Black Lives Matter
Black Lives Matter.
I fully support this both as a statement as well as the social movement behind it. We (in Canada, the US, and in modern democracies in general), live in countries where we have constitutions and charters that promise us equal rights, that all lives matter equally. But these same countries have systemic and societal problems where the outcomes of the laws and systems differ wildly from those stated values of equality. Minorities (not just Black lives, but Indigenous, other people of colour, members of the LGBTQ communities) are justified in feeling that our institutions that say that all lives matter equally, don't actually have that as an outcome. Essentially, our institutions and cultures have certain blind-spots.
If you had asked me a few years ago if I thought racism or discrimination were problems in the board game community, I would have said 'probably not?', because I had never seen it, and because I know that the people I play games with are a welcoming group who want to see as many people as possible in the hobby. But listening to the stories of people of colour, women, and the LGBTQ community, I've learned that this was a blind spot that I had. I see Black Lives Matter as a call to recognize and work to fix these blind-spots within ourselves, our culture, our institution.
I've always tried to have a social awareness as part of my game design process, and will continue to do so. These sorts of questions shaped the design of The Transcontinental, and ultimately made it a better game. I want to encourage other designers to do the same in their game design. It's not relevant to every game, but it's a rewarding process.