Mature games topic moved to Black Pudding

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Mature games topic moved to Black Pudding

Post by Sturm » Thu May 26, 2016 10:52 am

Hi, I saw that a topic initiated by Willpell about the World of Darkness was moved to the Black Pudding by the moderators and I must say I don't think that's completely justified.
I know Willpell can be a bit argumentative in his posts and he certainly assumed recently a position that could be considered offensive to minority groups in another thread which was moved too to the Black Pudding, and I can see the reason for that.
Yet it doesn't seem to me he is a troll in the sense of someone who is trying to offend on purpose.
Moreover the thread he initiated about "Charnel Houses of Europe: the Shoah, by Richard Dansky" should not be, IMHO, be considered trolling and the choice to put it in the Black Pudding seems a bit excessive to me.
The rpg supplement cited above is almost universally considered a very good product which deals appropriately with the topic. Wraith was a modern game set in the world after death, so it had to deal with modern genocides and similar topic.
Willpell's incidental mention of F.A.T.A.L., which is apparently a stupid rpg with very inappropriate sexual content of which I knew nothing, was relevant to the topic, IMHO, and he also clearly wrote the mentioned rpg is just crap.

Conclusion, for what's worth:
- I can agree with the moderators that certain topic are potential source of problems and so an intervention was probably necessary, but maybe a less definitive intervention as first step?
- I do not like to use too much difficult themes in rpg, normally, but violence is certainly present in life and in all rpg so I do not see why a topic about mature themes in rpg should be subject to preventive banning, which is de-facto censorship.
- I strongly believe that to ban a discussion about the Shoah, even if in rpg, it's never a good idea and could be considered more offensive than the discussion itself. The topic should instead be discussed as often as possible, because too many people in the world are still very ignorant about it. The rpg supplement mentioned by Willpell did a good job about this, according to most reviewers.
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Re: Mature games topic moved to Black Pudding

Post by Ashtagon » Thu May 26, 2016 11:33 am

I don't think that thread was necessarily about trolling (or the opposite). However, it was clear that nothing useful could come of that thread.

Any games that might have been put forward for discussion would essentially be flagged up as being beyond some kind of moral event horizon (by being compared to rape or holocaust victim abuse), which is bad publicity for the game itself if incorrect, and if correct, liable to give the industry a bad reputation if an impression is created that these things are widespread by focusing a spotlight on them.

While it is mathematically possible that every reply would have been fine, that was a low-probability event, and it was more efficient just to draw a line pre-emptively. Having observed many internet discussions, it was fairly clear that thread wasn't going to end up any place good.

----

On the rape side of that thread:

I had previously said that discussion of rape-based RPGs are simply not a direction I want this site to go in. It was quite clear by context that discussion of games aside from "fatal" that incorporate that as a theme were being solicited.

I should note that it has previously been confirmed twice (possibly more) that rape, while it certainly exists in the real world and there are RPGs that deal with it (mostly insensitively), is not a topic that I consider suitable for this site.

----

On the politics side of that thread:

It has also been previously noted that discussion of real-world politics is only acceptable when in the context of an RPG. Reading through a half-dozen or so reviews of Wraith, I find none that even so much as mention the holocaust. That's inserting real-world politics into discussion of a game that doesn't mention that real-world politics. And that too has no place here. Note that this is not a ban on discussion of the holocaust specifically; it's a ban on real-world politics discussion generally.

Feel free to correct me if I am wrong about the political content of that RPG by giving me book title and page references where it gets discussed. All I have found is a single two-paragraph sidebar on the topic, which simply acknowledges that it happened, stating nothing of their afterlife fate. This (two paragraphs in a 300-page book) isn't really enough to paint the entire setting so blackly. Indeed, all aspects of WW2 are covered by a just two pages. For a book about death set in modern times, that's a remarkably small amount of text.

Regarding that specific Wraith supplement (Charnel Houses of Europe: the Shoah), the author is said to have said that he did not want people playing it for fun. That's pretty much the antithesis of what this site is about. I want people to be able to enjoy RPGs, not have flashback associated with them.

And yes, the holocaust is definitely in the camp of "the story that must be told". No dispute there. However, in the context of the story that must be told, it's a real-world politics issue, which simply falls beyond the remit of what's appropriate for this site. It must be told. But there's no requirement that it must be told here.
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Re: Mature games topic moved to Black Pudding

Post by Sturm » Thu May 26, 2016 12:16 pm

I am fully aware the site is yours so you will get to decide what it could be discussed here.

I also agree that rape is not a very appropriate topic in the game, and I'm not interested in discussing it in game terms or using it as a theme in game. Still, I don't see how mentioning a stupid, crappy game that use such a theme inappropriately, saying in fact explicitly that the game is a very bad idea as Willpell did, should fall into your "ban".
Also if a ban is too restrictive it easily becomes exaggerated. The mithology of Zeus and half-orcs in 3ed could easily be banned for the same reasons.

I also do not understand why you should consider a discussion of the holocaust a political discussion. The holocaust was a genocide, a major crime against humanity. It's not politics in the sense that the Nazi party should be considered a normal political party. It was a criminal and genocidal organization masqueraded as a political party. Giving publicity to the holocaust and affirming its undeniable reality is not politics, is an humanitarian duty, in my opinion. This opinion is not humble.

About Wraith, WW2 content, IIRC, is quite important in the book. Charnel Houses of Europe: the Shoah is an existing supplement, which therefore can be used in play, with all due considerations and caveat. So discussing it should not be banned. Some players may prefer lighter games, others darker ones.
I do not see why game with darker themes should be banned preventively.
As I understood Willpell's topic, he was just asking about RPGs with mature themes. Such a topic could be deserving of special attention from the moderators, but IMO not preventive banning.
You assumed the thread could not go in a good direction.
I strongly disagree on sending threads to the black pudding on assumptions. It seems a "precrime" attitude which IMHO does not fit well with The Piazza's normally friendly environment.
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Re: Mature games topic moved to Black Pudding

Post by Big Mac » Thu May 26, 2016 1:00 pm

The holocaust murdered millions of Jewish people. Some of the people who survived the holocaust are gamers. Some of those gamers might play Dungeons & Dragons.

Many women (and men) suffer attacks by rapists every year. Some of the survivors of sexual assualts are gamers. Some of those gamers might play Dungeons & Dragons.

That topic invited open discussion of both the holocaust and rape games. It also invited people to list other offensive games and to discuss them on The Piazza.

It was an open invitation to collect as many offensive topics as possible and for people to talk about offensive games.

You are right in that it is important that we accept that both the holocaust and rape exist. It is important we make sure that nothing similar to the holocaust happens again and that we (as a society) track down people who commit (or try to commit) genocide and/or sexual assaults and lock them up, so that they can not harm people. Raising awareness and doing work "to put things right" for victims has nothing to do with Dungeons & Dragons. The Piazza is here to discuss entertainment - not politics. Social campaigns to raise awareness of real-world suffering are politics.

The murder of Jewish people and/or the rape of women is not "entertainment". Treating the holocaust and rape as a subject of entertainment trivialises these things as well as upsetting victims.
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Re: Mature games topic moved to Black Pudding

Post by Sturm » Thu May 26, 2016 1:31 pm

Well the ones mentioned are just two forms of violence of humanity against itself.
I agree violence is not really entertainment if it happens to you.
Yet violence is so much a part of history and society that indeed a lot of movies and almost all the existing rpgs are indeed about conflicts and violence. This is also because human beings need stories to cope with violence, death and difficulties in our lives.
Also a generic discussion about a form of violence or a war is not the same thing as discussing in a public forum the precise circumstances of something which happened to someone.
Your reasons to ban threads are a bit too broad here, IMO.
You could also says "Many men and women suffer some forms of violence in their lives, and some are gamers".
So let's close the forum, because you cannot deny that many examples of the games we discuss here are about killing other intelligent beings, or suffer violence from other intelligent beings.
Right many games have convenient non-human races that can be used as enemies, but still with this definition any spy game, war game, modern game which has similarities to the real world should be banned on the Piazza.

I may start to sound a bit like willpell here ;) but I do not see how this ban is consistent with forum guidelines.
Try to read what you wrote as:
"Treating violence as a subject of entertainment trivialises these things as well as upsetting victims".
Don't you see how it's impossible to use this as a general rule in a forum about rpg?

I can agree about the necessity to post a moderator warning in the original thread but closing it it's really excessive, even considering the history of the OP.
Last edited by Sturm on Thu May 26, 2016 1:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mature games topic moved to Black Pudding

Post by Sturm » Thu May 26, 2016 1:38 pm

Big Mac wrote: It was an open invitation to collect as many offensive topics as possible and for people to talk about offensive games.
Also I did not see any such intention in the thread. You made an assumption based on the history of the OP, but that's hardly fair, it's to judge and convict someone on mere intent.
Likewise you judged and banned a very good Wraith book on mere assumption.
As I understood it, the OP meaning in the thread was an invitation to list Mature games. The mentioned Wraith supplement is not offensive and should not be considered as such by anyone. It treats a difficult topic with as much intelligence as possible, as indicated by many reviews you can find online.
The other mentioned game is stupid and offensive. But willpell mentioned it exactly as an example of something clearly stupid and offensive.
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Re: Mature games topic moved to Black Pudding

Post by Big Mac » Thu May 26, 2016 4:59 pm

Sturm wrote:
Big Mac wrote: It was an open invitation to collect as many offensive topics as possible and for people to talk about offensive games.
Also I did not see any such intention in the thread. You made an assumption based on the history of the OP, but that's hardly fair, it's to judge and convict someone on mere intent.
Likewise you judged and banned a very good Wraith book on mere assumption.
As I understood it, the OP meaning in the thread was an invitation to list Mature games. The mentioned Wraith supplement is not offensive and should not be considered as such by anyone. It treats a difficult topic with as much intelligence as possible, as indicated by many reviews you can find online.
The other mentioned game is stupid and offensive. But willpell mentioned it exactly as an example of something clearly stupid and offensive.
The topic was an invitation for people to make a list of "games tackling the worst subjects" and to discuss them, with the holocaust and rape cited as two examples of potential discussion points for "worst subject RPGs".

No other assumptions need to be made beyond that point. The two examples of things that people should be discussing were both offensive.

You have had your answer, Sturm. The topic is not going to be unlocked or removed from the Black Pudding.
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Re: Mature games topic moved to Black Pudding

Post by willpell » Thu May 26, 2016 6:20 pm

Sturm wrote:Yet it doesn't seem to me he is a troll in the sense of someone who is trying to offend on purpose.
I am glad to see that someone understands that. "Trying to offend on purpose" might be considered to fit my intentions, but "being a troll" definitely does not. A troll stirs controversy for his own amusement; I do so because I believe it is beneficial to the people whose complacency I disturb. If your first reaction to being shaken awake and told "go call the police, there's a murder happening" is "why'd you wake me up, I'm still tired", then you place far too high a premium on your own comfort. We need transgressive social commentary that pushes boundaries and makes people question the way they live their lives, and we need them in all media.
Willpell's incidental mention of F.A.T.A.L., which is apparently a stupid rpg with very inappropriate sexual content of which I knew nothing, was relevant to the topic, IMHO, and he also clearly wrote the mentioned rpg is just crap.
For further context, it not only had said inappropriate content, but also an excruciatingly overcomplected rules set, which had you roll on tables to determine virtually every physical measurement of your character's body, and was filled with obnoxiously racist magic items and the like. While sort of magnificent in its own horrendous fashion, it was definitely not what my thread was meant to be about.
- I do not like to use too much difficult themes in rpg, normally, but violence is certainly present in life and in all rpg so I do not see why a topic about mature themes in rpg should be subject to preventive banning, which is de-facto censorship.
RPGs in general are all about violence. D&D players routinely butcher orcs; arguably orcs only even exist for the sake of being butchered. You ask me, that's way darker than just having the option to have sexual violence exist in an RPG context.
Ashtagon wrote:I don't think that thread was necessarily about trolling (or the opposite). However, it was clear that nothing useful could come of that thread.
I have a huge problem with you making a judgment like that. It's a clear overreach of your bounds as administrator of a forum for public discussion, to say "I don't want this topic discussed, at all, ever".
I had previously said that discussion of rape-based RPGs are simply not a direction I want this site to go in. It was quite clear by context that discussion of games aside from "fatal" that incorporate that as a theme were being solicited.
You are absolutely mistaken. I was asking for more books like Shoah, not more books like Fatal. (I certainly wouldn't be bothered if someone pointed me toward more works like Fatal, but that would be more appropriate to do by private message; the point of a public discussion was to talk about Important Works, not just ones that I might have a personal interest in laughing at.)
I should note that it has previously been confirmed twice (possibly more) that rape, while it certainly exists in the real world and there are RPGs that deal with it (mostly insensitively), is not a topic that I consider suitable for this site.
If no-one is allowed to discuss the topic, then how do you expect that it's ever going to be dealt with in any way other than insensitively? If you want society's understanding to mature, then you have to allow it to be studied and understood. Fewer people would make jokes about it, if they'd ever been exposed to the grim realities of the matter.
Regarding that specific Wraith supplement (Charnel Houses of Europe: the Shoah), the author is said to have said that he did not want people playing it for fun. That's pretty much the antithesis of what this site is about. I want people to be able to enjoy RPGs, not have flashback associated with them.
Let me know how that all-sugar diet works out for your teeth and your waistline....
It must be told. But there's no requirement that it must be told here.
If not here, then where? If not know, then when? There's never going to be an "appropriate" time and place to confront the leaders of our society about the crimes they've engaged in while protected by the shield of law. Rebellion against unjust authority is by definition a criminal act; that doesn't make it morally wrong.

If your attitude toward these uncomfortable topics was "please don't ruin my fun", then the correct solution would be to create a new sub-board, a "no fun zone", similar to the Controversy section at Goblins forum, with a "you must be at least this mature to enter" sign at the door. But instead, you're taking a very draconian "this is not okay" stance, and I find that extremely disturbing on both a personal level and a societal one. This is not the Make Ashtagon Happy forum. This is the last redoubt of the refugees from the Wizards Community; if we are denied sanctuary here, where else can we make our stand? The health of the populace is what matters, not your own personal sensibilities; if you are not comfortable with that responsibility, then perhaps you should pass the crown.
Sturm wrote:Giving publicity to the holocaust and affirming its undeniable reality is not politics, is an humanitarian duty, in my opinion. This opinion is not humble.
applauds
I strongly disagree on sending threads to the black pudding on assumptions. It seems a "precrime" attitude which IMHO does not fit well with The Piazza's normally friendly environment.
Sounds like someone's doubleplus ungood in their duckspeak. Better get the memory hole ready....
Big Mac wrote:The holocaust murdered millions of Jewish people. Some of the people who survived the holocaust are gamers. Some of those gamers might play Dungeons & Dragons.

Many women (and men) suffer attacks by rapists every year. Some of the survivors of sexual assualts are gamers. Some of those gamers might play Dungeons & Dragons.
And why reflexively assume that their reaction to those topics being raised would be "oh noes! I iz traumatized *flounce*"? Why not allow them to roleplay characters that will enable them to get some cathartic revenge on their real-life tormentors? Most D&D players, at least once in their youth, got picked on by a school bully or something, and then later vividly imagined that bully's face superimposed onto the skull of an orc which they were cleaving in half. That's a big chunk of what this style of gaming is all about. Why assume it wouldn't work for a more severe subject? Sensitive handling is necessary, to be sure, but how will GMs get better at such sensitivity, if they're denied the opportunity to practice, or discuss techniques?

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Re: Mature games topic moved to Black Pudding

Post by Ashtagon » Thu May 26, 2016 6:49 pm

willpell wrote:
Willpell's incidental mention of F.A.T.A.L., which is apparently a stupid rpg with very inappropriate sexual content of which I knew nothing, was relevant to the topic, IMHO, and he also clearly wrote the mentioned rpg is just crap.
For further context, it not only had said inappropriate content, but also an excruciatingly overcomplected rules set, which had you roll on tables to determine virtually every physical measurement of your character's body, and was filled with obnoxiously racist magic items and the like. While sort of magnificent in its own horrendous fashion, it was definitely not what my thread was meant to be about.
If the topic was focused on the rules of fatal (as opposed to that game's typical subject matter), I don't think there would have been a problem. But it was clear then and is now that this is not where you wanted discussion to be going.
- I do not like to use too much difficult themes in rpg, normally, but violence is certainly present in life and in all rpg so I do not see why a topic about mature themes in rpg should be subject to preventive banning, which is de-facto censorship.
RPGs in general are all about violence. D&D players routinely butcher orcs; arguably orcs only even exist for the sake of being butchered. You ask me, that's way darker than just having the option to have sexual violence exist in an RPG context.
I would like to refer you to the reasons given way back then as to why rape is fundamentally different from killing as a subject matter. Unless you live like a hermit, chances are high that every month, you interact with 2-3 people who have been raped, or are close to someone who has been raped. As high as the US murder rate is, even there, you are less likely to interact with someone who is close to someone who has been murdered. In other countries, that gap is even more striking.

You can read the original discussion here: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=6678
Ashtagon wrote:I don't think that thread was necessarily about trolling (or the opposite). However, it was clear that nothing useful could come of that thread.
I have a huge problem with you making a judgment like that. It's a clear overreach of your bounds as administrator of a forum for public discussion, to say "I don't want this topic discussed, at all, ever".
Making decisions about what topics are appropriate for a forum is exactly what a forum owner should be doing. If you have a problem with a forum owner making such judgement calls, then no forum, anywhere, is suitable for you to be a member of. The sole exception to this would be the forum you run yourself.

If you want to run a forum yourself, you might be interested in this site: https://www.proboards.com/
I had previously said that discussion of rape-based RPGs are simply not a direction I want this site to go in. It was quite clear by context that discussion of games aside from "fatal" that incorporate that as a theme were being solicited.
You are absolutely mistaken. I was asking for more books like Shoah, not more books like Fatal. (I certainly wouldn't be bothered if someone pointed me toward more works like Fatal, but that would be more appropriate to do by private message; the point of a public discussion was to talk about Important Works, not just ones that I might have a personal interest in laughing at.)
I apologise for that then. Nonetheless, you raised it as a subject in a thread about mature topics, and then did not ask people not to follow up with similar material to it. That effectively left an invitation open to talk about it.
I should note that it has previously been confirmed twice (possibly more) that rape, while it certainly exists in the real world and there are RPGs that deal with it (mostly insensitively), is not a topic that I consider suitable for this site.
If no-one is allowed to discuss the topic, then how do you expect that it's ever going to be dealt with in any way other than insensitively? If you want society's understanding to mature, then you have to allow it to be studied and understood. Fewer people would make jokes about it, if they'd ever been exposed to the grim realities of the matter.
"Getting society to mature" is not part of my mission remit for this site. "Encouraging young people to join the hobby" is. Discussion of rape does not help the mission remit, no matter how noble the intentions are in terms of getting society to mature. In fact, I firmly believe that given the current state of society, such topics actively hurt the gaming industry. Not to mention that it may end up creating a link in some peoples minds between tabletop RPGs and that other type of RPG (the one that happens between consenting adults, and which is also not a fit topic for this site).
It must be told. But there's no requirement that it must be told here.
If not here, then where? If not know, then when? There's never going to be an "appropriate" time and place to confront the leaders of our society about the crimes they've engaged in while protected by the shield of law. Rebellion against unjust authority is by definition a criminal act; that doesn't make it morally wrong.

If your attitude toward these uncomfortable topics was "please don't ruin my fun", then the correct solution would be to create a new sub-board, a "no fun zone", similar to the Controversy section at Goblins forum, with a "you must be at least this mature to enter" sign at the door. But instead, you're taking a very draconian "this is not okay" stance, and I find that extremely disturbing on both a personal level and a societal one. This is not the Make Ashtagon Happy forum. This is the last redoubt of the refugees from the Wizards Community; if we are denied sanctuary here, where else can we make our stand? The health of the populace is what matters, not your own personal sensibilities; if you are not comfortable with that responsibility, then perhaps you should pass the crown.
I have no problem with these topics being discussed, but elsewhere. Not here. I choose not to host discussions of sex or real-world political issues (and the holocaust is a political issue) because that is not what this site is supposed to be about. If you want to talk about those topics, talk about it elsewhere. Not here.

And no, I will not make a "sub-board" to enable discussion of sex or politics, since those are not topics I want to host on my site, ever. Similarly, I will not create the hidden board for high-post-count members to allow discussion of warez, which you also requested privately some time ago. This is about what kind of site I want to run.

Now, if you want to run a forum where sex and politics can be freely discussed, go right ahead. I even signposted a site for you that may host it (but check their T&Cs).
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Re: Mature games topic moved to Black Pudding

Post by willpell » Thu May 26, 2016 8:13 pm

Ashtagon wrote:Now, if you want to run a forum where sex and politics can be freely discussed, go right ahead. I even signposted a site for you that may host it (but check their T&Cs).
Yeah, those T&C's are completely unacceptable. If you were to blame the T&C of whatever host you're using for the inability to allow "defamatory" comment, that would shift the nature of my objection. But ultimately, what I need is the ability to take sole responsibility for my absolute defiance of ANY outside hegemonic authority over my free speech, and that of others which I would facilitate. And I think it is no coincidence that you pretty much can't get such a thing anywhere on the Internet (particularly not for free). This is a whole wild new frontier, and its robber barons aren't about to loosen their iron grip.

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Re: Mature games topic moved to Black Pudding

Post by Ashtagon » Thu May 26, 2016 8:43 pm

Given that, as you say, such a thing can't be had for free or for money on the internet, why do you expect me to be able (and willing!) to provide it?
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Re: Mature games topic moved to Black Pudding

Post by willpell » Thu May 26, 2016 9:07 pm

Ashtagon wrote:Given that, as you say, such a thing can't be had for free or for money on the internet, why do you expect me to be able (and willing!) to provide it?
The same way a mother expects someone to be able to help her provide for her baby, despite repeated failure to succeed in persuading passing strangers to give her the money they need to survive. Realistically recognizing that I won't get what I want and need does not stop me from being driven to demand it; I simply have no choice but to do anything I can, however ineffectual, to get the only thing I need to retain my sanity.

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Re: Mature games topic moved to Black Pudding

Post by Big Mac » Thu May 26, 2016 9:14 pm

willpell wrote:
Ashtagon wrote:Given that, as you say, such a thing can't be had for free or for money on the internet, why do you expect me to be able (and willing!) to provide it?
The same way a mother expects someone to be able to help her provide for her baby, despite repeated failure to succeed in persuading passing strangers to give her the money they need to survive. Realistically recognizing that I won't get what I want and need does not stop me from being driven to demand it; I simply have no choice but to do anything I can, however ineffectual, to get the only thing I need to retain my sanity.
I fail to see how your desire to discuss the holocaust and rape in a community where the owner does not want those things discussed has any relationship to a mother trying to feed a baby. :roll:
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Re: Mature games topic moved to Black Pudding

Post by willpell » Thu May 26, 2016 9:21 pm

Big Mac wrote:
willpell wrote:
Ashtagon wrote:Given that, as you say, such a thing can't be had for free or for money on the internet, why do you expect me to be able (and willing!) to provide it?
The same way a mother expects someone to be able to help her provide for her baby, despite repeated failure to succeed in persuading passing strangers to give her the money they need to survive. Realistically recognizing that I won't get what I want and need does not stop me from being driven to demand it; I simply have no choice but to do anything I can, however ineffectual, to get the only thing I need to retain my sanity.
I fail to see how your desire to discuss the holocaust and rape in a community where the owner does not want those things discussed has any relationship to a mother trying to feed a baby. :roll:
The baby's life is the most important thing in the world to the mother. Absolute freedom of speech is the most important thing in the world to me. In neither case is it an objective fact; the only difference is that the mother can find more people whose opinion agrees with her own, because they share her biological hardwiring that compels them to reproduce their DNA, and do not share my intellectual sophistication. Said viewpoint enables me to discern that it is meaningless to reproduce your DNA, if you do not have the freedom to express the thoughts which the brain grown from your DNA thinks.

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Re: Mature games topic moved to Black Pudding

Post by Big Mac » Thu May 26, 2016 9:24 pm

willpell wrote:
Big Mac wrote:
willpell wrote:
Ashtagon wrote:Given that, as you say, such a thing can't be had for free or for money on the internet, why do you expect me to be able (and willing!) to provide it?
The same way a mother expects someone to be able to help her provide for her baby, despite repeated failure to succeed in persuading passing strangers to give her the money they need to survive. Realistically recognizing that I won't get what I want and need does not stop me from being driven to demand it; I simply have no choice but to do anything I can, however ineffectual, to get the only thing I need to retain my sanity.
I fail to see how your desire to discuss the holocaust and rape in a community where the owner does not want those things discussed has any relationship to a mother trying to feed a baby. :roll:
The baby's life is the most important thing in the world to the mother. Absolute freedom of speech is the most important thing in the world to me. In neither case is it an objective fact; the only difference is that the mother can find more people whose opinion agrees with her own, because they share her biological hardwiring that compels them to reproduce their DNA, and do not share my intellectual sophistication. Said viewpoint enables me to discern that it is meaningless to reproduce your DNA, if you do not have the freedom to express the thoughts which the brain grown from your DNA thinks.
And this somehow means that you have "no choice but to do anything you can" to discuss the holocaust and rape in a community where it is not appropriate to do so? :roll:
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Re: Mature games topic moved to Black Pudding

Post by Ashtagon » Thu May 26, 2016 9:28 pm

Regardless of your virtual reality motherhood and your existential baby, absolute freedom of speech is not something that will ever be offered here. I am bound by the same T&C (more or less; ) that you would find at any web-hosting site you might choose to use. Just as they do not grant me absolute freedom of speech, absolute freedom of speech is not something I could offer anyone visiting my site.
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Re: Mature games topic moved to Black Pudding

Post by willpell » Thu May 26, 2016 10:44 pm

Big Mac wrote:And this somehow means that you have "no choice but to do anything you can" to discuss the holocaust and rape in a community where it is not appropriate to do so? :roll:
It means that if I do not represent my need to speak, I am knuckling under to a tyrant. It doesn't matter how well-meaning the tyrant is; he must be opposed.
Ashtagon wrote:Regardless of your virtual reality motherhood and your existential baby, absolute freedom of speech is not something that will ever be offered here. I am bound by the same T&C (more or less; ) that you would find at any web-hosting site you might choose to use. Just as they do not grant me absolute freedom of speech, absolute freedom of speech is not something I could offer anyone visiting my site.
It's not that it's impossible. We could all make a pact that we're not going to assist the company in enforcing its unjust T&C. But of course you will not join me in such a pact, because I have not been successful in my effort to persuade you that you are wrong to believe the lies of the Establishment, which says that to discuss rape is to hurt women, and to tear out a man's tongue is to help him become a better man. Well fine, you've made it clear that you're not listening, so I'll shut up for a while, until the hope that I might be able to win you over flickers back to life.

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Re: Mature games topic moved to Black Pudding

Post by Big Mac » Thu May 26, 2016 11:02 pm

Sturm wrote:I strongly disagree on sending threads to the black pudding on assumptions. It seems a "precrime" attitude which IMHO does not fit well with The Piazza's normally friendly environment.
Hi Sturm: This is addressed to you - not Willpell.

I'd just like to put it on record now, that the reason I took the decision to put those two topics into the Black Pudding was that a forum member had demonstrated the fact that, when asked to refrain from being offensive, they would fight back against the moderators and ignore the requests and escalate the situation.

The first was already locked and clearly offensive. The second was highly likely to go the way of the first topic and end up with the same person demanding that their right to be offensive was more important than the moderators rights to look after the interest of The Piazza and try to ensure that members and non-members browsing The Piazza did not see unplesant conversations about the holocaust and/or rape. (And you did agree with me that rape is offensive, even if you didn't agree with me, for reasons I'm not sure of, that discussions of the holocaust was offensive.)

I locked the second topic on the grounds of "nip this in the bud, before we get more complaints and have to have another moderator discussion about a possible suspension of a member's account and/or a ban of that member's account".

And now, the member you were defending is arguing with the moderators and insulting the owner of this forum...and, despite a private PM from me asking him to avoid making offensive posts here, is demanding to be able to talk about anything he likes, even if the moderators ask him not to.

If he does not back down, this is only going to end one way. And that's not down to us (or you).

I'm hoping that he will back down, and agree to respect the wishes of Ashtagon, but I doubt that he is going to be reasonable.
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Re: Mature games topic moved to Black Pudding

Post by willpell » Thu May 26, 2016 11:13 pm

Big Mac wrote:I'm hoping that he will back down, and agree to respect the wishes of Ashtagon, but I doubt that he is going to be reasonable.
Why do you get to define what's reasonable? I don't think the way that you and Ashtagon are reacting to my wish to discuss these topics is a reasonable reaction, even according to your own stated principles. I've already "backed down", but only because Ashtagon has managed to point out that the decision is not entirely her own.

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Re: Mature games topic moved to Black Pudding

Post by Ashtagon » Thu May 26, 2016 11:17 pm

@Willpell

As my position regarding free speech is established and you are aware of it, I am now going to put on my moderator hat.

This site exists to promote the RPG hobby. It specifically does not exist to talk about real-world issues of sex, politics, or religion. There is no first amendment (or whichever number it happens to be) right to freedom of speech that protects your speech here. Nor is there any anarchist-based right of free speech to come to another person's space (as this site is my space, except to the extent that I must comply with my webhost's T&Cs) and say what you will. In the context of anarchist-based freedoms, this is my house, so my rules. What is allowed here is based on what I believe is good for the RPG hobby as a whole, good for encouraging new people to enter the hobby, and yes, good for my personal comfort zone. In that sense, yes, I suppose it is the "Make Ashtagon Happy forum" as you put it. This is my home, and I like to be happy in it. Forum members are guests, but guests can outstay their welcome by being sufficiently annoying.

Should you ever claim a "free speech" defence for any of your posts here in future, you will be immediately and permanently banned. Absolute freedom of speech does not and never did exist on this site.

I don't make statements like the above lightly, but you have caused an inordinate amount of time to be spent doing not-fun things, when I could have been doing fun things. Not just for myself, but for the entire moderator team.
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Re: Mature games topic moved to Black Pudding

Post by willpell » Thu May 26, 2016 11:23 pm

Ashtagon wrote:Should you ever claim a "free speech" defence for any of your posts here in future, you will be immediately and permanently banned. Absolute freedom of speech does not and never did exist on this site.
Welp, that's the death sentence on my head right there. I absolutely cannot avoid discuss any topic, let alone that one, forever; a non-binding declaration of intent is the best I can do, and I am guaranteed to forget eventually, exactly as I did the last time this happened to me. You have just promised to "execute" me at a yet-to-be-determined future date; there is nothing left other than for me to get my affairs in order, certain in the knowledge that my time will come.

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Re: Mature games topic moved to Black Pudding

Post by Ashtagon » Thu May 26, 2016 11:24 pm

For the record, while certain things are outside my control in terms of what is or is not allowed here, the decision to ban discussions of real-world religion, politics, and sex is very much my own personal decision.
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Re: Mature games topic moved to Black Pudding

Post by Big Mac » Fri May 27, 2016 12:58 am

willpell wrote:
Ashtagon wrote:Should you ever claim a "free speech" defence for any of your posts here in future, you will be immediately and permanently banned. Absolute freedom of speech does not and never did exist on this site.
Welp, that's the death sentence on my head right there.
No it isn't. Neither Ashtagon nor the moderator team want to ban you from The Piazza. We simply want you to refrain from doing things that the moderators tell you that they don't want you to do.
willpell wrote:I absolutely cannot avoid discuss any topic, let alone that one, forever; a non-binding declaration of intent is the best I can do, and I am guaranteed to forget eventually, exactly as I did the last time this happened to me. You have just promised to "execute" me at a yet-to-be-determined future date; there is nothing left other than for me to get my affairs in order, certain in the knowledge that my time will come.
Yes you can avoid those topics.

This is a D&D forum, where discussion of non-D&D campaign settings and rules are also allowed. And we also have an off topic forum for discussing fun things like movies, comics, novels and other stuff.

There is absolutely no reason why you are "forced" to bring up unpalatable conversations including things like homosexuality, the holocaust rape and other stuff that Ashtagon has made clear she does not want you to discuss here.

You control what comes out of your mouth. And if you really really have a desire to go talk about those unsavoury things, go find some other online community, where they welcome that sort of talk and leave The Piazza for your gaming discussions.

If you listen to reason, stop fighting the moderators and stop coming up with foolish excuses to explain why you are entitled to ignore Ashtagon's requests and push on with behaviour you have been asked to stop, you can stay here until for as long as you want. It's really that simple. If a moderator asks you to stop, just stop and go do something else that's fun instead.

If you get banned from The Piazza, it is going to be because you choose to get yourself banned.
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Re: Mature games topic moved to Black Pudding

Post by Khedrac » Fri May 27, 2016 8:44 am

Willpell, something to think about:

You claim you have a right to discuss whatever you want to discuss, based on your "right of free speech".

A discussion involves multiple people talking, one person cannot have a discussion unless they have some form of multiple personality disorder.
This means you are stating that you have a right for other people to talk about what you want.
Excuse me, do we not have a right to free speech too? A 'right to free speech' means we have a right not to talk about things we don't want to.

At best, a right to free speech gives you the right to make a statement. You did that and it has been moved to the Black Pudding. It is still there, it hasn't been deleted, something you should probably be thanking the moderators for... Note: the right to free speech allows you to say something, it does not require that anyone else can hear it (or read it).

To be honest, I don't think anyone has "a right to free speech" regardless of what their country's legal system says. Any speech should be appropriate to the occasion; this is not to say that there is not a time to discuss uncomfortable matters, but that the time and place may not be here and now.
For example a primary school science lesson is not the place to discuss how the romance languages evolved from Latin. If the person overseeing the lesson did not stop such a discussion disrupting the lesson they would be in severe dereliction of their duties. (If they could work the discussion into kiddy science then they need a big pay rise and probably a different job.)
Equally if you are in someone's private home you should respect their wishes as their guest. If you don't, you can expect never to be invited back or even the police being called to evict you (think the Lanky B****'s worst gaming story). Consider this forum a private place where we have been invited in to come and talk - we are guests and should remember that.

So, don't claim that your "right of free speech" impels you to say something. For one thing it doesn't (as other have said above, it is your choice to say something, if anything your right gives you the option of not saying something); and for another it gives you the right to say what you want somewhere, but not necessarily here.
And definitely don't claim the right to hold a discussion - that you simply do not have, unless you want to deny everyone else the rights you claim for yourself.

@Willpell

Please do not reply to this post. If you think someone is baiting you into triggering a ban, please report their posts.

@Everyone else

Please help Willpell not get banned by not engaging him in topics that relate to freedom of speech.
"If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it might just be a crow".

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Re: Mature games topic moved to Black Pudding

Post by Sturm » Fri May 27, 2016 9:59 am

Big Mac wrote: Hi Sturm: This is addressed to you - not Willpell.

I locked the second topic on the grounds of "nip this in the bud, before we get more complaints and have to have another moderator discussion about a possible suspension of a member's account and/or a ban of that member's account"..
That's the huge problem I see.
Teachers in kindergartens sometimes do this when they say "You are not allowed to use the ball anymore because we know you're gonna hit other kids with it". That's hardly a reasonable rule among adults and I also believe is not good education toward the "guilty" kid.
You are locking the "criminal" BEFORE he actually commited the crime. That is not fair.
I'm the Minority Report here. I'm telling you I think he was not going to commit the crime. You should really revise your decision. Communities do not "punish" people on the expectation they will commit the crime. Only tyrannies do this. Ask yourself what kind of government you want as the inspiration for this forum.

Let me explain better, with actual examples:
EXAMPLE 1 - I post a thread about the holocaust. That's against forum rules, because off-topic, even if I personally believe that speaking more about the subject would be always useful to educate people. I should not do this and any such topic could be rightfully eliminated by the moderators, as per forum rules. I agree that if a user do not like such a rule, he is free to leave and discuss these topics elsewhere.
EXAMPLE 2 - I post a thread about a game in which you play the manager of a prison camp who has to find efficent ways to kill prisoners in large numbers. That's awful, insensitive and stupid, and probably just a way to circumvent the rules above, so the moderators have every right to close the topic.
EXAMPLE 3 - I post a thread mentioning a rpg adventure set in 1945 where you play a group of people who is trying to track and arrest nazi criminals of war. This is not a fun game in the sense of light-hearted fun, but is a game nevertheless which has the same dignity as a tragedy or a horror movie. Some gamers would not like such a game, but others will find it catarthic, maybe particularly so if they are Jews. There is no reason to ban such topics. If you start to ban any similar topic, this forum will quickly become more strict and heavily controlled than any other existing rpg forum.

Now, read the OP carefully. It was Example 3, not Example 2.
The Mature games thread was not against forum guidelines and there was no reason to lock and trash it.
I am willing to bet willpell could have posted it as it is in any existing rpg forum without raising a mod's eyebrow.
Probably if any other user would have posted it, you would only have posted a moderator warning, or maybe not even that.

You locked it on the assumption that the user was posting something that looked like Example 3 but was really trying to go into Example 2 territory. Your assumption however was not fair and was obviously going to incite a strong reaction from willpell. That's hardly a good way to encourage the user to respect forum rules, if you are going to "punish" him anyway before he actually breaks them...

That said, I think that's all on my part.
Either you and Ashtagon are willing to consider that your judgment on willpell's thread in this case was a bit rash or you are not.
In general, I think the work you and Ashtagon do for the forum cannot be praised enough so please understand that should I have to "choose" between you and willpell, I'd choose you, but still I'd like to hope this forum could also be more lenient toward potentially problematic threads.
BUT
@willpell
if you are willing to hear a friendly advice, you should really consider the fact that being logically right will not help you much if you are not willing to compromise with other people. Also being provocative and argumentative, even if you do that because of your love of the Truth, will not help you win any friend. If you try to see and understand other people's perspectives, it's more likely they will be willing to hear you.
Absolute free speech and off-topic threads could only lead to a forum being swamped by spammers, troll and flame wars. It's understandable Ashtagon will not want this. Almost all users here have found a way to post freely on many topics and still abide to forum guidelines. It's not really difficult to do so, if you are willing to do it.
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