Monday, February 25, 2019

Jaded Gamer - Gatekeeping in depth

The last couple of weeks have had me thinking about the gaming community at large. There has been a nice uptick in the diversity of backgrounds among those coming into the hobby. More people of color, different religions, gender diversity and those living with disabilities. This has created a rich pool of influence in the games coming out and how new viewpoints to listen to.

A lot of talk over the last few decades has been about pushing aside the gatekeepers. Those who wish to keep our hobby small and open only to a very slim slice of people, people of their choosing, to enter into. It is very obvious that this is a bad practice and moving out of the way has been nothing but productive and healthy to the community.

Now I say that on a broad level. Gatekeeping at a complete community level is bad. However, gatekeeping at the individual personal table level is something that needs to be thought about in more detail.

I'm sure some people are already pissed just at that last bit. Let me get into a bit more.

At my own gaming table, when I run games, there are people I don't want to engage with. Top of that list would be sex offenders of nearly any stripe. I'm not saying they should be allowed to game someplace where they are welcome but that won't be happening at my table. I have children, I have family and friends who have been victims, I have seen what kind of damage they can do. So I don't want them around me or mine.

I've been called a gatekeeper for that.

Now if there are groups that want to allow them in, fine, that's their personal choice. But I shouldn't have people telling me to allow them into my personal games. Which is something that we have. Another case in point, a few years ago I discovered that a local player was an active member of the KKK and I made the statement that I didn't want to have anything to do with him. Some people were shocked about that. I heard “but he's really a nice guy”, no... he's an active participant in a hate group that wants to stomp out all people of color. I heard “but you should be open to other viewpoints”, no the viewpoint of a white supremacist is not one that I have any need to be open to.

I've been called a gatekeeper for that.

The word has been thrown around a bit to much and being used to define something broad and at a very small level. I agree with the use of the word at the broad level and I'm against keeping others out of the hobby at a broad level. But at an individual table level there needs to be a line drawn on throwing that word at somebody being particular about who they want to engage with during their free time with their hobby. If I HAD to game with a sex offender and a Klansman at my table I would stop gaming completely.

Who else do I not want to game with you may ask? Well people who say liberals should be deported, gay people thrown into concentration camps, that fascism is a good thing, atheists are devil worshipers... you get the idea. Those are the kind of people I don't want at my table.

No comments:

Post a Comment