My thoughts on Gamergate — Robin McEntire, originator of Beyonder

#Gamergate, #StopGamerGate2014, #EverybodyGames

When I played Beyonder, when my kids were still, well, kids, we role-played with them and their friends.  I have three sons, so we did have a lot of guys in the house.  But, there were always girls (and then women) at the table.  Always.  It was as simple as that.

There was no discussion about whether or not to include girls. This was because of one simple fact: girls liked to play games, too.  They liked to hack-and-slash.  Really. Sometimes they preferred to talk with a creature to see who it was and what it was like. And here’s the thing…the guys liked to talk to that creature, too, for the same reason. Because sometimes getting to know a creature (even a smelly, ugly Throg) was the interesting and fun thing to do.

Are there differences between boys and girls, between women and men?  Of course there are.  But there are many more things that we have in common – including the love of game play.

Why should some people get to decide who can and can’t play?  Even more important, why should anyone feel entitled to threaten women with real harm for playing or speaking up about playing?  And it doesn’t stop there.  If you were somehow able to stop women from playing games, you can bet dollars to doughnuts that gamergate would lead to some-other-gate.

We’ve chosen something different.  We value the girls and women with whom we’ve played our whole lives.  We value their contribution to game play and to game development. They’re smart, and they’re really fun to play games with. In playing Beyonder, as in everything else, women are our partners – in games, and a whole lot more.

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