Category Archives: Politics

Cards Against Humanity are Saving America

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The folks behind Cards Against Humanity are at it again and this time they’ve got the goal of saving America in mind. After initially saying they wouldn’t be doing another holiday promotion the company has reversed course with a new program that includes six surprises for $15 to be mailed through the month of December. The new offering has already sold out but that’s not really the news.

In the announcement of this new promotion, they have also revealed that they have purchased a plot of vacant land on the proposed border wall along the border of the United States and Mexico and have hired a law firm to make it difficult to get the wall built.

An the page they state:

Donald Trump is a preposterous golem who is afraid of Mexicans. He is so afraid that he wants to build a twenty-billion dollar wall that everyone knows will accomplish nothing. So we’ve purchased a plot of vacant land on the border and retained a law firm specializing in eminent domain to make it as time-consuming and expensive as possible for the wall to get built.

On Day 1, all Cards Against Humanity Saves America recipients will get an illustrated map of the land, a certificate of our promise to fight the wall, some new cards, and a few other surprises.

Cards Against Humanity are saving America from “injustice, lies, racism, the whole enchilada.”

Renegade Game Studios Enters the French Market

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Renegade Game Studios and Origames have announced a partnership to bring Renegade Games to the French market. Renegade France will localize Renegade games for the French market as well as focus on supporting the French fans.

 

Renegade France will begin by releasing the localized versions of the hit titles, Clank! A Deck-Building Adventure and Clank! Sunken Treasures. World’s Fair and FUSE will also be released shortly followed by the rest of the line.

The Renegade France website and Facebook page are available now to assist fans. Information about upcoming releases, promotional items, and available pre-orders can be easily found on these sites.

PETA Takes Aim at Games Workshop and Warhammer

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peta-facebook-logoPETA, the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals, has sent a letter to Games Workshop CEO Kevin Rountree asking for fur garments to be removed from their “Warhammer characters.” Warhammer is two games and settings Warhammer Fantasy/Warhammer: Age of Sigmar are fantasy based and Warhammer 40K is a futuristic grimdark world. Both games are tabletop miniature games where players build physical model kits creating an army to battle their opponents. Both games’ stories are violent featuring over the top violence, demons, fascist rules, xenophobia, and genocide. But, it’s the treatment of make believe animals that has PETA up in arms, not the Slaanesh hoards wearing human skin.

The letter reads:

I’m writing to you on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to ask that you consider removing “fur” garments from your Warhammer characters at the next opportunity.

From the mighty Leman Russ and Horus Lupercal to Chaos Warriors and the Sisters of Silence, Warhammer features an abundance of characters who wear what appear to be animal pelts, which just doesn’t add up. These battle-hardened warriors are known for their martial prowess – but wearing the skins of dead animals doesn’t take any skill.

Indeed, nothing on the bloody battlefields of Warhammer’s war-torn world could match the horrific reality that foxes, minks, rabbits, and other living beings experience at the hands of the fur trade. Those killed for their fur typically first endure a bleak life inside a tiny, filthy wire cage before being electrocuted, drowned, or even skinned alive. Or they may be out minding their business and get caught in horrific bone-crushing steel-jaw traps – often languishing for days before eventually dying of hunger, thirst, or blood loss.

And while we appreciate that these are fictional characters, draping them in what looks to be a replica of a dead animal sends the message that wearing fur is acceptable – when, in fact, it has no more place in 2017 than it would in the year 40,000.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you.

5th-edition-njalWhile the letter is interesting it shows a lack of knowledge of the worlds Games Workshop has created, either ignoring the fantasy setting or conflating the two games, not to mention some of the claims… they clearly haven’t read any of Chaos’ tomes. Some of that makes what happens to animals fuzzy happy times.

The tabletop miniature game’s world has also been depicted in novels, animated film, and comic books. Currently, Titan Comics is publishing two series set in the world.

This isn’t the first time PETA has stepped into the world of geekdom. The organization has criticized various video games in the past and even used video games to help promote their cause. I look forward to their eventual tabletop miniature wargame rules set.

Cards Against Humanity Gets Political with Clinton and Trump Packs

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The Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Cards Against Humanity packs were part of the gift bag at the Concert Against Humanity held by the Cards Against Humanity folks at Gen Con. The two packs are being released to the public as of today and encourages individuals to vote with their dollar for the candidate they support.

Each pack costs $4 and contains 15 cards about the two public figures vying to be elected the 45th President of the United States this November.

Cards Against Humanity has said that they are counting this as votes and when that voting ends they’ll tally up the sales and donate all of the money to Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. They’re running a live total so you can see how much as been purchased for each pack.

You can get yours now.

CAH Clinton Trump

Cards Against Humanity Highlights Unfair Working Conditions

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social-3f4a4c57Cards Against Humanity is a game which folks either love or loathe. As a company, they wear their politics on their sleeve regularly talking about donating to charities or starting a scholarship fund to get women involved in STEM careers.

This year the card game is holding another holiday tie-in, this time sending eight gifts in honor of Hanukkah. The gifts have been a range of items including socks, some game cards, and in the sixth package a comic and items from their printer in China including photos and a letter regarding the two’s relationship.

The company included a long letter about the manufacturer saying as their printing has grown, so has the printer. But, what’s interesting is the company’s focus on the wages and working conditions, both of which are “excellent.” What they have done different though is give the workers something they don’t have, a paid vacation.

Below is the letter included with the package:

Like many of the physical products we buy, Cards Against Humanity and most of these gifts are made in China. This is something a lot of companies don’t like to draw attention to, and as a result Americans often don’t see the labor that goes into the things they buy. But we’ve always viewed the way our stuff is made as a part of who we are.

Our printer in China has grown with us from a small business to a huge operation, and it’s important to us to go above and beyond our obligation to the workers who make our game. While our factory provides excellent wages and working conditions, Chinese working conditions are generally more strict. This year, we used the money from one day of our holiday promotion to give our workers something very uncommon in China: a paid vacation.

The printer didn’t have any formal procedures for paid vacations, so we bought 100% of the factory’s capacity and paid them to produce nothing for a week, giving the people who make CAH an unexpected chance to visit family or do whatever they pleased.

This doesn’t undo the ways that all of us profit from unfair working conditions around the world, but it’s a step in the right direction. Enclosed you’ll find some thank-you notes and vacation photos from our factory staff.

Happy holidays!

– Cards Against Humanity

Bravo to the CAH team, and think about this small act when making gift purchases this holiday season.

Gen Con Works to Protect LGBT Attendees After Discussion with Gov. Pence

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For those new to the story, Gen Con, the largest game convention in North America, took a stand against Indiana’s SB 101 which would allow people to use their religion to discriminate against individuals amongst other things. With the legislation passed, the state has come under fire, with corporations freezing investment plans, and others refusing to travel there, along with calls for a boycott.

With millions on the line, and the state made out to look like bigots, Governor Mike Pence is doing what he can to spin the legislation claiming it’s for religious protection. It doesn’t help the Governor was surrounded by bigots when he signed the legislation, nor refused to answer a simple yes or no when it came to a question about LGBT discrimination on This Week.

Gen Con updated its community, saying they spoke with the Governor and disagree with his take on the legislation and situation. They are working with the Mayor of Indianapolis to ensure con-goers are not discriminated against and have a good time.

They are also urging the Governor, and other elected officials, to amend the legislation to make it clear and protect individuals from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender orientation.

“We believe freedom from discrimination is a fundamental human right.”

The biggest news is the convention has halted its “expansion into Lucas Oil Stadium, and plans for further expansion into other hotel convention spaces.

The convention is urging individuals to write elected officials and call the Governor’s office, though his phone has either be disconnected or voice mail filled since this all started.

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With SB 101 Signed, What Will Gen Con Do? Follow Salesforce?

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Gen_Con_LetterOn Tuesday we brought you the news that Gen Con, the four day gaming convention (and one of my favorite conventions of the year) sent a letter to Indiana Governor Mike Pence warning the convention may leave the state if SB 101, the supposed “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” was singed into law. The convention, as many else also feel, felt the legislation is discriminatory, and would “allow for refusal of service or discrimination against our attendees.”

The Governor is so proud of the bill, he signed it into law in a private ceremony. Indiana becomes the first state this year to enact such legislation out of the dozen or so states in which similar proposals have been introduced.

The fallout from the legislation signing was quick and fierce. Salesforce, on the the top software as a service companies out there, has decided to “dramatically reduce” their investment in Indiana. The CEO of the company Marc Benioff said in a series of Tweets:

gen-con-logoGen Con isn’t the only convention to take place in the state. Awesome Con expanded this year to host a convention in Indianapolis as well. We’ve reached out to both conventions for further comment as to their plans or reactions, but have not heard back as we went to press.

Geek conventions don’t have the best record when it comes to these things. In 2010, Arizona signed into law SB 1070 which some say unfairly targets Latinos, and is a violation of the civil rights of all Arizonans. Boycotts of the state due to the law cost the state over $141 million in 2010. Announced in 2010, but launched in 2011, the Amazing Arizona Comic Con was launched, though calls for boycotts were still in full effect. We questioned the choice of not just the convention, but those attending and supporting it. Companies who “champion” diversity and inclusion, and “pushing comics forward” have had no issues pumping money into the economy of a state which clearly cares little of these things. Though, in fairness, Governor Jan Brewer vetoed a bill similar to the one Gov. Pence just signed into law. So, they just dislike people of darker skin there, but homosexuals are ok.

We’ll keep on this story as Gen Con has promised a follow up letter today. The convention in 2011 committed to stay in Indianapolis until 2020.

Pence released the below statement after signing the pill into law:

Today I signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, because I support the freedom of religion for every Hoosier of every faith.

The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion but today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action.

One need look no further than the recent litigation concerning the Affordable Care Act. A private business and our own University of Notre Dame had to file lawsuits challenging provisions that required them to offer insurance coverage in violation of their religious views.

Fortunately, in the 1990s Congress passed, and President Clinton signed, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act—limiting government action that would infringe upon religion to only those that did not substantially burden free exercise of religion absent a compelling state interest and in the least restrictive means.

Last year the Supreme Court of the United States upheld religious liberty in the Hobby Lobby case based on the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, but that act does not apply to individual states or local government action. At present, nineteen states—including our neighbors in Illinois and Kentucky—have adopted Religious Freedom Restoration statutes. And in eleven additional states, the courts have interpreted their constitutions to provide a heightened standard for reviewing government action.

In order to ensure that religious liberty is fully protected under Indiana law, this year our General Assembly joined those 30 states and the federal government to enshrine these principles in Indiana law, and I fully support that action.

This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way in Indiana, I would have vetoed it. In fact, it does not even apply to disputes between private parties unless government action is involved. For more than twenty years, the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act has never undermined our nation’s anti-discrimination laws, and it will not in Indiana.

Indiana is rightly celebrated for the hospitality, generosity, tolerance, and values of our people, and that will never change. Faith and religion are important values to millions of Hoosiers and with the passage of this legislation, we ensure that Indiana will continue to be a place where we respect freedom of religion and make certain that government action will always be subject to the highest level of scrutiny that respects the religious beliefs of every Hoosier of every faith.

And a Tweet by the Governor:

Gen Con Threatens to Leave Indiana Over SB 101

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This afternoon Gen Con, a four-day gaming convention, sent a letter to the Republican Governor of Indiana Mike Pence warning that if SB 101 becomes the law, the convention may leave the state. Gen Con LLC’s CEO and owner, Adrian Swartout, said in the letter (which you can read below) that passage of the bill “will factor into our decision-making on hosting the convention in the state of Indiana in future years.” The convention focuses on gaming of all types including board, card, miniature, and role-playing.

Gen Con proudly welcomes a diverse attendee base, made up of different ethnicities, cultures, beliefs, sexual orientations, gender identities, abilities, and socio-economic backgrounds. We are happy to provide an environment that welcomes all, and the wide-ranging diversity of our attendees has become a key element to the success and growth of our convention.

Legislation that could allow for refusal of service or discrimination against our attendees will have a direct negative impact on the state’s economy.

Proponents of SB 101 would prevent state and local governments from “substantially burdening” a person’s exercise of religion unless the government can prove it has a compelling interest.

Opponents of the legislation says it gives a license for businesses to discriminate, particularly against gays and lesbians.

The legislation is being pushed by social conservatives.

The digest description of the legislation:

Religious freedom restoration. Prohibits a governmental entity from substantially burdening a person’s exercise of religion, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, unless the governmental entity can demonstrate that the burden: (1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and (2) is the least restrictive means of furthering the compelling governmental interest. Provides a procedure for remedying a violation. Specifies that the religious freedom law applies to the implementation or application of a law regardless of whether the state or any other governmental entity or official is a party to a proceeding implementing or applying the law. Prohibits an applicant, employee, or former employee from pursuing certain causes of action against a private employer.

Some have said the legislation is similar to what led the Supreme Court to side with Hobby Lobby concerning contraception. This legislation could be interpreted much further allowing systemic and widespread discrimination by businesses, for example a bakery refusing to serve a gay couple.

The legislation passed the House in a 63-31 vote, and Senate a 40-10 vote.

As of this post, the convention has garnered support and positive feedback from their Facebook community. Some dissented feeling this is “social justice warriors” making their way into gaming.

According to Facebook demographics, 10% of the convention’s “likes” are “interested” in the same-sex.

The convention, which began in 1968 in Lake Geneva by D&D creator Gary Gygax, moved to the city in 2003. It’s the convention center’s largest annual convention, bringing in excess of $50 million in revenue for the city of Indianapolis every year.

Last year’s convention, held August 14-17, saw another year of record attendance numbers and unprecedented growth. That makes it the fourth consecutive year, Gen Con grew by more than 10%. The year saw 14% year-over-year growth with a weekend turnstile attendance of 184,699 and unique attendance of 56,614. 2013’s previous record was 49,530 unique attendees. Since 2009, Gen Con’s annual attendance has more than doubled.

The convention also does good, selecting a charity partner each year to raise money. Last year also saw a record year in donations. The convention raised more than $40,000 for Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana’s BackSacks program, which provides weekend food to children at-risk for hunger. This donation includes a $20,000 check provided by Mayfair Games’ Cones of Dunshire event, a charitable game played Saturday, August 16 on Georgia Street. This year’s partner is the Julian Center.

It is unknown how other conventions in the state have reacted to the legislation, but we have reached out for comments.

Gen Con 2015 returns to Indianapolis July 30 – August 2, 2015! And we’ll be there in full support.

Here is the letter for you to read:

 

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