Kickstarter Anarchist/Revolution RPG: Sigmata

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kingsley_zissou kingsley_zissou's picture
Kickstarter Anarchist/Revolution RPG: Sigmata

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2089483951/sigmata-this-signal-kills-fascists

Just signed up for this kickstarter, and it looks like it overlaps a bunch with EP. Leftist roleplaying, heavy violence, post/transhumans (though in a setting before the internet). Check it out.

Eric8344 Eric8344's picture
Oh boy, let's take the worst

Oh boy, let's take the worst element of Eclipse Phase- the leftist political wankery- make the game completely about it and impossible to change or ignore, all while removing the interesting hard sci-fi elements that make the setting enjoyable for those who don't care for leftism! No thank you!

o11o1 o11o1's picture
That just means that sigmata

That just means that sigmata is a game for a fairly niche group of people. Nothing wrong with that on it's face, and I know a guy who might actually be into it.

It's not everyone's cup of tea, naturally.

A slight smell of ions....

Eric8344 Eric8344's picture
Yup, there's definitely a

Yup, there's definitely a market for it, but it's not for me! I don't think politics has ever been handled well in any RPG ever, mostly because it's difficult to be nuanced and subtle enough to grasp and portray different ideologies accurately and without bias.

Baribal Baribal's picture
And here I thought that

And here I thought that "fighting oppressive fascist regimes is fun" was a concept for which a broad consensus existed in games.

Morgan's Butchery | Body bank, morph individualization and upgrades | Psychotherapy and Psychosurgery, therapeutic and recreational | http://eclipsephase.com/comment/59484#comment-59484

Eric8344 Eric8344's picture
Yes, but how is "fascism"

Yes, but how is "fascism" defined, and how is the resistance portrayed? Because typically "fascism" really translates to "political opinions I don't like" and rather than getting a mature view of various political ideologies, we get a bunch of caricatures of varying degrees of cringyness. They'd really be better off not being political, and make it just about a generic resistance fighting a generic dictatorship, if they aren't going to attempt to handle it in a mature manner.
But again, I'm not the target audience! If this is for you, then great!- to each their own.

sysop sysop's picture
I usually work with the

I usually work with the definition per Ur-Fascism as outlined here:

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1995/06/22/ur-fascism/

If a serious look at that list makes you uncomfortable about the current state of the world, and I think it's fair to say it should, then it's worth remembering that speculative fiction is meant to be written in dialogue with current events. Both a mirror and warning.

I fix broken things. If you need something fixed, mention it on the suggestions board.
I also sometimes speak as website administrator and/ moderator.

Eric8344 Eric8344's picture
sysop wrote:

sysop wrote:

If a serious look at that list makes you uncomfortable about the current state of the world, and I think it's fair to say it should, then it's worth remembering that speculative fiction is meant to be written in dialogue with current events. Both a mirror and warning.

That's exactly the problem- if you honestly believe that America is fascist or becoming fascist, you're being alarmist and ridiculous. Eco's definitions are extremely broad and apply to pretty much any Right-wing ideology. All conservatives follow a "cult of tradition" because that is the essence of being conservative!

I can point to the fact that the US has a social welfare system and use this as proof that we are run by secret communists, but obviously that would be a ridiculous caricature. I could make a game where everyone plays as underground resistance fighters trying to topple a communist regime which is nothing more than a straw-man of political views I don't like- but why should I? What possible purpose does "discourse" like that serve beyond encouraging and normalizing violence against "communists?"

I'm of the opinion politics in games should be as nuanced and neutral as possible, because I don't care for demonizing political enemies and encouraging polarization. I also think it'd be rather boring, since there's no way to really explore ideas when they are presented as objectively good or evil. If you don't mind politically on-the-nose games that's fine; there's absolutely a market for it. It's just not for me and a whole lot of other people.

GreyBrother GreyBrother's picture
Baribal wrote:And here I

Baribal wrote:
And here I thought that "fighting oppressive fascist regimes is fun" was a concept for which a broad consensus existed in games.

Not in a world where people are asking questions like "what even is fascism" or make statements like "typically fascism is used to say you don't like someones politics" while ignoring all the dogwhistles floating around.

Quote:
Eco's definitions are extremely broad and apply to pretty much any Right-wing ideology.

Gee, i wonder why Right-Wing ideology tends to easily float over to fascism. (Spoiler: In german we do call them "Radical Right" for a reason.)

Quote:
I can point to the fact that the US has a social welfare system and use this as proof that we are run by secret communists

You could, and you'd be wrong.

Quote:
I could make a game where everyone plays as underground resistance fighters trying to topple a communist regime which is nothing more than a straw-man of political views I don't like- but why should I? What possible purpose does "discourse" like that serve beyond encouraging and normalizing violence against "communists?"

Is this whataboutism? It reads a lot like whataboutism ignoring the end-goals of communist and fascist ideology. Combined with asking what fascism is, that does paint a picture.
Quote:
I'm of the opinion politics in games should be as nuanced and neutral as possible

That's just your opinion, mate. I for my part am glad we get some serious questions asked by the art we consume and engage with.
Quote:
I also think it'd be rather boring, since there's no way to really explore ideas when they are presented as objectively good or evil.

Do you like the horseshoe theory too?
Quote:
If you don't mind politically on-the-nose games that's fine; there's absolutely a market for it.

Why are you in an Eclipse Phase forum then, because this is probably one of the more politically charged games out there, especially with it's heavy leftist slant. I mean, there's tons of threads crying foul about how Ultimates and Jovians are misportrayed (though, that toned down a bit after MRAs got banned, wonder if there's a connection).

I put on my slopes and wizard tracks.

Eric8344 Eric8344's picture
GreyBrother wrote:Baribal

GreyBrother wrote:
Baribal wrote:
And here I thought that "fighting oppressive fascist regimes is fun" was a concept for which a broad consensus existed in games.

Not in a world where people are asking questions like "what even is fascism" or make statements like "typically fascism is used to say you don't like someones politics" while ignoring all the dogwhistles floating around.

What "dogwhistles?" What, specifically, are you even referring to? I'm willing to bet these "fascist dogwhistles" are things like disagreeing with radical leftist ideology.

Quote:
Eco's definitions are extremely broad and apply to pretty much any Right-wing ideology.

Quote:
Gee, i wonder why Right-Wing ideology tends to easily float over to fascism. (Spoiler: In german we do call them "Radical Right" for a reason.)

Hmm, I guess that makes sense! Moderate opposition to leftism really translates to fascism.

Quote:
I can point to the fact that the US has a social welfare system and use this as proof that we are run by secret communists

Quote:
You could, and you'd be wrong.

That makes sense, moderate progressive policies obviously are not the same as totalitarian socialism. Hey, wait a minute!

Quote:
I could make a game where everyone plays as underground resistance fighters trying to topple a communist regime which is nothing more than a straw-man of political views I don't like- but why should I? What possible purpose does "discourse" like that serve beyond encouraging and normalizing violence against "communists?"

Quote:
Is this whataboutism? It reads a lot like whataboutism ignoring the end-goals of communist and fascist ideology. Combined with asking what fascism is, that does paint a picture.

Not everyone agrees with the end-goals of communism. For example, anyone who isn't a communist. That doesn't make them fascists.

Quote:
I'm of the opinion politics in games should be as nuanced and neutral as possible

Quote:
That's just your opinion, mate. I for my part am glad we get some serious questions asked by the art we consume and engage with.

Serious "questions" like, "Anyone who disagrees with me is a SECRET Nazi or Nazi sympathizer" and of course, "Political violence and suppression is fine against Nazis, who to reiterate, is defined as anyone who disagrees with me." Even if we accept that this really is trying to explore political ideologies, if it isn't done with an even hand then what even is the point beyond mental masturbation about how your own particular beliefs are right?

Quote:
I also think it'd be rather boring, since there's no way to really explore ideas when they are presented as objectively good or evil.

Quote:
Do you like the horseshoe theory too?

No. I think fascism and communism, like every other ideology, have unique ideals and values which appeal to different people. I do believe that extremists use similar tactics in general, which is what makes them extremists.

Quote:
If you don't mind politically on-the-nose games that's fine; there's absolutely a market for it.

Quote:
Why are you in an Eclipse Phase forum then, because this is probably one of the more politically charged games out there, especially with it's heavy leftist slant. I mean, there's tons of threads crying foul about how Ultimates and Jovians are misportrayed (though, that toned down a bit after MRAs got banned, wonder if there's a connection).

1. I like EP for the sci-fi, horror, and espionage elements. My group just ignores the politics. When we need to involve them, I try to nuance it a bit so they're actually interesting.
2. If you like politically-slanted games, that's fine. Nowhere have I said that's a bad thing- I've only said why I don't care for them.
3. Even if you do like political games, wouldn't it be more interesting to actually engage with different ideas, rather than wank yourself off about how oh-so-great your own beliefs are?

Look, at this point we're veering off-topic. OP posted a link to a game he thought would be interesting, and I gave my personal opinion on it. If you want to debate politics or post conspiracy theories about how milquetoast conservatives are totally SECRET fascists, let's do so in direct messages.

Libertad Libertad's picture
I don't see how this game is

I don't see how this game is explicitly leftist. According to this Reddit AMA the revolutionary groups includes a disparate alliance of folks, including wealthy entrepreneurs and right-wing militia groups who have their own reasons for opposing the fascist regime: https://www.reddit.com/r/rpg/comments/7hu1y1/ama_im_chad_author_of_cryptomancer_and_the/

Quote by creator: "SIGMATA's unlikely Resistance was designed to purposely disorient and discomfort, to reinforce the difficulty of maintaining a popular front, and reinforce how powerful and seductive the impulses of sectarianism is. It's also done to remind people that the "groups" we talk about in politics are rarely monolithic, and there are opportunities for aggressive counter-recruitment within traditionally fash-dominated spaces if put on our empathy goggles for a moment. Sectarianism is tyranny's best friend."

A good real-world example is China during World War 2. Chinese nationalists, communists, and even British aid (who were also imperialists) coordinated efforts in fighting Japanese fascists. Only after the war did they turn on each other, but at the moment they put aside their differences against the greater evil.

Although Godwin's Law is quite abused, I am a bit worried that Eric's initial post automatically equated anti-Nazi to leftism and doesn't care for "political games" in spite of playing Eclipse Phase where politics is baked into the setting everywhere.

Being anti-Nazi means that you're a normal fucking person.

It reminds me of the Wolfenstein: New Colossus drama where actual alt-right shitheads were screeching that the game was anti-white even though most of the anti-Nazi fighters were white themselves. Five or ten years ago anti-fascist sentiment was apolitical. It's due to the influence of the alt-right, like Steve Bannon; the last participants in WW2 and the Holocaust literally dying of old age therefore you have more edgy kids without living relatives to relate to them the horrors of that era; with a million other issues that fascist talking points are once again creeping their way into mainstream political discourse.

I advise checking out these videos as good examples of fascists masquerading as typical right-wingers to understand why games like Sigmata are a good counterbalance if performed well:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUbxVfSqtt8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sx4BVGPkdzk

https://www.forbes.com/sites/janetwburns/2017/10/06/breitbart-emails-trace-neo-nazi-moves-of-steve-bannon-milo-yiannopoulos-report/#371601cd925c

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/steve-bannon-camp-of-the-saints-immigration_us_58b75206e4b0284854b3dc03


"Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it."
~George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950

kindalas kindalas's picture
Eric8344 wrote:GreyBrother

Eric8344 wrote:
GreyBrother wrote:
Baribal wrote:
And here I thought that "fighting oppressive fascist regimes is fun" was a concept for which a broad consensus existed in games.

Not in a world where people are asking questions like "what even is fascism" or make statements like "typically fascism is used to say you don't like someones politics" while ignoring all the dogwhistles floating around.

What "dogwhistles?" What, specifically, are you even referring to? I'm willing to bet these "fascist dogwhistles" are things like disagreeing with radical leftist ideology.

Quote:
Eco's definitions are extremely broad and apply to pretty much any Right-wing ideology.

Quote:
Gee, i wonder why Right-Wing ideology tends to easily float over to fascism. (Spoiler: In german we do call them "Radical Right" for a reason.)

Hmm, I guess that makes sense! Moderate opposition to leftism really translates to fascism.

Quote:
I can point to the fact that the US has a social welfare system and use this as proof that we are run by secret communists

Quote:
You could, and you'd be wrong.

That makes sense, moderate progressive policies obviously are not the same as totalitarian socialism. Hey, wait a minute!

Quote:
I could make a game where everyone plays as underground resistance fighters trying to topple a communist regime which is nothing more than a straw-man of political views I don't like- but why should I? What possible purpose does "discourse" like that serve beyond encouraging and normalizing violence against "communists?"

Quote:
Is this whataboutism? It reads a lot like whataboutism ignoring the end-goals of communist and fascist ideology. Combined with asking what fascism is, that does paint a picture.

Not everyone agrees with the end-goals of communism. For example, anyone who isn't a communist. That doesn't make them fascists.

Quote:
I'm of the opinion politics in games should be as nuanced and neutral as possible

Quote:
That's just your opinion, mate. I for my part am glad we get some serious questions asked by the art we consume and engage with.

Serious "questions" like, "Anyone who disagrees with me is a SECRET Nazi or Nazi sympathizer" and of course, "Political violence and suppression is fine against Nazis, who to reiterate, is defined as anyone who disagrees with me." Even if we accept that this really is trying to explore political ideologies, if it isn't done with an even hand then what even is the point beyond mental masturbation about how your own particular beliefs are right?

Quote:
I also think it'd be rather boring, since there's no way to really explore ideas when they are presented as objectively good or evil.

Quote:
Do you like the horseshoe theory too?

No. I think fascism and communism, like every other ideology, have unique ideals and values which appeal to different people. I do believe that extremists use similar tactics in general, which is what makes them extremists.

Quote:
If you don't mind politically on-the-nose games that's fine; there's absolutely a market for it.

Quote:
Why are you in an Eclipse Phase forum then, because this is probably one of the more politically charged games out there, especially with it's heavy leftist slant. I mean, there's tons of threads crying foul about how Ultimates and Jovians are misportrayed (though, that toned down a bit after MRAs got banned, wonder if there's a connection).

1. I like EP for the sci-fi, horror, and espionage elements. My group just ignores the politics. When we need to involve them, I try to nuance it a bit so they're actually interesting.
2. If you like politically-slanted games, that's fine. Nowhere have I said that's a bad thing- I've only said why I don't care for them.
3. Even if you do like political games, wouldn't it be more interesting to actually engage with different ideas, rather than wank yourself off about how oh-so-great your own beliefs are?

Look, at this point we're veering off-topic. OP posted a link to a game he thought would be interesting, and I gave my personal opinion on it. If you want to debate politics or post conspiracy theories about how milquetoast conservatives are totally SECRET fascists, let's do so in direct messages.

You have gone out of your way to insult and demean a large number of people with your comments.

You have taken people out of context to derail their points and you have gone out an waved the "We're off topic flag" after getting your last word in.

Take a few weeks to reevaluate how you interact with people online.

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