Thursday, April 7, 2022

OSR: Big Fish, Small Ponds, & Big Brother



I've been thinking of taking a break from the OSR for a while and this week confirmed for me that I need too.

First, let me say there are ton of great people in the OSR and I'd say 99% of them are awesome, but as always its that last 1%.

I have encountered Right-Wing jerks in the OSR so I know they are out there. I've met them and I avoid them.

Earlier this week I was browsing an OSR group and saw a cool Post about a person's campaign that was full of gonzo multi-genre goodness. My highest complement to that Poster is that it made me want to play in their game.

Then I looked at the Comments and the first one pointed out how the author of a supplement briefly mentioned in the Post was problematic in their political views. It had screen grabs of said author's posts. Yes. Posts. Plural. The Poster had taken more than one screen grab of this person's Posts.

Where do you find the time to do that?

Isn't that problematic?

I've been online for a long, long time and I've never taken a screen grab for that reason.

It made me feel even worse about the surveillance state that is the U.S.A in the 21st Century. Other nerds, geeks, gamers, whoever are keeping tabs on people in their circles. To vet them, I guess?

And worse, to me, this author's views needed to be addressed immediately, no matter how lightly this Post intersected with the problematic author, so that everyone could be warned. 

"Before you give this person money know that they believe X!"

Are you really enjoying Role Playing, DnD, and the OSR if you have to keep files of other people in the OSR with proof of their beliefs?

Stupidly, I continued to browse that Group and the next Post asked what people were doing for activism within the OSR. Look, this century has been pretty shitty overall and we need activism, I know that in my bones and in my real life and in my day job I'm involved in activism. We support LGBTQ+ charities, we support Mental Health charities, and  I know Americans of Color don't have my Privilege and I try to use it to help them and I believe in it.

But sometimes I just want to escape to the OSR and it made me feel like Big Brother DM is watching. Always, watching.

The truth is I just need a break from the OSR, but I think one of the problems the OSR has is much more about money and livelihood and a lot less about having the wrong views. The people recording your actions in the OSR have learned they can make or break a creator/publisher and they might just enjoy using that knowledge.

It seems whenever we get a Big Fish in the Small Pond that is the OSR there is a storm and often that person gets cancelled. With screen grabs. 

But my perspective on the Small Pond that is the OSR is that it has a lot of money flowing into it. A. Lot. Enough to make the 5E designers draw upon it.

I'm a vanity publisher and I make enough a month to keep me in a couple of Kickstarters and some action figures from products I made years ago. I'm a very, very, very Small Fish and I have supplements that are Gold on DriveThruRPG. I think a lot of people would be surprised how much money some of the luminaries of the OSR must have made over the years. And part of me wonders if that isn't reason that the Small Pond goes after the Big Fish? 

I guess my point is that surveilling the members of the OSR even in the name of inclusion and progress could make you as much of a dick as a Right-Wing dick. And maybe that surveillance gives some members of the Small Pond an edge in controlling who succeeds and who fails at selling products online?

To me being a dick is a lot like porn (no pun intended), you know one when you see one and where you are on the Left and the Right doesn't matter. You are just a dick.


4 comments:

Narmer said...

I'll miss your posts but it's completely understandable.

Cross Planes said...

As in you can't follow my blog any longer because of my opinion? If that is the case that saddens me and I appreciate your attention.

Narmer said...

Oh, no! Sorry for the misunderstanding. I took this to mean you might stop posting. Thus, I'd miss your posts. I'm at work and read and responded rather quickly so I probably conflated "taking a break from the OSR" with "stop posting".

And I completely understand the urge to take a break from it. Some of the things I read in my travels around the interwebs really bother me.

Cross Planes said...

No, you can't get rid of me that easily LOL

I'm glad you are sticking with me. Thank you.

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