Monday, July 27, 2020

"Women, Minorities, & the Game"

So, something else that emerged from my recent sorting through a box of papers relating to the 1994 GenCo is a list (see below) of all the panels TSR staff took part in that year at GenCon in Milwaukee at MECCA and the official description of the two I organized and chaired.

Some other time I'll try to tell the story of our attempt within the department to make TSR's rpgs more appealing to women and minorities. For now I'll just say that for me it culminated in a panel at GenCon with myself as moderater and Mike Pondsmith, Lisa Pondsmith, Lawrence Sims, and a fifth person whose name escapes me* as the panelists. Unfortunately I'm having some trouble with the scanner so here's its official description:

"Women, Minorities, & Games"
What's the role of women and minorities in a hobby dominated by "pale males"? Come and join the lively debate over how to make role-playing games more appealing to these groups.

I don't remember after this many years what points came up in the discussion that followed, other than that I probably opened by sharing my belief that the obvious place to start to make our game more appealing to women and minorities was to remove elements they wd find off-putting.

As for the other panel, it's clearly a precursor of my later CLASSICS OF FANTASY column (2002-2004). At about this same time I did a recommended reading list for the MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH spin-off of the RAVENLOFT setting; this appeared in POLYHEDRON in I think October 1994.

--John R.

--current reading: THE WORLDS OF J. R. R. TOLKIEN by John Garth

*it would have been Lisa Steele from White Rose publishing except that she didn't come to GenCon that year.

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