Black Lives Matter
BARD Games stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement. This is the official position of BARD Games. Now more than ever, there is an opportunity to recognize systemic violence against people of color, and require that our institutions both protect human rights and promote the common good.
As gamers, we love epic fantasy battles, war games and the conflict-riddled immersion that comes from playing strange characters in bizarre worlds.
As human beings, we abhor violence. Watching the murder of George Floyd forced everyone to acknowledge generations of violence against people of color. Now everyone must decide to speak up or clam up. We choose to speak up. Black Lives Matter.
BARD Games opposes all forms of violence. We reject violence as a meaningful instrument of change. Riots and looting are acts of rage that breed more violence and propagate hate. “Rage Quitting” is not a winning strategy for democracy. We are committed to using our voice to be an ally of the peaceful, loud, and angry calls for change.
Why It Matters
What follows is my personal opinion about gaming, #BLM and why I believe it is important that every board game industry leader must loudly foster inclusion and antiracism if we believe that board gaming is a community.
Our strategy at BARD Games is to:
- Create Content for the Gaming Community
- Get Interesting Brands
- Sell Quality Gaming Products
Gaming is a human pastime. Companies and teachers rediscover ‘gamification’. Family game night teaches fairness, fellowship, and fun. Every culture in history has games; The Royal Game of Ur, Senet, Hnefatafl, Mankala, Parcheesi, Dice, Backgammon, Mahjong, Dominos, Cribbage, Poker and so much more, right up to the board game renaissance and virtual tabletops of 2020.
During the past few decades that is my life, I have played countless board games and RPGs at conventions, FLGS, and my kitchen table. I have played games with Black, Latino, Asian, immigrant, local, men, women, gender non-conforming, transgender, gay, lesbian, young gamers, older gamers, gamers with disabilities, color-blind gamers, Christians, Atheists, Pagans, rich, poor, marginalized, privileged, happy, sad, hungry and even a few Video Gamers… the human tapestry.
My love of board games is enriched because I have played so many games with so many people.
Gamer is an Identity
I truly believe the game table can connect us all if we invite everyone into our secret language of d20s, co-op mechanics, and Victory Points. We game to have fun, be together, and sometimes escape the difficulties of life. Our lives are richer because we game.
As Gamers, we have the co-op skills to organize change, the knack to think a few moves ahead to plan a winning strategy and experience building our ‘engine’ to create victory points for the whole party.
And we abhor cheaters. Players that bend the rules for no other reason than selfishness and insecure egos spoil the game for everyone. We won't play a game called “I win, you lose” because we know the competition is fun only when it is fair and humane. Black Lives Matter is reminding us that our laws, institutions, and our vision for America (where I live) should not be a “win-lose” competition. The winning strategy for society is a LARP, a co-op, an Escape Room, a team building event where we all win by working (and playing) together.
I reflect on Black friends with whom I have played many hours of games, served with in the military, and worked with across my career. I can’t agree with those who choose to ‘avoid talking about politics’ when I know people who are hurting because of systemic racism and violence.
When I asked Eric (co-owner at BARD Games) what he thought about other game-related companies who think their business is better served by staying out of the BLM movement, his words struck me, “If we say nothing, we are saying that it is more important not to piss off anyone to make a sale, then it is to piss off some customers who we don’t want anyway.” Well said.
If you are a national magazine, a publisher with broad social reach, an industry organization, an FLGS, a convention team, or a motivated game reviewer, this is your opportunity to declare that the gaming community is for all people.
Declare that Black Lives DO Matter because people of color need to know you are an ally. Speak out against violence and in support of the rights, safety, dignity, success, and inclusion of the Black community. Create ways to invite new, different people into our gaming world, and be proud that the gaming community has always had a role in connecting humanity.
Over the next few weeks, we will add new content to offer you information on becoming an ally, celebrate the diversity of our gaming community, and invite you to share your voice to help us promote the common good.
Comments & Questions
We believe that this is about conversation. If you have comments or questions please send us a message below.