The Real Face of COVID Lockdowns

Okay, so I have turned this little blog into where I put my more partisan thoughts and today will be no different. Today I am going to tackle something that far too many people are ignoring, and I am going to address why it matters. Judging by the title you can guess that it will not be a crowd pleaser. In fact, I hope to make people uncomfortable.

Now that we have the introduction out of the way we can talk about the groups of people who have been left behind during this COVID nonsense: the chronically ill, the mentally ill, and the young. Two of these groups will be given much more room in this piece, but the last is a vital community. I want to start with the young because I think it is a crime that we have stolen a year away from people who should be enjoying the best years of their lives.

During the last 10+ months (and yes, in NC it has been 10+ months) we have watched as everyone was promised that if “we just saved one life” then it would be worth it. No, it hasn’t. Young people have had to put their lives on hold so that a 75+ year old can live another year. That is not meant to demean the life of the elderly but instead to highlight that we should not be playing a tradeoff game. The sixteen year old does not need to be locked away for their own protection. They do not need to be locked away for everyone else’s protection either. They should be enjoying life: Playing sports, hanging out with friends, and finishing school (since many schools finish somewhere around mid-May).

In this nation right now we are watching a phenomenon that says that the healthy and young are dangerous to the general public. By doing this we have destroyed the ability of the young to really live. Lives are being destroyed. Public education is failing and those who can are sending their kids to private schools to try and regain some level of normalcy. Most states have started to return kids to in-person learning due to the loss of academics and the increase in suicides. In Clarke County Nevada they have had children as young as 9 committing suicide. All this shows is the callous nature of the lockdowns.

Scaring everyone into believing that anyone is a vector (no matter the actual science) has ruined these young people’s lives. This is not something that will be fixed the moment that the yellow-bellied politicians decide that we are “safe enough.” Many of these people will be broken for years. The isolation and depression has caused long-term effects among young people that we will not truly understand until we finally see a return to normal. States such as Florida, Texas, and South Dakota have not seen these issues (or not nearly as widespread). Why? Simply put, they have not sacrificed the young on the altar of “science.”

This brings me to the second group of people who are never talked about: The chronically ill. People who need regular care for a chronic illness have been completely forgotten. Why does it matter if a person is not getting their chemo as long as they are not giving another person COVID? What kind of sick thinking does it take for the oligarchs to believe this?

In many states, for multiple months, no one could receive “elective” care. This list included cancer screening, certain types of dental care, and “elective surgeries” (to include things such as hip replacements). In what world is any of this “elective?” We are not talking about boob jobs here. You need a total knee replacement? Nah, someone might get COVID. You think you might have cancer? Well, too bad, you might be carrying COVID.

The above sounds like a joke or hyperbole but it is not. Now these people are ever worse off, even if they can now seek “elective care.” Cancer can have developed beyond healing, hip replacements are being pushed even further due to the sudden need, and numerous other types of testing are being stymied by bureaucratic red tape. I should know, I have been jumping through medical hoops for the last six months. I had to go do some testing the other day only to be told I had to wear two masks to be in the hospital. What a fucking joke. The situation was so egregious that I have told my specialist that I will not do more testing like Tuesday until we can get back to normal. The stress and embarrassment was just too much.

Yeah, I am putting off seriously needed medical testing because the stress of the red tape is so bad that I cannot go through it. Do not worry though, I won’t be giving anyone COVID! This is a grand, monstrous embarrassment for the medical community. Treating the chronically ill as if they should take a back seat to a person who MIGHT get sick is sick in and of itself.

If people want to tell me how I just do not understand why they need to be this way can take a long walk off a short pier. Taking six months of testing and the constant stress of the situation has been more than eye opening for me. I am watching people continue to shift the goalposts in order to justify the treatment of those who desperately need help. If you ever were to find yourself in this situation I would hope and pray that you never have to go through it when there is a “pandemic” going on.

This brings me to the final group that has simply been ignored by the Corona bros (to borrow a term from Clay Travis): The mentally ill. To the masses it does not register that this level of social isolation and loneliness has crushed the mentally ill. Suicide is far higher at the moment than it has been in decades. Hospitalizations are up, as are drug prescriptions for depression and anxiety. Many have not had face-to-face contact with their providers for over a year (due to the scheduling needs of most mentally ill people).

The last sentence will be countered with “But they can do video appointments!” This is gaslighting of the highest caliber. Mostly it is done because the person saying it has no bloody clue how mental health care works. Your doctor needs to see body language cues (that may be missed by camera) and do things such as blood work (certain meds require this), therapeutic types (such as light therapy), and other serious functions. These things being missed can lead to increases in stress, isolation, aggression, and even violence. How do I know this?

Here is a little story about the last year:

I have spent the last ten months (short a month or so) having friends come by once a week. We do board games, card games, and RPGs. Because of these people having regular face-to-face contact with me I have managed to hold off a hospitalization. My doctors are highly concerned, mostly because I have developed full-blown agoraphobia. I can no longer be in public without having panic attacks and trouble breathing. I have to have my service animal with me at all times. I do all of these things while suffering from moderate-to-severe Bipolar Type I.

How many people have bothered to think of how far degraded my life style has been? I can tell you that I can count on one hand (it is fewer than five but more than one). No one cares if I become one of the statistics (since Veteran suicide is up to about 27 or 29 a day right now). COVID is scary!

The above categories are only a few of those who have been left behind. We could talk about small business owners (many who are still teetering on the edge of insolvency). We could talk about families who are not sure where the next meal is coming from. We could talk about a lot of these people. No one is, writ large. We are so self-absorbed that we have forgotten that there are people who need help. We have forgotten that there is a face to these absurd power-grabs. It is time to look into those faces, and say “We are sorry we forgot you.” If you cannot do that, you need to reevaluate your own humanity.

A piece of life advice…

I have come to some hard conclusions during this pandemic mess. The first is that we all need more compassion in our lives. The second is that the moment most people gain a reason, they will turn into snarling monsters. The last is that we should stop caring what others think of us. It is this last point that I want to focus on. Keep in mind that this is not my normal fare, but one that I think needs to be out there as it applies to so much of what we do (gaming included).

Okay, first we must define what we mean by “other people’s opinions of you.” In this context I mean how they view your values, hobbies, politics, ect. They always have an opinion about if this political view is right or that hobby is fun, and you SHOULD NOT CARE. They have to let you know that Donald Trump is literally Hitler or that your favorite video game is trash. This can also apply to good views of yourself. Even if someone confirms your views, YOU SHOULD NOT CARE. They can, and will, change the way you view your values and life choices based on this. If you do something that you hate because you know that “well, person X thinks it is right” are you really doing the right thing?

With the above said, why should you not care? There are several reasons but I am going to break it down to the five most important reasons I can think of:

(1.) LIFE IS TOO IMPORTANT TO LIVE ACCORDING TO OTHER PEOPLE’S WORLDVIEW

In the grand scheme of life, it is too important to know what you think is right. If you constantly live your life in regards to how others feel you will never live. At least you will never live in any meaningful way. The constant in your life will be the fear that someone, somewhere might disapprove. Do you not owe yourself more out of life than the constant approval of a mob?

Take a look at the current situation in American politics. No matter who you voted for in the US you have very strong opinions about why you voted that way. Now, go online to Facebook or a comments section (especially on YouTube) and say you voted for Trump (even if you don’t say why). Watch as the hate comes in, trying to make you repent of your deeply held belief that your vote was made in good conscience. Why does anyone want that?

Other people’s worldview is not your own. That clearly blatant statement is lost on so many people. Their worldview SHOULD be everyone’s. They hate this video game or that book and it shocks them that people disagree. Instead of just letting life get on with the knowledge that their opinion is valid, they must validate it by trying to force you to live their reality.

Closing out, when you run into this remember that your life is more important than the views of people who are hell bent on trying to make you see the world through their eyes. Live your life the way you think you should (as long as you do not hurt others). Other people’s views should have no bearing because it is your own view that should shape how you live your life. It should be your view that shapes how you enjoy your hobbies, your politics, or your family. Life, in short, is too important to live according to a mob that is trying to force you to live according to dictates.

(2.) People are going to talk bad about you, stop trying to give them no reason to.

People are going to trash talk you. They are going to disparage you. If you think that by giving in to the goading and harassment of forcing their opinions on you that you will find some measure of peace, get a clue. I may have a bridge to sell you. They will simply move on to something else that they can use against you. A great example of this is the movement among the far left in regards to “trans rights.” These arguments devolved so bad that now anyone who does not affirm their worldview is a bigot. That includes many people who have spent many years fighting for LGBT rights (people like JK Rowling).

The above is not said as a commentary on LGBT rights, it goes to show that if you give them one less thing to talk about they will simply replace it with another. Calling Rowling (and people like her) names because she is not “woke” to that worldview is just a great recent example. I can name plenty of examples on the right side of the political aisle as well (such as calling anyone who opposed Trump in 2016 a “fake conservative”). The point is that they will find something to talk about.

You will never give people “nothing to talk about.” There is always something. You can be a paragon of good and still people will find something to complain about. It could be the way you part your hair (or the fact that you are bald!). I have told people before that you can say the sky is blue and someone, somewhere, will come at you telling you it is green. They do this just to fight and to make you conform to their view. Do not feed this. Walk away.

(3.) You have innate value and dignity. Allowing others to control your view of yourself removes that.

Dignity is a word that gets thrown around a lot without a lot of thought. We take away a person’s dignity when we do not let them control us. Think about that statement for a second and you will quickly see people in your head who have gotten indigent when you refuse the premise they are putting forward. You will also see instances where you quickly change YOUR mind to make them feel better. IT DOES NOT TAKE AWAY DIGNITY TO SAY WHAT YOU THINK.

In fact, dignity and value is lost when you are bullied into saying something you do not actually believe. When you allow other people’s opinions to control you, you do this. Stop it. Do you think Donald Trump is the best President ever? Then feel that way. Do you think Dungeons and Dragons is the worst RPG ever made? Don’t let others tell you that you are wrong. I do not mean cut off people who have different opinions just that you should simply say “I understand that you feel that way but I don’t care.”

You give away any dignity you have when you choose to allow others to make you feel like you are “wrong” (or even if you are seeking people out to tell you that you are “right”). You forsake the value that your opinion holds if it is so easily impacted by others. Value your opinions more than you do acceptance by the mob. Value your opinions more than you do the values of people who, more often than not, have no knowledge of who you are. This leads to this next point…

(4.) Most people have no clue about your journey, where it began or where you wish it to end.

How many times have you been insulted or attacked by some friend of a friend of a friend? What do they know about you? Often times, nothing. They think that because they have seen your Instagram or Twitter profile they know you. If you are anything like most people there are a hundred things that go on for every one thing you post about.

You know those family photos that your friend just posted, you know the ones where they are all smiling and hugging? He just got the divorce papers or she just found out she has breast cancer. Did you know? Now apply that same lens to yourself. That person who just called you a bigot for saying “All lives matter” or that idiot who called you a “faggot” for supporting LGBT rights, he knows even less about you than you do about your friend. Why do you care if he thinks you are gay or that you are a “racist?”

You owe yourself more than to quiver in fear of a person who you will likely never meet. Speak out about what concerns you, even if others disagree. When someone says something stupid (like the above examples) just walk away. Don’t get into the fight that will come. Let them show how much of an ass they are. It is surprising how much people hate jerks that like to pick fights online. Let people think you are a bad person, you know you are not. The people that matter know it. Let them talk their shit and keep your head held high. You know you and that is all that matters.

(5.) You are only really yourself when you hold to your values.

As Victor Hugo once said “Change your opinions, keep to your principles; change your leaves, keep intact your roots.” There is never anything wrong with realizing that you have a bad take on something. Change things that are wrong but keep your values in tact. Never change those principles that have led you to believe in what is right or wrong.

Too often we hear the shrill cry of “racist” or “sexist” (or insert stupid comment here) and we start to doubt our values. That is the goal of the mob crying these terms. It is not “transphobic” to think that sex is not able to be changed on a whim. It is not “anti-democratic” to support anyone for President. In short, if the attack is an ad hominem then the attack is designed to make you change your values (or at least question them).

Hold to those values in spite of these comments and opinions about you. I know plenty of people who have LGBT members of their own family (my own family to be precise) and no one in them hates LGBT people. All of us have been accused of being anti-LGBT because of religious beliefs at different times. Should we abandon our religion because uneducated people demand it? Hell no. Those values, even if others disagree, help us to better understand human nature and the nature of right or wrong. If we are wrong on a fundamental level, then it is on us. It is not on others to demand that we abandon them because they “feel” like our values are wrong!

Neither should you. While I am using a lot of hot button examples in this article I am doing so specifically because they are hot buttons. They are the kind of things that lead people to be ostracized (or feel that way) by other people’s opinion of them. At what point do you sell your values out? For whom? If the answer is for some person on the internet or in the local coffee shop, then you never had those values to start with. That is a hard truth to swallow, but keep in mind that your values define who you are. Opinions are just how you express those values.

Conclusion

You should feel free to be who you are. No matter if you are leftist or a right-winger, a Christian or an atheist, gay or straight. Feel confident in your opinion of yourself. Trust a handful of good people around you to let you know if you are going off the rails (I have these). Stop letting weirdos online make you feel like you are a bad person (or even that you are a “good” person). Own when you make a bad decision or a bad opinion. Trust me, you will feel a million times better.

Merry Christmas

Hey guys, and a Merry Christmas to all! Just wanted to tell everyone that, and hope that the next year finds you in better spirits than the last. I know this year has been hard on everyone and there is no mistake that we need some cheer going into the end of it. I hope that you are able to find something during this time of the year to make it better! Even if you are not spending it with family or friends there is always something to be joyful for. I hope that I helped bring some of that to you this year, and if not, perhaps into the future.

Charitable Giving

This is the time of year for giving to the less fortunate and this year is no different. With that said, I have a few suggestions if you intend to give to a charity. First let me cover the grounds that I use to choose my favored charities. They need to be small, easily accessible, and have a low overhead. They need to be small because the larger they are the less likely they are to get the help into the hands of those that need it. They need to be easily accessible because if you cannot give easily then what is the point. Finally, they need to have a low overhead so that you know that most of the money they take in is helping others.

So here is my list:

Mission 22/Wounded Warrior Project: This grouping is amazing because of the scourge of veteran issues. If you have a chance to help out those who are willing to give everything for their fellow countrymen you should. This grouping is able to get those who have suffered the most from their service the help that they need, and they do it in a way that does not enrich others.

Dungeons and Donations: My LGS runs this every year, and this year is all digital. So far they have run up almost $1200 already (five days before the event!) and they hope to break last year’s number of over $5800. They give the money (through Extra Life) to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (another favorite of mine).

Children’s Hospitals: These hospitals help families at their most trying times. When care for chronic illnesses or cancer is as expensive as it is, these are a Godsend. They often require no payment from the families (at most they require minimal payments, but almost all the time it is $0) and give care that many of these children would not survive without. This is one of the best things one can do for another, ensuring that families can continue sharing time together.

There are many more, but that is a few of my favorites. If you have any that you like to give to, or you have some from another nation, please add them to the comments. As always, do not give if you do not have the resources. While these groups do great work, they do not want to hurt others to do so. I concur, and it feels a lot better when you know that you are not hurting yourself.

Why Social Media Is the Worst Thing to Happen to RPGs

Social media. These two words bring to mind many emotions and not many of them good anymore. Echo chambers, hair trigger emotions, and terrible behavior are all a big part of places like Twitter and Facebook. So, why would we want our beloved hobby subjected to this environment? In short, we really do not. Why though?

First, and foremost, is because it is really just a loud minority of weirdos who ruined social media. You can apply this to anything. Gina Carano does not toe the line of transgenderism? Well, she has to be shut down and removed from society (and this is a real thing). That is, at least, the impression that the clique of blue-haired psychos on Twitter want you to take away. The truth is that, for millions of people, that no one cares what she thinks. Orcs are black people? Not really. No serious thinker believes this. It was a handful of idiots on social media that advanced it. Because WotC thinks that Twitter is the real world that they had to “make a change” to ensure this was not the impression they left behind. Yeah, no one cared. Now all people care about is that WotC is giving into a mob of people who have nothing better to do with their lives.

Second, social media does not really bring people together. Look at who is on your “friends list” or “followers.” I will bet you anything that you have not talked to 95% of them in months if not longer. When we do talk to people online, we tend to talk only to people we agree with. Want proof of that, look at the comments on some of the nastiest post you can find. There is a strong chance that a good portion of the comments left on it are a “attaboy.” Calling people who do not agree with you a Nazi? Man, you will get seal claps ahoy (because those who disagree are going to remain silent). This is the echo chamber effect that social media has only accelerated. I recently ran into this when someone I know was wishing that Trump would die of COVID. I was disgusted. I let this person know that. Every person responding to me was telling me how I was the one who had erred and it was acceptable to wish that a political enemy would die. Yeah, this is a real issue.

Third, social media has allowed the worst of us to control the better angels. This goes into the idea of those who disagree remaining silent. The reason that WotC did not know that many people thought the idea of Orcs being black was stupid was because normal people remained silent. As Jefferson said it “All evil needs to gain a foothold is for men of good conscience to remain silent.” Make no mistake, social media is becoming an evil. Not there yet, but because of cancel culture and public shaming it is getting there. How many of my good readers have not said something for fear that another person (or group of persons) would attack them? I can almost guarantee you have done it, even if you are not aware of it.

Finally, social media is a cancer. There is nothing good in it. We have turned our lives over to companies that desire to control our thought. They do this through several means. The largest is through control of information. Again, if you want proof of this look no further than censorship of a major news publication for daring to publish a piece critical of Joe Biden. It does not have to be that big though. You cannot post memes that question the LGBT narrative (or rather the one being advanced by the lobby). Try posting a meme that says Donald Trump won the election (even if just in jest). Try putting out information about COIVD that Facebook or Twitter disagrees with. This is a huge issue.

This leads to the following: How does all of this tie into RPGs? Simply put, all of this is being seen in the RPG industry. Did you see the letter where hundreds of “designers” (several of them are has beens or never weres) saying we will blacklist you for supporting Trump? That was a result of social media echo chambers. These idiots thought everyone agreed with them. I am sure it shocked them to find out it pissed off plenty of gamers.

These idiots on social media are calling for censoring people like RPG Pundit (agree or disagree with him, he has a right to his own products). They are decrying anyone who does not jump on the bandwagon that RPGs are sexist and racist. They want games that cater to them, and if the game does not they will demand it be denied a place in the market. They praise idiotic games like “Sigmata” but decry people like Venger Satanis.

Their “communities” are rife with oppression Olympics. They are fighting over who is more oppressed by the industry and the hobby. Is is LGBT or PoC? If you do not want to have that fight, you are a terrible person. It never crosses their mind that maybe neither group is actually oppressed. (The real argument is how badly straight white men are being treated, but that is a whole different article.)

Websites like DrivethruRPG are being pressured into removing products that social media claims are “problematic.” They have come for everything from “Judge’s Guild” (although there are serious questions about the post made by one of the owners) to trying to put “trigger warnings” on “Al Qadim.” They do not want an open marketplace, they want a marketplace they control.

All of the above starts on social media. RPGs were fine for 30+ years without social media. Not a person complained about how oppressed particular groups were, no one ever claimed that RPGs were “racist” every other day, and no person would have dared to publish a letter threatening people for daring to oppose them politically. Social media is the worst thing that happened to the hobby, and it is time we stop treating social media like it is something to be taken seriously. If we do not, we are not going to have a hobby left to defend.

Never Rush to Judge…

The breaking news (at least if you are paying attention) that Zoe Quinn’s reckless accusations on Twitter against another game developer has resulted in him committing suicide is going to cause a major flare up. It will lead to another #gamergate hate fest, and another mass reaction against these developers that will very likely include unpalatable things. What will be missed is the human tragedy that has occurred. A family lost a son and brother. Friends lost someone they cared for. Game developers lost a talent (no matter if it was modest or not). What has Zoe Quinn lost? She deleted her Twitter so that she could hide from what she had done.

The real story here is that we need to stop rushing to judge people. Before the howling about how I am rushing to judge Quinn, no I am not. This is not the first reckless and, very likely, false accusation she has lobbed. She is a huckster of the highest caliber. This is not taking into account the almost $100,000 she suckered people out of for a game that will never materialize. This all started because she was losing clout and attention of the weirdos on Twitter. She was not in the headlines anymore. In order to win that dopamine hit, she decided to just claim she was raped (again). With that Tweet it was on. Three other women jumped on the bandwagon and swore on Twitter that Alec had done the same thing to them. Why in the hell did these women 1.) not go to the fucking police if they had been assaulted and 2.) wait for ten fucking years to claim this happened?

The answer is ugly and simple. Victim hood has overtaken commonsense in this nation (and several other Western democracies). The chances that there was even evidence that supported these claims is highly unlikely. Like with Vic and Andy Signore all it took was a woman saying “I was sexually assaulted.” It is the same mentality that led to Smollett thinking that faking a hate crime was a good idea. It leads college students to post racist and sexist messages on doors, cars, and internet message boards then claim they were “victims.” But the question remains “Why do we rush to defend these people?”

We defend these people because we want to defend those who have been hurt the most. No sane person wants women to be raped, African-Americans to be targeted as it is 1950s Alabama, or any other terrible, hateful acts. But, we often rush to judgement. These claims are often made in echo chambers where they will be believed. They are not made to police (most of the time) or to authorities that could actually investigate and punish those who are responsible.   They do this because they know that the most powerful court in the world is that of the Public Opinion.

Alec did not have to be convicted by a court of law because a bunch of people who think that Twitter is the real world claimed it was true. Vic did not deserve due process because people on Twitter had said he was a rapist and a pedophile. Who needs the protection of legal proceedings when we already know the accused is guilty. Except we do not know. We cannot know without a fair and unbiased investigation.

The Supreme Court once said that “cross-examination is the greatest engine for the discovery of truth.” When we rush to say “That person is such a monster!” we deny them the right to question the accuser. We deny them the right to be heard. If you ever watch one of these threads where a person is accused, check for the responses to someone who says “Let’s hang on for a second and let the process work.”  See the below image in response to someone trying to say “Cool your jets” to the Kavanaugh fiasco:
Image result for responses to people who defended Kavanaugh twitter

Can they prove that it “already ruined her life?” No. In fact, the woman who accused the now Supreme Court Justice has a really good life. She has a loyal husband, a good job, and from all appearances a fairly healthy social life. How dare someone point that out!

In the end, Quinn is a sociopath who revels in destroying innocent people. This will not be the first time, and I fear it will not be the last. It is sad that it took a man taking his own life for people to understand the dangers of this behavior are real. We should mourn that this has gotten this far. We should also take a moment in our lives to learn to be cynical of people who make claims on social media, years after the fact. We should learn to let the police and other authorities do the job that we pay them for. Social media companies need to start taking these people off the sites. More damage will be done before we come to our senses, but I know that we are capable of stopping judging accusations without evidence.

My Way or the Highway?

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Hi guys and gals! We know we have been having some non-fun things to say lately, but they needed to be said. That being said, I just ran into one of those “my way is the only way to play” players/GMs. What a waste of space! Gaming is too broad for my way to be the only way. That is why we try to make it clear that anything we say is pure opinion or advice (basically, we are giving suggestions that you are more than free to ignore). Anyhow, here are three reasons why that way of thinking is total bullshit:

1. It is arrogant. You have to be the height of self-serving to think that only your way of thinking is the only way to think. Hell, that is the reason why logicians call out fallacies, not thought processes. If no one is allowed to game different than you, you will find that you are lonely. Being a stuck-up dick doesn’t do any good for anyone.

2. Others know the rules, sometimes better than you. The best GMs I have sat under accepted that they were not perfect. If they messed up a rule, they accepted it when a player could prove they were using it wrong. Most of the time, the players just ran with the GMs ruling, but sometimes the rules are important (like knowing when proficiency is counted in 5e). Trusting others to know the rules is a trait that is important in RPGs, since it can take the burden off of the GM “to be perfect.”

3. It ruins the fun for everyone. At the end of the day, RPGs are about having fun. When you demand that others accept your way of play, you kill that fun. What is fun for me may not be fun for you. The asses who demand that we play their way (or their game) don’t get this, at all. They simply want you to have fun their way. If it isn’t fun, it is on you, not them. This goes directly back to #1.

How do you feel about people who demand you go their way or the highway? As always guys, follow the rules (no ad hominem, no bringing traits into it [race, religion, ect], don’t be a dick). We do hope to see you at the game table.

 

Community Standards

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Welcome back ladies and gentlemen. So, if you follow the Facebook page I got off on a good rant at about midnight last night about SFF community members. The SFF community has turned into a bastion of anti-religious nut jobs who hate Christians in particular. That leads me to this post. There are no community standards anymore, unless you count the standard of forcing leftism onto the community. For all the talk of tolerance, diversity, and acceptance in the geek community, it is full of spiteful and intolerant asses.

I am sorry to say the following things, but they are true (as seen from someone who experiences them, regularly):

1. White men will have no place in the community. As the push for a more “diverse” community comes forward, it is going to continue to push white men out. Like video games before it, people need a boogeyman to blame for the lack of African-Americans, Latinos, and other races in geek culture. While it is nonsense that there are none of those people in the culture, it makes a convenient excuse to hate white males. In the great “intersectional” Olympics of victim hood, white males are the bottom rung. The more the poison of social justice leeks into the community, the worse this will get.

2. Conservatives have no place at the table. How dare a geek think that conservative values are correct!? This is the greatest sin one can commit (it is actually a tie between this and #3). If you are libertarian or conservative, you are heartless and don’t care about your fellow geeks. This is because conservatives often don’t believe that skin color or sexual orientation (or anything like that) impact your value as a person. The social justice movement that is leeking into geek culture prizes superficial matters over substantial matters. They are the same people who post tweets about how Texas got what they deserved by way of Hurricane Harvey. In reality, they dislike conservatives because we can, by mere existence, expose them for the intolerant bastards they are.

3. Christians will be driven out! It is acceptable to drive those with whom you don’t see eye-to-eye with out, and Christians often hold  views that many disagree with. These can be over abortion, gay marriage, or even sexual activity. What these have to do with being a geek is beyond me. That is why idiots will defend an openly hostile jackass like Phillip Pullman, but state that CS Lewis was trying to indoctrinate children. Pullman agrees with their very humanist worldview. They hate Christians because Christians hold a truth claim. In a world (and with a movement) that is built on the concept of subjective truth, truth claims must be rejected. Not only must the claims be rejected, but those who profess them must be driven out.

So, how can the culture survive this? What can we, as part of the culture, do to stop it? Well, simple:

1. Stand up for those who are subjected to this nonsense. When you see a person being debased for his skin color (no matter what it is), his political beliefs, or his faith, say something. Social justice advocates do this because, like the spoiled children they are, they have never heard the word NO. They are so used to coming into an area and demanding changes, and then seeing those changes happen to appease the mob, that they don’t know how to handle a culture that says “We won’t do it.” Everyone has intrinsic worth. Everyone is worthy of dignity and respect (at least the amount they have earned). Until the culture is willing to defend everyone, we will continue to see the “war” that has been going on in video games and comic books, and it will start (or rather continue) to seep into other parts of the culture.

2. Encourage those who are down and out. Make sure that those people know that a majority of the culture doesn’t think like that. I believe that most people are decent human beings. I believe that most geeks would defend other geeks if they saw ill treatment. If you see someone who is beaten down, do what you can to make them aware that you care. Make them aware that you don’t approve of them being mistreated. It is amazing how far a simple comment or a simple touch (if you are physically close) can do to help someone who feels hopeless.

3. Change the world around you. Why do you think I make posts like this or videos like last week’s? Trust me, they are not fun to type or tape. We need people who strive for real change. Is there injustice in the world? Hell yes. Should we want to change it? Hell yes. Is telling people they are bad for being [Insert ID Politics here] going to do it? Hell no. By doing the two things above, you can change your world around you. Being decent is our strength, and not being “diverse,” or close-minded. True diversity happens when people stop focusing so much on (pardon the pun) skin deep parts of human beings. MLK said it best, there comes a time when we must choose to do what is expedient or what it right? Which will you choose?

We are what we are. We are shaped by the things around us, and the people around us. Some of us were raised in the Church, and some of us were raised as atheist. Some of us were raised in the inner city and some of us were raised in the rural south. Some of us had strict parents and some had parents that were much more lenient. No matter what your circumstances, you have dignity and worth. It is time that other geeks realized this about each other. It is time that we, as a community, stand up for decency and drive the people who would cripple this community out. If you, like me, are tired of seeing people give up on geek culture, you can do something. It starts with the individual. It then moves on to the culture itself. Be the change that you think the culture needs.

Using Descriptions in Games

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Hello guys and gals! Legacy has been busy, even though we have been silent. We have done a couple of update videos, and lament that we were unable to keep up with #RPGaDay2017. That being said, we were reading a question today on a Facebook group and had to address it in our own way. The question was “Do we have to say ‘You see’ when you describe?”

 

The answer is: NO! Below is a three-fold method for giving great (and strong descriptions) without saying “You see” or “You hear”:

1. Describe the room as if you are entering it. Don’t look at the room as if you are telling someone else what they are seeing. Imagine you are walking in for the first time. You can say “You see a desk with papers on it.” or you could say “There is a cherry desk with papers scattered over it. Many of the sheets are haphazard on the top, some of them even falling to the floor around it. The chair behind the desk is old and falling apart. The smell of must is strong in the room. Upon closer examination it is clear that there is a stain on the desk, and it appears a lot like blood…”

Now, which one would you rather hear?

2. Don’t be afraid to use big words. Many GMs try to use small descriptors. Don’t be afraid of big words. You should say “euclidean” instead of “strange dimensions.” Sometimes big words give a much brighter image. The person you are talking to isn’t just “sad” they are “melancholy.” Robin Williams stated this best in Dead Poet’s Society:

So avoid using the word ‘very’ because it’s lazy. A man is not very tired, he is exhausted. Don’t use very sad, use morose.

3. Use the environment and mood to your advantage. People don’t need to know what they hear or see. They need to know how it feels and smells. Hearing a scratching noise on a closed door is ten times as creepy when you describe it as also coming from the room that smells like rotting fish. You don’t just notice the painting, you notice it in the half-light that is coming from the burned down candles in the corridor. You can hear the scream, but it should be echoing because of the high ceilings.

By simply using the words that you know, and adding in a little environment, you can create descriptions that pop! As always, we welcome your opinions but follow the golden rule: DON’T BE A DICK.

 

 

 

Comic Books Part II: Characters

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Comic Books, Part II: Characters

So, on my last part of this series I discussed story arcs and why they were so important to what comics I read, and what ones I love. This time I am going to cover the ground of good characters. This might be a tad touchy, but in reality this is like anything else we do here at Legacy (it’s our opinion).

Characters can ruin a story that is compelling simply because the characters are flat or boring. Worse yet, they can be being used as a prop to advance an agenda or make some point. Those characters tend to be very one dimensional. So, what do I think makes a good character? Well, I am glad that question gets asked, because here is the three things:

1. Characters must be compelling. That means they can’t be a stereotype or one dimensional. Characters that are predictable are boring and they don’t accomplish the goal of furthering the story. Most characters like that are there for one thing: filler. They don’t really feel like part of the team, or a real villain. A good example of this type of character for me is Cyclops through most of the 1990s.
2. Characters must have a decent background. A character without a background is just shallow. Who cares about a character who doesn’t have an explanation for why they do things? Gambit would have been boring as a character had they never developed his background with the Thieves in Louisiana. You can look at early comic development to see how to master this. The First Appearance of the Juggernaut is a great example of development of a background (Professor X).
3. Characters need to have purpose. Characters that do things with no real goal drive me nuts. When you find yourself reading a story and the characters don’t seem to accomplish anything it makes me quit. So many comic book characters find themselves in story arcs that don’t really fit them. You saw it in Secret Wars and the Infinity Gauntlet. Some of the characters felt forced into the events. Civil War was the same way.

So, what drives you to particular characters? As always follow the rules guys!