Gaming As Other

What is Gaming as Other?
Gaming as Other is a collective brand and initiative whose goal is to make the gaming community more inclusive and welcoming towards minority members. There are many people working for social change within the gaming community. Some people fly the Gaming as Other banner, others don’t. There’s not an official membership roster, but those that identify with the Gaming as Other brand all know and work with each other in some way.

Why are you involved?
I myself am a Hispanic woman who loves gaming and wants to help the gaming community become healthier, happier, and more robust. Unfortunately, I’ve personally experienced discrimination and harassment because of my minority status, which to be frank, at times has almost turned me off to gaming entirely. I’ve talked to a lot of others who have experienced the same thing. I want to prevent this kind of alienation from happening to people who are only looking for a place at the table. There are a lot of great things about gaming, but the prevalence of discrimination isn’t one of them.

The issue is largely systemic. The othering of minorities is encoded into the art, the design of games themselves. It’s reinforced socially at the gaming table by majority members who are mostly unaware of the things they do to make minority members not feel welcome or like they don’t have a place in the community.

My work with Gaming as Other revolves around addressing these systemic issues, getting people to think about what we can do better when we make and play games so that this hobby can be more widely shared and appreciated, and nobody is left out in the cold. I do a lot of consulting work with designers and gaming companies. I sit on panels, give talks, and participate in organized active events.

What can I do?
Well, if you’re asking that question you’ve already taken the first step. If you’re a designer or an artist, I would encourage you to get introspective about how you design your games, and what your art says to people outside the status quo. If you’re an organizer, I would encourage you to develop strategies to actively invite marginalized groups to your events. If you’re a player, educate yourself on how your behaviors can affect others who don’t come to the table with the same amount of power and privilege as you. Most of all, REACH OUT! (Email me. Seriously.) Ask questions. Become allies. Experiment. Fail. Nothing will move forward unless you are willing to make a change.

Resources

Articles
Why Minority Settings Matter By Whitney “Strix” Beltrán
Interview with Strix: Myths, minorities, and feminine horror
Gaming’s Race Problem: GenCon and Beyond By A.A. George

Gaming as Other Panels
Gaming as Other Does GenCon (SoundCloud, raw audio)
Gen Con 2014
Gaming as the Other: Race in RPGs
(SoundCloud Audio)
Metatopia 2013
Gaming as Other, LUG Con Edition!
August 2014

Gaming as Other: 101
Dreamation 2014

Gaming as Other Indie+ Episodes
(short videos on a variety of specific topics)

Fantasy Races
May 2014

Erasure
April 2014

Dealing with Disaster
June 2014

Work, Games, and Life
July 2014

7 comments

  1. […] series has been informed by discussions with the awesome Gaming as Other team (Whitney Beltrán, A.A. George, Mark Diaz-Truman), and Finnish researcher Jaakko […]

  2. […] ongoing influence from the wonderful team (Whitney Beltrán, A.A. George, Mark Diaz-Truman) over at Gaming As Other that raised some points I found interesting. I’ll admit that my analysis is probably neither […]

  3. […] series has been informed by discussions with the awesome Gaming as Other team (Whitney Beltrán, A.A. George, Mark Diaz-Truman), and Finnish researcher Jaakko Stenros. […]

  4. […] approaches, and I know others are doing some interesting work in this territory, notably the Indie+ Gaming As Other panelists, who are working primarily with tabletop design. On a personal level, I’m at the […]

  5. […] work of people like Tany D. of Why I Need Diverse Games, Whitney Beltran of Gaming as Other and Avonelle Wing with Maelstrom  and other Double Exposure events, are critical. They are doing […]

  6. […] working as a diversity and inclusion consultant for Gaming as Other […]

  7. […] out diversity and inclusion, how to do it well, and how it will help them. And I help run the Gaming as Other initiative: gamers talking about diversity and inclusion, and working on our community to make it a safer and […]

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