Saturday, June 23, 2018

To Succeed In Worlds Real and Virtual: See Reality AS IT IS!

It's Saturday. Who wants some irony?

When I got word that Ivan Throne got deplatformed from Twitter hours after hitting 13K Followers, I had to laugh. I did not need to read Ivan's next email to know what the motivation for the move was, or that the excuse was the use of Schrondinger's Rules to make an account clearly dead. He got deplatformed for the same reason that Milo Yiannopoulous and Vox Day got deplatformed: he gainsayed the SJW Narrative, did so early and often, and acquired an audience strong enough that he could not be ignored anymore.

Not that it matters. Ivan's anti-fragile, as his site makes quite clear. He's fine.

I mention this because there a thing I like about Ivan, and those he routinely associates with: They insist upon dealing with reality as it is. No should haves, could haves, would haves- none of that. Only as it is, regardless of how they feel about it. They see things as they are, decide what to do about it, and then get on with doing it. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Proper, real, authentic D&D operates on the same principle.

Remember that one phrase that encapsulates real D&D: "What do you do? That is the call to deal with the situation as it is, not as you or your man wishes it were- which is exactly was Narrative Storytelling Bullshit (i.e. The Feels Trip) is about and does in play.

Before those damned Dragonlance modules and the novels that accompanied them began the degradation in earnest, the wargame ethos--which is the same principle--demanded that you play this way. (Why else would warfare be based on deception? To make you think that reality is not what it is; "gaslighting" is older than dirt.) You had to work within the constraints at hand. Didn't pack that wand? Too bad. Didn't notice those orcs circling around to flank you? Not my problem. Accidentally fireballed your own side? You dun goofed. Run into something you can't handle? Can't escape? Sucks to be Hapless Adventurer's Corpse #42; now roll 3d6 in order and get on with it.

You're expected to get better at the game, because this is a game and games have win and loss conditions. This requires that you get clear information on how you fucked up so that you know why you fucked up, and then go about fixing what you did wrong so that you do not fuck up the same way twice. Feels Trips don't do this; you magically go "Could Woulda Shoulda!" and POOF! the Narrative shifts so that something Mary Sueish happens instead ("consequences" without teeth that only enforce Suedom)- and that assumes that results have any connection by merit to gameplay. (Narrator: They often do not.)

Fake D&D does its best to deny the necessity to deal with the reality of the situation as it is. Metagame mechanics of all sorts, official and otherwise, foster this delusional paradigm. Muh Storytelling inevitably demands that you go to the point where nothing you or your man does matters, so long as it contradicts Muh Narrative. All within the Narrative; none without the Narrative. It's Commie through and through, as one expects from a paradigm inspired by a political philosophy written by an utterly incompetent con-man.

Fake D&D is all about the denial of reality, and demand that the world change to confirm to your desires Because Reasons, which means that since denying reality always ends in delusions like "D&D is what I want it to be!". They wonder why the gamers that made the game profitable and influential drop the game like the zombie it's become (one in the head, two in the chest) and walk away to find (or make) a real game to play.

Real D&D recognizes a simple truth: Gaming is a hobby that demands active participation. If you don't play, you're not one of us. Git Gud or Get The Fuck Out.

You don't have to be an expert out of the gate, but you do have to have a commitment to improve yourself every step of the way- be it as a player or as a Game Master. You don't shame the guy showing that commitment; you cheer that guy on, honor his effort, and as he is willing to learn teach him what he needs to know and show him how it's done.

Ivan, I'm sure, would recognize that ethic- as would his allies. It is this ethic--this commitment to deal with reality as it is, and build up others ability to do so--that Fake D&D hates and destroys as surely as SJWs and Leftists hate and destroy the same in real life. Same process, same motivations, same solutions.

This is why the SJWs in tabletop gaming came at it to begin with: it held, and holds, cultural influence far disproportionate to its actual presence. The unquestionably masculine--authentically masculine--quality derived from its wargame origins gave boys that otherwise had no route to manhood a way to get there. The early generation, before the first attacks and the internal warfare that led to Gary Gygax's ouster, turned out well enough overall; the "gamers are losers" thing came after that, when the pozzing began, and now the generation raised in that poisoned environment are now in control of the legacy companies.

And they're failing.

Not that trying to turn the game into a lifestyle brand wasn't tried before. Even Gary made this mistake, because That's How Things Were Done then. Gamers didn't go for it; the kids--that would be my cohort--who came into it with the Basic sets of 1981 and 1983 were the targets (but we already had far more appealing options, so chose those). But once those attempts marked out as failures, they got cut fast. Only the novels had any purchase, and even then they soon outstayed their welcome; the novel trade was a big reason for TSR's demise. Gamers want to game, not read or watch or whatever.

You misspelled "Deliberately and arbitrarily changed to suit a fucking retarded conception of what the business is."

Put another way, the changes made over time are exhibitions of a persistent failure to see reality as it is in favor of some fake idea of what it should be. Ryan Dancey's production of D&D's 3rd edition was the closest the game's business got to that ruthless ideal, and even he cucked in the end. (But not before he snookered the moneybags into allowing the Open Gaming License.) Good thing he's more involved in poker now; it's a better use of your money than tabletop gaming's legacy business bullshit anyway.

And, as we've seen, this delusional mindset has done nothing but make things worse--for D&D, for TRPGs, for the hobby--as those steeped in the first round of dazzling bullshit took over the reigns and decided that Feels Trump Reals. The ramping of D&D as a lifestyle brand found its genesis then--what is a futile ad campaign attacking World of Warcraft but "D&D as Identity Brand"--and now those gamers who would play properly either use competing media alternatives or (increasingly) independent TRPG alternatives (i.e. the Old School Renaissance).

Because no one sane wants to associate with a delusional mob that riots over a condiment- or those that would, like Fake D&D.

As Ivan would say (and, I think, appreciate), look well oh wolves! Few understand this. (But those who do, well...)

1 comment:

  1. Bradford,
    A deep article about how ordered appetites and passions conform to reality and lead to a healthy life.
    OK nitwit question of the century
    How does ordered passions and appetites help you become a better D&D player?
    The 1 conclusion I sorta get is that it's OK to be a n00b but to be better you need to
    A) learn the rules and abide by them
    B) it'seems OK to lose games and screw up but go back reflect on what you did wrong and try again
    C) help others to improve because you improve and makes you a stand up guy that fellow player will respect.
    As an aside I wonder if following this steps can help moderate the so-called gamma tendency in most contemporary boys?
    I suspect the gamma problem stems precisely from disordered passions but i'm not sure which passions



Anonymous comments are banned. Pick a name, and "Unknown" (et. al.) doesn't count.