Monday, June 9, 2014

Come On In; the Taoism is Fine

I must be doing something right.

I've had a spate of negative comments of late, suggesting that people who are both threatened and unhappy need to express themselves somehow to me.  I particularly enjoyed the fellow who felt he needed to prove - at length - how he was able to achieve emergent behaviour at his gaming table without needing to roll dice. Good on you, brother.  Way to buck the current of reality.

It is 54 days since I felt compelled to get angry at anyone online (restrained myself from showing it on the blog, however), and 92 days since actually losing my temper at anyone in the comments field.  That is 13 weeks and a day.  A quarter of a year +1.  I've written a few rants since then, but nothing that I've gotten actually angry about . . . and I haven't attacked anyone in that spirit since March 9th.  So let's appreciate that a little.

Naturally, since I've stopped chasing people away, more and more are turning up to comment here.  But the rules I established continue to be in force, and they will be forever.  Once, I used to let comments through so I could argue with them, but those days are gone.

I have noted that my reputation for deleting people "who disagree with me" has increased, even as my online persona has considerably cooled down.  I wish to note that the raw hatred that I detect in comments hasn't diminished at all, particularly from people who claim the purpose of their hatred is due to how unreasonable I am about letting people speak freely.  I am pleased to say that it doesn't bother me as much as it did three months ago.  I believe I've turned a corner.  I feel very good about the content on the blog, very good about the length and thought people are putting into the comments that are printed, and encouraged about my chances of doing well this next year.

I have been thinking of the problem of filming a D&D session, and I believe the solution would be to approach filmmakers on campus at the local university and let them solve my problems for me, in exchange for whatever would make them happy.  They've done quite a lot of this, and I think if I let them pick the space and arrange things in a way that would please them, I might get some good footage.

I begin rehearsals today for playing the Dungeon Master in the Dead Alewives' D&D sketch ("dungeons and dragons . . . satan's game  . . ."), which I'm performing on stage for the July 3rd fundraiser.  I promise there will be video.

I'm a bit leary about making this confession, but it has to be acknowledged at some point, so here it goes. For about six weeks I have been writing on a schedule of about 1,700+ words a day.  Yesterday I passed 73,000 words.  The third draft should, therefore, be finished on or before June the 29th.  There will still need to be some editing, mostly in the hands of another person, but I should be able to put together a mock-up prior to the fundraiser for showing around.  The final copy should be completed and ready for sale on July the 11th.  The cover art has been finalized and I should be able to show that around the 16th of June.  I definitely feel like I'm on the downhill now.  There were some times at the end of April, the beginning of May when I wasn't sleeping and stress was at a peak.

For those people who are interested, I should be able to start playing D&D intermittently, on and off line, after July 5th.  Gawd, do I want to get back to it.

A last message for those who just absolutely hate me.  I just don't know what I can do for you.  On the whole, it would seem that anything I did to reach out to you would demand I be untrue to myself, my family, those supporting me and people who actually like what I write.  This seems a lot of unnecessary inconvenience for people that I like just so that one lone person in the world that I don't can have things their way.  I hope you understand.  It's just not in the cards for you.  I know that anything good that happens to me just grinds your palate, but no matter how much I think on the matter, I can't think of a way to help you. I hope you're able to figure out some way that you can go on, finding your own way.  I know that you've certainly proved to me that you're a worthy person that deserves consideration, consolation and plenty of love.  I wish you the very best.


Dave Cesarano said...

I really just don't get why all this hate is being spewed in your direction. This is one of the few gaming blogs I frequent anymore for the simple fact that, as you said in a previous post, they all seem to constantly rehash the same topics ad infinitum. I'm weary of "new monsters for your game" and "how to make dungeon rooms more interesting" and stuff.

I get that they perceive you as a threat... but I just don't get why. Then again, I never really could grasp stupid. I just don't get stupid. I don't. It's beyond my ken.

Arguing with you respectfully can generate interesting dialogue as you and your interlocutor establish arguments and defend them while attacking the others'. I don't think you're beneath admitting you're wrong when someone decisively proves it (which is a monumental task). God only knows, I can be pretty darn stubborn and it takes a lot for me to admit I'm wrong, myself. But I get the feeling you're not getting that.

I get the feeling that you're getting vitriol, ad hominem assaults, defamation of character, etc. Hate. Trolling. Etc. I mean, I'm not certain why you can't get emergent gameplay without dice rolls, but if the guy is being a belligerent jerk about disagreeing with you, methinks he takes your stuff too personally. Forgive me, but... yeah, I just don't get it.

I had my fifteen minutes of fame last summer and was inundated with stupid hate from a number of quarters, so I totally get your liberal use of the Ban Hammer. I'd like to see what your critics are saying but then again, I imagine I'd end up just shaking my head in frustration because I just don't get them.

Matt said...

I understand where the hate is coming from. Alexis said it himself. He is a villain, a destroyer of this hobby. Let me make an analogy.

Imagine an elementary school's playground. At recess all the young kids get to go out and play the games they like, but there is only one basketball court. Now, these children are young, and don't know how to play basketball. Their play is disorganized. There are no teams, no rules, and little in the way of scorekeeping. The school can't spare the funding for a coach, and none of the teachers step up to teach the game, so this disorganized mess is all the children know about Basketball.

A parent in the community realizes that this is a pretty poor situation, so he comes to the school and volunteers during recess. He decides to coach for an actual basketball game. He explains that there have to be teams. You can't just walk with the ball, you have to dribble. There are methods to determine which team gets the ball first, it doesn't just go to whoever grabs it. There is depth and strategy in the game. There are offensive and defensive position. Passing is important. He takes time to run layup and free-throw drills. He also explains that not everyone is going to be good at this game. Athletic talent is important to the game, but what is more important is that the kids practice.

For the athletic children, this is awesome. For the children that really like playing basketball and like the competition and like that they may lose some games, but that it's okay because they will also win some games, this is a great situation. They have a real coach teaching them a real game. They can keep playing basketball through middle and high-school. When they are adults they can play pick-up games in a local sports league.

For the other children though, those who are not very talented, or who are not very dedicated, for those who prefer making believe that the basketball is a proton torpedo and the hoop is the death-star exhaust port, for those who think that whoever gets the ball from the storage room should get to play with it first, or those who just want to sit in the middle of the basketball court and talk, this coach is the enemy. He's ruining their good time with his rules. The kids who want to play basketball the right way are suck-ups. Everything was great until he came along. So they will call him names and say that basketball is a stupid game anyway. They will claim their game is more athletic because sometimes they do headstands while they do it. They will say that basketball is all well and good, but it's recess, and we're here to have fun.

The only difference of course between this basketball and our RPGs is the fact that when it comes to RPGs the billion dollar industry sits on the side of the people bitching that it's only fair if everyone gets the ball for the same amount of time.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Matt, that is the best I have ever seen it put. Spectacular.

Andrew Knapp said...

I have become a regular reader of your blog =). I quite enjoy it. I think people need a thicker skin. I mean how boring would it be if the writing had no conviction?