More on (or is that Moron?) Pimp…

and friends have set up this Cafepress site, selling T-Shirts protesting PIMP: THE BACKHANDING. All proceeds go to hips.org. This organization helps prostitues in the Washington DC area and also lobbies for their rights. The profit on each shirt is $3, and all of it will go to the organization.

The shirt has a nifty graphic on front, declaring “Bite me, White Wolf,” and is emblazoned across the back with a full acceptance of White Wolf’s ‘clever’ ad copy: “I am Politically Correct and I Never Laugh.”

Buy a bunch. Hell, send a few to the game’s designer, Jason Lira, at (Address removed. That was wrong, and I should not have done it, especially given my own history with stalkers.)

16 Replies to “More on (or is that Moron?) Pimp…”

  1. I think it’s in enormously bad taste for you to try to publicize my home address. You know what kind of whackjobs we have on this here internet. If some outraged person came to shoot me because of a card game, would you consider that justice well served? Warning: your answer may help me place you somewhere in the whackjob/non-whackjob continuum.

    Send a shirt there, and it might get to me. I promise that if I get one of these shirts, I will wear it with glee.

    Your objections to Pimp are quite legitimate. Honestly, if this game didn’t outrage anybody, it would be a total flop.

    I loathe objectification of, and violence against, REAL women. The place where we differ is that I think it’s perfectly OK to have a card game where CARTOON women get tricked out, hooked on crack, VD, and so forth. Similarly, I would not laugh to see a live cat crushed under an anvil, but “Tom and Jerry” doesn’t outrage me. Do we think Warner Brothers condones animal abuse?

    That’s my position, I don’t ask that you agree with it. Buy (borrow) a deck of Pimp, though. See if it’s really as horrible as you think it’s going to be. I know a well-respected writer like yourself would want to be well-informed on such matters on which he would speak. It’s an unwise person who says “i don’t need to read the (book, etc.) to know that it’s filth.”

    I am considering attending Gen Con to promote the game. Were you hoping for a meaningful discussion of morality and taste in the gaming industry, or for a fistfight in the parking lot?

  2. I think it’s in enormously bad taste for you to try to publicize my home address.

    Getting lectured by you on ‘enormously bad taste’ is…amusing.

  3. “Getting lectured by you on ‘enormously bad taste’ is…amusing.”

    ha… OK, that’s a fair criticism.

    Sorry I have not allowed any but my buds to post on lj. Of course you realize my journal would be absolutely flooded with repetitions of P:tB-inspired insults that wouldn’t really be telling me anything substantial. However, I have nothing against a difference of opinion or a spirited, but not mean-spirited, debate.

    If you don’t mind the use of this forum I’d be happy to talk with you about the game, its rightness, wrongness, what have you. I think it’s fucked up that any of Pimp’s fans have called you “fag” for not feeling the way they do and I’d relish the opportunity to take part in a more substantial conversation with a Pimp foe or two.

  4. If you don’t mind the use of this forum I’d be happy to talk with you about the game, its rightness, wrongness, what have you.

    Whereas I appreciate the gesture….bluntly, I’m not interested. There’s no chance that you’re suddenly going to have an epiphany and realize what you’ve done, and, even if you did, it’s too late–the game is being released. There is an equally non-existant chance of you convincing me that my opinion should be reconsidered. So, it’s a waste of time, for both of us.

    If you are genuinely interested in the REAL reasons why this game offends me and others (rather than the straw man argument about how no REAL women are getting abused, which your supporters have thrown up again and again), look at the following posts by others in the game industry:

    Breaking it down with a discussion of symbols and semiotics

    A gathering of game-industry opinions

    Read, and maybe learn something.

  5. I read some. Interesting viewpoints, better articulated arguments than you’ll get on your typical web forum. You called it correctly, though: I had no epiphany about how harmful this game really is.

    On this forum: You said the game sucked, and I don’t begrudge you your right to that opinion at all. You also brought me into it by name. I got called a few insults; that’s all right, I’m thick skinned. You lamented that my journal was locked, presumably because you would have liked to say something there. You indicated an eagerness to see me at Gen Con, which I interpreted as wanting to say your piece to my face.

    But I’m here, and there’s nothing to be said? Asked? Accused? It makes you look like you’re more comfortable when this forum is completely one sided, and the opposing viewpoint is not regarded.

    On the other hand, I’ve also seen the rants that go, “You’re a mysogynist” and “You’re a Puritan” for 20 pages and don’t accomplish anything, and I understand that you don’t want to get into one of those. Me neither. So maybe it’s for the best.

  6. It makes you look like you’re more comfortable when this forum is completely one sided, and the opposing viewpoint is not regarded.

    Ah. That old saw, yet again. Whatever makes you feel like you’ve “won”, Junior. Knock yerself out.

    I have yet to see anything from you which contradicts my assessment of you as an upper-middle-class white fratboy (or fratboy wanna-be), getting his jollies by being “edgy” and telling “nigga” jokes with his buds.

    …and if you can’t suss out, even after having it spelled out for you, what’s fucked up about your little project, then you’re not exactly wowing me with your Phat Mental Skillz, which only goes further to convince me that engaging you in discourse is a waste of my time.

  7. Quote: “On the other hand, I’ve also seen the rants that go, “You’re a mysogynist” and “You’re a Puritan” for 20 pages and don’t accomplish anything, and I understand that you don’t want to get into one of those. Me neither. So maybe it’s for the best.”

    See, that interests me. A person who doesn’t find this game seemly is a puritan? Hum. I guess that leads me to think that you must see playing it as a kind of prurient thrill?

    Given the subject matter … My. That is illuminating.

  8. *huh*

    If he’s so ‘thick-skinned’ then why is he so very defensive in his answers to all the legitimate questions by all the woman I’ve seen on this issue?

    Jesus, I’d *love* to see Red take him on and shred him with just one sentence. Hell, she’d not even need to say a word. THAT might even make me come to a con just to witness that bit of entertainment.

    And oh yeah, I’m obviously such a puritan! *snort*

  9. I think you’re missing two big issues: One, in real life, cats don’t shove dynamite into mouse holes. In real life, pimps really beat up prostitutes.

    Two: Typically, the cards publicized on the website – if it’s a comedy game – are usually the funniest. The Pimp cards don’t really seem all that funny. Maybe it’s hilarious if you get the inside joke that Wanda is really your 6th grade teacher or ex girlfriend. But in order for something to be forgivably tasteless, it’s got to be funny. South Park, for example, is incredibly tasteless. But it’s funny as hell. Pimp just isn’t funny unless you like laughing at violence against women.

    Take Bell-Bottomed Badasses on the Mean Streets of Funk. It’s FUNNY. It’s dealing with many of the same issues, certainly the same topic, but it’s FUNNY.

    Or take Lunch Money. It’s certainly violent – the entire point of the game is to emulate a street fight, but there’s little if no pretense to comedy – what comedy is there is dark comedy. The other thing about Lunch Money is that, let’s face it – it sets up fights where you can fight back – not an abusive pimp beating up on a defenseless person.

    There’s also a very real sense that Pimp was okay as an in-joke between friends and an example of extremely tasteless game design – indeed, I thought the idea was to design a game so tasteless no one would want to play it except out of perversity – like watching “Glen or Glenda.” But when Pimp is being presented as a commercial success, it cheapens us. There are so many good games designed that when time and money is spent bringing Pimp to the #2 game company… it just cheapens the hobby as a whole. Is this who we are? Malformed teenagers circle-jerking playing Pimp and Fatal in Mom’s basement? I’d like for roleplaying and card games to advance beyond the socially inept and morally corrupt – and let’s face it, only the socially inept and the morally corrupt would play this game.

    You’re right. This won’t cause anyone to start pimpin’ or hitting women, just like Tom and Jerry didn’t cause an entire generation of housepets to become homicidal.

    It’s just lowering the tastelessness bar of our hobby… and, let’s face it. We’d have alot more people in this hobby if we started learning to police our own.

  10. I’m sure that you realized this, but he was characterizing the debate more than actually stating a position. It’s the quote marks that really tip you off about that.

    Of course, he could be stating his position through a back door to throw you off the scent. Then again, that would be a judgment call, and are you certain that you’re making that call free from bias…?

  11. Point one is the core of the only good argument I’ve seen against this game. It makes light of a tragic situation that is really happening today. That does bother me. I just can’t seem to get outraged by it.

    As for Point Two…eye of the beholder. I don’t find the idea especially funny either, but sales will tell if other people laugh. (Ok, so they’ll mostly tell if people buy it, but I assume that they’ll buy it because they find it interesting and/or amusing.)

    “it just cheapens the hobby as a whole. “

    My personal opinion is that this hobby has always been pretty cheap. You and yours may attempt to elevate it to some form of art or search for spiritual truth, but it all started with a 10′ x 10′ room. I like it when people grow beyond dungeon crawls and basic hack and slash, but I know that there are plenty of munchkins and unimaginative roll-players to balance the scales.

    “Is this who we are? Malformed teenagers circle-jerking playing Pimp and Fatal in Mom’s basement? “

    Not all of us, but when I’m truly honest with myself and this hobby I have to admit that humanity is a rare and precious thing in gaming. The best people among gamers are at least “odd” or “quirky”. It just slides downhill from there.

    “We’d have alot more people in this hobby if we started learning to police our own. “

    I disagree. I think that there are far more gibbering mouth-breathers that we’d have to drive away or “re-educate” than there are intelligent, sensitive souls who would pick up this hobby “if only…” But that’s just my opinion.

  12. I have a question. Not that you’re wrong in your assessment, but is disagreement with your opinion sufficient grounds to make a call on someone’s intelligence? The reason I ask is that it’s quite possible that he understands your position completely, but is making a different value judgment than you are with that information. In that case, it’s more accurate to attack his morals and ethics than his intelligence. It still doesn’t really matter, since they’re both nebulous concepts with few readily agreed upon standards, but I believe that insults should be specific. It’s a pet peeve.

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