Showing posts from 2019

The TTRPG Industry: The Sexist Price of Admission Part Three

Another week has gone by and everyone I know is exhausted. I've had a lot of long conversations and it's honestly painful to realize how harmful all of this has been to me. I spoke at length with a friend tonight on how much this industry has cost me, personally, even just this year. He asked, "Why keep going?" I didn't have a good answer besides my weirdly dedicated love for gaming and my ardent hope that it can be better. It's the question that never feels like I have an adequate answer for, besides knowing that I can make small differences. And every little difference, for me, regardless of how much it costs, seems to be worth it. Hope springs eternal, they say. This is the last ten of a list of thirty. This is the final part of this blog post. It won't be the last time I post about sexism and it won't be the last time men hurt me. But it will be a monument to these last eight months and a piece of writing for me to look to when I wonder why I

The TTRPG Industry: The Sexist Price of Admission Part Two

It's been a week and the industry has been shaken--again--because there are abusers in our midst. I've watched a lot of horrific reports pour out on Twitter and other social media platforms. I've watched known abusers who have been outed complain about how unfair it is on Facebook and tell their friends it's nothing but hate campaigns. And, as always, I've watched people be silent in response. There comes a point where we need to really take a hard look at the infrastructure we have and who the prominent people are that have risen to power. We, as an industry, support and promote abusers. They often are well known in the industry and their artistry can and does protect them. We need to examine the way our communities and industry culture supports abusers and ostracizes victims. TTRPGs has historically been terrible for wanting to "just play games" or "not have politics involved." Those of us getting hurt just want to play games, too. Don'

The TTRPG Industry: The Sexist Price of Admission: Part One

This has been a year of silence. Not the silence of inactivity, but the painful silence of suffering. This is the year I stopped sharing my experiences with the TTRPG Industry publicly and started to endure quietly. I stopped posting on social media about the things I experienced. I stopped talking about what was happening to me. Instead, I learned to cry by myself and smile when asked how I was. I learned to swallow the anger and persist through every insult and every wound. Why? Well, because a man told me to, of course. I was told that talking about the sexist experiences I encountered made a man uncomfortable. And because I loved him and have codependent behaviours, I listened. I cut off my source of stability and one of my sources of power to please him. To make him feel safer. It took awhile before I noticed it was done to isolate me. Men exercise power in personal and professional relationships every day in the industry. Some use it to promote and make space for marginaliz

Playtest Review: Hearts of Magic

" This obviously can’t be a war. There are things out there, in the night and the dark, who notice things like war. To even suggest otherwise might attract their attention."  Within the world of Hearts of Magic, the small city you live in is fraught with despair and conflict. The Lords and Ladies rule from on high, ignoring the Order's law and igniting a rebellion within the Witches that inhabit the city. The Order rules with suppression and fear, demanding loyalty. The Witches push back, carving out a space with their wild magics. The more they push, the more the Order suppresses. It is a setting and world ripe with forbidden love, frightening magic, and fraught emotional spaces. A few days ago I was lucky enough to get into a playtest of a pretty fabulous game on Kickstarter. I put out a call on Twitter for games coming to or on Kickstarter now for me to review because I miss talking about games coming out and chatting with des

The TTRPG Industry: Can We Survive It?

I remember my second American gaming convention. A friend of mine had really wanted to go and needed someone who could be a support person. So he brought me with him. He was mostly excited to meet all of the indie designers he had spoken to on Story Games. And so I met them too. This was the convention I met industry people I didn't even know were industry people. I played Fiasco for the first time with the creator. I played Penny For My Thoughts, Tales of the Fisherman's Wife, Annalise, and My Life With Master. I was in some weird Starpower game in the basement with a bunch of industry insiders run by Luke Crane. I only knew my friend and I was isolated. I had been running events and games for the local gaming group I was an admin of, Toronto Area Gamers. I was younger then, maybe 21 or 22. I was full of anger and pain from an abusive relationship and was stumbling into my next one after having been raped that summer. I had an idea for a game and a lot of attitude and