So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. – Acts 10:34-35
Gaming, as we have stated many times before, has the potential to be a powerful tool for good. You need look no further than our dear friends at The Bodhana Group to see that.
It also has a dark side.
If you’re unfamiliar with Saving the Game, I want to thank you for taking the time to read this post. My name is Peter, and along with my co-host Grant, I do a biweekly podcast about tabletop roleplaying games and collaborative storytelling from an explicitly Christian perspective. We agree that part of the responsibility of speaking about gaming from a Christian perspective is helping the gaming community be friendly, welcoming and most importantly safe for everyone, Christian or not.
Grant and I have been progressively more disturbed by a steady trickle of stories of people who aren’t like us (white, middle-class, middle-aged men) being given the cold shoulder, mocked, and even intimidated or abused by gamers, sometimes to the point where they leave the hobby or never even give it a chance. There was a time when I didn’t really know this problem was there – to the point where I got into at least one argument about the extent of the problem a few years back.
Sadly, I’ve been shown just how limited my perspective was, and what I saw during that process grieved me deeply and made me not a little angry.
We spoke about this with Mike Perna back in Episode 66 when we addressed the topic of gatekeeping, but unfortunately, in that episode, I think we wound up mostly preaching to the choir – our listeners, when we’ve met them in person and talked to them online, have been kind, gracious folks (actually, we’re kind of counting on that, but more about that later) and not predisposed to gatekeeping.
Which is why we want to listen to and share your stories.
If you have been treated badly by gamers, or someone else in the larger hobby, we want to hear what you have to say. In hearing your story, passing it on to our listeners, and talking about it, we hope to equip our listenership to notice the warning signs of gamer abuse and intimidation and stop it before it really gets started or just plain stop it if it’s started already. And frankly, the less you’re like Grant and me, the better. We want to hear from people of different ethnic backgrounds, women, people with non-traditional sexual orientations and identities, people with disabilities, people who aren’t neurotypical, people with differing worldviews, and anyone else who has a relevant story to tell. And, if you’ll let us, we’d like to share your experiences with our community in an episode (or maybe two) we’re chomping at the bit to record as soon as we’ve got some stories to share and your permission to do so.
We’re doing this because we sincerely believe that our listeners are a good place to start changing the community from the inside out. If you want us to keep your story anonymous when we record, but still share it stripped of names and locations, we will. If you want to come on the aforementioned episode and actually talk to us about your experiences, we’d be humbled and grateful. After all, God wants everyone brought into community, and that starts with love, acceptance, and a willingness to defend those who are being mistreated or oppressed.
To contact us, you can use any of the following options. Please let us know if you don’t want us to share your story on the podcast or on social media, or if you want to remain anonymous when we do so; and if either of those are true, please use one of our more private channels.
- The comments section below
- Our “Contact Us” page
- Email us at hosts [at] stgcast [dot] org
- Facebook (either as a message or on our page directly)
If some other means or format is better for you, of course, let us know. We want your story, and we’ll happily work with you to help you get it to us.
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. – Romans 12:9-13
If you are one of our many beloved gamer doppelgangers out there, we’d like some help from you too:
1. First and foremost: If you have a friend or family member who has been through this phenomenon we’re describing, please put them in touch with us.
2. Second and only slightly less important: Start doing some research of your own into this problem. If you’ve been blessed as I have been to game with a diverse group of people since day one and then your primary internet gaming “family” is the oasis of love and compassion that is the greater Fear the Boot community, you may find it hard to believe that the problem exists, so steel yourself and start looking.
Our goal in this project is to shine some light into the darker corners of our hobby until, well, frankly, the light is normal.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. – Galatians 3:28