|Six members of the activist group Femen pose in front of WOTC|
headquarters before rolling up characters and buying equipment.
RENTON, WA, December 5 (AP) – Members of the topless feminist group Femen staged a demonstration today against the “anti-sexual prudery” of the new 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons and against “New School” gaming mechanics in general, stripping down to what one activist called “our sacred chainmail bikinis” in front of the gates of Wizards of the Coast headquarters in suburban Seattle. Three members were arrested.
More than twenty demonstrators stood silently for ten minutes with slogans etched in black marker across their chests, such as “Take your Clothes Off My Body!” "Imagine the Hell Out of It!" and “Fight On!” They then unfolded a card table and proceeded to “role play” a game of what one demonstrator called “Holmes Basic”, led by an activist wearing nothing above her waist except a three-paneled cardboard screen emblazoned with the words “Dungeon Mistress”.
A spokesperson for Wizards of the Coast commented, “I have no idea why they are mad at us. For the text of 5e we consulted all the experts on game design and gender equality. We believe our product reflects the latest consensus of people whose opinion we care about. Where did we go wrong?” When informed of this statement, one of the demonstrators held up what she called a “twenty sider” and shouted, “Save or die, Fascist!”
“What’s all the fuss about,” said Sally Layton, a software engineer from Microsoft, who happened to be on her way to work. “5e is the new thing by the dominant company in the industry. That means it must be good. So, why are these women, like, getting naked or whatever?”
“I find it appalling and highly offensive,” said Matt Vickers, another software designer, who was recording the event with a high-resolution video camera.
Irina Gygaxocova, a representative of Femen from the Ukraine, said the demonstration was intended to highlight how the corporate patriarchy intended to keep women out of tabletop gaming by making the new editions as stupid and boring as possible. “1974 was a liberation for us. Soon there was so much to choose, including Warriors of Mars, original Boot Hill and Gamma World. It was a love orgy of freedom that lasted for more than a decade. But beginning with 3e, and even more with 4e and now 5e, they tried to re-enslave us with their rules for everything, $50 core books and sexually repressive art. (Bleep) them! We can now get whatever OSR games and modules we want from Lulu and RPGNow for less than 1% of the cost of a leather skirt.”
Femen calls its form of protest “Hextremism”.
Natalia Arnesoneskva, a Femen member currently serving five years of hard labor in Moldova for possession of a paperbound copy of Labyrinth Lord was more circumspect. Reached for a comment during her weekly five-minutes exercise period, she said, “I support my sisters, but I now feel that edition wars are counter-productive. As long as the game group is having fun, that’s all that matters. I intend to make that point during my next parole hearing.”
Police detained three demonstrators after they refused to remove a banner they had pinned to the company gates. The banner contained the letters “OSR”--thought to be the abbreviation of a political slogan used by Danish feminists. In a press release on their website, Femen stated that lawyers were working to get the three released as soon as possible. “No laws were broken. They’ll be out quicker than the time it takes to fight a melee engagement in 4e.”