Day 2 of #RPGaDAY 2020. Today’s prompt is ‘Change’.
Movies and games are not the only sectors undergoing cultural upheaval at the moment. RPGs are another sector that has been overwhelmingly dominated by white heterosexual cisgendered men ever since its inception over 40 years ago. And its source material, fantasy novels, were also overwhelmingly written by the same demographic. Needless to say, there are tons of problematic concepts in RPGs, and tons of problematic people that have found a safe haven within the community. There are plenty of ‘missing stairs’, and there are plenty of people who will defend known abusers and patently racist content. I’m not going to give a whole list, but there’s a lot of stuff going on.
But it is also heartening that people are not taking it any more. People are called out and held accountable. Non-white creators are making more and more ripples in the indie scene, and more and more games are being created with explicitly diverse settings and backgrounds. There’s a lot of progress being made, but sadly there is also a lot of resistance by types who don’t seem to recognise that the RPG community has to change in order to grow the hobby.
Fantasy racism is just boring, and why would we limit our imagination or the types of stories that are told? The point of RPGs is precisely that you don’t have to.