will norcal's page

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Hello, this is my 1st post, and I must say I feel this discussion is part of what I think is the most important thing happening in the world today- as well as human history!
(Ok sorry maybe a little dramatic ;)

There are so many important points being raised here, and THANK YOU SO MUCH to paizo, the people discussing, and all those who read& consider, even if they don't post!

I want to reframe this a little, because while the details are vital, I think there are some "elephants in the room" which we need to be honest about in order to make any real progress!

1- money
like it or not, paizo has to survive as a business in order for them to be able to continue setting better precedents. This doesn't excuse/ justify anything, but itis a factor. For simplicity, Ill give them the benefit of the doubt that they have consistently meant well, and will continue to try to improve.

In order to do this, they must:
--1a- maintain their audience, which means pleasing/ attracting as many consumers as possible, and keep the ones they have, while offending as few as possible. (Within reason of course, see "culture" below)
--1b- produce consistent materials, in timely/cost effective manner
--1c- (etc?)

2- culture
There are all kinds of "normals", interests, and taboos which we all deal with on our own, nevermind what an international company like paizo has to think about. We've all heard of some traditions that others have which seem extreme to us, but rather than betray my own ignorance and risk the distraction of misunderstandings/ hurt feelings, I'll just give an example from my own experience.
(Fyi- I'm a middle aged, low income, white, hetero, male from California)
I love rpgs, both to play and also the art/writing/creative part. I wouldlove this tobe available/enjoyable to as many people as possible, and more to the point, not hurt anyone.

Im also aware that my brain produces "happy drugs" (hormones/endorphin s/whatever) when I see pics/ think about women who I consider attractive. I guess my1st suggestion is this: I don't eat ice cream and spaghetti on the same plate.
Maybe if we seperate the more extreme images, then they can be pursued by those who want them. Another example would be that although I am really sad to say this, I must admit thati am homophobic. I totally love the gay/alternative story elements/npcs/etc, but if there were sexually explicit images of men in the books, (even 1/4 as muchas there areof women) I'd be very uncomfortable.

I'm trying to change this about myself, but the culture i was raised in is only changing slowly.

So how can paizo offer images I like, without the ones that freak me out, and simultaneously do the same for the majority of its audience? Well I don't know. I guess they could offer several different versions of the books, (with a rating system) but that seems financially prohibitive, for the consumer as well as the publisher.

3- Legacy
(perhaps this is part of culture, but it's so important i wanted tomake it seperate)
A really huge piece of this is what long term effect is it having? We areall CHANGING the culture/paradigm. By our discussion, our spending, our leisure activities, and our complicity with those of others around us. Art/entertainment shapes us, and shapes the culture, which then shapes others, and social environment of future generations. I loved reading the old pulp paperbacks, but I now must recognize the horribly limiting assumptions inherent in them (Sexism/racism/you know what I mean). I don't want anyone's daughter to think that she is a more/less valuable person because of her choice what she wears, or her body shape, or... "disability," or whatever! And this is true of males as well, but the role that males are often trapped in is "oppressor," and I was trained to focus my compassion more on the "victim". ..

So how to change it? because CHANGE NEEDS TO CONTINUE!

There's a term used in planning for the cognitive developement of children, "zone of proximal developement."

My understanding is that there's a range of rates of learning that work, but too fast/slow is counterproductive. So we must provide a "scaffold" to help others "catch up" (ie- anyone likeme who has these unhealthy fears/etc). But let's be aware what's realistic.

If u re-explain basic arithmetic to me, I'll be bored and resentful, and ifu try to explain abstract differential equations, I'll probably feel overwhelmed and stupid. Somewhere in the middle is the best- and I believe it works the same way with reinventing our cultural patterns.

Maybe I'm not emotionally ready for sexual pics of men, or an rpg that hasa totally realistic understanding of the real consequences of violence, etc. But I also recognize that the gratuitous anachronistic nudity which makes me want to buy the book, would actually not only make others uncomfortable but also increase the likelyhood that for example, some little girl developes anorexia, or a boy might someday think it's OK to hurt a girl.

if we can encourage paizo to "scaffold" a set of healthy/empowered, & inclusive values/role models, then I'm optimistic that we can problem solve this to everyone's satisfaction!

And again, I think yall& paizo are generally on the right track- just keep moving forward! :)