I have a lot of people who like what we’re doing on Thoughtcrime for Black History Month and want to contribute but don’t know how. Here’s what I’m proposing. Three “Challenges” (but really invitations) to do contribute in a meaningful way that aren’t too laborious or crazy -making.
A big problem I had when I started this was feeling I was going to have to “Get this right or I’ve failed all black people everywhere”. There’s a definite pressure to get it right, but if you give in to that pressure nothing gets done and then the pressure builds.
I know that I could do better, and I will ! But I’m working with what I’ve got right now, and I encourage you to take a first step and do something if you’re interested.
One of the things I enjoy most is just using Black History Month as an excuse to learn things I didn’t know about the world. Taking an hour this month to introduce yourself to new information is something I just can’t see being wrong.
So, maybe you are feeling the pressure to get it right, or to get it perfect. I get that. But don’t let “perfect” be the enemy of “done”.
Here are things you can do.
First Challenge: Person, Place, Event
Pick a person, place or event from African or African American history. Describe it a little, and then put it in the context of your favorite gaming system.
Pick something cool, and tell us how you’d put it in a game. You’ll see that’s what we’ve been doing on the site lately. It’s been difficult to write the posts until I stumbled across that format, and now that we have, writing posts has become much easier.
I am now putting it out to you as a challenge/invitation. Want to do something for gaming and black history month but don’t know what? Do this, and tell me about it. I’d love to look at it, tell people about it, and link to it on my blog.
The Second Challenge : Mechanics
What if you don’t have anything that you are interested in, but still want to do something? Why not help people with mechanics and hacks? If someone is proposing hacks, you could help them build the framework for implementing their vision.
Today I described a game revolving around Mansa Musa which used a hack of Dogs in the Vineyard for it’s system. I’d like to revisit that after February and build it, but if someone had thoughts and guidance on the hack for that, we could actually go right to playing with the hack, which is the best thing of all.
Third Challenge: Play Something
The last option is to do something related to Black History Month in your gaming, and tell us about it. I like that because that’s the goal. I want people playing with a richer world-pallete, broadening and deepening the experience of play.
Maybe you use ideas you are exposed to, maybe you devise your own hacks. I propose today a way of introducing Mansa Musa as destabilizing element into whatever fantasy game you happen to be running now. This is a great example of how you don’t have to toss out everything you are doing to add more diversity to your games; it’s easier and maybe even better to make gradual moves from where you are to where you wish to go.
If you play something or plan to play something, I’d love to hear about it! I’m hoping to organize more games myself this month.