Sunday, March 01, 2015

ChupacabraCon 2015 Panel 14

Grumpy RPG Reviews: Blacks in Gaming (Remake)

Episode 55 – Blacks in Gaming
  • For Black History Month, this column discusses the role of blacks in tabletop role-playing games.
  • The essay employs the term black rather than African-American or Africa because most fantasy settings do not have an America or an Africa, even if they do include black people.
  • Race is an important part of character creation, though there it usually refers to what should be called different species (elves, orcs, humans, etc.) and there is no real mechanical difference between blacks and whites.
  • The default assumption of both the text and art of most RGP games is the characters are white.
  • White Wolf Games are transgressive and progressive, making an effort to include blacks in the text and art of their games.
  • Some fantasy versions of Africa do exist, though your mileage may vary as to the quality and results.
  • RPGS lag behind other areas of society – such as business, sports and politics – in terms of including blacks. This will change only when fans make it change.