Gaming: Neither Politics nor a Creed

I am not they, nor is they I

I am not they, nor is they I

I have to get something off my chest here.

I do my best to keep my entertainment and my politics separate. I play games to relax, to escape real life for a few hours here and there. I do not play games because I feel like I am part of some special, separate and enlightened group.

Here lately, well meaning folks have been yelling a lot and pushing politics into the gaming world as a result of such events as “the gate which shall not be named” and a controversial law in Indiana.

I’ve seen a very creative and innovative RPG game company comprised of what seem to be nice people get raked over the coals and bullied for acknowledging there is a fictionalized view of “Indians” (Native Americans) and it might be fun to play in that fictionalized world.

I’ve seen more and more worldview mind programming enter my game rules (see the gender section of the D&D 5th edition rules, for example).

This isn’t about whether I agree or disagree with these things, or about what “side” I am on… it is the fact that more and more of it is happening. For an activity that should be all about fun, the twain should not meet!

In addition, and just as frustrating to me, among this activity and righteous efforts has been a lot of discussion about what gamers “are” and “are not” and how they believe and act.

Let me clue you in on some reality:

The fact that I like to play games does not opt me in to a moral, ethical or legal code of how I interact with others.

Let me say it again, just in case:

The fact that I like to play games does not opt me in to a moral, ethical or legal code of how I interact with others.

All it opts me into is the fact that I like to play games.

That’s it. Nothing else.

If I want to take it further and choose to form my concept of who I am as being related to a subset / subculture of people who play games, then I and you may by all means do so.

Yet the subculture is starting to tell everyone who plays games who they are and who they should be.

I disagree with this, as you may have gathered by this point.

So remember, just ponder, keep in mind: If you draw a circle of who gamers “are”, and people are left outside of that circle (even if you don’t like their opinions or actions) then you are accidentally doing exactly what you are trying to prevent.

It gets messy. It causes problems.

And messes and problems are the exact opposite of why I play games. Be careful of letting politics and games mix up, because it may be harder to separate later when you want it to.

Politics, even with the best of intentions, often has unintended consequences that can be hard to fix.


Gaming convention crowd image used used via Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license. No changes were made. – flickr user Sergey Galyonkin

2 thoughts on “Gaming: Neither Politics nor a Creed

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.