RPGaDay2020 is drawing to a close, and I have some thoughts.
First, I want to say that it’s been fun to just speak my truth. I’d like to think that I’ve said some things people needed to hear. Those weren’t the things people wanted to hear, of course, so no one read them. This being 2020, people are nestled in their echo chambers. Outside opinions are not welcome.
Can We Close the Ideological Wars?
Next, it’s been interesting to see how Edition Wars have evolved into Ideological Wars. To some degree, this is great. The inherent racism and misogyny in Dungeons & Dragons is worth scrutinizing and calling out. Recent issues of harassment, abuse, and ableism need to be brought into the light and discussed. It’s handy when people who deny it’s there pop up on social media, because you know who to block. They can have their “opinion”, and I don’t have to read about it.
That said, however, if you have issues with a company and their product, stop supporting that company and their product. Investing X years of your life playing a game and buying its products does not entitle you to ownership. You sound like the people that want the last 3 Star Wars movies remade, because they feel they’re owed a say due to their loyal fandom. That’s not how this works. If you have issues with Wizards of the Coast or any other company, stop giving them money. Stop providing free publicity for their products by talking about how much fun you have playing them.
Find a non-problematic game by a small press or indie publisher. Like, say, me. Give me your money and support. Or whatever creator you think is underappreciated and doing kick-ass work. Stop griping about the monopoly over the industry out of one side of your mouth, and perpetuating that monopoly out of the other side. You can buy several PDFs for the price of one D&D hardcover. Write reviews. Tweet about games you like that fit your values.
Nothing Close to Business Sense
Some of this dovetails with ideology. There is magical thinking that because people in this cottage industry deserve to be paid more, they should just… be paid more. No though goes into understanding budgets, actual costs, or the reasons why companies pay so little for creative work. To make things better in the future, you need to grasp why they are the way they are now.
The rejection of DriveThruRPG, the largest marketplace to sell PDFs, also baffles me. People who cite censorship clearly have no understanding of what true censorship is. Recently someone had a product taken down because they put an inflammatory political statement, which had nothing to do with the product, in the product description. Seriously? DriveThruRPG is not a platform for your views. It’s a place to sell RPG products. You also agreed to the terms of service.
Having dealt with DriveThruRPG for years, I know that they likely just deactivated the product and asked the publisher to remove the political statement. One that, for the record, I personally agree with. I won’t never put it in the product description when it had nothing to do with the product. Rather than cutting that one like, the person removed all of their products and closed their DriveThruRPG account.
There are reasons that DriveThruRPG takes a bigger cut than Itch; they have the potential to put more eyeballs on your product, and provide more tools. Is the interface dated? Yes. Is it worth learning how to navigate the site anyway? Yes. Does being petulant help you to sell more games? No, no it does not.
I will do a full summary on the 31st detailing what I’m going to do moving forward. Writing updates for the site on a regular basis will continue. I have my own ideologies to spew, after all, in terms of lo-fi publishing, the Black Box Movement, and remix culture. This challenge has helped me to find what I want my voice to be here in 2020, after a decade away from RPG blogging. There are definitely more things that I want to say.
RPGaDay2020 is Drawing to a Close
RPGaDay is an annual event held each August. It asks tabletop gamers to use provided daily prompts to express something fun, interesting, and positive about the hobby. David F. Chapman (Autocratik), the award-winning game designer, created it.
About Dancing Lights Press
Dancing Lights Press is a lo-fi publisher of tabletop roleplaying systems and system-agnostic creative aids, including the best selling Building series, the DoubleZero action thriller system, and Hippogryph, a fantasy story game system with traditional roots. Our products embrace a minimalist aesthetic in design and presentation because roleplaying is an activity, not a collection of expensive rulebooks.