25 August, 2008


This is absolutely fucking priceless. Michael Goldfarb, official McCain blogger extraordinaire, has been hard at work denigrating anti-McCain bloggers and New York Times editorial writers as being just like "the average Daily Kos diarist sitting at home in his mother’s basement and ranting into the ether between games of Dungeons & Dragons.” He seems rather enamored of the analogy, seeing as how he keeps using it.

I see he's painted a target on himself. Let the fun begin in three... two... one...

After the first insulting comment, Goldfarb backed away, while sticking to the vernacular: “If my comments caused any harm or hurt to the hard working Americans who play Dungeons & Dragons, I apologize. This campaign is committed to increasing the strength, constitution, dexterity, intelligence, wisdom, and charisma scores of every American.”

This led my friend Adam Serwer to raise an excellent point.

That’s the kind of deep, personal animosity that you associate with experience, which clearly Goldfarb has. It’s not hard to imagine that some basement somewhere holds the abandoned d20s, dusty rulebooks, and broken heart of a young Michael Goldfarb who never got to be Dungeon Master because he wouldn’t stop yelling. In fact, it’s hard not to wonder if, when Michael Goldfarb is berating the D&D players of the world, he’s really just berating Michael Goldfarb.

Ta-Nehisi Coates added, “[W]e often are what we hate. Goldfarb remark smacks of a geek trying to get down by slamming other geeks.”

The good news is, the “Pro-Obama Dungeons and Dragons crowd” is apparently getting organized. I can’t help but wonder if the McCain campaign has inadvertently woken an angry nerd army….

This is what happens when you behave like a supercilious little snot toward people intelligent enough to work out the gawd-awful complexities of the D&D system.

Methinks Goldfarb's dug hisself a hole even Elminster couldn't magic him out of.


george.w said...

Wait... aren't video games, like, an even bigger industry than Hollywood movies or something? And role-playing games a significant commonality with that set? So the set must include a huge number of registered voters?

Here in our little town of Normal, Illinois, a former mayor lamented that the shops were "reduced to tattoo parlors and comic book stores". He got a fast education in how much trade there is in comic books, and how many people travel from all over central Illinois to visit our comic book stores, and have lunch and shop at other stores while they're here...

Efrique said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Efrique said...

Hoo boy, he really doesn't understand the demographics at all. Like a number of those on the right, his mind is locked in the distant past.

D&D came out in the 70s. The Fantasy supplement to the Chainmail rules (on which it was based) came out in 1971, and the original D&D set was 1974. It really took off in the early to mid 80s (AD&D, 1e and 2e).

That is (to whatever extent that the ridiculous basement-dwelling D&Der stereotype was ever true), that was peaking a quarter century ago. Those young adults are now middle aged and older. They've had careers and kids and own houses... some of them are grandparents, for crying out loud.

The young, hip roleplaying crowd of today are not so much pen-and-paper roleplayers (though many PnP RPers play D&D, sure, they're playing other games too: both far, far darker -Grey Ranks comes to mind- and lighter, in every genre imaginable...); in fact far more of the young ones (and a lot of the old ones, come to that) are online with games like World of Warcraft than sit down with dice and character sheets (I still do pen and paper, but I've always enjoyed the social side of games of whatever kind). A lot of those ones have never played D&D.

[Go take a look at a roleplaying convention sometime. Yes, there are teenagers, and basement-dwelling geeks in their mid-20s. But the average age is pretty high.]

The point being - the group he's trying to deride... a lot of them are undecided voters in precisely the demographic the Republicans would think that they have a hope to attract (middle aged, middle class, largely white, largely male). I hope he keeps it up.

A few of them may well write for Daily Kos... because a lot of roleplayers are intelligent, talented and creative, and can write. But a lot are not on the left side of politics, are still intelligent, talented and creative, and he's just pissed them off. Oh, and the legions of small business people they buy from, they're going to be really happy about this either.

george.w is right - geeks as a whole are a big industry. [But D&D players sepcifically, not so much - except perhaps in the demographics that it will hurt the Republicans to insult.]

Efrique said...
This comment has been removed by the author.