Wolf359
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2020 2:55 pm

Re: <t>Is 2020 the year the tide turned in the struggle for diversity in wargames?</t>

Fri Jan 01, 2021 2:21 am

Does the color of your skin determine how well you move pieces on a map? No. But that's not the point.

Engagement with the hobby is more than playing games. It's being in the room with Wargamers. It's feeling enabled to do a thing you like and not being ostracized for being different.

A game award for diverse people is not about excluding old, white men. It's about telling young, non-white people that they are welcome. Old white men already know they are welcome because there are other old white men around. Sometimes we need to make a special effort to embrace people who feel like they don't fit in, whether you believe they fit in or not.

The Zenobia Awards are a step in that direction.

When you slap the hands of, and spit bile at, anyone who suggests we be kind and welcoming to other people, you are immediately not being welcoming to anyone who may have heard what you said. If you are earnestly unopposed to diversity in your gaming group, then your response should be "Look, they're welcome and they're not here. Happy to have 'em! We need more folks to play with, let me know where I can find more players and I'll gladly open the door." Instead, we see lots of "The door's been unlocked! It's not *my* fault they don't barge in like all my other friends!" We'll, it really might be your fault.

BigRIJoe
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 12:54 pm

Fri Jan 01, 2021 10:41 am

Give me a break. I have yet to read any hobby articles where women are begging for male participation in their sewing circles

Wolf359
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2020 2:55 pm

Re:

Fri Jan 01, 2021 2:20 pm

Give me a break. I have yet to read any hobby articles where women are begging for male participation in their sewing circles
They do: https://qz.com/quartzy/1154260/dudes-wh ... -knitting/

And they have been:
https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_3860427

That aside, the argument is a straw man. As a man who knits, I have never felt anything but welcome in a yarn or arts and crafts store. Just because there's gender diversity doesn't mean there isn't a problem. And just because there isn't gender diversity doesn't mean there is a problem. But the comments in this thread prove that there is a problem.

RustNeverSleeps
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2020 5:13 pm

Re: <t>Is 2020 the year the tide turned in the struggle for diversity in wargames?</t>

Fri Jan 01, 2021 4:24 pm

"A game award for diverse people is not about excluding old, white men. It's about telling young, non-white people that they are welcome."

No, I am pretty sure it's about excluding "old white men" since that group is excluded from benefitting from the award. Beyond that, it also excludes the 16 year old straight white male. Why aren't we trying to cultivate him into designing war games through a monetary award(s)? Isn't he part of its future? I am sure if someone attempted to create a group and monetary award that was exclusive in its rules and regs to accept only straight white males under 18, that group would be plastered all of the internet as the most vile group ever established. Instead, this group is lauded as caring and open-minded by NARROWING the applicant pool.

a) there is no problem in the diversity of today's board game designs. It is more open and diverse today than it has ever been and that is due to capitalism and the free market.
b) there are more war game players and designers today than ever
c) no one is stopping anyone from forming a game group or developing a design.
d) boorish behavior is not exclusionary behavior in an of itself ... it's just boorish. some game groups like to razz and taunt one another and if that's not for you, then so be it ... you won't fit in. that group freely formed and want to interact that way and should be free to do this. You should find a group that's better suited for you. This type of behavior isn't exclusive to war/board gamers. Walk out on a ball court ... if you can't deal with the taunts and razzing, then you won't fit in that group either. find another court.

As another person posted .... this is a solution in search of a problem. Absolutely correct. The article perpetuates the plague of virtue signaling trying to lay an unearned guilt on a group of people.

Wolf359
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2020 2:55 pm

Re: <t>Is 2020 the year the tide turned in the struggle for diversity in wargames?</t>

Fri Jan 01, 2021 5:08 pm

It also excludes the 16 year old straight white male. Why aren't we trying to cultivate him into designing war games through a monetary award(s)? Isn't he part of its future? I am sure if someone attempted to create a group and monetary award that was exclusive in its rules and regs to accept only straight white males under 18, that group would be plastered all of the internet as the most vile group ever established. Instead, this group is lauded as caring and open-minded by NARROWING the applicant pool.
This is where you and I disagree. The 16 year old white male doesn't need extra encouragement. There are no systemic pressures discouraging his involvement. The movement for inclusion (which, by the way, goes beyond hobby and professional wargaming to broader area like the military and leadership roles in general) is about counteracting broader systemic negative pressures that discourage involvement in certain roles for these kinds of activities with positive pressures in an attempt to create some normalization. By doing so, it slowly removes the societal negative pressures and eventually obviates the need for something like the Zenobia Awards.

Diversity of thought and opinion is a *good* thing. Diversity of experience is a good thing. It makes better games and better game groups. We all like to argue, which is why we're here 40+ comments deep. What's wrong with encouraging under-represented opinions and experiences into that circle of argumentation?

As for the boorish behavior, look, if it's in relatively good humor and no one's feelings are getting hurt, I'm not going to tell people not to have fun. But if you *want* to open your gaming circle, I'm only asking that you pay attention to whether that boorish behavior is *actually* causing grief to newcomers. If you pay newcomers of any ethnicity or persuasion into the group and make them feel like a part of it, regardless of how boorish, then I'm not going to tell you to stop. I may not want to play with you, but then that's *my* choice.

RustNeverSleeps
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2020 5:13 pm

Re: <t>Is 2020 the year the tide turned in the struggle for diversity in wargames?</t>

Fri Jan 01, 2021 6:16 pm

It also excludes the 16 year old straight white male. Why aren't we trying to cultivate him into designing war games through a monetary award(s)? Isn't he part of its future? I am sure if someone attempted to create a group and monetary award that was exclusive in its rules and regs to accept only straight white males under 18, that group would be plastered all of the internet as the most vile group ever established. Instead, this group is lauded as caring and open-minded by NARROWING the applicant pool.
This is where you and I disagree. The 16 year old white male doesn't need extra encouragement.
This is the classic trap that fells your argument. You see a group as a monolithic entity. That 16 year straight white male is an individual with thoughts, feelings, dreams, aspirations, and fears that are unique to him. Who is to say that he doesn't need encouragement? Who is to say he is not socially awkward? Who is to say that he has no support? That's the problem when you create awards like this. By trying to be inclusionary based on characteristics without regard to merit, you in fact are being exclusionary. You destroy that which you are trying to nurture.

I would be far less inclined to criticize this venture (and in fact likely would not) if it was open to anyone, but focused its pursuit by saying that the central design of the game should focus on a period in history that was X or Y (ie: something not seen in traditional war games like WW2 or the Civil War). Why not do that? After this design was created, then if some game company wanted to donate X amount of those games to schools or sponsor events that focused on bringing in ANY young person to the event to learn and play, then great. Wouldn't that go as far or more to reach a broader audience which is the thesis and stated purpose of the group? Why does the award EXCLUDE PEOPLE based on no fault of their own? It does, plain and simple, and there is no getting around that. That is the central issue that those against this type of group award have, I believe. We ARE FOR inclusion, but this group has chosen to EXCLUDE.

As for me, I try to not engage in boorish game play. It's just not who I am.

LtColMorto
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2020 12:58 am

Re: <t>Is 2020 the year the tide turned in the struggle for diversity in wargames?</t>

Fri Jan 01, 2021 7:41 pm

"A game award for diverse people is not about excluding old, white men. It's about telling young, non-white people that they are welcome."

No, I am pretty sure it's about excluding "old white men" since that group is excluded from benefitting from the award. Beyond that, it also excludes the 16 year old straight white male. Why aren't we trying to cultivate him into designing war games through a monetary award(s)? Isn't he part of its future? I am sure if someone attempted to create a group and monetary award that was exclusive in its rules and regs to accept only straight white males under 18, that group would be plastered all of the internet as the most vile group ever established. Instead, this group is lauded as caring and open-minded by NARROWING the applicant pool.

a) there is no problem in the diversity of today's board game designs. It is more open and diverse today than it has ever been and that is due to capitalism and the free market.
b) there are more war game players and designers today than ever
c) no one is stopping anyone from forming a game group or developing a design.
d) boorish behavior is not exclusionary behavior in an of itself ... it's just boorish. some game groups like to razz and taunt one another and if that's not for you, then so be it ... you won't fit in. that group freely formed and want to interact that way and should be free to do this. You should find a group that's better suited for you. This type of behavior isn't exclusive to war/board gamers. Walk out on a ball court ... if you can't deal with the taunts and razzing, then you won't fit in that group either. find another court.

As another person posted .... this is a solution in search of a problem. Absolutely correct. The article perpetuates the plague of virtue signaling trying to lay an unearned guilt on a group of people.
You do realize that white males are included in the folks that can submit,,,, GBTQ males. What is your main point here? Do you feel excluded by this award? Do you really feel it narrows the community?

The wargame community is not diverse and shrinking, despite your BGG analysis. Your basis for your argument here is like the auto industry, more drivers own Toyota (ex) cars than any other and that number grows each year, so yes the population of Toyota drivers is growing. 99% of drivers own just one car, I own well over 200 wargames and most I cannot get to the table. We maybe buying more, but in 25 years who will buy games at the rate we did?

TimSmith56
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2021 6:49 pm

Fri Jan 01, 2021 7:46 pm

'Fools rush in where angels fear to tread'...but here I am...

Let's back off a bit and try to assume both sides, the race/gender/sex 'politicals' and the 'apoliticals' both are smart and well-intended. In this blog neither appear particularly articulate or coherent, but let's assume they both harbor virtuous moral intent. The politicals want to promote non-white/non-straight participation in wargaming. That in and of itself is fine, at least in principle, as everyone across the socio-political spectrum agrees. The politicals have no interest in younger demographics per se, nor in socio-economic class challenges to participation, except insofar as these impede their preferred ascriptive groups ('ascriptive' referring to characteristics that individuals cannot change). But basically they want to look out for people with whom they sympathize. Perfectly reasonable.

What provokes defensive reaction, however, is (a) false charges of bigotry and (b) the implied threat of coercion. The politicals' embrace of the Marxian denial of free will assumes that all human action is driven by 'structural' factors outside of individual purpose and effort. For them, every corrective to a perceived social ill lies not in stimulating the interest of individuals nor in improving their performance but in imposing change on everyone as coercively (pardon -- 'structurally') as their level of political power enables them to do. As Lenin said, 'you might not be interested in politics, but politics is interested in you'.

Apoliticals recoil against the threatened coercion. Apoliticals are just that -- apolitical. They want social exchanges to be made under conditions of freedom and personal preference, devoid of any power to coerce. In this discussion they're wargamers (typically board & miniatures), although the original article (as incoherent as the responses themselves) failed to distinguish the old board/mini wargamers from the computer wargamers from video gamers -- three very different interest groups and demographics.

Board and miniatures wargamers are analytical historians. Most game face-to-face with old friends but in principle would game with any good opponent ('a willing foe and sea room', a la Jackie Fisher). They're scholarly, technical, and again, apolitical. They'll cheerfully play the 3rd Reich or Soviet Union while rejecting national and international socialism equally. They'll play the Confederates while being fervently glad the Republicans won the actual historical war. Most also are parents and would love to see an infusion of youth participation in historical board wargaming. Most would graciously welcome anyone who shared their apolitical interest in the subject matter and the challenge of analysis and decision-making.

Computer gaming is a bit different. Even when employing hex/counter structure, the games often feature an immersive role-playing side-element that takes the experience out of the purely analytic realm into whole-person participation. The link the article author embedded showed one such game with Halder and Hitler as virtually embodied personages. That can't help but move the entire Nazi/OKW political element to the foreground. Such games feature an inherent whole-person/politico-moral element and thus do invite just criticism if they 'glorify Nazism' or falsify/conceal its true essence.

But that has little to do with the 'old white/gray wargamer' issue, since most of the people who play such computer games are younger and probably more 'diverse' in other ways as well (e.g., Asians). These games overlap not only board wargaming at the high end but video gaming at the low end, where the demographic is much younger, very male but very ethnically/internationally diverse.

With that as background/clarification, let me conclude by stating that the apoliticals resent the implied calumny that they are bigots. They're not. Even the role-players retain their real-world virtue even when they play-act the bad guys. (For that matter, not many 'Grand Theft Auto' vid gamers are car thieves or fantasize about being one after they put their controllers down.) Apoliticals rightly fear the growing politicization, demonization and coercion in every aspect of society, and the 'cancel culture'. We who have read 'The Nazi Seizure of Power' and grew up seeing faces spray-painted out of Soviet photos are experiencing deja vu, and we stand ready to fight back. I wish more of us were more analytical and articulate, but even the screamers help warn the would-be virtue tyrants that there are limits only fools would rush in to 'transgress'.

Wolf359
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2020 2:55 pm

Re: <t>Is 2020 the year the tide turned in the struggle for diversity in wargames?</t>

Fri Jan 01, 2021 7:57 pm

This is the classic trap that fells your argument. You see a group as a monolithic entity. That 16 year straight white male is an individual with thoughts, feelings, dreams, aspirations, and fears that are unique to him. Who is to say that he doesn't need encouragement? Who is to say he is not socially awkward? Who is to say that he has no support? That's the problem when you create awards like this. By trying to be inclusionary based on characteristics without regard to merit, you in fact are being exclusionary. You destroy that which you are trying to nurture.
Nope, your individual case fells nothing. There's a difference between collective encouragement and individual encouragement.

Your *average* 16 year old white male has more opportunity for encouragement and mentorship than a similar person of a different background. On a case-by-case basis, yes, there are plenty of disadvantaged young white males. But your average young straight white male has more opportunity available than your average non-white, female, or LGBTQ person.

The Zenobia Awards provide a modicum of support/mentorship to a small number of individuals. But, from an institutional perspective it provides a landmark that suggests mentorship and opportunity is available to those who seek it. Which is information that, while you and I know is true, someone of a different background may not assume is available. By reaching out to an under-represented class, we make that class aware of opportunities that they may not know exists.

Their final products will still be judged in the marketplace of ideas just like everyone else's. $2000 and some publishers listening to your pitch is not going to make anyone rich and famous without a banger of an idea to begin with. But it does point out the existence of a door that certainly groups of people may have never noticed before. And that's a good thing.

Wolf359
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2020 2:55 pm

Re:

Fri Jan 01, 2021 8:17 pm

TimSmith56, I appreciate your thoughtful reply, but disagree with your characterization that
For [politicals], every corrective to a perceived social ill lies not in stimulating the interest of individuals nor in improving their performance but in imposing change on everyone as coercively (pardon -- 'structurally') as their level of political power enables them to do.
The goal is not to enforce structural uniformity. It is, in fact, to do as you charge we are trying not to, to "stimulate the interest of individuals". The Zenobia Awards, in my mind (having nothing personally to do with the organization, i.e., I don't speak for them) is like a TV commercial. You build the ad to the demographic you want to target to raise interest in your product. I would spend more advertising to the demographic where I want to grow my brand than I do in the demographic where I want to maintain it.

Under-represented demographics represent a font of ideas and experiences that can only benefit the hobby and the profession of wargaming.

It's not enforcing uniformity. It's enabling opportunity. If you can think of a better way to advertise to under-represented communities and encourage them to participate, I'm all ears. Please share and I'd happily work with you to do just that.

And, please, I'd like you to explain to me how any of this is "tyrannical", deserves the "screamers" warnings, and even remotely imposes on the "limits only fools would rush in to transgress".

    

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