Tabletop Gaming's Biggest Problem



  • Exodamus
    Posts: 2

    My primary issue with this, well, issue, is the clumping.

    My wife, my sister-in-law, and the (now) wife of another friend played in a Call of Cthulu game where rape was a thing; the women felt uncomfortable with it, there was a healthy conversation, and the rape of characters stopped being a theme in that or any other game (though occassionally an off-screen plot device regarding NPCs).

    In the same (expanded) group, the only sexual harassment that happened was from a bi woman, and a bi, Hispanic man.  They were politely informed that their advances were unwelcome, and equally politely asked not to continue.  They continued, and they were disinvited from the group, and not a person stood up to defend their behavior.

    Some people are evil.  Some people are jerks.  Some people are ignorant.  It's not a "straight white male" problem: it's a people problem.  This is a hobby that happens to be dominated by straight, white males, and so yes-- they will be a proportionately large number of offenders with inappropriate, unethical, immoral, or illegal behavior.   That still doesn't make it a "straight white male problem."  It makes it a *human* problem.

    Using the labels like that creates defensiveness, and it is a distraction from the real problem(s).  This is the problem with "Black Lives Matter" (to address an earlier parallel): it is exclusionary.  It is confrontational against people who would agree that a larger problem exists and needs fixed (namely, improper or insufficient training and accountability of police violence), but because it is focused on identity politics instead of issue politics, the message is lost in people rightly objecting to being grouped as such.

    Bloodiedporcelain, I empathise with you.  But my reaction, upon reading the article-- as a straight, white male, and as a rape survivor, and as someone who has been stalked and threatened-- is not to say, "Yeah, I've experienced and/or witnessed these problems, and agree that people need to not tolerate it."  It's "I am so damned tired of being grouped with people because of my sexuality, sex, gender, and race."  And I'm sorry: the labels the article utilized *DID* group me with the "harmful them", irrespective of my personal behavior in either causing or preventing the harassment and assault described.


    Let me ask you this: if the article had left out identity politics, and simply said, "There is an element in the gaming community that tollerates and/or engages in sexual harassment and assault.  While this happens elsewhere in society, statistics show it is particularly prevalant in the gaming community.  We can be better-- we should be better.  When you see *X THING* happening, understand that you can help the person being victimized.  Understand that some people leave this wonderful hobby because they feel unwelcome, or because some of the behavior they witness is unsettling."  If the article had been along those lines, would the main point have come across?  Would the backlash here against the article have happened?

    You can put out your experiences, and explain why the *silence* when those things happen is upsetting, because it feels like complicent acceptance.

    You also have to understand that confrontation is *hard*, and often no less so for victims of a bully than witnesses.  They don't want to be bullied, and gaming rightly has a stereotype of an over-representation of bullied individuals.  Their silence is not acceptance-- it is fear.  And no, I am not equating their discomfort to another's victimhood.  I am simply stating why I understand why even good people can be silent.  This kind of article can help engage them, and help them find the strength in numbers to say, "Hey, no more of that!" But it will *NEVER* work if they feel like they-- also victims, if to a far lesser extent-- are being blamed.

    I want to help.  I want people to feel comfortable.  I can't do that if I'm being told I am the problem, and I can't do that if you don't let me know, respectfully, that a problem has occurred (whether I saw the incident and didn't recognize it as a problem, or whether I was not present for the incident).

  • ReneahofSorn
    Posts: 3

    Most of the games I play take place in medieval times, where all of these things were commonplace. So it seems natural that they'd be part of the storyline. 

    And for the op, if you want a safe game for your daughter, run one. That's what I did for my kids and it's stayed family friend even though they're now all old enough to be less PG. 


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