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Author Topic: Disabled tabletop gamers and the hobby  (Read 1071 times)

Offline Von Trinkenessen

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Re: Disabled tabletop gamers and the hobby
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2021, 07:25:27 PM »
I think a lot of people forget that Disability like wargaming is a broad church , I 'm speaking as a father of two grown up disabled sons both with different hidden disabilities ( both gamers). Treat everyone with respect and do not patronize . If you are not disabled take a moment and think how would you like to be treated if you were, also what is disability?

I could go on but to quote my oldest son who has not let his define him ," It is merely a series of speed bumps in life's long road".



Offline jetengine

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Re: Disabled tabletop gamers and the hobby
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2021, 08:04:16 PM »
Frankly I think the issue is, as always, what appeals to one may not the other. The DnD minis in wheelchairs turned off some wheelchair users whilst others found it delightful. Though you have to laugh at people trying to argue that "realistically they'd do this with magic and enchant that thing etc" in a game where a bunch of murderhobos solve the universes problems with convenient storytelling tropes

Offline FramFramson

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Re: Disabled tabletop gamers and the hobby
« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2021, 09:18:43 PM »
Frankly I think the issue is, as always, what appeals to one may not the other. The DnD minis in wheelchairs turned off some wheelchair users whilst others found it delightful. Though you have to laugh at people trying to argue that "realistically they'd do this with magic and enchant that thing etc" in a game where a bunch of murderhobos solve the universes problems with convenient storytelling tropes

Yes, the argument about "This fantasy game isn't realistic enough in the exact way I feel is appropriate" always gets quite silly, IMO. They're all fantasies. They're all games. Even the "strictly historical" ones - there's a thread here which talks about the amusing and sometimes pants-on-head absurdity which can occur in those wargame sessions where a historical battle is being recreated on the tabletop, which gave me more than a few laughs and knowing nods (can't find the link at the moment, sorry!).

Unsurprisingly, hobbies which parallel our own have similar issues at times - I've seen shocking comments about something as pedestrian as a model railway's layout, when (as most railway modellers happily agree, thank goodness), virtually all model railway layouts are pure fantasy. And let's not even get into the bizarre, strident politics some folks attach to their video games.

I find that those statements are never genuinely about accuracy, instead, they're about satisfying the complainant's own prejudices, and - to bring it back to the topic at hand - if we want to be fair not just to to genuinely disabled people but to ALL players, a hobby community should generally not tie themselves into knots to satisfy some grognard's prejudices. I always try to remember it's ALL a bit of fantasy, or, if you prefer "it's just a game" and I find the more importanting thing about a game is not that it meet some nebulous and personal definition of "accurate", simply that it be fair. And in ensuring everything is fair - and fun - a little bit of simple courtesy goes a long way.

I myself suffer from PTSD, something I didn't really understand until the ways it affected my gaming came out (more online than in-person, but I can recall a small number of occasions I was set off at a live game). Merely knowing that I had a real condition rather than some amorphous personality defect helped a good deal in that regard. In my case, I feel it's on me far more than others to self-monitor so I don't find myself needing or asking for accommodations, certainly none the OP or others with more severe disabilities might need, but sometimes all you need is just the tiniest bit of help.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2021, 09:23:40 PM by FramFramson »

Offline Robosmith

  • Assistant
  • Posts: 35
Re: Disabled tabletop gamers and the hobby
« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2021, 12:04:08 AM »
Yes, the argument about "This fantasy game isn't realistic enough in the exact way I feel is appropriate" always gets quite silly, IMO. They're all fantasies. They're all games. Even the "strictly historical" ones - there's a thread here which talks about the amusing and sometimes pants-on-head absurdity which can occur in those wargame sessions where a historical battle is being recreated on the tabletop, which gave me more than a few laughs and knowing nods (can't find the link at the moment, sorry!).

I find that those statements are never genuinely about accuracy, instead, they're about satisfying the complainant's own prejudices, and - to bring it back to the topic at hand - if we want to be fair not just to to genuinely disabled people but to ALL players, a hobby community should generally not tie themselves into knots to satisfy some grognard's prejudices. I always try to remember it's ALL a bit of fantasy, or, if you prefer "it's just a game" and I find the more importanting thing about a game is not that it meet some nebulous and personal definition of "accurate", simply that it be fair. And in ensuring everything is fair - and fun - a little bit of simple courtesy goes a long way.

I disagree with this on the grounds that even fantasy worlds do need some grounding in reality or they become nothing but murder hobo games every one is super man and nothing really matters. If being in a magic wheelchair was as good as they made the rules then everyone would have one just for the insane perks it gave you for minimal costs. There are plenty of in world solutions which make far more sense for an adventurer than a flying wheel chair, which is ultimately what you're getting. There's cool solutions like riding a golem around or having someone make you mechanical legs. Things which fit within the universe far better than the evil lord of death and doom making sure his dungeon has wheel chair ramps and fire exits. D&D is a fantasy world originally written with real world background, there's plenty of places you could fit disabled people (lets be honest, if they didn't get thrown down a well in whatever setting it is) which make sense. A potion maker doesn't need to walk, the shop keeper or the scholar. All perfectly fine and fitting roles for someone in a wheelchair without sending the old bill around to lord evil Mcbugger to complain the dwarf in the wheelchair can't loot his fortress built in an active volcano. Having your legs cut off should be a real threat to an adventurer, it shouldn't be "woo hoo flying wheelchair time, how many bonus attacks do I get now?" Which is what they made it into.

When things are added they also take away in other areas. If you really enjoy a book series with dark fantasy elements and some gritty depth to it having a guy in a wheelchair turn up to be the barbarian hero who curb stomps everyone shatters that world's entire concept. It's something you would expect in a disc world book. If you want to have it in your own home brew setting that's fine, no one but your group is going to care about it. Making it a huge deal and pushing it into the main books (which I'm sure will happen next edition) leads to a terrible slippery slope. They will make every disability an over powered perk to avoid upsetting people like the flying wheelchair does. We will end up with power gaming being a blind guy with no limbs in a flying wheelchair and 10 swords flying round him like a blender. This is the path they're going down and we now have rights holders suing WOTC over their conduct harming their universes already. It would be much healthier for everyone to not include these type of things in official rule books and let people home brew them as fits their own settings better. If they make them over powered and completely dismiss the realities of people's situation it's insulting to them and may as well not be included at all. If they make it realistic then people will complain it's not the power fantasy they wanted or they thought someone else should have. It's a no win situation that ends in Disc world if we're lucky and Looney tunes if we're not.

Offline Codsticker

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Re: Disabled tabletop gamers and the hobby
« Reply #19 on: March 03, 2021, 06:53:38 AM »
Unless you are unable to use your arms/hands at all, there's always a way to do hobby projects.
That reminds me of this fellow: Frank LeSquirrel. (warning: Facebook link- don't go there of you think Zuckerberg will be able to read your mind if you do).

He paints minis to a very good standard with his mouth.


Offline Arrigo

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Re: Disabled tabletop gamers and the hobby
« Reply #20 on: March 03, 2021, 04:48:58 PM »
That reminds me of this fellow: Frank LeSquirrel. (warning: Facebook link- don't go there of you think Zuckerberg will be able to read your mind if you do).

He paints minis to a very good standard with his mouth.

No he will read my preferences and spam my account with 'targeted' ads... never mind... I use adblocker!  lol

Now to the thread at hand... I think that we should be inclusive, and certainly there is no reason to not be.  I think Warren's example are spot on. Said that, I would not complain if game table are a bit lower and you can play seated. My own is done that way, much better playing seated, even if you have no registered disability. Said that, I can see some problems in shows. Chairs are always in short supply, sometime even space. In the latter case it could be even worse. But I have seen people in wheelchairs or with walking aids at Salute and Cavalier. Tournaments could be problematic but I think that organizer should be accommodating as far as reasonable. I have, sadly, seen the opposite in practice... a Referee penalizing (or even kicking out) a player... (memory is fuzzy... shades of old age incoming) because he was late for the second day morning game. Reason... he was a doctor and had provided first aid after a car crash (a serious one) on the way between his accommodation and the game venue. The referee said he should have ignored the crash... now this shows in the game community we can have some... jerks... (the referee in question approximate to the stereotyped definition of it...).


As for rules, having played interminable igo-yugo standing games, I remember my back aching... having shorter turns would have been better, but here the crux is that both sides of the equation can be painful. Certainly games you ca play being seated are a good thing for everyone, especially long games. Certainly Standing for long tournaments is something we shall avoid in principle...

Car parks near venues are useful, but the downside could be venues very difficult to reach for non 'motorized' people, including people with disabilities that lend themselves to use public transport rather than personal cars. But even suitably connected venues could be then too cramped and create other issues. I pity (and do not envy) Show organizers...

But IMHO avoiding to place barriers  is common sense rather than the fashionable 'inclusion' word.

Now this is clear cut... and it is common sense rather than the fashionable 'inclusion' word.

On the other hand there are people that are politicizing what should be basically standard behavior. I have to agree with RobH on the idea that just giving superpowers to wheelchairs seems a bit out of context... it is also something that looks more like a statement rather than a real gaming 'enhancement'.

Now  it is worth mentioning that the weelchair miniatures and rules were also advertised here... https://paxsims.wordpress.com/2020/09/20/play-with-us-however-you-roll-combat-wheelchair-rules-for-dd-5e/  same place were the lady 'professional wargamer' (I call them professional chalratans...) posted some of her rants (and the ad was posted by her...). I do not think it is 100% germane to the discussion, but I have  had the misfortune to deal with the owner of the blog... and if online he and his pals looks like stereotyped SJW, in person... they often looks as imbeciles...  Mr. Brynnen in particular came across as someone who had zero understanding of wargaming or conflict... despite teaching them...  and also someone who has his own gigantic bag of prejudices...  but is part of a group who is trying to monopolize professional wargaming using rants against everyone who is not supporting his ideas. That speaks volumes on the so called 'professional wargaming'...
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Offline FramFramson

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Re: Disabled tabletop gamers and the hobby
« Reply #21 on: March 03, 2021, 07:43:48 PM »
I disagree with this on the grounds that even fantasy worlds do need some grounding in reality or they become nothing but murder hobo games every one is super man and nothing really matters. If being in a magic wheelchair was as good as they made the rules then everyone would have one just for the insane perks it gave you for minimal costs. There are plenty of in world solutions which make far more sense for an adventurer than a flying wheel chair, which is ultimately what you're getting. There's cool solutions like riding a golem around or having someone make you mechanical legs. Things which fit within the universe far better than the evil lord of death and doom making sure his dungeon has wheel chair ramps and fire exits. D&D is a fantasy world originally written with real world background, there's plenty of places you could fit disabled people (lets be honest, if they didn't get thrown down a well in whatever setting it is) which make sense. A potion maker doesn't need to walk, the shop keeper or the scholar. All perfectly fine and fitting roles for someone in a wheelchair without sending the old bill around to lord evil Mcbugger to complain the dwarf in the wheelchair can't loot his fortress built in an active volcano. Having your legs cut off should be a real threat to an adventurer, it shouldn't be "woo hoo flying wheelchair time, how many bonus attacks do I get now?" Which is what they made it into.

When things are added they also take away in other areas. If you really enjoy a book series with dark fantasy elements and some gritty depth to it having a guy in a wheelchair turn up to be the barbarian hero who curb stomps everyone shatters that world's entire concept. It's something you would expect in a disc world book. If you want to have it in your own home brew setting that's fine, no one but your group is going to care about it. Making it a huge deal and pushing it into the main books (which I'm sure will happen next edition) leads to a terrible slippery slope. They will make every disability an over powered perk to avoid upsetting people like the flying wheelchair does. We will end up with power gaming being a blind guy with no limbs in a flying wheelchair and 10 swords flying round him like a blender. This is the path they're going down and we now have rights holders suing WOTC over their conduct harming their universes already. It would be much healthier for everyone to not include these type of things in official rule books and let people home brew them as fits their own settings better. If they make them over powered and completely dismiss the realities of people's situation it's insulting to them and may as well not be included at all. If they make it realistic then people will complain it's not the power fantasy they wanted or they thought someone else should have. It's a no win situation that ends in Disc world if we're lucky and Looney tunes if we're not.

Perhaps it wasn't as clear as it might've been, but I was coming at this from the angle of the players and their attitudes, rather than any specific set of rules. I don't have any experience of the D&D offering, but I'm sure I would leave that to whatever a local playgroup felt comfortable with - that is after all a defining feature of RPGs, that playgroups can add, remove, or alter rules as they see, so long as the group agrees to it. If you and your mates don't like those rules you're certainly under no obligation to include them in your own campaign.

As far as the rest of what you're saying goes, what it's really coming down to is internal consistency. Sure many of these worlds have some derivation from real life (rather difficult to make a game which is wholly and entirely alien to the human experience!), but what most credible fictional worlds do is set rules and abide by them. It need not mirror real life, it just needs to be internally consistent to that imagined world. The experience you describe is where you feel something is clearly breaking the established rules about how the D&D world works, and since D&D does use a fair bit of medieval human history to base itself on, it's easy to conflate that with how the real world works (or worked). But they're not quite the same thing.

Perhaps one group prefers things more realistic, with minimal magic and more grit and punishment, primitive medicine, and necromancy being a dire thing not to be used on party members, whereas another might prefer their easy flights of fancy, with the classic instant cure-all healing potions (or pausing mid-battle to instantly eat 45 cheese wheels  lol) and easy resurrections. This is an argument between play groups which as old as roleplay, and luckily each group has the option to agree to disagree, and continue on their respective merry ways as was always the case. 

Offline jetengine

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 462
Re: Disabled tabletop gamers and the hobby
« Reply #22 on: March 04, 2021, 10:57:42 AM »
No he will read my preferences and spam my account with 'targeted' ads... never mind... I use adblocker!  lol

Now to the thread at hand... I think that we should be inclusive, and certainly there is no reason to not be.  I think Warren's example are spot on. Said that, I would not complain if game table are a bit lower and you can play seated. My own is done that way, much better playing seated, even if you have no registered disability. Said that, I can see some problems in shows. Chairs are always in short supply, sometime even space. In the latter case it could be even worse. But I have seen people in wheelchairs or with walking aids at Salute and Cavalier. Tournaments could be problematic but I think that organizer should be accommodating as far as reasonable. I have, sadly, seen the opposite in practice... a Referee penalizing (or even kicking out) a player... (memory is fuzzy... shades of old age incoming) because he was late for the second day morning game. Reason... he was a doctor and had provided first aid after a car crash (a serious one) on the way between his accommodation and the game venue. The referee said he should have ignored the crash... now this shows in the game community we can have some... jerks... (the referee in question approximate to the stereotyped definition of it...).


As for rules, having played interminable igo-yugo standing games, I remember my back aching... having shorter turns would have been better, but here the crux is that both sides of the equation can be painful. Certainly games you ca play being seated are a good thing for everyone, especially long games. Certainly Standing for long tournaments is something we shall avoid in principle...

Car parks near venues are useful, but the downside could be venues very difficult to reach for non 'motorized' people, including people with disabilities that lend themselves to use public transport rather than personal cars. But even suitably connected venues could be then too cramped and create other issues. I pity (and do not envy) Show organizers...

But IMHO avoiding to place barriers  is common sense rather than the fashionable 'inclusion' word.

Now this is clear cut... and it is common sense rather than the fashionable 'inclusion' word.

On the other hand there are people that are politicizing what should be basically standard behavior. I have to agree with RobH on the idea that just giving superpowers to wheelchairs seems a bit out of context... it is also something that looks more like a statement rather than a real gaming 'enhancement'.

Now  it is worth mentioning that the weelchair miniatures and rules were also advertised here... https://paxsims.wordpress.com/2020/09/20/play-with-us-however-you-roll-combat-wheelchair-rules-for-dd-5e/  same place were the lady 'professional wargamer' (I call them professional chalratans...) posted some of her rants (and the ad was posted by her...). I do not think it is 100% germane to the discussion, but I have  had the misfortune to deal with the owner of the blog... and if online he and his pals looks like stereotyped SJW, in person... they often looks as imbeciles...  Mr. Brynnen in particular came across as someone who had zero understanding of wargaming or conflict... despite teaching them...  and also someone who has his own gigantic bag of prejudices...  but is part of a group who is trying to monopolize professional wargaming using rants against everyone who is not supporting his ideas. That speaks volumes on the so called 'professional wargaming'...

Avoid the politics please, if you cant talk in a discussion without using hackneyed buzzwords like "SJW" then better to not post at all, theres already been one warning, lets not make it another eh?

Offline Arrigo

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  • errare humanum est, perseverare diabolicum est
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Re: Disabled tabletop gamers and the hobby
« Reply #23 on: March 04, 2021, 02:30:16 PM »
I am afraid there was no politics. Actually I qualified the comment saying 'stereotyped'... because they fit well in a certain stereotype. I have also met people who seems the classical RWNJ stereotyped incarnated... so well it is not about politics, is about people who plays certain stereotype.  Hopefully the explanation has made the thing clear.

 

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