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About this blog

This blog is currently about my observations. I intend to write more about the minis themselves, conversions and I might include some battle reports in the future.

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Why not Ada Borden? - my observations of freedom of speech on an internet community

Just to introduce my self as a Malifaux player and a part of this community before I start getting on to the point: - This is my first blog ever and it's in English language which is not my first language, so please bear with me. Feel free to correct me, both on the claims I make and any grammar I might have fudged up. I'd really like to see some discussion and criticism, so I hope people will read this with an open mind. - I've gotten into Malifaux through the fluff and artwork and te community is the reason I stayed. I'm only a beginner miniature painter and not a very good player. I've got a lot of minis and the strongest part of my hobby besides the knowledge of fluff is my mini conversion skill. I will save all of these things for the future entries in this blog. So without further ado, I'm opening the todays topic. Yesterday I got insulted on a Wyrds forum and I actually had someone defend me today, which reminded me of why I love this community. It's not because I was labeled as a creepy pervert I felt insulted, but whenever there is even any sort of point to be made on some theme that's dealing with societal symbols, issues, fandoms or whatever there is misguided political correctness thrown about laced with some angry social rights rudeness. I made a comment and people started reading into my post and putting words into my (proverbial) mouth. Actually at first I got upset, then after I cooled off I got angry because I got upset about stupid things that happen on the internet and I started writing a post for the offtopic forum on this site. Before I posted it, it seemed too personal and I deleted it, so a day later I decided to start a blog with a similar topic of the unwritten post. If this is a good media for it, I'd like to have an open discussion about a way people tend to communicate issues on the internet when they have their sensibilities hurt or when they misenterpret something like in my case. I feel strongly about the way this problem is vocal in this community because I suppose I share this hobby with an ok bunch of people and not some anonymous douchebags and I think freedom of speech shouldn't shut people out with its agressive stance. Couple of weeks prior to my misinterpreted post there was a Lizzie Lovelace thread where people felt insulted because of a possible correlation with an abused pornstar and there were other mentions of pornstars and it somehow got tied to my post about tentacles. What hurts in this respect is that I love the story of Malifaux in its whole romantical insanity with its injustices and rare positive moments and people have a need to hamfist realism with its most boring moral prejudicies into ficton where it isn't needed. Venting finished, on to the topic. A lot of player created content gets published in the Wyrd Chronicles, Some player created content gets introduced in the games rules via beta testing and some of it comes from participation in various story tournaments and contests which sometime seep into the games ficitional world. This is all great and it makes me happy. The community has for the most part brought in a lot of positive changes to the game through the beta testing waves for which I'm along the ride for the fourth time now. And we've even seen some concept art being changed for the better (maybe not in the case of new Perdita, but it might be my personal preference that I prefer the alternate model than the one sold in her crew box). If a player, or a reader feels offended by a social issue which is happening in a fictional world or a game the noise surrounding these injustices start to be very loud (and in my opinion very obnoxious). There is no thing such as a bad press, but because Wyrd listens to their player base and I guess it wears them down, because its employees do read most of posts in social media and its forums and they become more careful about it in the future. The social issues I'm mentioning are usually based on real world issues and these things shouldn't be considered in every possible instance, unless it goes against basic human decency (like Viktoria of blood wearing only leather belts, but in a perfect world even that shouldn't be a moral issue). I belive the developers have set the tone of their world and game and there won't be big tonal shifts and things that just feel wrong with it. From its beginning over year and a half ago beta testing has become a bit different, we start to hear less details and we as a playerbase participate in a different way because there is too much noise and stuff gets lost in translation, not just between Wyrd and the players, but between players themselves. But that's not my only point. There will always be a wedge between people because of their different preferances and just because we're not all alike. The point I wanted to discuss is all this social justice stuff, because when something is deemed sexist, racist, harmful to some minority it gets more weight than it deserves and there are too many negative conotations and it drives people off and it gets unwanted exposure for all the wrong reasons. In the fiction when there are issues which are handeled like they are happening now and here the story and the immersion suffers and these things happen to a popular book, game, movie or whatever. Because of its ritchness fans get vocal about it, they feel like they are a part of something and they have to defend it and its sensibilities as if they are their own. That's all because a lot of different symbols get mixed up and the reality and ficition start feeling like one and same thing and the fictional world should have a freedom of its own, it should live apart from ourselves and be freely explored by its authors without significant outside meddling (like pressuring George R.R. Martin to finish Game of Thrones serial because he's getting old). There are countless critics (both profesisional and unprofessional), youtube, social media, journalism, advertisments and all these should have an outside veiw on a work of fiction. The final judge should be our own imagination and while sometimes a well placed criticism or review can change your world view, it's not a definitive answer to your own interpretation of the product, or a work of art. Todays world has countless personal freedoms and it is objectivly less painful, missing a lot of desease and misery that is a big part of the world of Malifaux. We have more social rights than ever before and on the other side there is also this fantastic and also horrible world of old (which has magic along its pain and hardships) which draws its realism from fiction and popular culture. It's very immersive and the problem and the blessing is that you get to play games in it, paint and build your own characters and participate in the world. It's impossible to make everyone happy with a product, but the game itself gives you freedom to change the things your don't like about the setting. I used to play a lot of RPGs and even if their storytelling style is much more immersive, the approach toward the gaming community is much more interactive and much wider reaching in the wargames. You also have this hobby part of the game and there is another "payoff" to that. I'll leave "faulty product" and scale issues topic for another day. I just wanted to say that as great as it is to make a game and sell your products, it seems to me this small company has a lot of painful backlash to deal with on a daily basis and I can't feel but empathise with them while I read all the posts concerning various issues. *** Last thing I wanted to discuss is free speech and I'm writing about it because I had an issue with it recently and it still feels fresh while I've gone far off topic from it in the mass of text above. Most people read into things with a bunch of stereotypes thrown into a mix of their thought process. When someone breaks the norm with expressing their "subjective" thruths there is always some sort of a backlash and things usually finish off as an argument. Following these forums has shown me that people can look past their issues and work together on the internet. It means that we're not all anonymous trolls that go onto boards for some blood, but we can work as a society. I have some friends (and their friends, with their friends of their friends etc.) on facebook that start political, atheism, pandas who go extinct because they won't have sex, gmo or anti-gmo topics day in day out and they start as constructive and smart and always finish with some social self entitled intelectual cannibal has to come out at a top of the food chain. I don't get it why arguments and issues have to be won. They should be explored and resolved. I mean we play wargames, you get to beat your opponent, why waste your time on forums with trying to be moral, or intellectual winner when you can rather agree and fix the issue? I guess everyone deserves respect. Good night and until next hippie, peace loving topic. PS I was supposed to paint minis for an upcoming tournament and work on my papers for my studies, but I rather started a blog. Sigh...

Linus Mcmold

Linus Mcmold

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