Black Lives Matter

Why we're dark today.

06.02.20 - 9:33 PM

Black Lives Matter

"Nobody's free until everybody's free."

That's not my quote, of course, it came from Fannie Lou Hamer, someone I recommend reading about. But I use it here because it says so much in so little space. It's somewhat paraphrased by another version I've seen in recent days, with "All lives don't matter until Black lives matter." However it's phrased, it's a powerful message that needs to be shared.

The position of the staff at RPGFan is similar to what you've no doubt been seeing from other individuals and venues, but it makes it no less true or worth stating. All of us here stand with the Black community in the fight against racism, prejudice, and injustice.

RPGFan is not exactly in the same position as several other websites or companies that continue to show support where they can. Sony is postponing its PS5 reveal, many game developers and publishers have issued statements, Humble recently announced a fund to help publish games by Black developers, Square Enix is pledging $250,000 and matching employee donations, Apple and other music industry people taking part in Blackout Tuesday, and our own new podcast host Transistor even has a post up talking about the issues people are facing, how it impacts communities, and what they're doing about it. There is a lot that needs to be addressed in this situation (to put it lightly), but it's heartening to see more and more support like this.

So again, we can't pledge six-figure donations as a group of volunteers, but that doesn't mean we can't do anything. So I want to take a few minutes to direct you to some sites, and explain what RPGFan is doing beyond this post.

GameSpot took today off from posting new content, choosing to instead share this important message and link to a bevy of articles and projects from Black creators. I encourage you to check them out!

It may seem random to go from GameSpot to Kickstarter, but they put together a post today that covers a lot: Guidance, educational resources, links to ongoing KS projects, organizations to donate to, how to safely protest, and, yes, even suggestions on recharging. There's no shortage of places with worthwhile reading and places to learn about what's happening and how you can help, but I appreciate Kickstarter putting this all in one place.

What We're Doing
You may have noticed we didn't post any news or even our typical Tuesday review today. That was intentional, and while it may have made sense to explain that this morning, our nature as volunteers meant it took until this evening to get this post up. Of course, supporting Blackout Tuesday and mentioning it on Tuesday evening felt weird, so we will continue this throughout Wednesday.

We already have this week's episode of Random Encounter recorded, but our team is putting together an additional segment for the show that will highlight and celebrate Black creators in the gaming industry and some notable musicians that cross into our beloved hobby. We're also talking about a more longform written feature in a similar vein, but we have not yet finalized plans on that.

Finally, as you no doubt can already see, we're debuting a new look for the site for the time being. We haven't determined how long it will run, but at the very least, we will be keeping the site black (okay, black and #222222 gray) throughout the week in support.

If you want to donate, again, Kickstarter shared a great list of resources, so I will echo those here:

Notable Links
This is far from a comprehensive list, but we wanted to include at least a few links to other creators and websites here today that members of our staff have been discussing:
  • Black Game Developers - Exactly what it sounds like! A list of Black game developers, designers, and more.
  • Spawn On Me - A podcast highlighting people of color in the game industry.
  • USgamer's Mike Williams has a great post up today about Black creators, with Black Work Matters.
  • Our PhoenixEdge podcast partners wanted us to include a link to YouTuber PlayerEssence for his spot-on RPG videos, and I'd add geak to that list, for his great, entertaining videos (and temporary RPGFan contributor!).

June is notable for another important movement, and while I don't want to simply "tack on" Pride Month to this post, our logo is a rainbow already, so it at least needs to be mentioned. Originally, our plan was to debut a Pride logo for June, and it happened to coincide, so here we are. As a site that makes it a point to be inclusive and welcome anyone, I'm proud to be part of an amazingly diverse group of people at RPGFan. Over the years, our team of volunteers has changed many times, but despite that, the sense of community amongst the team only seems to grow stronger.

In short, these people are some of the best I know, and several of them are out there now fighting for the rights of others - whether it's others like them or not - and it's that spirit that drives us all to want to do better, to make the world a better place. So let's keep doing that.