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Mechashef

The Interior Art Needs to Change

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3 minutes ago, Zozotroll said:

I would hope so.  You have to be pretty inept to not be able to find more porn than you can imagine on the net.  Chaosium should not compete with that.  But I like bronze/early iron in all its flawed glory.

And yet... those Old Pavis fundamentalists searching for Man/Plant fetish sites are doomed to failure.

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40 minutes ago, Crel said:

 

I reckon that we can all more or less agree that RQG more or less doesn't involve content we believe is upsetting. I don't think the conversation about what is/isn't appropriate is productive, but I do feel like a conversation about what aesthetic choices will best help RQG grow is productive. Maybe I'm totally wrong about the American market--I'd certainly like to be mistaken. But I don't think I am.

 

Rejoice because you actually are wrong. RQG is not intended to go out to kids under 13. In this age of games like Witcher III, Dragon Age Inquisition and Mass Effect, television series like Game of Thrones and Westworld, the US market is not particularly troubled by nudity. Some folk won't go for it, but they are unlikely going to buy a lot of copies of a fantasy RPG where polytheistic cult membership and religious magic are a significant part of gameplay. 

As we've said before, we've never had a problem with the US market. The Spanish on the other hand..... :D

Jeff

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9 hours ago, Mechashef said:

Over the past few days, I have discussed this issue with friends who work in various government departments, friends who work in private industry (typically large multinationals) my adult sons who graduated college (last year of high school) a couple of years ago, their friends, and my teenage daughter.

Every one of them has without hesitation stated that at least a couple of the images are Not Safe for Work.

...

No-one I showed the images to would be comfortable reading them (either in electronic or paper form) at their desk or while having lunch at the local mall.  The thoughts on acceptability at schools did vary, from not acceptable at public high school to probably Ok at public college, to definitely not allowable at private schools.

...

...  I was actually surprised at how overwhelming the response was (it was particularly strong from the women I consulted)...

Can you expand upon this just a bit, please?  If everyone was clear that some of the content was NSFW, what "response" was "particularly strong" in the women you consulted ... ?

I ask because my gaming group is about 2/3 women.  I have the PDF and am about to order the rulebook (presuming I get the Discount Coupon); nobody else has even the PDF (afaik).

But maybe I should alter my "pitch" to the group...

edit:  also, how many M vs F persons did you ask; and were some/many/none/etc gamers?

Edited by g33k

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6 hours ago, Martin said:

I still think that the issue would never arisen if the OP was working at work and not reading the PDF...

If the OP were on break, away from his desk (in a break-room, outside to enjoy a bit of fresh air, etc) and reading it on his own device...  I would find that really serious overreach by the employer.  Break is supposed to be personal time, read what you want, etc.

Granted:  if he were at his workspace, the appearance of being "at work" (while viewing personal content) might muddy the issue, or worse.

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1 hour ago, g33k said:

Can you expand upon this just a bit, please?  If everyone was clear that some of the content was NSFW, what "response" was "particularly strong" in the women you consulted ... ?

I ask because my gaming group is about 2/3 women.  I have the PDF and am about to order the rulebook (presuming I get the Discount Coupon); nobody else has even the PDF (afaik).

But maybe I should alter my "pitch" to the group...

Every person is different but I am am the only regularly playing guy in my group. No one in my group is offended or taken aback.

However: 1. My gamers consist of a philosophy and humanities professor, a playwright, a graduate student in biochemistry, and the student's partner (who is an artist).

2. Everyone in my group knows each other and is a friend outside of gaming.

3. We're all nerds/geeks/goths/weirdos.

Know your group! Ask them if they feel ok with non-pornographic nudity or bare-chested women (and men) in an appropriate cultural context. The art is not far off from a National Geographic article on the Minoans. (https://www.nationalgeographic.com/archaeology-and-history/magazine/2017/09-10/Minoan_Crete/#/slide01_snakegoddess_DA06240D.jpg) It is not meant to be 'Conan and the slavewomen' or some such.

PS. I also play RQ with my 9-year-old daughter, but she's a defiant feminist, given that she believes that women should be able to go about without a shirt anyway if it's hot enough, so she doesn't care and is in fact enthusiastic about the art. She wishes the world was more matter-of-fact about this sort of thing.

Edited by jeffjerwin
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The depiction of women in this book is in celebration of the divine feminine. The breasts aren't there for the sexual excitement of men. They are there in celebration and acceptance of womanhood. Glorantha has no shame and no guilt about woman's bodies or in the varied ways, women can be women. Heck the book puts the sisters Vasana and Yanioth front and center showing women in both very feminine and very unfeminine rolls and depicts both as something to be celebrated. With RQ:G you don't have to play a generic fighter or a priest that just happens to be female you can play fully fleshed out female characters that are unapologetic in their femaleness.

That is why I love Glorantha. 

I have made that exact pitch to women more than once in a busy convention hall, and shown them this art (yes topless ones) and sold them this book based on how it treats women. I can't think of any women I know that would be scandalized and upset by this art (we know what breasts look like), and frankly, I don't think I would get on well with them in any game, RQ or otherwise. I am right there with Jeff Jerwin. While my daughter is still too young to understand the art (2.5) she has seen it and will absolutely be allowed to see it as she grows up. Because there is nothing wrong or shameful about breasts and they don't need to be hidden.

Not everything is the right fit for every workplace. So be it. Painted nails and dyed hair aren't ok in every workplace either. But I want a gaming experience that celebrates women as women and doesn't act like a woman's body are something to be ashamed of. I want my daughter to grow up with those experiences too.  If the book isn't a good fit for work, don't bring it to work but please also recognize that Glorantha is very important to many people for many different reasons. I would find such a removal of the celebration of womanhood to be tragic. 

Edited by Ellie
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1 hour ago, jeffjerwin said:

Know your group! Ask them if they feel ok with non-pornographic nudity or bare-chested women (and men) in an appropriate cultural context. The art is not far off from a National Geographic article on the Minoans. (https://www.nationalgeographic.com/archaeology-and-history/magazine/2017/09-10/Minoan_Crete/#/slide01_snakegoddess_DA06240D.jpg) It is not meant to be 'Conan and the slavewomen' or some such.

 

I won't ask them because in my group I have intelligent people and no one would be offended by that. So you want us to believe you when you say "it's okay in a museum but nowhere else" ? Next thing you know, you'll come after the museum too when you'll be done with "the rest" and everybody knows it. We are living in a crazy age and we better stand up our ground if we don't want to regret it bitterly in the years to come.

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I'm going to venture that "asking the opinion of (men OR women) if these images are appropriate" you're going to get pretty different responses depending on the context of the question.

At the gaming table vs 10 random coworkers that may have nothing to do with and no interest in the setting/context of the book, for example. 

At a Renaissance Festival vs 4H meeting vs hockey game. 

We all to some degree universalize our own position (I"m reasonable and intelligent, so I assume everyone that is also reasonable and intellignent will see things my way) which then contributes to a sense of shock when someone doesn't agree, at which we immediately grasp for explanations that are often deprecatory: they're ignorant, they're misinformed, etc. instead of simply recognizing they have come to a different conclusion from the same inputs.

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6 minutes ago, styopa said:

I'm going to venture that "asking the opinion of (men OR women) if these images are appropriate" you're going to get pretty different responses depending on the context of the question.

At the gaming table vs 10 random coworkers that may have nothing to do with and no interest in the setting/context of the book, for example. 

Yes. People I game with (and I'm sure that's true of everyone here) are not random. They are already open to and curious about games and pretending to be in a different universe and different cultures. We don't need to police the game for the sensibilities of people who aren't going to want to play in the setting.

We can, however, consider the fact that the popular conception of "D&D" style games includes a fair bit of beefcake and inappropriate objectifying* female attire. This has been changing. I think the hobby has stepped well beyond that stereotype, but a person who isn't involved in the hobby could assume it's all the same.

*There's a real difference between stripperific attire and art that depicts a Minoan style priestess, of course. The priestess isn't there to be leered at; she's representing a "divine feminine" (as Ellie puts it), and while she is an erotic figure, she's also in command of her environment and 'gazing back' at the viewer.

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6 hours ago, Jeff said:

...television series like Game of Thrones and Westworld, the US market is not particularly troubled by nudity.

Well, keep in mind that things like this are not on general television, but cable television. They can play by different rules. You could never show either of these two programs on a regular network; the FCC would lower the ban-hammer and could try to fine the program off the air. 

SDLeary

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5 hours ago, g33k said:

If the OP were on break, away from his desk (in a break-room, outside to enjoy a bit of fresh air, etc) and reading it on his own device...  I would find that really serious overreach by the employer.  Break is supposed to be personal time, read what you want, etc.

Granted:  if he were at his workspace, the appearance of being "at work" (while viewing personal content) might muddy the issue, or worse.

Despite this, anything on company property is generally subject to such "anti-harassment" rules.

SDLeary

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5 hours ago, SDLeary said:

Well, keep in mind that things like this are not on general television, but cable television.

Over here in Germany GoT is broadcast for free (in the non-HD version) in general TV, as was Rome or Spartacus. Hardly any modesty cuts, either.

 

5 hours ago, SDLeary said:

They can play by different rules. You could never show either of these two programs on a regular network; the FCC would lower the ban-hammer and could try to fine the program off the air. 

The amount of censorship in the Land of the Free keeps amazing me when it comes to pieces of skin. On the other hand, when it comes to splattering blood or innards or racist symbols, we are more restrictive over here.

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5 hours ago, SDLeary said:

Well, keep in mind that things like this are not on general television, but cable television. They can play by different rules. You could never show either of these two programs on a regular network; the FCC would lower the ban-hammer and could try to fine the program off the air. 

SDLeary

Last time I checked, RPG books are not on general television either. 

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And the concern trolling continues...

Defintion: 

Quote

Someone who posts to an internet forum or newsgroup, claiming to share its goals while deliberately working against those goals, typically, by claiming "concern" about group plans to engage in productive activity, urging members instead to attempt some activity that would damage the group's credibility, or alternatively to give up on group projects entirely.

 

Edited by Pentallion
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17 hours ago, g33k said:

Can you expand upon this just a bit, please?  If everyone was clear that some of the content was NSFW, what "response" was "particularly strong" in the women you consulted ... ?

I ask because my gaming group is about 2/3 women.  I have the PDF and am about to order the rulebook (presuming I get the Discount Coupon); nobody else has even the PDF (afaik).

But maybe I should alter my "pitch" to the group...

edit:  also, how many M vs F persons did you ask; and were some/many/none/etc gamers?

4 F and 11 M.

The males generally took a few moment to consider their reply before stating that the images were not OK for work etc.

The females answered immediately and with typical responses such as "never" and "absolutely not".

1 F and 4M were gamers.

Please note, to clear up any misunderstanding, none of the 15 argued that the book had no right to have such images. Just that they were not suitable for work, reading on the bus etc.

 

Now that is fine, there are many RQGs that fall into that category.

 

On the other hand, the Government Department I work in has a Yammer group devoted to D&D.  There is a guy on my floor who often has a couple of D&D manuals on his desk and I have seen him flip through them to answer Yammer questions or when talking to other gamers.

Why would we not want similar behaviour for RQG?

 

I've been playing RQ for around 35 years (and many here would have similar and longer spans).  RQG is great, but it is still going to be a challenge to move it beyond a niche game.

Surely what we want is to give the game every opportunity to be a success, not place extra hurdles in its way.

It is terribly difficult to compete against the D&D behemoth.   

Why handicap ourselves by producing books that are not suitable to be read in some places, when the big player doesn't generally have that problem?  Why make the task harder than it needs to be?

 

Do we really want gamers to grab a D&D manual to read on the bus or at lunch instead of grabbing RQG?

 

But I'm not in the gaming industry, so I'll bow to the experts and trust in their knowledge of where the industry is, and where it is moving.  Despite what a couple of people seem to think, I really want RQG to succeed.

 

My apologies to anyone I offended.

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8 hours ago, Jeff said:

Last time I checked, RPG books are not on general television either. 

Ah, but a live action series called the Prince of Sartar would be incredible (so long as it was done by a company like HBO). You liked the dragons in GoT? PoS has dragons miles long. You want plot, warfare, intrigue? You want nudity? Jar-eel...

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Since I don’t play RQG at work, I don’t really care whether it’s NSFW or not. If it contravenes a workplace policy, just don’t read it at work. What matters is whether the art is valuable and appropriate in its intended context, and I I think it clearly is.

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1 hour ago, M Helsdon said:

Ah, but a live action series called the Prince of Sartar would be incredible (so long as it was done by a company like HBO). You liked the dragons in GoT? PoS has dragons miles long. You want plot, warfare, intrigue? You want nudity? Jar-eel...

So we've got Arkati Kama Sutra, and A Song of Moon and Dragons. Awesome.

Get on it Chaosium! :D

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As long as I can find players, I dont care what game company is the biggest.  I can see Jeff caring, but that is his job.  If a bit of nudity turns off a particular gamer, I am very much afraid that person is not going to be into runequest anyway.  And while we are on this, I cant wait to see the illustration for Uleria in GoG.

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18 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

*There's a real difference between stripperific attire and art that depicts a Minoan style priestess, of course. The priestess isn't there to be leered at; she's representing a "divine feminine" (as Ellie puts it), and while she is an erotic figure, she's also in command of her environment and 'gazing back' at the viewer.

While I might agree with you conceptually 100%, I also suspect that the distinction would be rather lost on most bystanders who would judge entirely on appearance.  Male OR female.  And that's sort of who we're talking about, really.

11 hours ago, Jeff said:

Last time I checked, RPG books are not on general television either. 

They're not exactly on shelves blocked from kids, either.  Don't get me wrong, I *agree* with you but the reality here is that RPGs = games and in most stores games = kids.  Stupid, superficial, but that's where it is.  This is all a tempest in a teapot though since AFAIK RQG isn't in general sales stores, it's online or specialty gaming stores....both contexts where the buyer/browser should have a reasonable expectation of context.

10 hours ago, Pentallion said:

And the concern trolling continues...

I don't really think that's much of a contribution to the discussion.  Personally, if it's a sham (I don't think so) its an unusually well-constructed one.  I think Chaosium mods are certainly ept enough to shut down the thread if the point isn't worth discussing.

3 hours ago, Mechashef said:

My apologies to anyone I offended.

You didn't offend anyone.  Here, like at your work, there are some that look forward to being triggered.

3 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

Ah, but a live action series called the Prince of Sartar would be incredible (so long as it was done by a company like HBO). You liked the dragons in GoT? PoS has dragons miles long. You want plot, warfare, intrigue? You want nudity? Jar-eel...

You could TOTALLY do that on adult swim.  That would be so cool.  Plus, with the psychedelic flair you'd pick up all the stoners that no longer have Adventure Time.

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On 9/17/2018 at 1:40 PM, Mechashef said:

Ok, so some background.

I posted this after getting to work today and finding an email stating that I had to answer a claim of reading pornography at work.  I.e. I had been reported because of the content of the RQG PDF.  

After going through mediation and checking each page it was decided not to take it further as the material was considered borderline.  The agreement was that an official complaint would not be made if I agreed not to read it at work again.

Ironically the page the person complained about wasn't one of the "worst offenders"

For the record, it was decided that the unsuitable pages were:

12, 22, 51, 83, 99, 268, 272, 289, 302, 364, 424.

I later heard the person has a long history of making similar complaints.

And suddenly the thread becomes far more serious and important.

My answer would be not to read any games material at work.

Seriously, if I bring a PDF for a games night on a tablet, then I would not dream of reading it at work.

Better safe than sorry, in my opinion.

Also, sorry about your particular situation, it must be a very difficult situation to be in.

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On 9/17/2018 at 9:46 PM, d(sqrt(-1)) said:

As I say, I'd be tempted to take in a big art book of classical nudes to read, or maybe the office could do with a nice renaissance piece of art like this to appreciate http://www.mheu.org/en/timeline/gabrielle-estrees.htm

Please do not follow this advice, especially if you have had a warning over this kind of thing. Employers do not have a sense of humour where this kind of thing is concerned. Do you want to lose your job on a point of principle of reading a RPG book at work?

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On 9/20/2018 at 4:36 PM, Zozotroll said:

For you old farts, here is a supplement I have waited for since wyrms footnotes #6, yea many years ago

 

"the X-rated supplement.  this is slowly coming along but Isaac still needs more articles submitted......Its contents may be offensive to some, but I know many of you have been in or run occasional adventures comparable to the trollkin S&M bar run by the checkered Demon" 

 

I have been waiting for this lo these many years.  Maybe Jeff can resurrect this one, then people will actually have something to be offended about.

It appeared in TradeTalk, in a revised format. However, it was never repeated.

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32 minutes ago, soltakss said:

Please do not follow this advice, especially if you have had a warning over this kind of thing. Employers do not have a sense of humour where this kind of thing is concerned. Do you want to lose your job on a point of principle of reading a RPG book at work?

The job isnt worth keeping and the subsequent lawsuit for them firing you over art most definitely needs to happen.

Edited by Pentallion

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