I do a lot of freelance writing, and sometimes people want to hire me to write for a game they’re working on. This is great! I love getting more work, and I love getting to work on new and exciting projects! That said, if you’re planning on hiring me, there are some things you need to know about my views on triggers and diversity.
1. Triggers are a real thing, and they can be very painful. Slavery, rape, misogyny, violence toward children, anti-Semitism, racism, and so forth are all trigger-laden topics that are bound up within the settings of many games. To the extent that they are included at all, they should be included tactfully, with restraint and sensitivity, and with ample warning that they are coming. They should also come with explicit permission to dial back their presence in individual players’ games, and with advice on how to discuss such sensitive subjects.
2. I have a number of gamer friends who are women, transgendered, homosexual, of various different ethnicities, Jewish, Muslim, and/or disabled. These people want to be represented in the games they play; moreover, they deserve it. That’s an agenda I’m comfortable pushing, because I see it as the right thing to do. A lot of this representation is the kind of thing that comes through in art rather than text, but it’s important in both media. Moreover, they deserve to be represented within games they play in the roles they want to play. That is, if a particular group is represented in the game as slaves or villains, that’s simply not good enough.
3. Historical accuracy is, for me, a non-argument against these first two points. Given the choice between representing history accurately and providing a game that is fun for the largest number of people and not harmful to people, I will always choose the latter option. Ultimately people are buying a game, not a history lesson.