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Tabletop Tuesday – #DnDGate

It’s amusing when an article you write about geek culture and behavior is reflected in later events. That amusement is even more so when things happen mere days after you’ve written something.

That’s precisely what happened after my article on how geek culture was done with “broflakes.” I discussed the problem that geekdom has with so-called fans, the “manbabies” and “neckbeards,” and how industry leaders were done with their idiocy.

While primarily discussing incidents in movies and video games, I also brushed upon similar problems in tabletop gaming. I can now explore these problems a bit more with a recent problem being labeled #DnDGate.


It’s all about integrity and roleplaying!

I won’t go too far into the individual behind this, as I don’t really want to give them the attention. Suffice to say, their anti-SJW ideology falls victim to the same argumentum ad temperantiam and “the left is just as bad as the right” myth as many MRAs, incels, alt-right, and others suffering from “white male fragility.”

Their latest movement was a claim that Dungeons & Dragons had been poisoned by the demands of a “totalitarian Left.” The nerd rage started with a tweet by Jeremy Crawford, the Lead Rules Designer for D&D, criticizing Trump’s immigration policy through the lens of fantasy RPGs:

This tweet obviously targeted any right-wing D&D players who support ICE and the current administration. The same “fans” who use astounding mental gymnastics to enjoy Superman and Captain America, while simultaneously espousing xenophobia and nationalism.

This daring critique on gamers suffering cognitive dissonance was too much for the oversensitive broflakes. The aforementioned “bogeyman” of the gaming world, who’s been compared to Alex Jones, claimed the SJWs and Leftists had ruined D&D with their intolerance and demanded the biased staff be fired.

Thus, #DnDGate was born; a poor man’s “GamerGate” focusing on D&D “integrity” and how intolerant the Left had made tabletop gaming for anyone who “had a different opinion.” You know, opinions like, “rape jokes are funny,” “games shouldn’t be based on insensitive stereotypes,” and “it’s OK to put children in cages.”


Both opinions should be welcome at the table! (Source: Kasia Babis)

Before we become too irate, as my previous article mentioned, there was a silver lining. The response by the gaming community was fantastic, starting with the usual retorts.

My favorite response, however, was to co-opt the hashtag and turn #DnDGate into something amusing. In this case, many people began tweeting about literal gates in D&D and fantasy RPGs.

Some gamers even combined the two, talking about barriers both literal and metaphorical.

One individual also went as far as to remind everyone that hashtags could be trademarked. By doing so, they were now able to bill anyone who misused their trademark.

As I said in my earlier article, it’s heartening to see the gaming world turn on the worst individuals and steal their spotlight. Like the days before the Internet gave the socially (and logically) challenged an echo chamber, the geek community is isolating them and driving them back into the basements from whence they came.

The world progresses, and people either adapt with it or die off; D&D and RPGs are no different. No matter how much these trolls try to start some conspiracy or movement to remain relevant, they won’t drag tabletop gaming back with them.

Sorry, “gatekeepers,” but we’ve already closed that door, locked it, and left a warning not to open it for future gamers.


About Brook H. (269 Articles)
Generalist, polymath, jack-of-all-trades... Brook has degrees in Human Behavior and Psychology and has majored in everything from computers to business. He's worked a variety of jobs, including theater, security, emergency communications, and human services. He currently resides outside Baltimore where he tries to balance children, local politics, hobbies, and work. Brook is HoH and a major Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing advocate, a lifelong gamer (from table-top to computer), loves everything paranormal, and is a Horror-movie buff.

10 Comments on Tabletop Tuesday – #DnDGate

  1. I agree that “the left” is not as bad as “the right,” however when you use seemingly innocuous sentences like “This tweet obviously targeted any right-wing D&D players who support ICE and the current administration,” you’re giving them ammo. Though it is understandable to draw that conclusion, it’s just that: a conclusion. Crawford’s tweet only said “let’s be nice to people.” Who it was targeted at is what YOU are bringing to the table, not him.

    Nit-picky? Yes. But if you actually care about affecting hearts and minds, and you intend to do that in writing, you must be as precise…and diplomatic…as possible with your language.

    Edit: I didn’t realize we’re talking about pundit here….nevermind! You can say whatever you want about him…as long as you’re talking about him, he’s winning, anyway. 😉


  2. Alright Bellendil, keep your ring on.

    You should probably do some basic research before writing articles like this, which will only make DnDgate a thing, when it doesn’t really need to be. Smearing Gamergate and Comicsgate didn’t make those go away, the lies and misrepresentation fed the fire.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. bblackmoor // June 26, 2018 at 10:32 am //

    A fun article, which treats the regressive cretins with all of the respect they deserve (none). My only criticism — a faint one — is the same as Ed Gibbs’. Saying that a request that we behave like decent human beings “targets the right”, is a peculiar way to express that thought. Something along the line of, “Naturally, an exhortation for people to behave like decent human beings was infuriating to the far-right extremists who pine for the days of black people being lynched and gay people being beaten to death.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m confused who the regressives are here, because so far as I knew censorship, gatekeeping and demonisation – to the point of lying about people – wasn’t a progressive position. Fuck knows I don’t agree with Pundit on a lot, but there’s no need to lie about him.


  4. It’s always amusing to me to see trolls & asshats like the folks who tried to start #DnDGate get shut down in such spectacular fashion.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The trolls and asshats in this instance are the ones who overreacted to the mere suggestion and run the risk of turning into a real thing by their behaviour.


  5. My thoughts on the topic: Pundit thinks he’s having one conversation when everyone else is having another.


  6. Anon Adderlan // June 27, 2018 at 2:10 pm //

    Yet you’ve just demonstrated that the ‘left’ engages in as much misrepresentation as the ‘right’.

    #DnDGate is stupid. But nothing about it is #Transphobic. In fact the first RPG to ever put a transperson on the cover was written by the instigator in question. He was also a consultant on D&D 5e. You know, the wokest one.

    And you can’t trademark existing hashtags and suddenly charge for them. That’s just Daniel exploiting a controversy to market his game, which he does, as aggressively and constantly as the instigator in question. And you’re helping him.

    And it’s convenient that you decided not to include any statements by the instigator in question because you don’t want to give him ‘attention’ so we can’t verify what you’re saying is true. Because I’m pretty sure he’s never “demanded the biased staff be fired”, which is something the ‘left’ do constantly.

    And by ‘repurposing’ the hashtag the community didn’t steal the spotlight, they amplified his message, because a rising tide raises all boats. And then your dumb ass article only proves the instigator in question was right about how you people operate all along.

    And then you end with…

    “Sorry, “gatekeepers,” but we’ve already closed that door, locked it, and left a warning not to open it for future gamers.”

    …so I can’t decide if this article is even legit or just a troll. I’m just going to assume the latter and say it’s time for #GatekeepingGatekeepersGate.


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