Cecilia D’Anastasio is back with another D&D article that puts the early days of the fantasy role-playing hobby in the worst possible light. Save Versus All Wands has already pointed out some of the inaccuracies it contains, and I won’t go into that aspect of the piece. I’m more concerned with what this article says about women’s role in the hobby if you just took it at face value.
According to this journalist, women’s contributions to the early development of D&D include the following:
In other words, very little in the way of substantial involvement with anything related to actual game design, game play, or game development. Indeed, the majority of the women cited here are presented of being contemptuous of the game and its fanbase, having no interest in playing at all and being wary of anyone that did. For someone that loves games and the history of game design, you really could not paint a more unflattering picture of women’s contributions to the biggest fantasy role-playing game franchise of them all.
My piece only dealt with one (or perhaps two) issues of historical fact. Your piece nailed the main thing that was wrong with that article. It wasn’t just an insult to the truth. It was, yes, an insult to women.
Have an archive.
“Wells designed Palace of the Silver Princess to her tastes, and with no regard for TSR’s mandate to make the game more kid-friendly.”
More important for women to “Do wut I want” against the virtue of family friendly play.
This from Kotaku which habitually shouts down video game developers for daring to design characters with large breasts.
A la The Sorceress in Dragon’s Crown “is a juvenile harmful piece of art”
So this: “a beautiful young woman hanging from the ceiling, naked, by her own hair. “Nine ugly men can be seen poking their swords lightly into her flesh, all the while taunting her in an unknown language,” is womyn empowerment yo!
But a cartoon character with large breasts not getting torture-rape-murdered is juvenile and harmful.
I know I am hinting at Kotaku’s hypocrisy here but it actually isn’t. They hate beauty, they hate family. So we get the destruction of beauty is good for them damn kids and the depiction of Beauty not being destroyed and in fact being heroic (Sorceress is a character players can play in what is ostensibly a team of heroes fight evil game) is harmful for those damn kids.
How these cretins got the reigns of taste makers must be a product of designed intention.
OT, but I always hated that (swiped) illo from Darlene.