Thursday, August 24, 2017

I think I found a new friend to play with...

While doing some searches during GenCon for what the buzz was, I came across a blog titled *ahem* Reading and Gaming for Justice. Go ahead, take a moment to recover, I fully understand.

On the about page, Our New Friend tells of how in 2014, he was struck by the fact that most of his reading was "white male authors", and that he has made efforts since then to correct that "diversify his reading". That year was also the year he began playing boardgames, where he has also been struck by the implications of the market in designers, themes, and specific games.

And so Our New Friend decided to start blogging to answer these questions with his stunning bravery. "Social justice is not an individual journey; we must all take it together." Our New Friend also works with Youth of Diverse Backgrounds in higher education in a non-academic setting. And has "learned about and experienced extensively the impact of systemic privilege and oppression".

Whew, lad. I'm going to start unpacking what you're doing wrong.

First, why care about the race and sex about the authors you read? Instead, consider: are you entertained; are you informed; are you sanctified; are you counseled; are you improved by the content of the works you read? I don't care about race and sex of my authors with regard to their writing.

Second, you want to apply those same ridiculous standards to boardgames? You must really hate the fact that Reiner Knizia, Stefan Feld, Friedman Friese, Martin Wallace, Vlaada Chvatil, and Uwe Rosenberg design and sell a lot of games compared to pretty much everybody else. And many of their designs are far better than what most folks accomplish.

There's also the matter of who does most of the reading and gaming in the world. The answer might surprise you, New Friend, but it's not a minority group. So yes, I'd say it's reasonable for whites to do most of the writing and game design if they're the ones doing most of the reading and gameplay.

As to your education and work, I'm glad you were able to get a job with your degree. I haven't been, so I have no clue what you mean by systemic privilege. And yep, your idea of Social Justice requiring everybody is dead on, and also exactly why it won't work. People are disagreeable and contrary in the USA, and ignoring the fact that sometimes folk just don't get along is just a terrible idea. Quit being a commie.

I'll come back and visit soon, New Friend. We have a lot to discuss, because you're clearly more concerned with what you think is justice than what is actually good and just. I hope that someday you'll learn:

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.


  1. Awww...maybe you should invite him for a play date.

  2. Every great villain needs a hero to mess with. Try not to crush him too quickly.

  3. One of his latest posts is just so cuuutte. He's agonizing whether using or borrowing from marginal groups is still appropritive. My retort is hell yea it's always appropriate to appropriate if it makes for a fun story and moves the plot along.