#NotAtMyTable Rolls to Hit… and Fumbles
Written by Mattaconda
Once again, modern progressivism and social justice ruins everything. Those who pray at the shrine of feminism have targeted anything that has a whiff of fun about it: from video games to science-fiction novels to heavy metal music – if people are enjoying something without thinking twice about identity politics, a shrieking social justice devotee will be there to tell them how their fun is ‘wrong’ and infringing upon safe spaces. Most of these endeavors have failed spectacularly, although the comic book industry – where social justice warriors managed an Invasion of the Bodysnatchers style takeover – remains a stern warning that these raving lunatics can indeed invade, infest, and destroy businesses and fracture fandoms in short order if there is no pushback from sensible fans of the product.
Now it seems the manic street preachers from the far left have turned their attention to tabletop role-playing games via the #NotAtMyTable hashtag. What is #NotAtMyTable, you ask? Why, it’s the beginning of the progressive stack for Dungeons & Dragons!
Because, you know, having a ‘creed’ doesn’t have any religious or cult-like overtones whatsoever, does it? Hey, if I take this oath, when do I get my sweet Nike shoes and cup of Kool-Aid for my astral journey to the mothership?
I’ve been playing tabletop RPGs for a long time. I’m just old enough to remember the crusade against D&D from the religious right in the 80’s. The tabletop industry withstood a vicious, brutal smear campaign in the media thanks to hardline evangelicals convinced that middle-school nerds sitting around a table rolling polyhedral dice on a Friday night were legitimately spilling blood on the parchment and summoning demons whilst playing Alice Cooper vinyl records backwards. If that sounds as dumb and hollow as “all video game players are cis white males threatening the lives of females in the gaming industry” that’s because it was just as dumb and hollow. The RPG industry survived though, and from this near-death experience came a number of games high on creativity and punk rock ethos – games like Vampire: the Masquerade, Shadowrun, and Cyberpunk 2020 pushed the limit on taste once it became apparent the far right was only making itself look foolish in its PR war against tabletop games. Sex and violence and crude language were possible again, and many of the writers and creators of the era weren’t going to miss the opportunity to express themselves.
Unfortunately, these grace periods can’t last forever. The pendulum would only continue swinging farther to the left as the 90’s went on. I could almost envision something like #NotAtMyTable happening 15 years ago. Gender pronouns in RPG rulebooks were becoming more and more of an issue. The gravitas of those late 80’s/early 90’s RPGs became sanitized in favor of not offending anyone. Moderators on web forums dedicated to RPG talk began stripmining their message boards with a greater emphasis placed on speech censorship over stamping out proper abuse.
For me, the watershed moment was when Wizards of the Coast brought Wil Wheaton on board to write guest editorials for their print magazines. Only a few years prior the writers of Dragon magazine were cracking jokes about what a shit actor he was in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Years later, with those writers either ostracized or replaced, Wil Wheaton was now welcomed into the fold as an unelected ‘voice’ of nerd culture. There was nothing openly preachy about Wheaton’s editorials back then – they were mostly generic and vanilla takes on gamer culture – but there was always an undercurrent of progressive whining in between the lines. I recall one issue of Dungeon magazine where Wil bemoaned not having enough time (because he’s such a famous, in-demand actor, you know) to find and play a D&D adventure suitable enough for his young stepson. No, that’s not a misprint. Wil was publicly telling people to never speak to him or his wife’s son again long before today’s meme was an itch in his daddy’s pants. Wil Wheaton is Cuckold Prime.
Turns out Wil moved on from writing columns for Wizards of the Coast because he didn’t play that much D&D in real life. What a shock! SJWs don’t actually partake in the hobbies they’re trying to ‘save’? Never would have guessed. Now, I’m not directly blaming Wil Wheaton for #NotAtMyTable springing into existence over a decade after he wrote some crap articles for now- defunct magazines, but it’s his brand of limp mewling coupled with more and more Tumblrinas filtering into the hobby and occupying forums and the RPG blog-sphere that started this slow rot in roleplaying games. What we’re seeing in quadrants of RPG fandom today is but a hint of the festering disease within.
Take a look at a few early examples from the #NotAtMyTable hashtag:
Do you notice anything about the individuals featured here? See if you can spot it. That’s right. Fat, white, goonybearded metrosexual losers self-flagellating themselves because of their skin color and gender.
The premise behind #NotAtMyTable is absurd. 99% of the time you are partaking in a roleplaying game with your real life friends and acquaintances. It is a time consuming and intimate social activity, not unlike playing cards or a board game with a group of people for hours on end. If there is a real example of hatred or bigotry or sexism occurring at your own table, guess what? You probably need better friends.
What about con games, you ask? Well, those are not ‘your’ table, even if you’re the individual running the game as the GM. Those tables belong to the convention, which always has its own set of rules and regulations that all guests are intended to abide by. If someone is being a real life asshole and legitimately threatening other players during a game, they’re going to get kicked out of the room, if not the entire convention. Saying that you’re against assholes disrupting your game is not really worth starting a hashtag movement over, is it? Isn’t everyone by default against a dickhead disrupting their fun?
Loudly proclaiming that you’re against racism or whatever ‘ism’ at your game table is nothing more than virtue signaling. You’re telling the world what a great person you are for imaginary brownie points from the regressive left. Or maybe you’re just trying to impress some sweet blue haired m’lady after the other seven guys ahead of you are done with her?
There is a secondary reason for the #NotAtMyTable hashtag existing though – it’s because SJWs are some of the biggest control freaks on the planet and it drives them insane to know there might be people out there in the wild who aren’t playing these games the ‘right way’. A progressive dingbat like Amber Scott (recently at the heart of the Beamdog/Baldur’s Gate controversy for her amazingly one-dimensional and offensive portrayal of trans characters) can wedge as many themes of equality or feminism into the Pathfinder RPG materials she’s written as she likes, but Amber and her ilk have absolutely zero control over how I choose to run that adventure at my own table. It’s called DM-fiat. At my own table, I have the ability to distort, change, rewrite, or ignore anything I want from a published game product for the betterment of my own group’s game. Does any of that ethos sound familiar? Yeah? That’s because it’s basically what social justice morons attempt to do to every other medium they get their hands on. (“Hurr! Samus is trans now because I said so!”) Getting a taste of their own medicine is a horror show for these people. It keeps them awake at night to think you might be sitting around your own table in your own home with your own friends and have the time of your lives without once broaching the topic of inequality between halflings and half-orcs.
These idiots want to police you and your behavior. Luckily, more than a few brave souls passed their resistance checks and started the fight back:
#NotAtMyTable I have gamed for over 30 yrs & I have NEVER seen a girl treated differently at the table! STOP WITH THIS SHIT!
— Ten Ton Geek (@TenTonGeek) May 20, 2016
If I'm a male playing a female character, and I seduce a female NPC, is that OK? I need a Feminist to tell me what to think!#NotAtMyTable
— [Current Year] Gul (@BemusedDukat) May 20, 2016
It's 2016, your D&D game must address the issue that female kobolds only drop 70cp loot for each 1sp a male kobold drops #NotAtMyTable
— R. Todd Sweeney (@SomeKindaBoogin) May 20, 2016
(A censor-free #NotAtMyTable discussion also exists at: