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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Tenkar's Tavern - A designated Neutral Ground



You know I don't discuss politics at The Tavern nor allow it at The Tavern's Facebook Community as my attitude is no good can come of it.

Others have no such qualms and even went as far as to circulate a letter in the days before the election, signed by hundreds in the industry - not just encouraging one to vote but telling one how to vote. Sadly, the divide and conquer effort continues.

Gaming is supposed to be above such concerns. Much like real life religion, politics is emotional and those with strong feelings are often unwilling or unable to accept differing views of others. It separates folks and and by its very nature encourages people take sides. Just like PC vs. PC infighting can lead to the end of a campaign if not the gaming group itself, excessive politicking and shaming (bullying if you will) has the potential of harming the gaming hobby. A hobby that by its very nature is inclusive, not exclusive.

Better minds than myself got together to start #GamersForGamers+Frank Mentzer , +Benoist PoirĂ© , +Alex Karaczun and others are the driving force behind Gamers For Gamers. An effort to bring the gaming hobby together, not leave it divided and fractured. An effort spearheaded from all sides of the political spectrum.

I support this effort.

As such, Tenkar's Tavern (the blog) and Tenkar's Tavern (the FaceBook Group) are hereby designated Neutral Ground. Everyone is welcome, so long as you leave your biases outside. Think of it as Common Ground, if you will, where we embrace that which brings us together instead of that which divides us.

I don't know about you, but gaming is my escape from real world worries. No judgement. Just gaming and gaming discussions and gaming pics and all of that sweet stuff. Its what we have in common.

I mean, where else can I talk about my 6th Level Dwarven Cleric nearly single handedly took down the level 15 DM PC and didnt even get any fat loot. Damn it!

32 comments:

  1. Thumbs up!

    Let’s knock it off people and play some games together!

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  2. My local group consists of a very liberal player, a very conservative player, a moderate, a libertarian, and a non-political. We all agreed months ago not to talk politics at the table and though we've had to have a few reminders, it has made for a more peaceful, enjoyable, experience at the table. We forget about what divides us, and remember that the game and our love of it unites us.

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    1. My group is very similar. Except talking politics have always been part of the evening. In decades of gaming together we've never had a problem with it. I guess that's what happens, when it's adults at the table? Or maybe people who don't consider their option ' the one true way'You can disagree and still have a polite discussion.....

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    2. People behave orders of magnitude worse on the Internet than they do in real life. The fact that you and your friends can discuss these things peaceably in person is great, but it has no bearing on what would happen among a group of total strangers, many of whom are determined to be complete assholes because they know they can do it with impunity.

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    1. i, too, am curious as to the answer to Dyson's question.

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    2. I'm also curious Dyson? This does seem to sometimes have been a 'safe space' for that brand of politics.

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    3. I've never posted about SJ issues. If they came up in the comments, it was commenters going back and fourth. My Mod hand has been a light one.

      Going forward, I'll delete all pro and anti social justice comments. I'm not going to pick sides.

      I'm sure its not the answer desired, but it is the one I have

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. Umm... I'm not saying it's wrong. It's your blog Erik ... though I'd prefer less censorship as a general rule, rather than more.
    As long as the tone is civil why shouldn't politics(if it comes up naturally) be discussed?
    I don't disagree with neutral ground, but does that mean that one needs to weigh ones words?
    That's not a direction I'm really comfortable with ... :(
    Sometimes one can go too far to be PC or to be neutral and I think that line is really fine ...

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    1. I hope folks will censor themselves in truth.

      I've had to delete less than a dozen non-spam comments in 7 + years, over 6,200 posts and over 38,000 comments. Less than a dozen.

      Emotions are high this year. Political talk is sneaking in where it's not needed. I'm just being proactive in making the rules clear.

      I've allowed SJW comments in the past which have lead to anti-SJW comments which has lead to a feeling of persecution for the original commenter (they felt attacked and probably were) - I mentioned above how I will deal with that.

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  6. "There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin." -- Linus Van Pelt

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  7. Thank you for the sanity Tenkar. I feel strongly about politics and my hobbies, but I keep them separated as best I can.

    When things start to divide communities, I want no part of it. When its hobby time, I want to talk and read about hobby related matters, not politics. In other venues and at other times, I'm happy to engage in political discussions (and do frequently).

    Cheers to neutral ground!

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  8. It seems like removing comments praising inclusiveness will simply confirm people's suspicions about OSR.

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  9. I come here dor gaming insights, tips. And information. If i want politivs, i have other places for that. Its not censorship, its part of the rules fabic now. More often then not SJW issues yend to get hrated

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  10. It is unfortunate that Erik needs to patrol the Tavern in order to keep politics from getting in the way of gaming. But he is correct in saying that political discourse for many has become an exercise in voicing anger rather than a debate about how to best become the people and nation we aspire to be.

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    1. The Tavern has always been politics free, but in the current atmosphere I felt it needed to be stressed.

      Many sites have a no politics policy (ENWorld is a prominent one) although they have Circus Maximus for those that want to espouse politics, social justice and the likes. there are few rules at CM from what i recall.

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  11. Good to hear. I'm tired of political stuff. There are way more important things to discuss, like wayward kickstarters and the latest releases from Sine Nomine, Frog God, and Barrel Rider Games.

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  12. There's no need to discuss politics anymore. We're all horribly doomed when the Old Ones rise from their abyssal tombs; doomed I say!

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  13. Good for you, keep everything just gaming. We don't need bullshit in gaming from personal life. I don't allow personal stuff in gaming, we are at the table to kill monsters, not debate and date each other.

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  14. And all this time, I'd been wondering what the fuss was about, because I thought SJ stood for Steve Jackson.

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    1. I've been a Steve Jackson Warrior for like thirty years...and now I find out that that acronym didn't mean what I thought it meant. Fuuuuuuuuuuu

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  15. I can still be biased against non-OSR games, though, right?

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  16. I am 100% for this. To be fair, I keep my political rants to Facebook, where the majority of my friends and "facebook friends" are either non-gamers or people for whom politics are a source of discussion via that platform. But for my Realms of Chirak blog (and places like Tenkar's Tavern) I refuse to post politics, and absolutely come here for gaming and only gaming. I start moving away from game spots that get political for that reason.

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  17. Very much in favor of the deletion of Political Comments. This is for gaming! That's why I like it here. I used to read the Kobold Press blog regularly up until they couldn't resist going Political a few years ago. I never went back and I'll do the same to any blog or site that does the same.

    Kudos Erik.

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  18. Unfortunately, dear Tenkar, there's no such thing as being above politics, not even in the gaming community. If you choose to ignore politics, what you're doing is just preserving the status quo, not allowing those who aren't being properly represented to have a place to speak for themselves (and if you're comfortable with the current situation, you're not one of them).

    Ex: there are still today, many cases of illustration in fantasy gaming and comics of women using the "chainmail bikini". Up to 5 years ago, it was extremely hard to find an illustration for a black character, etc. Wotc, for an exemplo, took the decision to not translate the 5e to any other language, excluding any gamer who doesn't speak english (wich, in countries like mine, are usually the poorer players). Gaming is not above politics and ideology at all.

    I know important topics like these disappear when the discussion is "vote for my candidate, yours sucks", but there is no safe way to trace a limit line.

    I hope my comment is useful and you don't take it as exactly what you're trying to avoid. cheers

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    1. There is certainly a place for conversations of politics and the like in gaming, however The Tavern, both blog and Facebook community, are not the place. I can make that decision.

      It has nothing to do with preserving the status quo and everything to do with keeping gaming discussions on gaming.

      Not every field is a battlefield. Neutral Ground in exactly what it states on the tin.

      Fight the battles elsewhere.

      I hope my you understand my stance even if you don't agree with it.

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  19. What I do in the toilet I don't do in the kitchen. I pick my battlefields but need a place to rest, too. My gaming room or table, at least, will remain Neutral Ground. :)

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  20. http://www.theevildm.com/2016/11/the-orangelist-aka-richard-t-balsley.html

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  21. There is no neutral ground. Not one ONE side, and only one, has been trying for the last several years now to control and censor our hobby. To blacklist, ban, slander and otherwise attack game designers for having the wrong identity-politics views.

    Now, the shoe is on the other foot.


    http://therpgpundit.blogspot.com/2016/11/final-notice-for-all-regressive-left.html

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