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Regarding the Current Controversy and Inclusiveness in Our Community

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#1
PulseGlazer

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Hi, I’m Aaron Glazer. You probably know me from the fact that I do not shut up anywhere, and on this one occasion, I feel this trait is serving a considerably less vapid purpose than arguing with people about cards. On the contrary, the fact that many of you know my voice, whether you like it or not, is something that compels me to speak.
 
I am really, genuinely bothered by the Brotherhood without Banners podcast and the stirrings its caused in our community. I, or friends of mine (Roy, Craven, so on), have spoken to all the involved parties: CardGameDB, the mods on the Facebook group, Keith, and gay community members.  If you are unsure of anything I am saying, please, feel free to ask for clarification.  You can call me a White Knight (or whatever term you like, really) but I’m writing this because this issue is something that matters to me and, I think, the community. If it doesn’t matter to you, it should.
 
I consider everyone who plays Thrones either a friend or a potential friend.  There are people I’m close with, others who are mere acquaintances, and still others who are total strangers. Even so, I’ve played against or talked to an awful lot of the community, had drinks, sang, and enjoyed myself on two continents and in three countries.  This was obviously easier in 1.0 with a smaller group, but the amazing people I’ve met so far in 2.0 have not changed my outlook in the slightest. Even those I haven’t met aren’t total strangers to me; we eventually meet, we play games, we go out for drinks. At the very least, we occupy same virtual space discussing our hobby.  We are friends and potential friends.  The controversy at its core, without discussing the intersection of various identity politics, is that certain friends are being made uncomfortable and unwelcome by this language.
 
Several of those people who play the game are, as noted earlier, gay.  Using derogatory language towards them, towards anyone’s identity, really, is sending the message that they are less -- that their natural way of being, by birth and biology, is weird and a somehow deviant to anyone “normal.”  In short, it sends the message that they are not welcome.
 
Now, I (and others) accept that Keith and his crew NEVER intended their words to have this effect. If you enjoy their podcast, listen to it. If you don’t, then don’t. 
 
But let me be clear: for me, associating an entire identity with patently offensive and demeaning language is categorically wrong and I won’t stand for it.
 
Before anyone brings up the issue of free speech, let me preempt the argument by saying that this statement is not an issue of free speech. No one's First Amendment Rights are being infringed upon by me saying that using terms like those used in the first Brotherhood podcast and other such slurs is ignorant and completely unmeasured. Furthermore, there is nothing inherent to anyone's First Amendment Right to expression that entitles him or her to hide behind a facade of "artistic expression," free from criticism, when someone else says they are offended. It is equally vapid and damaging to repudiate the idea of "political correctness" simply because it prevents you from dropping bigoted quips into whatever mode of expression you are using. 
 
It’s easy to say that it’s just words and people shouldn’t be offended. Everyone is not the same; some people are insulted, even hurt, by these words. And to assume that you, whatever your identity, should be able to say literally whatever you want, despite intentions and despite others’ feelings, makes you more than just entitled – it makes you wrong. Because as a result of this mentality, we may be losing members of our community, a community that has built a reputation as mature, accepting, generally good-natured people. By alienating certain people with insulting, coarse, uninformed language, you make them not want to sit across from and engage in a fun game with someone.
 
This post is not a joke. I’m someone who cares about this community and its members -- both current and future. This game is about community and friendship, not exclusion and competition, regardless of the source material.  Please, keep that in mind.
 
So, from me, you should know that, whatever your socioeconomic status, gender identity, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, level of physical ability, you are always welcome.
 

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#2
MightyToenail

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No matter your... level of physical ability, you are always welcome.

 

 

It's a good thing you included level of physical ability in there to include me. Though you forgot to add age to the list. My age is hardly common on this site. :P

 

It is really a good thing you posted this, and it must have taken some serious courage to put this up, and so let me be the first to commend you for this. While I am not gay, some of my best friends are, so their rights and lives are important to me. Thank you.


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#3
America

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Not sure of the full context here, but with the six million AGOT podcasts, someone is bound to say something with which someone will disagree.
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#4
daenarys

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Could you post a link to the relevant podcast ? Would like to have a listen so i can form an opinion.

 

Thanks



#5
nikotinlaus

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There is a difference in saying something somebody might disagree with and being offensive for no other reason than being offensive. I disagree with a whole lot of the things said in a lot of the podcasts, but in those cases it is a question of oppinion. If we allow homophobia to be a thing in the community what is next? Sexism? Racism? This community is supposed to be about a game we all love and therefore should be as inclusive as possible. I am realy glad that Aaron stood up on the issue, because it is important to show people that there is a line between friendly banter and real discrimination that should not be crossed. I still prefer to be positive and so I just suppose the makers of the podcast wanted to be funny without being aware of how stupid the thing they were doing was. So we can just hope that similar things do not happen again. In the end, we all just want to play some cardgame with nice people and have fun.


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#6
Tobogan

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SJWs everywhere.


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#7
MightyToenail

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SJWs everywhere.

SJWs abuse societal privileges in order to receive more rights and get attention
Common sense is where you give equal rights and privileges to all.
There is a difference. :P
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#8
ktom

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If we allow homophobia to be a thing in the community what is next? Sexism? Racism?

 

Little late on the sexism front, I believe. Some incident at an NYC event, if memory serves?



#9
jrosen9

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I am apparently in the minority.  I listened to their first episode and I didn't really notice any homophobic slurs.  The only derogatory section I noticed was a brief bit towards the beginning where they talk about the entitlement of 1st edition players.  To me, their podcast reminded me of the old Adam Sandler CDs that came out in the 90s, very raunchy and not giving a care about what anyone thinks.  


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#10
MightyToenail

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I am apparently in the minority. I listened to their first episode and I didn't really notice any homophobic slurs. The only derogatory section I noticed was a brief bit towards the beginning where they talk about the entitlement of 1st edition players. To me, their podcast reminded me of the old Adam Sandler CDs that came out in the 90s, very raunchy and not giving a care about what anyone thinks.

I didn't listen to it, so I am just relying on secondhand info.

You know, it's funny, when I saw the podcast waiting to be approved and published, I saw the warning and thought, "maybe I should send a PM to Pipes to have him thoroughly check it". I guess I should have.

#11
daenarys

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I have looked in the podcast section and cannot see this and likewise i have tried looking on facebook with no joy. Can someone point me in the right direction ?

 

Thanks



#12
MightyToenail

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I have looked in the podcast section and cannot see this and likewise i have tried looking on facebook with no joy. Can someone point me in the right direction ?
 
Thanks

It got banned from the site. If you search "Brotherhood Without Manners" it should come up.

#13
daenarys

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Thanks very much, think i have now found.



#14
agktmte

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I am apparently in the minority. I listened to their first episode and I didn't really notice any homophobic slurs. The only derogatory section I noticed was a brief bit towards the beginning where they talk about the entitlement of 1st edition players. To me, their podcast reminded me of the old Adam Sandler CDs that came out in the 90s, very raunchy and not giving a care about what anyone thinks.


They were censored after the initial outrage.

#15
keithsboredom

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They were censored after the initial outrage.

for the record we took it upon ourselves to censor it


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#16
ComeHonor

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I guess it wouldn't really be the internet if we weren't offended by it, right?


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#17
AvantCard

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Thank you.



#18
Joshaw

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SJWs everywhere.

Asking for people to be respectful of other human beings to create a pleasant environment for all players seems pretty reasonable.


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#19
Marginal0

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I always thought the Brotherhood of Banners in the books included a bunch of gay people. It's a secluded group of men. Surely they must've done some stuff.

 

That being said, I think you mistake the opinion of some for the opinion of many. I never met any player of AGOT who seemed to be a homophobe. Maybe the broadcasters happen to be some and that's a pity. I didn't listen to it so shouldn't have an opinion on this.



#20
keithsboredom

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Maybe the broadcasters happen to be some

Thats not true at all, as we've all stated ad nauseam.