This has been revisited and addressed in the following article:
Revisiting the Sensitive Censorship Issue in Board Gaming. I have a bit of apologizing to do.
So, background. Gloom of Kilforth is a fantasy sword & sorcery setting board game designed by Tristan Hall, a project that was successfully funded on September 27, 2015. The gameplay mechanics and art style interested me greatly, and there aren’t enough board games in that genre that manage to do both (the best fantasy board game I’ve currently played is Magic Realm, made all the way back in 1979). The main thing that won me over into backing that game is the passion the creator has for it. 8 years this has been developed, tested, modified, updated, tweaked, and improved during all that time. No way is someone that passionate over a game that is destined to be weak sauce. The final thing that brought me on board was the fact that this is a kickstarter exclusive game. It won’t be funded any other way, and won’t be brought onto store shelves. It’s a labor of love from beginning to end, with plenty of positive reviews along the way. It gained my admiration and my pledge.
Over a year later, Tristan made an update, stating that the files were sent to the presses, to see if they could begin printing the cards, rulebook, box, etc. But then game one word in one section of the update that took me completely by surprise.
Some of you may remember there was a bit of brouhaha or brahaha about a scantily clad female warrior image we showed early on. I’m not a fan of censorship at all, but after lots of feedback from many differing viewpoints I made the decision for the game to be inclusive instead of exclusive. Ania and I continued to develop the project in our own way in an uncensored creative environment; and then only after the art was completed we went back through it all with an objective eye and with input from third parties. Whilst there was/is no nudity in the game, we did make a few tweaks to some images that might have caused consternation – we’ve had no complaints about violence, or about male bodies, but we did cover up a number of female characters.
But you can’t please all the people all the time – to some these changes might not be enough, whilst to others these changes are unwarranted. To that end, the cards with the original images might be offered in a future Kickstarter if the demand exists, and some may appear in the art book.
Censorship. The one word that sets me off more than just about anything else in the English language. My initial reaction was surprise, then anger, then confusion. Surprise in that there was any controversy over any of the images in the game. Anger that he censored the image. Confusion as to why. He states he got “lots of feedback from many differing viewpoints”. Then he states that after the project was done, “we went back through it all with an objective eye and with input from third parties.”
So that part baffles me. The whole point of kickstarter is asking people to fund a project to make a product that backers deem is worthy of being backed. So naturally, you would think the creator would want to be as transparent as possible. So you’re probably thinking he let the kickstarter backers would be the ones providing that feedback and offering the different viewpoints, let alone be aware that such discussions were taking place. Well, you would be wrong.
“This card would absolutely stop me from buying the game. I wouldn’t not back simply because the card is included but if this is used as an example of the tone of the artwork I wouldn’t even get to the game play before my eye rolling would make me leave the page. There are enough awesome games that I don’t have to support lazy depictions of women, no matter how pretty is it. There’s no problem with sexy if it makes sense. If I’m not your target audience then cool. As long as you are aware that the artwork is a barrier to accessibility then best of luck to you. You likely don’t need my disposable income and that of the other people who have outgrown this sort of thing.” — GnatOfPower
Anyway, here’s the card art. The original art, the art with the card info, and then the revised more PC card.
This discussion took place outside of kickstarter, on boardgamegeek.com, in a thread that virtually none of the Kickstarter backers knew about. This polling took place before the project was officially kickstarted. Now, while the image above does say 122 people voted, that actual number should be 121 since I voted on it after recently discovering it. Anyway, 75 voted to keep the card art the same, 46 voted that they wouldn’t back the game if the art remained as is. Bear in mind that there’s no way to tell if everyone who participated in this poll ended up backing the project. The majority still said they wanted the card art to remain the same. But Tristan decided to cave into the demands of the minority and had the artist alter the image, and had the art cropped, as you can see above.
This all happened before the kickstarter project launched. So it launched, and went, and got funded, and had daily updates from Tristan throughout the entire campaign. All in all, 1,481 backers backed the project (me included). So not only did we not learn about this poll until a year after the project had ended and the revised images were put in the files that were sent to the printers over in China for printing, but we didn’t learn until November 1st 2016 that less than 10% of the number of people who backed the project had a say in determining whether or not a card should be altered or not, with no guarantee that those who participated in the polling even backed the project. What’s worse, there’s no guarantee that those who voted no and had their demands met even helped fund the project. Am I the only one who thinks that’s an absolutely insane and unfair decision-making process!?
And let’s just look at it for what it is. Having the opinions of a low-count prudish minority influence what should/shouldn’t be in a game? That’s censorship, and I have very little tolerance for censorship of any kind.
I have been through too much crap when it comes to the act of censorship, particularly when it comes to films. Seeing films like The Path to 9/11 getting banned, films like Blade Runner caving into the studio to make a half-assed theatrical cut before getting a more proper Director’s Cut (and later Final Cut), films like Warcraft getting 40+ minutes gutted out of it to fit a theatrical runtime which compromised the director’s vision, Fanboys getting delayed due to studio interference on cutting out a cancer plot which sent moviegoers in an uproar demanding the footage to be restored, among others. I’ll be damned if I’m going to just sit idly by while there’s still time to do something about it for a game I’m getting, that me and others have paid money for, who never got a say on this, let alone were aware of it until now. I’ll be damned if I’m going to see this issue extend into the board gaming genre.
“Oh, but surely he’s exaggerating the extent of this issue for a board game like this?” you may ask.
To which I respond, “Yes he is! But he exaggerates to make the point more clear. Censorship, however minor, is a very slippery slope.”
What’s the difference here between this situation, the altering of a work on a card for a board game, and the altering of a film for theatrical release (or for televised release)? It’s simple, in the case of Hollywood, politicians, Hollywood execs, the MPAA, and theater chains can put pressure on director’s to force cuts to their film, forcing them to make cuts. Here, the game creator is caving into the demands of a prude petty few who hold no such positions of power over him. That angers me. What’s more, it’s unfair to everyone else who didn’t even get a say on the matter.
Oh, and if they think that art is in bad taste, they have seen nothing yet:
Where the hell do you people live, Saudi Arabia?
And some of you reading this are probably thinking about the one word thrown around as often as racism: sexist! Sexism! “You’re a sexist pig you views women as nothing but sex objects, wants them scantily clad, so you can drool and fantasize over them, while you play the game with your other pig friends, and expose the poor innocent bystanders to this sexist filth who will have their morals and souls corrupted at the very sight of these scantily clad women! Doesn’t matter if the artist is a woman, it’s still sexist!”
To which I’ll reply, “Well you’re sexist too, you sexist pigs who view men as sex objects who view them as scantily clad, muscularly buff 200 pounds of pure glistening muscle meat bags that you want to touch and drool over, and expose innocent bystanders to their ungodly image and corrupt their souls and morals! Doesn’t matter if the artist is a man or a woman, it’s still sexist!”
So it’s ok for men to be scantily clad, but not women, in fantasy lore, apparently.
There’s more where that came from in the scantily clad sword & sorcery department, from both genders, in board games outside of Gloom of Kilforth.
Anyway, my point is that you people…
“What do you mean, YOU people?”
“I mean YOU people, you prude oversensitive thin-skinned millennial social justice warrior pro-radical-feminist upstarts.”
You people need to grow up.
Let me tell you about a time when I was in middle school. In an art class, we watched a documentary on the history of art, from ancient Greece to modern times. There were a couple points where drawings of nude (I say again, NUDE, bare-assed bare-breasted bare-dicked naked) sculptures and paintings were displayed, as well as a history of those who drew/sculpted the artwork. And when those images came up, a portion of the students were giggling like immature idiots (though to be fair, at that age, a lot of students are immature idiots; that’s why we go to school, to gain knowledge so we’re no longer idiots, and learn maturity through our interaction with others, and teachings gained through the adults and our superiors, who are mature and intelligent). Know what the teacher said in response? Something to the extent of, “Stop laughing, grow up, you’re in the 6th grade, be respectful.” And they shut up for the rest of the documentary.
“Women should be proud of and celebrate the female body, not be embarrassed every time a quarter inch of skin is shown here or there.
Ever been to an art museum?” — glookose
And since there seems to be some sort of view going around that men are pigs and will salivate immaturely over these pictures, I won’t say you’re wrong, because some of us do. But the same applies to women over scantily clad pictures of men. Those types of individuals will always exist no matter what. But for everyone else, including me, that’s not how we are. We can look at an artist’s drawing of a woman and admire it, not in a lustful way, but in a way that admires the beauty of it. Because that’s what these images are, images of women and men that are appealing and pleasing to the eye. The female form is beautiful, women know they are beautiful. Do they not want to be admired? Do handsome men not want to be admired? Just because we can admire their beauty/handsomeness doesn’t mean we do so in a lustful way. Because that’s the whole point, the whole purpose of art. It is meant to be admired. Sometimes features are exaggerated. The main one that has some in an uproar is breast size. “Doesn’t that hurt your back?” But that’s not the only element of a body that tends to be exaggerated. The length of a woman’s legs, the curve of her hips and body, the length of her hair, how thin all of the above can be. The muscle mass of a man’s arms, legs, chest, shoulders, neck, hands, feet, those tend to get exaggerated quite often as well. Sometimes they’re not exaggerated, and that’s fine too. But in any case, they look awesome, and we want to behold the sight of awesome artwork. We want to see awesome artwork in our games, not dull generic realism to the point that it’s uninspired. Granted, that can depend on the game, but that’s usually not the case of a game in the genre of fantasy sword & sorcery.
“Personally, while I think the art is probably fine either way, I confess it annoys me somewhat that some excessive and unnatural (from my perspective, imho, etc) sensibility to the human body form ends up dictating, via censorship, the material I am receiving. What gave the right to those people to determine what is acceptable or unnacceptable for me?” — tiborvadovan
Sometimes the art is not admired, normally because it’s not to the tastes of some people. But to alter the art because of those people, is a shame. Just because we can admire the female (and male) body doesn’t mean we’re going to do so in an immature way.
A Response to Those Who Argue Against my Position
Obviously, this wouldn’t have gotten started if not for some moral/philosophical arguments made for changing the artwork, so it’s only fair that I bring them up and address them. I won’t name names, but I will give quotes:
The half dressed woman art on the warrior card is probably good as art, but it is completely ridiculous, and discordantly jarringly so, as a Warrior. It is worse than ‘chicks in chainmail’. It continues to foster the concepts that women are nothing but sex objects even when they are fighters, that women can never be portrayed as feminine unless they are dressed sexy, and the impractical armor of someone who supposedly knows how to fight. In anything other than fantasy, what she’s wearing would be lingerie, unsuitable for anyplace other than a beach, pool or bedroom! I can’t even see the arm holding the sword, and I had to look at the art 3 times before I could even see the phallic sword blending right into the edge of the bottom scroll.
Your own text says “battle-hardy’, “survive”, and “perilous wilderness”, yet the background of the art is of some cathedral, and the maiden is so unlike battle-hardy it would be hard to find a worse example of a warrior outside of children and the elderly. This is like a book cover where the artist clearly never read the book, which in this case is just a single sentence & 1 word.
Way to appeal to women gamers and families with kids.
That’s the post that got this whole poll/censorship thing started.
First of all: “No-one with a sane, rational mind would find that offensive.” – Bjorn Ruud, from the Kickstarter Update page.
A half dressed man can also be considered ridiculous, more-so since he’s a warrior. You going to complain about that? Is anyone else? No? Then let the rest of us have our half-dressed female warrior damnit! Besides, there are plenty of other women images in the game that aren’t dressed sexy, have practical armor, and so do some of the men.
Even Tristan stated that there would be normally dressed individuals. And “phallic sword”? Well, maybe, but that’s the “woman artist’s” decision. I’m sure this appeals to some women gamers just fine. Oh wait, it does!
“I for one am female and I didn’t think there was anything wrong with the picture and wasn’t offended by it. The artist is female and if she drew it like that then it should stay that way. I for one agree that both of the images of the said changed cards should be included and then it is up to the person who plays the game to use the ones that they see fit.” — DragonFly90 on this BGG thread.
There are others who make their own arguments, ranging from how ridiculous it is for a warrior to be wearing such attire, to be in such a skimpy outfit, how the image “rang the anti-PC art bells”, art depicting a fantasy pin-up and objectifying women, the minority should have a say, and that it’s the game creator’s decision and he can do whatever he wants with his game.
On that last point, I would go along with what the game creator did so long as it was ONLY his decision with no third-party input influencing his decision. The problem is not only did third-party input influence his decision, but he asked for third party input from a website that is not kickstarter where backers put money into this product. The creator should’ve asked for the opinion of those who actually put money up. In fact, he indicated that he would…
“Once the campaign is underway backers of the game will be invited to air their opinions on this image. It would consume a game play stretch goal, but given the appetite for discussion this has triggered we could potentially offer an alternative image card to satisfy both camps.” — Tristan Hall (ninjadorg)
—but he never did.
As for those other points, in regards to PC (political correctness), fuck political correctness!
As for the minority should have a say, that is only true if the minority’s demands are reasonable, but sometimes they’re not. Would you listen to the opinions of individuals who wanted to have convicted pedophiles teaching a kindergarten, preschool, or elementary class? Would you listen to KKK members in regards to black leaders? Would you listen to a religious young earth Christian fanatic on what should be taught in class? What about the richest 1%? What about the poorest 1%? The minority’s opinion can be wrong at least some of the time. Minority or majority, they need a convincing argument to make their case to sway the majority and other minority groups. Just because you’re a minority doesn’t necessarily mean you should have special privileges.
“One problem with a poll like that is it is a subset of a subset of the backers. Only a small percentage of KS backers are regular/active BGG users and generally polls are voted by those most passionate about the subject. So it might be biased towards those most offended while most people don’t care either way.
A poll like that might work better using one of the free poll websites and a link directly in an update on KS. Those are fast and don’t require an account.” — ScottE
And then we get to the actual meat of the matter, the discussion of art that offends some people. First, let’s get this out of the way, I know for a fact not all females are offended by the artwork.
“I for one am female and I didn’t think there was anything wrong with the picture and wasn’t offended by it. The artist is female and if she drew it like that then it should stay that way. I for one agree that both of the images of the said changed cards should be included and then it is up to the person who plays the game to use the ones that they see fit.” — DragonFly90
“I’m a female gamer, I’m entirely desensitized to the representation of my gender in games. I like seeing meatwad men scantily clad, I’m not going to judge men for feeling similarly.” — ABlindManSees
So, we can agree that there are females who are offended by the art, and there are females who are not, kay? Kay. I think we can also agree that there are some men who find this offensive for certain reasons, and that there are men who don’t find it offensive at all, kay? Kay. So as far as I’m concerned, as Tristan Hall stated earlier, you can’t please everyone. And because you can’t please everyone, you should stay true to your ideals when developing your own project.
But I can make an argument for why people shouldn’t be offended by such images. Let me share a back and forth I had with an individual on BGG:
Joshua Nash (JPN38):
Out of courtesy to you, I’ll respond, but I really don’t want to go back and forth.
You are male, correct? And American? Perhaps also white? This whole issue is about distribution of power. Traditionally in this country (and in many others) the dominant segment of the population (here it’s white males) determines through economic and sociopolitical power the dominant norms.
So–women become objectified sexual objects, subservient to male sexual urges. This is sexism. Period.
The absurdist representations of males is “okay” because it accentuates their perceived and real power, physical and otherwise. These charicatures of men are liked as fantasy embodiments of their desires. Same thing for the always sexually available women.
“What if” arguments are a waste of time to address. If you’d like real debate, come up with legitimate points to discuss.
You have me at a disadvantage here. Yes, I’m a white male American, all I know about you is that you’re American, likely male judging by the name, but you ethnicity is something I don’t know.
Anyway, the whole issue isn’t just about the view of how women and/or men are portrayed in art, it’s also about only allowing a select few have a say on the matter, without the consultation of all parties interested, as I’ve stated several times.
But in regards to those in power, in dominance, the male, making women objectified in sexual images to be subservient to male urges being sexism, not so fast. Have you forgotten that a woman is the one who did these drawings in the first place? So if your argument is to be considered true, then there are females who exist who are artists who portray females (themselves) in a way that is subservient to men. Are we then to believe that these female artist make this drawings against their will? Or that they do it because they know this art sells, and it’s more important for them to make art that sells to those in power so they can make money off of it at the expense of the artist’s pride? Or is there a different reason, such as they draw the image of the female in this way for the opposite reason. To showcase the female’s power. The power of beauty, the power of attraction? The power to showcase such traits while still equipped to fight in combat?
You can say what you want about “what ifs” being a waste of time, but as far as I’m concerned, the view that the artist made these drawings for the purpose of being objectified sexual objects is just another what if. There are other more reasonable views than this. This is a point that cannot be stressed enough since the view you suggest is only true if those viewing the art see it that way. But that’s not the views everyone shares, and arguably not the views that the majority shares, as indicated by the initial poll results, where a 2/3rds majority, even though it was made outside of kickstarter outside of the knowledge of the backers, even though it was made at the behest of at least one individual who took issue with one of the drawings in question, stated they prefer to keep the art as originally drawn, as originally intended.
And if the men are drawn to be perceived as caricatures who possess power, physical or otherwise, is that not because the female artist chose to draw them that way? Or is it also to conform to standards to sell more art for a wider audience that is willing to accept such depictions of men? That’s a more difficult argument to make, for reasons that I hope would be obvious to you. The artist chose to have the men depicted that way. Not only that, but that’s not their only depiction in the game anymore than it is the sole female’s depiction of being on the more scantily clad side. There are women in the game who aren’t scantily clad. There are men who aren’t buffed up (and/or also scantily clad).
So what’s clear to me is that it’s far-fetched to believe the artist made the drawing with the intent of objectification of either gender. What is not so far-fetched, or I should say, what is more plausible, is that individuals from either sex can view the images as objectified caricatures. But it’s also just as easy to have individuals who do not view the images in that way. One could take the redrawn image of the female warrior card and still say it’s an objectified image of the woman, just as they could say the same thing about the original art. It’s in the eye of the beholder. I for one would like to believe that men are better than that. As for both men and women who view this as a work of art that offends them not because they look at the image and objectify the subject of it for their own sexualized object, but because they fear others will, I would like to believe they can be better than that.
For me, this isn’t about if the image is an objectified/sexualized individual for the sole purpose of being viewed as such, the issue is with the individuals who either choose to view it that way, or are so terrified that it will be viewed that way that they not only demand it to be changed, but get their way in having it changed.
Are those legitimate enough points for a real debate?
Joshua Nash (JPN38):
Yes, good stuff, worthy of debate! And I thumbed your post to further acknowledge that. Also, I’m hoping people can look past your hyperbolic original post and see you’re willing to dialogue. So, thanks for that.
I’m a white American male, educated in sociology and psychology. My education and experience has taught me a lot about inequality, which is where I’m coming from with my posts.
I almost quoted your second paragraph to address specifically. Your frustrations regarding a vocal minority calling the shots can get you closer to empathizing with the side I’m arguing.
“Majority” and “Minority” have numerous meanings. In the context we’re talking, the minority in population (white males) possess the majority of the power. This is something that’s been true for eons and across cultures. So you being frustrated that a minority of the population (if this is true; I haven’t been following the specifics) is exactly what the majority of disenfranchised people have experienced for, again, eons.
To your point about both women and men artists making art of this sort: of course they do! It’s the norm and, yes, it sells. To be clear, I think the original pic you posted is super pretty. My beef is still that it’s absurd based upon the context of her being a warrior. (if that’s what she is)
Women can be sexist, just like men. “Sexist” is a mental orientation. Just like people of various skin hues can all be racists. I certainly am not calling these female artists sexist, but I am calling the art sexist based upon the absurdity of the image’s context. A subtle distinction, but an important one. The integrity of the image isn’t compromised in the second version. In fact, the focal point then becomes less about big boobs and more about a badass female warrior. Good stuff!
I need to stress this: I like nudity in art! It’s often pretty and necessary for the piece. Nude black and white photos, for example. Again, my issue lies in obviously sexualizing a women though exposed skin and provocative poses that I find silly and sexist. It’s just not necessary or relevant.
Pretty sure you meant majority in population there. I think. Either way I think I get the message.
Look, there are minority issues I can sympathize with that deserve to be improved. Equal pay for equal work whether you’re male or female. Equal job opportunities. No more whitewashing in Hollywood (give us Egyptian actors in movies that take place in Egypt! Or Italians instead of British people in tv series that take place in ancient Rome!). Legalizing marijuana. You know, important stuff that matters.
But just as the majority in power can be in the wrong on things, the minority can be too. They can be unreasonable in their demands. Not all minority demands are bad, but some are, and I think it’s only right to call them out on in.
A female warrior who dresses lightly for speed and scantily clad potentially to draw eyes for distraction so she can gain an edge against a foe in combat. Just because something is absurd doesn’t mean a board game shouldn’t have it.
First of all, I don’t believe the breast size had an increase or decrease in either version. And second, regarding the image being sexist, assuming the artist intended that, let’s break this down a bit.
sexist: relating to or characterized by prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex.
prejudice: preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.
stereotype: a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.
discriminate: make an unjust or prejudicial distinction in the treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, sex, or age.
The argument you’re pushing here is that sexist images (in the case of this board game) are bad. And because an image is sexist, the image’s integrity is compromised. That’s a false dichotomy if the artist intended the work to be sexist, in which case its integrity is in-tact. And there can be a good reason for sexist intention, such as conforming to the art style of the 70s and 80s when it came to artwork depicting females in sword & sorcery fantasy worlds, acting as a homage to them. And why not? Many still watch and enjoy the film Conan: The Barbarian, and Beastmaster, among others. I believe they watch them knowing that it’s sexist in the same way people watch Scream and older slasher film with familiar tropes and stereotypes. They can be enjoyed, but they’re not considered offensive due to containing those stereotypes (at least I hope not). Why? Because it’s not worth getting bothered over.
So yes, in traditional fantasy settings, women have been scantily clad. This does conform to a stereotype. But aren’t we all aware that it’s a stereotype? If we’re aware it isn’t based on reason, that doesn’t make it prejudice, especially if the artist is aware (and in this day and I age, I think it’s safe to say that the most reasonable and logic-minded common-sense individuals are aware) that this isn’t based on reason. At least to an extent if you don’t consider my light-hearted argument made earlier in this post about the reasons for the attire. Lastly, can this really be considered discrimination if the drawing was made not to be prejudiced in it’s treatment of the individual, but to have fun with it?
That’s worth repeating here, because I lot of people tend to forget about that. It’s fun. The attire is fun. The depiction is fun. It’s fun because it’s absurd. It’s fun and entertaining in its absurd treatment of both the male and female body. Why should it not be fun? Why should it be offensive when it shouldn’t be hurting anyone? Why shouldn’t it be fun when we (and the artist) are aware that most women are not like this? It bothers me that one can’t be considered to be innocent and have fun with the image with good intentions, without being condoned by others who say it’s not fun, it’s offensive. That is why I disagree with them. That is why I think they’re making too big of a deal out of this. They need to lighten up and have fun.
There are a lot of things that are silly and fun that may not be considered relevant, but I do believe they are necessary. If this wasn’t necessary, why would people be backing/buying the game? Why would they back/buy similar games and/or films that depict their subjects in the same way? For fun! For the silliness of the sexism on both genders. And most important of all, it’s necessary to remind people that it’s ok to have fun with something like this, that they shouldn’t get uptight or wound up over it. If they are taken aback by it, they need to learn to grow some thicker skin and get over it. There are more important things to get wound up over than something like this. Otherwise, we wind up in a debate such as this arguing why something like this should be allowed in the first place.
Joshua Nash (JPN38):
This will thankfully be short. Your post helps with that.
Stereotypes and sexism are NOT fun to me. Fun doesn’t even make sense to me here.
Prejudice is prejudice, regardless of its origin. You fail to grasp my main point. The objectification occurs as a result of the context. I doubt a raging orc is going to be distracted by tits.
But it’s not prejudice here. In order for it to be prejudice, it has to be based on a preconceived notion. That is not the case here, therefore it’s not prejudiced.
And if the absurdity of stereotypes and sexism isn’t fun to you (though it’s fun for many male and female cosplayers who definitely take as far if not farther than the card image here), then that’s your loss. I hope at the very least you’ve gained some understanding as to why it’s fun for the rest of us, fun in an innocent way.
And what is the context here that makes you so convinced that harmful objectification is going on with this image?
Joshua Nash (JPN38):
Her boobs are bigger than her face. I suppose tiny-headed, big breasted women DO have the advantage in fights. Those tiny, vulnerable heads are less of a target.
Here, have your thread back.
Lastly, I should mention that this is the only card that I currently know about that has had changes to it. I ask the question that has gone unanswered, are there others, and if so, what are they, and what are the before and after images? Because in the kickstarter update message given near the very top of this post, Tristan said, “…the cards with the original images might be offered in a future Kickstarter…” Cards, plural. What other cards? Why haven’t we seen them? Why haven’t we been notified of them being altered? Why are you leaving the people who backed your project out of this?
I disagree with this entire process, I find it insulting that he would cave into the demands of some prudish few, and I find censorship more offensive than just about anything else in the world. I despise censorship with every fiber of my being, with a passion. And this is censorship what he’s doing. And on top of that, this whole thing just comes off as him going behind our backs. Therefore, I asked him to restore the card art to its former glory. I asked this in haste and urgency (within a day or 2 of the kickstarter update), and hoped that it’s not too late to make a difference, especially since he has shown he can be influenced by third party input. If it is too late, if this cannot be rectified, or if he chooses not to get it rectified, I will still accept the game. I will play it, and rate/review it objectively based primarily on the gameplay. But I will lose respect for Tristan Hall, and be far less willing to back and support any future projects he does (such as 1066 Tears to Many Mothers, or a potential expansion to Gloom of Kilforth). He doesn’t earn much respect for me if he’s not willing to offer to listen to the input of those who actually put money down to make his project a success. I will provide an update on that front in the near future.
This has been revisited and addressed in the following article:
Revisiting the Sensitive Censorship Issue in Board Gaming. I have a bit of apologizing to do.