Dies ist der zweite Teil des Interviews von uns mit Uri Kurlianchik. Es wird in insgesamt drei Artikeln veröffentlicht und soll die Hintergründe des Entfernens der D&D Kids-Artikel von der Wizards of the Coast-Homepage beleuchten. Den einleitenden Startartikel findet Ihr hier. Nach dem Interview wird es zudem eine Nachbetrachtung geben.
TheClone: In the original article raising the whole story (the earliest I found) some comments from your public Google buzz feed where quoted. Have those been written by you?
Uri: Yes, the buzz is mine, but this is far from being the earliest attack by Kynn on the series. The first instance was back in March, when the article “Penalties” was published. Against my wishes, the longer article “Rewards and Penalties” was divided into two parts and this had created quite the scandal. Back then, however, many more blogs spoke in defense of the article, because the debate was still about the article and not about the author, even though attempts were made to cast blame at my character instead of dealing with what I wrote, especially on the Wizards forums. The issue even reached io9, where the article was fully cleared of all fault.
It should be noted that most attacks, first against the articles and later against myself, were initiated by Kynn or people affiliated with him, often over contradictory reasons. For example, one of the shortcomings he noted about “Penalties” was that the article made no special mention of female players (despite the word “children” being gender neutral). One would think an article dedicated to girls would make him happier but the result was quite the opposite as we all know.
The funniest bit was when he criticized a short adventure I wrote about a group of animals fighting poachers. He viewed the adventure as sexist because all the animals were implicitly male (makes one wonder if The Old Man and the Sea is also sexist…). Few people treated this accusation seriously, but this is a good example of the level of hatred I faced during my work with WotC.
Clone: Those statements can be interpreted as sarcastic/ironic or humorous. Or as offensive. What was your intention when publishing those? Can you specifically go into detail about the one dealing with men being violent against women, because I think that one seems particularly difficult to interpret none-offensively?
Uri: All the people who followed my buzz were old buddies with a rather dark sense of humor. The things Kynn published on his blog are actually not the worst stuff we wrote back then. The level of crudeness of this buzz was en par with the doomed show Drawn Together. The motivation for writing them was also the same – épater les bourgeois.
These posts were not the sort of thing you tell at the dinner table or any other polite conversation. These were the shockers you tell late at night around a campfire to show how outrageous you are. In short, it was kind of roleplaying.
Clone: Do you still post publicly on buzz? If so, have you changed your publishing policy?
Uri: No, I have deleted this account nearly six months ago. I decided that having both buzz and twitter is redundant and that since I was now a “public figure” (now when did THAT happen?!) it could be read the wrong way by people who don’t know me personally. My twitter user is urigrey though. If one lacks a sense of humor and needs something to get mad at, than this twitter account is a gold mine!
Clone: I understand you are working freelance. Are “D&D Kids” events under supervision of WotC? Do they pay you for visiting to schools?
Uri: I am not affiliated, nor ever had been affiliated with WotC or any other RPG company. I have written several articles for them but that’s it; I’ve sold the articles, not myself.
Also, I don’t “visit” schools. In each school I have a proper group and run a proper year-long campaign. This year was ecology awareness year in Israel schools, so I played Dark Sun with many of my groups. Next year I’m considering going for a unified campaign where the actions of different groups and global news will be posted online. Kids from different cities could negotiate, co-ordinate actions, trade, make war and so forth. It’s going to be very awesome.
Clone: Are you “D&D Kids”? Or are there more people tied to this work or its organization/supervision? If so, are they freelancers or WotC personnel?
Uri: DNDkids.com is mine alone, though I hope in time to make it a community place rather than a platform for my self-expression. Presently I’m collecting funny table talk. If you have any, send it my way!