Diversity

by David Meadows 13. April 2017 21:56

There's a big fuss in the media at the moment about diversity in Marvel comics. Apparently, Marvel editors believe that people aren't buying Marvel comics because we don't like the "diverse" (non-straight-white-male) casts they've introduced.

As a life-long Marvel reader who no longer reads them, let me set the record straight: I didn't stop buying their comics because they introduced black, female, or gay characters. I stopped reading them because they were consistently publishing bad comics. I'm talking about having storylines that were impossible to follow, making beloved characters act completely out of character, and randomly cancelling and restarting titles just to make it as hard as possibly to know what to buy. I stopped buying Marvel comics because their editors no longer knew how to put out good comics, not because they had gay heroes. Every lapsed Marvel reader I've spoken to has said the same.

Soooo....... how does my universe score on diversity? Probably pretty poorly. It was simply never a consideration when I started the Game. So the vast majority of characters are straight, white males. In later years I (and I think my players too, though we never discussed it) put more thought into having a greater variety of character backgrounds. So I think you'll find the Heroes cast more diverse than the Strikeforce cast. But the mix of main characters still isn't anywhere near representative of modern America.

I could retroactively make half the supporting cast black, but that would be the very epitome of "tokenism", making a change just so I could say I've done it, and I don't think it serves any useful purpose.

So I'm sorry, I've got a mostly non-diverse cast, and I'm stuck with it. It's just how it is.

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Comments (2) -

Stuart Forster United Kingdom
4/14/2017 12:03:14 AM #

Speaking as one of those who are probably partialy responsible for the lack of diversity; I think we were as diverse as we were comfortable with.
I think people who role play outside of their experience tend to play caricatures of the gender or race they have chosen.

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David United Kingdom
4/14/2017 2:38:42 PM #

I think you're right, though there's no actual reason why a man couldn't accurately act the part of a woman (and vice versa) in an RPG. Male novellists write female characters all the time, and most of them manage to avoid caricatures. Though there's a big difference between sitting and thinking through a character's reactions in detail and improvising them out off-the-cuff. For that reason, I think most of us probably play caricatures regardsless of the gender.

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About this blog

The Heroes Universe is an ongoing work of fiction, conceived and chiefly plotted by David Meadows, with help from a group of friends, over a 30-year period.

I am slowly documenting the Universe on this web site.

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