I’ve been thinking a bit more about the review of Consent in Gaming I wrote. I’ve thought about the filling out of the paperwork and the back and forth that comes with that – all of which is about as enjoyable as filling out an excel spreadsheet for a project you hate. So I thought it might be more helpful if I posted mine on the blog so people can see what I’m about instead of it being something we hand back and forth.
Before I did though I asked Shanna Germain if it would be okay to post my filled out copy of the checklist on the blog:
So that’s what we’re going to be doing next and then I want to talk a little about what I’m okay with having in my role-playing games and what I won’t allow.
As you can see I filled this out for my Valley of the Three Forks setting that I’ve been working on with the Gygax ’75 Challenge; however, you can pretty well use this for all of my games. I’m mostly open with what I allow and what I’m willing to participate in as a player. To better understand what I’m against though let’s break it down by the areas.
In the horror section I’m mostly good with everything except cruelty to animals and to children. On the animals thing there are times when I’m okay with it appearing if it happens in a moment that makes the animal’s harm important for the story. For example, let’s say that a Druid had an animal companion that they exposed to harm in an effort to save the team. I’m not, however, okay with someone just torturing an animal because it’s something that helps them get their rocks off.
Harm to children is one of my bright red lines. I can’t stand someone being cruel to a child in real life. I won’t have it in a game where I’m getting together with my friends to have fun either.
I’m okay with players having their characters develop relationships with non-player characters in the game world, however, I don’t want to think about them getting sexual beyond a hand waved, “You two had sex.” I fully understand that other people enjoy this side of the game but for me it’s about as enjoyable as watching paint dry while listening to my neighbors fight about the size of each others’ genitalia.
I’m also absolutely against players becoming romantically involved with each other at the table. I’ve been at tables where players were becoming romantically entangled in real life and carried it over into our game – it was a nightmare for the rest of us. What’s worse, though, are these horror stories I’ve read online where some self-entitled gamer decides to throw their character on another player’s and attempt to seduce them.
That’s utterly disgusting. Don’t do that shit.
Social and Cultural Issues
With this topic I’m mostly against all of the topics brought up. I have too many gay and transgendered friends to be willing for any sort of bigotry to be brought up at the table. They have to put up with that vileness in real life; it will not be brought to my table. The same can be said for sexism.
Now racism is an odd one because I have had players who wanted to play half-elves and half-orcs with the racism against them from the non-player characters to be brought into play. It’s not something that I’m very comfortable with as I find myself often confronting racists in my daily life; however, if a player asks to experience that side of their character I will oblige so I marked it as yellow. In general though I am against having it in my games at all.
The other one I marked yellow is the Specific Cultural Issues because I have no idea what those might be and I might do something without really knowing about it. Most of my games take place in a pseudo-South so the culture is one I’m fairly familiar with. I can make mistakes though so I’m not willing to outright say I won’t.
Mental and Physical Health
I’m good with most everything here except for a couple of topics. The first is sexual assault. It will be a cold day before I have rape or sexual assault in my games. That sort of thing is a brutal cross too many people are forced to carry in real life. It won’t be at my table.
The other two topics I marked as yellow are “Pregnancy, miscarriage, or abortion” (PMA) and “gaslighting.” I marked PMA as a maybe because I have had players whose characters fathered children and who gave birth before. It was something their players actively tried to do and it was handled in mostly a hand wave way as I don’t particularly feel comfortable describing those situations. So I’m okay with them in the hand wave, “You had a baby girl/boy/demon spawn,” sort of way. I don’t allow miscarriages as that’s a cross people actually live with. It won’t be here.
I’ve never had anyone look to have an abortion in the games I run but if that’s what they want to do I would probably handle it in the same way as I do pregnancy. It’s not something I’m willing to act out in game.
Gaslighting, on the other hand, I had to mark as yellow because I’m completely baffled by the term. I have no idea if I’m doing it or not so I have no way of saying that I won’t do it.
Do you guys have any questions?