual opinions. Deny that at your peril.

We can clearly state lots of fine-sounding reasons to the contrary. Reason can be used to refute these feelings. Despite that, these feelings still stubbornly exist.

This whole issue can probably fade and vanish, if we allow that. Those who support the Status Quo really want that.

We can accept this virus as permanently within the body of our Hobby, try to ignore it, and treat future outbreaks... and accept that our Safe Space isn't safe any more. Or we can recognize  and attack the infection. If it's there, reject it, eject it.


The passions of American Politics have (regrettably) reached the level of a Religion.
We don't tolerate religious harassment. Reject political harassment too.

We are in a time of Change. Change this.
I believe that We, together, must fix this before Hobby Gaming can Heal.


Related posts:

Hobby Gaming vs Political Passions
https://www.facebook.com/frank.mentzer/ ... 9242225158

Reconnaisance:
https://www.facebook.com/frank.mentzer/ ... 0795591336

  

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Post Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 9:56 am 
 

Pathfinder society for Trump!
D&D DM Guild for Clinton!

(The worst ideas ever. Keep Real-World Issues out.)

Hobby Gaming = SAFE SPACE
Reject #gamers4her

  


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Post Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 11:14 am 
 

I agree Frank.

I play in an organized play environment (Adventurer's League) twice per week. We accept anybody who wants to play and try to make everyone feel welcome. To that end there is no place at the table for arguments about religion or politics. We are there to play games and make sure everyone has a good time. If you want to talk politics that's fine just do it away from my table because there's a pretty high likelihood you're gonna ruin someone's good time.

It's the same rule for a professional work environment. I can't imagine going into my office and starting an argument about politics with a co-worker, I would view that as being extremely unprofessional. If you want to do that on your personal time fine, just keep it out of the workplace. I see the gaming table the same way. We're there to play games not argue.

  

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Post Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 12:05 pm 
 

ExTSR wrote in Moral Appraisal: Election Emotion & Hobby Gaming:Pathfinder society for Trump!
D&D DM Guild for Clinton!

(The worst ideas ever. Keep Real-World Issues out.)

Hobby Gaming = SAFE SPACE
Reject #gamers4her


I couldn't agree more.  I'm hoping that if there was one universally good lesson that came out of this election, it was that people really to leave their echo chambers in order to have any kind of chance at truly understanding the issues in front of us.

  

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Post Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 3:30 pm 
 

Current lively discussion:

Outstanding, respectful, all views truly represented; gamers and industry folk side by side.
Intelligent discourse by and for gamers:

https://www.facebook.com/frank.mentzer/ ... 3412048741

(Go ahead, sneer at FB. I agree. But there are a few man-made islands of sanity in those salty seas.)

  


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Post Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 7:15 pm 
 

When William Jennings Bryan (see Scopes Monkey Trial if curious about his legacy) was losing the presidency thrice at the turn of the last century do you think there was contretemps over contract bridge? Or when Andrew Jackson was outmaneuvered for the presidency in 1824 (many parallels between the election of 1824 and 2016 by the way) do you think they also sparred over Whist?

I'm not trying to make light of this discussion, just injecting an historical gaming/history perspective.


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Post Posted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 12:42 am 
 

You know... this topic along with all its forerunners in our day to day discussions have really brought some insightful (some ways good, some ways bad) from everyone.  My current regular gaming group (about 10-12 years together with new ones joining fairly often) was quite opinionated on this topic and I did have to issue a "let's not talk about this" kind of thing before gaming sessions.  As individuals I notice we can be polarized about any topic and in some cases offer up very well reasoned views on why we believe what we believe.  The problem is we are all humans (I think  :) ) and we are all prone to making mistakes or saying/doing things that can offend others.  One thing I've learned is this... once something is said, and heard, it can't be unsaid.  Only apologized for and/or given a defense of...

At my table and in games I play, I want people to have fun playing the games.  It is a uniting factor despite disparate opinions in things like politics, religious beliefs, even trivial things like sports teams we root for or ignore.  I don't care whether you play D&D, White Wolf stuff, indie games, board games, D20 games, whatever.  I really enjoy the games and the creativity behind it all.  I run games for gamers my age, my daughters and nephews, friends, and if I can overcome my laziness at times, strangers at upcoming cons.  My goal is to enrich peoples' view of games and want them to run/play the games they like.  We have a right to vote, so vote your conscience.  To belittle someone else over that right that they have, well... that's kinda low.  Even if I think the position held is reprehensible to my own moral views, I'll still respect the right of the person to hold those views.  However, the gaming table and gaming night(s) is NOT the forum to take over and express them.  

Our hobby is fraught with problems (people not delivering on Kickstarters, for example) and for me I recognize we are all humans and as such we screw up.  We may not like to admit it, but it's reality.  When I was younger (over 15-18 years ago) it was fun to escape day to day problems at school, then later in college, then a stressful day on the job, then to joy as my kids grew to like this game. (In their case, 1E, 2E and 5E D&D along with Dungeon).  Plus pulling out minis and terrain and telling stories and the creativity.  Same held true for all my gaming groups.  Smallest of which was three, largest group was 13 and I had both guys and gals in groups in the past.  I try to not judge, but notice what was said and done and try not to make the hobby something disdainful.

I am not on Facebook, Twitter, or whatever else.  I do use my phone for the revolutionary purpose of making an actual phone call, along with texting, etc.  I had a great time talking with Frank at his house last March before Gary Con about getting people from other gaming companies aboard and making this a great hobby whereas we all tried to get others to join.  Having said that, I am not privy to seeing commentary apart from what was on this thread.  I have met a fair amount of you at cons and hold you all in high regard.

When I meet you or see you again, the last thing I want to talk about is divisive topics.  I want to know how things are for you, how well your family is, what kind of good gaming you've had, what cool things you picked up, what things I should watch for and budget for, etc.  I may not know the true scope of a topic like this, but in the end would not like schism to occur where it needn't.  The only politics I allow at my table is the various NPC factions vying for control of the fictional world I've created.  

Long story short, there are too many things, too many stimuli, too many peanut gallery commentaries that can derail us from the lifelong friendships and acquaintances we can build during our gaming sessions.  I would be appalled if I did or said something to destroy that.  I wish us all good gaming, good times, and uplifting talks as we pursue the hobby we love.  Just my two rusty copper pieces.

  

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Post Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 10:05 pm 
 

The Two Rules of Opinions:

1. When someone believes something that is impossible to unequivocably disprove with facts, you will never, ever convince them to think differently. Nor will they ever convince you. Any attempt to do so is completely wasted time and can only lead to a negative result.
2. See Rule #1.


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Post Posted: Fri Nov 18, 2016 11:13 pm 
 

A lot of Americans are gearing up for ideological battle.
That stuff can tire you out.
Let's preserve our mutual Hobby as a refuge... shelter from the storm.

  

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Post Posted: Sun Nov 20, 2016 6:46 pm 
 

Greets again. It's time for me to put away American Politics for a while. For most, it's too soon for any resolution. Solutions beckon, but cannot be seen. Enjoy the hiatus; I'll still talk gaming, and controversial discussions will continue on my FB page -- with the boundaries of all such fields firmly marked.

So for now, I leave you with this.

.
Not too long ago, a President said (approximately) "You're either with us or against us!" I disagreed, and so did most of the planet. I (and they) read this between the lines:
"Americans don't care about your priorities, your concerns, your government or your people. We're the Big Dog. We the Government demand that you make America your priority, ahead of your own family.
"If you focus on your One Job (your own problems), America may hereafter treat you as an Enemy, and may even attack you.
"You're an Enemy because you won't obey my orders."
.

That's history, but it's sadly relevant.
Now I'm getting the same from certain Democrats.
"If you voted for T, then you want to grab my daughter's ___!
"If you won't fight for My Issue, then you're my Enemy!!!"

Uh-huh. I think I understand.
You're charging out of your home, guns blazing, and don't care if your fellow gamers are the first casualties. While immersed in your Cause, rational thought is a distraction.

I'm a fighter, but *I* choose my battlefields, not you.
Please go bush somebody else.
cya when you recover.
.

My priority is to preserve a refuge for the warriors. I'm 66, and I've spent my time on the front lines*, fighting for the freedoms we enjoy. It's your job now. I'll keep a light on for ya -- all Hobby Gamers.

You ALL have a Home here.

(*I have no military experience. The 'front lines' to which I refer? The times I marched with friends of color, got beaten, tear-gassed, arrested, and more. You might not remember the Sixties. I lived through 'em.)

(reposted from FB, slightly edited)

  

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Post Posted: Tue Nov 22, 2016 1:10 am 
 

ExTSR wrote in Moral Appraisal: Election Emotion & Hobby Gaming:A lot of Americans are gearing up for ideological battle.
That stuff can tire you out.
Let's preserve our mutual Hobby as a refuge... shelter from the storm.


Agree w this whole heartedly, and sort of wish that this just went without needing to be said. Alas, that's not the world we have made for ourselves.

Good posts and points, Frank.

  

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Post Posted: Tue Nov 22, 2016 10:25 am 
 

For many, it's a time of Action.
Specific tips are provided by some -- call this number, follow this movement, take this action. All very productive. :)
But there's no coordinated Plan, and no local/state/regional Leaders are emerging.

As an old grognard wargamer (and '60s activist), I know the importance of organization.
So I keep circling back to this: What's the Plan, progressive liberals?

Mob the streets (& social media) and yell real loud?
Your sales pitch is the same false binary I was fed by conservatives, a decade ago: If you're not Against Them you're Against Us. Might work on some, but not me; that's kneejerk, not thought. Stop bushing me.

"When in trouble, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout." -- Heinlein et al.  Panic - Wikiquote
I'm getting a movie flashback -- the cartoonish Custer from NatM2... "My plan is, when I yell 'attack' -- we ATTACK!"
.

Don't reinterpret my aversion to your Proposal as antipathy to your noble Cause.

I don't see a coherent plan, nor a competent leader.
Get it together... or get used to disappointment. :(

  

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Post Posted: Tue Nov 22, 2016 10:46 am 
 

ExTSR wrote in Moral Appraisal: Election Emotion & Hobby Gaming:"When in trouble, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout." -- Heinlein et al.


"Don't Panic!" -- Douglas Adams

(Sorry, had to do it!)  :D  :D  :D

  
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