I’m listening to the podcast, Trying to be Kind, a show in which a group of young, brilliant academics read and critique Tabletop RPG Design in Theory and Practice at the Forge by William J. White.
It is a smart and scathing look at a book about a time in the hobby that I look back on fondly. It is a vivid reminder that when we are swimming in privilege to be aware of it and do better. The show’s title, the nervous laughter and the intense effort put forth to be constructive are all sobering examples of how far folks from marginalized communities feel like they have to go to tapdance around fragile, white, male egos.
I’m listening and I’m hoping that the show leads to (more critical readings of academic game design texts) a sequel tome in which these brilliant gamers get paid writing credits in a follow-up book, criticizing the book before it, taking a critical look at the Forge as a movement and looking to the future they envision us all creating for independent game design. Hearing smart folks discuss the game design community’s past and how we choose to remember is great; hearing them talk about the future and get paid doing it would be even cooler.
I’m shutting up, listening and not being defensive.
If you are a white dude who I know from that era, shush your face and have a listen. And everyone else should check the podcast out too. It is brilliant, funny and educational.