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Thursday, March 7, 2019

The Kotaku Article Dropped - Gail Fluff Piece with No Fact Checking

https://kotaku.com/graphic-novel-about-d-ds-creator-is-enchanting-but-fal-1795058665
A quote from our Intrepid Reporter


When an article’s subject, Gail Gygax, reaches out to a website to get a fluff piece written about her and instead I suspect most readers feel sympathy for Gail. Not because she is a victim, but because she appears to have mental health issues. I've suspected such but this article provides much of the evidence.

Of course, Our intrepid reporter doesn't no shit from fact-checking. Here's my small piece from the article: Fantasy's Widow: The Fight Over The Legacy Of Dungeons & Dragons
  https://kotaku.com/fantasys-widow-the-fight-over-the-legacy-of-dungeons-1833127876
Gail used to attend the show (Gary Con), but stopped in 2016 (I saw Gail in attendance at my first Gary Con in 2017.) She said that a man named Erik Tenkar, who runs a blog about old-school role-playing games, had in private conversations joked that Gail would try to trademark the word “cunt,” and that he would burn the rubber bricks she’d use for her memorial. (Let me understand this - Gail is the one supplying the quotes. From some unknown private conversation with who exactly? No wonder there are no screenshots. No wonder I don't recall saying any of this. Great reporting. Someone got paid to write this shit?) In his public blogs, he had meticulously documented, and often criticized, Gail’s every public move on behalf of Gary’s legacy. (Negative. I reported on the Gygax Memorial Fund. I documented evidence to support my postings. Any of that in this story? Mind you, story is the keyword here) Gail said she planned on attending the VIP dinner at Gary Con until Luke told her that she would not be comfortable there since Tenkar would be in attendance. (I have never been a VIP at Gary Con, nor have I attended a VIP dinner nor been invited to such 
Later, on his blog, Tenkar wrote in an open letter to Gail that “the attendies [sic] of Gary Con are pretty negative about your presence.” I reached out to Tenkar to ask about his views. He declined to be interviewed for this story, then posted our entire email exchange on his blog. (yes, I did. Got your knickers in a bind, diidnt it?) When Kotaku sent another email to Tenkar for fact-checking, he did not respond, but posted that email on his blog, too. (Yes, I did. And your implied threat) Tenkar continues to attend Gary Con, and Gail said she is still afraid to be around him. (with the apparent state of mind the article shows Gail to be in, she seems to have many fears)

Let's be clear, none of the Gygax children, not even Alex, agreed to be interviewed for this article. As of yesterday evening, our intrepid reporter was still seeking to interview members of the OSR community to flesh out this article.

I feel bad for Gail. She needs help and I hope this article results in her getting the help she needs. Let the memorial fade away. The community doesn't need it - we have Gary Con, a living memorial.

edit - it appears both jokes were said by me - I answered in the comments, but I'll repeat it here for clarity:

JRT - Welcome back. Its been a while.

Chatwing - technically, not said in private, as the entire conversation could be read from the blog’s home page at the time, live - no log in to the app required. So yes, I used the word publicly.

As I said prior, I certainly do use THE word. As this reference was clearly a joke and the context was obviously at the time made in reference to the fiasco surrounding GYGAX magazine, it was certainly made in jest. Perhaps not in good taste, but I own to making the joke and using THE word.

As for the burning of rubber bricks - that one I both own and do apologize for. It has context - the brick sale that still hasn’t happened for the memorial - but it is neither funny nor does in make sense.

In any case, If I knew then what I know now about Gail’s mental state, I would have advocated for her to get the help she needed and worried less about the GMF.

Hindsight is 20/20.

18 comments:

  1. I'll only make one comment.

    You did say this. I'm the one who had sent them to Gail. Back when you were on Chatwing you had an exchange with Jim Wampler and a few other folks and that's where you dropped the line. I actually reference that in my first comment on this page.

    http://www.tenkarstavern.com/2018/04/whats-10-years-old-and-losing-value.html

    Sadly, Chatwing and the original host for the shots no longer exist, but here they are on pasteboard.

    https://pasteboard.co/I4oAtdZ.png
    https://pasteboard.co/I4oAHwY.png

    In the post from last year, at least a few people saw them--including one deleted poster whom you chastized for directly quoting you using the term.

    I am guessing Cecillia decided there wasn't enough independently verifiable evidence to post the screen shots to Kotaku since she only had the images I provided Gail. That is responsible journalism. And of course, you can accuse me of faking the images, or delete this message, etc. But I think you outta just own up to this, since you don't seem to have a problem with the term.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JRT - Welcome back. Its been a while.

      Chatwing - technically, not said in private, as the entire conversation could be read from the blog’s home page at the time, live - no log in to the app required. So yes, I used the word publicly.

      As I said prior, I certainly do use THE word. As this reference was clearly a joke and the context was obviously at the time made in reference to the fiasco surrounding GYGAX magazine, it was certainly made in jest. Perhaps not in good taste, but I own to making the joke and using THE word.

      As for the burning of rubber bricks - that one I both own and do apologize for. It has context - the brick sale that still hasn’t happened for the memorial - but it is neither funny nor does in make sense.

      In any case, If I knew then what I know now about Gail’s mental state, I would have advocated for her to get the help she needed and worried less about the GMF.

      Hindsight is 20/20.

      Delete
  2. Yeah, that was a waste of 20 minutes reading that article. They only gave like a half paragraph to the memorial and its money troubles.

    Oh, and check the comments. You might want to add a screen shot of it to this.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Good podcast. I agree. Gail is... where she is. Best for all parties to simply move on, and hope that one day the kids can do what they want.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It looks like Cecilia flatters anyone who pats her on the head... she's totally misguided about at least one of those guys who "showed her around".
    - You're taking a lot of heat in the comments section over there. SJW's can't stand the C word...

    ReplyDelete
  5. A media outlet published a story stripped of inconvenient facts and passed through a biased filter rendering it fiction? Imagine my surprise!

    Remember this any time you consume news from... anywhere. Murray Gell-Mann Amnesia is real.

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  6. Sometimes I truly believe there is a curse on the Gygax family.

    ReplyDelete
  7. For some context of that comment of the article author, it was in regards to a review of a graphic novel about Gygax, Arneson and the beginnings of D&D. I was given that book as a gift and while I enjoyed it for the sake of nostalgia, found it somewhat lackluster.

    While it may seem heresy to us old school gamers, new generations of fans have embraced D&D without necessarily embracing how it was played by Gary. I get the feeling that was what the author was meaning.

    I don't think the article was a fluff piece. It gave me a perspective that I haven't been able to get in my years within the old school community, including two pilgramages to Garycon. I've always gotten the story of the Gygax family troubles from the view of Luke, Ernie, etc. The article humanized Gail, which isn't a bad thing. The 2017 author's comment notwithstanding, I didn't get from the article that she was writing with an ax to grind, other than the desire to reveal more about Gail and her motivations, concerns and fears from her perspective. She comes across as more of a troubled person trying to cope as best she can to protect Gary's legacy from those who would seek to capitalize it for their own gain. Knowing some of the history of how Gary was forced out of TSR, I find that perspective on behalf of a spouse credible. I thought the author let the story speak for itself. Gail is clearly troubled, likely paranoid, but also the target of a great deal of vitriol, which has only made the situation worse.

    There has obviously been a lot of ill feelings and bad acting on all sides. I want to believe that this is not what Gary would have wanted and he'd be disappointed with everyone. at the core of the conflict, on both sides are people he loved. They need to sort out his legacy among themselves. The rest of us already have our inheritance and are owed nothing and should stop making things worse.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Kudos Tenkar for owning up to your jokes in the face of evidence and apologizing for the one.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Jokes are not allowed on the Internet.

    ReplyDelete
  10. When I first read it, I dismissed it as a Gail puff piece. But I think now that it is really a Gail hit piece with the author letting Gail do the job to herself by making her sound anywhere from having possible health difficulties to being somewhat unhinged. I think the quote at the top of this blog ties right into why the author would do this.

    ReplyDelete
  11. "Visitations from her late husband’s spirit" is as far as I got.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hit or fluff. I do hope someone is checking in on her. She sounds very alone and suffering, not sure what from. Though I’d like to see Gary’s stuff, I’d be more happy that she had real supporters looking out for her physical and emotional health and not any sort of legacy. Tough tough situation and I hope she hasn’t pushed everyone away. :(

    ReplyDelete
  13. The article was fairly even-handed. You said there was "no fact-checking." First of all, just because there was a single date wrong doesn't mean there was no fact-checking. Second, the author reached out to you specifically to check her facts, and you didn't reply. You had your opportunity to correct her mistakes - she solicited you for that.

    Was there anything substantially incorrect about the article? It doesn't paint a pretty picture of Gail, so I don't know what you're bitching about. Why would you care if it said something nice about her? For all your protestations that you care about Gail's health, it sounds like you have are most interested in hearing her bad-mouthed.

    You're being disingenuous in the extreme, here. You were quoted accurately. The only problem you have with this article is that it accurately portrays you in a bad light.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Strangely enough no one was answering her questions. Not the Gygax children (not even Alex), not shopkeeper in town, not independent OSR publishers (saw the emails they didnt answer)

      As I stated above - I do use the word and still have no independent recollection of using it without JRT's cited link. I doubt the article's author saw the screenshots or links, as the interview was not conducted at Gail's home. This was the author fishing for a confirmation or a denial for something I didn't remember.

      "She said that a man named Erik Tenkar, who runs a blog about old-school role-playing games, had in private conversations joked that Gail..." - yeah, all Gail's word during the interview. I could neither confirm not deny. I use the word more liberally than many her in the States, so it was certainly possible. This was the one time in this whole exchange where I sought legal advice.

      Delete
  14. It also says she does not go to the VIP party because of Erik, even though I believe that was after she sued Gygax Magazine... and Erik confirmed he was not a VIP and would not be at the party

    ReplyDelete
  15. Well, I've read the article, and for a "fluff piece", I consider it incredibly damaging to Gail Gygax's case on anything. Not that I have a dog in this fight any which way, but the fact of the matter is, after reading that article, I have grave concerns about the poor woman's mental stability. She comes across as completely paranoid, badly disorganized, and in somewhat tenuous contact with reality. Someone really needs to keep an eye on her, and maybe see that she gets some professional help. I feel very sorry for her.

    ReplyDelete

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