I'd crow about how I told you so, but predicting SJW's will not leave a hobby or stone unturned if it may be liked by more white and male types than others, and that they will impose diversity on you and you'll like it, or else, and "get away with your hateful opinions you Trump bigot!" no matter how obscure it is is like predicting the night will follow the day. Craft beer, knitting, and yes, as I predicted, wargames.
Even in the original kerfluffle over Scramble for Africa, one could already see the twitter and other threads where people who were into hobby boardgames, but never really did the wargame thing, suddenly realized there was a whole subset of their hobby where perforce, at least one player had to play, and possibly sympathize with, the bad guys.
In the continuing explosion of tabletop board gaming, there are numerous World War II games in which players get to be Nazis. There are American Civil War games in which players take the role of the Confederacy. Some of these games confront the victims of the Holocaust and enslaved people head on; most don’t, though of course they’re right there if players choose to look.
Yes, much like #Gamergate got to national attention, and so did Sad/Rabid puppies on the science fiction side, a relatively obscure hobby has now earned a pile-on from the New York Times for being too insensitive, for allowing people to sympathize with the bad guys.
Mr. Wehrle described board games a “little sympathy engines” because players directly embody a role. Designers should question who they have players sympathize with, and why, but he believes they should still make games with difficult themes. “There is value to letting players sympathize with a position that is morally objectionable, as long as it has some larger payoff,” he said.
In his game An Infamous Traffic, about the opium wars in China, Mr. Wehrle believes he achieves the payoff by juxtaposing sobriety with absurdity.
Players act as British merchants colonizing and becoming wealthy from a repugnant business, but they only score points by dominating the London Season, a sort of prestige competition among aristocrats to host balls, win regattas and dress the fanciest. (Mr. Wehrle has a doctorate in the literature of British colonialism, giving him a leg up in navigating this tricky balance. )
He believes Scramble for Africa was a failure because it lacked a similar, or any, payoff. “The story of globalization in the 17th to 19th century, that is the story everyone is already taught in high school, especially the West,” he said. “So when playing a game about that period you are not learning anything about it — you are re-enacting it.”
In short, it's permissible to touch on "objectionable" positions and people as long as it's somehow educational or otherwise mollifies the offended. But re-enacting it as one of the eeeebil players? Right out.
And the hobby is, what else, too white...
One of the best-selling strategy games of the last few years is Eric Reuss’s Spirit Island, in which players take the role of different spirits who cooperate to defend their fictional island against colonizers.Mr. Reuss said he designed the game in reaction to Puerto Rico and others that celebrate colonialism; in Spirit Island the pieces representing colonizers are white, a choice that inverts the assumption that light colors are good and dark colors are evil.
Yes, the game is actually relatively top ranked, and reading the description, is explicitly anti-colonialist in that way that is no longer unique to the self-flagellating cosmopolitan European. From BGG:
In the most distant reaches of the world, magic still exists, embodied by spirits of the land, of the sky, and of every natural thing. As the great powers of Europe stretch their colonial empires further and further, they will inevitably lay claim to a place where spirits still hold power - and when they do, the land itself will fight back alongside the islanders who live there.
Spirit Island is a complex and thematic cooperative game about defending your island home from colonizing Invaders. Players
Such a game would be cool, but explicitly painting your own civilization as the bad guys instead of, oh, I don't know, changing the thematic elements to neutralize them, is somewhat self-hating. But then, playing as National Socialists and trying to win, bad, playing as people trying to defeat Europeans, good.
And yes, being too white is a problem. Yes, again, it's not about whether or not people who get into the hobby are into the hobby, it's whether the people who are in the hobby have the right demographic distribution and prioritize that over the hobby itself. Also under "Why SJW convergence kills any organization and prevents it from doing its putative job"
Again, from the article:
The board game hobby — especially in the United States — is overwhelmingly white and male, though, anecdotally, that seems to be changing. Mr. Wehrle and Mr. Reuss said they see more women and people of color playing games and attending board game conventions.
The ranks of board game designers, however, is changing more slowly. According to one study, 94 percent of the designers for the top 100 ranked games on BoardGameGeek were white men. This perhaps explains the viewpoint many games take. Their designers can more readily identify with the European colonizers, and not the colonized.
As long as Americans and Europeans dominate board gaming, themes of colonialism will likely abound. “You can make a game about anything, but you have to be responsible for the things you make,” said Mr. Wehrle, the designer.
Critical race theory, social so-called "justice", and all of that are a cancer. They will kill whatever they infest, or have it move along, an empty zombie husk of what it once was, it's purpose hijacked like a fungus-ridden ant.
If you want to play games, play games.
And tell anyone who cares more about who you're playing games with, or what they're about possibly offending someone, to fuck off. They can play, go play something different, or not play, but they have no right to tell you what to do.