Ryan Wilson, Breaking Embargo and Toxicity in LARP

There’s an idea called ‘breaking embargo’. Basically, it means violating an understanding that things will be kept out of the public eye. Doing so pretty much frees everyone else involved from keeping their side private as well.

One of my former players, Ryan Wilson – who rage quit from my game and was later informed he was banned – has broken embargo on this, in order to engage in a personal attack on me. Typical of the cowardice of such actions, he made sure I could not respond to him.

So I am responding to it here. And I’m making a statement of general policy – as a LARP runner, I am not required to accept this type of behavior as normal and acceptable; nor am I required to just suck it up when he misrepresents what occurred in a never-ending attempt to make himself look like the good guy.

He isn’t. He is the poster child for the passive-aggressive toxic player that makes LARP a drama fest.

I am not a politician, I’m an creator. And I have a day job, which gives me little time to play these games on top of the games I want to actually play.

So here it is – Ryan Wilson has accused me of being an egomaniac who takes any criticism as a personal attack. I accuse him, with evidence, of being a vindictive belligerent whom I feel bad for any LARP runner who hasn’t the ability to kick his ass to the curb.

This from a man who spent most of his time at my game bashing another game he continues to play and bad-mouthing their staff and players.

A bit of history: Ryan and one of my staff members, Rachel, have some bad blood due to details I won’t go into here. Yet. He is in turn accusing her of deliberately excluding the two women he lives with from a social event, Sadie and Mallory. And this is the conversation that got him banned.

And then he blocked me, lovely individual that he is. And now you have the whole story. He was told he was banned because frankly, he went from “never coming back” to “not being wanted”. This was done privately among the staff and told to only our player council, in accordance with our governing document. And then he decided to make it public.

It is really simple – I will keep your business private until you make it public. Professionalism does not prevent me from defending myself. I don’t start fights, but I do end them.

And I think more LARP runners should adopt this philosophy. Sunshine is the best disinfectant, and a lot of toxicity exists because we’re not ready to tell the whole story. Being transparent about toxicity and those who spread it will make our hobby healthier. We should be polite, be professional … and remove anyone who isn’t the same. By refusing to talk about toxicity, by declining to defend ourselves publicly, by refusing to stand up and declare “this person is a serial problem,” we perpetuate the issue.

Not me. Not today. I speak not only to defend myself, but so that others know what kind of person Ryan is, so they will be prepared to deal with him either as game staff or as a game participant.

As LARP grows in popularity, we must stop scrambling to keep players at all costs, and must realize that this type of player is an inflamed, unnecessary appendix to our growing and healthy hobby. And much like my own appendix, I’m glad to be rid of him.

And thus I consider the matter closed.