Monday, July 7, 2014

Castles and Controversies

For a niche product, Dungeons and Dragons seems to garner much more than it's share of attention. The number of people who take exception to some aspect of the game seems infinite at times. The latest edition is no exception.

The main drivers of the coffeepot conflagration are, interestingly, sexuality. The authors included a short passage in a nod to the overlap between the gaming an LGBTQ communities.

This, I can kind of see starting a controversy. Kind of.
It was mostly well received. Of course, there were people on the far right who immediately took this to be an attempt to recruit children into a leftest agenda of sexual libertinism (because it just wouldn't be the United States without them), but most of the criticism came from LGBTQ gamers, who took exception to the language used.

And it turns out that this wasn't their only gripe with the game. It turns out that two of the people that Wizards of the Coast (the division of Hasbro that produces the game) consulted with were on the bad side of many LGBTQ gamers, enough so that the day after the rules were released, calls for a boycott were already echoing through social media.
This one, I never would have guessed.
Unlike the satanic panic of the 80s, with its focus on Dungeons and Dragons as a cause of suicides and occultism, none of this has risen to the level of being considered at all newsworthy. Mainstream America is likely completely unaware of what's going on with the grandfather of role-playing games. But still, I suspect that there's some poor guy in Wizards of the Coast's marketing department who is even now resolving to become more acquainted with alcohol this weekend.

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