It’s the second day of the New Year, but any day is a good one for resolutions against sexism. Whether you’re a games consumer or a games maker, there are things you can do to make tabletop games a more inclusive and less sexist hobby. I’ve been hearing these things from creators and consumers, games journalists and publicists, for years. Those con badges are some of mine from 2011, and everything I’m going to say, I heard at every con. And I heard the same things before 2011. Heard them again in 2012. These resolutions will be repeated, over and over, until we’re all working to end sexism in games.
Games say important things about who we are and the cultural lessons we have learned, subconsciously or not. When a game breaks from the larger narratives of culture, it is because its creator has chosen to tell a story rarely heard. Unless you’re involved with games, deeply, sometimes daily, some of the stories I have to tell will not be ones you know.
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 we’ve gone wrong—and where we get it right.