Note: I posted this on my Google+ page as well, so you may also see it there.
If you’re a gamer, and you’re reading this, you’ve probably also seen a lot of internet verbiage over the last few days about two of the consultants on the new edition (Zak Smith of “Playing D&D with Porn Stars” and theRPGPundit). Both men have made enemies over the years due to their forthright speech and unwillingness to suffer fools gladly – a fact that no one would deny, probably even themselves.
However, these enemies also seem to be rumor mongering, hinting or stating that both men are anti-gay, anti-transgender, anti-sex, etc., etc., – essentially that they are walking gender hate crimes. The actual evidence of this seems to be non-existent, and certainly doesn’t square with my experience with theRPGPundit (who, full disclosure, I had consult on my Corporia RPG and credited him in the book). Zak I only know by reputation, but there too any actual evidence seems to be lacking.
However (again), that’s not even the point of this post, since it’s been covered elsewhere. What’s particularly bugging me right now is that I’m seeing at least one prominent (and a handful of less prominent) game designers engaging in this rumor mill. Not by actually taking a stand on a side, but by essentially posting or blogging something like “I heard these two people are bad news” and then refusing to take any comments from readers, or even deleting posts from the accused when they try to respond.
I’m calling bullshit on this. If you’re going to engage in the discussion, then do it. Don’t throw a brick (or in this case, feces) and then run away, and don’t censor your critics. Just… don’t.
(If you want to respond to this, please do so on Google+. Not because I want to censor you, but because blog comments are a pain to manage.)