Tuesday, 23 August 2016

It’s time for the community to reject Myfarog

Fantasy has always suffered a dangerous flirtation with the ugliest form of racism. The earliest voices of the genre – Tolkien, Lovecraft, and many others – lived in a time and place where ugly racial theories of supremacy and degeneracy were mainstream. We inherit imaginary worlds where dark-skinned people tend to be evil and malignant (drow, orcs, etc.) and light-skinned people tend to be good and virtuous.

For several decades now, the RPG world has worked to dismantle that part of our heritage, working toward new stories and new mythologies that are racially and culturally complex. I remember reading through the Eberron setting for the first time and thinking, cool, we’re finally getting there. Goblins were complex and often heroic. They had motivation, history. Orcs, too.

Now along comes Myfarog, an indie game produced by Varg Vikernes, a white supremacist from Norway who was convicted in the 1990s of murder and arson (he was found guilty of burning Christian churches).

In Myfarog, Vikernes doesn’t reject or downplay fantasy’s ugly history, nor does he distance himself from his own racist and violent past. Instead, he embraces those things. Indeed, he explicitly uses the racist elements hard-wired into many of our favorite fantasy games and novels to justify his own bitterly ugly RPG.


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