15 Million Merits. Shit.
I recently got back into the show, Black Mirror. The first episode put me off for years, but a friend mentioned and regarded the second episode highly, so I watched it.
Skipping to the important-to-this-post bits, the main character (the lead actor from Get Out) makes his way onto television, which is required viewing, to exclaim how fucked the system is. How poorly people are treated, and how disgusting society has become.
He’s offered a time slot on a channel to replicate his moment of honesty, which he takes. Commodified.
That character is Black. Think on that.
So, what in the blazes does this have to do with me?
I’m good at yelling about how the ttrpg community needs to be better. Sometimes I even offer advice. But for the most part, I feel like a quick fix for white people to fill their “I listen to a PoC" quota.
Maybe some of it changes things. I can only think of one person who has done a tangible thing based on something I said. To do work that they can do from their position of privilege. The rest can’t be quantified, or even qualified.
What can be, however, is how many PoC designers, GMs, and players, who are being actively pushed down or gatekept from opportunities. Stories we can only tell each other in private spaces because we’ve seen people harassed online for saying less.
So I feel like I have 15 Million Merits. Like I can pay for my time to be on the Twitter show and say general truths about how bad things are for PoC (especially QTPoC), instead of being direct. Calling people out. Standing by exact action.
Y’all see how many shows exist that dont feature people of color. How many of the campaigns with one person of color in them have fantasy racism? I’ll wait.
Let’s go deeper. How many people run shows with the same person of color in each one? How many have more than one?
Imma ask you a real as question you’re not ready for.
How many games, streamed or otherwise, have featured a majority PoC table, run by a white person?
You can fall back on your “small number of PoC in the community" whatevers. You can fall back on your “I dont know how to make friends" whatever. Fall back on any excuse you want.
Yes, I’m standing on my crappy soap box, after paying my shitty merits to be on this extra ass show called “your attention". But if I’m going to be here, Im going to do what I can.
Because most of us cant. Not because we’re unable, but because the extra kind “I’m into diversity, come play with me" people are also huge microagressors who shut us down and/or tire us out.
The only difference between me and everyone else is luck, good privacy settings, and sadism (is a joke).
I might not be able to directly point out how CRAP we’re treated. How we’re pinned onto shows to fill quotas, how we’re set to speak last and are spoken over, and how we’re forced to deal with “I’m diverse” and “being queer means I’m not racist’ GMs. Publishers. Organizations. Conventions. You name it.
I’m tired. Im tired for me and for my friends. From the list of horror stories that other PoC have to live through silently, and are only able to share with each other in the most secret of spaces.
And I’m tired of this fucking show, where I sell our grief for follows and likes. Just so that I can maybe, possibly, sneak a little change into people’s minds with my content.
15 Million Merits ain’t shit.