I’m Listening

Beta playtesting phase means I’m getting feedback on my game. While it’s a really cool process, I have this tendency to respond to the critical feedback. To defend my vision of the game. So I have to remind myself every now and then that I asked for this. Remind myself to just shut up and listen.

Awkward segue into the greater hobby community. There have been some really awesome discussions going on about feminism, inclusiveness, and safety both in regards to the gaming table and published materials. The Walking Eye podcast recently ran a roundtable on the topic. Nora Last’s blog and Filamena Hill’s tumblr are amazing, well-written resources. And Lyndsay (of Gamer Chow Dice Bags) recently posted an article that’s been getting the latest bout of attention on the subject.

When I say “really awesome discussions,” I am referring to the original posts/recordings themselves. Unfortunately after any new piece is posted, the bulk conversation seems to quickly drift to debating the language being used rather than addressing the message of the original piece. Maybe these are debates that need to be had, I agree that language is a vital element of communication, and I sometimes feel drawn into getting into those conversations myself. But I think these debates are currently obscuring the part of the story I want to hear more about.

When I sit down at a gaming table I want to engender inclusiveness and a comfortable environment for everyone. I want everyone to feel safe. I think that gaming experiences can be made richer with greater pluralism. The amazing things about these posts is they give us constructive ways to help improve our gaming environments.

I consider myself an ally. But I always feel I can learn more. I don’t want to inadvertently create a hostile environment. I’ve been in groups that were openly hostile and I don’t like the way that feels. And I don’t think the onus is on the female, gay, lesbian, queer, transgendered, and/or minority gamer to tell me when they are being offended. I want to educate myself as much as I can to do my best not to offend in the first place.

And these podcasts and blogs have been an invaluable resource to educate myself with. I’m looking forward to more of them. I’d love to see a series of game reviews from a feminist perspective. I want more roundtables that delve deeper into the topics already brought up. So I want to thank the authors of these messages for sharing and let you know that I’m shutting up now and listening.

  1. I just wanted to say thanks for opening up Technoir to public playtest! We’ve had a blast so far playing. We only hope that our feedback is constructive and helps make it better!

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