Home Forums General General Sexism in Rules?

This topic contains 100 replies, has 34 voices, and was last updated by Guy Farrish Guy Farrish 2 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #53657
    Angel Barracks
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    I was made aware of this a few days back:

    LINK

    and This

    Reactions to it have appeared on TMP here.

    Looking at my rules I avoided using he or she (never used ‘it’) and went for player instead.
    I did notice I used examples which refer to gender such as ‘a squad of 5 men’, interestingly I could have easily used ‘a squad of 5’ instead.
    So come the next edition I will be changing that.

    Society as a whole seems to considering/acknowledging things that were previously taboo or simply ignored/denied.
    Are wargames rules following suit?

    #53659
    Not Connard Sage
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    Reactions to it have appeared on TMP

     

    Steady.

     

    Some people have resisted moving into the late 20th century for decades now, this new millennium must make them really uncomfortable. Poor dears.

    "I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad. It's... depressing."

    #53666
    Thuseld
    Thuseld
    Participant

    Yeah some people just don’t understand that opinions and social norms change. It is not 1950 any more.

    #53667
    Ruarigh
    Ruarigh
    Participant

    I see nothing wrong with making rules gender neutral. It makes them more inclusive, and it should not be offensive to anyone. All it takes is a little thought and a little thoughtfulness.

    With regard to the use of singular ‘they’ it ought to be clear from context what is meant most of the time, and need not take too much imagination to rewrite sentences where it is not clear.

    Never argue with an idiot. They'll only drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

    https://emidsvikings.ac.uk/
    #53668
    craig cartmell
    craig cartmell
    Participant

    I must admit that the passage is somewhat clumsy, though knowing one of the authors I am sure it was not ill-intentioned.

    Before responding to it elsewhere though, I did a quick review of my own books and found, unsurprisingly, that in most I referred to the player as male and the figures as ‘it’, unless they were actually named male or female characters.

    Does this make me sexist or even a misogynist?

    In all these cases the decision lies with those who are offended by it. I certainly did not write them with the intention of promoting a sexist or misogynist political agenda. Nor did I do so to further a particular cultural norm. I simply wrote them in my own voice.

    Having been around for some time I have always been heartened when I encounter an increase in the number of female war and role-playing gamers, authors and traders. Indeed I have done what I can to promote their inclusion as fellow participants in our hobby.

    So, if I have offended or discouraged any women by my writings I apologise and, I shall endeavour to improve my writing style to be more inclusive.

    Cheers,
    Craig

    The Ministry of Gentlemanly Warfare

    #53669
    Not Connard Sage
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    I must admit that the passage is somewhat clumsy, though knowing one of the authors I am sure it was not ill-intentioned

     

    His tweets suggest otherwise.

     

    I know that this hobby has many members who possess the social skills of an 8 year old, but if you’re in the public eye as one of the ‘names’ perhaps it might be better to tone it down a bit.

    "I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad. It's... depressing."

    #53671
    John
    John
    Participant

    I’m still confused to why there is section in a book about writing wargames’ rules on pronoun use, as if it is a problem exclusively found in wargaming and thus can be treated with the usual wargamers dry wit and sarcasm which often veils a profound statement. I’m pretty sure if they’d left that section out no one would be writing emails complaining. All Mr Priestly and Mr Lambshead did was highlight the fact that they still think they’re writing for the same demographics that existed 20 or 30 years’ ago.

    I mean come on.HG Wells titled his Bible of wargaming “<i>Little Wars: a game for boys from twelve years of age to one hundred and fifty and for that more intelligent sort of girl who likes boys’ games and books“. </i>While this is a fair bit more patronising (and possibly sexist)than one would like today, it’s a far sight better than “practically all tabletop wargames enthusiasts are male“.

    If you really can’t do better for equality than 1913, then why bother.

    To model the effect of Nuclear weapons on the wargaming table, apply jerry can of fuel to board, light match and stand well back.

    #53672

    zippyfusenet
    Participant

    Dude. I’m so gender-neutral that I don’t *care* what pronouns an author uses in a set of wargame rules.

    I will say that I left TMP and joined here to get away from threads like this. And here I go, posting again, con mucho snarko.

    Y’know, we should start running polls, I’ll bet that would drive up the traffic on this site. I’ve got a topic:

    Which of the Laugh-In Sock It To Me girls would you rather have socked it to? Judy Carne, Goldie Hawn, or Ruth Buzzi?

    You'll shoot your eye out, kid!

    #53673
    Rhoderic
    Rhoderic
    Participant

    It’s a ruckus, but the sort of ruckus that’s (sadly) needing to happen in the miniatures gaming community (and probably the gaming community as a whole). Punctures some of the initial resistance, so it’ll clear away for later.

    Priestley and especially Lambshead need to be a bit more careful – they’re writing books for an open marketplace, not a clubhouse. Yes, the text is light-hearted, but if they aim to be comedians, they must sit under the same Sword of Damocles that all other comedians do. Humour is funny until it isn’t.

    #53676
    Thaddeus Blanchette
    Thaddeus Blanchette
    Participant

    Well, seeing as how I am supposedly a card-carrying social justice warrior who  writes professionally for a scientific field that is very definitely heavily inhabited by the breed, I have some experience with this. And I think the best rule I have ever seen was established by White Wolf / Lion Rampant Games back in the 1990s. Given that one of their founders was a transwoman, some heavy thought probably went into this one. This is what they told their writers back then:

    You can use gender non-specific pronouns if you like, but this often is too jarring, stylistically speaking. What you do, then, is simply change gender pronouns in your examples, switching up from time to time. So in one example, you say “When the player’s regiment reaches breaking point, then he needs to roll a morale test.” In the next example, you say “This regiment is disordered and in contact with the enemy. It’s owner needs to test morale. She picks up the dice and rolls an eleven and the regiment passes”.

    This neatly solves 99.9% of the problems. It doesn’t mangle the English language making it try to be neutral. It gives both genders page time without making a big (or even really noticeable) deal about it. About the only possible complaint I can see is that people who insist on being non-gender specific might say that it is too gender binary. At which point you cheerfully ask them what pronoun of choice they’d use and occasionally drop that in. Or just use the occasional completely gender neutral construct and say, “Oh, but people like you are there, too. See on page X where the gamer’s gender is not specified”.

    So everyone’s happy: you get to look like a reasonable and inclusive person and the English language gets to maintain its poetry.

    The only UNhappy people — and I expect there will be quite a few on the Site that Must Remain Unnamed — would be the folks whose REAL beef is that people with vaginas are being allowed near gaming tables for anything other than bringing in the tea. I would particularly like to see a certain elderly Napoleonics buff reading an after-action report that says “Napoleon’s forces are now over-extended: she sends in the Guard in a last attempt to grasp victory”.

     

    We get slapped around, but we have a good time!

    #53678
    PatG
    PatG
    Participant

    Times change.  My wife and daughters game. I know other gamers who are female, or gay, or trans or gender fluid.   “They”, “the player”,”the acting side” it’s really not that hard to use neutral language.

    #53679
    Patrice
    Patrice
    Participant

    It’s even more difficult in French: a female player is “une joueuse”, not “un joueur”; adjectives (and participles in many cases) must agree in number and gender with the noun; and “un personnage” (a character) is masculine, however “une figurine” (a miniature) is feminine, and pronouns which refer to them later in the same sentence must agree with this too, whatever the gender of the player or character. As my skirmish rules are very RPG-minded I avoid mentioning the players or the miniatures as much as possible, I prefer to talk about characters…

    In some (home made) translations of my rules in English some years ago I wrote “he/she” where I could; however not seeing it in other rulesets I have reverted to “he”. I’m interested to know what’s the trend in new rulesets now.

    http://www.argad-bzh.fr/argad/en.html
    http://www.anargader.net/

    #53682
    irishserb
    irishserb
    Participant

    I offered a thought relating to this over at TMP, linked above.

    I will share further that what has been presented has caused me to shape a rather critical opinion of the text and the author, who has not represented himself well with his online posts.  But, I have to ask, has anyone here actually read the book?  I find that it is not uncommon that excerpts are offered such that they are isolated from their context and misrepresented.   Is there any chance of that here?

    #53683
    Thaddeus Blanchette
    Thaddeus Blanchette
    Participant

    With regards to the paragraph by Priestly and Lambshead that set this whole thing off…

    What upsets me more is Priestly and Lambshead’s rank idiotic attempt at humor with the bit about pronouns switching genders mid-example. I have never seen that happen anywhere, in gaming or out, except for typos.

    What you are instructed to do, by any editor who hasn’t got their ass firmly situated in 1913, at least, is to provide a diversity of genders in your play examples. A diversity of ethnic names, too. Priestly and Lambshead must know this, because they didn’t start writing yesterday. And yet, for some reason, they chose to make a parody out of this eminently common-sensical practice. If it’s an honest attempt at a joke, it falls flat and makes Mistresses Preistly and Lambshead look like a pair of six year olds giggling over a fart joke.

    We get slapped around, but we have a good time!

    #53684
    PatG
    PatG
    Participant

    Irishserb – part of the problem is that the book is not getting good reviews for the rest of the content either. See the  review on the Meeples and miniatures page for one of the kinder third party reviews.

    #53687
    Angel Barracks
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    But, I have to ask, has anyone here actually read the book? I find that it is not uncommon that excerpts are offered such that they are isolated from their context and misrepresented. Is there any chance of that here?

    I have not, but I have read his tweets and found them to be very revealing and they confirm what is presented in these excerpts.

    #53688
    Robey Jenkins
    Robey Jenkins
    Participant

    My day job in Human Resources involves writing a lot of policy documents.  In the last five years I’ve worked for three different organizations, re-writing their HR policies from scratch.  In the workplace, sex discrimination is a big deal.  Seriously, it can cost companies unlimited damages if they are found to be directly or indirectly discriminating against not just women, but any of nine different protected characteristics.

    As you might imagine, this makes me hyper-sensitive to poorly-worded official documents.  Now, I have some very strong feelings about this issue, but I respect (and share) zippyfusenet’s desire for this not to be another TMP-style hub of misdirected ire, so I’ll restrict myself to saying this.  Game designers who do not phrase their rules in gender-neutral terms are just being lazy (sorry, Craig).  From having carefully composed the whole Horizon Wars rulebook in gender-neutral language, not to mention the estimated 300,000 words of HR policy I’ve written over my career, I can assure you that there is no gender-specific phrase in any miniatures wargame that I could not re-phrase in gender-neutral terms with two seconds of thought (and without mangling my grammar, either).

    I’m not about to pretend that it’s the most important thing in the world.  It really, really isn’t.  But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t still worth writers of all stripes taking the handful of extra seconds needed.  Doing so makes no difference at all to those white, cis males who already know it’s their hobby.  Not doing so is sending the message to everyone else that it isn’t theirs.

     

    EDIT – Incidentally, I took my original guidance on the correct composition of gender-neutral policy from JSP101, the Ministry of Defence Guide to Service Writing.  So it’s not namby-pamby modern liberal bull****.  Serious people with guns have thought this was important for the last twenty years at least.

     

    EDIT 2 – I went and found the original advice:

    “k. Avoid sexist language. Do not use traditional single-sex terms. Try to use words such as ‘person’, ‘people’, ‘staff’, ‘officer’, or ‘colleague’; or use plurals such as ‘managers’, ‘commanders’ or ‘colleagues’. For example ‘Officers (instead of ‘An officer’) must communicate effectively and they (instead of ‘he’) must ensure no misunderstanding is possible.’”

    #53693

    Gaz045
    Participant

    Storm in a teacup……not met a transgender wargamer yet ( knowingly) and not bothered either way……much more important things to get concerned with in the world……….and on the playing table!

    "Even dry tree bark is not bitter to the hungry squirrel"

    #53697
    Thaddeus Blanchette
    Thaddeus Blanchette
    Participant

    No doubt, Gary. But that’s actually part of the problem. Because this is a small thing that is very, very easily remedied, there’s really no reason not to — unless, of course, you have an ideological reason not to.

    I mean, if it were a blind spot, fair go. All Priestly and Lambshead have to say is “We’re sorry. We honestly didn’t think about it. Our bad. Next time we’ll do better.”

    That is not hard to do and it dosen’t kill anyone.

    And it’s also not hard for a writer of Rick Priestly’s stature to do things in gender neutral pronouns, or — if he purely hates that — switch gender pronouns from time to time. And no, there’s no need or demand to do that mid-example, as Rick so idiotically claimed. The fact that Rick built that particularly threadbare strawman indicates, to me at least, that he probably knows very well that he really doesn’t have a logical leg to stand on.

    The fact that this tiny little thing which is quite easily remedied has become, for the two of them, some sort of line-in-the-sand against social justice warriors (and when has asking for a bit of respect and inclusion for women “social justice” rather than, say, common courtesy?)… THAT’S a problem. And not a small one. Lambshead’s tweets are showing that the original critique is spot on: he really doesn’t think there’s anything odd or wrong about a hobby that’s 90% male and which often seems to go out of its way to alienate women. It’s his own little boy’s club and girls can stay the fuck out if they can’t deal with a bit of “good natured” harassment.

    It’s not the size of the error that’s the problem: it’s the absolute inability to see that something might be wrong there that’s annoying people.

    We get slapped around, but we have a good time!

    #53698

    Dan Kennedy
    Participant

    Storm in a teacup……not met a transgender wargamer yet ( knowingly) and not bothered either way……much more important things to get concerned with in the world……….and on the playing table!

     

    As Thad says, this particular incident most probably is a storm in a teacup.

     

    However, it’s important not because of what it is, but what it represents. Sexism is still rampant in the world, and the attitudes of Lambshead et al are doing nothing to end that. It simply reinforces the perception that gaming is a ‘boys club’, with a lot of the negative connotations that go with that.

    I have a close friend who is quite well known within the video gaming world, she’s got a successful career going as a comedian and has been on tv and radio many times. She still gets resistance from people who think gaming is for boys and that girls can’t do it. Tabletop gaming is worse.

    We need to speak up when stuff like this happens. Lambshead is making himself look archaic and it really reflects badly on us all. I don’t understand why people still behave like this, but will continue to resist them.

    So yes, this per se is a storm in a teacup, but the wider issues it sprung from are not.

    #53699
    Angel Barracks
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    Game designers who do not phrase their rules in gender-neutral terms are just being lazy (sorry, Craig).

    Or ignorant, and I mean that in the true sense of it, that is it was simply not something that occurred to them.
    I have used player rather than him or her, but that was because it had occurred to me.
    Had I not done so, that would not be laziness, but simply not thinking rather than laziness or intentional.
    Despite this occurring to me I never noticed at the time that I referred to my models as men, because the ones I was looking at when writing the example were models of males.
    However, I will be updating my current rules asap and making sure to avoid language that may alienate around half of the population next time around.

    I truly believe Craig when he says.

    “So, if I have offended or discouraged any women by my writings I apologise and, I shall endeavour to improve my writing style to be more inclusive.”

    #53704
    Bandit
    Bandit
    Participant

    Does this make me sexist or even a misogynist?

    I do not believe it does. Male authors generally write “he”, because we are he’s. I concur with Mike when he says that it simply doesn’t occur to many people. That tendency does not make a person sexist. It also doesn’t help that most languages, including English, use the male article as the default indefinite article.

    No doubt, Gary. But that’s actually part of the problem. Because this is a small thing that is very, very easily remedied, there’s really no reason not to — unless, of course, you have an ideological reason not to.

    Yes, the question – to my mind – is not if you are sexist or misogynist, the question is if there is a benefit or cost to using inclusive language?

    I don’t see a practical cost in using inclusive language.

    I do see a practical benefit in using inclusive language: Someone who might not otherwise feel included, may.

    That might be a high or low percentage chance, but I don’t know why I’d care, since I can’t see a practical cost. Therefore, any chance of including more people in the hobby, in our customer base, in the greater market and community of wargaming, seems a net positive.

    D&D began using exclusively “she” many, many moons ago to refer to “the player”. As I understand it their reason was that because their male player base wasn’t likely to care, and they wanted to begin lowering barriers to women using their product. The lowest cost and most fundamental was *how they defined the player*.

    I can’t say that there is any observable detriment to D&D as a business or as a gaming community.

    When we began publishing titles, we made a conscious decision to make sure we used “the player” or “they”. The first reason was it seemed the most professional – despite there being an argument over the grammatical correctness of “they” to refer to a singular player – and it was practical, why would we want to potentially alienate any proportion of potential customers? If there is no cost to making sure they are included, it seems a no-brainer once you realize it.

    Cheers,

    The Bandit

    #53707
    Thaddeus Blanchette
    Thaddeus Blanchette
    Participant

    Just an aside, there are many, many scientific studies that demonstrate that “little things” like this do have measureable impacts. IIRC, there was one study where they had freshman women watch a film about careers in computer science and then take an exam on their views regarding the desireablity of a career in comp sci. Groups that watched a film showing mostly men in computer science rated the career as much less desireable than groups that watched a film with a more equal gender balance.

    People notice these things, often on an almost subconscious level. And when it costs nothing to fix them, there really is no reason not too. Unless, of course, one feels — perhaps on an almost subconcious level — that gaming really isn’t for women, or for most women.

     

    We get slapped around, but we have a good time!

    #53709
    Thaddeus Blanchette
    Thaddeus Blanchette
    Participant

    Re: D&D, I have a personal story about that.

    Back in the early 1990s, while I was working for Devir, we went up to Lake Geneva to negotiate for the Portuguese rights to AD&D. We were subjected to a whole lecture on the future of gaming, complete with a thick folder’s worth of  market analysis.

    Basically, the marketing geniuses at TSR concluded that the gaming market was saturated and that the only way out was to “dumb down” D&D to appeal to the third and fourth grade set — mostly boys, it was implied. This was because roleplaying was a geeky hobby that didn’t appeal to anyone but nerdy adolescent boys. More adult players — and certainly most women — were a lost cause. The result was Dragonquest, with it’s VHS tape teaching kiddies how to play. Remember that?

    We were told in no uncertain terms that this was the future of RPG and that what we should do was jump on the Dragonquest gravy train.

    Fast forward to a few years later. White Wolf’s <i>Vampire </i>is cleaning up, hand over fist. We can’t keep it in stock. The average <i>Vampire </i>gaming group’s age is around 20 and the groups are mostly balanced, male and female.

    Meanwhile, TSR takes a dive and is bought out by Wizards of the Coast, a group originally founded by a crew that left Dragon Rampant, White Wolf’s founding company. RPGs with adult themes, appealing to women, storm the market and in most gaming groups I see, female participation more than triples. Turns out that drama, tragedy, romance, pathos and a dose of sexy appeals to young women. Who could’ve possibly figured that would be the case?

    So I do not take these perrenial statements that “gaming is and always will be mostly a boy thing” very seriously. It may well be that the majority of gamers will still be men and boys, but there’s a huge difference between a scene that’s, say, ten percent female and one that’s forty percent. This seems to be something Rick Priestly can’t grasp.

    We get slapped around, but we have a good time!

    #53711
    willz
    willz
    Participant

    A very interesting selection of posts, I have gamed with lots of gamers over the years both male and female (am I allowed to type these terms).  There appears to be more male gamers than female but I have never done a study.  If those persons were, strait, bi, gay, transgender, male or female made no difference to my and their enjoyment of our all encompassing hobby.  As to writing non gender specific rules seems fine to me, I am fairly certain if rules were typed in the male vernacular no offence was ment.

    While we are talking about sexism

    Size Matters! –

    http://angelbarracks.co.uk/

    Size of what Mike male specific or female specific.  Just joking but anyone can take offence from anything if they wish

     

    #53712
    Thaddeus Blanchette
    Thaddeus Blanchette
    Participant

    All Rick and John needed to do was write a simple letter: “We are sorry that our comments caused offense. We certainly didn’t mean to imply that gaming is not for women, trans- or cis-. Looking at our comment on “transmorgification”, we can certainly see now how it could be read as trans- exclusive. All we can say is that wasn’t our intent. We appologize for making the comment and will do our best, in the future, to avoid these sorts of mistakes.”

    Would that kill either of them? Would that be so bloody hard to do?

    I mean, who’s being too sensitive here? Who wants “special treatment”? The folks who were insulted, even if inadvertently? Or the poor, put upon authors who can’t admit to making what could very well have been an honest mistake?

    But Rick and John apparently prefer digging themselves a hole and pulling it in atop themselves.

    Testosterone is a hell of a drug.

    We get slapped around, but we have a good time!

    #53714
    Rhoderic
    Rhoderic
    Participant

    Unless, of course, one feels — perhaps on an almost subconcious level — that gaming really isn’t for women, or for most women.

    I kind of remain hopeful that men like these are very rare in the community, but I suspect there’s another, somewhat adjacent group of men that is larger: Those who do not technically have any objection to women (or transgender people) joining the hobby, but feel provoked by the idea that the old rules of what constitutes acceptable behaviour/language in the community should have to change to better accommodate the new breed. It’s that old “I don’t mind them, but I have primacy so don’t tell me I have to adapt to them and not the other way around” type of mindset.

    #53716
    Thaddeus Blanchette
    Thaddeus Blanchette
    Participant

    I very much agree, Rhoderic.

    We get slapped around, but we have a good time!

    #53717
    gcmini
    gcmini
    Participant

    Very interesting topic and conversation.

    I, personally, could not care less if an author writes “move your figures” or “move your men”.  Neither one offends me in the least.  I prefer the pronoun “guys”, as in “move your guys” ,,,, and I do not even think of that word as being gender specific.  If I’m talking to a group of people (men, women, or mixed) I’ll say “will you guys come over here”.

    I guess the only thing that would offend me is if an author wrote “move your collection of non-gender specific miniature pewter representations of human combatants” … and only because that’s a ridiculously wordy way of saying “move your men”

    Anyone that is offended either way is probably over-thinking this and should probably get back to playing the game.

    Allen Rockwell
    GameCraft Miniatures
    Business: www.gcmini.com
    My Blog: www.allensmicroarmor.com

    #53718

    Dan Kennedy
    Participant

    I have to say that what does annoy me about this whole issue is how some people (not on this thread) seem to think that because it’s gaming it doesn’t really matter, like having an attitude 50 years out of date is ok because this is only a hobby.

    Well, it matters a great deal because if you treat people as different in one area of life you’ll probably do it in others. It’s not less important just because we do it for fun.

    #53721

    Jonathan Gingerich
    Participant

    I am a bit bemused by the reactions here.

    Priestly and Lambshead are arguing that even though tabletop wargamers are overwhelmingly male, rules writers should still use gender neutral language. Whether their premise is correct or not, their conclusion should certainly be supported.

    Then they make the point that such writing should not be clumsy. Their analogy, that changing the gender of pronouns every sentence is as unsettling as a player suddenly changing sex, can be construed as insensitive to King, who is intersex and has changed gender. On the other hand, it’s also a reach. I would guess that if Delany left the table for a soda and returned as David, it would rather unsettle strangers. And responding with vulgarities is neither constructive nor proportionate.

    #53722
    Noel
    Noel
    Participant

    So, I am a HR professional and I really believe that inclusivity, diversity and equity have a positive impact on all people’s lives, make us a better society and are painless to implement in your own life.

    The demographics of my gaming friends have been in constant change over the last thirty years, but it has included trans people, gay people, women, differing ages, differing ethnicities/races and so on.

    There is no room for bias at my table and I don’t play at tables where I see it.

    I write all this because I don’t see bias in using he/him to mean any player.    To me it is common usage of the language.  However, if making this ridiculously minor adjustment in your rules would make your customers feel greater inclusiveness in this hobby, then do it.  It won’t hurt anybody if you do, it may even increase sales.

     

    #53725
    Rhoderic
    Rhoderic
    Participant

    I am a bit bemused to the reactions here. Priestly and Lambshead are arguing that even though tabletop wargamers are overwhelmingly male, rules writers should still use gender neutral language. Whether their premise is correct or not, their conclusion should certainly be supported. Then they make the point that such writing should not be clumsy. Their analogy, that changing the gender of pronouns ever sentence is as unsettling as a player suddenly changing sex, can be construed as insensitive to King, who is intersex and has changed gender. On the other hand, it’s also a reach. I would guess that if Delany left the table for a soda and returned as David, it would rather unsettle strangers. And responding with vulgarities is neither constructive nor proportionate.

    Well… they didn’t write that tabletop wargamers are “overwhelmingly male”, they wrote “practically all male” and no one should “pretend” otherwise. That is at best a disastrously clumsy choice of words. They have their own experiences of miniatures gaming, and taking their description of the community at face value (how else can I take it?) I can only presume they’ve very rarely come across female gamers in their social circles. Other gamers have other experiences, not least female gamers themselves. Priestley’s and Lambshead’s choice of words renders female gamers invisible, and might very well drive some people away from the hobby. Even “overwhelmingly male” would have been an improvement, if only a small one. I’m not saying the community isn’t male by a large majority – it is – but there’s no need for hyperbole. In fact, with a sensitive and serious topic like this, hyperbole is best given a wide berth.

    I also think some of the reactions here aren’t to Priestley and Lambshead directly, but to some of their more balls-out defenders, who incidentally may be people whose “help” the pair may not even find welcome.

    • This reply was modified 3 years ago by Rhoderic Rhoderic.
    #53729
    Kaptain Kobold
    Kaptain Kobold
    Participant

    I was very wary of following that TMP link, but I’m glad I did; Chris Vermont’s first post is the funniest thing I’ve read on this issue all day 🙂

    #53730
    Kaptain Kobold
    Kaptain Kobold
    Participant

    Storm in a teacup……not met a transgender wargamer yet ( knowingly)

    Key word is ‘knowingly’. At one stage at least 10% of one of my wargaming groups was transgender. But only the members who identified as transgender knew that 🙂

     

    #53731
    Thaddeus Blanchette
    Thaddeus Blanchette
    Participant

    What Priestly and Lambshead are saying is that you should use the generic “he” in wargames writing when you absolutely must use a pronoun because switching the gender of your pronoun every sentence is confusing.

    And that is bullshit. No one does that. Ever. I’d like to see an example if I am wrong.

    You should switch the gender of the players in your examples every once in a while. That’s it. That’s reasonable. White Wolf, TSR and other well known rules publishers have been doing this for decades now with absolutely no loss to rules clarity.

    Priestly and Lambshead are creating a reducto ad absurdam (“switching genders every sentance makes a work unreadable”) in order to call for the use of the generic “he” in examples, which is ridiculous at best and arguing in bad faith at worst.

    We get slapped around, but we have a good time!

    #53733

    Jonathan Gingerich
    Participant
    …. They have their own experiences of miniatures gaming, and taking their description of the community at face value (how else can I take it?) I can only presume they’ve very rarely come across female gamers in their social circles. Other gamers have other experiences, not least female gamers themselves….
    I think this is the crux of our different interpretations. Let me point out that it doesn’t matter what proportion of tabletop wargamers are female. It is only the reader’s personal experience that matters in the dialog between author and reader. I think it’s quite likely that P&L would calculate that those who are familiar with female gamers do not need to be persuaded to use gender neutral language. While those that don’t, might. Their first sentence is obviously a rhetorical part of their argument (“Look most gamers are male and we aren’t asking you to pretend otherwise, but…) and may or may not reflect their own experience.
    #53734
    PatG
    PatG
    Participant

    Storm in a teacup……not met a transgender wargamer yet ( knowingly) and not bothered either way……much more important things to get concerned with in the world……….and on the playing table!

    I know (at least) one transgender and one gender fluid. They are good people and calling them what they want to be called is a simple sign of respect for them as people.

    #53735
    Bandit
    Bandit
    Participant

    Indeed. If it costs me nothing and it makes them feel better, what reason is there not to do it?

    Cheers,

    The Bandit

    #53741
    Norm S
    Norm S
    Participant

    I think one has to be realistic, that we are largely still on a journey from pretty much dinosaur attitudes to becoming enlightened in relation to not being exclusive in all its forms, not just sexism.

    It is difficult to change entrenched cultural attitudes and the fact that we have genuinely come this far in such a short space of time is quite remarkable. We are very different people now than we were just 30 years ago and I think getting better at it all of the time – no longer because of policy and such directing us, but rather because we want to and to do so is becoming second nature as the example is sub-consciously set.

    As for rules, I write in gender neutral , but that’s because I am consciously aware as I write the sentence. The issue at the heart of this post is that at this point in time, not everyone is consciously aware, but the direction of movement is at least moving in the right direction.

    If only we could be as good at getting better at having good manners, courtesy and just generally being less selfish in public.

     

    • This reply was modified 3 years ago by Norm S Norm S.
    • This reply was modified 3 years ago by Norm S Norm S.

    http://commanders.simdif.com

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