Goodman Games Announced the Indie RPG Creator Summit; Featured Presenters Share Something In Common

Gradine

The Elephant in the Room (she/they)
In coordination with BackerKit, Goodman Games is hosting the Indie RPG Creator Summit on January 8-10, 2024; three days of Zoom webinars on Indie RPG creation, publishing, marketing. Here's the announcement they posted on Twitter:

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All of these things are just like the others...

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the response on Twitter has focused on the diversity of the featured panel, or more specifically the lack thereof.

The full list of 57 does include some female-identified creators (which makes one wonder how not a single one made the online flyer); but it still seems to lack much in the way of racial diversity.

As of right now, 19 hours after posting this image, Goodman Games has yet to make a statement in response to the criticism.
 

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Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
Part of the problem, I think, is that the flyer includes a lot of Goodman Games creators, who are a group of GenX folks who grew up with 1E. White dudes of a certain age were the majority of players at that time.

And Goodman, like a lot of companies, is very used to talking to just their established customers and their communication often suffers as a result. (They took an awful long time to put out an actual PDF preview of their latest OAR project, assuming -- correctly -- that people would just buy it anyway, for instance.)

So, yeah, they should have done better, but I think people who are familiar with Goodman don't think of them as bad guys. (If anything, they're kind of leftie hippies, although they aren't very vocal about their politics.)

This feels like a screw-up, and the need to have additional outside eyes look at stuff intended for a wider audience than their existing core customers, rather than something indicative of a larger problem.
 
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I think the more important question that this image doesn't answer is what the point of the webinars are beyond the vague "indie rpg" description, and that's a bigger issue to me than not highlighting specific people over others.

Most people who see this aren't probably going to care that its all white dudes on the poster. They're going to be asking what is this even for, and if finding that answer takes too much effort then thats likely someone who won't be watching, taking away potential viewers for everyone, including the people that weren't put up on the poster.

And thats without getting into the inherent disingenuity I feel gets tacked on when we make a controversy out of not putting the marginalized on a pedastal.

Pretending to care about people like myself, nevermind people far more marginalized, isn't any better than not caring at all and owning it, and nothing about why these dudes were highlighted over anyone else screams bigotry to me.

Edit: looking it back over, I assume if this was off twitter, the tweet itself communicated what the seminar is about.

But even so; presumably this image is intended to be used elsewhere, so my point stands. But even if it isn't, there's no reason to not have that info in there.
 

Gradine

The Elephant in the Room (she/they)
Most people who see this aren't probably going to care that its all white dudes on the poster.
Make of this what you will, but the vast majority of the comments to GG's tweet is in relation to the lack of diversity in the featured presenters.
 

Gradine

The Elephant in the Room (she/they)
I know some of these folks. Goodman games welcomed me to Gen Con with open arms every day, Some of the folks above even literally. Make no mistake I was absolutely lgbtq supportive loud and proud the whole con.

I hope they fix this. I hope they learn from it too.
The problem isn't they GG isn't generally a positive actor in the community; I think it's pretty well established that they are. The problem is that because of their reputation, better was expected of them than this. And that if they have a big enough blind spot to let this slip through, what else are they missing?

It's terrible optics, for sure. I'm just shocked they they haven't addressed it yet.
 

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
The listed presenters represent a very small sliver of indie RPG design, both in terms of content and distribution channels. The lack of any presence from Exalted Funeral or any panel addressing distribution through itch.io shows a very narrow focus for an event that bills itself as an Indie RPG Creators Summit.
 

Make of this what you will, but the vast majority of the comments to GG's tweet is in relation to the lack of diversity in the featured presenters.

Fair, though on the other hand that is par for the course of Twitter.

I was thinking from a perspective of seeing this in person or just elsewhere.
 

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