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The Letters Page
One of the most difficult jobs I have in maintaining
this page is keeping on top of the volumes of mail I receive about it. While I don't
have the time to post all of the letters I get (and to be honest, not all of them are
interesting enough to share), I do answer all e-mails, and I post my favorites on this
page right here.
There have been a lot of letters over the
years, so I have archived a few of them to save on loading times. If you'd like to
see the backlog of letters, check out the LETTERS ARCHIVE.
Subj: Good job!
Date: 4/29/99 8:45:57 AM Eastern Daylight Time
From: Randell Lee Wolff
Even though it is a probably waste of bandwidth, I just wanted to drop
you a note saying how much I appreciate what you do to promote and
defend role-playing games. I've been playing RPGs for nearly twenty
years, and I've seen and read about every criticism about the games.
Now I teach English at a university in Murray, KY--does this place sound
familiar? Yep, the home of the Vampire Cult. Sigh. I've had to deal
with quite a bit, you see. But I'm working through these problems, and
gamers everywhere are working through them, and you're doing quite a bit
Thanks. Keep the faith! ;-)
Instructor of English
Murray State University
Subj: The Escapest
Date: 3/14/99 6:25:44 PM Eastern Standard Time
I came across your website while surfing for World of Darkness (White Wolf
Game Studio) websites, and I wanted to say how great it is to see that
organizations like yours exist to fend off all the far-right-wing
Republican Natzi Jesus-freaks. (Forgive me if I sound bitter.)
It's especially comforting to find that you have such a visually appealing,
well organized, and professional website with useful content.
I'm a fan of AD&D (especially Dragonlance), Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, all
World of Darkness games, and LARPs of any kind. I'm an artist for a tiny
computer game developer, but I used to design professional websites for a
living. Noticing the lack of professional-quality World of Darkness fan
sites, I decided to create one. It's a fully-illustrated and fast loading
idea source, and I would love to have you visit (and maybe become a World
of Darkness fan if you're not one already!)
If you like what you see, perhaps you would like to link to my site! Either
way, link on by sometime.
May your Muse prosper.
-Jennifer J. Buck
Axis Mundi--Library of the Arcanum
Subj: RPGs on Brazil
Date: 3/8/99 6:11:40 PM Eastern Standard Time
From: Lucas Salvego
At first, I beg your pardon if I write something wrong. English is my second
Here in Brazil, we (gamers) don´t have the problem
with the stigma of ´satanic
worshipers´. Maybe because religion in Brazil is treated a little softer then
some groups in other countries.
Brazilian are majoritary Catholic, but we have a mix
with cristhianity and african
religions and some afro-brazilian too. Our people have - in some countryside
areas - beliefs in magic.(not all brazilians. I´m speaking about farmers and
some old people that lived in their farmers their entire lives.)
The problem here is that most people think that
Players are ´Nerds´ or ´Freaks´
or someone who likes advanced intelectual activities or even believes that magic,
elves and all the stuff really exists. :)
I would like to say that the brazilian players know
the ´satanic stigma´ that
the foreign(for us) players are passing by.
Well, maybe someday, the people in your countries
should be more comprehensive
about what is diferent and unknown.
Lucas B. Salvego
Subj: Your web page.
Date: 3/7/99 8:03:07 PM Eastern Standard Time
From: Loni Watson
I was just looking at your web page and saw that you had several
positive letters on your site and just felt like I'd add one more for
I've only been gaming for about a year and a half now, mostly in White
Wolf's Vampire: The Masquerade LARP. I consider this to be one of the
best things I've ever done for myself, because before I started I was
very shy and almost antisocial, but by joining this game I've met a
whole lot of friends and I wouldn't give up this time in my life for
anything. It's also a great way to let out pent up energy and explore
different sides of one's personality through multiple characters.
Presently I have five characters through four separate games and while
it can become confusing, it's a lot of fun.
Unfortunately the first few months was some tough going. When I
started it was not long after the vampire cult killings and some
members of my family immediately associated this game with those
events and all but insisted that I drop the game, for fear that I
would turn into a homicidal maniac or something.
I really take offence to comments like that. It implies that gamers
are somehow mentally deficient and would so easily and readily accept
these games as reality, when in fact, my experiences have shown that
many gamers are of above-average, even genius level intelligence, and
are highly creative and imaginative. Organisations like yours are a
wonderful resource both for gamers who feel the need for support and
knowing there's someone out there who understands the situation, and
for family and friends of gamers who are confused about what it is
exactly. I wish I had known about this when I first started; it would
have helped to defray some of the misunderstandings that took place
and are still present.
Again, keep up the good work on this page.
aka Catherine, Malena, Ilana, Athena, and Liunil
- Subj: "Kult RPG" and classic litterature
Date: 10/26/98 6:01:29 PM Eastern Standard Time
From: Krister Sundelin
Some years ago, before the RPG "Kult" hit the US market and still was a rather
controversial but local Swedish game, I were confronted by a fanatical anti-RPGer. I took
it rather calmly and asked her what she was so upset about. She picked up one of the books
from "Kult" - the first swedish edition had three books in a box - and started
to quote a passage about a character that lures himself into an old woman's appartment and
promptly kills her with an axe. She thought that the game should be forbidden at once,
since it contained such unprovoked violence.
Well, the woman stopped her verbal attacks to catch her breath, and before she could
continue to attack all the occult stuff in the game, I interrupted her with the single
"What?" she said, not prepared for a reply like that.
"Dostoyevsky", I repeated myself. "The part that you read was from
Dostoyevsky's classic novel (although I think that I said 'brick', not 'novel') 'Crime and
Punishment'. I don't think that classic Russian litterature should be banned, right?"
The woman put the rule book back in her bag and left silently.
Subj: The page
Date: 98-08-04 20:50:01 EDT
From: email@example.com (Paul Lenig)
Just looked up your page, and I have to say I like it. I have been
playing RPG's ever since my uncle (a very devout, Christian man)
introduced me to AD&D at the age of 10, way back in 1979. Since I got
into the hobby, I 've never let it go. Indeed, I'd have to say that
gaming is my favorite hobby still. In that time, I've had the
"pleasure" of encountering those who thought that they knew what was
best for me and my soul. Most of them were basically decent people who
honestly thought they were trying to help me. I really wish I had known
about CAR-PGa then! Perhaps I could have changed some minds, instead of
dealing with the opposition by simply being stubborn.
Fortunately, the last incident I have encountered of such behavior was
back in 1991 or so, when a friend of my now-wife sent me a Chick
publications tract on the subject of RPG's, once again out of concern
for my soul. Fortunately, I was better prepared this time, and while I
can't say I left her thinking RPG's were good, I at least convinced her
that they weren't bad. Nowadays, she wouldn't dream of saying that what
I do is "evil", since she has seen how I treat my wife, and her, with
nothing but respect and love. Heck, I could probably convince her to
try to play nowadays, if I tried. :)
I am curious as to how much anti-RPG activity there really is out
there. Is it just a bunch of cranks singing to the wind, or is it a
still a serious threat? I've not seen much in the way of problems
lately, but I realize that this my just be my area, and my personal
experience. Rest assured, though, should I encounter misinformatin on
the games I love, I shall not stand silent. And thanks to your page,
and other pages and people like you, I shall be able to argue my points
using real facts, instead of just emotion. Thank you for your efforts,
and keep up the good fight.
The "Without A Clue" award for 1998 goes to Joel Dies, for
his following diatribe:
Date: 98-05-27 01:49:22 EDT
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel Dies)
why is satan bad ohh hes evil well to him your evil.
give him a name the devil diablo lucifer satan satanism is not bad its a
religen .u are brakeing the law.NO.u say well yes Freedom of religen.people
are kids kids are people wow satan is evil ... what did he do to u..u scum.U
are the evil its just a game... go pick on yo god
And, my reply to him:
Alright, if you meant the above as a joke, then save yourself some
time and do not read the rest of this message.
If you are NOT kidding, then I have to ask; Have you ever seen my
web page? If you have, then I'm very confused as to why you seem to think that it's an
anti-gaming page. It would take a lot of work to make that mistake, the same kind of work
that many of the self-righteous who ACTUALLY ATTACK gaming do when they tell us it's evil
I will not go into my personal religious beliefs in this letter or
on my page, as my page is about games, not religion. However, I will admit that I firmly
believe in freedom of religion, no matter what faith a person chooses, and therefore you
will not (and HAVE not) find any attacks on Satanism or any other faith on my page.
When Satanism does get mentioned on my page, it is in reference to
accusations made by members of the religious right about the nature of RPGs and CCGs.
These people use Satanism as a blanket description for anything that eludes their
understanding, or in extreme cases, puts no money into their collection plate.
As for any laws I have broken; I have no idea what you're talking
You have made one point that I can agree with however... it IS just
a game. Which, originally, was MY point.
It looks like even our letters are stirring up some debate
This one, from Bryan McCarthy, addresses a letter from Daniel Pryor, who said he
considered White Wolf's World of Darkness series of games to be satanic.
Subj: A piece of my mind
Date: 98-04-18 19:27:20 EDT
From: email@example.com (mccarthy)
I would like to start by saying I felt very insulted at Daniel Pryor's
letter. I became quite enraged when I read what Mr.Pryor had to say
about the WOD line of games made by White Wolf being satanic. I don't
think I've ever heard a bigger line of crap in my life. I would have to
wonder if Mr. Pryor has even so much as looked in a White Wolf book. I
mean what's not to like about them Werewolf has the great good vs evil
battles to save the world . Vampire may not always fall in the lines
that Werewolf does but it is also a good lesson in the idea that even
the most heinous of acts can be performed by the best of people. If
that isn't good enough White Wolf also has your "high fantasy" in The
I may have only been playing for about six years but in that time I've
played AD&D, Vampire, Champions, Star Wars, Shadow run. And I've ran
Marvel Super heroes, Vampire, and Werewolf . While all the others have
come and gone the WOD games have always stayed a constant in our gaming
endeavors and not because it's viewed as "satanic" by others , but
because it is one of the easiest and most fun systems to play
Bryan "Dizzy" McCarthy
Date: 98-03-26 01:03:31 EST
From: micheen@prairie.NoDak.edu (Michael Heen)
I know that you may get many letters praising you actions here,
but I suppose one more couldn't hurt. I would just like to say that your
attempts to combat ignorance are comendable. I am a Christian, and I
have been battling ignorance over my gaming ever since I started. I am
lucky. My parents and my family saw and accepted the truth. There is an
interesting article written by fantasy writer Tracy Hickman conserning
Christianity and roleplaying. While I will not get into the details of
it, I will send you the email address. I'm sure you will find it very
useful. The site is at: www.webrpg.com/?issue3ID=3
This topic covers three different issues of this "webzine"
Date: 98-03-27 14:58:58 EST
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Sean Brimm)
I'm a history major at the University of Baltimore. For the last
ten years, I've followed the controversy over RPGs and have
defended them to the Board of Education of Cecil County,
Maryland, twice--unfortunately unsuccessfully to reverse an order
banning D&D from extracurricular school clubs, in 1987 and 1994,
respectively. I recently began looking for pro-gaming sites on
the Web, and have found your site very informative.
I also believe that attempts to ban D&D and any other RPGs
violate federal statutes, namely the 1984 Equal Access Act, which
the Supreme Court ruled in Board of Ed v. Mergens (1990). The
Court held that *if* a federally funded school has any
extracurricular clubs that they cannot be restricted with regards
to "religious, political, or philosophical inclinations." This
means (as in the Mergens case) that even voluntary prayer groups
are constitutional so long as the clubs remain run by students,
not by administrators. So certainly this reasoning should apply
to RPGs played as an activity by students.
I also noticed several hyper links that are out of date.
1. Geoff's Rant About Games & the Media is now located at:
2. Pierre Savoie's Dracopolitics (love that term) page is
3. The Cult-FBI.txt article by Ken Lanning is now at:
4. "The Pulling Report" by Stackpole, dated 1990, is at:
Let me know if I can be of further assistance to you!
I love it when people update my links for me! Thanks, Sean!
Want to keep reading? Go to the LETTER ARCHIVE.