The choices an under-represented minority has to make with board games

Lots of games do representation poorly. When a game the gaming community is excited for – maybe it’s a game from a great designer or something with innovative mechanisms or that has phenomenal minis – I have to make choices many others don’t. Sure – everyone has to decide will this be fun? Is it affordable? Will I be able to get it to the table? I have to ask myself all those questions just like any other gamer.


But also…


I have to decide if I want to choose between playing the male character of color, the white female character, or one of the 4-10 white male characters. I have to decide if I want to make a tiny statement by not purchasing it. I have to decide if I want to open myself to internet ire by publicly saying why I’m not buying it to raise awareness with the public and the publisher. I have to decide if I keep my mouth shut every time someone talks about the game completely ignoring the representation issues of the game. I have to risk alienating people, even friends, who are so deep in their own privileges they can’t understand why I’m so sensitive about something so unimportant (to them.)


I can’t say I’m consistent on this front. Some games are too alluring to resist for me. Some days I am steeped in my own privileges and blind spots. Some days I don’t feel like fighting a battle. Some days I want to pretend representation doesn’t matter.


If you want to know how you can help? Or what you can do? Why don’t you start by asking yourself some of the questions I have to.

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One Response to The choices an under-represented minority has to make with board games

  1. Chris Reynolds says:

    Great post–I love your honest commentary on this issue, especially your reference to blind spots.

    I wonder if you’ve seen the following from Bruno Faidutti, on his bafflement of the need to change art so as not to offend delicate American views (as he sees them). You may remember that I had commented about this game Waka Tanka on your IG account. Thoughts?

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