Sometimes I feel like I live in a completely different world from everyone else…. Here’s my experience:
I am a white dude. I grew up in San Diego, and my very initial gaming group consisted of me, a black kid, a Filipino kid, a Vietnamese kid, and another white kid. These guys I met at a summer school for “gifted” children. We had to take 3 serious and 3 “fun” classes each “summester”. So, along with Human Anatomy and typing and architecture (my first real taste of my future career) I also took theater, model rocketry and D&D. Seriously, D&D was a class! 30 kids, 1 DM. It was a chaotic hoot! So, these first gamers came from that class, between 6th and 7th grade.
Later, my jr high group was all white guys that I had met surfing for a while, then a hispanic girl joined, and though her Paladin was annoying she was cool, and an excellent painter. She painted all of our minis, and taught me a few things that I applied to my first old Rogue Trader SM beaky army.
High school started with mostly the same guys at first, but then I got into drumline and a couple of gals from drill team joined us, then started their own girlie game (because ours was too manly and violent) and they had 8 players for a few years. My group by the end of High school was 3 white guys, 2 black guys, ahispanic, and 2 asians, for both RP and tabletop (one of the asian kids was really into ACW, and one of the black kids was really into ECW. Didn’t think it odd at the time!)
College: I was a part of several gaming groups, and despite being in Texas they were pretty diverse. Dudes, chicks, white black yellow and quadroon (as he put it). Didn’t matter to us. I was snubbed by a friends gaming group I wanted to join, as they decided to be “bangladshi only”, and that did hurt. I didn’t get it.
Currently, my main gaming group is 4 white guys, 1 black guy, 1 white and 1 hispanic gal. the white gal teaches at a tech school whose demographic is mostly black and hispanic. At this school they have a “gaming club”, where they play RPGs (mostly pathfinder), table top (a lot of warmahordes) and board games. These kids started it themselves after hearing her talk about playing D&D at their ages. It grew exponentially when Stranger Things came out. The girls mostly stick to board games because they feel that TTWG are “too violence oriented” but also because they feel they can be much more strategic with boardgames, being able to “use the rules”. I found that fascinating. Here’s this school in a poor part of town, with kids from less-advantaged homes, and they want to play the same things I do, and nothing stops them.
Another thing about Texas are the conventions. I’ve noted that at places like Millennium Con and TexaCon the make up is probably 50% white males. That’s pretty low compared to Historicon (which was 90% white make, at least). Several of the vendors are also from various ethnic groups. In fact, Frontline games is run by a mixed-race family. THE WHOLE FAMILY works together doing production, packing, selling, and running games. One of their daughters has moved away to be in the medical field, but even their son who is an engineer still helps out. These people are a hoot, and good friends of mine.
Now, I have noticed that professional painters in Texas are more likely to be female, but I do not see that as a problem. Not at all.
Honestly, I think a lot of the demographics of who plays in my area is down to locations. 1 gaming store in Denton is almost 80% white people, but an even mix between males and females. One in east Arlington has mostly hispanic players. The one right next to our local high school is full of teens and tweens of all backgrounds.
These are just my experiences. I know that elsewhere it is totally different. I’ve been all over the US for gaming conventions, and yes, it does seem to be mostly white males playing with toy soldiers, but I am finding females to be a higher proportion or painters and RPG gamers, as well as boar gamers. I have always been very inclusive, mostly by nature. I don’t care what color or ethnicity you are, I’ll play with ya as long as you aren’t an asshole.
Diversity does not seem to be a problem in my area, but probably is in the greater scheme of things…
- This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by Darkest Star Games.
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