Faced with pressing defense obligations already in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, President Obama received harsh bipartisan criticism over his commitment last week to send 10,000 additional U.S. troops into the more volatile parts of the internet to quell the flames of the ongoing Edition War over Dungeons & Dragons.
The Obama Administration’s move is widely seen as reacting to breaking news last week that Mr. Wendell Gurfor, aka HinjoMazazaki11, of Napa, California, posted an identical thread on a dozen different internet message boards claiming “3e is a dinosaur game”, as well as “Pathfinder is for old farts who can’t cope with progress in gaming”.
Within minutes of the posting, the internet exploded with references to “fatbeards”, “kewl powerz”, and a 3,000-post debate on Why The Hell Gnomes And Barbarians Aren’t In The Player’s Handbook Anymore. 14 U.S. Marines and 5 forum moderators were injured before order was restored.
“My fellow Americans, it is time to act,” declared Obama in a special televised address from the Oval Office. “The America I know doesn’t push 1 square at a time, and we don’t use expeditious retreat in the face of big challenges. So long as our flag flies, the game will remain the same”.
In a response to the speech, Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida), lauded President Obama’s move, but stressed the importance of traditional values.
“I am pleased to see the President’s commitment to safeguarding the gaming hobby, but am concerned that we ensure we still adhere to the values which make America great. Here, we make our own way, roll our own stats and hit points as-is, and know that with a 10-foot pole, nothing is truly out of reach,” responded Rubio in an address immediately following the President’s.
The first of the troops, a regiment from Fort Drum’s 10th Mountain Division, is expected to depart by early August, to shore up positions in and around ENWorld, RPGnet, and the so-called “black hole” of the Edition War, Twitter. They will be among the first troops to be equipped with both improved body armor and lengthy dissertations explaining why Race As Class Isn’t That Big Of A Deal.
Supporters of the plan say the timing is perfect, especially with the news that gaming company Wizards of the Coast will be posting a new blog entry on their site in regards to just how incredibly close in gameplay, philosophy, and overall design D&D 4th Edition is to every previous edition of D&D, especially the early “White Box” edition of D&D.
However, public opinion is seen as breaking severely against the move. The plan’s detractors state that the Edition War has died down, with fewer internet messageboard bannings and flameouts over the first half of 2011 versus any comparable period dating back to 2008. Still others argue this isn’t a fight the U.S. should be waging in the first place.
“Clearly, the priorities of America are misplaced. We need our tax dollars to go towards education, drum circles, and subsidizing purchases of my 14-page, $19.95 game about mutant vegetables out to sexually violate one another. Trust me, it’s [expletive] hot and totally rocks out,” said Damian Woodscrow, indie game designer and founder of Indie Game Designers Against (Edition) War, or IGDA(E)W.
For those troops already on the ground, the Edition War rages on, with no end seemingly in sight.
“I’ve seen [expletive] I can’t unsee, man,” said PFC James Morad, of Alexandria, VA. “I saw one of my friends have his 5,000-word message board argument deconstructed using a Mike Mearls Livejournal post. Have you ever tried to follow one of those as it applies to game design? I just….”
Morad broke off with a shudder, giving inarticulate definition to what so many soldiers already here so keenly feel.
It appears soon, they’ll be joined by their brethren in this great fight that simply shows no end in sight.