I stand with…

…Erik Tenkar and his wonderful wife. Erik has been accused of some terrible things with no justification because of his politics, and his wife has been caught up in some of the crossfire. They’re both wonderful people, and Erik is a terrific gamer, and that’s what matters.

…Frog God Games, and in particular Bill Webb. Yes, they’re my direct competitors, and yes, they’re much more successful than I have dreamed of being. But when someone is unfairly accused of horrible things, they deserve support. And they have mine.

…Alex Macris. He had a huge hand in reviving interest in the “Domain Game”, and my own Adventures Great and Glorious owes a lot to that interest. He stands accused of working for the wrong person (who is a buffoon, but not a literal neo-Nazi), and is therefore being labeled a literal neo-Nazi. It’s absurd, and it’s wrong.

…Frank Mentzer. He’s an irascible son of a bitch, and he and I don’t agree on anything when it comes to politics. But he’s an old man in a wheelchair, and no more a “threat” or “danger” to others at conventions than a goldfish. Being labeled as such and punished for it is nonsense, and a great miscarriage of justice in the name of satisfying the Outrage Brigade.

…anyone else who has been unfairly accused of harassment, victims of the Twitter Outrage Brigade because of their political views, or a combination of the two. We’re here to play games with fireballs, dragons, and owlbears. Can’t we keep it that way?

Written by 

Wargamer and RPG'er since the 1970's, author of Adventures Dark and Deep, Castle of the Mad Archmage, and other things, and proprietor of the Greyhawk Grognard blog.

15 thoughts on “I stand with…

  1. Good to see people take a stand for common sense (and not without a little risk), well done.

    1. I’ve been stating congruent arguments for the past year over all this ridiculous victimization sensationalism that has gone unfettered. It’s about time more people took the road of greater resistance and declared that the tolerance of masked intolerance and the promotion of exclusion by prejudgement be cow tailed. Period. Civil discourse is needed and heated fellowship must occur to reclaim the common values of social gaming that have been buried under this heaping garbage of today’s internalized victimhood.

      It saddens me greatly to see where we are. I vow we fight to bring back what made it prosper.

  2. I’m more in this for the games and don’t really follow the controversies so have only heard a bit of the Frank Mentzer and the Bill Webb controversies. I know absolutely nothing about the others.
    I don’t know enough of the Frank Mentzer story (and don’t really care to find out) to judge anyone. I do know that during elementary and high school my 1st choice of edition of D&D was always the BECMI edition.
    I’m also a Frog God customer and I did see a statement on their site where Mr. Webb admits to and apologizes for “bad actions” and “not appropriate behavior” (his words). In the statement he seemed very sorry and was taking some actions to prevent it from occurring again. He may have personal issues (well who doesn’t?) and I wish him luck in dealing with them. In the meanwhile, I will continue buying Frog God products.

  3. If you did not come to the game table to enter a world other than our own, then why are you there? Bringing the problems of this world to a fictional one defeats the whole purpose of fiction. To entertain us and allow us to activate our little grey cells for problem-solving, light math, and socialization. Reinvigorated we enter back into the real world ready to take on those problems. BY TAKING A BREAK. Bring your dice, leave your issues! I stand with Erik.

    1. The point is, however, that the women who have made these accusations didn’t want to “bring the problems of this world to a fictional one”. Someone (allegedly) brought the problem of harassment and foisted it on them, spoiling their game. (And again, I say “allegedly”; I don’t know of the details of the other incidents, but Bill Webb has at least acknowledged his inappropriate behavior.) Saying that the women in these alleged incidents “brought the problems” is classic victim-blaming and -silencing.

  4. I’m sorry, I don’t know what all of these people have in common that you would put them together in one post. Bill Webb already admitted to inappropriate behavior; are you saying that everyone here should also admit to wrongdoing? And are you “standing with them” all?

    If so, it seems rich to say let’s just get back to “[playing] games with fireballs, dragons, and owlbears”, because I suspect the women in these alleged incidents just wanted to play games, too, if only it weren’t for the harassment they’ve purportedly faced.

    And yes, I’m saying “alleged” and “purportedly” because I also don’t want to rush to judgment. Maybe nothing happened and they’re just trying to get rich and famous by hurling accusations at powerful people (ha ha).

    I don’t know what happened in these incidents and neither do you, but the fact that you would issue a blanket dismissal of them means you’re not standing “with” anyone–you’re standing *against* women who bring accusations of harassment to light.

  5. Scratch an SJW and you get Donald Sutherland at the end of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

  6. I’m with A.M. Perry on this. It’s disingenuous of you to claim that you just want to play fantasy games and at the same time rant about “the Twitter Outrage Brigade” and “SJWs.” Those are deliberately divisive, derogatory political terms, and using them makes it clear to people that certain gamers aren’t welcome.

    The notion that these gamers are only interested in causing problems and making baseless accusations is a cartoonish and shallow view that doesn’t even consider they might have a valid reason for speaking up. I don’t know all of the details of the situations you’ve cited, but I’m aware of complaints about Frank Mentzer’s words. Mr. Mentzer might be “an old man in a wheelchair,” but he’s also undeniably a major celebrity in the gaming community, and as such his words and publicly-expressed attitudes have a huge influence on the atmosphere of a convention.

    It’s easy to be nostalgic for a time when gamers “all got along despite their differences” when everyone they gamed with was also straight, and White, and male. If gaming is going to be the all-inclusive, all-welcoming community it was always supposed to be, we old school gamers have to be the ones to make it welcoming, and to make a personal effort to listen to those not like us and try to understand why they’re raising their complaints or accusations beyond an unsophisticated, knee-jerk emotional reaction.

  7. Nah, I think its the people who use stereotypes, like SJWs, who are the real horrible human beings.

    And btw, did anyone actually read the things many things Frank Mentzer wrote to several different women and then make a judgment on his rather ugly behavior? Nah, why do that, its easier and requires less thought to use terms like SJW. If you have a daughter, or a wife, I’d like to see you subject them to the things FM wrote to these human beings.

  8. I can’t comment on these cases since don’t know their ins and outs, and perhaps they shouldn’t even be lumped together like that…

    But I agree that Frank, Devin Parker and A.M. Perry – if we are to play fair, then we ought to refrain from passing judgement before the court has had time to come to a decision, as it were, and we should also refrain from belittling those who might have been offended directly or indirectly by the accused. I would suggest that includes not normalizing the language of the alt/far right. A fair enough request if we’re to be apolitical, right?

    If these people turn out to be merely arseholes but not criminals, it’s everyone’s individual choice to have nothing to do with them. If for some reason they’re under criminal investigation, then let Dredd have them.

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