The Board Game Room: abuse in the gaming industry

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The Board Game Room: abuse in the gaming industry

Abuse in the games industry

In this episode, Chris and I talk about recent events and the abuse people face in the company. We talk about how to identify it, what to do, and also if you are caught as an abuser, we have some advice.

This podcast is made for people like you. Thank you for being there. Welcome to the GMS Podcast episode 430 a podcast about the people who make and the people who play tabletop board games and roleplaying games.

I am Paco García, your host and I am joined by Chris Dias. Below you have a transcript of this whole episode.

If you would like to participate or sponsor this podcast, or if you would like to send us your questions or comments, get in touch. You can email me on podcast@gmsmagazine.com or find me in Twitter as @gmsmagazine. and Chris is @diasexmachina

And please, leave a review about the podcast in whatever platform you listen. It really helps a lot and it means even more to me. Thank you.


Thank you for listening. It truly is wonderful to have you there and genuinely appreciated. The GMS Magazine Podcast is produced by Paco Garcia with assistance from Chris Dias and Martin Reed and the amazing bunch of listeners all over the world.  The theme tune is by Kev Adset.


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Thank you once again and, until next time, game on!

00:00:01:21 – 00:00:20:21

Paco García

This podcast is made for people like you. Thank you for being there. Welcome to the GMES Magazine podcast episode 430 podcast of all the people who make and the people who play tabletop board games and Role-Playing Games. I am Paco García and I am joined in this episode by Chris Diaz hosts.

00:00:37:21 – 00:00:57:03

Paco García

In this episode, we’re going to talk about abuse within the game industry, both ball games and Role-Playing Games, but especially board games because of recent events that have taken place and freed Mike Sullinger, one of those abusers, which is surprising and extremely, extremely disappointing.

00:00:58:12 – 00:01:19:05

Paco García

Trigger warnings. We’re going to be talking about an awful lot of stuff and an awful lot of stuff being abused. Please, please, please exercise your discretion while listening to these particular episode, because Chris and I are going to talk about some experiences that could be upsetting to some people.

00:01:19:18 – 00:01:32:19

Paco García

If you would like to participate or sponsor this podcast, or if you would like to send us your questions or comments, please do get in touch. You can email me on Podcast Out and GM’s magazine dot com or find me on Twitter.

00:01:32:19 – 00:01:48:00

Paco García

Asked at GMES Magazine. And Chris is asked at Deus Ex Machina or won’t go into it, of course. And please leave a review about podcasting. Whatever platform you listen, it really helps a lot, and it means a lot to us.

00:01:48:13 – 00:02:15:06

Paco García

Thank you. Here we go. You can always fix it in post, yeah, but I bet if I don’t have a record that I cannot fix anything. Exactly. So it’s a cardinal. Yeah. Hi, Christopher. Or is it Christian, what are you?

00:02:15:23 – 00:02:28:00

Chris Dias

I am, Chris. Now, technically, my legal name is Christopher Tarvaris Diaz. I don’t generally go by Christopher of the year gone by Christopher, but I’m just good old. Christie is, I mean, George Lucas three syllables out the door.

00:02:28:15 – 00:02:42:03

Paco García

  1. When I when I was on, I was trying to be a professional writer, I thought it’d be cool to play with my name and be Christopher Tarvaris the record. And then I realized, No, that’s just dumb. I’m just going to call myself pretty sad.

00:02:42:12 – 00:02:54:21

Paco García

You know, it doesn’t have a cool name. I could go see the list of authors. And there’s a guy named Brad Thor, and I’m like, Screw you, Brad. You don’t have an awesome whatever. You get myself an awesome name.

00:02:54:24 – 00:03:14:03

Paco García

Our question for you do Americans called you Diaz like they do with Cameron, with Cameron? Diaz is a bit like they’ve got Diaz. Well, that’s how you had the big conversation, because throughout, you know, I had been trained from birth that my name is D.S., right?

00:03:14:11 – 00:03:31:19

Paco García

That’s that’s what I’ve been told is the Portuguese pronunciation is it is. Yes. There is no Z. It isn’t. It is a di a s. But a lot of people, teachers, people would look at it and go, Oh, and they would put the Z on there.

00:03:31:19 – 00:03:43:13

Paco García

So do you call it Diaz? Mm hmm. And I’m like, Well, it’s not a it. And I had an art teacher who literally couldn’t get it right for an entire year, and he kept on apologizing because he was programed to always see Diaz every single time, says Diaz.

00:03:44:03 – 00:03:57:10

Paco García

Then you have all those people to call it Dias and you know, Dias, Dias, Dias, and I’m like, No, no, it’s not that. And it’s one of those situations where people look, get Bartholomew Diaz, Cameron Diaz and assume that the Z, so they assume it’s Diaz.

00:03:57:24 – 00:04:17:19

Paco García

And I’m like, No, it’s this is Christy, right? But unfortunately creates a situation high school. And you would call you Chris Vyas, which I did not know existed until after I graduated. But that was the unfortunate thing. But that’s that’s that was the history of of my unfortunate name.

00:04:18:05 – 00:04:37:03

Paco García

But Chris, this is is the way it’s supposed to go. I think it’s hilarious that he has apparently is day the work. He means day in Portuguese and in Spanish. Chris De. And it’s it’s it’s weird, and people look at your name and go, Oh, you’re Spanish, like, Nope, you’re Greek, like, nope.

00:04:39:06 – 00:04:55:22

Paco García

It’s fascinating that very few people ever nail Portuguese, and when somebody actually asked me was like, Oh, are you Portuguese or Spanish? I’m like, No, I’m I’m neither. I’m Canadian. This is urgent, right? So having gone over that history lesson?

00:04:58:16 – 00:05:30:19

Paco García

We have a very tough show today, and it is really hard. I must admit, because both the topic that we are going to talk about today, which I have already explained to people, by the way in the intro and the person that we’re going to talk about today are kind of hard to digest what happened because I

00:05:30:19 – 00:05:58:21

Paco García

didn’t want something like this to happen, but it has happened. Listeners, if you don’t know about this yet, a few days ago, there were some statements made against Mike selling car. And I’m not going to quote the person who made the accusations because I don’t want her to get any hassle from anybody else.

00:05:58:21 – 00:06:12:16

Paco García

So if you want to find out who that is, I’m sorry you’re going to have to do your own research because I don’t want to do is to add any more complications to what must. And I am sure is an extremely stressful and difficult situation.

00:06:13:06 – 00:06:30:22

Paco García

So you’d be responsible level of research, not the internet conspiracy level of research. Exactly. Don’t do your due diligence. Yes. Before passing judgment. Correct on before approaching anybody about it. You know, just just read everything that needs to be read about this whole situation anyway.

00:06:31:22 – 00:06:48:22

Paco García

It so happens that makes I think you’re armed for. Transparency. I have interviewed Mike in the past. I hold a great deal of respect for him as a designer, and I am not giving up on him as a person.

00:06:50:21 – 00:07:17:17

Paco García

Simple as that, because I strongly and genuinely believe in redemption, if the necessary steps are taken. I don’t know yet if Mike is going to take those steps. He’s certainly he’s going to take some. But time will tell, so I’m literally holding my breath on this one, hoping that he will because I would like it.

00:07:19:09 – 00:07:47:21

Paco García

So anyway, the point is that this is one of the very many instances of abuse within the gaming industry, and I am going to make an amalgamation of both the board game and roleplaying game industries. It happens. More often than we know and we hear, which is.

00:07:48:23 – 00:08:09:02

Paco García

Apps, al-Qaeda and terrible. I don’t know it happens in all walks of life, but we are not talking about all walks of life. We’re talking about the gaming walk of life. So. There is a lot to be said about it because.

00:08:12:01 – 00:08:40:18

Paco García

When something like this happens, several reactions tend to take place and. I don’t think any of them are particularly healthy. To be perfectly honest with the first one is trying to either minimize or discredit the victim. Which is a horrible thing to to witness.

00:08:40:22 – 00:09:05:16

Paco García

I have to say, um. And by the way, listeners, you may hear some noises. That’s my dog who’s having some sort of. Nervous outbreak. So anyway, Chris, what did you make of this, because as you know, we spoke about this for a bit a couple of days ago, and I have at the beginning very mixed feelings about

00:09:05:16 – 00:09:31:11

Paco García

this. What was your take? Well. As a as a white, heterosexual male, obviously, my opinion means so much more than a lot of other people, but the there is I said in the last few years we’ve seen a rise of accountability, which I think is the most responsible wording of that is accountability and responsibility for things that

00:09:31:11 – 00:10:03:24

Paco García

people have done. And I think there’s a distinction that needs to be made between what we saw in and within the celebrity sphere regarding the MeToo movement, toxic masculinity and a toxic workplace environment now. I firmly believe that obviously there was and still is a systemic issue within positions of power, especially with men that create environments that

00:10:04:16 – 00:10:20:15

Paco García

become accepted as a norm for so long that they simply don’t understand an environment that where they can’t say what they want and do what they want to other people under them up to and especially including women now.

00:10:20:20 – 00:10:33:17

Paco García

But there’s a difference between that and what I feel to be a general toxic workplace. And it should be noted that we talk about like this is this is a plague going on in this industry has play going on in this industry.

00:10:34:07 – 00:10:57:20

Paco García

Toxic workplace environments is something that permeates top to bottom every single aspect of our society. There is not a single job in the world that has not been touched by somebody who becomes power hungry or is incapable of handling the thoughts of themselves or the thoughts in coming from people outside of their own mind.

00:10:58:06 – 00:11:18:18

Paco García

And they don’t have a capacity of doing that, and I think it hit particularly hard on people. That don’t are not raised in an environment where they have to be aware and accountable for what they say. And I think as people get older, they don’t know how their words and how their actions can affect other people.

00:11:18:18 – 00:11:36:06

Paco García

Like for me, I am, I have ADHD. I have OCD. I have some social issues. I’m very much an introvert and I married someone that was is exactly like that in almost every respect. And it was surprising that a couple of things for me.

00:11:36:09 – 00:12:02:01

Paco García

one is that I also grew up working in retail. That means interacting with people, interacting with coworkers. And I did that for twelve years as an underling under people and in every job I’ve worked at. There was at least one manager that was toxic, and then at some point I became the manager.

00:12:02:08 – 00:12:15:19

Paco García

I became a supervisor and then a GM manager, which means I was responsible for almost as many as 20 plus people. And then I left that and moved on to another job where I was a supervisor, although I was a supervisor for a lower number of people.

00:12:17:03 – 00:12:36:17

Paco García

Hello, everyone, this is future packers speaking, I was editing this podcast and I thought we were talking an awful lot about ourselves, as you will hear in a second. And I thought it would be a better idea to do two different episodes of this podcast, two different editions, one with our commentary and one without our commentary, our

00:12:36:17 – 00:12:53:19

Paco García

own experiences, which is actually what I mean. So if you’re listening to this, this is the episode without our own experiences, put onto them and there will be a next one will be released very soon. Indeed, it would be a lot longer, but we did go on and on for about 45 minutes talking about what we have

00:12:53:19 – 00:13:10:02

Paco García

experienced. And this is not what I would like this podcast, this episode to be all about. So this is being edited to reflect just the situation that’s been happening recently. I mean, recently, at the time of recording these episodes, there would be another one.

00:13:10:02 – 00:13:24:10

Paco García

So I hope that you will listen to both. But at the very least, this is a bit more concise. Thank you very much. Now back to past Paco and Chris. OK? We’re doing two things in here, though I think we have to be very careful.

00:13:24:11 – 00:13:48:24

Paco García

Firstly, I don’t want anybody to think that we are drinking any way, shape or form to justify Mike’s behavior, as has been described by the victim. OK? Because it’s not. I think that I think the main issue between what you are describing and what’s happened here is that there has been somebody behaving in a toxic manner that’s

00:13:48:24 – 00:14:14:08

Paco García

being completely unacceptable, which is to unburden their anger, at least over their employees, among many other things. And something is that you’re describing and there is somebody who’s an outsider to what set non. I’m not going to say nontoxic because I wasn’t living it, but I’m going to say non problematic of non, you know, obviously problematic environment

00:14:14:17 – 00:14:34:01

Paco García

coming from the outside. But I’m I’m a bit worried that we are centering these two much on our own experiences, and this has nothing to do with that. Look, it’s just that we’re going. It’s I think it’s OK that we can tell people, you know, we have this kind of experience, but we’ve been talking for nearly 45

00:14:34:01 – 00:14:49:08

Paco García

minutes and we haven’t really addressed the situation of toxic environments within the board game industry. You know, the point I was making is that every industry is going to have your talk. Yeah, a single one. No, I understand that.

00:14:49:16 – 00:15:00:12

Paco García

And the point I was trying to make was that within roleplaying and tabletop, because we’re not dealing with an environment, we’re dealing with a group of self and close people that don’t interact with the public on a daily basis.

00:15:00:17 – 00:15:12:14

Paco García

It creates a situation where some people aren’t entirely aware. I guess I think if Mike manned a retail shelf at RadioShack for ten years and then became a game designer, I think his he might he might have come out.

00:15:12:19 – 00:15:23:09

Paco García

It might be more cognizant of his own, how he presents himself, how he projects. But I think you create an environment where you may not know, do we know if he’s done that? So we don’t expect so so.

00:15:23:11 – 00:15:45:11

Paco García

Exactly so we have to check the facts as they are, we have to take the events as they are. You know, I don’t want to make it blunt. I don’t care about Mike’s past. I care about what he’s done now and where that’s taken his relationship and his behavior with with the women that he’s worked with and

00:15:45:11 – 00:16:07:09

Paco García

the people that he’s worked with. So I think we should try and center on that rather than our own experiences because our own experiences, I think they’re OK as. A point of building empathy, but not as a focus of what this is all about, because do you think people are categorizing and this is a question, really.

00:16:07:17 – 00:16:25:03

Paco García

You people are categorizing what is going on with the environment with loan shark and Mike. Yes, in the same category. The question is, if oreate, are people? Are people taking this environment? And are they co-mingling it with what’s going on with, say, they too skinny?

00:16:25:21 – 00:16:44:20

Paco García

Who is the designer result? Because you have two situations where people can be. I hate to say the word counsel, but but be part of the public outcry. You have the skinny on one side and Mike and Selinger and the other one’s created toxic environment and the other has said things publicly that are racist.

00:16:45:20 – 00:17:06:04

Paco García

And you create this situation where both of these behaviors are unacceptable. But I’ve seen some people have co-mingled and say that these are basically the same thing. No, they are not the same thing like. I know. Have you noticed that because I think that.

00:17:06:08 – 00:17:25:04

Paco García

No, no, no. Well, the things are they are not the same thing, but we have to acknowledge and this is something that Eric Lange mentioned to me in Facebook. We have to acknowledge that people behave toward all the people in a different manner regarding who they are.

00:17:26:09 – 00:17:46:22

Paco García

So what I mean with these is people will behave toward a known game designer in a way and toward a less known. A designer in a different way, even if they do exactly the same thing. So are people treating them in the same way?

00:17:48:13 – 00:18:15:05

Paco García

Yes. Because there is how to explain this. People are demanding the same things from both of them, which is get out. People are saying we shouldn’t be where you are, you should be doing what you’re doing because of in the case of Mike, the way he behaved and in the case of the Chinni, the way that a

00:18:15:05 – 00:18:34:02

Paco García

speaks and thinks and. Neither the behavior or the ideology has a place not just winning games, but within society is just not acceptable. So I I think the yes, people are treating them the same way because they want the same thing.

00:18:34:23 – 00:18:57:13

Paco García

Does this mean that they have done the same thing? No light at all, at all. And the consequences of what they’ve done are so different because in one somebodies life has been. I’m not going to say it ruined because I hope that that person can get back into having.

00:18:58:23 – 00:19:14:23

Paco García

A full life, you know, free of trauma as much as possible, really sincerely hope so. And the other one, the thing has done is perpetuate some stereotypes and some cliches and some sheds that should not being any society at all.

00:19:15:14 – 00:19:31:11

Paco García

So the consequences are completely different. I think one is a little more focused and palpable on the other, one is a lot broader and reinforcing of mentalities because we’re dealing with because in the last four or five months we’ve had numerous.

00:19:32:00 – 00:19:52:23

Paco García

It’s actually shocking. We’ve had different in different types of outrage over different problems within the industry. Mike brings up a general I see generalized toxic workplace. What I heard from him I’ve seen in numerous environments, it’s not isolated to the roleplaying industry or tabletop industry.

00:19:52:24 – 00:20:07:08

Paco García

It’s a general, and I’m not I’m not diminishing it. I’m saying that this is a big problem in a lot of jobs. But then we look at data skinny and the skinny issue is different. His sin is something else you’re dealing with.

00:20:08:03 – 00:20:26:12

Paco García

His cultural upbringing compared to how he expresses himself and he being completely unaware that how he was raised and how he expresses himself. Out of his, you know, in his country is unacceptable outside of his country again. And I know I’m back.

00:20:26:18 – 00:20:40:09

Paco García

But then we have the controversy with the gaming goat right, which I’m also personally connected to because I didn’t realize the gaming goat is the one with the frog, with the white power symbol and all that. People who don’t know you can look that up as well.

00:20:41:09 – 00:20:54:06

Paco García

And I say I was connected because the gaming go before. Did this happen? This last year, gaming reached out to me to publish my game Narmada. And obviously, since this issue with the gaming go controversy with their fishing game.

00:20:55:01 – 00:21:10:16

Paco García

I disconnected all my ties with them. But here’s the thing I look at too skinny and look at Mike and I agree with you. I think we’re in both those situations, but in different ways and in different roads, they can redeem themselves.

00:21:11:03 – 00:21:30:02

Paco García

I don’t think the gaming goat deserves as much leeway because he had leaned into the controversy and played himself as the victim. I think Mike and Dave in different ways have made different attempts to try to recover themselves and whether or not they’ll be successful.

00:21:30:02 – 00:21:48:05

Paco García

Only time will tell. I don’t think the gaming goat in the same way with the new TSR, which was another situation that these people will be able to recover because there was no ownership or accountability between themselves. I think the first step people need to do if they are in that environment, whether or not they believe it

00:21:48:19 – 00:22:10:11

Paco García

is to take accountability and going, OK. I’ve acknowledged I’ve seen that. And I think if the reason why James Gunn still has a career, why the guy who created Rick and Morty, Dan Harmon, he was thrown. He was he was tossed out and around the same time, he had a women that talked about the toxic environment, not

00:22:10:11 – 00:22:32:21

Paco García

harassment in a sexual manner, but a general toxic environment because of who he is and he. Brought the person who accused him. Into his inner circle, broader literally, and talk to her personally, one on one to iron out and figure out where his problems were and how we can try to become a better person.

00:22:33:05 – 00:22:56:18

Paco García

And of course, he came out just fine, like he’s no longer in that environment. But like I said, as you said numerous times it, it’s a balance between the severity and then their immediate response. And in the case of the gaming goat TSR, they reacted poorly and then leaned into that, which created the blowback and they made

00:22:56:18 – 00:23:12:14

Paco García

it worse by by, by leaning into the controversy rather than trying to fix it. And I think Mike and Dave have the opportunity or had the opportunity to step in front of this and say, Yup, that’s probably how I acted.

00:23:12:20 – 00:23:31:11

Paco García

I need to do better and so forth. OK. To be honest, I think the moment they say they probably that’s when they their apology would be completely useless. There is no probably, you know that that’s it. Mike’s apology was, in my view.

00:23:32:17 – 00:23:53:18

Paco García

Rushed, insufficient, I mean, this is one thing that I wanted to divide the podcast into three different sections, so to speak. one is what to do if you find yourself in an abusive situation. You know, we can talk about that in a minute.

00:23:55:01 – 00:24:12:01

Paco García

And also what to do if you get caught out. I think the first thing you have to do if you get caught out is shut the fuck up for a little bit. Don’t say anything. Shut up, because the first thing that’s going to come out of your mouth or your keyboard is going to be a knee jerk

00:24:12:01 – 00:24:34:24

Paco García

reaction. And you need to cool down. When people are when abusers are caught out. There is a defenseless, you know, there is a defense, oh, no, how could I do that? I now wasn’t doing this. Oh, no, no, this is not, you know, the fact that Mike said in his apology, I have a different perspective is a

00:24:34:24 – 00:24:57:14

Paco García

bit. Wait a minute. Your perspective is irrelevant. Yeah. Yeah, exactly, you’re 100% right. I think it’s let’s say, if I’m in that situation, let’s say if, for example, this somebody in my inner circle or someone from my past comes and says in your Chris created a toxic environment.

00:24:58:07 – 00:25:09:09

Paco García

My response at that point is it doesn’t matter how I present it, it’s how you perceive it. Right, because that’s the important thing you can say, the fact that I, you know, I didn’t intend to this to happen.

00:25:10:09 – 00:25:33:24

Paco García

And I am I was unaware. That’s my problem. That’s my that’s my sin. It’s not the environment. It’s it’s not. It’s not only just the environment it created, but my obliviousness to how that environment affected people. That’s the first step you need to do is acknowledge the fact that you created an environment that that you did not

00:25:34:00 – 00:25:51:24

Paco García

intend to or you create an environment that. You were oblivious to because in some situations you look and go, did you know people going? Does this person want to bring people down? Does this person want to beat down people because somebody who comes out and apologizes?

00:25:53:11 – 00:26:10:24

Paco García

I would imagine wouldn’t be the same person. That would. Be aware of their abuse, that there are definitely situations where people are abusive but are not fully aware that they are. They don’t realize how much damage they’re inflicting.

00:26:11:02 – 00:26:24:21

Paco García

That’s a different thing, but they know they are being abusive. Anybody who gets angry and unleashes that anger onto any wall is being abusive because anger is what he does. And I’m not saying the anger doesn’t have a place.

00:26:24:22 – 00:26:44:05

Paco García

Anger does have a place, but uncontrolled anger does not. And the problem is when you don’t control your anger now, when you are angry with or at somebody, you will see the consequences, you will see the people getting sheepish upset.

00:26:46:20 – 00:27:09:01

Paco García

You will see that now, whether you pay enough attention to empathize with that reaction or not, that’s a different matter altogether. And the problem is that abuses tend to. Lower down the level of consequence. That’s why. Oh my God, I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to.

00:27:09:02 – 00:27:30:03

Paco García

This is not what I wanted. You know, they’re are not like this and all these tools that they use to make them feel like, Oh, no, I wasn’t really being intentional. When you reality’s a bit. Yeah, you were you may not be that I turn or situation so soothing.

00:27:30:21 – 00:27:48:10

Paco García

It creates the Ike Turner situation, you know, like Tina Turner situation where correct you. The first step is acknowledging it. The second is promising to do better and then the third is doing better. You can’t. You can’t do that cycle because that cycle means that you’re aware of it and then you don’t do anything to change it

00:27:48:20 – 00:28:02:16

Paco García

. And I think whenever people talk about the word cycle of abuse, I think that’s more dangerous than like one person doing a singular outburst and going, well, this is not like this person. And then something it’s like, No, no, they’re in this cycle.

00:28:02:24 – 00:28:17:03

Paco García

They they do something bad. They apologize and they go right back. Exactly. And that means that there’s a there’s an awareness that they are committing those things. And then there’s a temporary moment where they try to make amends and then they go about and doing the same thing.

00:28:17:03 – 00:28:41:13

Paco García

And I actually haven’t. I’ve been in I’ve been in work relationship. I’ve also had friends, close friends that have been in situations where they act. The very, very, very negatively, I cut a bunch of friends out of my out of my life recently because they were very critical and very judgmental and their way of trying to apologize

00:28:41:19 – 00:28:54:10

Paco García

. They would reach out to Mingo, let’s go out for lunch and then they would talk, but they would never acknowledge the abuse that they’ve committed. But they would try to make up for it by doing something nice to acknowledge what they did, and they wouldn’t apologize for what they did.

00:28:54:10 – 00:29:09:19

Paco García

And I go, This is not the solution. But also they wouldn’t acknowledge it now. But they also they probably wouldn’t acknowledge either what it meant to you and what it did to you. So and so so that that to me, is that is the key issue.

00:29:09:19 – 00:29:24:16

Paco García

But the thing is, it happens all the time. And to multiple people, a serial abuser is not just a one person because it happens, as does the way it is. And one thing is an outburst of anger, which we all have.

00:29:25:13 – 00:29:50:18

Paco García

And another thing is a constant behavior that repeats itself and is not addressed. So if you get caught up like that, if somebody says to you, you are being abusive. Please shut up. Wait, cool down and talk to more people who feel the same way that that person feels.

00:29:51:03 – 00:30:13:05

Paco García

Don’t go to your friends asking, Oh, you know, hey, made this? Oh no, of course you are entirely your lovely and amazing. This is one of the issues that also I wanted to discuss, discussing other people’s reactions to these kind of situations when people start say, Oh, but you know, he was so nice.

00:30:13:09 – 00:30:32:09

Paco García

Exactly. You know, we had somebody like recently who murdered. He’s estranged his estranged wife, and I remember this year and people say, Oh my God, but I met him when he was so nice. No, he fucking wasn’t. He was a murderer, for goodness sake.

00:30:33:07 – 00:30:48:23

Paco García

He was a murderer. Any any form of positive equity the person might have had. You can say it’s like. See, if I was in that situation and somebody I know was in that situation, my response would be similarly but differently worded, I’d be like.

00:30:49:24 – 00:31:12:03

Paco García

The person was such a nice person, obviously, I greatly mistrust you, that was, you know, that’s the that’s the understatement you have to add on. But the person was so nice. Obviously, I was mistaken. But the thing is, people on abuses in particular, they tend to be very nice to an awful lot of people because that’s how

00:31:12:03 – 00:31:32:19

Paco García

they build defenses. That is how they build an image that the victims will be referred to constantly. Oh, no. The example that I give people when they say, Oh, but he was on. You know what? Franco was very nice to an awful lot of people.

00:31:33:18 – 00:31:51:09

Paco García

He was a fucking genocidal dictator in my country. So. Hello. No, it doesn’t mean a thing that isn’t going back to that. The Weinstein thing. When the first accusation for Weinstein came out, you had a lot of people in Hollywood defending him until the second person and then the third and then the fourth and his own teeth

00:31:51:09 – 00:32:07:20

Paco García

came out. Suddenly, all the people that were defending that person had to shut up very quickly because they realized the wave and they realized they were on the wrong side. Now this is something that affects me personally because and this is something else I’ll be honest with when it comes to toxic relationships, I unfortunately suffer from one

00:32:07:20 – 00:32:26:09

Paco García

of the most toxic relations in my life. And unfortunately, I’m related to them, right? I have a brother who I do not have. I no longer have a good relationship with. They have tried on occasion to try to make amends, and it usually is extremely misguided.

00:32:26:21 – 00:32:50:15

Paco García

And they have and they have my sister and I both have to have. Both have believed that he suffers from some type of bipolar disorder, which he refuses to see anyone for. But the point is is that my, my, my close family made efforts to try to defend his actions, and they said to me, like, give him

00:32:50:16 – 00:33:11:02

Paco García

a chance. He wants to make amends. He’s trying to do nice. I go, Yeah. But the issue is the 40 some years where he’s where he’s been abusive and the fact that he has up until even recently lost his his mind and gotten and lashed out to me to other people that I listen to.

00:33:11:09 – 00:33:25:00

Paco García

But you hit the nail on the head. I was going out with a girl many, many years ago. And I was saying how much how abusive and what would a toxic individual this person was? And my girl at the time was like, I don’t see it.

00:33:25:01 – 00:33:39:20

Paco García

He seems like a nice guy. And. That relationship folded very quickly because she didn’t understand the fact that what she perceived was not the truth, that she had to trust me and I said, no, no, this is an incredibly toxic human being.

00:33:40:02 – 00:33:53:01

Paco García

This person makes everyone feel bad. If you don’t agree with this person’s decision, they will be little you and scream at you. They will never throw a punch, but they’ll make sure that they will shit in your soul.

00:33:53:19 – 00:34:10:22

Paco García

And thankfully, I’m married to someone who totally acknowledges that, and she is very standoffish with this person. But it comes to a point that after several final things that broke the broke the camel’s back that I refuse to talk to the individual anymore, we are no longer on speaking terms.

00:34:10:22 – 00:34:26:01

Paco García

He didn’t come to my wedding and this is a permanent thing, and my mum said it like, You want to come up for dinner and talk? I’m like, No. No, I don’t. He’s had he’s he’s had numerous situations, he said, numerous opportunities to make good.

00:34:26:06 – 00:34:42:14

Paco García

He knows what he does. He knows he’s had a reaction. And then I overheard generally that he he doesn’t fully understand why I hate him so much. And you’re like, is he completely oblivious? Does he not know? And that’s the situation we’re in.

00:34:42:14 – 00:34:59:04

Paco García

And so for me, it affects me very personally. In fact, I think one of the reasons why I act, the way I act is because I’m fully aware. Of how this relative of mine, his brother, created an environment and everyone kind of excused it.

00:34:59:20 – 00:35:21:02

Paco García

And now he’s almost 50 and is over 50 and it was like, it’s too late. Like, there’s there’s nothing he can do, you know? And that brings me to something that I wanted to point out, because one thing that sometimes people do to victims is to put the burden of forgiveness on them and the burden of dialog

00:35:21:02 – 00:35:33:19

Paco García

on them. And you know, no, just exactly saying that you don’t have any obligation to actually have a relationship with your brother. People don’t have an obligation to forgive their abusers. People don’t have an obligation to make up for it.

00:35:34:10 – 00:35:47:01

Paco García

Simple, as I agree 100% so that you did exactly that, by the way, you tried to force a conversation force forgiveness. And I actually had a nervous breakdown because I couldn’t push him out of my life and he kept on trying to impede.

00:35:47:01 – 00:36:05:04

Paco García

And I I had a nervous breakdown. It was and my dad was passed, was dying from cancer on the same time period, and he tried to try to make amends for the sake of the situation. But he went about it so wrong because he he basically felt I was obligated to forgive him because we were related.

00:36:05:16 – 00:36:18:08

Paco García

You have to forgive me. I’m your brother. And after I was like, I was like, No, you don’t get past. I have brothers on my best man who was my best friend. He’s my brother. I have. I have.

00:36:18:08 – 00:36:33:10

Paco García

I have family. I have sisters and brothers. I’m not related to by blood because I chose them. And I don’t. And I know the fact that my sister chooses to have a relationship with them. My mother chooses to have a relationship with them, and I know you’re not, you’re not obligated things like, I think it does matter

00:36:33:10 – 00:36:52:17

Paco García

if a job doesn’t matter if it’s relations, if it’s a wife, a brother, a father, a mother, you’re not obligated to do anything, anything. So women even protect yourself. Exactly, exactly. You know, that’s why people, when you hear these are the thing, never, ever tell the victim to have a conversation.

00:36:52:18 – 00:37:12:21

Paco García

And if you get caught. Never, ever try to force a conversation with the victim. Approach them through an intermediary who is critical of you. Don’t approach them threatening to media who’s your friend? And is going to be there with a very clear bias to bring you together to make you feel better abuser rather than the victim.

00:37:13:04 – 00:37:32:16

Paco García

That’s not how it works. That’s not how it should work, ever. And if the victim doesn’t want to talk to you, then don’t. Let them be. That is it. You don’t have any right to forgiveness, you don’t have any rights to any redemption further than what you should do as a decent human being.

00:37:32:22 – 00:37:45:05

Paco García

That is it. And if those persons want to go on their lives hating you for whatever tough shit, you should have thought it sooner. That’s the way it is. That’s because we have to acknowledge and this is something else.

00:37:45:15 – 00:38:03:12

Paco García

My friend Ali mentioned this on Facebook that the people who come out with these statements. They’re probably some of the bravest people on the planet and. If you are the people who say, Oh, he was so nice to me.

00:38:03:21 – 00:38:22:00

Paco García

Count yourself lucky you have some sort of privilege that shielded you from these persons. That is it. That doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen. It means that you were in a position of power that they couldn’t debunk, and that’s why they did not abuse you.

00:38:22:19 – 00:38:37:08

Paco García

Maybe they couldn’t get something out of you. Maybe you just were a bit too strong for them. Simple answers, but if it didn’t happen to you. Rather than say, oh, yes, yes, count yourself lucky and shut the fuck up.

00:38:38:10 – 00:38:52:11

Paco García

That is it, because, you know, that’s that’s the healthy environment is is a the first thing you need to do is acknowledge some people that are in that abuse and they don’t even see it, they don’t even acknowledge it.

00:38:52:23 – 00:39:06:16

Paco García

And. And I’ve been in situations where. People have said to me is like, you know, please stop yelling and I don’t know that I’m yelling and I realize, Oh shit, I didn’t realize and I had to go, Oh, I have to try to bring it, bring myself down.

00:39:06:16 – 00:39:18:07

Paco García

And I’ve been in situations where I’ve told people, Please stop yelling at me. And that’s the first step is being even aware that there is there because some people don’t even notice it unless you tell them you’re crossing the line.

00:39:18:11 – 00:39:32:24

Paco García

The problem and then the next and then the next step is is is if you if that still doesn’t solve the problem, find a way to get out. And I know that’s easier said than done. Very yes. Well, there are several things to impact in that.

00:39:32:24 – 00:39:49:23

Paco García

Firstly, and this is something that really was was mentioned to me. I thought I actually would like to read the comment that she made in Facebook because I think is very, very powerful, she said. I think something that is important is how strong the pressure is not to rock the boat.

00:39:50:16 – 00:40:10:01

Paco García

Victims are seen as complainers. People who want to speak out know they will be brushed off because it is easier to ignore them and actually listen to what they have to say. I know when I had issues, there was absolutely nothing I could say that would made people that would have made the people who could listen, in

00:40:10:01 – 00:40:29:19

Paco García

part because of an overwhelming culture of passivity and lack of empathy that permeates the bro culture. I remember a notable time when the news of someone being an abuser came out and all of my male colleagues being shocked because he was so nice and the female colleague confirming that her interactions with him has been unpleasant.

00:40:30:19 – 00:40:49:16

Paco García

This is exactly what I’m talking about. I can guarantee you that that woman’s perspective would have been completely dismissed or was completely dismissed. If that information was shared with the men around her women’s fill ins are valuable in this industry when it can be used to sell units.

00:40:50:01 – 00:41:10:00

Paco García

But it is made utterly clear to us that our insights are not only not valued but actively ignored. Most people do not speak up about their experiences because the men who consider themselves the good ones in brackets will not help them and will avoid dealing with them so they don’t have to hear complaints about their friends.

00:41:10:15 – 00:41:29:21

Paco García

Male passivity on the issue is the number one protector of abusers, and I have to agree with this. Oh yeah, I agree. I agree with that as well. I think it also it. But it’s also one of those difficult things because people want to surround themselves by people who agree with them.

00:41:29:21 – 00:41:42:14

Paco García

I mean, we’re seeing it today’s culture, you know, with controversies, with, you know, vaccines and freedom of choice and masks and so forth. And people cut people out of their lives they don’t agree with and they surround themselves with people they agree with.

00:41:42:14 – 00:42:04:00

Paco García

And you create a situation of yes, people and it can be something as passive as that. And I know that I don’t have any. I know that if word came out. Right, if if if say, let’s say the figure of like my wife decided to come out and said, Oh, Chris was being extremely abusive, I am.

00:42:04:00 – 00:42:20:12

Paco García

I’m happy to think that most of my male friends would be like, Well, he can go die. Then they wouldn’t automatically say, Well, Chris is a nice guy. You must be wrong. I happen to think that I have gathered enough intelligent people around me to understand the scenario that.

00:42:21:11 – 00:42:37:10

Paco García

You can never really know somebody. Right, unless you’re in that environment, right, and and so I I think back and go it, has there been a situation where I have said, I don’t know what you’re talking about. This person isn’t like that.

00:42:38:07 – 00:42:52:01

Paco García

I don’t know if I’ve ever been in a situation where I defended somebody. I do know that. I have been the subject of that, I have been this, I have been the person that said, this person is being toxic, this person is being bad.

00:42:52:07 – 00:43:06:15

Paco García

And then other people saying, I think you’re being hyperbolic. And I’m like, I am not being hyperbolic. This is a problem, and I think it’s one of those situations where it depends on how long you’ve been an underling and how long you’ve been a person in charge.

00:43:07:06 – 00:43:25:08

Paco García

And I was an underling for a very long time, so I’m very much aware that management get be whole, get emboldened by people above them. By default, people above them generally will defend those that they’ve given charge for.

00:43:25:13 – 00:43:44:24

Paco García

So if you’re a supervisor, managers will defend you over your employees, regardless of your behavior. And and that creates a situation where if you have a chain of command, the top two, the top two or three reinforce each other to make sure that they can be abusive to the bottom people below.

00:43:45:15 – 00:44:03:09

Paco García

And that creates this. I hate this horrible pyramid where it’s almost like when we see this pyramid scheme is the worst type of pyramid scheme. You’ve got pyramid of toxicity, where the top one emboldens the second tier, which emboldens the third tier and then the all abuse the people on the bottom tier.

00:44:03:21 – 00:44:17:06

Paco García

And so when one person, the bottom tier speaks up this, it says this person on Tier three is being abusive. Everyone in Tier two goes. This person is a nice person. I don’t know what you’re talking about and you create that systemic issue.

00:44:18:24 – 00:44:30:15

Paco García

And so that’s that’s a problem we have in corporate America. And then the issue we have now in the game industry is the fact that. It’s a pair hermit of only two people, and then that person in the top has a bunch of friends.

00:44:31:15 – 00:44:45:05

Paco García

And it’s a it’s a different situation, but it’s equally bad because you have issues, and I said I I don’t know if I’ve ever worked at a job where I’ve had a manager I’ve liked for a consistent amount of time.

00:44:45:14 – 00:45:05:05

Paco García

And I don’t know what that speaks about our industry in general or a work environment in general that generally when somebody gets put in power, that that that that push for productivity and profit just infects somebody, some people and they just turn toxic, even if they might not be.

00:45:05:07 – 00:45:20:06

Paco García

And that’s why Mike and other people can be wonderful human beings when they’re outside of that work environment. And moment you plug them in their work environment, they become toxic. Which, of course, is the reason why their friends don’t notice that because they’re not in that environment when they work with them.

00:45:20:15 – 00:45:31:16

Paco García

I know people that said, I like you, Chris, but I don’t want to work with you. That that data that I can see. But that’s why I think we need to be hyper critical of these kind of situations.

00:45:31:23 – 00:45:44:15

Paco García

And we need to take a look at every tier because as you said, friends are never going to speak badly of you because they haven’t seen that kind of situation. So, so that’s yeah, we need to be hypercritical.

00:45:44:15 – 00:46:06:14

Paco García

And that’s that’s the way, the only way to deal with this things. But let’s let’s concentrate because we’ve we’ve been going on for a good while now, and I want to talk about what to do if you find yourself in a position of being the victim of some abuse and what are the signs of that abuse?

00:46:08:19 – 00:46:29:10

Paco García

I think we’ve already touched on the cycle of abuse. You know, identify one of the things is to identify whether something is happening repeatedly, even if it is in a long period of time. You know, if. A situation a number of.

00:46:31:12 – 00:46:56:24

Paco García

What’s the word I’m trying to find? Events take place that lead that person to a temper, for example, just to talk about anger management, a temper. And that happens all the time. That is one sign of abuse. If you see that this is happening repeatedly, this is a pattern of abuse.

00:46:57:19 – 00:47:16:14

Paco García

And this is one of the most important things to identify them if they treat you the way that they don’t treat all the people. Even if they’re in different positions, when those people make the same mistakes or they do similar things to what you do and you’re treated differently.

00:47:16:19 – 00:47:37:20

Paco García

These are very clear signs of abuse. That’s it. You shouldn’t be treated differently regardless of who you are and regardless of what the other person saw. That’s it. So, no, if you fuck up one job and you get a massive bollocking and the other person doesn’t get a massive Bollyky, you are being abused.

00:47:39:06 – 00:48:03:07

Paco García

Done, regardless of the point that nobody should get a massive, bulky list, not an angry one. You are being abused when I was a practicing psychotherapist. We have the maxim. Which is safety before therapy. And when I saw a couple and there was any sign of abuse.

00:48:04:15 – 00:48:24:16

Paco García

Any, even if we didn’t know there was abuse that we saw any sign that could be abuse, it could be somebody just not talking about the situation. It could be the other person talking too much over that situation or, you know, painting it with trying to weaken it down.

00:48:26:09 – 00:48:49:09

Paco García

Breach for safety, first and foremost, your safety matters more than anything. So. Find out what you need to do to be safe at work, whether it is finding colleagues that you can rely on, if you cannot then find a union, find safety spoons you need.

00:48:50:07 – 00:49:09:11

Paco García

And again, this is easier said than done many, many times because. People need their jobs. And oftentimes in the in the gaming industry, they’re given like, oh, you know, this is a dream job, if you, as Ali was mentioning the rock the boat, you’re never going to get another job in the industry.

00:49:10:10 – 00:49:40:10

Paco García

You never get to work again. These guys too big, they could crush me. Breach your incident. We’ve seen. Do you think this is another question? I find it that a cycle of violence is more toxic than perpetual. Toxicity, the idea that the cycle of toxicity is worse, because if someone who’s just being toxic 100%, you just, you

00:49:40:11 – 00:50:03:24

Paco García

know, you have a situation where this person is just horrific in general. Now you have this situation where this person to be horrific 100% to you and not to someone else, that’s abuse. I sometimes find. The cycle. More destructive, because you because it creates an environment where you told, I think in situations for me where I’ve been

00:50:03:24 – 00:50:17:05

Paco García

in situations, I have found that I am more tolerant to the cycle of abuse than perpetual abuse because of that roller coaster where you want those high, so you stay with the highs and then you tolerate the lows.

00:50:17:16 – 00:50:37:05

Paco García

If it’s low, constantly, it’s there’s it’s easier to break your tolerance. I know this. I’m not putting up with this, but the moment to cycle the moment, it’s a roller coaster. You put up with a lot more, it’s kind of like the idea of putting a pot of boiling water and putting a frog on a boiling water

00:50:37:05 – 00:50:47:16

Paco García

rather than turning it up slowly and then having them die. I find personally, as someone who’s been in an environment, I’ve been in an environment where the person was constantly toxic and I didn’t stay at that job for more than three months.

00:50:48:10 – 00:51:00:02

Paco García

The more you’re in a cycle, I think it’s one of the things to be aware of like, are you? Is this person having a bad day and it’s isolated? Or is this a cycle that you are just tolerating those high points?

00:51:00:14 – 00:51:14:08

Paco García

two, 22. You can get past those low points or sorry, you’re tolerating those those those bad points and you seek that person in a good mood. Suddenly, they’re praising you because I’ve been in a situation where the person that’s that’s so abusive.

00:51:14:14 – 00:51:32:24

Paco García

I also seek approval from because they’re so toxic when they end up being nice. Somehow, it feels more palpable. Like this person likes what I did, I broke through them. And then in many ways, only like 15 years later, I go.

00:51:33:09 – 00:51:49:11

Paco García

That was so unhealthy. I shouldn’t put up with that abuse for those momentary highs when they’re nice. And I think that cycle of abuse is more destructive and more abusive in the long run because it creates a lot of personal.

00:51:49:13 – 00:52:03:07

Paco García

If someone just says is constantly abuse of constantly mean and doesn’t do anything. For my for my understanding is just from people I know they don’t stand for that very long. But if it’s a cycle where it’s this highs and the lows.

00:52:03:14 – 00:52:21:08

Paco García

That’s that’s that’s the worst. It’s. It seems to be much more dangerous. And the problem is is that somebody is constantly abusive once again may not even be 100% aware that someone who’s in the cycle of abuse. They are at some point aware of what they do and then they don’t change it, which is a reason it

00:52:21:08 – 00:52:42:10

Paco García

speaks against their character. And so when we see situations of people that are consistently being toxic, I look at them going well, this person, I don’t know which is more redeemable, the person who is the cycle. And whenever I read people’s accounts and they’re and they’ve made these and they’ve come out an open and they make these

00:52:42:10 – 00:52:59:04

Paco García

reports and I read them the first thing I look for in many ways I’ve discovered is, is this a consistent abuse or is this a cycle? And I’ve noticed that when people are coming clean about abuse, it’s because they’ve been in a cycle because we’re in there in a cycle.

00:52:59:06 – 00:53:15:24

Paco García

They stay with it so much longer. Right, because I’ve been in situations where bosses are horrible and like, no. In a few months, I just left because I’m not going to stand for that. I had friends that have been in relations where their bosses were consistently toxic and they did not last the but the moment you’re entrapped

00:53:15:24 – 00:53:31:05

Paco García

in that toxic cycle. You’d be surprised what you put up with, which causes more damage in the long run. And so yes. No. Absolutely, yes, and that’s well, depends on who’s dishing out the abuse, you know, if it’s somebody that will look up to, then it can be even worse.

00:53:31:05 – 00:53:43:05

Paco García

And sometimes we put up with it because maybe they are somebody who we don’t look up to or we don’t even care about. You know, they may be somebody from another department and we put up with it because we think, Oh, you know, who cares about why things?

00:53:44:03 – 00:54:03:10

Paco García

But eventually, eventually it digs into you. He really, really does. So look, look for those signs and breach for safety. Find out who is a privileged person around you who could be an ally and see what they can do to help seeking help is always a good idea.

00:54:04:09 – 00:54:24:06

Paco García

You know, and it’s it’s a tough thing to do. And I’m going to say something. Very tricky to say, but my friend Tracy mentioned this, and I think she’s absolutely right. Beware if you are part of a minority because oftentimes abuses.

00:54:25:09 – 00:54:56:06

Paco García

Will. Will try to groom you to protect them. It is quite common when an abuser will gather surround themselves of. Black people, Latino people, gay people, lesbians, whatever trans people, and be very nice to them. So, you know.

00:54:57:05 – 00:55:23:24

Paco García

They will be held up. Oh, but. He’s a champion for equality. How can be. How can he be unpleasant to women? And that’s a big job. Correct. So you have to be very careful with that. So if again, if you’re part of a minority and you are feeling that, you should say, Oh, but he was nice to

00:55:23:24 – 00:55:41:03

Paco García

me, I think that maybe he they were using you because abusers, they do that too, you know? And by the way, I also want to make sure that I’m not talking specifically about Mike on this topic. This is abusers in general.

00:55:41:07 – 00:56:01:06

Paco García

I know that the situation with Michael increase what’s triggered this podcast episode, but I don’t want anybody to think that I’m talking just about a mile. They had the idea of of of people who want to do want to present themselves as being understanding, and there might be a authentic.

00:56:02:07 – 00:56:24:07

Paco García

Desire within them to create that safe environment. But the end up. Segregating one person to off load this abuse because they have this bottle, they need to do it and that’s what we’ve seen with withdraws weed and the fact that he would champion and he would have so many people on his side.

00:56:24:20 – 00:56:45:23

Paco García

But behind the scenes, you realize that he’s not on your side, but it creates an environment where everyone is championing him. And it wasn’t until people started to come clean. And oddly enough, we were talking with Joss Whedon being very toxic towards women, and yet it was a totally different person.

00:56:45:24 – 00:56:56:17

Paco García

It was a black man who came forward and said he is toxic, and this is why. And he got the ball rolling and then all these women came forward. Oh yeah, by the way, he is not the defender you think he is.

00:56:56:17 – 00:57:16:12

Paco García

And then suddenly everything hit it. Thing because we’ve seen the idea of people. And sometimes this is not even people being authentically trying to be nice and then singling out one person to abuse. In some situations, it’s a calculated, cold blooded attempt to.

00:57:17:13 – 00:57:40:19

Paco García

Create this environment where three goods can counteract the bad. As long as I’m being nice to these people, I can abuse this person with impunity. And it’s for me, it’s sometimes difficult to tell which is which. When you see a person going, you know, here’s a here’s another good example we’ve seen the guy who who is the

00:57:40:19 – 00:57:58:20

Paco García

host of the Nerdist. And he was in a relationship with a with a woman who came clean and came out and said that he was incredibly abusive, incredibly mean spirited and raw, and there was an attempt to do to kind of destroy this man’s life, right?

00:57:58:24 – 00:58:14:16

Paco García

And everyone said properly, we have to listen to this and then this person’s current wife and his previous girlfriend said. No, he’s not like this at all. And at that point, you look at the situation going now, do I believe?

00:58:15:13 – 00:58:30:23

Paco García

Because that you have to take it seriously. But it’s one of situations like where, OK, is this an outlier? Or is he being nice to these current people to counteract what he did in the past? And how do you know?

00:58:31:02 – 00:58:42:02

Paco García

I don’t know. All I can do is ask questions. All I can do is go. I don’t. Who like who do I trust in this situation? And the default by most people is you trust. You trust the accuser.

00:58:42:05 – 00:58:55:00

Paco García

  1. The way to find out about that is to see if that person keeps supporting the same people, if they turn against them. Does it say that? That’s a very good point, I’d like that. You know, that’s that’s it.

00:58:55:02 – 00:59:07:21

Paco García

If you have if you claim, Oh, I’m sorry, inclusive, look, I have a gay friend and a gay friend says, Hey, but you do some shit. Oh, how can you say that to me? You’re horrible. Yeah, you’re being full of shit.

00:59:08:17 – 00:59:24:24

Paco García

Well, one thing I’ll tell you right now, if I ever say something and you go, Chris, that’s homophobic. I’m like, Well, you’re the authority I got. That’s one thing, and it’s one of those situations. And this brings up something that that happened in the in the account that was accusing a mike.

00:59:25:14 – 00:59:44:07

Paco García

Where in that situation, Mike was asking people. Does this cross a lie? I need to make sure I present myself in a situation that’s welcoming and and so when I was reading, I go leave second. You know, I have made a point.

00:59:44:13 – 00:59:57:03

Paco García

And like I said, I haven did a recently where I wanted to word something. And I said it to you going, I need to make sure this is coming across. Am I saying something that’s coming across incorrectly? And you went and said, No, it’s good.

00:59:57:03 – 01:00:07:19

Paco García

You’re coming out. I understand what you’re saying and it’s like, Oh, good, because this could. This could be misconstrued incorrectly, and I need to make sure. And this came to the point of what is known as sensitivity readers.

01:00:08:18 – 01:00:28:03

Paco García

Whose entire job is to read what you’re saying and tell you if you’re going to piss someone off by saying it, that you don’t want to piss off. This is quite literally a subdivision of our industry sensitivity. Readers were built well, people who are who are minority, minorities, marginalized can you would hire them to go?

01:00:29:07 – 01:00:41:23

Paco García

For on contract and say, read through my role playing game, read through my book, read through my game and let me know if I’m crossing the line, I may not notice it because of who I am. I may not be cognizant of it.

01:00:42:05 – 01:00:57:07

Paco García

So please read through this and tell me what’s crossing a line. Now, when it comes to my writing and when it comes to my public persona, I have one rule. If I’m pissing off a cisgender white male, then I’m doing OK.

01:00:57:15 – 01:01:12:21

Paco García

As long as that, if I get an angry note and go, Oh, OK, I’m doing OK because it’s one of those situations where you’re going to anger somebody with what you say, you’re always going to anger somebody. The trick is angering the person that you want to get angry with this situation.

01:01:13:07 – 01:01:31:24

Paco García

But I do employ people to look at my statement. I’m going, I don’t want to insult or belittle this group of people, which I am talking about. Right. I’m discussing this, I need you to make sure that I am not insulting, and I noticed that that Mike is making an attempt.

01:01:32:22 – 01:01:56:20

Paco García

To do that while simultaneously creating a toxic environment, correct, I found it so weird that somebody would constantly employ people under him to make sure that his statements are not misconstrued while also being appearing mean spirited to the very people he’s trying to to to placate.

01:01:56:21 – 01:02:12:14

Paco García

Also in the situation, I want to be nice to women and minorities openly, but when they’re in my work environment, I can’t bottle in my own anger and rage to the very same people that I don’t want to present a negative face to and.

01:02:13:11 – 01:02:26:20

Paco García

And I think sometimes I want to reading not going wait a second, you know, is that part of the is that is that for me, part of the problem? I mean, should I just know automatically what I’m saying is incorrect?

01:02:26:20 – 01:02:41:13

Paco García

Should I just know? Is that part of my problem? Or is the situation where I should employ a sensitivity reader to read through my novel, to read through my games? My last Kickstarter, I had somebody who said, Do you have a sensitivity reader?

01:02:42:06 – 01:03:00:24

Paco García

And I said, I honestly don’t. And because my policy is I will generally create environment where the only person I think is going to be upset is the person who of who I am, which is I know I’m going to upset people.

01:03:00:24 – 01:03:22:17

Paco García

And I’ve so far been successful in only upsetting right wing conservatives, which has always been my objective. I do say things that’s going to upset religious people. I’m going to say things that’s going to upset, you know, that the masculine culture, I’m going to say things that’s going to upset certain economists regarding their opinions regarding free market

01:03:22:17 – 01:03:41:13

Paco García

capitalism, laissez faire capitalism, the idea of selfish economics. And I look at that situation and I go, I’m OK bothering those people and I go in that direction. I should be OK. But this person got upset at because I didn’t employ a sensitivity reader at all.

01:03:41:18 – 01:04:02:19

Paco García

And I absolutely should, regardless of my situation, to make sure I’m not upsetting people. So I find it interesting that that this person in this account with Mike specifically said he was using to create to make sure that his public persona was without controversy while simultaneously creating an environment that was toxic for us.

01:04:02:21 – 01:04:18:23

Paco García

And that’s yeah, that is. And that is a very, very good sign. Anyway, we’ve we’ve been going at it for an hour and a half now, and I think we could probably talk about this in another episode because there’s still no full log jam pack.

01:04:20:04 – 01:04:39:22

Paco García

And I would love to hear what people think about this, this episode and what the feedback and what their comments are because we should we should revisit this. But. Well, I think it was also healthy in the fact that this is podcast specific episode detailed the fact that not only are you and I are aware that this

01:04:39:22 – 01:04:59:18

Paco García

happens, that every every situation as be taken as it taken seriously and the fact that anybody can be subject to this toxicity. And if you’re not careful, you can be that toxic person. If you’re not careful and you have been the subject of that, you’ve been the victim.

01:05:00:01 – 01:05:18:19

Paco García

I have been the victim and I’ve also tried to stop myself being that toxic person. And I know that in my past I might have overstepped and become that toxic person, and that’s something I have to be apt to take ownership of and be aware and make active efforts to try to not do that in the future

01:05:19:10 – 01:05:34:19

Paco García

. And that’s something that’s very important to do. I think once again, is there a road for people like Mike to recover? I think so. It’s not going to be instantaneous and it could take a very long time. And there’s also self-reflection that can come into play.

01:05:35:09 – 01:05:47:06

Paco García

But the fact is that something you said 20 years ago shouldn’t be held against you today if you were a better person now. If you if you have to stop thinking and say the same things, then then yes, we should be.

01:05:47:11 – 01:06:01:08

Paco García

But again, there’s something we we maybe we should revisit this and talk about that. That’s the thing. You know, what is the way of redemption? Who’s done it would be it would be a good one. So next week, we’re talking about bunnies.

01:06:01:08 – 01:06:11:23

Paco García

Let’s talk about OK and cute animals. We review a game next week. I like that because I have a couple of them that I’ve been playing that I would like to talk about. So yeah, let’s let’s just review.

01:06:12:08 – 01:06:27:00

Paco García

Well, pretty funny thing too, because I went up and looked up Mike Selinger and I realized like. I go looking at him like he’s not like he’s definitely no like it’s not even Dave testiness level. Like most of his games, I’ve not been very well received.

01:06:28:05 – 01:06:40:13

Paco García

He accused his bread and butter is the Pathfinder adventure card game, which I really don’t I dislike immensely. And the game that is that I love the game that I adore is the game that’s right behind me, which is apocrypha.

01:06:40:19 – 01:06:55:21

Paco García

And I love apocrypha is public. It actually is in my top ten games of all time. So it’s interesting and ironic that Mike, when I look at Mike’s reviews, I look at games like Thor and Warden and Lords of Vegas, and I go and Pathfinder.

01:06:55:21 – 01:07:07:01

Paco García

I’m like, Wow, he has made a lot of games I really don’t like, but he’s also made a game that I really love and I play all the time. So it’s one of those situations where he’s done this horrible thing.

01:07:07:01 – 01:07:18:07

Paco García

I go, Well, this game is not going to change. I still love this game immensely and I will still continue to play because apocrypha is one of my all time favorite games, and I would like to talk about that in a future episode.

01:07:18:07 – 01:07:44:13

Paco García

Talking about like this? Talk about why I love a game that everyone else seems to hate. Okay, I like that. I like that front episode, too, but for now, I think I think we’re done for today. Yeah. Thank you for listening.

01:07:44:14 – 01:07:58:24

Paco García

It is truly wonderful to have you there and genuinely appreciate it. The GMA’s Magazine podcast is produced by Puckers Here with assistance from Chris Diaz and Marti Reid. And the amazing bunch of listeners all over the world. The theme to you is Why care?

01:07:58:24 – 01:08:16:12

Paco García

That’s it. Let me know what you think about the podcast by emailing me at podcaster GM’s magazine dot com and find us on our Facebook page. You can also follow us on Twitter. I am at GM’s Magazine and Chris out Deus Ex Machina and join us on these core server.

01:08:16:12 – 01:08:22:24

Paco García

I would love to see you and have you around. Thank you once again. And until the next time, game on.

 

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