Unpacking my online baggage.
July 19, 2021, marked the day I was finally free from full time employment. I don’t miss working for a large, slimy, unscrupulous, unfeeling, unwilling-to-listen, and just scuzzy corporation. They did me a big favor by finally canning me because my values and the sham, they called a “corporate culture” didn’t match up.
There have been plenty of ups and downs since. I feel I’ve grown as a person. Not that I have a choice, necessarily. It’s what we’re here to do in Classroom Earth, right? But here we are with all of the ups and downs, smiles and scars the whole way.
Along the way in April, we hit the One Year mark on posts.
Cheesing people off on Twitter is my new specialty.
Just a little over a month ago, a well-known YouTuber accused me publicly of “building a platform based upon misery.” I won’t name her outright, but I have tried to apologize repeatedly for the misunderstanding that led to this whole incident. So far, I’ve gotten zero responses to my attempts to establish any kind of dialogue and I don’t want to harass her.
I was watching an unboxing short video on YouTube with the title of “Wizards of the Coast is Trying to Kill Me” or some such. She was unpacking the swag that WotC sent to promote Honor Among Thieves. That’s a pure fact. No judgements. So far so good, right?
I wrote an article titled, “Influencer? Content Creator? Shill? (*The title was a tribute to the Xena episode Warrior…Princess…Tramp.) The Content Creator Summit was coming up and my intention was to caution people, including the influencers against letting WotC (large skeezy corporation who I’ll likely never trust again,) bribe/persuade them to only give good Public Relations.
Apparently, the term “Shill” causes distress with some Content Creators. Honestly, I see where said Content Creator thought I said, “You’re getting bought off with a box of toys.” When clearly that was not the case. I f🦆cked up.
We have shills all over the place in Ufology. It wasn’t a welcome term over on UFO Twitter, either. But there’s a massive difference between shills working for say, the CIA and shills under the thumb of a game company like WotC and/or Hasbro. WotC might have their people shouting me down online. The CIA might have someone watching my house.
There’s a difference. I’m not afraid of WotC. Their shills are strictly an instrument of PR. And after the Content Creator Summit? They aren’t shilling for anyone. WotC is kinda up a creek on that one.
What I intended to say was completely different. Had I known I was going to raise that much hell, I would have done things differently. I generally figure most Content Creators are unapproachable off stream, so I don’t do a lot of interviews. I’ve discovered since that it’s not always the case. Yay.
Mentioning said Content Creator by name in conjunction with “Shill” and an unboxing video was a huge mistake. I apologize again. I see where that sent the wrong message. I actually rewrote the article and then made it private rather than have it continue to do more damage.
YouTube and strangely Twitter inspire me to write articles at times. There’s a lot of good information out there and news from the TTRPG world. And sometimes I drop names of people I watch because they inspire me.
The video made me think, “Hey, maybe I should caution folks going into this Creator Summit.”
Wow, did that ever backfire on me. Luckily, the Content Creators went all-in on WotC at the summit. Many of them said things to WotC that I’ve been dying to say/ask. They did the community proud when it came to keeping WotC on their toes. Good job, Creators. They’re not shills in the slightest. Lots of love.
Moving on to one specific piece of the Content Creator Summit.
Some issues came up at the WotC D&D Content Creator Summit that caused a bit of a kerfuffle in the TTRPG and D&D communities. People of Color are underrepresented in species (races) from D&D. Not to fear- Elven heritage, Orc heritage, etc are going to appear under Humans as a subspecies options. Hopefully not buried behind a paywall on the new Virtual TableTop. Time will tell. I’m still not 100% convinced this a a wholehearted effort at inclusion.
But the same company whose spokesperson said:
There’s been debate about the context under which Mr Brink’s comment and the one allegedly made by Jeremy Crawford about “Half” races being racist. Personally, I feel like both men meant well by their statements, but they really didn’t think ahead when they said those things. I think Mr Brink and Mr Crawford need to put the bloody mic down and walk away before they stick their foot in their mouths again.
I’ve heard that I’m misrepresenting WotC and fueling the “anti-woke” types on Twitter. That KKK thing makes me sick to my stomach if that’s the case. Enter my two articles on the “Half” race debate. Again, really honestly good intentions gone horribly awry. At first I thought maybe I just needed to step away from the keyboard.
I made two more articles private. I just couldn’t catch a break in the early part of last week. I was utterly outraged over being somewhat trolled by someone from within the TTRPG industry who doesn’t follow my blog or follow me on Twitter which seems odd.
Getting any kind of negative feedback on Twitter or any platform really brings out that ugly shadow in me. The guy that used to be super negative about basically everything got loose. The guy that used to listen to D12, G-Unit and Ice Cube came out to play. Eminem and 50 Cent came out onto the playlist. I was f🦆k’n mad for awhile there.
I’m extremely passionate about TTRPGs and D&D in particular. Therein lies the problem.
I can play nice with just about anyone, don’t get me wrong. But actively encouraging bigots? Aw HELL NO!!! We don’t do bigotry around here. If you’ve been following my blog long enough, you’ve probably seen the massive shift in attitude over the years.
The Universe, God, The Creator, whatever you want to call it became involved in my life. I believe in a benevolent and loving Universe. It is not in me to spread hate. Bigotry is not the path to helping humanity. I understand forgiveness is part of salvation, but I’m not there yet when it comes to certain individuals on this planet
Back to our lead story.
Still not sure about how this was a second time unless he meant it was day two of the two day series. “false and deceptive article?” Strange, I don’t recall writing anything intentionally false.
“Spoke up for” me? I still don’t remember seeing that. I wonder what happens sometimes when I’m offline. I usually do have good intentions. I try to pay pretty close attention when it comes to TTRPGs. Color me “confused” at this point. (*It’s one of my favorite crayons.)
Yes, there are a lot of “contextless” #dnd articles floating around about WotC removing “Half” races. Yeah, it’s the right thing for WotC’s designers to do. I still espouse the notion that they simply didn’t take it far enough and made it look entirely like another one of their dumb PR stunts. I mean, we *know* it wasn’t intended to just tell us what we wanted to hear for the sake of doing so. They’d never do that.
Then it got worse, despite my attempts to deescalate it.
A little side note here. The day this all went haywire I was at the doctor’s office in ridiculous amounts of pain. Like, I was ready to go to the ER and beg for morphine or cortisone kinds of pain. You know, that 7 or 8 on the pain scale? Yeah. That kinda pain.
This dude was getting on my only good nerve at this point, and I couldn’t reply fast enough amongst the receptionists, the nurses, the doctors, etc all doing the hurry up and wait maneuver. I’d been at this level of pain for an entire couple of weeks prior to that and still struggling with it now. Whatever composure I could find went into not losing my mind on the Twitter responses.
To make matters worse, the responses were coming twice as fast as I could respond. Coincidence? We all know there are no such things. My guess is the keyboard warrior in question had all of that lined up and ready to go. This guy has a bunch of writing credits with WotC and might still be trying to make nice with the bosses. I wouldn’t want to say “shill” because we all know how that goes. But uh, you got a little something on the end of your nose there, buddy.
The Twitter drama continued well into the morning.
This is the bevy of responses that came in before I could really say much of anything. Clearly I don’t control who replies to my tweets or neither one of them would have been there at this point. I probably should have shut comments off on this post before any of it got started, but I wasn’t thinking all that clearly at the time. Which, I got spanked for that one, too. Oh well, guess I just had that one a coming.
Again, the guy that called WotC the new KKK was reported and blocked. I can’t do much more than that. Talk to our buddy Elon about that. I didn’t ask for him on purpose.
WotC dug their own hole. It’s not my job to defend them or make them look like saints. They have their own people for who they pay good money to say pretty words about D&D. They’re called “actors.” WotC owns D&D, and it’s their game to do with as they please. They’re just the biggest name in the industry and what they do reflects on all of us.
As far as this person’s tweet “takedown” goes, I like a lot of posts. It doesn’t mean I’m going to remember every single thing that was said last week. Just because you post something on Twitter doesn’t mean it’s the end of the discussion. If I liked it, maybe it’s because I agreed with it. But something tells me the entire Universe doesn’t revolve around the word of one industry insider on Twitter. You made a good point. Cool. ❤️
Nor am I the undisputed expert on everything TTRPG. Trying to claim such would be folly at best. There are plenty of games out there I want to become acquainted with. There are still plenty of books for 5E I want to look through.
Remember pain? Brain fog? No, probably not.
Silly ignorance? I wasn’t at the Creator Summit, but it sounds like our friends at WotC did exactly that. They claimed or feigned ignorance any time a Content Creator asked them a tough question. Sounds like maybe WotC needs to get their sh🦆t straight before they do a Q&A again.I do silly, and yeah- sometimes I don’t know things. Okay, I suppose.
For those who may be wondering, the doctors did almost nothing for me beyond agreeing that I’m in a royal shitload of pain and prescribe me muscle relaxers. I’m probably going back in the next few days. My shoulder is so janky that I can no longer feel my left hand.
Well, one of us certainly made some mistakes. I think it was me? I’m still going back to my 4K word opus on race relations in the D&D community to see how crazy I sounded. I even said repeatedly in multiple other places, “I’m still not sure I’m doing this topic justice. It’s not just because I’m an old white guy, either. If we as humans in the real world can’t get our sh*t straight and make D&D a cool game, there is zero chance of us fixing real problems in societies and real cultures.
“Shitty side of the industry?” I’m still trying not to get offended by this comment. I talked a lot about the bad actors in the TTRPG industry last year, starting around this time IIRC. But no one reads back that far, and that’s okay, I guess. If people latched onto what I said in a negative or racist context, that’s completely on them. All I can do is tell my own truth. Obviously, they missed the last couple of grafs of the second article when I said:
Yes, they (WotC) can improve. They could get me back as a fan. I would love to be blasting D&D from the rafters at full volume to anyone who would listen. The #ttrpgcommunity wants to see D&D improve or we wouldn’t be discussing it constantly from multiple angles. Diversity, Inclusion and Equality would really go a long way both in the game and from the company.
We can lift one another up. We don’t have to hate one person to build up another. Forgiveness and understanding go a long way. That love and encouragement is out there for everyone. That’s what I want at the end of the day. Let’s all get along and do cool stuff together.
They finally managed to rouse that wrath of the “other Jeff.”
I was pretty much livid after I pulled down the two articles that I had literally spent hours creating. I used to have some really serious anger management issues. I used to listen to that seriously negative music. I used to get pretty worked up over minor things. I was not above going ape on a forum. I’ve been banned before. I’ve insulted people’s moms. I’ve violated terms of service on various forums to get my point across.
I’m not going to turn that guy loose on Twitter. Somebody’s feelings will get hurt. I don’t want to be that guy ever again. He’s not fun to be around. I’ve kept a cage on him minus one incident back on UFO Twitter. That’s when I decided RPG Twitter was a much better space to be in. Now I’m wondering again. Where’s the #ttrpgcommunity I fell in love with?
I hate to think I’m one f🦆cky wuckie away from getting cancelled on social media.
I’ve seen it happen. A trans person I know got a little too intoxicated and said some things on a stream. They’re not around on Twitter anymore. I think it took about three days or fewer for them to get squished. Once that ball starts rolling, it doesn’t normally stop.
I’m here to make friends and build a following. Instagram is a slower moving platform and not nearly as judgy as the people I’ve seen on Twitter. I’m not saying Twitter is bad or even the #ttrpgcommunity on Twitter is bad, but there are some elements that are less desirable.
Wizards of the Coast and the #dndcommunity is much the same way. There are good elements to be sure. But if WotC was flawless, no one would ever speak up against their bullsh🦆t such as the Open Game License debacle in January. Many of us have not forgotten that nor are we willing to let it go yet. I know there are people who think I’m nuts, but I don’t think we’ve heard the end of the OGL woes yet. Yes, we won back in January, but remember, “so did they.” I seriously doubt they’ve forgotten, and that’s assuming the whole thing wasn’t orchestrated from Day 1. Don’t. Trust. WotC.
My main problem with Wizards of the Coast is that they have gotten far too big for their own good. Specifically, D&D has gotten too big for them to handle properly. The TTRPG industry is/was/always will be a cottage industry. We’re living in unprecedented times. The latest D&D movie has put us nerds in the spotlight. Unfortunately, all the squabbling and fighting in the TTRPG and D&D communities is probably going to screw it up.
WotC only has themselves to truly blame ever since January. They have yet to truly smooth anything over. But we’ll save that for another day. I have not finished going off on the corporatude that is WotC.
I’ve tried reaching out for interviews.
WotC won’t answer my emails or messages on Twitter. Every once in a while, I wake up one of their rage monkeys, as we’ve seen twice now. I’d like to actually open a dialogue.
I’d love to build a platform on goodness and kindness where I just talk about the stuff I love. I’d love to flirt with toxic positivity on a daily basis. That’d be great.
I’d love to focus on other games, other game companies, and dozen other topics. It’s not going to happen until the elephant in the room stops with the explosive diarrhea. Or at least their various representatives stop talking sh🦆t. Profits before people and Jerry Springer comes on before the news. And I won’t watch the mainstream news, either.
Lots of love for my followers.
Truly, I mean that. You are all the best. No matter what the Internet dishes out, I hope we’ll all be friends. Even the guy that staunchly defended WotC and I can be friends (not that he follows me.)
Thanks for being here. I appreciate you. See you tomorrow.