Almost a month to the day when it was announced John Ringo would NOT be a Guest of Honor at ConCarolinas, Origins Gaming Fair decided it wanted to play too. First it announced Larry Correia would be its literary guest of honor. Then, very shortly after that, the invitation was revoked. All signs indicate the decision was made by one man, John Ward. It didn’t take long for the tidal wave of reaction to set in and, since then, Origins has done everything wrong in how it has handled the situation.
In fact, we very well may be watching the slow suicide of a con that decided to follow the saying, “Get woke, go broke.”
You see, Ward — along with the few who whined and whinged about how evil Larry is because he doesn’t walk in lock step with their agenda — made a mistake. They assumed that just because we haven’t pushed back, and pushed back hard, we wouldn’t do anything this time. What they didn’t plan on was one simple fact. We. Have. Had. Enough.
But let’s look at the journey Origins made in a matter of hours yesterday via a series of screen caps. Why screen caps and not links to their actual comments? That’s simple. They are too cowardly to allow the comments to remain live on their page. First, they removed the review tab from their Facebook page because folks were rightly letting them know what they thought of the way the ConCom dealt with Larry. Then they completely deleted the thread where they posted the “amended” announcement of who would be appearing as guests of honor, the thread where Ward tried to “explain” why Larry was no longer part of the con.
There he is. One of five guests of honor.
Now compare this to the image now on their Facebook page. Oh, wait, that image is gone too — or at least buried deep on the page. But the information contained on the image I grabbed from their FB page last night is confirmed here.
Hmm, notice any difference? Yep, Larry’s gone. What gives? Oh, here is what gives.
Now, how many problems can you see with this statement by John Ward? I see a number. First, it is all about him. He didn’t know. He wasn’t aware. He felt it necessary re “recend” Larry’s invitation. No mention that he discussed it with the rest of those folks involved with the running of the con. No mention that he did due diligence ahead of time to see who his guest of honor was or what he did. Note also there is no mention of the fact Larry is an avid gamer. Nope, Ward was told Larry was a bad man and knee-jerked his reaction. Now he is running and hiding and refusing to answer simple questions like “exactly how are Larry’s views specifically unaligned with the philosophy” of the con?
I find it amazing Ward could issue this statement within an hour or so of first announcing Larry would be GoH and then the revocation of his invite and yet he couldn’t be bothered to answer the many questions about why?
Oh, there’s more.
Even as the con removed the thread on their Facebook page about Larry, they left this thread up. For those not wanting to go there, here’s the image you need to be aware of.
Now, if you had seen this yesterday before Larry was uninvited, his name would have been included as one of the tagged authors. In fact, if you look at the book cover, you see him listed as the third author. So the con has no problem making money off of him. He’s just not good enough to attend their con. Needless to say, there are a number of folks asking how long before this image is changed as well, possibly with the con organizers blacking out Larry’s name or even asking for volunteers to help tear out the pages on which his story is printed. After all, we mustn’t risk letting his annoying and dangerous ideas out into the gaming public.
Damn it, I’m sick of this shit.
What happened to Larry — as with John — is exactly what the other side has accused us of doing. Bullying, trying to keep us from making our livings, doing their best to prevent us from attending events where we can meet and mingle with fans. And we are the bad guys.
But puppies. Remember the puppies and the fact the puppy kickers are the good guys.
One of the best descriptions I’ve seen of those who have used innuendo and lies against good men — and women — simply because they won’t toe the approved party lies is this: dirty little cultural Marxists. That is exactly what they are. Or perhaps, better still, the Nazis they accused us of being.
What is Larry’s sin? He advocated following the rules of the Hugo Awards and letting the readers nominate and choose the winners. He said it shouldn’t be left to just the insiders and Fans (as opposed to fans). He pointed out the system was rigged — and proved it. Don’t believe me? Look at the way they’ve gone through all sorts of contortions to make sure books they don’t approve of will never have a chance of winning ever again. He pointed out there is nothing wrong with having books that are fun to read be nominated and, gasp, actually win. He said — and many of us agreed — that the message in a book doesn’t have to beat you over the head. You can have a great plot and entertaining story as well. In fact, message should not be so prominent the story is no longer entertaining because people will quit buying if they aren’t enjoying what they read.
But that was bad. This dedicated family man, a gentle man and gentleman, was attacked and vilified. Now, five years or so after this began, the other side is still doing all it can to destroy him and those like him because they dared rock the boat. It is time to stop. It is time to call these sons of bitches attacking anyone who doesn’t fall into lock step and mind lock with them.
They call us bullies but who are the real bullies here? We aren’t going out and doing all we can to prevent them from attending cons as guests or guests of honor. We don’t take to Twitter and other social media platforms to spread lies about them. Yet we are the bad guys.
That term doesn’t mean what they think it does and it is past fucking time for ConComs to grow a pair and quit caving to the demands of a few. There is a reason why so many cons are bleeding money and membership and it isn’t because of the conservative or libertarian fans. It isn’t even because of many of the liberal fans. It is because of the few very vocal folks who think they should be determining not only the direction of the genre but who should be allowed to take part in it.
Let’s take a look at Origins’ code of conduct.
Hmmm, as I write this, I tried pulling up their code of conduct. Of course, it isn’t listed specifically in their menu. So, let’s do a search for it. Hmmm, I had to change browsers for it to come up but I finally found it here. Now, let’s see what it says.
Origins Game Fair is dedicated to providing a harassment-free and positive experience for everyone. We do not tolerate harassment of convention participants in any form.
Sounds good. But their own conduct regarding Larry seems to mean they will take steps to avoid having anyone come who might be harassed. After all, it wasn’t Larry who took to social media to attack his critics. They attacked him. Worse, John Ward did not give him the chance to respond. Nor did Ward explain to those asking for clarification what about Larry meant his attendance might possibly violate this part of the con’s code of conduct. But let’s look further.
If an Origins Game Fair attendee engages in harassing behavior, the convention organizers may take any lawful action we deem appropriate, including but not limited to warning the offender, expelling them from the convention with no refund, or a possible permanent from future Origins Game Fair events.
Wow, somehow this pretty straight-forward statement about behavior at the con has now been expanded to include imagined behavior before the con. I know gamers are considered geeks, but have they perfected Minority Report and know ahead of time what evil Larry might have been going to do?
Origins Game Fair expects its attendees to respect each other and behave in a generally civilized fashion. Attendees should respect common sense rules for public behavior, personal interaction, common courtesy, and respect for private property.
Too bad Origins only applies that rule in one direction. It is obvious it isn’t applying it to those who have accused Larry of all sorts of behavior — behavior he is not guilty of. Where is the respect and the behaving in a generally civilized fashion? Or do those rules only apply to conservatives and libertarians?
Origins Game Fair forbids abusive, insulting, harassing or intimidating behavior or any kind.
So, are they going to revoke the memberships of those who have been insulting and harassing Larry and his supporters? Or are Ward and the others going to continue being cowards and bowing to the will of a few in the hope they get to play with the popular kids?
What happened with Larry regarding Origins Game Fair is the same thing that happened to John Ringo and ConCarolinas. This is an orchestrated attempt to silence voices in the genre a few folks don’t want to hear. These people are sooooo fragile, they can’t stand even the thought someone might not agree with them. These are the people who claim they are all about inclusivity and yet who wants to forbid others from coming? Them. They want to be inclusive as long as you only believe what they tell you is appropriate. Everyone else is a “danger” and must be excluded.
That isn’t how inclusivity works, folks.
It is time we stop letting them tell us where we can go and what we should say and think. These folks are like the schoolyard bully. They will continue until we take a stand. More than just men like John and Larry are being hurt by this. So are the fans. How many people bought memberships to ConCarolinas or Origins Gaming Fair? How many made hotel reservations, took time off from work and bought airline tickets? How many will lose money because they were planning to attend the con(s) to see a favorite author who is no longer welcome there? Will the cons make good on their losses? Hell no.
So let’s make sure not only John Ward and the con know what we think but also the con backers and vendors. The only real way to make sure these folks understand just how large the pile of steaming dog shit is they just stepped in is to hit them in their wallets. If you bought a membership because Larry was going to be a GoH and no longer desire to attend, demand your money back. When they refuse — and I have a feeling they will — note that you bought based on false advertising and that you will file a complaint with the city/state because of that if you don’t get your money back. Use the screen grabs that have been immortalized on the internet as support.
Contact the powers that be for the con. You can find a list of them here.
Contact their sponsors and let them know you will be voting with your dollars where they are concerned as well if they continue to sponsor the con.
Contact the GAMA board to let them know what you think about the way John Ward treated a best selling author and well-known gaming fan.
It is past time for us to stop playing by the other side’s rules. You know the rules I mean. They get to do and say whatever they want and we have to sit back and take it. No more. It is time to act. No, we aren’t taking back the genre. We never really lost it, at least not where the readers — or gamers — are concerned. What we are taking back is the social side of it.
You see, what cons like ConCarolinas and Origins Gaming Fair don’t realize is that we don’t need them. They, however, do need folks like Larry and John. They are why fans come to the cons. Without them, the draw isn’t there. How long before we start seeing more and more of these organizations falling to victim to “get woke, go broke”? If that happens with Origins, I won’t cry any tears. Maybe after a few more of them go belly up, the bean counters and concoms will start to realize where the real fans and the real money happen to be.
Oh, and it is now 0815 Central, more than an hour after I said I needed a comment from Ward and company. No response to my email or to my PM on Facebook. Why am I not surprised?