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Why So Sillious?

Twitter’s not working, so you get a thread in blog post form instead.

I sometimes write silly examples for uses of safety measures first and foremost because I don’t think it’s fair for a reader to have to experience traumatic material in order to learn how to safely handle traumatic material. If I include a safety tool about setting boundaries, but then my play example for boundary setting involves the description or mention of things that players are more likely to want to set boundaries on, that’s me crossing a boundary in order to prove a point.

Which is why I will instead say if someone has an aversion to carrot-related content, and then someone else introduces carrots within the story, all players–not just the player with the aversion–are allowed and encouraged to take measures to ensure that the carrots are either removed from the story, or are described in only vague detail, as best fits the needs of that player.

I have no expectation that anyone reading the text has an aversion to carrots that would prevent them from seeing them mentioned. But for play examples, we sometimes need something concrete so that everyone can imagine this happening.

I also think that by including a seemingly innocuous example, but treating it with the seriousness of more perilous content, players will understand the convention of safety even when it comes to things that they don’t themselves see as a threat.

I don’t know. It’s not perfect, and there are almost certainly other better ways to handle it. But that’s why I sometimes write that way.