Fact: I don’t rank video games with our game types; I see digital games and I see tangible games. I have not been into video games since my son who is now 36 had an Atari.
I was vaguely aware of this Gamergate shit when I saw some seminars were cancelled at an event in Austin. I thought they were some sort of electronic bullies or vandals; I had no idea of the misogyny involved. I deplore their behavior; they seem to be a bunch of teen-aged cyber-bullies and assholes. I have not read any of their manifestos, so I had no idea that they had made an otherwise ordinary word used in medicine and science to describe one half of our species into a pejorative.
I think more people that are not male (just what term can I use?) would find a lot of enjoyment playing RPG’s. (BTW, an apostrophe to indicate plural acronyms is correct by all the style books I have followed. It might be changing, but it is not there yet; it is not indicative of the possessive case.) As a former teacher (a real teacher, not someone with honorary degrees and being brought up on sexual abuse charges; thanks for that comparison) I was quite good at crafting teaching aids and handouts, as well as having developed a very effective tool that involved role-assumption/playing in the classroom.
In my opinion, role playing has become too rules-heavy. Most of the excessive rules are about stuff you may never do or encounter as a Player Character, or only do so after a considerable time playing. In that instance, you learn by doing. I do not like Skills and Abilities ratings for that reason; I am firmly entrenched in the ethos of the Old School about learning by doing and never being afraid to try something. So I figured out a method to boil it down to the basics needed to have fun.
I wanted to run games for only not-males; Jim Ward and Merle Rasmussen have done so in the past and related how much fun they were; I briefly sat in on one of Jim’s, observing. I wanted to try it for myself and thought to accomplish two tasks, teach the basics and run a fun adventure.
Through innocent use of otherwise ordinary words I have offended some people, for which I apologize. I did not know that the word “Female” had been used as a pejorative in a war of words of which I was ignorant. I did not know that offering to boil down the mass of rules was going to be seen as some sinister insinuation that not-male gamers are too dumb.
By restricting to only beginners that were not male, I thought to provide a friendly and fun atmosphere. This is based on classroom experiences; nobody wants to sit there thinking they are missing out on something or the only one not getting it. Frankly, I do not wish to introduce RPG’ing to a bunch of younger males (at least not below 12 or 13); that is based on classroom experience. In that regard, and that one only, you can label me sexist.
I was vilified by someone I do not know in a public forum, instead of being contacted (God knows I am easy enough to get hold of) and informing me of the concerns my listing apparently raised. Had that happened, I absolutely would have done a quick edit (I sent the same description to GaryCon and have not heard a thing about it except several inquiries about signing up.) Attacking a stranger, in a public forum is a cheap shot, in my opinion. (I do not consider myself some sort of celebrity and am constantly humbled by the people that see me as that); I’m just an old dude that still plays games, likes to write adventures and was once involved in the beginning of our modern hobby, involved with a minute section of the population.
When attacked, I defend vigorously. I felt I was unjustly attacked and attainted for a word that has more than one meaning and is a pejorative in a tiny percentage of the population. I hope my attacker got a warm rush of satisfaction.
I really am sorry, and a bit befuddled, by all that has transpired over a listing in a convention website. I am not guilty of any of the behaviors that my words have been twisted into, and never have been.
I have been told that the instigator of this likes to stir the pot. I would not know because I cannot recall having met her; I did Friend her on FB when I saw a bunch of mutuals but I probably “know” less than 10% of my “Friends”; there are over 2000 of them. I never even saw her initial post on my Wall.
So what is the “politically correct” term for members of our species possessing ovaries and not testicles? I still intend to call infants baby boys or baby girls; if they change their mind later I will change what I call them.
So, having gotten all of that off my chest, I reiterate that I am sorry some people were offended when they read what I wrote. But this game is still off-limits to males.