296: Satan, Bad Acting, and Dice

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Puzzlenaut:
I wish people actually still played tabletop rpgs... I've only played one twice but it was really quite fun :/

People still play it. I'm in three campaigns right now (well, 2, the third one seems to be on indefinite hiatus). If you don't mind my asking, how old are you and where abouts do you live (near a city, out on a farm, don't need specifics)? I'd be happy to give you some advice in how to find a proper gaming group.

Umm, Escapist, my Captcha has Hebrew characters in it...how do I do that?

bojac6:

Puzzlenaut:
I wish people actually still played tabletop rpgs... I've only played one twice but it was really quite fun :/

People still play it. I'm in three campaigns right now (well, 2, the third one seems to be on indefinite hiatus). If you don't mind my asking, how old are you and where abouts do you live (near a city, out on a farm, don't need specifics)? I'd be happy to give you some advice in how to find a proper gaming group.

Umm, Escapist, my Captcha has Hebrew characters in it...how do I do that?

Well there is this shop near where I live where some people go to play tournaments and stuff, but tbh if I'm going to play I'd rather do it with my friends, but none of them will even give it a shot :/
DnD, etc, just have too much stigma attached to them :(

Logan Westbrook:

Serris:
look at the title, and see if you can spot the bad spelling.
show some journalistic integrity, escapist!

Apologies for the typo. I've fixed it now.

thank you.

Puzzlenaut:

bojac6:

Puzzlenaut:
I wish people actually still played tabletop rpgs... I've only played one twice but it was really quite fun :/

People still play it. I'm in three campaigns right now (well, 2, the third one seems to be on indefinite hiatus). If you don't mind my asking, how old are you and where abouts do you live (near a city, out on a farm, don't need specifics)? I'd be happy to give you some advice in how to find a proper gaming group.

Umm, Escapist, my Captcha has Hebrew characters in it...how do I do that?

Well there is this shop near where I live where some people go to play tournaments and stuff, but tbh if I'm going to play I'd rather do it with my friends, but none of them will even give it a shot :/
DnD, etc, just have too much stigma attached to them :(

Well, the trick there is not to start out on DnD. There's a table top for everything. If your friends like Star Wars, you have to pick one of the three Star Wars RPGs. If they like Lord of the Rings, Firefly, whatever, you get them into it through that. Then, once people are hooked, you bring them over to DnD because you "think the rules make more sense" or whatever. The stigma will be gone, your friends just want a good game.

Alternatively, make new friends that like gaming. I've found that gaming shops are usually a terrible place to do this. Best gamers I ever met I got to know through a Fencing club. So pick up a few nerdy pursuits and see what happens. If it's High School, try the chess club. I can't stress fencing enough.

I was very curious, so looked up the Nurse scene and was not disappointed...demented Linus stare FTW.

This is a nice clip that shows just how demented the movie was too.

...my faith in humanity is already gone...

ugh...this makes me hate religion even more

i dont hate religion but i do hate the Fanatics of it that lose all their common sense and "think" video games are "evil"

i want all anti-video game people thrown into a pit of fire

this goes with all anti-comic and anti-nerd people aswell

sorry

but i am glad barly anyone saw this

funguy2121:

Therumancer:

funguy2121:
snippity

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Such a long response, I have to do this by the numbers...

(1) I have played D&D twice, over 12 years ago. I can't stand video game RPGs. The closest I'll come to one is Zelda. So I wouldn't say I was blinded my love of RPGs.

(2) Dark? How? Pagan simply means you aren't a Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, Jew or Hindu? OK, fine, we can also exclude Ba'hai and Shinto. I've never met a Pagan who said 'let's worship Satan!'

(3) Your information is nearly as old as me (3 decades). System of a Down and Deer Hunter and Mastadon don't sing about Satan. Hell, no one's even called it "heavy" since like '91! It's just METAL. You may hear some devilish stuff out of Dethklok but the fans understand that it's satire (Murderface Murderface Murderface!) Leaving aside how dated and no longer relevant this information is, your approach can be applied to video games. Tell me how feasible you actually think this is: I played Super Mario Brothers in the arcade when I was 8 years old. That Christmas, I got an NES. Someone recommended I try Legend of Zelda. There was minimal use of magic in Zelda, the theology of which was polythiest. Ergo, Mario Brothers led me down the path to polythiestic witchcraft!

(4)Let's be honest, and this is where we're going to reach an unresolvable conclusion, to a Christian, snakes talk. A guy lived in a fish for 3 days. But I really think that what you stated here isn't even the Christianity of Jesus' and Paul's time. Jehovah said "have no other Gods BEFORE me." You and your ilk say things that are far more Bush-like: "If you're not with us, you're with the terrorists." This mode of thinking leaves you very vulnerable to charlatanry. I'll tell you like my favorite televangelist, Bill Maher, tells it: "I'm selling doubt."

(5) Because it's the truth? Because no one on Earth ACTUALLY worships Satan?

(6) This sort of thing doesn't happen. NO religion, least of all that non-religion Satanism, recruits through D&D or geek culture. Krishnas hand out literature at airports. Christians take to the airwaves. No one recruits through roleplaying games, or ever did during the paranoid 70's and 80's.

(7) I can only presume that this conflict you're describing is some form of "spiritual warfare." So, from a rationalist to a mystic, we'll just have to agree to disagree.

Real quick, I'd like to point out some of the other things that these fundamentalist D&D detractors had to say during the 80's.

Cabbage Patch Kids' middle names came from the monikers of demons from Hell.

Star Trek is a vessel for promoting witchery.

He-Man and She-Ra promotes the worship of demons and devils.

Homosexuals have brought the plague of AIDS to America, where it will spread to the heterosexual population as God's divine wrath for us tolerating and accepting them.

Understand, I don't believe that any faith, any belief, is worth holding onto if it can't stand up to a little internal doubt.

Since Therumancer is not defending himself I feel I must.

Understand that I am speaking from a "fundamentalist" Christian background, however, in addition to being a gamer, I believe that anything that one considers true must be able to stand up to any debate, otherwise it is not true, so feel free to disagree. Also understand that this debate is all about societies perception of DnD and geek culture as a whole. Anyway, on with the rebuttal

1) Irrelevant, he was referring to geek culture as a whole. One simply needs to examine the recent attacks on gaming to see that we tend to get reeeaally enthusiastic about "fighting back" at the slightest provocation. This applies not only to video games of today and DnD of the eighties, but even back to the comics in the fifties-sixties. Therumancer was simply using your post as an example.

2) I'd also like to know what Therumancer was referring to as far as "dark" is concerned, but I shall assume that he means "extreme" in their practices, whether that is "dark" or not is up to you to decide. However, the point is valid. I have personally met multiple people who self-identify as "pagan" regardless of the original intent of the word. It seems to be mostly popular with individuals who, like yourself, are fed up with organized religion. Whether they are "earth-worshippers" or "druids" or whatever their moniker of choice is, they mostly tend towards a certain type of behavior. So I'm going to assume here that Theru was defining what he meant by pagans.

3) I am pretty sick of this argument. It's been resolved. Speaking as a metal-head myself, metal does not lead you down the path to Satan, however, many so-called "hardcore" metal-heads tend to adopt stereotypical "Satanist" imagery. This debate is probably older than I am and I don't think we are going to reach a conclusion on a forum that doesn't have much to do with it. Theru was just saying that to the straw-man "parents" that we seem to be debating here that "Heavy Metal" culture appears to be satanic in nature. Whether or not it is is irrelevant.

4) This is a very common type of misconception about Christianity. Therumancer was correct in his statement that there are two "forces" in Christian view. However, Jesus taught that this doesn't mean we should hold a "witch-hunt" for anything that didn't line up with our view of "God-sent" material as there is very little that is "God-sent," but that we should be shining lights of a better way even where "witch-hunters" feared "corruption." Many so-called "Moral guardians" simply use Christian justifications for their own ends (your Bush example here is flawed in it's terrorist focus, but fundamentally correct, politicians have been doing this since Christianity began to gain dominance in the western world.) As for your assertion that "this is where we're going to reach an unresolvable conclusion," Christianity is a remarkably easy religion to debate (note, religion. supernatural stuff happens in religion, it comes with the territory) as it only has one unchanging canon. This means that both sides have the same rulebook to work from as long as neither side pulls an "interpretation" card. Which is unfortunately what leads to "moral-guardian" type behavior.

5) I have honestly no idea what you are saying here. Sure, there are some people out there who genuinely believe that they are worshiping Satan, but I'm not sure how that applies to Theru's statement that the perceived "satanic imagery" that the movies where attacking where elements from other parts of geek-culture (a statement that may not be entirely true anyway, the SCA does not equal "satanic imagery")

6) Theru was not saying that his "new-agers" were recruiting through DnD. Simply that a parent stops by a group and witnesses this "new-ager" doing what "new-agers" do and flips out. Sure that was an extreme example, but again understand that this is all perception. Whether or not something is a pot of herbal tea or a cauldron of brew is a distinction that the parent will not stop to make if he sees the person brewing it as a "bad person."

7) The conflict that Theru was describing was the one that consisted of "gamers vs. moral guardians" not the spiritual one that you presumed. Theru's point was that when you are in a dispute, you shouldn't build a mouth-breathing straw-man out of the opposing side simply because they don't agree with you. This is something that most of us are guilty of when defending our hobby.

8) This list is the attitude I was describing above. This whole list-building thing is something that we geeks love to use to show that it's "us against them." I can't respond to any one of these things without involving myself in a long debate (as if this was wasn't) so the list goes unchallenged. It doesn't matter if any one of those is made up, just that they where in a list of stuff that we accept as "fact." Thus it's true by association. There's a certain other group of people that love to use this logical fallacy, your beloved straw-men.

Holy cow, that's a long post. Sorry if I co-opted the arguably dead thread, but I couldn't let that go unchallenged. Also, if I incorrectly presumed something either of you said (I did a LOT of presuming) feel free to clear that up. It's quite possible that funguy was simply trolling but I can't stand when people just rant back at a valid post with stereotypical arguments. Even on a topic that should have been dead 15 years ago.

firetamer13:

funguy2121:

Therumancer:
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(1)I'm not sure how seriously you're taking the "fundamentalist" aspect of this. Do you actually consider yourself fundamentalist or identify those who are considered 'fundies?' Since so many gamers in the 80's were not even yet teens, and there was no civilian internet, how can you say that we were vehement, even militant, in our resistance to the slightest criticism? And how can you say this regarding comics fans of the 50's and 60's?

(2)This is where there may be a split in what is considered fundamentalist. See, I know exactly what he meant by "dark." The sort of fundies who raised me were pentecostals - speaking in tongues, considering dice and dancing of any sort to be a sin, preaching against CB radios and now facebook (my grandmother actually does this) as products of the devil, the sort who produce the type of garbage that Jack T. Chick produced. Here, by "dark" pagan, he meant "dark witch." According to fringe American Christianity, white witches believe they are worshipping good spirits but are in actuality deceived by the devil. Dark witches willingly worship satan. They believe that Jesus was crucified and is currently tied to a rock in Hell, and that one day the Satanists will rise up with Beelzebub and take down God the Father. Satanists (whom incidentally I believe to be a worthless, pretentious bunch) will tell you that this is all grade-A bullshit.

(3)There was some ambiguity, perhaps even some vacillation in his initial statement concerning devil worship. But he did express a clear association between metal and devil worship. His assertion that kids bring it on themselves by being "weird" is ludicrous. The parents bring it on themselves, and their kids, and everyone else they know, by being so bloody ignorant.

(4) I largely agree with everything you said here, except the part about how "Christianity is a remarkably easy religion to debate." Not with fundamentalists, it isn't. For my former coworker who will take a conversation from satan to socialism to the nature of evil and back again in 20 seconds, none of these things is up for debate.

(5) I'm saying that NO ONE ON EARTH (at least willingly, no matter what you believe regarding deception) WORSHIPS THE DEVIL. There is no religion that claims he is misunderstood. Devil means deceiver, and Satan means enemy. In every religion that has an incarnation of him, Lucifer is the archetype of pure evil. Real bad guys aren't like the villains in 80's movies. Even a sociopath wouldn't worship pure evil (too big an ego for Satan). So NO ONE WORSHIPS the devil.

(6) He said that by denying that they worshiped the devil or calling their parents and charlatan preachers on the witch hunt in which they were engaging, that they were "bringing it on themselves." It sounded to me (and still does) like Therumancer believes there is some truth to the recruiting tool theory.

(7) If you understand fundamentalists like I do, you'll understand that while they're less likely to turn to violence than their muslim counterparts, they are otherwise largely the same. They believe that we are living in the "end of days" and that the final war is coming. They believe that everything they experience has been caused by the hand of god or by the hand of satan in preparing for this battle. They see every Washington scandal, every controversial bill, as part of spiritual warfare. Do a little experiment with your A.M. dial next time something like "Obamacare" sets the world of punditry ablaze (you won't have to wait too long). Spend a few minutes and I guarantee you'll hear some idiot talk about spiritual warfare.

(8) Sorry, but I reject your neat little compartment. The "list-building" thing you mentioned was just a handful of things I recall my parents "learning" at seminars they paid good money to attend during the 80's on how to be good Christian parents. Luckily, at some point they wised up. There is no "us and them" (great song, though) to the list. You do not have to accept it as fact. Just understand that I was raised in a red state, in the south, in the country, in the 80's. Much or all of it is verifiable, but if you were raised in a red state in the south in the country in the 80's you'd probably have similar stories. If you were raised by hippies in the 90's in Detroit I could understand you thinkin' I'm crazy.

"Straw man." Let's lay this word to rest. I think you and I can agree, regardless of what we think of each other, that the trolls coopted it long ago. Hell, most people who use it don't really even know what it means. It's just a word to throw around. Has about the same ring as "charlatan" and seems to mean roughly the same thing, so you can call someone a dick and a hack at the same time. "Ha! You's a Straw Man." But, in fairness, if you truly believe that the last part of my enormous, ostentatious list was B.S., look up the late (great!) Jerry Falwell and what reasons he gave for the destruction of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina. Look up what Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church has been doing with his time, and why he pickets military funerals. Bastard recently won a Supreme Court victory.

I hope you at least believe that that is true.

One more thing. I commented on the OP with a quick, simple post. Thero responded to MY post so no, I wasn't trolling.

funguy2121:

firetamer13:

funguy2121:

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Let me just say I am glad you aren't just trolling. Too many times have I responded to a post and been told to just "calm down" ;)

1) (I'll get to the fundie thing in a minute) I was referring to the tendancy for us to dig up stuff from the eighties and nineties. Since we didn't have a voice then, we think we can fix it now (this article is an excellent example.) The comic book thing is less so, but I was simply using it as an example, a poor example, but an example nonetheless.

2,4,7) I guess if he was referring to "dark witch" then yeah, otherwise I think it's up to him. The funny (or unfunny) thing is that know exactly what you are talking about. Most of my family is almost exactly as you describe fundamentalists (except the CB radio thing, too busy getting one to prepare for the tribulation.) When I said I came from a fundamentalist background, I meant it. However, I have moved quite a bit away from that (it's amazing what doesn't hold up to argument.) I also know what you mean by hard to debate with certain people, I've spent far too much of my time debating folks who won't stop ranting for two seconds to consider a point. Also the whole spiritual warfare thing is basically what we had to listen to in the car the entire time I was growing up, so I can relate.

3) I can see what you mean, and I have to say that I agree with you the more I look at it.

5) Okay, I was thinking that you where being sarcastic. I would agree with you that no one worships Satan himself as the "enemy". However, there are those who "identify" with a "tragic" version of that story, and so they don't think they are identifying with a "deceiver," but I understand your intent.

6) I guess we'll have to leave that one for him.

8) I did recognize almost all of what you listed, and I'm certainly glad that they wised up (mine didn't quite get there.) What I raised objection to was the general sarcastic tone of the list. Sorry if it seemed like I was disbelieving you, but it's one of my personal pet peeves when someone carries on like that (see above). I think the only one I haven't seen before is the Star Trek one, but it sounds about right.

Yes I agree about the straw man thing. Unfortunately, for that particular fallacy there aren't very many terms. Again, the internet turns sense into non-sense. I also couldn't agree with you more about our good friends at the WBC and Mr. Falwell, but that's a discussion for another day.

Sorry if my post seemed more "angry" than I intended. I know that you had a simple post and Theru kind of took off with it. Nasty morning I guess. Good discussion though.

The production staff rolled poorly.

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