Being in the Main the Mouth of Olde House Rules

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Mushy Middle Strikes Back!

Those who know Robyn and I personally know we aren't all that big into ideologies, but prefer to evaluate specific claims individually and on the basis of their merits.  And the fact that this blog has been attacked from BOTH sides of the ideological divide is a source of pride and a good indicator that we're succeeding.

At some point, we have to just be PEOPLE and respond to each other naturally as HUMAN BEINGS.  Forget ideology and forget buzzwords and politics.  We need to occupy the MUSHY MIDDLE!      

Now we get correspondence and feedback.  Much of it positive, but occasionally, we've been questioned, which is fair enough and actually a necessary GOOD.  We respect these folks, even if we don't otherwise agree, and others might wonder where we stand on topical issues since we don't do topical stuff very often...

So here's where we respond, en masse, to these questions:

One anonymous reader responded to an earlier post about Undoing Gender Limits in AD&D, suggesting that we were just trying to pick a fight SJW style, to which we reply...

Dear Anonymous: Is ANY attempt to be decent, fair, and/or kind to others "social justice warfare?"  And since when did excluding good 
people from a fun pastime somehow become sensible?

The old man gets on his soapbox...

Another took exception to our previous The Real "Problem" with Gaming post.  Specifically, they felt that I was being dismissive of the very real abuse too many women experience:    

Dear Worried: Look at our games and their credits.  Robyn (a bona fide female) is my COLLABORATOR.  I LOVE and RESPECT her as an absolute EQUAL.  And while I sometimes make stupid assumptions, I'm willing to admit my mistakes and LISTEN...

But I stand by my words.  Gamers ARE a subset of the general population, and any problems the hobby has (beyond those exclusive to gameplay mechanics) are IMPORTED from that group.

I don't recall saying this wasn't a problem, and any honest examination of the larger population makes it clear that the abuse of women happens all too often.  I don't think I can make it any clearer that I think this is TERRIBLE...

Oh, and attacking me and calling me an ASSHOLE while simultaneously declaring your moral superiority wasn't very convincing!

Look, I'm not perfect.  But I honestly don't want to hurt or otherwise exclude anyone unfairly.  I'll make mistakes and sometimes fall prey to my own embedded prejudices, but I'm willing to hear others out and CHANGE, and I'd rather be a warts-and-all HUMAN than some artificial and self-aggrandizing (read: insincere) poser.

Oh, and just to be clear, I didn't vote for Trump and don't condone his comments as REMOTELY in the realm of honest mistakes...

Another sexist and non-inclusive
session of Pits & Perils at KantCon 2015! 

Finally, someone (presumably a censor) took exception to our Memorial Day post on Stupid Gor and Foolish Censors.  They claimed that denying someone a platform for their speech was somehow an exercise in free speech!  This was DISTURBING:

Dear Censor: You're just WRONG.  Freedom of speech is utterly meaningless unless it's given to EVERYONE.  Freedom of YOUR speech to the exclusion of all others is selfish TYRANNY... 

Instead of silencing others, try creating YOUR OWN platform and participate in the marketplace of ideas.  Participate in the debate and work to change minds.  Otherwise, be prepared to explain how defending YOUR freedom by censoring others ISN'T selfish.

I think I referred to it as the perfection of narcissism, and your position quite possibly bears this out...

The truth is, we come up against both extremes in the gaming community and have our own thoughts.  On the one hand, you have the guys who predictably come unhinged whenever someone suggests that racism and/or sexism is real and reflexively froth at the mouth when female bloggers call for inclusion.   

On the other side you have the "virtue signalers" who make a grotesque spectacle of their ideology, often by censoring those who disagree with them!  Both are living STEREOTYPES, and we suspect reality favors those of us in the so-called MUSHY MIDDLE! 

That's it for mail call!  We appreciate everyone's comments and feedback and truly respect those who disagree with us.  Gaming has problems because HUMANS have problems.  But we can solve many of them by treating others as we'd like to be treated and acting on our best moral instincts to live (and role-play) well with others...


  1. Well said. I think your wrong on a lot of these individual issues, but your open mindedness is refreshing. Just because you're wrong, that doesn't mean we can't sit across a DM screen from each other.

    Besides, you are definitely on Team Good when it comes to the OSR. And really, isn't that the most important thing?

    1. Thanks for the kind words! Everyone disagrees with everyone else about something, and I'd be a little worried if they didn't. That shouldn't get in the way of good gaming, and probably makes it better, actually...