From: Vermont, USA
I apologize for not posting earlier while our moderators were locking threads on this topic, which was partly a result of a lack of coordination on our part since we did not expect this to cause controversy.
If you read the Derby House principles, which we take quite literally, I don't think there's anything that should be controversial in there:
We realize that with politics are they are today and words often having double meanings, the above may be taken as a political statement. It should be read literally as a statement of principles which are generally non-controversial rather than a political statement. We all know that there is a stereotypical wargamer who looks like most of us. I come from that community and I love the wargaming community, cantankerous grognards and all. I think most all of us have also wished that we could expand the wargaming community and introduce more people to why we find it so fun and fascinating. The end goal here is in fact to make sure we judge everyone by their character and performance, not on any preconceptions or assumptions and not to exclude, whether deliberately or through inaction, folks who have not been historically prevalent in the wargaming community. You may say we've already been doing that, but this is an affirmation that we think it's worth trying to do more, to be more pro-active in doing what we can to remove any barriers that remain, even if unintentional.
The reasons for this are that we would all benefit from a larger wargaming community in an absolute sense, that diverse viewpoints can also lead to a wider variety of ideas and strategies within both wargame design and wargaming as a historical and competitive hobby, and that being actively welcoming is generally the healthiest stance for any hobby that hopes to grow over time.
Many in the community have in the past also expressed concerns about the aging wargaming population and we've also heard from women in particular that some have found the community to be a daunting environment in more ways that one. We'd like to be a part of making sure wargaming is more active and welcoming to all potential new wargamers and that we treat all new wargamers as we would if we were introducing our own kids to the hobby. Think about the best "hobby ambassadors" you've seen through the years at conventions and aim for that. We'll be doing the same within our games, where relevant, to make sure they are fully representative.
Our hobby is still a very specialized one in that it tends to require an interest or love of history and strategy which not all may share, but it's worth working to reduce any barriers to entry and making sure that we don't inadvertently discourage any potential wargamers who we'd love to have join us simply by assuming they wouldn't be interested.
The bottom line here is really to say that we are in favor of wargaming being as welcoming as possible and we'll work on that within our games where relevant and also work to discourage the kind of trolling within the community that can be off-putting to new gamers, so that we can give everyone a fair shot at making this their new favorite hobby.
I'm going to keep this thread open for any civil, good faith discussion. Please discuss in that spirit.