Discolor Online

Weblog of the sweetest person you never want to piss off.


Violence Against Stick Figures!

News at 11.

Or, in the local metropolitan paper, in this case the Minneapolis-St. Paul-area Pioneer Press.
Back in February I posted about John's interest in the politics of his hometown of Maplewood, Minnesota. I've worked for, with, and around John Nephew for what amounts to my entire career in gaming, going all the way back to our days at Lion Rampant and the founding of Atlas Games. When James Wallis was shopping around his Once Upon a Time game and looking for a publisher who would both "get it" and treat him fairly, I took him by the hand and said, "There's someone you have to meet." The news article lists Once Upon a Time as Atlas Games' best seller almost fifteen years later, so I guess that worked out okay.

John is running for city council in Maplewood and someone has decided that the "truth" about John must come out (you game-playing readers surely see where this is going): he publishes "violent" games like Let's Kill (a card game for adults 18 and over where stick figures are killing each other with outlandish "weapons" like sporks and weed whackers) and "corrupt" games like Corruption.

Violence against stick figures?! Oh, what about the children? Who will think of the children?!

John's political opponents managed to fire up a Maplewood resident and touchy-feely school teacher ("author of 'The Kindness Curriculum'") who, predictably was "absolutely appalled" and worries "about the effect this game will have on people's minds" because it's "pure violence" and "horrific" and "absolutely creepy" and "offensive". The Pioneer Press article notes a flier blasting Nephew for marketing violent and dark games and purporting to be from Maplewood Voters Coalition was distributed to some homes. The group has denied responsibility and requested a police investigation. Police confirm a probe is under way. John was actually endorsed by the Maplewood Voters Coalition back in August.

I enjoy the image of John striking fear in his opposition through his well-reasoned and factual campaign to the point that they resort to tactics like this. Naked political distraction.

I spent 20 formative years in Minnesota and watching this Maplewood City Council fight play out is a little slice of home for me. Maplewood is finding out what John's colleagues in the game industry have known for quite some time: John's one sharp cookie and if you want to take him on you'd better be sharper and better prepared, which is easier said than done. I have every confidence he's going to win this election despite these shenanigans.

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Go get 'em, Killer!

My longtime friend, game-industry colleague (and one-time boss), John Nephew is getting involved in politics in his home of Maplewood, Minnesota. Here he takes the Maplewood City Council to task for failing to live up to their promises to the community:

It is precisely this incisiveness, this shrewd understanding of fiscal responsibilities and unflinching willingness to go to the guts of a problem that has made John such a formidable businessman. He would be an excellent asset to any board of directors, advisory committee, or council. I tried to enlist him to help clean up some of GAMA's glaring deficits when I was on the GAMA board and he wisely demurred in favor of getting more involved in local politics. We can see that impulse coming to fruition now.

Go get 'em, John!

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