I read this over at Dyvers and it drove me to thought.
It's Saturday so I have time to write a bit.
I stay out of the current issues of the internet gaming community. This is not for lack of opinion but more for lack of desire to engage the internet at large in any discussion beyond the issues of rpg mechanics. *
So let me be clear before I break my own rule.
I am 100% in the corner of inclusiveness, fairness, and equality for everyone in every phase of life. Gaming being just about the most inconsequential of all those phases *.
If you are reading this and are a person who can pass judgement on others based on their, race, religion, sex, or sexuality be very sure we disagree at a basic level. The issue of who belongs in gaming will like be the least of our disagreements.
I want every type, shape, and form of person enjoying these games, because I think they are the perfect vehicle for any type of person to have a good time and embrace whatever life they want to depict though a fictional character.
On to the show.
I have this "thing" when I write or read games, I don't want any rules that promote political or social view of any kind. In my possibly ignorant opinion I believe that a game should give the players and GM the room to explore any social issue any way they would like without the mechanics forcing it one way or another. One of the beauties of Role-playing games, a player can present whatever role they want. It's one of the reasons role playing games are better than video games and always will be. In the case of a video game you have to live with what ever tropes the game gives you. When paying an RPG you can decide what subjects to tackle and how.
In any game I write or would seriously want to play it does not matter what sex or sexuality a character is presented with because there are no mechanical differences from the games point of view between whatever human someone wants to play.
As an example:
The game Nova 74 which I was working on pretty steady until another group decided to kick start a better version a game using of the same subject (snort). Allows players to make up their own attributes for their characters. If a player decide to use "homosexual" as one of their social attributes it will be mechanically the same as using "strong will," "anger," "gregarious," or whatever else they pick as a social attribute.
If someone is writing has written an RPG game explicitly directed at inclusiveness from a rules stand point. I would like to read it. I'm not sure I even know how I would approach that as a design problem. I would find it extremely interesting to see how a designer would even tackle something that complex and serious within the frame wok of an RPG.
Should Role-playing games be more inclusive in their presentations? Of course, Everything should be. I will argue however that if you put a line of of ten individuals all dressed in jeans and T-shirts in front of me I would not be able to pick out who is gay and who is not. Perhaps you could? I know I couldn't. If an artist draws a warrior for an RPG and says "I want to draw an alternative life style warrior." Isn't that part of the problem, more than it's part of the solution? Just draw a warrior and let the players pour their own ideas into it. If the artist is going to draw a female warrior make her bad ass. Not explicitly because she is female, but because she is a warrior and warriors are bad-ass.
To be fair I think the 5th ed player's manual does a good job of this.
(also for fun go to page 259 in your huge Numenera book and tell me you don't want to play the woman in the black and white art plate found there. She is ready to shoot the shit out of something from the back of what ever the hell that thing is she's riding.)
Should the RPG industry be more welcoming to people.
That starts at the tables, Not in the books. Game systems can't foster inclusiveness, no matter how well intended.
Are you a girl, gay, straight, transgender, whatever? You want to roll dice? You willing to stab a necromancer named Vorul in the face before he uses an army explosive zombie bullywugs to kill a bunch of people? Fantastic sit down, eat some Doritos and make a character. Dice are in the bag.
Nobody has "enough" players. I'm not using those reasons to turn anyone away,
As always thank you for reading.
(* I am at a personal impasse about the internet for the past month I have been thinking of giving this up simply because I don't like the interactions that go on surrounding this hobby and in the gaming hobby at large. It STUNS me to see the amount of venom spewed in the past few months regarding video games. I don't understand it. That's a topic for another time. Let it be said with age I have become far less tolerant of bullshit.)