A Clarion Call to Censor Conan

Feminists have declared this image of Conan problematic. They say that such things are not okay to depict in 2016.

Feminists have declared this image of Conan problematic. They say that such things are not okay to depict in 2016.

UPDATE (11/23/2016): Dragon Award-winning author Brian Niemeier brings the pain. Also, the Reddit board KotakuInAction has some very good comments from people familiar with the Conan mythos.

UPDATE 2 (11/23/2016): Further developments here. There is hope.

UPDATE 3 (11/23/2016): Here’s the controversy from a perspective I had not thought of. It’s a pretty interesting article.

I was scrolling through a Facebook feed when I came across some curious news. Apparently, a Conan board game is in the works, much to the joy of many a Conan fan. It had raised millions of dollars on Kickstarter, and the people in charge of the game put that windfall to work, making the best game they could. Judging from the art, it looks like it’ll be a fun game, worthy of the fans’ admiration and support.

But we live in 2016. And in 2016, that kind of thing just isn’t allowed.

A pair of articles have come out bashing the game as “sexist” for having damsels in distress, too few playable females, and females in scanty clothes instead of some perfect gender-balanced mix more palatable to them.

The goal of these feminists is clear: attack the creators’ character to force them to change the product. To the feminist mind, all big-ticket gaming products must be in line with feminist ideology, or whoever created them will be tarred as dangerous bigots whether or not they engage in bigotry.

The feminists’ defenders state that damsels in distress and scanty clothing must be banned because it’s “just like racism.” That is a self-serving nonsense claim — it is claimed that historical accuracy is racism, or white main characters are racism, or nonwhite villains are racism. Today’s far-left uses intersectionality theory, privilege theory, and microaggression theory to determine what is “racist” and/or “sexist,” and they have made it clear that racism and sexism are whatever they say it is — and if you disagree, you’re a bigot to them, a moral reprobate not worthy of even casual courtesy.

Look carefully at what is going on here. The feminists are declaring that damsels may no longer be portrayed. That no woman may be shown in a sexually alluring light. That all games must hew close to 21st-century Bay Area progressive thinking or you’re Satan Hitler from the Ku Klux Taliban. We’ve seen this thinking wreak havoc in the video game industry, where pro-censorship bloggers intimidate venerable, well-funded video game and comic book companies into altering content. Seeing as the Social Justice crowd has a death grip on the convention scene, they can bring a lot of pressure to bear on any creator that fails to obey the commands of the Volunteer Thought Police.

And when this sort of thing happens, Social Justice usually gets what it wants.

Bullying like this is one reason I do the Appendix N Review Series. The Social Justice crowd wants to impugn all work done before their time as hateful books not worth reading and not worth being inspired by. They want readers to hear of those old works and pass them by because they heard those books were bigoted. I say read them for yourself.

All creators should have maximum liberty to make their work, not tiptoe in fear of character assassination.

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20 Responses to A Clarion Call to Censor Conan

  1. Donna Speare says:

    Well said, Rawle — which, coming from you, is no surprise.

    • Rawle Nyanzi says:

      Well said, Rawle — which, coming from you, is no surprise.

      Thank you. I just couldn’t sit idly by while this foolishness happened again.

  2. I’m a little surprised that no one’s done a game on Conan before. He’s got a fan base that goes way back (I read him fifty years ago) so this should be popular. The optimist in me suggests that the Law of Adverse Attention comes into play here: The noise they make will just generate more attention for the game that they’re trying to suppress. This happened with the Sad Puppies and will happen again for other things. Brian Niemeier has very effectively turned his Twitter shadowban into additional sales, and if they ever come after me I’ll do the same thing.

    • Rawle Nyanzi says:

      The optimist in me suggests that the Law of Adverse Attention comes into play here: The noise they make will just generate more attention for the game that they’re trying to suppress.

      Remember, that hinges on the company standing by its work. We knew that Brian Niemeier wouldn’t cave, but we can’t be too sure about Monolith. I hope they do stand strong, but since the SJWs control a lot of geek conventions, there’s a real danger of the game being censored.

    • It’s nice to be appreciated 🙂

      By the way, I wrote a fisking of the Kotaku piece.

  3. deuce says:

    An excellent post, Rawle. Some good salvos launched against the creeping annexation of soft fascism.

  4. cirsova says:

    Thanks for sharing this.
    This is nuts. I kinda hope her former employer does go through with legal action against her, because this is working pretty hard to sabotage something that you were paid to make a success. I mean, at least everything they paid her to promote the game when she still worked for them could be up in the air.

    • Rawle Nyanzi says:

      I hear you. Plus, this is clearly meant to intimidate other creators as well by “making an example” of someone working on a big-name franchise. The idea is that if the big names have to kowtow, then smaller developers do too.

      We don’t need any of that in geek culture.

  5. C says:

    You do not create by destroying. *These* feminists do little more than trivialize the meaning of feminism (political correctness, imo, is definitely not pro-choice), and drive away Libertarian thinkers from theirs — and the liberal — cause. Dunno how many of you were around during the Republican “Family Values” and “Just Say No” campaigns, but you’ll note that the Republican party no longer even mentions their form of political correctness. Yes, political correctness has been around for decades, it’s just that self-proclaimed liberals are doing now, not self-proclaimed conservatives. Apologies for the political rant (: but the good news is that, at least in the miniatures hobby, there are some creators who are creating products attached to promoting females without criticizing the industry. Bad Squiddo Games is currently holding a KS for its female figures — and adding gunpeegs (guinea pigs armed with rocket launchers), figures that (ahem) cross both genders.

    • Rawle Nyanzi says:

      Dunno how many of you were around during the Republican “Family Values” and “Just Say No” campaigns, but you’ll note that the Republican party no longer even mentions their form of political correctness.

      I have noticed that; I’ve yet to see a right-wing censorship campaign aimed at an aspect of pop-culture today, whereas I remember a couple of them back in the 90s.

      Apologies for the political rant (:

      No need to apologize.

      [B]ut the good news is that, at least in the miniatures hobby, there are some creators who are creating products attached to promoting females without criticizing the industry. Bad Squiddo Games is currently holding a KS for its female figures — and adding gunpeegs (guinea pigs armed with rocket launchers), figures that (ahem) cross both genders.

      That’s good news; it’s all a matter of creating more of what one wants to see, not trying to erase other people’s work.

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  8. “All creators should have maximum liberty to make their work, not tiptoe in fear of character assassination.”

    Agreed. That goes to the heart of creativity.

    Besides, these third wave weirdos have screeched wolf for too long and too loud. I’m now tone deaf.

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