Bill Plumley
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As strange at it seems to say in a Cards Against Humanity article: Trigger warning, sexual violence.

I just got done reading an editorial on PC gaming website (though they do talk about boardgames from time to time) Rock Paper Shotgun (Here), concerning how a former college classmate of the creator of the game, Max Temkin, has come forward stating that he had raped her back in college. While I'm all for innocent-until-proven-guilty, what bothers me about it as much as the accusations is his response to it (Here).

Specifically:

Quote:
Part of rape culture that hurts everyone is that it makes it difficult to talk about what is and is not consent

The assertion that consent is some nebulous, ambiguous thing.

Quote:
I spoke with my lawyer, and she thinks I have a clear case to sue this woman for libel and get a restraining order, but I have no desire to bully or harm her.

The thinly-veiled threat that this statement makes, trying to pass it off as some noble act of his.

Quote:
There is no evidence for this story. I will never have a chance to defend myself.

The idea that her story isn't considered 'evidence' even though he asks us to believe his story in its place, and that his renown doesn't give him a strong platform to defend himself (let alone how a majority of the public reacts to rape accusations anyways).

Quote:
I will continue to be a feminist and an advocate for women’s rights to the best of my capacity. Cards Against Humanity will continue to hire amazing, talented women.

And this statement comes off as something along the lines of "I can't be a racist, I have black friends" or "and they brought us whole binders full of women".

While, as he points out, Cards Against Humanity had its rape-related cards removed in later printings, many people still have and play the earlier ones. And with or without those cards, knowing of all of the above really does spoil the mood of the game for myself, and friends I've spoken to about this agree. Will I end up getting rid of the game as a response to this? Quite possibly, yes. And I wouldn't feel right selling it off to someone, either.
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Mike Beiter
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Sadly, unless you are someone that knows these two personally, no one can be sure who is telling the truth or not, so people can believe what they want to believe.

Personally, I read the article before reading the OPs points above and did not arrive at any of the same conclusions. I see it as the response of someone who was accused of something stating their innocence and giving their reasons why. Nothing more. I did not get any shady vibes from his words.

Now I certainly do not want to throw any sparks to the kindling that has been laid to ignite a Rape discussion in a board game forum so I will not touch on that subject or points.

Personally I do not see point 2 as a thinly veiled threat as I do not know the person in real life so I do not know if he is meaning it as a threat; or are these the words of someone who is just on the defensive since he feels attacked?

He claims he is innocent and felt the need to state his side. I find that respectful.

I still greatly enjoy this game and will continue to play it and enjoy every minute of it.





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Derry Salewski
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What do you want someone accused of rape to say?

Seems fairly typical (though I'm sure a lawyer will say say nothing at all.)

I think the OP is projecting a lot of bias reading those quotes (or simply quoting things poorly-- I don't care to read the original source.)

(I'm assuming this is going straight to rsp)
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Bill Plumley
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MajaiofDreams wrote:
Personally I do not see point 2 as a thinly veiled threat as I do not know the person in real life so I do not know if he is meaning it as a threat; or are these the words of someone who is just on the defensive since he feels attacked?


Why even mention that you spoke to your lawyer? And even if you do want to mention it, why mention that your lawyer says you have a good case against the person? Even if it wasn't intended to be threatening, that's how it comes across.
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In before the RSP shuttle departs.

Edit: Prefacing a news report of a rape allegation with a trigger warning seems overly precautionary. There's nothing in the way of vivid depictions that might prove distressing to the more vulnerable among us.
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Bill Plumley
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scifiantihero wrote:
What do you want someone accused of rape to say?


I'd say they're free to deny it and free to present their side of the story. But as soon as, in the same breath as your denial, you choose to comment on rape culture and choose to call yourself a feminist, you open yourself up to critique.

And when you're behind a best-selling game that thrives off of cracking jokes about very sensitive issues, a fact that makes your game rather controversial and rather famous, and then one of those issues becomes a serious matter in your life, how you handle talking about it is a rather telling thing.

That's why I hope this doesn't go to RSP automatically; this game in particular makes this relevant to talking about the game.
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If he spoke to a lawyer then the first thing the lawyer would say is don't comment on it other than denial.

Sadly, common sense is not a prerequisite to be a card/board game designer.
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billsayswow wrote:
scifiantihero wrote:
What do you want someone accused of rape to say?




That's why I hope this doesn't go to RSP automatically; this game in particular makes this relevant to talking about the game.


Lol. No. Just, no.

But, yeah I guess my point was that I've never heard anyone talk about feminism or rape culture without sounding at least like a tool.

It's a crappy situation.

But I read what you quoted as saying:

1) rape accusations sucks.

2) they can make just as much a victim out of an innocent accused.

3) that is me.

4) it's not going to change the way I act (which on the surface makes me not sound like a huge rapist.)

I'd rather someone in this case said nothing, but I also wouldn't expect whoever came up with this dumb game to know how to keep their mouth shut.
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billsayswow wrote:
MajaiofDreams wrote:
Personally I do not see point 2 as a thinly veiled threat as I do not know the person in real life so I do not know if he is meaning it as a threat; or are these the words of someone who is just on the defensive since he feels attacked?


Why even mention that you spoke to your lawyer? And even if you do want to mention it, why mention that your lawyer says you have a good case against the person? Even if it wasn't intended to be threatening, that's how it comes across.


It could be mentioned for the reasons as stated, as a gesture that he does not want to sue. He approached his lawyer for council because he is concerned of the ramifications and they mentioned he had a case if he wanted to sue, and he said NO, I do not want to sue her. If he really wanted to sue, he could have filed the lawsuit. But he chose not to. I do not see it as a threat that he will sue, it is a declaration that he is prepared to defend himself if the assault continues.

He is making that statement to show he is prepared for the worst that if this comes to legal blows, he is ready but does not want to go that way. Personally if I was accused of such a thing you can be sure I would have all my ducks in a row as well.

This goes back to my first statement. We can not be sure of his intent without asking him. I choose to take it as he is upset and he is just defending himself in a way that he hopes will end this quickly.

Anyone can look at that statement and draw their own conclusions. Maybe it was a threat? Maybe he was typing emotionally? Maybe it was genuine and sincere and with good intentions?

The interpretation is in the eye of the beholder.

My advice is, unless you are part of the situation and know the people involved, try not to read too much into their words and pull out threats where none were intended.






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Bill Plumley
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scifiantihero wrote:
billsayswow wrote:
scifiantihero wrote:
What do you want someone accused of rape to say?




That's why I hope this doesn't go to RSP automatically; this game in particular makes this relevant to talking about the game.


Lol. No. Just, no.


Just no? The actions and statements of the creator of a game can't reflect upon how people see the game itself?

Just to give another example (though not to equate anything), I can think of all sorts of potential wargames or counter-insurgency games where the statements or actions of the game's designer would strongly colour the perception of the game. If the latest entry in GMT's COIN series tackled Israel and Palestine, and the lead designer later made statements suggesting he's a Holocaust denier, or belongs to a Zionist political action group, that wouldn't be relevant to discussion of the game?
 
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MajaiofDreams wrote:
The interpretation is in the eye of the beholder.

My advice is, unless you are part of the situation and know the people involved, try not to read too much into their words and pull out threats where none were intended.


Agreed that the interpretation is in the eye of the beholder. Except both myself and others that I have spoken to are left with an interpretation where the vibe of the game is a bit spoiled by the comments made by the designer.

As a comparison, look at South Park. It's a show that thrives on being equal-opportunity-offensive, and yet gets away with it because most fans of the show thing the two guys behind it are truly doing it all in good sport, and that they often use that offensive humour to make valid social commentary. But if one of them were caught on tape in public, making a vulgar, racist rant at someone, that would ruin the good faith that lets them get away with that sort of humour in the eyes of some.
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There are degrees of offense. Wording something badly in one's defense from a charge like this doesn't rank very highly in my estimation. Certainly not enough for me to reconsider owning or enjoying the game.
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billsayswow wrote:
MajaiofDreams wrote:
The interpretation is in the eye of the beholder.

My advice is, unless you are part of the situation and know the people involved, try not to read too much into their words and pull out threats where none were intended.


Agreed that the interpretation is in the eye of the beholder. Except both myself and others that I have spoken to are left with an interpretation where the vibe of the game is a bit spoiled by the comments made by the designer.

As a comparison, look at South Park. It's a show that thrives on being equal-opportunity-offensive, and yet gets away with it because most fans of the show thing the two guys behind it are truly doing it all in good sport, and that they often use that offensive humour to make valid social commentary. But if one of them were caught on tape in public, making a vulgar, racist rant at someone, that would ruin the good faith that lets them get away with that sort of humour in the eyes of some.


That is true if Matt or Trey (the creators of South Park) did blatantly say or do something that shone them in a less favorable light it could taint their image and the shows for some. Again, I use the word, blatant as it is not up for dispute. The topic here is still not one of proven guilt or innocence.

So I would argue if someone accused them of it and they responded in the same manor the CaH responded stating their innocence I would see no problem.

It all comes back to, who do you choose to believe, the accuser or the accuse? Words are so easy to overanalyze and put meaning behind where none is intended.




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billsayswow wrote:
As a comparison, look at South Park. It's a show that thrives on being equal-opportunity-offensive, and yet gets away with it because most fans of the show thing the two guys behind it are truly doing it all in good sport, and that they often use that offensive humour to make valid social commentary. But if one of them were caught on tape in public, making a vulgar, racist rant at someone, that would ruin the good faith that lets them get away with that sort of humour in the eyes of some.

But that comparison is totally different because there would be a tape that everyone could see. This case is - as far as we know - purely based on witness testimony by his girlfriend from 10 years ago. Doesn't it raise a red flag that she is bringing it up now after he made a bunch of money? I think I will give him the benefit of the doubt for now.
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MajaiofDreams wrote:

It all comes back to, who do you choose to believe, the accuser or the accuse? Words are so easy to overanalyze and put meaning behind where none is intended.


Except it doesn't. What I've been saying here isn't a matter of believing one way or the other. I conceded early on that he's innocent until proven otherwise. The basis of what I'm trying to say is based on the statement he made in response. If he had made similar statements in an entirely different situation (for whatever the reason might be), they would still be rather questionable things to say.
 
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Teamjimby wrote:

But that comparison is totally different because there would be a tape that everyone could see. This case is - as far as we know - purely based on witness testimony by his girlfriend from 10 years ago. Doesn't it raise a red flag that she is bringing it up now after he made a bunch of money? I think I will give him the benefit of the doubt for now.


See my most recent post before this; again, what I'm trying to say doesn't hinge on whether or not he did what he was accused of doing. The comparison holds up, it's a public statement about a sensitive issue that some would take offense to, and thus lends a certain context to the potentially offensive work the person is famous for.
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billsayswow wrote:
Teamjimby wrote:

But that comparison is totally different because there would be a tape that everyone could see. This case is - as far as we know - purely based on witness testimony by his girlfriend from 10 years ago. Doesn't it raise a red flag that she is bringing it up now after he made a bunch of money? I think I will give him the benefit of the doubt for now.


See my most recent post before this; again, what I'm trying to say doesn't hinge on whether or not he did what he was accused of doing. The comparison holds up, it's a public statement about a sensitive issue that some would take offense to, and thus lends a certain context to the potentially offensive work the person is famous for.


I get what you are saying. It is not if he is guilty or innocent, it is how he handled himself. He responded in a way that some people do not approve of for whatever their reasons are. You are not saying that makes him guilty, it just makes his character lose points in your book. Enough that playing his game is now tainted.

But others feel his actions/words were fine and he lost no points in their books, to some he may have even gained some.
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LordHellfury wrote:


H.P.Lovecraft was a well documented racist. (though not uncommon for his time)

Yet, I do not feel compelled to burn his collection of literature that I enjoy reading because he has diametrically opposing opinions than me regarding that issue.

Do as you wish, but it seems like a really high horse position to me.

But what do I know? I judge a product on its own merits as a product, not because of a knee jerk reaction over an issue where guilt seems to be assumed based on statements made.

Anyone who comments on "rape culture" is going to sound like a tool as the entire subject matter is a set up to failure no matter what is said. Best avoided like the plague.


Funny enough, that fact about HP Lovecraft is a fact that I have pointed out to people before. The anthology that I read of his back when opened with a preface that talked about that fact. They saw it relevant to his writing.

Am I taking a high-horse position in this matter, sure. But considering the pervasive stance towards consent and rape, a stance that is reflected in the accused's statement, if this is something you want to oppose, then a strong action is necessary. Again, I'm not assuming guilt in this matter, it's just the attitude that he has displayed towards these matters is what is so strongly turning me off to him and the game.

And while I might be the only one in this thread who sees it this way, the article I originally posted sees it the same way, as well as many others out there.
 
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MajaiofDreams wrote:

I get what you are saying. It is not if he is guilty or innocent, it is how he handled himself. He responded in a way that some people do not approve of for whatever their reasons are. You are not saying that makes him guilty, it just makes his character lose points in your book. Enough that playing his game is now tainted.

But others feel his actions/words were fine and he lost no points in their books, to some he may have even gained some.


I have to thank you for at least seeing what I'm trying to say here, and stating the whole thing quite well. I didn't come here to try and start a full-scale shitstorm against anyone, I just thought that it was something that some people would like to at least be made aware of, even if it doesn't sway their opinion. At least if someone mentions a boycott of the game, or anything of the sort, you'll know what they're referring to.

The reason that this is such a red flag for myself and some people is that it's reflective of a larger issue that some find troubling. It's not a matter of whether or not he raped someone, but a matter of the attitude in response to it. As comes up whenever an incident like this comes up, an alarming number of people are content to downplay accusations, question motivation, and pick apart the concept of consent altogether. The reply the accused made to the accusation reflects some of these trends, and the statements of some (but not all) in this chatroom reflect them as well.

THAT is what I'm objecting to, that is what I and others are combating. The fact that, as others have mentioned, discussing 'rape culture' is such a pointless exercise at times is that some belittle such things, or don't see the actual problems present beneath the caricatures of such conversations. RSP is, largely, a dumping ground for what many see as flamebait and trolling, as many have joked about this being an RSP-worthy thread. But having that attitude entirely shuts down what otherwise could be a serious discussion.
 
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billsayswow wrote:
scifiantihero wrote:
billsayswow wrote:
scifiantihero wrote:
What do you want someone accused of rape to say?




That's why I hope this doesn't go to RSP automatically; this game in particular makes this relevant to talking about the game.


Lol. No. Just, no.


Just no? The actions and statements of the creator of a game can't reflect upon how people see the game itself?

Just to give another example (though not to equate anything), I can think of all sorts of potential wargames or counter-insurgency games where the statements or actions of the game's designer would strongly colour the perception of the game. If the latest entry in GMT's COIN series tackled Israel and Palestine, and the lead designer later made statements suggesting he's a Holocaust denier, or belongs to a Zionist political action group, that wouldn't be relevant to discussion of the game?


No, it wouldn't. Or let's say, yes it might be, but in RSP.

I'm just (correctly, I believe) paraphrasing BGG policies for you. It IS an interesting subject.

edit: And I don't think you're getting that rsp is a place where you can have a serious discussion. In fact, it's the place to do it if you need to talk about rape and feminism on a boardgame site. It does feel like it's shunted aside a little, but that's because that's not what this site is for. The fact that you're really interested in boardgames too, and that these two subjects are slightly related, doesn't mean it should be on the game pages.
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billsayswow wrote:
scifiantihero wrote:
What do you want someone accused of rape to say?


I'd say they're free to deny it and free to present their side of the story. But as soon as, in the same breath as your denial, you choose to comment on rape culture and choose to call yourself a feminist, you open yourself up to critique.

How so? Are you automatically disqualified from being a feminist if you are *accused* of rape? Does such an accusation invalidate any and all thoughts you might have on "rape culture" (whatever that is)?

Quote:
And when you're behind a best-selling game that thrives off of cracking jokes about very sensitive issues, a fact that makes your game rather controversial and rather famous, and then one of those issues becomes a serious matter in your life, how you handle talking about it is a rather telling thing.

How so? It's not like he advocated rape or anything that the game makes mention of. He didn't say anything like, "She had it coming," or "Look how she was dressed."

The rape of a name is also a rape.
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Phil Fleischmann wrote:

How so? Are you automatically disqualified from being a feminist if you are *accused* of rape? Does such an accusation invalidate any and all thoughts you might have on "rape culture" (whatever that is)?


I never said either of those things. I said that your reply becomes open to critique when you go beyond a simple denial of such accusations.

Quote:
How so? It's not like he advocated rape or anything that the game makes mention of. He didn't say anything like, "She had it coming," or "Look how she was dressed."

The rape of a name is also a rape.


He didn't say any of those things, yes, but he made comments that play along similar lines. Read my most recent comment to MajaiofDreams to see what I mean. To suggest that consent is this vague, non-specific thing, and to suggest that she misunderstood things in their intimacy, is just as bad as commenting "Look how she was dressed" or what have you.

'Rape culture', for the record, refers to, to borrow a quote: "We’re talking about the way that we collectively think about rape. More often than not, it’s situations in which sexual assault, rape, and general violence are ignored, trivialized, normalized, or made into jokes."

If you want examples, the article I pulled that quote from offers up 25 of them, with sources: (Here.)

Lastly, on first read, I'd find your last statement, "the rape of a name is also a rape", to be rather appalling, so before I reply to it, I'll ask you to explain it.
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billsayswow wrote:
[The actions and statements of the creator of a game can't reflect upon how people see the game itself?


No, of course not. Not if one is rational...

Anything (a game, a piece of art, whatever...)is just as well-made/beautiful/good/etc...regardless of the attributes of its creator.



 
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Though we are primarily talking about this specific situation because of its ties to the gaming community, this thread has very little to do with the game.

Moved to RSP
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