RE: Who This Petition is BY
Mar 17, 2015 — There has been much speculation as to the background of this petition and the background of the initial petitioner, and this update is to address that speculation and, in some cases, outright incorrect claims from those at MCG itself regarding said issues.
Ms. MorningStar is the poster of this petition, and moved swiftly after she was approached by the initial person of contact with MCG when asked for help raising awareness of this issue.
I am that initial contact.
I am a long-time gamer, and started playing console games in 1989 on my older brother’s Atari 2600. I beat QBert, shockingly, in 3 hours. I haven’t stopped gaming since, and was brought into the TTRPG (Table Top Role-Playing Game) community nearly a decade ago. I didn’t initially jump right in, but sat in on numerous 3.5 Edition D&D games before making my first foray into a campaign with 4th Edition. After becoming heavily invested, my husband and I got wind of Monte Cook’s new project and were immediately intrigued. Numenera. Ninth World. Wow. We were sold, but couldn’t contribute to the Kickstarter. We immediately signed up for a pre-order though.
When our books didn’t arrive weeks later, we were contacted by Tammy with a sincere apology, as one was also posted to Kickstarter and their main website after a handful more complaints. Our compensation was a signed copy of Numenera. Signed..by Monte Cook. We were wowed with the customer service we received and vowed to back anything and everything else we could in the future.
Then there was the announcement of The Strange. My husband & I immediately pledged at the $80 tier, excited for another new and innovative concept for the TTRPG community, and for us to get into. We were excited for all the extra goodies, too. A one-of-a-kind NPC Card, all future errata and modules and guides as PDFs.. It couldn’t be beat for the price.
The Nibovian Wife catastrophe hit, and I hadn’t read the creatures through the core guide because I was trying to leave -some- mystery as I wasn’t the GM. After that, I almost didn’t want to play..but I was urged to continue at the behest of the GM and assured the content wouldn’t be used. So even here, this isn’t the first time someone has complained with a real issue about the games.
Finally, The Strange went into print in December 2013. We received our copy shortly after and were SO EXCITED... The book was delivered while I was out and my husband immediately ripped the package open to start reading. He spotted the “Thunder Plains” recursion first. And he tried to shield me from seeing it.
You see, I am also Native. Chahta to be exact. I’ve been a powwow dancer for 16 years, having placed well in competitions qualifying for the world’s largest competition powwow twice (though not having funds to attend), and placing first in several smaller powwows. I sang on a southern-style drum as a young teen, and have attended ceremonies nearly yearly until moving halfway across the nation to a new state a handful of years ago. Regardless of displacement, I am still active within the community as someone who disseminates information pertinent to our communities through online resources and word-of-mouth. I organized a local activity I was unable attend due to severe illness but that was, thankfully, still very well-received.
So upon seeing this disgusting and disgraceful display of blatant stereotyping and appropriation...my stomach dropped. My heart fell to pieces. I nearly lost my food from earlier right onto the pages of the book. I was in real physical pain.
Those who have never experienced outright dehumanization, which is abuse that causes trauma in a lot of people, will never understand. I’m glad for people that will never have to experience that, but I do wish those who don’t would attempt better understanding of what it feels like and how it affects daily life.
In a Nation where I, and any other Native, will see at least one instance of dehumanization in nearly every single shop in the Nation, with TTRPG being a place supposed to be for escapism, supposed to be safe...I did not feel safe. And I’m not the only one.
This petition, or “movement” as some are callig it, has NOT been “hijacked.” I immediately started contacting MCG, nearly weekly, since The Strange went into print. I have never let up, and I won’t until this content is removed. Treating Natives as some fairytale-history fantasy is so wrong on so many levels, and to profit from this is even worse.
MCG has not issued a single apology. But they can quickly, and often do, apologize from numerous public accounts to individual fans who contact them with issues (be it missing items from orders, to questions about mechanics in the games). It is obviously not a difficult thing for them to do.
We gamers, and Natives, and Native gamers, are asking for exactly that. Apologize, admit wrongdoing, and remove the content. It really isn’t that difficult.
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