Enforced Positivity Part 1: How to Safely Bully Players

Part 1 (Part 2 Here)

“Don’t be a dick.” The positive-sounding rule which allows you to shut down any argument, no matter how necessary or healthy, through jackboot tone policing and logical fallacies.


Good afternoon. 

What shocked me about the response to “HOW TO SHAMELESSLY SELF PROMOTE IN LARP” wasn’t that it upset people: that was the point. Rather it’s that while being upset, they not only missed the point but launched wildly defensive character attacks, often based entirely on my tone.

My favorite responses:

“I’m going to offer you some advice : STOP LARPING. Seriously, you’ve let negative experiences overwhelm you and now you’re just being toxic to yourself and any game you’re in.”

“Bitter Bruce, I’ve read your three recent posts, and the comments on them.
I don’t like the tone. I don’t find any of your articles to be funny or entertaining. Rather, I find the writing to be angry, harsh of language, and to use your own term, toxic…Once I take a moment to look past our differences in choice of language and humor, I see a lot of truth.”

the individual writing it is a misanthropist sociopath.

This is an article that does noone any good. I do not know who the author is, but he clearly has an axe to grind. …articles like this are seemingly designed to drive people away from LARPS. Its clearly targeting those who are not as familiar with the LARP communities, and the horror stories it tells about the people and how to get along with them will easily scare what would be a new player away. It fails to do any good. He can be bitter all he wants, but this is a sabotage effort, nothing more. I do not appreciate my hobby being sabotaged.

This is nothing more than a self entitled , self centered screed from an angry child who did not get to be the center of attention. No matter what “Bitter Bruce” claims, this is neither funny nor is it satirical. It’s simply bitterness at being passed over when the “cookies” were handed out.

If “Bruce” actually takes this negative attitude with him to the Larps he participates in, there’s no mystery as to why nothing comes his way and people want “ safe spaces so they don’t have to deal him.”

I don’t love the tone. “Go fuck yourself” is a rather poor argument and does not advance the conversation

wheaton 3.png
“I’m not surprised, son, I’m disappointed”

So many calories burned to be angry, offended and critical of tone, and so few spent on analyzing the points presented. Also, honorable mentions to everyone, throughout multiple threads, who suggested that my anonymity is a defense mechanism that shields me from personal criticism: duh. That doesn’t change the validity or non-validity of my points. Being able to launch ad hominem attacks while feeling morally superior won’t make you right.

Tone Policing is a part of every culture that has a stated commitment to inclusivity, but is completely incapable of being inclusive. It is the byword of the ethically schizophrenic, who seek to limit debates not based on substance but on something as stupid as tone, thereby delaying the inevitable come-to-Jesus moment of self analysis which allows for actual positive change to occur. It is a defensive reflex, a projection of deep insecurity that manifests itself through childish attempts to undermine an argument with hollow critiques of language, lest someone disrupt the delicate balance of denial that maintains one’s sense of moral superiority. It allows an entire continent of LARPers to brag about being forward-thinking while running high-budget, economically stratified events that exclude people based on class, forgetting about a past where people were apparently banned for the inaccurate stitching of their undergarments. 

(Don’t take it personally, Scandinavia, you’re on my good list for the herculean task of forcing North American LARPers to acknowledge bleed, so they can finally stop pretending their incredibly subjective actions aren’t emotionally motivated. Don’t fuck it up.)

Raiding hobbies instead of coastlines since the 15th century

We obsessively maintain a facade of camaraderie between LARPs when their stated goals are often diametrically opposed, and they attract extremely incompatible types of players. We attribute negativity to individuals and specific games and not the broader forces or cultures which allow them to come to ugly fruition. We religiously avoid questioning our individual or communal motives and instead rack ourselves over unimportant technicalities and variations in gameplay, but god forbid you stop being positive about it at any point, or you’re a fucking sociopath who’s “fanning the flames.”

All of this is a roundabout way of saying we LARPers demand positivity because, psychologically, it’s less painful than addressing whatever is actually plaguing our hobby. 

And that’s fucking fascinating.

Part 2 to come. For more updates, defensive screeds and never ending bitterness, follow me on Twitter. And share this blog on social media, so that more people can get involved in a massive melee of personal attacks while missing the point.



Enforced Positivity Part 1: How to Safely Bully Players

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