Monday, August 30, 2010

Of course the imaginary dragon in our fantasy game shouldn't talk. I knew we were doing something wrong.

After being unable to sleep, I got up the other night and saw Zak Smith had just posted this. A quick exerpt for the lazy:

Even though it has little to do with the bottom line, once in awhile the pyrotechnic display of bigotry, sexism, self-righteousness and can't-be-bothered-to-google-ignorance that I periodically get in my inbox in response to this TV show that the Escapist pays us to make about our game kind of makes me despair for humankind.

The post is mostly to thank his readers for being intelligent and bolstering his mood against the ionic-fuckwit-pulse emanating from his inbox each time a new episode of I Hit It With My Axe goes up. What followed was an outpouring of support from his readers and the old-school-gaming community. Later on, Mandy Morbid, one of the stars of the show and Smith's girlfriend, posted:

I honestly can't say my experience doing the show has been altogether-especially-positive (due to the massive sexism issue and the amount of exposure I opened myself up to--knowingly) but everything you all are saying helps heal whatever regret I have and makes me feel like I'd like to continue with it given the opportunity.

It was at this point I went from feeling merely sympathetic (having dealt with massive waves of hatemail all the time in previous jobs) to just goddamn angry that a group of people should get so much flak for such blindingly stupid reasons it makes them seriously consider not continuing to get paid for playing a game.

Then you have to consider the actual positive impact the show has had - either via first or second-hand accounts, there are women gaming now specifically thanks to watching the women on the show have fun doing so. One commenter mentioned how the blog and show helped them with their own marginalized status as a queer gamer.

Furthermore, should they not accept the opportunity to keep doing the show (if offered), it will deprive me of something I enjoy. I do not appreciate being deprived of things.

More importantly, I don't appreciate the world being deprived of things that are good for it because the tumors of humankind managed to extend their pustules within range of a keyboard.

Unfortunately, it's one of those situations where there's little to be done besides not being the thing you hate. The very fact Smith's original post has over 60 comments, all of them positive, shows that at least this corner of the old-school-gaming community has the right idea. That's really, really good to know.

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