An Open Letter to David A. Hill, Jr, and Associated Persons

As always, morning post and I must be brief.

It was not in shock, but grave disappointment, that I found myself blocked by you this morning — an act ostensibly because you have employed the auto-blocker tool, especially as I have had numerous discussions with you via social media in regards to the classic World of Darkness, Onyx Path’s work on the 20th Anniversary series, and gender representation in RPG’s particularly that of CWoD. Shockingly, aside from terse but civil exchanges on the topic at hand, when it came to the issues surrounding the relevant RPG’s we have been in total agreement. In fact, I have on occasion defended yours and Onyx Path’s work on this very topic from other Gamergate supporters who would use that work as an unrelated venue for attacking you personally.

What, to this point I have kept rather quiet, is that I am an Onyx Path forum quasi-regular. I own some of the 20th anniversary books, I was about to start kickstarting Onyx Path products since I find myself again with disposable income (I decision I am now giving second thought), and I have provided a mountain of feedback to Onyx Path — including you personally, since you’re a regular poster there — as a gamer and consumer in relation to already-released and upcoming products. Since this whole thing started, that’s a connection I’ve been reluctant to divulge, especially since I fear reprisal, sanction, or heightened scrutiny on those forums for topics wholly unrelated to the focus of those forums. No, I won’t divulge under what name I post there, especially given this recent development putting that fear foremost in my mind.

All because, and I’ll get straight to it, I perceive a handful of individuals in prominent positions in gaming media exploiting very real issues for personal gain rather than to address them as they damn well ought — seriously, honestly, and ethically — and throwing everyone is actually is harmed by those issues under the bus to do it, especially when it comes to using those people as shields against rightful criticism. See, I genuinely support what you, the good people at Onyx Path, and people who are honest in their dealings do in regards to issues such as gender in gaming and geek culture; I simply refuse to tolerate parasitism and opportunism in service of that goal, particularly when that malfeasance denudes real issues of gravity, relevance, and credibility which is precisely what has happened during the course of Gamergate.

This is the end result of the auto-blocker, and precisely what myself and others warned against since its inception. Whose interest, in the final analysis, does that really serve, especially in communities like the tabletop RPG community? What you do on social media is your business, but as someone who has substantively and productively interacted with you in the past on them and other venues, as well as an Onyx Path customer, I implore you to consider that ramification.