Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

Insiders and Activists: Jessica Price’s Double Think

The announcement of GenCon’s Industry Insider Featured Presenters for 2016 left more than a couple of people scratching their heads. Some of the more, uh, zealous-minded were quick to whip people into line, however.

For instance, John du Bois commented on Twitter:

Maybe if you recognize only 1/25 people on the GenCon Industry Insider list, you don’t know the industry as well as you think you do.

And Paizo’s Jessica Price amplified the point:

Yup. No time for fake geek boys who don’t know who’s who in tabletop.

Who is she referring to? Well, check her previous tweet and it turns out it’s Mike Mearls and Lewis Pulsipher.

.@mikemearls @lewpuls Not clear why you couldn’t have done that without slamming your industry colleagues. But sure.

Meanwhile on her Tumblr, she concedes the very point she’s insulting these two men over:

Historically, a lot of the focus of the Industry Insider slate emphasized long tenure in the industry, and a history of significant contributions. That’s great, and there are still representatives of that group of people present among this year’s Insiders. However, that sort of focus also tended to ensure that the people being featured as Insiders were people everyone already knew about (and exacerbated the problem of newer people getting recognition).

(Emphasis mine.)

That’s right. The fact people have no idea who these people are is the entire point of this little crusade, isn’t it? And then Jessica pretends to be shocked, shocked that actual “industry insiders” would not recognize a bunch of “indie tabletop publishers, indie LARP designers, event organizers, activists, critics, academics, and community managers” that are– weirdly– being lumped in with them all of a sudden.

Maybe these interlopers aren’t colleagues to these men by any stretch of the imagination. I’m sure Jessica Price disagrees. Either way, her two-faced cattiness is out of line and I think she owes these gentlemen an apology.


14 responses to “Insiders and Activists: Jessica Price’s Double Think

  1. Jlv61560 May 13, 2016 at 3:58 am

    Shit (if you’ll pardon my French), it’ll never happen. Her sort of smack-talking self-righteousness is eternally locked into her own sense of entitlement and her anti-cisnormative worldview (or whatever other nonsensical gobbledy-gook she and her fellow travelers spout from their safe spaces these days), so what else could you expect from her?

  2. Cirsova May 13, 2016 at 8:48 am

    These folks don’t understand what “insider” means. The indie and self-publishers are not “industry insiders”; hell, that’s why they’re called indie. If your goals are to overturn all of the previous traditions, smash the system and tear down the old “insiders” – if you’re doing it from the ‘inside’, that still doesn’t make you an insider, it makes you an infiltrator.

  3. lewpuls May 13, 2016 at 9:31 am

    They seem to be confused about the “industry”. Isn’t GenCon a game convention (primarily), not an RPG convention? It’s odd how many TableTop RPG fans equate RPGs with the TableTop game industry, in fact its $25 million amounted to 02.84% [sic] of TableTop industry revenue (US) in 2014. (Of course, *videogame* RPGs are really big: Skyrim sold $450 million in the first week, and in total well over $1.3 billion dollars and more than 23 million units altogether, worldwide. Then there’s World of Warcraft . . .)

  4. twilaprice May 13, 2016 at 11:36 am

    Hmmm. Iewpuls, I always thought GenCon was THE rpg convention, being started in Lake Geneva by and for D&D enthusiasts. And, I am really sorry, but as an old school grognard, I will refuse to my dying day to accept anything except tabletop as an rpg. Video games are not rpgs. They can’t
    have happened in the games I’ve played/heard of? The “little quivering elf boots” that were all that were left of a very unfortunate party that I GMed once… the poem-inspiring Oriental Adventures fight that was a comedy of critical errors, culminating in my character cutting her own horse’s head off while wielding a naginata and facing off against her evil magician husband…. etc. etc. etc. No programmer is going to be able to recreate that in something that, in the end, has to be scripted down to the last pixel…) A role-playing game implies that you are actually playing a character that you are inhabiting, whose world you are experiencing, whose actions are what matters in conjunction with the other folks at the table. It’s not me vs the computer. Meh.

    Anyway, to comment on the “industry insiders”, I do know approximately three of them by name and books written/jobs held. Ken Hite, of course, is THE guy I follow ever since “Suppressed Transmissions” of Pyramid fame. Damn fine writer. Emily Care Boss is one of the pack of — I guess you’d call them indie, but they are more and more mainstream these days — game designers that grew out of the Forge/Ron Edwards cauldron, but are their own thing now. Good inventive game structures that are fascinating as a study in design. Mark Truman is one of the guys behind the incredible return of 7th Sea and I *know* he’s going to have awesome things to report. (Happy Kickstarter backer here.)

    And, yes, I am a woman who plays table-top RPGS. I have done since the little 3 books of D&D. I got my husband into table-top role-playing. I went into labor while playing Original Traveller (no poncy Third Imperium for us!). I brought up both my kids to play GURPS and Pendragon. My grandson is playing in a Hackmaster campaign even now. I keep up with the current news in RPGs, and I own a lot of them. Don’t play as much as I used to, because of scheduling issues, but meh. It is what it is.

  5. lewpuls May 13, 2016 at 11:46 am

    GenCon has far outgrown its roots, it’s a tabletop industry convention. Only hardcore wargames have been left behind. (Though I sometimes call it a “story convention” because of the film, anime, science-fiction-fantasy writing, and other add-ons of more recent times that are about stories but not about games.)

    Many TT RPGers dislike computer RPGs. I don’t play them. But when the world at large thinks of role-playing games, WoW, Skyrim, and the like are at least as prominent as D&D, and most people won’t have a clue about the less well-known TT RPGs.

    I met my wife through D&D in 1977. I had the pleasure of GMing an all-female (players) D&D party once.

    • twilaprice May 13, 2016 at 12:05 pm

      I don’t go to many cons, and certainly not to big ones like GenCon or DragonCon. Too many people! But my best friend and her husband go every year, and they are definitely into the table-top end of it (my best friend paints miniatures and is really really good at it). So that’s the kind of stuff I hear about in con reports. (Well, except the time her husband met Ivanova from Babylon 5, which was almost as gushy as his Lady GaGa obsession.)

      I haven’t played in any all-female games, though the Pendragon campaign was close — the GM and one of the players was male, while the rest of us were all female.

      But, again, I don’t think of the world-at-large when I think of RPGs. Those “fake gamer” kids can get off my lawn and go play their fancy computer games while I have fun with my dice and pencil and notebook. (I’ve been playing since fall 1974. Husband got into it around 1976? I think that’s when we started dating…) Yea, I am a cranky old lady with a cane and an opinion.

      • jeffro May 13, 2016 at 12:08 pm

        I do think you’re being a touch uncharitable. I mean… don’t run those kids off of your lawn. Lure them into an old school game– and then enjoy the look on their faces as their characters die and they have to actually be creative in order to get results.

  6. twilaprice May 13, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    Well, true. It would be fun to see how they’d deal with character generation in Traveller. Grins.

    I don’t have anything against computer games per se, but I do not think they are RPGs.

  7. Cambias May 13, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    What’s the world coming to when newbies like “lewpuls” can go around acting like they know about the history of D&D and gaming?

  8. Alfred Genesson May 14, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    Guess I’ll have to do a post tearing through that list like I did with the upcoming expansion to Betrayal at House on the Hill. Vox also mentioned this on his Alpha Game blog.

  9. Pingback: You Don’t Get to Rewrite History | Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

  10. grimachu January 15, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    Katherine Cross? You’re having a fucking bobble. Some of the other ‘activist’ entries have at least some work to their name but Cross is nothing.

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