Tonight I want to talk about the third pillar of The Dragon and Meeple, Pride. Not every gamer is a nerd, but as a whole, we tend towards nerdier tendencies. Think pieces abound on the internet about how it is the “Age of the Geek”, and how it’s cool to be a nerd. Even as Hollywood and pop culture in general co-opt our fandoms and hobbies, you still see the subtle eye roll or veiled disdain when someone doesn’t share our interests.
Tabletop gaming holds an even smaller niche within this greater community of nerds and geeks. Despite it’s relatively small size, one of my favorite things about this community is it’s diversity. I don’t just mean racial, gender, religious, or sexual diversity. The diversity of interests among those friends I have made while gaming has been unparalleled against any other community I have ever been a part of. This diversity is reflected in the breadth of themes explored in tabletop games.
We can take pride when we beat our opponents at the table with a skillful play of the cards. We can take pride in losing because we learned a new strategy for the future. We can take pride when we work together to slay a dragon. We can take pride when we sit across the table from a stranger and make a new friend.
What we should never do is allow that pride to become arrogance. We should never be exclusionary in who we let into our community. An ugly side to many nerdy fandoms, is to label others, especially women, as ‘fake’ fans. We need to recognize that each of us brings our own experiences and our own motivations into this hobby. We should never judge those motivations or those tastes. It’s OK if someone likes Monopoly. Really it is people.
As an organization we have great amount of pride in being gamers. Our pride will be seen in employees who will never judge you for your choice in games or your choice in beer. This will be seen in a clean and organized store with bathrooms that aren’t filthy. We will show our pride with events that celebrate our shared community as gamers, as nerds, and as Angelenos.
Most of us have faced exclusion at some point in our lives. We need to stand together and welcome all who wish to compete with us. We at The Dragon and Meeple hope to welcome you with pride into our community later this year.