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‘Just because some people are successful doesn’t mean we’ve cured inequality and racism in the tabletop industry’

Discussing the model minority myth in the tabletop gaming industry at PAX Online x EGX Digital.

Hear RPG and board game designers discuss the model minority myth and its impact on their work and the tabletop gaming industry as a whole in a panel from this year’s PAX Online x EGX Digital.

Dice Tower content creator Ella Galang Ampongan was joined by Jiangshi: Blood in the Banquet Hall RPG co-creator Banana Chan, Battle of the Boybands co-designer Clio Yun-su Davis, Wizards of the Coast producer Victoria Caña and RPG writer and designer Jeeyon Shim to recount their experiences facing racism and stereotypes both inside and outside of the tabletop industry.

“I feel a lot of the time we’re expected to know everything about every single Asian country,” Chan said.

The panel discussed the wider impact and damage of the model minority myth, the way it has erased US history and oppression of Asian people, as well as personal individuality, and its combination with sexist expectations, including the specific way it has affected the creators’ work and careers in the gaming industry.

“You have to work harder, just because there’s a higher expectation of you,” Galang Ampongan said.

Focusing on the tabletop industry, the panellists talked about the use of often harmful and offensive stereotypes and representation in tabletop games, including the appropriation of themes and stories by creators without the necessary consultation. They also considered the recent push for diversity in the tabletop industry, and how a small number of positive examples shouldn’t be considered as the problem solved.

You can watch the Model Minority Myth in the Gaming Industry panel from PAX Online x EGX Digital 2020 - which is organised by Dicebreaker owner ReedPop - below. (The session starts around the 7:43:14 mark in the full video.) The panel is part of nine days of panels and sessions running until September 20th; find the full schedule on the event website.

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About the Author
Matt Jarvis avatar

Matt Jarvis


After starting his career writing about music, films and video games for various places, Matt spent many years as a technology, PC and video game journalist before writing about tabletop games as the editor of Tabletop Gaming magazine. He joined Dicebreaker as editor-in-chief in 2019, and has been trying to convince the rest of the team to play Diplomacy since.

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