Category Archives: Politics

Paizo: Playing It Safe Is Not Fun

What’s This Safe Play About?

Be prepared and safeSafe spaces have invaded tabletop role-playing. I reject Paizo‘s “social contract” which pushes for a sensitivity that detracts from immersion.

Players beware, characters are not safe in my game. With the filter of fiction as my perpetual disclaimer, I will offend with glee and great satisfaction.

Prepare with spells, gear, and wit. Just don’t forget, political correctness doesn’t exist within my fantasy.

I game master a virtual tabletop role-playing campaign on Roll20. It takes place in the same setting as my novels, a symbiotic relationship necessary given the constraints of my day-to-day life with work, family, and writing.

Paizo, keep your politics out of my game

Socialism is not safe
My son asking the difference between socialism and democratic socialism.

I understand that the culture war is pervasive, but this doesn’t excuse the politicizing of Paizo’s Pathfinder 2.0 rule book playtest.

The following is copied from pages five and six of the text, with what triggers me highlighted in a bold purple:

Gaming is for all:
Whether you’re a player or a Game Master, participating in a tabletop roleplaying game involves an inherent social contract: everyone has gathered to have fun together, and the table is a safe space for everyone. Everyone has a right to play and enjoy Pathfinder regardless of their age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other identities and life experiences. Pathfinder is for everyone, and Pathfinder games should be as safe, inclusive, and fun as possible for all.

This declaration of a “safe space” implies a right to not be offended. I respect efforts to cater to the sensitivities of players, but there is a difference between striving towards equality of acceptance and enforcing an equality of experience.

Continue reading Paizo: Playing It Safe Is Not Fun

Censorship Is Married To Our Victimhood Culture

Censorship For Safety Or Liability?

Censorship: Cover of Tales from a Forager's Kitchen, by Johnna HolmgrenJohnna Holmgren‘s book Tales from a Forager’s Kitchen got published at the end of last season and is now being erased from existence.

An attack on freedom of speech, emboldened by victim culture?

In this post, I pick up Holmgren’s trail of bread crumbs and toss in other samples of censorship I forage along the way. At the end, it becomes a noxious recipe for the culture war and a far bigger problem than the loss of one book.

It starts with some Amazon reviews raising safety concerns with her pseudo-cookbook. In the brush-heavy landscape of social media, they spark a critical mass of outrage, causing the publisher and libraries to literally trash it.

Acorns and morels and elderberries, oh my!
Continue reading Censorship Is Married To Our Victimhood Culture

Straw Boy Argument: It’s Not 500 Million A Day

What Lie Will Be The Last Straw?

Straw TruthThis boy with the “Great” shirt is my son, Yuri. He’s enjoying a blueberry milkshake complete with a bright red straw. It was a few years ago when we were going around Hood River’s Fruit Loop, back when I still obeyed the food pyramid and consumed sugar for energy.

Yuri tends to tell the truth, but he just turned nine. No matter how heartfelt, his truth may not be mine.

Given how my understanding of diet has evolved over the past few years and shifted successfully from sugar burning to fat burning, I appreciate how tricky lies accepted in mass can be.

Almost nine years ago another nine year old boy talked to some straw manufacturers to estimate that the US uses 500 million straws a day. Updates declare that the number is much higher, but not specifically how much more so.

Well over 500 million? I call bullshit. Continue reading Straw Boy Argument: It’s Not 500 Million A Day

Dad, There Was A Racist At Summer Camp

Downplaying The Racist At Camp

Racist Seuss
Dr. Seuss was a racist, but he evolved.

Racist” is a potent word even from the mouth of an eight year old.

I picked up my son, Yuri, from summer camp earlier this week, and he complained about a “racist”.

Skeptical, I suggested that he exaggerated.

Yuri tensed and shook his head. “He made fun of my name.”

I said, “People make fun of each other’s names all the time, especially kids. That’s not a big deal.”

Yuri pouted and sounded out the l/r confusion common to native Japanese speakers. “He made fun of that too.” My son pulled at the corners of his eyes to slant them. “And he did this.” Continue reading Dad, There Was A Racist At Summer Camp