Dungeons & Dragons game designer Kate Welch shared a tweet recently explaining that she had convinced all of the other game designers at Wizards of the Coast working on Dungeons & Dragons to read through a racist Tumblr blog themed solely around race and ethnicity, and people’s experiences where they cannot shape their lives around anything other than skin color. According to Welch, this was somehow a useful resource for writing “ethnically diverse” characters.
The tweet went out on June 14th, 2019. Welch links to a Tumblr blog titled “Writing with Color”, which is a collection of blog posts from different people who basically share their experiences and how their life is themed around their racial identity, using bizarre language from the Regressive Left’s lexicon.
— kate welchhhh (@katewelchhhh) June 14, 2019
The entries may be written in English but the dialect is almost completely indecipherable. It’s structured using colloquialisms attuned only for Millennials and degenerates, making it impossible for normal people like myself to parse.
For example, in one of the entries a half-Japanese, half-Polish lesbian explains how she dresses like a man, writing…
“I dress like a dude going to an informal job interview. My mom and dad have expressed a lot of wishes for me to present more feminine, I used to get bullied for not presenting feminine, but I never really stopped dressing like this.”
What is “present more feminine”? What does this mean? Why not just say “dress like a boy” or “dress like a girl” like normal human beings? Why do millennials use this otherworldly language as if they’re aliens trying to integrate?
Anyway, the entire Tumblr blog has tons of stories like the one above, where they basically pick apart the minutiae of what most normal people would think is infinitesimal in fiction and then turn it into something with which to place blame on another race or culture for oppression or misrepresentation or cultural appropriation. For instance, there’s a post about naming conventions for Native Americans in fiction, where the person writes…
“Deep down, there is no such thing as a “Native name.” There’s what white people think our names are, and what our actual names are. And what our actual names are varies by nation.
“Pick a tribe. Look at notable members they have listed on their website. Research what’s been written about members of the nation. Figure out how each nation names members based off that data. Some of us take colonizer names, some of us have outsider names and insider names, some of us have obviously tribal names. It varies.
“But please toss out the concept there is this database of “Native American” names you can pull from to “appropriately” name your character. It varies on a tribe by tribe basis. Pick a nation and work from there. That’s the only way to do it.”
So if you don’t have a native name then what the heck do you call it? If you’re not European it sure as heck isn’t a European name, and if it isn’t African, Swahili, Maori, Malaysian, or rusty Studebaker then what the heck are people supposed to call native tribal names?
This is the kind of insanity fostered by the blog.
It continues on, decrying the fetishism of “Natives as savage” tropes, complaining about the lack of “decolonization” in fiction writing, and encouraging non-minorities to stop fetishizing Native Americans and other non-white cultures in general, because Jove forbid that non-natives take a mesmeric interest in cultures not their own.
But it gets worse.
The blog nearly demands that fiction writers who aren’t endemic to a culture they write about need to let go of the idea that they own the story. Yes, the blog has the audacity to preach that the fiction about other cultures belong to the people being written about and not the author, and that those other cultures should have a say in how the fiction is depicted. The blogger writes…
“Asking for resources is good, but it’s very important to let go of the concept of sole authorship with the stories you want to write; if you’re too focused on your own exploration of a culture, your own compiling of probably cherry-picked legends, your own interpretations based on our lore (likely filtered through a culturally-Christian lens), etc…
“If you focus too much on you, you’ve created a situation where our religious concepts are being shared around without our nations attached to them, which is the definition of cultural appropriation. You’re put your own ego in front of letting us have authorship.”
The blog has way too many of these authoritarian aphorisms about writing fiction, and basically condemning people who aren’t that race or ethnicity for not being more “inclusive” to their cultural demands for their perception of representation.
The blog actually garnered the kind of typical feedback one would expect from the Left-leaning circles of Twitter.
Plenty of developers also supported the blog, including writers Larry Dixon, Marc Alan Schelske, Brian Medina to name a few.
We were just talking about that here at @originsgames ! @mercedeslackey & I were chatting with several designers about ensuring enough diversity in upcoming projects. It’s enchanting what wonders these voices bring! We love it.
— The Gryphon King, Larry Dixon (@LarryDixonTGK) June 14, 2019
Omg this is awesome! Thanks for sharing it ❤️
— Britt (@b_1st) June 14, 2019
Oooh. Thanks for this.
— Marc Alan Schelske (@schelske) June 15, 2019
Wow, I’m also hooked on this – thank you for linking. This is absolutely perfect for making my world more diverse.
— Brian Medina (@probune) June 14, 2019
Almost all of them seem to miss out on the obvious point of fantasy worlds like Dungeons & Dragons being built around the player’s fantasies and their own creative experiences to help tie into a world that belongs as much to the designers as it does the players. Trying to strip away that creative agency to tie it into Social Justice-oriented archetypes is nothing short of creative sacrilege.
Moreover, this turned into a criticism of games that include diversity, where the thread points out that it’s no longer enough to simply have these characters represented in the game, but they also have to represent the “heritage” of the culture from which they hail.
That’s something I’ve been trying to be conscious of in my campaigns,so it’s nice to have some sort of guide on how to describe these things in a positive and helpful way
— 💗💜💙Shiny – Dungeon Mistress of the Apocalypse (@shinybatgirl) June 14, 2019
Err on the side of caution is my motto lol and yeah, this guide is really good! I think it communicates clearly what is frustrating to so many people, and it is frustrating. Once you see it, you can’t unsee it lol
— Nurse Normal (@Nurse_Normal) June 14, 2019
This also opened up a platform for people who had no idea what Dungeons & Dragons was to start using more degenerate linguistics grafted together from the hodge-podge of made-up phrases by the Regressive Left, where they began talking about how the fantasy races in the game don’t “map to real life”, whatever that’s supposed to mean.
Thankfully, there was someone else in the thread who checked the Millennial on his ignorant comment.
Um, you’re kidding, right? Have you looked in *any* D&D book published in the past ten years?
— Zombie Pete 🙀 (@PeterAperlo) June 15, 2019
Unfortunately, common sense and down-to-Earth rationalizations were far and few between in the thread, almost about as rare as a day in the U.K., without a migrant knife attack.
One thing that’s interesting is the home brews that come up. It’s a fine line… I study decolonization here in Hawaii. There’s a huge diff between western designer attempting to be inclusive of indigenous cultures, vs collaborating with indigenous gamers.
— (((TearsOfRenewal))) (@BurgessPoet) June 15, 2019
Now there’s going to be a lot of Left-leaning idiots with poor reading comprehension who will undoubtedly try to parse through the text and highlight something for what those Twitter addicts call “hot takes” in order to reframe or purposefully misinterpret the article to get several thousand likes and an opportunity to stroke the fragile ego they were never able to build up through hard work and proper study by two parents who weren’t dysfunctional deadbeats. But let me make something perfectly clear here: that Tumblr blog is extremely racist.
The reason it’s racist is because everybody’s submissions there completely strip away the identity of self in favor of a group identity, all while automatically dismissing whites from their definition of “diversity”.
When you peel away the existential veneer from their concept of culture and look at how these people are representing themselves as individuals, you begin to see that they are literally defining themselves as nothing more than the value of their skin color and ethnicity. They attempt to foist their displeasure with how they think they’re being represented in fiction onto the creators. This is usually done through pontificating like in the Tumblr blog above, where they demand fiction writers to represent them based solely on their value of the identitarian labels they employ rather than the constitution of their character.
Sadly, this particular point will be lost in a void of needless bickering about interpretations and made-up deflections to yell out “isms” and “ists” at people who are tired of all this identity politics that have muddied the conversation for any sort of edification in the realm of world or character-building.
Though, funnily enough, this very topic was actually summed quite well by Micah Curtis in a video published back in 2016.
But instead addressing the elephant in the room (i.e., these writers just do a poor job of creating compelling characters and content) we have people yelling about “cultural appropriation” and “micro-aggressions”, or “cultural flattening” and “ethnic fetishism”. It’s a disgusting, degenerate way of looking at life. Reducing everything down to skin tone and then shaming people for not portraying characters correctly based on superficial traits.
What’s so silly about it all is that it doesn’t even start or stop with minorities complaining about their cultures being depicted in fiction by whites. It also extends to these same offended activists targeting other minorities for not depicting other minorities in the right way. We saw it happen to a gay black author who got dragged through the social media gamut for his depiction of the Kosovo War. We also saw an emigrated Chinese author get a textual lashing from the Intersectional plantation owners for her fictional depiction of slavery.
The people looking for “hot takes” and virtual compensation for a pathetic real life will do what they can to protect the offense-peddling Leftists and their Regressive Regime of identity politics in order to maintain a stranglehold on the very Left-centric Overton Window.
I’m sure many gamers are latching onto the hope that normal people will continue to push back and stop purchasing these agitprop-driven products attuned to appeal to a phantom audience.
While we can also beg desperately in the corners of our own minds that the real writers and designers at Wizards of the Coast don’t utilize racist blogs like “Writing with Color” as a template for new products, based on the way things have currently gone in the gaming and tabletop industry… like a flock during fall, hope is fleeting.
(Thanks for the news tip Arcane City Game Studios and Mior Muneer)
(Main image courtesy of D&D Beyond)