The Gaming Community: All Are Welcome April 12, 2016 11:39 11 Comments

By: Spencer McAdams

It is a bitter irony that the community in which gamers, nerds, and geeks seek like-minded friends to share their interests, free of judgement, has its own bullying problem. Let’s be clear: it’s a problem for those who are not white, straight, and cis-male. I have witnessed this firsthand, and it is appalling that there can be such hatred in a community that should be the most welcoming.

Three years ago, I was at a convention with Cracked Monocle, running one-shots and generally having a good time. It was my turn to run a game, and a new party had just assembled itself right in front of me, ready to go. As I walked them through character creation, I noticed one of them became noticeably upset. When I asked what was wrong, one of the other players pointed out someone who had walked by our table. That person had made a comment about the player, to the tune of “put on some guy’s clothing.” It was then that I actively noticed the player as being trans, something I had dismissed earlier as I generally don’t care who is at my table as long as they are having a good time. We did what we could to ensure this player had a safe and friendly environment, including watching out for the identified person and making sure any further attempt to intimidate was avoided.

In a single passing comment, an individual was immediately singled out for absolutely no reason, and made to feel uncomfortable. No one should feel threatened or intimidated when sitting down to enjoy a game, comic, or whatever passion they seek. To make matters worse, my example is just the tip of the iceberg. Women, people of color, and people within the LGBT community are often faced with threats of death and/or rape. It’s appalling how far people will go to single someone out and bring them down, and it’s baffling to imagine why they would do so.

It is our responsibility as members of this community to make sure it is a safe place for everyone. This kind of behavior cannot be tolerated as it will only drive everyone away, or escalate and get worse. If you or someone you know have been the target of any of this unacceptable behavior, please don’t let it go unknown. Speak out and spread awareness, like the article shared below. Silence will only give those people more power, while speaking out will take it away. The Tephra community is built on the idea that everyone should feel welcome, have a great time, and share their experience with friends. We care about our players, and we will do what we can to ensure their experience is a great one.

If you have a story like mine, please feel free to share. We appreciate your input, and I hope this article helps to spread awareness. Thank you for reading, and until next time. Cheers and gears!

Click here to read the article that spurred this one.

We’re supporting RAINN (the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization that was named one of "America's 100 Best Charities" by Worth magazine.

If you've been waiting for a good chance to get the Tephra: Playing Guide (along with hundreds of dollars' worth of other titles), this is the best chance you've got. You get the Playing Guide when you go to this page and donate to the RAINN drive. We're not making any profits on this one - this is all just for a worthy cause.