My take on Inclusivity in Gaming

This post is speculation based on my observations as a gamer over the past thirty five plus years. This is an opinion piece not a statistics packed fact finding mission. If I offend with the generalities feel free to contact me to complain or correct. I will happily accept either and adjust the content accordingly.

Inclusivity, it’s not a word. It’s another term coined to indicate that some were not included before but are now. It’s a politicized buzz-term to indicate there was something broken but you’re better.

I’ve been participating in role playing game culture for over 35 years. Throughout that time I have set at tables with every stereotypical gamer you can imagine. Some good, some bad but we always gave them the chance to sit and play with our group. Many times it was a personality issue, not anything else, that lead to people leaving the table and never returning.

I have met and engaged with all manner of players. Some are so serious about the character that there can’t be any out of game conversation. Others are so flighty that they can’t stay on topic as we grind our way through a dungeon. Still others interrupt the game with the latest funny video or some random factoid they just recalled from an obscure article on the Internet.

Notice; I didn’t apply age, gender, race or sexual identity to any of the above examples? That’s because none of that has ever mattered unless it was turned into an issue by the individual. Over the years our group has hosted players of every demographic with no issues beyond the normal personality clashes.

Yes, we’re a group located in Central Illinois, USA so the available social variety may be skewed. The fact that we have been the same core group for a great many years might disqualify us as poster children of ‘inclusivity’. For the record we have, in the past, hosted players of varying ages, color, genders and sexual identity.

Gaming provided critical space for myself and all of our members over the years to cope with with life surrounded by a group of peers regardless of all the pigeonhole titles that the world applied. We are as close to each other as a group of weirdos can be. Marriages, divorces, birth of children, moving across town and much farther, car troubles and funerals. If you sit at our table you will be included regardless of any titles or baggage you may drag with you.

Inclusivity is a made up word and concept. If you role dice and play the game, grab a seat and roll initiative. Stop looking for an agenda and enjoy the escape.