Guest editorial by jim pinto
Note: this guest editorial is PG-13
This past week at Gen Con, a less than civil human being was punched by another less than civil human being. It happened at a bar, off site from Gen Con.
Now, Gen Con decided to squash the information that it happened, suppressed anyone who talked about it online, and generally did horrible damage control because the hobby is changing in ways they can't "manage."
And that's another topic and you're welcome to go and argue somewhere about why that's okay. Not okay.
But this guy got punched for being an asshole. and some other asshole, who decided words hurt him and others, was going to show him a "thing or two."
Both of these guys broke the unwritten rules of conduct.
One guy punched another. That's an easy contract to see was broken. You can make excuses for him. You can condemn him. You all have your own personal moral metric of what is and is not okay.
I’m not going to tell you how to feel about that.
It's important to recognize that this guy who got punched had it coming.
Let me explain.
See, none of us own this hobby. It's not mine. It's not yours. None of us gets to gate-keep who is in it and who is not. Trust me. I’d love to kick a certain segment out. I would love to be the boss of gaming and make Shadowrun illegal.
But I can't.
And I shouldn't be allowed to.
I shouldn't be allowed to target an entire demographic of gaming and make them feel unwelcome. I shouldn't be allowed to use my platform to say incendiary things about anyone and get an entire swath of mouth-breathing shit-wizards to go along with my narrow-minded and polarizing views.
See, I have an obligation to the social contract just as much as the guy who threw that punch. Ignoring the legal ramifications of it, if I have to worry that any conversation with anyone at any time could erupt in violence, we're not really sharing the same space anymore.
And both of these guys know exactly what they are doing when they make the other feel unwelcome.
This douchebag butt plug mendicant with the podcast using his voice to tell people who can and cannot be in the hobby. He breaks his contract with us every time he opens his fucking mouth. He breaks this contract with the hobby when he decides that there's a poll tax to enter the hobby, and he decides the price.
Fuck that guy.
Fuck him in the ear.
The only metric for entry into gaming is that you love gaming. our shared language should be words like initiative, 5-foot step, agency, and hit points.
I should haven't to learn the term "slayer of thots" from some cockroach with a microphone who thinks it's okay to harass cosplayers and Magic: The Gathering players.
Jesus. How small is his dick?
This ill-fitted toolbelt masquerading as a human being got punched in the face for being a coward and breaking the social contract. The guy who punched him is a coward and broke the social contract.
Maybe someday they'll be forced into the same cell together. There, they can talk it out. Or both shut the fuck up. I don't care.
At the end of the day, I don't want either of them in the hobby. But, today, that's the price of admission. If I want to be a gamer and work in this hobby, I have to endure a lot of shit-wizards. and if I can get through the day without throw a punch at people who disrespect my work, my friends, and my peers, so can Mr. Rainbow Shirt Who Couldn't Keep His Hands To Himself.
Yeah. Microphone guy is a tool. The world is filled with tools. I’m the first guy to call for the purge to get rid of these used diapers clogging up the hobby. But I’m not the boss. And I don't think you want me to be.
The hobby is supposed to be a refuge from all that. but until it is again, we need to get better at tuning out the shit-wizards and find the common ground we expected to find here.
jim pinto is a Gen Con EN World RPG Awards-winner, Origins Award-winner, game creator and publisher based in Seattle, Washington
jim pinto is allergic to capital letters.