Friday, August 12, 2016

Dealing With the Converged: Step 2 - Choke Them Out

Step 1 is easy because it is something that you can do on your own, so you can do it as you like and on your schedule. Step 2 is where it gets difficult. No, not because of any serious external challenge, but simply due to the tedium involved in keeping up a long-term persistent effort. I compared this to a siege for a reason, and this long-term haul of tedium is where the novelty wears off and a lot of people drop off here.

You need your alternatives to make this work, and your alternatives need to be more than hot-swap replacements for converged stuff. As the saying goes, you can't solve the problem with the same level of thinking that caused it. So it goes for dealing with converged entities.

Let's move this into something folks can act upon. We're talking about tabletop RPGs, especially D&D, in terms of both the hobby culture and the businesses that serve it. Convergence involves centralization of influence and control. The hobby is inherently decentralized; each table is an island unto itself, and need neither a stream of "official" product nor the walled garden of forums to be healthy and full of creative fun. Thus, to choke out the converged, emphasis upon decentralization is my suggested theme to you.

Decentralization is how you win here, but what does that mean?

  • The end of Organized Play campaigns and the influence they exert on the hobby. Each table is its own thing and rules itself.
  • The end of officialdom: no more "official modules", no more endless product releases, no more catering to passive-minded people.
  • The return of Tinkerdom: more homebrewed content, rulings over rulesets, player-created stuff shared online via blogs and similar outlets.
  • The end of giving attention to conventions, publishers, etc. like they're actually better at this than you. No, they're not, including the "professionals"; no one actually competent at game design makes a living in tabletop RPGs, so you really are no better than Mike Mearls or Chris Pramas by default- and if you actually know what probability is and how to model it in a form that a tabletop RPG can handle, you ARE better than those two (and damn near every other "professional" in tabletop RPGs). No one needs these or them to play tabletop RPGs.
  • The end of giving these SJWs anything other than the gas face. You don't have to let them play at your table. You don't have to go along with their insanity. You don't have to give them your money (the rules for many D&D editions are free online, and legit to bookmark or download). You can play, for free, forever, with whomever you like and however you all can agree upon. You don't have to any SJW bullshit.

What does this look like? A much quieter scene. You're playing the table's campaign as the game, and not whatever rules are used; think "I play Greyhawk." or "I play New Model Colony." (the latter being my campaign) than "I play D&D." As each table is its own thing, each table's rules and rulings are different, much as the city-states of old were separate and distinct from one-another even if there were some broad similarities among them.

If you need a pop-culture reference, then think of that episode of The Simpsons when the mascots animated. Just deny the converged your time, your money, and--most important--your attention. That's why this is tedious; it takes time--significant time--for this shunning to have that desired effect. That's why many successful anti-convergence moves use this as an opportunity to refine and present alternatives, so as to speed up the process while maintaining morale, because it takes that attention and puts it to something useful to the choke-out effort.

So, really, what this amounts to is realizing that--more than most--the SJWs in TRPGs really do rely on you not realizing that they are utterly dependent upon you and you don't need them at all. Cut them off, and keep them cut off by showing everyone just how pointless they are; the Eye of Normie will make them wither, and normal business phenomena will finish the job. Once the converged collapse, salt those ruins so nothing grows again. Tabletop RPGs should never have been more than a tinkering hobby game, and that's how you save this brilliant medium of entertainment from the death cult- by casting off an irrelevant edifice.

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