Archive for the ‘gamerculture’ Category


The Less Things Change…

May 15, 2022

This pattern is familiar, if only because it’s the same pattern we saw trial ballooned and tested in the world of tabletop RPGs.

Every few years I see some different person or group run into the same situation; whether that’s working with The World’s Largest RPG Company or finding out how many people in the OSR space have some extra “principles” that harken to Jim Crow logics, or that folks are sliding neonazism into their revision of a game brand. Nearly always, they’re not hiding it, it’s in plain sight but protected by the White Moderates that MLK pointed out so long ago.

Anyway, probably the biggest strength has been the sheer number of folks who have managed to build their own RPG circles and spaces outside the white dominated spaces where the Hatebros and “I’m not racist but I feel VERY STRONGLY about you decrying racists” crowd runs things.

I remember folks saying I was exaggerating or insane to say that there’s a lot of people in the RPG scene who literally want a lot of folks dead. However, as always, it just appears to be those people who either don’t like mirrors or live as one of the dinner party attendees at “What do you call a party with a Nazi and 10 other people? 11 Nazis”.


Same Old Song

April 15, 2022

Tanya believes that the only way to change things is to have more non-white, non-male people involved at all levels of the games industry, but especially at the top. “It’s not good enough to have the representation in games themselves be better, but the people writing/making the games are no different,” she says. “People get exhausted coming to work and being the only person of colour, the only out queer person … often people want to speak up, but they also need their jobs, and it’s difficult.”

I remember many years ago, someone wanted to do an RPG based on indigenous mythology and wanted me to be a consultant. I remember asking “Why are you asking me (not an indigenous person) instead of contacting the people whose stories you’re trying to profit from?” Unsurprisingly, they went ahead and made the game anyway, without consulting anyone then got angry when folks pointed out all the incorrect terms and ideas they used.

Just a few months ago, someone brought up a particularly egregious bit of GM advice in D&D 5E which managed to mash together a bunch of asian cultures in a rather loaf-mouthed, extreme ass-showing, full commitment to ignorance fashion.

I also don’t want people to imagine that simply having someone of X culture/descent on their project automatically is a gold stamp of approval either; as Tanya notes – a single team member may not have the clout to push for needed changes or feel safe in trying to push for it. We saw recently in tech several marginalized people have been pushed out, whether they were advocating against open segregation logics in the workplace or bare minimum ethics in the business practices. The fact that so many of these game creative spaces operate from a default of Segregation, or Apartheid in terms of leadership and direction is pretty telling.

And of course, we can’t assume “interest in POC culture” is any kind of indication of good intent, or that it’s not open racist propaganda, like the kind used to rationalize historical genocides, including from “established” publishers, and obviously, it is clearly the opposite of good intentions when people get VERY ANGRY for SOME REASON at the suggestion of folks who are not white men getting creative control and compensation.

As I’ve written before, “who’s writing this?” is actually not even the real question – the real question is whether the game is part of the vast media ecosystem that encourages white supremacy and speaks over and for, people who should be handed the mic directly, instead.

Support I Need Diverse Games on their Patreon.


A long video, a long standing problem

January 29, 2022

I’ve been bringing new people into RPGs since I was 12 and first got a Red Box D&D and later TMNT and Robotech. And, unfortunately, much of that time has always included warnings to non-gamers about gamer culture and the kinds of Hatebros and harassers that occupy the space.

This is a pretty long video on a few of the worst folks in TTRPGs. The first 10 minutes are simply setting the context and pointing towards resources to educate on the philosophies of the Hatebros in general.

Anyway, as I’ve been saying for years, the Hatebros have run roughshod over the scene, well enabled by (nearly always) fellow white men who wouldn’t listen to everyone else saying there was a problem.

So, I’m glad a lot of new spaces with reasonable people are being formed, because the spaces we had 10-20 years ago failed in the simple question of whether bigots are the only people who should matter, or, bigots are the LAST people who should matter. As folks like to say in RPGs, “You’re only limited by your imagination.”


Go check out The Abuser’s Playbook

November 4, 2020

Not really an RPG, but an educational resource using the PbtA language. Pay what you want, proceeds go to stop cyber bullying.

The Abuser’s Playbook(s) is an educational resource designed to use the language of PBTA moves (rules for the Powered By The Apocalypse system) and character archetypes to teach people about the “mechanics” of abuse.

The Abuser’s Playbook(s) is not designed to be an exhaustive guide to all of the different types of abuse that exist. Nor does it discuss all possible forms of abuse. There were many other “playbooks” I could have written, but I chose to focus on abuser archetypes that are common but don’t often get talked about as being abusive.


Award time!

August 10, 2020

I don’t think I’ve gotten “single-handedly” but I certainly have been dubbed as someone trying to “destroy RPGs” for pointing out things like:

  • Play games you like, with people you like
  • If you have to lie to each other about how the game works, or how you feel about the game, something is wrong
  • If hateful bigotry “makes” the game fun for you, whether that’s the presented materials/setting or what you add in to the game at the table, it’s not a defense as much as an admission on your part
  • Different people want different things from games + not all rules do the same thing – pretending otherwise wastes time and gets people upset.

Anyway, I’m super glad to see more folks creating a better space.