Dear Bitch Readers,
Welcome to my guest blog series, Save vs. Sexism. For the next eight weeks, three times a week, I’ll be here talking about sexism in tabletop games. The way we write them, stat them, illustrate them, and market them are all places we can see sexism manifest in the hobby. I approached Bitch about the series after #1reasonwhy happened on Twitter. The hashtag started when tabletop game designer Filamena Young answered the question of why we don’t see more women creating games, and an avalanche of other women’s answers followed. The hashtag opened the door to candid dialogue, and my handful of tweets didn’t feel like enough for me. Proposing an entire series where I talked about sexism felt like a way I could report and participate in the conversation about sexism in games—and hopefully bring more people to that conversation.
I’ve been playing tabletop games since I was old enough to hold my minis in my hand instead of trying to eat them. I’ve played games in every medium I’ve been able to engage with. I’ve spent my entire life playing and buying games. As an adult, I’ve also reported on games as a games journalist, and even worked on tabletop games as a writer and editor. I want this to be a hobby where people feel welcome, and that means honest discussion of where where we’ve gone wrong—and where we get it right.
A Little Housekeeping
Whenever I discuss something that could be a conflict of interest (quoting designers I know personally, talking about products I’ve been involved with) I’ll note that. Games, whether tabletop or video, is a very small and tight-knit community, so a conflict of interest could certainly happen.
I know I’m not talking into a void, because anyone reading this has the potential to have something to say. Since blogging is not a one-way, top down conversation, I’m sure I’ll hear from some of you over the course of my time here.
I’ll do my best to treat you all with trust—one of the mistakes you see persistently in writing games, or writing about games, is authors not trusting their audience. You’re all smart, and if you feel like I’m not treating you with that trust of your intellect, let me know. I know there will likely be times experienced gamers will find some things I present as too simplistic, and folks who have never gamed may find things a bit more advanced than they can keep up with.
Read the series—and each other’s comments—charitably whenever possible. It’s easy for online conversation to lack nuance, and even miss a great deal of context.
I look forward to seeing you every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday!