If you care about making role-playing games more diverse and inclusive, I need you to do something:
Stop arguing with people who don’t care about diversity and inclusiveness!
To make something new requires a lot of energy. After identifying something that’s not quite right, you have to learn about it, and then you must use creativity and skills to build something new out of what you’ve got.
Everyone who makes things knows how limited that energy is, and how fragile it can sometimes be, especially when balanced with all the other elements in your life.
Knowing this, if you are someone not interested in diversity happening, or actively against diversity, you don’t need to go through the effort of making your own non-diverse games –they already exist– but instead just de-rail and argue in circles with people who do want it. Since people who do want diversity have to build the games, trap them in circular, nonsensical arguments. Be abrasive, be rude, be obnoxious. Get those people who would make and support games that encourage diversity so pissed off and worried about constructing arguments with you that they aren’t building.
Get them so exhausted with the topic that they try to avoid it, for fear of having to talk with you or someone like you about it. Hard to create and support things one subconsciously avoids! Since you don’t care about expanding representation and making games fun and inclusive for everyone, you just need to preserve the status quo. Keep those who would change things busy trying to make you see something you’ve basically chosen not to see.
It’s really easy.
But if you are someone who wants games to be more diverse, who sees the rewards of expanding our hobby, you can avoid being trapped like this. I am not saying never argue and never stand up for equality. Absolutely there are times when there is no other answer but to fight.
But then there are all the other times.
It is very easy to waste your words on people who won’t hear them; As an African American man, I’ve learned that no matter how smart I may be, there are people who won’t listen to what I say, no matter how true it is. If I must make people see, I’ve got to make them see by taking action and providing incontrovertible truth. The number of people who still won’t admit it always surprises me, but there are people who will see when they are shown truth. But I have to make something, I always must put truth first in the world.
Put your change into the world. If you argue, argue with people who care. Be stingy with your creative spark. Give it to those who need it, who want, who love it.
Do not use it to feed trolls.
Do not use your creative energy to argue your case; use it create, support, and play the games you want to see in the world.
I want you to take one second and consider what you need to make. Start making it. If you want to share, if you need help starting, talk to us.