A zine discussion on a gaming product that had tucked into it some rather narrow-minded and reprehensible propaganda -- from "Firestarter 18."
Copyright © 2000 B. "Collie" Collier
Exclusion in a Gaming Product
The only other incident I've personally experienced concerning injecting 'christian values' into gaming was when Paul Jaquays decided to write up the third of the Central Casting books to advocate his christian religious principles.
The first two Central Casting books were very nice products you could use to generate an interesting and varied background for your character. They both had tables to determine your "light side" and "dark side" traits, based on your character's generated background. The more unsavory experiences you had (raised by thieves, or sold into slavery, etc.), the more dark side traits you might have. The more wholesome experiences you had, the more light side traits. One of the books was for sword & sorcery type characters, the other for supers and science fiction. The third was intended for 'modern day' characters.
Mr. Jacquays represented contentious views in the real world as having an absolute moral value, by saying that things like homosexuality or partnership outside of (quoted from the book) "Christian marriage" were "deviant" dark-side traits. He also put in a number of game mechanics that made those things disadvantageous. How incredibly insulting to anyone married in the Hindu or Islamic or any other faith! In essence Jacquays did precisely what some christian groups accuse gamers of doing -- he used the book to push his religious beliefs, and the game to represent his views of his cult as the normative default.
For him to say this was Central Casting Book III was misleading, at best. The material was very much at odds with the contents of the previous books -- with no warning on the cover. If someone published a book on gaming etiquette which said everyone should wear their bunny tails to all games because anyone who doesn't is evil and wrong, we'd look at them like they were nuts. And yet, Jacquays basically did exactly that sort of absolutist thinking. His self-righteous "Political Correctness Warning" at the beginning of the book merely pointed up the fact that he really didn't give a damn about what the people who bought the book thought. The fact that I find his views narrow-minded and self-centered simply strengthens my distaste for this underhanded proselytizing. I would be equally repulsed regardless of what form of bigotry, religious or otherwise, was being so forced on me.
Here it is in its entirety: