Ben Lehman says nice things about Kim and Marshall

Posted on July 15, 2015


Ben Lehman is a casual friend of mine. We live in the same town and occasionally game together, though it’s been a while.

Ben Lehman is also a really awesome person and a brilliant game designer. I think there’re probably about 3-5 people in the RPG design sphere today who could legitimately be described as brilliant designers. Ben is without a doubt one of them.

This is my blog so I’m going to post a thing Ben said about my game, so I can keep it forever and ever. He said it on Google Plus, but I’ll post the text fully here:

Hello my friends I want to talk to you about Kim and Marshall.

Kim and Marshall is a role-playing game / scenario by +Hans Chung-Otterson. It is about the abusive relationship between Marshall Mathers (aka Eminem) and his (wife? girlfriend? mother of his child) Kim. I don’t know anything about Eminem fandom, nor do I know anything about the real people involved, but I do know about abusive relationships, and holy shit this game.

Holy shit. This game.

Kim and Marshall lays bare a lot of the dynamics of domestic abuse, including the things that we don’t really want to acknowledge, like the ways that victims can be complicit, the ways that abusers can think that they’re doing “what’s right for their family,” the ways that history gets edited and re-edited until no one can ever know what actually happened. It’s messy and horrible.

It’s not “fun.” It’s not even necessarily cathartic. It’s too realistic to be misery tourism. It just is and we have to deal with it.

I hope none of you will never need the lessons this game teaches you. But, given the statistics of domestic abuse, that seems unlikely to me.

Probably 90% of you are going “holy shit who the hell would write a game about that?” Which I totally understand and sympathize with. But 10% of you are going “oh shit maybe that is a thing I need.” And that’s why I’m telling you all about it.

You can pay what you want for it. Please do pay something.

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