Monday 4 April 2016

High Frontier RPG temporarily on hold

I'm temporarily removed all access to the High Frontier RPG Google doc I've been working in, in direct response to

The current design includes rules for a number of difficult topics which I think the RPG is unavoidably going to raise. I was hoping the RPG community would be mature enough to handle these appropriately, but based on the experiences of the writer of the referenced article, I no longer think that is the case and instead any attempts I make to reify the types of topics that naturally arise when a 4 person crew is sent on a 10 year mission without any other human contact will have a negative outcome.

This article has so badly shaken me, I'm now second guessing the efforts I'm making to put a little more detail in classic TV tropes such as a multi-ethnic crew.

To people who've been waiting to play test this, I would like to apologize. I'm going to have a long think about whether or not I want to continue any efforts with this design and then how to approach or censor the topics I want to handle.


graspee said...

Attempting to vilify a race and gender "straight white male problem" and calling harassment and sexual assault "terrorism" doesn't do anyone any favours.

And why would you stop developing an rpg because there are bad people who play rpgs? Anyone creative needs to accept that some people who connect with their product are going to be people they don't like, or don't release your creation to the public.

Louisa Leontiades said...

I think it's really great that you've taken this step. But a real shame to let your work go to waste. How about I put you in contact with some folk who are not privileged but are really passionate gamers and maybe you can work out a way forward that's creative and hopefully safer?

Andrew Doull said...

Hi Loiusa,

I think you need to be a bit clearer in what you're offering because I don't understand your offer. Feel free to drop me an email at

BenTokin said...

Le sigh.... Please don't quit over this. As a straight white male gamer, who is happily married and a victim of abuse myself, I found the article completely ridiculous. I don't want to offend, or accuse the author of fabricating those horrible events. I have never heard, said, witnessed any such kind of act in my 40 some odd years in the gaming culture. Sure there are bad apples in every bunch, but stereotypes exist for a reason... and stereotypically gamers are introverted, or at least socially awkward. It's another case of being bullied for having a penis... also any privilege I might have for being a straight white male is completely negated by the fact that I'm horribly poor, have terrible looking teeth, and hair to my 350 lb ass.. (and somehow am happily married to a more beautiful woman than any I've ever known). If I had to venture a guess... the author was making sure she got reblogged in the most horrible of ways... by using other peoples sympathy for victims to gain notoriety amongst her peers... if people like that avoid people like me.. I can only assume my gaming sessions will be more enjoyable. Good luck everyone.. and lets hope we don't all fall victims to such slander...

FinetalPies said...

I'm sorry to hear that you're feeling down. It's a very empathetic response though and I'm proud that you are asking yourself how you can make the gaming community better. My voice is just another from a white man, so, it wouldn't really be my place to offer direct advice.

But I don't want you to be discouraged. You clearly care aboot your players and I think that will show through no matter what. You are an individual and your artistic vision is important, even if you are in the majority of demographics. Your existence is not oppressive. And as long as you keep questioning yourself, you will successfully minimize your oppressive actions.

So it sucks, but it isn't all bad. You're hurting, which is bad. But you're hurting because you're a good person. It's a good thing to have an emotional response to suffering. An incredibly good thing.

paulwratt said...

Dude, think all you want, what you need is a solution, something that makes you feel that your having an impact and/or trying to change things.

Thats not the first time I have heard of harassment like that, but its the first time I've heard it in desktop gaming, why would it not be, its everywhere else.

I'll give you these as a starting point.

1) Page 1 contains a "letter of concern" with a signing space at the bottom (has various uses). Any game should start with that proof of acknowledgement before the DM does anything else.

2) any publicly organised gaming session requires a "seminar of awareness" before players, DM's or staff start any games, which then start with #1

No matter what you do, or dont do, in how you manage your reaction to how you feel about these issues, someone is not going to like it, and you will be blind-sided by some you would not think could or would.

Dont let "them" stop you (or force you), awareness is the key, eventually things do change, but dont expect that to happen overnight, or without pain.

Food for thought at least..


Unknown said...

This is absolutely pure insanity. The fact that you've taken what these politically correct, brainless fools have to say into account is a joke. Tumblr, is and continues to be a hivemind, an echochamber for those with extreme thoughts to voice them and be reinforced by others. If you really quit cause of this you've lost any idea of how to look at things with realism. I don't know how you got in with these people or started taking them seriously, but you need to evaluate this much more closely.

There's a comment up on this page telling you that you should give the game over to people less "privileged". This sort of talk is a way to justify an abusive spectrum of talk. It's politics being inserted with personal idealism, a world where you should feel bad for being who you are. There is and never will be anything wrong with being a white male. And there is nothing wrong with being a black female or a mexican male or any combo you can think of. What's started to happen is a group of far left people have decided that you should pay, should feel bad about who you are. This sort of thinking is shameful and ultimately a form of racism and sexism in its own right. Do you really think shaming someone for their color for their gender is anything but a form of sexism or racism? Take a look at the agendas at play here.

You've been co opted by people who don't have your well being on their mind with this and I've honestly lost a great deal of respect for you. Be an independent thinker, don't just grab onto what someone with a tumblr says. I've been following your work for years and this is all very alarming. You should never have to apologize for being yourself. For doing the things you want to do. The only reason that this idealism gets pushed is because people are afraid to stand up and take a stand against them. Your rights end where my feelings begin? Sorry, not how it works. You're literally giving in to the demands of bigoted foolish people.

People like the one who wrote that awful article will sit there and claim any sort of babble they can to support their agenda, their idealism. That we should all be a nameless sexless whole, that being who you are is the biggest crime you could commit. But no, this isn't acceptable. The idea that people are asking for censorship at all in art is abhorrent,even worse when it's based on some bigoted idea that you can't do something cause you're a white male. It's time to stand up for yourself. It's time to think clearly.

Keeping company with the types of fools who shame you for being yourself is a poor poor idea. You also aren't understanding the fact that this sort of "politically driven" person dosen't even make up 10 percent of gamers. So you risk the criticism of someone with a tumblr? Is there really a big concern? The article literally tries to imply that a casual bigot-ism is fine as long as the person is white and male. Think about that, does that really make sense? How do you think these same people would react if I where to say write an article with a clickbait style title like "black males playing videogames leads them to prison later in life". It's as though you've never been on the internet if you don't know what clickbait or insanity is but let me point it out for you. Let this be a moment of sanity.

You are guilty of nothing but caving to the pragmatic idealism of someone far removed from reality. Wake up, look around, no matter what these people say is obviously happening the sun doesn't stop setting and white males aren't blowing up buildings left and right cause of all that time they spent gaming. I'm rarely if ever motivated to make a response to someones blog online, but the way you're acting absolutely bothers me. Be a man, be yourself, be proud of it. Don't be afraid to make a game cause some maniac has an agenda and access to a keyboard to spout it from.