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Showing posts from May, 2017

You Belong Here: Building Inclusive Spaces

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I'm sitting in bed working on inclusivity policies and harassment policies and community guidelines. In another document I have some ideas on how we can make Breakout even more welcoming to all gamers. As I flick from screen to screen, ensuring that all my ducks are in a row and that I'm not excluding anyone, I wonder what I should blog about. It's on my list for today and honestly, I haven't really thought much about it. I know I have topics patrons have asked me to do. And one of them was how to make an inclusive community.

At the time, I thought the question was answered by my guide to making conventions more women-friendly and inclusive. Partly, I'm not comfortable talking about how to make communities more welcoming to other minority groups because I'm not part of those minority groups. I'm a woman. I'm queer. That's all I got. Otherwise I'm as white as it comes and raised in the middle class and currently live in the lower-middle class.

A…

Game Review: Before the Storm

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Once in awhile you find a really cool game that lets you make dynamic, fascinating, faceted characters in a one shot. You leave the game completely satisfied with the experience you just had, but also craving more from the character you just portrayed. Doing it once might be a fluke, but when a game continually delivers exceptional experiences again and again, you have to own that it's one hell of a game that does one hell of a job.

Before the Storm is a freeform immersive story focused role playing game by Joanna Piancastelli and is nestled within the beautiful pages of Seven Wonders.  I hadn't heard of Seven Wonders or Before the Storm until my friend, Rach, wanted to run it for our monthly meetup. She was a little worried as it was one of those weird indie games that made people flinch a little when you said something like "there are no dice" or "there's no conflict resolution."

Of course, having heard that it was a freeform immersive rpg I was one …

Bloodied Hands: Desecration and Looting the Dead

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Qeteb unleashes baby illithids that pour out of the unknown and attach themselves to the man. He shrieks in horror as he dies slowly, his mind devoured by the tiny squishy creatures. After they finish, they disappear. Qeteb looks back as her companions finish killing the last of the assassins. Around us are several corpses, all belonging to enemies we felled to ensure they didn't inform our enemy of our arrival. The synad smiles at her friend, T'or, and laughs as they joke about how easy the assassins were to kill.

The game disrupts the scene as the DM hands one of the players the loot sheet. In game, I assume this looks like the group of us start rifling through the bodies, looking at what they have, how much money they have, and keeping what we want. I'm confident it's how I got some fancy dice and interesting bits of art. In fact, we've been doing this so long that we have an vineyard estate where we keep our favourite bits of treasure.


It's the economy of D…

One Woman Party: Everything I Do Is Political

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"What's your game about?" he says. "About monsters trying to be good people as they fight a battle against evil in a dark carnival." "Awesome!" He looks really excited. I hesitate. "It's mostly about Othering and striving to belong in society but not being able to really achieve that because you're other." "Oh. Why is it about that?" "Because I'm a woman in a man's hobby."

If I talk about sexism, I'm being political. If I'm choosing to actively not talk about sexism, I'm being political. If I talk about my experiences as a gamer, I'm being political. If I'm silent because of fear of attack, I'm being political. If I walk into a convention space and sit down at a table, I'm being political. If I'm striving to say that what I'm working on isn't political, I am being political by taking a non-political stance.

Everything I do is under examination. Everything I say abou…