You know, I got pretty upset when OBS banned their first game last year. I did write to them, but I did not really do anything beyond making a few snarky blog posts. However, this lack of conviction with regards to free expression seems to be growing to the point where things are liable to slip even further at an even more accelerated rate. In my opinion, this will directly impact the quality of independent game design efforts and potentially even cause us to lose some of our most insightful creators. People don’t get into rpg design because of the money– they do it because they have complete freedom to express themselves. Dilute that freedom far enough and they may well find another hobby to devote themselves to.
I really don’t want that to happen. I don’t think I am alone, either. I am therefore instituting Operation Roiling Mumble. Here is how to participate:
- Read Steve Wieck’s post on the new Offensive Content Policy for OneBookShelf.
- Be genuinely concerned with where this could lead and with how it could impact the rpg hobby.
- Contact OBS at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and let them know what you think.
- Share your email with me either in the comments here or privately at email@example.com so that I can get a notion of just how big the pushback is.
To be clear, I am not threatening a boycott if they fail to run their business the way that I think they should. If you feel that way, that’s fine. If you don’t, that’s fine, too. At this point, I am only interested in increasing the volume of negative feedback for Steve Wieck’s proposed policy.
How many “free speech nuts” are active in the rpg hobby right that would take the time to write an email about this? I don’t know! But I would like to think that there are more people like that than, say, the number of people that made it a point to walk out on the Ennie awards ceremony this year. If you are the sort of person that would like to do something to preserve freedom of expression, now would be a good time to let Steve Wieck know that we could really do without him inviting people to be offended at our games.
“Without the ability to freely create, and freely reach people who might be interested in those creations, participation in this hobby and this industry is simply not worth doing.” — James Raggi
“When the Gamergate card game was banned, Steve Wieck boasted about how Onebookshelf had only ever had to ban one thing ever, and hey, it was okay because it was just Gamergate, the maid rape and crack whores were safe. Well, first they came for Gamergate, now they’ve come for Tournament of Rapists. Because that’s how fucking far through the looking glass we are. Yeah, the inoffensive card game satirizing the events of the first few months of Gamergate was banned first, but now Onebookshelf has gone down the ‘We’ll ban offensive stuff when we see it’ slippery slope that everyone said would happen because of some tacky open d20 product that got brigaded.” — Cirsova
“I tried, well beyond the call of courtesy, to speak with Mr. Wieck about the choices he was making, in selling his site over to the would-be censors, the pseudoactivists of the hobby who demand the RPGnow and DrivethruRPG should have to appease their growing demands that anything they personally find offensive be censored, and be censored immediately. He has made it clear that he has no interest in reasoning with anyone who supports freedom of speech, and everything I’ve seen indicates to me that he is determined to go forward with a policy whereby anyone who claims offense will be able to have a product IMMEDIATELY pulled from OBS’ shelves at the click of a button.” — The RpgPundit