The Gaming Community: The Reason I Love Gaming

Yesterday I logged on to reddit.com/r/boardgames to look at trending topics and discussion in the gaming community and saw a post that reminded me why I wanted to make this store a reality: I love the gaming community.

Since I entered the world of tabletop gaming 4 years ago, I've met a countless number of friends and acquaintances from around the world with different ethnicities, languages, religions, and ages. I like to think I've changed for the better as a result of having met all of these different people. My friend Dien Tran from Toronto, in a recent article about his experience at the Fantasy Flight Games World Championships this year, wrote this about his experience:

"Whatever [game] that brings you to this city, it’s a great time to socialize and connect with others you wouldn’t otherwise meet in your lifetime. I’ve personally met some of the most outstanding people in the world that I would gladly go out and have dinner with...
...I’m happy to know that I’m playing a game that allows me to connect with friends that I’ve made over the past few years. Knowing I’ve left a mark on people internationally in such a positive light makes my journey worth it. I judge my time and self worth on your happiness."

The post I alluded to at the beginning of this article was titled "A call for inclusion, safety, and looking out for your fellow gamer." and it's the reason I love the gaming community. People come to play board games for several reasons but my #1 reason has always been the people. All of the people I've met through gaming have always made me included, like I belong. That is why, as the manager of Mission: Board Games, I want to make a promise that we are committed to making you feel included, safe, and looked out for.

Here's the beginning of that post:

"Today I am calling for the tabletop community to stand together for inclusion, and look out for each other’s safety. To that end, I am stealing Suzanne Sheldon’s Commitments For Inclusive Gaming.

1. Gamers – commit to holding each other accountable

  • Educate yourselves. Make an effort to think about and research social issues in gaming. Don’t dismiss it as undesirable “politics”.
  • Listen to your fellow gamers. Everyone just wants to have fun. Be part of making that possible.
  • Stretch your empathy. Your experiences may not involve problematic behavior but you can play a role in spreading the positivity.
  • Raise your awareness. Learn to recognize problematic behavior online and at gaming events.
  • Address problematic behavior within your group.
  • Address problematic behavior you see in public gaming events.
  • Realize that if a person feels unsafe or uncomfortable, you have an issue that should be addressed.
  • Let publishers and designers know you want inclusion and diversity in games.
  • Let stores know the kind of environment you want to shop and play in.
  • Let convention runners know the kind of environment you expect to have for all gamers.
  • Be the kind of gamer you want in your community.

2. Game Retailers – commit to prioritizing creating a positive experience for all gamers

  • Ensure behavior policies are posted and enforced.
  • Work with the community they have to figure out what’s needed and invest in implementing that.
  • Keep stores clean and well lit.
  • Be smart about product placement and display.
  • Train your employees on how to greet and speak to customers.
  • Train your employees on how to handle problematic behavior.
  • Consult with local law enforcement for tips on how to handle problematic behavior.
  • Set the tone for a healthy gaming community."

To read the entirety of "A call for inclusion, safety, and looking out for your fellow gamer." click here.