originally published on twitter, but putting on here for posterity.
i've hidden most everything on my itch page and i'm not going to be selling products on here anymore because i want to contribute to making the hobby a more pleasant space, and because i'm a dirty freudomarxist communist who would rather not commodify my enjoyment.
in the beauty community, there's such a thing as no-buy or low-buy participants who do not buy any new makeup products except to replace what they have or to have just one of something. note that this is not the same thing as a minimalist lifestyle, the caveat of which is that you can always buy what you don't have if you need another one; the goal here is precisely to discourage a view of art entangled with buying things because people tell you to.
one of marx's most important notions is commodity fetishism, that capitalism abstracts relationships between people as being between objects (commodities). the perversion of small capitalists is that relationships between objects appear as relationships between people. you can see that this is not a reversal of commodity fetishism, but an internalization and expansion of it, especially because its goal is not to overcome or bypass the social relationships of capital but to strengthen them by colonizing personal enjoyment and relationships. for the hobby community to transform itself into a marketplace then is more than some people trying to sell their products to an audience that desires them: it is constantly trying to normalize its behavior by representing it as what should be normal relations between hobbyists.
you're not going to out-compete WOTC in the marketplace, full stop. you don't have the resources, the brand image, or the public good will. you think you're going to convert any DND fans by being, very explicitly, salespeople who want to sell to them? if i still were a DND fan (DND as the brand), i'd rather pirate whatever WOTC makes like i'd always done than buy anything from you! and this is me speaking as a stubborn hypothetical DND enjoyer; i don't pirate things because i don't have to in order to play. if you care about trying to weaken WOTC's hold on the hobby without looking like a snake oil salesperson your better chance is to spread the message that they cannot own your play or your experiences, nor can anyone else! this is something we should have worked past ages ago. but this isn't about WOTC for me, because what they do doesn't affect me at all. this is much more directly about small proprietors whose enjoyment is wound up with their aggrandizement, and feel the most compelled to turn the scene into a market for themselves. it's unpleasant.
to make an example of myself and to free my mind of what the hobby community advertises as normal participation, i've hid everything on my itch page (except for sigma bandits). going forward, if i publish anything with a pricetag, it'll be to fund the art. but i'll probably focus more on my blog because that's honestly what i like doing the most, and for things such as my OD&D project or brimstone, i'll publish them with a goal of making the text available and maybe funding just to get more art on the pages. i'm still down to be like hired for stuff or w/e, and i'll continue to support my friends' endeavors because they are often just fun or artistically meaningful works that are necessarily tied up with the capitalist state of things. however, i believe the hobby at large should reevaluate its relationship to capitalism and its self-commodification, and how our individual enjoyment seems so tied together with capital-logic. why is this desirable? why do you desire this? what do you desire?
this is nothing i haven't said before, although i guess this is in much more explicit and targeted language. nevertheless, if this seems like a new opinion to you, please put on your reading comprehension helmet and refer to my blog. thank you!