Let’s talk about inclusive gaming spaces.
The World of Darkness was developed in the early 90s by–primarily–privileged white men, and holy mackerel does it show. Racism, sexism, homophobia, and ableism are rampant in the source material. While it’s important that we not shy away from the mistakes of the past and the history of the game line, it’s equally important that we don’t allow them to be perpetuated in our play today.
As such: Symphonic Rayne can and should be an environment that is safe and welcoming for ALL players. Absolutely NO racist or sexist views, rhetoric, or actions will be tolerated, IC or OOC. Queerphobia, transphobia, the perpetuation of stereotypes of indigenous peoples, and offensive depictions of disability or mental illness are likewise banned.
Violating this particular rule is grounds for an immediate game ban.
With these rules in mind, please remember a few things:
- Malice is not a requirement for something to be racist or sexist, etc. You can perpetuate these things without meaning to.
- Ignorance is not a justification for racist, sexist, and other types of discriminatory behavior.
- If someone who is part of a marginalized group tells you (who are not part of said group) that something is racist, sexist, etc. you do not get to argue with them. They, not you, are the experts on what is damaging and discriminatory in that area by virtue of their lived experience.
- Regardless of who is calling you out, the appropriate way to respond to being informed that something is racist, sexist, ableist, etc. is to set aside the instinct to be defense and listen with curiosity and compassion. Yes, even if they’re “taking a tone”. Marginalized folks in particular are not required to be nice in the face of discrimination, and tone policing will not be tolerated.
- If you genuinely do not understand why something is considered discriminatory, please seek out resources online (preferably those authored by people who are part of the affected group) or ask the people around you for their recommendations. Keep in mind that members of marginalized communities do not and should not have to educate you; likewise, allies of marginalized communities have an obligation to step up and do this work.
Huge thanks to Jill Helding for this exceptional write-up!