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I’m concerned about some potentially inflammatory language in a recent answer, regarding the limitations of a popular role-playing game (emphasis in original):

It goes a little beyond that, but only a little. Unfortunately, it also lies to you and claims to do much more than that. Every attempt I have seen to use it for such purposes, however, has either relied on heavy houseruling/freeforming or simply fallen flat on its face. . . . That’s mostly because they shouldn’t have any effect and their inclusion is just an attempt . . . to maintain the fundamental deception that it is a game that cares about these things.

This post has spawned at least two extended and heated exchanges in comments which were later deleted or moved to chat. I’ve asked the poster to tone down the language, but he vehemently refused. I don’t object to the poster’s point of view, but framing the opposition as “lies” and “deception” puts fans of the game on the defensive and paints them as dupes or conspirators in the deception. Even worse, some of the people who wrote the game in question are members of the community, and we really shouldn’t be attacking their creations as “lies.”

The code of conduct asks us all to Choose your words carefully and Be civil. The latest proposed version specifically warns against using inflammatory language even when not directed at another person:

Don’t be a jerk. [Avoid] Name-calling. Focus on the post, not the person. That includes terms that feel personal even when they're applied to posts (for example, “lazy”, “ignorant”, or “whiny”).

Given that our community includes game designers and fans of the games we discuss, I think we should apply this policy to games as well as posts. There’s room for reasoned criticism, but we should avoid name-calling here, no matter whether it’s applied to posters, their posts, or the games they write and play.

It’s not a theoretical question.

Answers which argue that these words can’t, or shouldn’t, create bad feelings need to address the fact that they have spawned multiple heated, emotional discussions: at least two comment threads have been deleted for this reason. This is a real problem and “people shouldn't feel like that” doesn’t make them feel it any less.

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    \$\begingroup\$ For what it’s worth, there’s a vernacular usage of “lies” and an academic usage of “deception” that don’t necessarily imply a value judgment or name-calling. So I’m assuming that the answer was posted in good faith, but the language used is provoking heated reactions, intended or not. \$\endgroup\$ – Bradd Szonye Oct 14 '14 at 22:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't have an answer, I just want to point out that nobody said people who like d&d are liars - what was said was that the game implies support (by having equipment lists with that kind of gear) for simulating low-tech survival. It is therefore deceptive because thee is no mechanical effect for having or lacking such equipment. You could not use d&d to simulate a camping trip effectively, even though it seems like you should be able to. I think this whole thing has gone way out of proportion to the severity of the severity of the language. \$\endgroup\$ – gomad Oct 14 '14 at 23:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ OK, I am just stunned that so many people disagree that “lies” and “deception” are fighting words. \$\endgroup\$ – Bradd Szonye Oct 14 '14 at 23:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the edit, BESW. Fighting words will get people fighting even if you don’t directly insult them, which I presume is why the new “be nice” rule explicitly mentions that there’s some language you should avoid even if you’re not talking about a person. \$\endgroup\$ – Bradd Szonye Oct 14 '14 at 23:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ThalesSarczuk Make your own answer which links to it, or not. Don't repeat the same thing in three different comments when it'd make a great answer instead. \$\endgroup\$ – BESW Oct 15 '14 at 1:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ @BESW Did that. Thanks for the tip! \$\endgroup\$ – T. Sar Oct 15 '14 at 2:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just to clarify, the language about name calling directed at posts wasn't intended to suggest that you can't call a thing a name; it was really just pointing out that some words essentially always feel directed to the author if you apply them to a post. Suggesting a company is a liar is probably okay under the new policy. Suggesting a game designer, who is likely to be a site member, probably isn't. (That's not an attempt to solve this, but I hope it at least helps with the new language's intent.) FWIW, I think this is a very healthy discussion you're having here. \$\endgroup\$ – Jaydles Oct 16 '14 at 2:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jaydles Thanks for the feedback! That’s actually what I expected. But I also have noticed that games have fandoms that identify very strongly with them, such that it’s a very short hop from game bashing to fandom bashing to personal offense. \$\endgroup\$ – Bradd Szonye Oct 16 '14 at 3:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ @BraddSzonye yep, FWIW I thought the edits to that post were good ones - the OPs intended message seemed identical, but without a couple of words that were creating a ton of conflict. \$\endgroup\$ – Jaydles Oct 16 '14 at 3:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jaydles Yes, and it’s unfortunate that the post was deleted. I generally agreed with the post except for the provocative parts, and I removed my downvote once the most provocative language was edited out. \$\endgroup\$ – Bradd Szonye Oct 16 '14 at 3:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm always disappointed when inanimate objects are given human qualities, like the capability of being emotionally offended. I guess games are people now, just like corporations. \$\endgroup\$ – Ellesedil Oct 21 '14 at 21:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ellesedil The games aren't being treated as human here. I'm just recognizing that people identify very strongly with their games and fandoms, such that game bashing is taken very personally. \$\endgroup\$ – Bradd Szonye Oct 21 '14 at 22:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 for "'people shouldn't feel like that' doesn’t make them feel it any less." Just because a post doesn't offend you doesn't mean it won't offend anyone, and you can predict what type of language will offend someone within a reasonable bounds, while still saying what you want to say. \$\endgroup\$ – Zibbobz Oct 24 '14 at 15:17
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Let's step back a moment, shall we?

I'm not going to make this about right and wrong and whether people are justified in behaving a given way on their side of the argument. I happen to think the answer is largely within its rights to say the things it says, but that's not important!

It's an obvious objective fact that many people don't just disagree with the opinions it presents: the language itself is needlessly provocative and is encouraging real people to engage in inappropriate use of comments. Real people are having real bad feelings about this. It'd be easy to say the same thing without using language of a demonstrably antagonistic nature, so why not since it's clearly a vortex for bad site behaviour?

I'd speculate that removing the antagonistic language would improve the answer's quality because it'd encourage the use of more detailed explanatory language to present the point clearly. Right now it's almost two paragraphs saying there's a problem and only one sentence (which never gets down to specifics) in support of those claims. I think it's right, but it's a poor answer nonetheless.

  • We should have the freedom to be honest and direct and to have opinions, or the site won't work.
  • But we should also strive for the eloquence to present opinions as our own subjective view, and be honest without being offensive, or the site still won't work. (The idea that honesty and tact are mutually exclusive is a toxic false dichotomy which a lot of the Internet hides behind. Let's not be those guys.)
  • We should have the maturity to disassociate our own self-image from the games we happen to play.
  • But we should also want to converse graciously with people who are still struggling with that, because it's a good way for them to learn.
  • And when a post is a trouble spot for bad site behaviour, that needs to be addressed regardless of who started it and who's right.

We should not mistake vitriol for vigour, nor believe candour and insult should go hand in hand. Anger and aggression don't make people think about our points more seriously: they make people want to argue or leave, neither of which the Stack encourages.

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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 - This is a great answer. I think it's hard to argue that the poster's language is so inappropriate it must be stopped. They're not calling a person a liar, so much as a product. But why say it that way? The exact same point can be made, including the opinion that the game misrepresents some things, without fiery words that just make a lot of folks who might have been convinced by the main point take umbrage at the language. \$\endgroup\$ – Jaydles Oct 16 '14 at 3:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Jaydles And what is the advantage of sugar-coating? What is the advantage of saying "the product makes claims its designers know to be untrue" when there is a word for that – lying? This should upset people – the failures of the product and the refusal of the company to step away from the claims it failed to live up to are problematic. What is the advantage here? \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Oct 19 '14 at 13:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan, it's obvious you're passionate about this issue, and want to convince to feel others similarly passionate ("this should upset people"). I actually really respect that. But I fear you can't really convince them in this post, because it's only a related issue - the question's about how to handle the situation, not the degree of deceptiveness that brought it about. So the only effect is upsetting people, and making them want to debate this point. But even if one side convinced the other to agree 100%, it would add nothing but the noise of the fight to your already great answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Jaydles Oct 19 '14 at 15:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan I suggest that what BESW is getting at is that people not in that paradigm—who don't consider it lying or who haven't thought about it—could benefit from you actually elaborating on what's going on. "The game lies to you" is a shortcut that lands only on people who already get it. Those that don't get upset at you rather than the game. (I agree they should be upset if the game is lying, but that isn't what they're getting upset about!) Spending a few sentences elaborating on what you consider to be lying and why helps it land for both crowds. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Oct 20 '14 at 23:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ I believe that's a large part of this sentence from BESW's post: "I'd speculate that removing the antagonistic language would improve the answer's quality because it'd encourage the use of more detailed explanatory language to present the point clearly." \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Oct 20 '14 at 23:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener Yes, I agree that the answer could use further elaboration. Elaboration I probably won’t bother doing, because I’m just so soured on the whole thing and the apparent support this community has for censorship. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Oct 21 '14 at 2:47
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I agree with the critique of the answer in question, especially given the newer code of conduct guidance as cited by @BraddSzonye.

The big rule people need to understand is:

Being right is no excuse for not being civil.

We all know there's a fine line between attacking posts, positions, or in this case games, and attacking people.

And this post isn't the only case of it. Frankly I see it in chat a lot more than I'd like.

Per the new SE-wide Code of Conduct on its way:

Rudeness and belittling language are not okay. Your tone should match the way you'd talk in person with someone you respect and whom you want to respect you. If you don't have time to say something politely, just leave it for someone who does.

Legitimate, founded critique of a game or company in the context of a question it's relevant to is fine. However in this case it is taken to histrionic extent, and additionally slathered with inflammatory language.

"D&D isn't good at survival simulation" - good, if backed up. People can fairly challenge it on its facts (we did a lot of survival situation in 1e and 2e) but that's legitimate discourse for the site.

"D&D lies to you!" - not good. We can engage in a bunch of sophistry here about the definition of inflammatory, but your mom and your kindergarten teacher would call you out on it regardless. Not acceptable. Will be edited and if the post owner doesn't want it edited, the post may be deleted. Users should submit edits and flags accordingly.

"D&D engages in deceptive business practices." That's not using inordinately inflammatory language but it's still pretty dicey. "Because we put in an equipment list, and the game isn't good at Survivor simulation, we are engaging in something that's a crime in most locations?" Also unacceptable unless it's factually true, not just "well if I am histrionic and stretch words I can say it." You can make a good, factual case that, for example, Outlaw Press and Jim Shipman are guilty of deceptive business practices because they actually steal products and art. Saying that about a game that doesn't do something to your satisfaction, no it's not. If WotC is using sweatshop labor, bring it up. If you are accusing them of some crime because you don't like they way they made their game, keep it on your own blog or whatever - it's not for here.

Also keep How do we handle a desire to challenge the frame of a question? in mind - your critique needs to be on topic for a given question. Questions should generally be answered using Good Subjective, Bad Subjective techniques. Our opinions inform our answers, but there are few cases here on RPG.SE where just airing your opinions for the sake of it is relevant. Even if this question were "Can you effectively tell survival stories in D&D 3.5e?" (which it's not), I'd consider an answer of "I did this and it worked/didn't work and here's how" a lot better than "here's my theory/opinion/textual analysis/whatever."

Edition (or Game) Warring Will Not Be Tolerated

@ThalesSarczuk has a good point that we have kept this well reined in on 4e and some other games. If someone posted "4e lies because it says it's an RPG" you all know that would get deleted and someone that insisted on keeping doing it would get mod messaged.

This same standard of behavior extends to other game professionals, game companies, and games. There will be no tolerance for bagging on those on the site, regardless of your feelings on D&D, Paizo, Pathfinder, SKR, or the other targets people feel free to libel. This includes chat - we mods have been letting behavior go on that we're uncomfortable with there.

It creates an aura of hostility to new users to be immediately told that 5e, or Pathfinder, or whatever game they plan and came here to ask about "is an abomination." Find a more positive thing to talk about. Plus, we'd like some of those real game experts to come participate here, which is less likely to happen if the "experts" we have already continuously insult them. Show some respect to someone with 100 more game credits than you have, perhaps.

Critique is legitimate. Insults are not critique. Attacks create a hostile environment here. That's not OK.

You can spout vitriol on your own blog or whatever forum will have you all day. It's not OK, but no one can stop you. But it's not civil, polite, or nice, therefore it's not welcome here.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Based on this guidance, Brian edited the answer under discussion to make its point without the inflammatory language. KRyan rolled it back, so he deleted it as well. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Oct 15 '14 at 12:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ KRyan clarified with an @ to Brian in chat (which I'm not sure Brian will get, because chat, so I'm conveying it here) that he was unaware of this particular meta guidance when he made that rollback choice (there was about an hour between this post and that deletion). \$\endgroup\$ – BESW Oct 15 '14 at 13:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BESW Understandable; but not coming here where it was under discussion, before reacting, was possibly rash. (I recognise the process, having done that myself.) \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Oct 15 '14 at 14:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan if you're willing to let the edit stand, the answer can be undeleted. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Oct 15 '14 at 16:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan - I am adding my voice to those asking you to let the edit stand, so that we get your valuable (I upvoted it in it's original form!) answer back. \$\endgroup\$ – gomad Oct 18 '14 at 17:24
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I think we should start to remember a few things that happened a while ago, on a dreaded 4e question.

I made a honest comparision between 4e and a MMO, and the world fell on my head because of that. Yes, my answer was not the best on the world, but I received tons of "Don't bash the system" comments and tips, from almost everyone involved on the time.

Here. Look at the comments to see how people received perceived system bashing.

I don't think that, if even a mild system bashing was unaceptable back then, that would change now. I retracted my answer, made it more polite, and the world went on.

So please, don't turn this more difficult. If you want to say that D&D is a bad system to out-of-combat stuff, go ahead. That is perfectly possible to say without using such words.

There is no need to use that word set.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I want to respond to your assertion that issue was broadly about system bashing (with no mention of anything else): part of the issue there was not system bashing, but about the fact that the original version of your answer - later edited and clarified - emphatically suggested staying away from a significant chunk of 4e's rules (the numeric ones, or the arbitrary numeric ones, which is an awful lot of them depending on what that means). Some considered that system bashing, some like me just considered it poor advice. The entire issue is not a system bashing one. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Oct 15 '14 at 22:09
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This is not specifically a defense of my post, but a description of why I think that answers like mine must be allowed on this site. That is, this is not an attempt to get anyone to upvote or not-downvote my answer, but rather merely saying that the answer should not be edited or deleted.

Deceptive business practices exist

This seems like an obvious statement, but it needs to be established first: it is possible for companies to make misleading claims about the capabilities of their product. This is something that has happened many times, across many industries. In other words, it is reality that sometimes businesses are deceptive.

It is our responsibility, as experts, to highlight such practices

If a business or product has misleading marketing or descriptions, that we as experts recognize, it is part of the responsibility we assume as answerers to highlight them for readers. Deception can lead the uninformed to make purchasing decisions that they otherwise might not.

We can only call ’em like we see ’em

Answers are always going to be at least somewhat subjective on this site; we can back up our answers with reasoning, citation, or experience, but the bar for making claims is not, and cannot be, that we must demonstrate absolute proof. Because we cannot do so, and because we should be warning readers are about deceptive business practices, this means we can and should warn users about dubious business practices.

Voting already covers, as well as SE can, establishing credibility

My answer, as of this writing, has 20 upvotes to 8 downvotes. Apparently, I am not the only one who feels that the marketing and description of D&D is inconsistent with the product actually sold. I am, apparently, far from the only one who feels deceived by them.

Voting would work equally well for other, similar answers. If an answer posed a crazy conspiracy theory, it would be downvoted into oblivion. If an answer seemed plausible, but not convincing, it would receive few votes, or up- and downvotes in roughly equal measure. These votes, then, handle anything that needs to be handled.

Companies and products are not persons, are not members of our community

The quoted site rules are designed to foster community and collaboration among our members, not to quash dissenting opinions. Moreover, criticizing a product seems not only to be valid, but to also be an important part of what we are here to do. The failure of D&D to establish consistency between its narrative and its mechanics has, no doubt, many causes, from time constraints, to design mistakes, to miscommunication between separate authors, and many more, I am sure. Nonetheless, the end result does have this disconnect, which leads to the system not actually having features that it claims to have (read: rules for covering aspects it seems should be part of its narrative). That bears mentioning.

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    \$\begingroup\$ While I agree that it’s reasonable to post criticism that a game doesn’t live up to its marketing, it’s possible to say that without using inflammatory and polarizing language. \$\endgroup\$ – Bradd Szonye Oct 14 '14 at 23:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ @BraddSzonye ... where's the inflammatory language? I'm not seeing anything but a well-written, clear post about perceived business practices. It's natural to be polarizing (most things in this hobby are, after all), but inflammatory? Not a word of it... \$\endgroup\$ – Forrestfire Oct 14 '14 at 23:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Forrestfire How is accusing game creators of lying, in bold type, not inflammatory? \$\endgroup\$ – Bradd Szonye Oct 14 '14 at 23:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ Inflammatory: "(especially of speech or writing) arousing or intended to arouse angry or violent feelings." I don't see this as intended to arouse anger, but discussion. If someone responds to the statements with anger, then I think they need to take a step back and rethink how important the game in question is to them, before returning to the discussion with an equally well-reasoned response to prove their point (in this case, that the game is not inherently deceptive about what it really is). \$\endgroup\$ – Forrestfire Oct 14 '14 at 23:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Forrestfire Since when has accusing somebody of dishonesty ever fostered discussion, rather than anger? \$\endgroup\$ – Bradd Szonye Oct 14 '14 at 23:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ I have had many discussions like this one, where someone accused a product of dishonesty. They were conversations, not met with anger. Because that's what this is about, the product, not any specific reader of the comment. An issue only arises if a reader of the comment has the inability to separate the game from their identity, or if they view it as a personal attack. That is their problem, not the problem of the person laying out an honest, well-reasoned, uninflammatory (in my opinion, anyway) opinion about the product. \$\endgroup\$ – Forrestfire Oct 14 '14 at 23:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Forrestfire The problem with saying "uninflammatory (in my opinion)" is that it's the opinions of the inflamed that determine whether a statement was inflammatory, not the opinions of the speakers. Otherwise, politicians wouldn't make gaffes. \$\endgroup\$ – GMJoe Oct 15 '14 at 1:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ Hey, if I had used this to talk about 4e, almost the entire site would come bashing on me. I'm not really liking this double standards... \$\endgroup\$ – T. Sar Oct 15 '14 at 1:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Forrestfire Unfortunately your own dictionary quote contradicts your assertion that the language is not inflammatory. You quoted: "Inflammatory: "(especially of speech or writing) arousing or intended to arouse angry or violent feelings."" Notice that is arousing or intending to arouse. So yes, you don't see an intent to arouse, but since it has aroused regardless, the shoe fits. It is inflammatory, by your own definition. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Oct 15 '14 at 2:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ I have some sympathy for the "it's lying" thing, since the game makes it look like it can do some things it doesn't actually do very well. But the game isn't actually lying. It would have been a lot less inflammatory to just say "It then presents a set of items and options that make it appear to do much more than that, but in practice it does those things very poorly." Says the same thing without being so inflammatory. It can also be backed up, since the system is really bad at being a camping survival simulation. \$\endgroup\$ – Tridus Oct 15 '14 at 13:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie that's a very good point, and looking back over it, I'm thinking that yeah, it could be seen as a bit inflammatory. There are better ways to have said it, and I was wrong for continuing the argument here. Apologies. \$\endgroup\$ – Forrestfire Oct 15 '14 at 17:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Forrestfire It takes a big person to make an apology like that. Kudos. :) \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Oct 15 '14 at 17:40
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The code of conduct you're quoting is about how we treat people. Products don't have feelings to hurt.

What you're examining here is called criticism, and it's valid. If a game does something wrong, it's a good thing to call it: players learn, developers learn, and so on. We're not here to be nice to games, we're here to share expertise.

Frankly if I couldn't call out the flaws in a game, that would be awful. I'm not about to pretend the games I use are necessarily good in every way.

D&D has a lot to answer to, and it can handle it when we call out that product. If one of those flaws is that a game — through accident or deliberate design — effectively lies about itself, is deceptive or misleading, then calling the product out as lying or being deceptive or misleading is entirely on point. (How else ought we describe it, and remain truthful?)

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    \$\begingroup\$ You can call out flaws in games without calling them “lies.” \$\endgroup\$ – Bradd Szonye Oct 14 '14 at 23:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Bradd Unless the flaw is that it lies. And that's the criticism in this case. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Oct 14 '14 at 23:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ You can describe it, without name-calling, by saying that the game doesn’t live up to its marketing, in your experience. Saying that it “lies” is a value judgment on the creators – which includes some of the rpg.se community. \$\endgroup\$ – Bradd Szonye Oct 14 '14 at 23:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Bradd Any choice about how to call out its deception is your choice of euphemism. We're under no obligation to call it out in a friendly manner. And no, it's a value judgement on the game. "D&D lies to you" is not the same as "The developers of D&D are lying to you". (The former could be completely accidental.) \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Oct 14 '14 at 23:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ Thus my comment that there’s a vernacular meaning of “lies” that may excuse the poster from meaning offense, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s offensive language. And the proposed code of conduct makes clear that we should not tolerate offensive language even if it’s not aimed directly at another person. \$\endgroup\$ – Bradd Szonye Oct 14 '14 at 23:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Bradd Offensive to who? We have no obligation to not be offensive to games, because they can't be offended. If you take it personally when someone calls out a problem in your game, and you'd rather they describe it nicely and favourably - too bad, we don't have to sugarcoat our criticism. We're not here to be WotC's marketing/PR department or make excuses for them and pretend it's fine in areas where it's really not fine; a game this big can handle criticism. The language in this case is not excessive, you just prefer that different language would be used to describe the same problem. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Oct 14 '14 at 23:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ I’m not asking the OP to sugarcoat anything, I’m asking people not to accuse the opposing point of view of dishonesty. \$\endgroup\$ – Bradd Szonye Oct 14 '14 at 23:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ It's not, though. Maybe noting that the opposite point of view accepts the dishonesty for what it is, or has not realized it, but I don't see a thing in the post suggesting any accusations of anything but the game itself of dishonesty. \$\endgroup\$ – Forrestfire Oct 14 '14 at 23:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Forrestfire Who do you think wrote the games? At least one of them used to be an active poster here. \$\endgroup\$ – Bradd Szonye Oct 14 '14 at 23:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Bradd your argument that these games shouldn't be criticised on the basis their developers may be active in our community is suggesting that being active in our community should make your products immune to criticism from it. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Oct 14 '14 at 23:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ And further, as someone who creates products: criticism of the product is not necessarily criticism of the person. If it reflects on the person, that doesn't mean we shouldn't criticise the product's flaw anyway. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Oct 14 '14 at 23:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ Criticism is fine. Name-calling is not! Saying that you wrote “lies” is not criticism, it’s a personal attack. \$\endgroup\$ – Bradd Szonye Oct 14 '14 at 23:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ @BraddSzonye - Personally, as a game designer myself, I'd appreciate that kind of criticism if I were ever to make a mistake (or series of mistakes) on the level that D&D has. There are, and will be, cases where designers attempt to create rules for a concept that then fail to live up to that concept. D&D is mostly made up of such rules. The statement, "D&D lies to you" is an accurate summation of the situation in question and I'm having a hard time understanding why you're so upset about it. \$\endgroup\$ – Lord_Gareth Oct 14 '14 at 23:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Lord_Gareth See BESW’s answer for why it’s upsetting, and the ongoing discussion in chat for why it’s not constructive criticism. \$\endgroup\$ – Bradd Szonye Oct 15 '14 at 0:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Lord_Gareth Because it's not lying. D&D doesn't claim to be a survival simulation at any point, ever. Having some equipment available isn't the game claiming that it is, any more than having a Bluff skill is the game claiming that it's a backroom political simulator. There's cases where a DM might care about what equipment you have, and the stuff is there for those situations. It's pretty easy to (and often is) ignored. It's not lying when you take something to mean something other than what it says, then claim it doesn't live up to your version of what it's saying. \$\endgroup\$ – Tridus Oct 15 '14 at 13:30

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