Date: 2017-07-16 02:46 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
It's a very good point that looting is a crime, and the baseline story-archetype of Dungeons & Dragons is one of 'adventurers' ruthlessly exploiting people.

I think that due to the flexible and collaborative nature of a tabletop (or LARP) RPG it's entirely possible to create stories that escape and/or subvert and/or complexify that set of underlying assumptions. That doesn't necessarily serve to 'redeem' D&D. But I'm not terribly interested adhering to the story of redeeming a Bad Genre by making Good Subversive Art with it, even though I likely will enjoy many of the latter type of works.

Even if one looked at, say, a set of gaming handbooks as static and essentially racist, colonialist, anti-history, that doesn't mean someone is necessarily a bad person for playing and enjoying the game. To someone who, like me, carries around a lot of white privilege in the USAian context, I would advise caution in promoting any problematic RPG (and they are mostly problematic), and also looking for opportunities to diversify their media consumption, but I would not try to tell someone that they could not like the thing. To anyone else, I would refrain from giving advice.

Any piece of media read/played/watched/etc interacts with someone's life contexts along the way and forms only a small component of their overall story; for some people, a problematic work may still be a positive, even transformative experience. Or it may reinforce some really problematic memes. Or, likely, both.

Nothing is value neutral. But that's like saying that plants grow in soil; the decay and growth and cross-pollination and cross-contamination and symbiosis are all going on at once in the ecosystem, and what survives and thrives is too incredibly complex to entirely predict, and a healthy plot of plants that one likes really cannot be achieved by weeding out everything else, though there may be things pernicious enough to need gotten rid of.

It's okay to be picky. It's okay to like something problematic. It's okay to be critical of one's past (or present) blinkered tendencies, and look for ways to change course. Yet but I think there is rarely much good produced out of self-condemnation, or the externalized self-condemnation that is stating that certain works/genres/tropes are bad. But then again - certain pieces of media really are bad, hateful and seductively prejudiced and prescribing wrongful actions. It's complicated.

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