A man was killed in front of a convenience store. It happened about 15-20 minutes from where I live and work every day. His name was George. I did not know him. A lot has happened very quickly in the three weeks since that man died, both near me and very far away from me.
I was hesitant to put my own vested interest on the line.
I’ve written several drafts of ‘open letters’ like this one since; trying to find a way to address the events that set parts of Minneapolis and Saint Paul on fire, literally and figuratively. But I haven’t published any of them until today. Two things stopped me: doubt and selfishness. I doubted anyone cared about the opinion of a game design firm and its owner, and I was hesitant to place my own vested interest on the line by expressing my perspective. Then I spoke with friends at other companies and organizations who wanted to say something but didn’t know if they should; and I was telling them they should. Which meant I should.
Our hobby isn’t inclusive and that is bad.
Our state and our country is being forced to confront an uncomfortable reality: We aren’t as good as we purport to be; we aren’t inclusive. I’m not in a position to fix our country but I can and should address it ‘where I live’. Our hobby isn’t inclusive and that is bad; for the people excluded and also for ourselves and our hobby. I started a company to to try and make historical wargaming more approachable and that has to mean more inclusive.
Fantasy and sci-fi gaming are easier to get into than historicals: codexes, box sets, army lists, and tournaments are all tools that make it possible for the new gamer to start. None of these sound important to someone who has 20-40 years in historical gaming, but that’s the thing about inclusion: Inclusion isn’t about everyone, it is about the people who aren’t *already* included. Similarly, the people not already involved in our hobby need more encouragement and welcoming than the ones already involved. This is no different than how ‘an object at rest’ vs ‘an object in motion’ works.
Yes “they” are interested in the hobby.
I’ve heard many times how wargames don’t appeal to women, or to black people, or to the “kids” under 30, or to some other demographic. I own a game company specializing in historical wargames: Yes, “they” are interested in the hobby. Please don’t tell me “they just aren’t interested”, what “they” are not interested in is being treated like a “they”, an other. What “they” want is the same thing that everyone wants, to be included instead of excluded.
All are welcome here.
This is my little corner of the world, and for whatever it is worth, all are welcome here.