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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Kickstarter - Support LGBT Rights & Help Create Our PC-RPG Game! (The Issues Have Little to do with the Issue)

Let me get this said right out of the gate - the issues with this Kickstarter have little to do with the issues that the project creator is attempting to address - and yet it has everything to do with how he is trying to address it. Confusing, right?



How many gamers, RPG or otherwise, are looking for a love story in their game? Probably not many. Or to be more precise, a love story based on the title of this kickstarter - "Support LGBT Rights & Help Create Our PC-RPG Game!"

Do you want to know the name of the actual game?

"The Seven Sages of the Bamboo Groves" Game - A Story of Love & War in Ancient China..."

Now THAT sells. Love AND war? Cool.

Folks that play computer games play them to have fun. I can't think of many that play them to support certain issues (although some may avoid certain titles if they feel they are associated with certain social issues - I've never purchased a GTA game although I've seen the gameplay - blowing away cops is not a storyline I'd personally enjoy)



Now this Kickstarter has 9 days to go and it's raised approximately 1% of it's goal 50K Canadian. Why? Because it put social issues before the game. I strongly suspect if it were a project named "The Seven Sages of the Bamboo Groves" Game - A Story of Love & War in Ancient China... "it would have significantly more backing. Maybe not enough to fund, but more than 1% of goal.


It almost feels like they want this project to fund based solely on folks backing it for a social issue and not for what the game itself presents, which if you read the Kickstarter page, looks like it could be a fun PC RPG to play. Sadly, as a vehicle to support LBGT rights or as an RPG, this Kickstarter has failed coming out of the gate. It's a shame.

Now, when you get to the risks and challenges you are told you are funding a playable demo, which really isn't what was being sold. Then again, I'm not sure what was actually being sold.



Ah well. I'm sure they will try again. Maybe the next time they will present it as a fun game to play FIRST as well as a game that addresses certain social issues that have become important in our time.




12 comments:

  1. Inviting your LGBTQ friends (or making some) to your old school RPG does a hell of a lot more than supporting an idealistic Kickstarter with no clear message.

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    1. Indeed. Turning an existing RPG into one that supports LGBT equality is basically zero effort - it has much more to do with the people at the table than the books and dice.

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    2. Right on, nothing keeps you from being welcoming to anyone and everyone except your own preconceptions.

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  2. I'm guessing these guys also fumbled the marketing on this. "Let's be inclusive!" doesn't sell. "Those bastards are evil!" however, does. If this game had gotten itself embroiled in the whole Gamergate slapfight, they might have made their goals. As it is, they were too polite.

    They might have thought they were tapping into an underserved market (and were apparently wrong). But if you want to really milk the controversy, you need to go "full-frontal Raggi" with something like this. Being polite won't do it.

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  3. Are you required to play a gay character? If not, then it's not even what they describe in the bold print. I don't play video games so I don't know if other games only allow you to be straight. Is this a niche waiting to be filled?

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    1. I think it is becoming pretty common in games, Mass Effect, Fallout, hell most of the sandbox open world Video games allow you to play LGBT characters or have LGBT characters in the stories usually in favorable light. I think this game failed because it's...to late?

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  4. Anybody is welcome to play a gay character in any game I run. I don't care at all. However, I frown on attempts to inject romance or sex of any kind into my gaming sessions. Save it for between sessions, please.

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    1. Does carousing feature in your games then?

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    2. Carousing is one of the things that happens between sessions. I'm not going to sit at the table and narrate, "You're so drunk... now you've even drunker... oops you vomited." I have better things to do with my time than that.

      If it were somehow absolutely necessary that sex occur during a session, I wouldn't be graphic about it; that would just be embarrassing for all concerned. I'm not running F.A.T.A.L.

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    3. Well, carousing happens during my games. Not the characters. The players. :-)

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  5. Looks like your mention here garnered them a whopping $19 in additional backing. :-)

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  6. I well and truly support those causes, but I don't see any point to making a game to directly pigeonhole those issues into a game. I remember LGBT characters being spelled out directly in White Wolf games in the 90s, so they don't even have that going for then.

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