What did you learn from Elizabeth’s perspective in the article that can help you make the gaming community better for everyone? It’s certainly not going to be easy for us (me) to change, the more I read and start to understand what is wrong and how and why, the more i realize how complex the issues are externally and internally. Each noble in the game is unique. I literally don’t believe you that, one of your neighbors came over and swam naked in your pool. Encouraging a welcoming, open community starts with representing a wide range of people in the games themselves. Therefore, supported by the weight of this data, there is high certainty that this demographic will have stayed relatively the same over the last 3 years. Elizabeth’s game was the first game I was giddy to buy (to a point that I wrote a python script to check Amazon for its price every 15 minutes and notify me when it becomes available so that I can buy it). However, that graph about men and women and leisure activities, really made me examine my own relationship with my wife abd the jobs we do around the house. Jamie’s own demographic study in 2017 was a snapshot of how things were at that time. I want to play more interesting games designed by people from diverse backgrounds. (You should see all the sinners at church!) 2. It is not the responsibility of those sitting outside the circle to pry the circle open! Stuart, I sell games for a living, and while it’s easy for you or me to distrust statistics from “the other side” on the internet, I know that my own sales numbers don’t lie to me. I’ve never once seen an “unwelcoming” environment. Confronting that in my social life feels extra exhausting for a lot of the inclusion reasons Elizabeth pointed out above (being hit on, being talked down to, having people speak poorly about your gender while you are present). – Work 1.45 hours less than men per day, Let’s assume that the following categories are “non-work time”: Games We need to be aware of how people feel, and deliberately act with the benefit of other people in mind. You ask how you can make your intentions clear. What can one do to make it more inclusive? Not a ton, but maybe more than we think. 2. Show them that you are more like the people inside the social wall, rather than the people the wall is there to protect against. I hope you find time to read the whole thing, I think you’ll find it interesting. Role Models But that’s true of any population group. i.e. Actually yes it does. They do not seem to always understand that race relations are different in different countries. Stenobro commented, “…No one really cares about the “colour” of the characters in the game. What is the mental image that comes to mind if I ask you to think of a “typical boardgamer”? I say this because I feel like your chart is very misleading because it is taken out of context. The is a pivotal difference between these two questions: • Will the demographic data of boardgamers change? I feel like the first step to being able to break past the biases is recognizing that they are there. It does matter! I buy all my games because they look fun…and, even though I’m a white male, I don’t identify with the pictures on the cards…if its a dungeon crawler, and I wanna be a fighter, I’ll pick the fighter no matter what they look like. This tells me there is a vastly under-served market that WANTS to play games and participate in the hobby, but they are being largely ignored at every level. I look forward to that future and will do whatever I can to support it. Imperial Assault. This seems to indicate a very small amount of disparity (if any). Diversity and inclusion is about more than just gender. Additionally, the themes that speak to most gamers (considering the current make-up of the community) are not the same themes that speak to me. If people want to “convert” their partners, and I hate that word, by the way, they need to reduce their partner’s barriers to entry, and time is the easiest weight to lift that no one ever seems to take seriously. It’s helpful to expand on things that often get distilled down to a catchy slogan, that is easily dismissed. if (yr!=2007) Thanks for stimulating this conversation. Sure, there is a tiny minority of, let’s just say, “socially immature,” individuals. All I can give you is anecdotal evidence here, but Elizabeth’s point about the disparity in the amount of time allowed in a day for recreation by gender is spot on in my life. If every game event you go to, and every game you play, subtly makes you feel like you don’t belong, it can make a HUGE difference to have people in the world that you can look up to, who do make you feel like you belong. Elizabeth and Jamey, once again, thank you for using your platform to advocate for change. about inviting black friends to the table. It would seem I have failed to do so with you and I apologize if I have. . I want to raise a question but often times this doesn’t work well in conversations over the internet, however I am hoping that from my tone thus far that it is clear that I am trying to raise real questions and be respectful. Please read about my experiences below, and tell me how I can make my intentions clear with a new group of white men so that they don’t feel threatened. I am trying to understand so please correct me if I am wrong. A very sincere congratulations on your success, your game is on my wishlist as it is very much the sort of game I would love to play with my wife and children. I said “I don’t want him to get 1st place, if he does that is ok I guess, but do you really feel that the amount of effort that he put into this project DESERVES 1st place? Firstly, if you want responses, perhaps you should try to express fewer points — your reply is about twice as long as the article you are replying to! This will, at minimum, help the hobby feel more welcoming to diverse types of people as they can see themselves in more games. The very fact that this is a proven statistic lends weight to the reality that board games are a predominate male leisure hobby … which of course cascades through to the above mentioned biases. Women and minorities should not have to “push through”. If I am reviewing a paper and discover serious flaws, I don’t say “that’s OK, her conclusions agrees with my view, so it is OK” or “this time the error went in the right direction, so I will just ignore it”. I said "No, I think my wife would prefer this". People bought lots of zombie themed games but not a lot of games about birds, but that doesn’t mean you should make another zombie game. They can, to a degree, have a ’cause’ at the core their operation and be a good cooperate citizen by supporting social justice issues … but not if it’s going to leave their accounts in the red. I know that my initial thought would be – how are they not deaf friendly? For female miniatures, well worth checking out the excellent and growing range of believeable female characters by Annie of Bad Squido Miniatures (https://badsquiddogames.com/shop#!/Bad-Squiddo-Miniatures/c/20887901/), I particularly liked her recent one of Lilian Bader, the first black women in the British Airforce who’s in the WAAF Engineers pack (https://www.facebook.com/TheDiceBagLady/posts/3032813580100039). Gamenight for fear of being trolled, etc. I have a fulltime job and my wife stays at home so she takes care of most of the house hold + care-giving when I am gone (so actually our charts would be more extreme than that). Is there evidence that supports the relationship? I think the girl just wanted to play the game, but some in the group declined her. You can see this on the very first page of the Pendulum rulebook: “In Pendulum, each player is a powerful noble vying to succeed the Timeless King as the true ruler of Dünya. Wow! And women are involved from the start! Instead, look at the growth of women in STEM careers over the last decade thanks to some of those systemic barriers being removed. And more broadly: I apologize and thank you again for presenting me with an opportunity to improve. I think that would be a lot more informative than just the breakdown from one year, as we could see which way things are trending, or if this ratio has always existed. Let’s put all good efforts into changing the culture so that the barriers to participation are removed. Today Elizabeth joins us to share a long-form version of those thoughts here on the Stonemaier Games blog. Timeline: Diversity is a card game played using 110 cards. But, just as I don’t think there are horribly ugly, racist things being said every week at most game nights, I don’t think outright discrimination by publishers is the best explanation for the extreme lopsidedness of this chart. Women aged 25-34. Use your time wisely, as the player who has shown themselves the most fit to rule during the final Council will be declared the new Timeless Ruler!”. My point is that if you are trying to discuss a global hobby, you should show some respect for global diversity and avoid American-centric terminology and viewpoints. But how well does this work when applied globally? So.. I cant relate to most of the thinks in this article becouse : Anecdotally, I don’t live in a household where I feel like these charts are true (although people will often say the husband just doesn’t realize how little he is doing :P). I responded, “ I care about the color. Statistics don’t lie. There are a lot of companies that put out fancy marketing slogans about diversity and inclusivity but when we peel back the layers and look at how managers lead their teams there is a gap. There is so much data to support this that I am not even going to remotely dispute it. If anything it has empathy and love. Women aged 55-64 In my view the problem comes if black people are actively discouraged from hiking, or if white people are actively discouraged from playing recreational sports. Thank you for putting into words how I’ve felt about my profession as a commercial photographer as well! When my wife does get free time though she does not naturally gravitate towards board games so I don’t believe this to be a barrier for her. Depending on a person’s worldview they can come at this totally differently, some people have responded to your article with sentiments of “it is basically proven fact because the charts don’t lie” all the way to “this thing and that thing doesn’t matter”. BTW, I do hope one day your wife can forgive you for taking away a favorite game of hers. Yikes! 4. As an independent game designer, I’m commited to ensuring a well-balanced mix of gender and racial representation in characters within my games, and on the box art (and I insisted that my publisher amend the cover of my first mainstream published game, which originally only showed a white boy, so that it included a girl of colour). With sufficient confidence I would say, “Yes.”. In the rules, how often are all players referred to as something more inclusive than “he”? Usually we can, and anyone you have met who is a gamer from a marginalized group absolutely HAS pushed through it. On average, white households have vastly higher incomes ($71K) than Black ($42K) and Hispanic families ($51K) and 8-10x more overall wealth. And the next time you hear someone share their stories like Elizabeth did in this article–or even just refer to the idea of feeling unwelcome or being excluded without providing specific examples–remember how you felt that time that you weren’t welcome somewhere. (1) https://stonemaiergames.com/5-surprises-from-our-demographic-survey/, (2) https://www.meeplemountain.com/articles/whos-at-the-table-board-game-players-and-communities/. To the first question I would confidently say: “Yes, within a certain range of deviation there is high certainty that it will change.” With enough data I could even model out to you the probabilities of what that change might look like within a set time frame. Women – Non-Working Time: 16.71. Thank you and Elizabeth for starting this conversation and to you for using your privilege to educate others. You’re welcome at my table, but I know by your statements, I’m probably never going to be welcome at yours. Before entering the relationship, I was a heavy strategy board gamer, as was my husband. You have so much anger in your heart and it truly saddens me, and you are so talented. Mostly white guys, a few women, some people of other races, etc. It is FINE if lots of people don’t want to go to conventions — but if we want more games designed by a diverse set of people, to bring in a more diverse set of gamers, it will surely help if we make sure serious fandom is appealing to people from all walks of life. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter for important updates and limited offers. Jannick, there are all kinds of reasons that groups can feel exclusive and you’ve certainly hit on some of them. Enough boardgamers seem to very much care about inclusiveness and diversity; enough of them for there to be significant social protests if a game/advertiser is blatantly violating these social ideologies. Jamey what are some specific examples you have seen of women experiencing unwelcoming conditions? Please stop. No one involved in the making of this game is racist”. Average it to an hour for purposes of this experiment. To move forward, everyone has a part to play. : ). Just because someone isn’t “racist” doesn’t mean they don’t perpetuate ignorance. When we combined collections, there was a 4 game overlap in a total of around 200 games. That’s not true of everyone; my point is to say that it’s also not the case that everyone is a prospective gamer but for an inconsiderate partner. I’ll give you two samples, from two board gaming groups me and my wife have attended (my wife being a bigger boardgamer than me). Thank you so much for mentioning income disparities and second shift issues! Seriously? Likewise, I pretty frequently point out the overwhelming white male majority in board game design. Describe some cool game experience you have had. Multicultural Game from Africa and Asia: Mancala Mancala is a multicultural game that has been around for centuries. I remember looking at the BGG data when it came out. Thank you so much Elizabeth for this insightful article! “Your logic of “we target the audience that by so targeting will give us money.” If market research supports the efficacy of current targeting that doesn’t imply potential losses by shifting your targeting. Correct? A lot of partners would be a lot more interested in doing something that might feel frivolous to them if they’re not keeping a huge mental list of all of the tasks that need to be done before the next day lest someone not have clean clothes for work. That doesn’t give us the right to hurt others. Thank you for continuing to call attention. That you’re at the table, and that we’re sharing an experience together. Or did I miss something? Great article Elizabeth. If you’ve been to a lot of public gaming events that are NOT mostly straight, cis white guys with lots of money to burn, you’re an outlier. An advertiser that cares about sales targets will then predominantly use creative that specifically and strongly appeals to that target market. Organizational, civic, and religious activities That’s really unfortunate, because I want more Wingspans, Mansions of Madness, and Rajas of the Ganges in the the world. If there are romantic relationships in a game, how often are they NOT male-female? and characterised as outliers…? what incentives you use to get people answering your survey etc.). Those differences add up to a lot of games. It didn’t strike me as particularly brutal. Life We will not be buying another one of her games. The Horror (and Joy) of Transitioning to a New Computer, 25 Types of People for Whom I’m Grateful as a Small Business Owner, Harry Potter, Customer Appreciation, and Loyalty. Enough to give me confidence in referencing it as I have. Therefore, this market will predictably trust and buy games from other white males. (For this purpose let me assume ‘hard’ means non-inclusiveness, discrimination, and diminished opportunities). I will also point out again, that you may never have noticed the behaviors that cause women not to come back even if they happened right in front of you, because they were not directed at you. Anyway, that my long winded way of saying I will try to be better, I will try to understand more, I will try to be more inclusive in all my choices in life. Personal Care (aka sleep) We're committed to creating a diverse and inclusive culture that helps employees feel valued, respected and empowered to bring their best ideas forward. Other activities, not elsewhere classified, And the following are “work time” activities: With board games I personally agree that inclusiveness is very important. Let me give some examples to illustrate: Thank you so much for using your platform to advocate for a more inclusive and diverse gaming community! So if your issue is more with people’s actions/words than it is with the makeup of the group then I can get behind your message here. 1. He would literally be throwing the equivalent of $100 in advertising for maybe $10 in sales. I’m a straight white male so I’m sure my perspective is littered with bias. A few days ago, Anna Wassenburg from the Dicetower made a video review on El Dorado. Text forums are tough because you don’t get full dimension of communication. And is there something about certain games that is more appealing to some demographic groups than others? Thank you so much for posting this. Inviting women to the table, only to have them face condescension and sexism from others at the table, will not over time increase the inclusivity of your table over time, despite the fact that you’ve invited plenty of women to your table. The solution isn’t calling out the industry for being racist and sexist and “unwelcoming”. 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