It's not a big secret that the gaming community can be pretty toxic to nonwhite, nonmale minorities. Women, trans, and nonbinary individuals are harassed nigh constantly (the stories we could tell about Overwatch comps and mainstream gaming conventions) and minorities either actively dissuaded from participating by blatant racism, or tacitly so by a sheer lack of inclusion of anyone not straight, white, and male.
That's garbage and we're not here for that.
Harsh Generation was by design created to be a space for inclusion. You're going to run into some screwed up stuff as you play, but what you won't run into is misogyny, racism, or homophobia unless you as a player decide to inject these themes into your experience, and we patently discourage you from doing so. There's plenty of crap in the world we wrote. Leverage that, not real-world problems with actual, living casualties. We know you can craft better narratives than that.
To make sure we're complicit in encouraging this, here are some questions to ask yourself and your Storytellers as you create your characters and navigate through the weird world of Harsh Generation:
Are any of my characters queer or otherwise non-heteronormative?
A good way to manage this is to reference relationships, past or present.
Are any of my characters non-binary and/or trans?
Some tips to managing this are to utilize 'they' as the individual's non-binary pronoun, or just simply state 'this character is trans.' That's ok, too, and that makes it real within the narrative on a meta level that's important to the players even if it's irrelevant to the characters’ current situation.
Are any of my characters nonwhite?
This can be best handled by leveraging non-Caucasian names. Have a list handy and use it liberally.
Are any of my characters disabled?
Honestly, in a world this rough - probably. Include them and make them as badass as anyone else.
Are any of these representations stereotypical, problematic, or in any way degrading to actual people who share those traits?
If they are, take a step back and try again. You've got this.
We want Harsh to be part of a better world of gaming, where everyone can find someone they identify with in an environment that feels fun and comfortable. We also won't get it right every time, and invite open and constructive discourse around improvements that could be made.
We're all part of a community, whether we're tabletop gamers, videogame aficionados, or LARPers. Let's do what we can to make that community open to everyone.
We'd love to hear them. We become better players and game runners by helping each other and working together.