Do we really need an RPG based on a gang-rape anime?
TW: Discussion of rape as a plot device and sexual assault as a storytelling trope
I love TTRPG news, and I love learning about new games that are coming… but not this one, this one can go away with other stupid tropes.
Yen Press are releasing an English Language version of the Goblin Slayer TTRPG.
Prepare for salivating Incel fanboys and champions of sexual assault RPGs to have a flagship TTRPG which will appeal just to them. A glance at the comments of the twitter announcement of the game is enough to tell me the kind of people who’ll play out their masturbatory fantasies to this.
Funny? Personally, I don’t think so, and that’s the kind of people Goblin Slayer attracts.
What’s Goblin Slayer?
Goblin Slayer is an anime, you may, or you may not know of it and the first opening ten minutes of the episode. It’s based on a series of novels, the light novels, and when people first thought to watch this show they probably didn’t expect to be smacked in the face by a violent gang-rape of a woman in the first ten minutes.
Goblins are evil in this world, see, but they’re also cunning and rather than the rank-and-file mob-xp source they are in so many other RPGs. Here, they’re vile and abhorrent, cunning and sadistic – so what better way did the anime have to show them being evil?
Many would argue the rape was a necessary plot device to show just how evil, debased, and vicious the goblins are… so the viewer would support the Goblin Slayer, the titular hero of the piece, in their goblin slaughter.
Rape of anyone, regardless, is not a good plot device and without adequate trigger warnings – you’re going to traumatize people badly. Sexual assault isn’t a storytelling plot-point that should be tackled lightly, and I’d argue that it shouldn’t be used in media at all without strong content warnings and even then, I’d from a personal standpoint, prefer that sexual assault and rape as a medium to show just how bad someone is be a storytelling device left in the past.
People often watch these shows to escape from reality, and play TTRPGs to do the same.
Many people think anime can be safe for young viewers, and this one caught a few people off guard, after it was rated PG, who allowed their children to watch what they thought was a family friendly show.
Just like the UK Games Expo GM who thought it was a smart idea to include rape in a public game at the con, a paid game no less.
A few years ago, a GM (Kevin Rolfe as reported at the time) at UKGE brought sexual assault into their game sessions, blindsiding the convention staff, and upsetting players at the table – as well as traumatizing several of them. The GM in question brought rape (gang-rape no less) into the session at the start. Kevin was booted out quickly by Expo and banned.
Things from the Flood is a dark game, but good gods, it’s not that dark and certainly wasn’t designed to allow a GM to play out their rape fantasy. That would be the purview of Goblin Slayer. Which is why we don’t need a flagship TTRPG for people like this, or at all.
We quite like dark fantasy, but as the TTRPG is trying to become more inclusive, supportive, and welcoming for people – especially women – the last thing we need right now is a TTRPG where the world is built around goblins who are shown to be powerful by raping women.
Not to mention that the anime spends far too much time on the naked women, lingering voyeuristically. The rape and all of it was enough to make me want to throw the whole monitor through the window, so I guess, this anime isn’t for the likes of me at all.
Now there’s a TTRPG coming which is built on this tired, old, and redundant storytelling device that needs to be put out to pasture, or taken around the back of the barn and shot in the head in the most in-humane way possible.
TTRPG and media authors in general remove rape as a storytelling device.
I’m not happy about this Goblin Slayer TTRPG at all.
If you’re reading this and you support rape as a plot device in any way, find the door to our hobby and kindly leave by it.
For those of you who want to dive into why Goblin Slayer is such a piece of polarizing anime, we’re leaving a YouTube video below for a more in depth take on Goblin Slayer.