Slate has an article taking a swipe at late game designer Gary Gygax: Orc Holocaust
It holds up Steve Jackson and Greg Stafford as superior game designers (calling Gygax a hack in comparison) and then takes Gygax to task for the system of “experience points” that so often works against roleplaying.
I don’t really disagree with the notion that experience points lead supposedly heroic characters to behave like a band of bloodthirsty nutjobs. That point has actually been made, over and over, for a quarter century. I’ve built more than my share of jokes on that very idea. However, the system is still in use all these years later, even by people like Steve Jackson and Greg Stafford.
The article subtitle, “The reprehensible moral universe of Gary Gygax’s Dungeons & Dragons”, makes it sound like we’re in for some tongue-in-cheek fun at the expense of D&D, but either the author is serious or his humor is so dry that it is undetectable to me. The article reads like a dozen other sullen, bitter rants I’ve read against D&D in various forums, but with better grammar and spelling.
Of course, perhaps it is just well-constructed flame bait, designed to increase traffic and linking by being controversial. In which case I just fell for it.
(Thanks to reader Ryan for the link.)
LATER: Also, what is the deal with Slate using Alan De Smet‘s photo without attribution, as required by the Creative Commons-Attribution license? I know some blogs are sloppy about that sort of thing, but you’d think Slate would be able to stay on top of that sort of thing with their fancy editors and all.
As a further aside – I don’t know why, but I am more irritated by Creative Commons violations than regular copyright violations.
STILL LATER: Alan De Smet pointed out that the photo is indeed attributed. It’s in small print at the bottom (which is why I missed it, I shoulda used search) but it’s there.