Clyde W
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http://analoggamestudies.org/2018/12/assessing-gender-and-ra...

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The BGG discussion forums offer some insight into how the board game community regards the politics of representation. BGG is home to an active and mostly unmoderated network of threads under a category called, “Everything Else » Religion, Sex, and Politics.” According to a search of the forum, discussions of “whiteness”, racial and sexual representation and harassment appear in recent 2018 forum threads about topics such as “Sexual Harassment at Origins”, “The White Power Symbol”, “Confederate flags in the North”, “Treatment of conservatives” and “If You Could Change One Thing About The Hobby: What Would It Be?” In the latter thread about improving the hobby, one BGG forum poster replied, “Be more inclusive. I’d like to see more diverse designers, developers and artists of games and personalities such as reviewers and bloggers”; another poster wrote, “Better representation of women. Better representation of people who are not white people. Better representation of people who do not follow the social norms that straight Puritans have decided is the standard….”7A post responding to the criticisms that the hobby is sexist in a June 2018 forum entitled “Gencon” targeted pop culture critic, independent games scholar, and Gencon speaker, Anita Sarkeesian: “Sarkeesian is a hypocrit (sic) and a liar. She is completely blind to any other opinions then (sic) her own, and everything aside from her own is wrong, racist, sexist etc. As opposed to many of the people who has (sic) criticised her over the years, who have openly admitted to agreeing with her on occasion. Whatever she is gonna puke out on GenCon I can only imagine but It (sic) will most likely alienate 90% of the community from the discussion, so the remaining 10% can come together and feel good about themselves”8 It is clear that matters of representation, diversity and inclusion simmer, and occasionally boil, within the forums and across the hobby.
Edit: link to the quoted comment: Re: Gencon
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hibou
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With Trigun being this lock consensus good read for so many people, I find it really bizarre that she's alive. There's a threshold where if she's still alive she should probably be murdalated.
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GenCon would be better if there were fewer people. Then the vendor hall would be worth going to on Saturday again.
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Junior McSpiffy
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If I recall, wasn't this posted in the forum by the person who was publishing this paper before they put it up? I recall seeing this once before.
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I've never thought someone would need a "(sic)" key before reading that excerpt.
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Josh
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GameCrossing wrote:
If I recall, wasn't this posted in the forum by the person who was publishing this paper before they put it up? I recall seeing this once before.
Yeah, I,remember when it was first posted.
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Clyde W
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ljtrigirl wrote:
GenCon would be better if there were fewer people. Then the vendor hall would be worth going to on Saturday again.
We should def Thanos that place.
 
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Clyde W
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But seriously, so in discussion outside of BGG about this article, I've seen people attack it in two different ways:

* "This only looks at the Top 200 of BGG. If the sample of games were instead random, it's possible that that sample would have more women and minority representation." The subtle point being that white men are simply better game designers than anyone else and that's why the top 200 games are filled with games designed by white men.
* "The entire database being analyzed is flawed: most non-white boardgamers don't use BGG, so there's inherent biases in the data."

What are a few arguments I can use to counter those?
 
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@Clyde, I think for the first argument it's simply a huge logical leap from "most popoular" to "best". If games by white men tend to get higher ratings on BGG, there could be a multitude of explanations apart from being "better" games. Off the top of my head I see two other *major* factors:
1. The average white man owning more and having better odds at getting investors than the average person, leading to games designed by white men to on average have higher production value, wider spread, and better marketing.
2. Games by white men more often being designed to be enjoyable by white men, and white men being overrepresented in the voting users of BGG. Conversely, games by people of color and women may to a larger degree contain elements that speak to those groups, which are underrepresented in the voting on BGG.

For the second argument, I think they're largely right; that is a clear limitation to the study. As long as the study aknowledges this though, it makes the study limited, not flawed, and it's still very useful for discussing the state of the hobby as BGG is part of the "face" of the hobby, together with all the various conventions and other organized mass events.
 
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C Bazler
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clydeiii wrote:
But seriously, so in discussion outside of BGG about this article, I've seen people attack it in two different ways:

* "This only looks at the Top 200 of BGG. If the sample of games were instead random, it's possible that that sample would have more women and minority representation." The subtle point being that white men are simply better game designers than anyone else and that's why the top 200 games are filled with games designed by white men.
* "The entire database being analyzed is flawed: most non-white boardgamers don't use BGG, so there's inherent biases in the data."

What are a few arguments I can use to counter those?
A good counterargument would be to point to any number of other male-dominated hobbies. Are men "simply better" than women at fishing and beer tasting? Are women "simply better" than men at knitting and cooking? (If so, why are so many chefs men?) Why aren't there more black golfers and tennis players? Certainly not because of skill: Tiger, Serena, and Venus are proof enough of that.

Most social groups (and the hobbies around which social groups form), are constituted by cultural and historical convention. The fact that most golf and tennis clubs across the nation didn't admit black members until around 40 years ago probably had something to do with those two sports' inaccessibility (and lack of appeal) to black athletes. Is it not also likely, after 30+ years of the comic and gaming industry being marketed almost exclusively to white boys/men, that those hobbies would still be less appealing and less accessible to women and POC?

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clydeiii wrote:
But seriously, so in discussion outside of BGG about this article, I've seen people attack it in two different ways:

* "This only looks at the Top 200 of BGG. If the sample of games were instead random, it's possible that that sample would have more women and minority representation." The subtle point being that white men are simply better game designers than anyone else and that's why the top 200 games are filled with games designed by white men.
* "The entire database being analyzed is flawed: most non-white boardgamers don't use BGG, so there's inherent biases in the data."

What are a few arguments I can use to counter those?
#1 - "So run the analysis and see what happens."

#2 - "OK, so maybe the methodology was limited. What would you suggest that put reasonable limits on the scope? Should we include games that sold 2 copies as we evaluate the industry?"

#3 - "How do you know that non-white boardgamers don't use BGG? Is there another site where they're better represented? Given the size and scale of BGG, isn't the fact that they don't want to participate there at least somewhat illustrative?"
 
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perfalbion wrote:

#3 - "How do you know that non-white boardgamers don't use BGG? Is there another site where they're better represented? Given the size and scale of BGG, isn't the fact that they don't want to participate there at least somewhat illustrative?"
I don't think that assumption (non-white boardgamers are underrepresented at BGG) is unfair at all, given the national demographics of BGG. However, it kinda comes down whether the analysis is meant to represent people that play board games, or specifically the North American & European board gaming industry and community. It's an English-language site, so people who don't speak much English aren't likely to register here.
 
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Well, I'm going to have to give the article a flat out D in presenration since the very premise in the opening paragraph (top 100 not US Demographic) is hugely flawed in that the top 100 are laregly not from the US.

Doesn't mean more diversity wouldn't be neat, it just means you compared things that don't make sense, which is loor framing and undercuts an argument. Damn sloppy.

 
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Ken
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sajberhippien wrote:
I don't think that assumption (non-white boardgamers are underrepresented at BGG) is unfair at all, given the national demographics of BGG. However, it kinda comes down whether the analysis is meant to represent people that play board games, or specifically the North American & European board gaming industry and community. It's an English-language site, so people who don't speak much English aren't likely to register here.
Unless I'm mistaken, the article was commenting on the US population when it look at the demographics, so the assumption isn't fair. Moreover, "assumptions" hardly make good evidence when discussing factual things. So if folks know that there are sites that attract a high percentage of non-white gamers and/or have statistics supporting the assumption, then it might be interesting. If not, then there's no reason to accept the premise.
 
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