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Posts Tagged ‘Recherche’

Das Interneturteil über D&D Kids – Nachbetrachtung

Freitag, August 12th, 2011

In den vergangenen Tagen haben wir ein Interview mit den Autor der D&D Kids-Artikel und Webmaster von dndkids.com Uri Kurlianchik veröffentlicht. Uri stellt seine Sicht der Vorgänge rund um das Entfernen seiner Artikel von der Wizards of the Coast-Homepage dar. Darin führt er das Entfernen auch auf die Stimmungsmache von Kynn zurück, auf dessen Blog auch zuerst über den Artikel “Girls at the Table” und Uris Buzz-Feed berichtet wurde.

Ein zweischneidiges Schwert

Es fällt einem ziemlich schnell auf, dass Kynn sein Blog gerne dazu benutzt seine Meinung sehr offensiv zu vertreten und wohl auch um Stimmung gegen einzelne Personen zu machen. Ersteres ist natürlich kein Problem, trotzdem finde ich persönlich seinen Tonfall etwas gewöhnungsbedürftig. Dass es da dann eine wohl ziemlich heftig ausfallende Reaktion gibt, überrascht nicht (was sie nicht rechtfertigen soll). Leider kann man nur Fetzen bzgl. Uri aus seinem Blog ziehen, die sehr stark danach aussehen, als würde gezielt versucht ein bestimmter Eindruck zu erwecken. Nachvollziehen was genau passiert ist, kann man jedoch eindeutig nicht.

Ich werde jedenfalls versuchen noch eine Aussage von Kynn zu bekommen um diesen Hinterhrund etwas besser zu beleuchten. Mein Versuch ein Statement von Wizards of the Coast zu kriegen war, wie erwähnt, bisher auch fruchtlos. Das kann aber auch an der GenCon liegen. Daher werde ich noch einen weiteren Anlauf unternehmen wenn diese vorbei ist.

Meinung

So viele Anschuldigungen, wie im Laufe der “D&D Kids-Story” durch das Internet geisterten, so unklar ist die Lage. In unserem ersten Artikel habe ich daher auch versucht mit bewusst vorsichtig auszudrücken. Der letztendliche Stein des Anstoßes war der Artikel von Kynn. Was vorher war, lässt sich nicht mehr nachprüfen. Aber auch Uris Äußerungen bei Buzz kann man wohl als ungeschickt bezeichnen. Jeder von uns sollte es kennen, wie schnell unter Freunden mal etwas gesagt wird, dass Außenstehende leicht falsch verstehen können. Gerade seine Idee für das Ork-Rollenspiel kennt jeder, der “BARBAREN!” kennt. Aber so etwas sollte dann vielleicht auch besser im privaten Umfeld bleiben und nicht direkt im Internet veröffentlicht werden.

Im Nachhinein muss ich jedenfalls definitiv feststellen, dass hier eine Sau durchs Dorf getrieben wurde, dass es einen Aufruhr gab, der dem Anlass nicht gerecht wurde und ein bisschen mehr Besonnenheit verdient hätte. Da fasse ich mich auch ein wenig an die eigene Nase, aber hoffe mit dieser Artikelserie eine sachliche Darstellung geleistet zu haben. Ich hoffe sie bekommt noch weitere Ergänzungen der anderen Beteiligten um das Bild zu vervollkommnen.

Fazit: Sich nicht so sehr von der Sensationsgier anstecken lassen, sondern alle genauer hinschauen. Jeder, der zum Opfer eines “Interneturteils” wird, hat es verdient, dass man die Sache ohne allzu viel Aufgeregtheit betrachtet.

Interview mit D&D Kids-Autor Uri Kurlianchik (3)

Mittwoch, August 10th, 2011

Dies ist der dritte und letzte Teil des Interviews von uns mit Uri Kurlianchik. Es soll die Hintergründe des Entfernens der D&D Kids-Artikel von der Wizards of the Coast-Homepage beleuchten. Den einleitenden Startartikel findet Ihr hier. In Kürze wird es zudem eine Nachbetrachtung geben.

TheClone: How did you get to visiting schools and presenting D&D to kids? What are your motives and goals concerning this kind of work?

Uri: I came upon this job by chance during my university years and signed up immediately. Traveling from school to school and telling stories and playing games, working with a bunch of awesome DMs and all-around groovy people? This was nothing short of my dream job! After I finished my BA, I started doing this full time (13-14 groups). The rest is history.

Clone: Do you still visit schools to present D&D to kids? If so, in the name of WotC?

Uri: Sure do! Just this month, we had an adventure building seminar which had produced some extraordinary ideas, a series of LARPs based on Highlander and a week-long adventure exploring Gnostic and neoplatonic ideas. Now it’s summer vacation but afterward I’m getting back to regular gaming with full throttle.

Clone: Has your financial relation with WotC changed during course of recent events? Like, if they paid you for school visits or writing articles, do they still do so? Or have they completely broken up with you?

Uri: Wizards had honored all contracts and agreements. Saying more would be a breach of confidentiality. Regarding my after school-activity, it was not affected by “the events” (sounds ominous, doesn’t it?) in any way.

Clone: If I may ask, have the recent events put you in some kind of personal jeopardy?

Uri: I certainly hope not! Much can be said about my critics, but I very strongly doubt any of them are mad enough to come here all the way from the States to try to assassinate me!
I did find the whole affair very frustrating however. Throughout my life I was spared the company of hateful people who lack anything even remotely resembling a sense of humor. Finally getting to meet them was a very sobering and unpleasant experience.
I shudder to think of these people around children. I think nothing mutilates a child more than an educator without a sense of humor. My grandfather, blessed be his memory, used to say that people without a sense of humor are cripples. I want to upgrade his statement; people without a sense of humor are a great danger to this world.

Clone: Is there anything you’d like the readers to know? Or some things you like to explain?

Uri: Yes. Those who liked my articles, especially the funny quotes that came along with them, could be interested in visiting my new site, DNDkids. It’s got tons of funny table talk from both kids and adults, as well as old and new articles about gaming with children. Gamers with quotes of their own are more than welcome to send me their funny (or scary) stories – the more fun and LOLz there are online the better life will be for everyone.
Soon DNDkids will also have gaming materials and art produced by my students. Anyone who’s interested in gaming with children, either because they want some advice on playing with kids or simply because they find my anecdotes amusing, will enjoy what DNDkids has to offer.

Lastly, I write of what I see with my eyes and hear with my ears. I have neither the means nor the desire to gather statistics on global gaming or education habits, nor do I write of what should be, I have no idea what should be, I’m not a politician.
I write only of the various experiences provided by my work. If this offends someone, they should address their complaints to the source, not the vessel.

Interview mit D&D Kids-Autor Uri Kurlianchik (2)

Montag, August 8th, 2011

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!

Interview mit D&D Kids-Autor Uri Kurlianchik (1)

Samstag, August 6th, 2011

Dies ist der erste 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: Can you give us a brief summary of your person and your career in the gaming industry?

Uri: Yes, I was born in Moscow in 1985 and made aliyah (Immigration der Juden nach Israel, Anm. d. Autors) with my parents in 1989. I first heard about D&D in kindergarten from an American kid and had been interested in the game ever since. The game was already translated into Hebrew at the time but six year olds don’t need rules, so we didn’t bother to read the books – just looked at the pictures and imagined… In fact, the roles of DM and player tended to change half a dozen times during the average session. There was no one to teach us any better, so our games resembled Once Upon a Time more than real D&D. Still, it was great fun and many of the stories we wove back then still inspire me.
As years passed we became more serious and I found myself the sole DM of the group after all others gave up on this “tough and thankless” task. During high school, my friends and parents urged me to try to publish some of my ideas, which they thought were fun and original. After about a million rejections, I finally managed to score a publication with Dungeon Magazine. Since then, I had some 25 articles, adventures, gaming books and stories published. I have recently finished writing a book about supernatural adventures in modern Israel, a magic-realism tour guide of sorts. I am also at the final stages of writing an RPG about talking rats waging war on humanity. I plan to self-publish both books.
I attend LARPs quite often, but treat them more like social events than actual games. My passion still lies with tabletop gaming and writing.

Clone: The start of the events that seemingly finally led to all of your D&D Kids articles being removed from the WotC pages was the article “Girls at the Table”. It was removed from the WotC site only shortly after its release. The official reason given on twitter was “We’ve removed the article. The opinions of the author don’t reflect the views of Wizards of the Coast.” Did WotC notify you in advance of the removal? Was there a discussion about the removal? What reason for the removal did WotC give you?

Uri: Wizards did notify me in advance but there was no discussion. Because of the time differences between Israel and the US, I only found out about it the next day, by which point any discussion would have been moot. They had been very gracious, respectful and upfront with me, so I bear them no grudge.
Regarding the second part of your question, a reason was given to me but I think that discussing it would be a breach of confidence. That being said, it doesn’t exactly take a Sherlock Holmes to figure it out…

Clone: Do you know what led to the removal from WotC’s side? Have there been reactions via mail or from the community forums?

Uri: Yes, the reaction had been somewhat overwhelming. It took me a lot of time just to go over all the mails and tweeter messages. People who wrote to me personally mostly expressed sympathy and regret for the column’s early ending. The majority of these people were school teachers. People who wrote publicly were generally more hostile. Amusingly, many of them stated they didn’t bother to read the articles but were nevertheless very much offended. This reminds me of my birthplace, the Soviet Union, where papers would often publish articles condemning writers and thinkers such as Solzhenitsyn, Sakharov or Pasternak beginning with the phrase, “personally, I didn’t read this abomination, but I find it outrageous that…”
It was the same with the Penalties article, which also led to a rather “heated debate.” A lot of people were mad about it, but few realized it was the second half of an article called Rewards and Penalties or that some parts were humorous hyperboles. Of course, it’s difficult to notice such nuances when all you read is just the headlines…

Clone: What events finally led to the removal of all of your articles?

Uri: I wouldn’t know. I blame the illuminati. In any case, the column is slowly being resurrected by the awesome dudes at geekcentricity and once they finish uploading all the old articles I will continue the series on their site. I know a lot of people did enjoy the series and don’t think they should be deprived of it because a small group of hateful and humor-impaired radicals managed to scare Wizards into discontinuing it.

Das Interneturteil über D&D Kids

Donnerstag, August 4th, 2011

Vor einiger Zeit gab es im Internet einigen Aufruhr über einen Artikel auf der Homepage von Wizards of the Coast: “D&D Kids: Girls at the Table“. Der Autor Uri Kurlianchik, der schon länger seine Artikel in der Serie “D&D Kids” bei WotC veröffentlichte, geriet in ein Kreuzfeuer der Kritik. Der Stein des Anstoßes war ein Artikel von Kynn auf livejournal.com, der die Eignung von Uri für das Betreuen von Kindern grundsätzlich in Frage stellte. Als Grundlage dafür wurde der Artikel “Girls at the Table” und einige Äußerungen von Uri aus Google Buzz heran gezogen. Die Entrüstung zog sich daraufhin durch das gesamte Internet (wir berichteten) und führte schließlich zur Entfernung des kritisierten Artikels von der WotC-Seite.

Mittlerweile hat sich noch mehr getan. Die Küstenmagier haben beschlossen alle “D&D Kids”-Artikel von ihrer Seite zu entfernen. Uri ist mit seiner Serie daraufhin zu Geekcentricity umgezogen, wo er auch in der Folge Artikel veröffentlichen wird und seine Seite dndkids.com ist etwas mehr in den Fokus der Aufmerksamkeit gerückt. Mich hat sowohl der ursprüngliche Artikel, als auch dessen relativ stilles Entfernen und nun der Rückzug der kompletten Serie überrascht. Ich fand auch den Tenor des Artikels zusammen mit den Buzz-Äußerungen zumindest komisch. Ich habe zweifach versucht ein Statement von WotC zu bekommen, doch dort herrscht bisher eisernes Schweigen. Zum Glück konnte ich Kontakt mit Uri selbst aufnehmen und er war so freundlich einige Fragen nach den Hintergründen der Geschehnisse zu beantworten. (weiterlesen …)

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