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Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement - 10/1/2021 4:00:42 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Hi everyone,

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:

https://paxsims.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/the-derby-house-principles.pdf

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.

Regards,

- Erik

----

I'm going to keep this thread open for any civil, good faith discussion. Please discuss in that spirit.

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Post #: 1
RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement - 10/1/2021 5:44:38 PM   
Kuokkanen

 

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That photograph is total controversy material and has contributed to some preconceptions or assumptions about words diversity and inclusion. I hope this gives forum staff some insight to knee-jerk reaction from some of us. Okay, I admit it, I was worried there myself.

[edit]
Photo in question is from library in Seattle, their staff training.

< Message edited by Kuokkanen -- 10/1/2021 5:47:24 PM >


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Post #: 2
RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement - 10/1/2021 6:22:28 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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The goal here is not inclusion by exclusion. It's to encourage us all to strive to be a more actively welcoming community and look for opportunities both in our games and in how we treat others (both existing wargamers and potential new wargamers). We all should try to be more friendly especially to folks who have not historically been a significant part of the wargame community. In my personal experience, the more we reach out and the friendlier we are, the more people we will find who it turns out are interested but had no idea wargaming existed or what it was about.

With that said, any welcoming community will also practice a certain amount of self-policing when it comes to assumptions or preconceptions that might push good people away from joining that community. There are cases as we've had here in the past, where a troll makes it clear that they are just going to troll no matter what. In those cases we do use bans to maintain the civility of these forums. One of our main goals here has always been to keep the focus on what unites us (our interest in strategy games) rather than other issues that may divide us.

Regards,

- Erik


< Message edited by Erik Rutins -- 10/1/2021 6:23:30 PM >


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Post #: 3
RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement - 10/1/2021 6:23:41 PM   
ThomasJay

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Kuokkanen

[image removed]


That photograph is total controversy material and has contributed to some preconceptions or assumptions about words diversity and inclusion. I hope this gives forum staff some insight to knee-jerk reaction from some of us. Okay, I admit it, I was worried there myself.

[edit]
Photo in question is from library in Seattle, their staff training.


That's one lily white guy listening to the speaker in the back of the 'people of color' room. A reverse image search doesn't return any results from what I'd consider legitimate sources, only the types of sites I'd expect to find it on. Looks like a photoshop to me.

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Post #: 4
RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement - 10/1/2021 6:49:37 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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The fact remains that for a significant part of the political spectrum, at least here in the US, these words now carry some political baggage and word games have certainly been played by some on the other side of that spectrum, which is what my initial post was intended to address.

I'm not here to play word games and if you take the statement as it is literally written, it should not be controversial or political. That's what I'd like to reinforce here, rather than turning it into a political argument. There is good faith on our part and I'd like everyone to understand that.

I don't think the aspiration or commitment to these principles, as written, is confined to just one or the other side of the political spectrum. It's something we should be able to unite on as a community if taken in good faith.

Regards,

- Erik


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RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement - 10/1/2021 6:51:33 PM   
ThomasJay

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins

The goal here is not inclusion by exclusion. It's to encourage us all to strive to be a more actively welcoming community and look for opportunities both in our games and in how we treat others (both existing wargamers and potential new wargamers). We all should try to be more friendly especially to folks who have not historically been a significant part of the wargame community. In my personal experience, the more we reach out and the friendlier we are, the more people we will find who it turns out are interested but had no idea wargaming existed or what it was about.

With that said, any welcoming community will also practice a certain amount of self-policing when it comes to assumptions or preconceptions that might push good people away from joining that community. There are cases as we've had here in the past, where a troll makes it clear that they are just going to troll no matter what. In those cases we do use bans to maintain the civility of these forums. One of our main goals here has always been to keep the focus on what unites us (our interest in strategy games) rather than other issues that may divide us.

Regards,

- Erik


Fear of inclusion by exclusion seems to be the main fear. Some seem to think there's going to be racial/gender quotas in the tournaments

Thanks for the post, and opportunity to discuss (within the boundaries of the forum rules)

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Post #: 6
RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement - 10/1/2021 6:53:42 PM   
jwarrenw13

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: ThomasJay


quote:

ORIGINAL: Kuokkanen

[image removed]


That photograph is total controversy material and has contributed to some preconceptions or assumptions about words diversity and inclusion. I hope this gives forum staff some insight to knee-jerk reaction from some of us. Okay, I admit it, I was worried there myself.

[edit]
Photo in question is from library in Seattle, their staff training.


That's one lily white guy listening to the speaker in the back of the 'people of color' room. A reverse image search doesn't return any results from what I'd consider legitimate sources, only the types of sites I'd expect to find it on. Looks like a photoshop to me.



This is from last year, and in response to stories about the apparently segregated sessions the library issued a statement calling them "caucused listening sessions," not mandatory training sessions, but they did not deny the accuracy of the photo. See link. https://kcls.org/news/kcls-responds-to-misinformation-surrounding-diversity-equity-and-inclusion-initiatives/ Anything along these lines becomes very sensitive to talk about.

As for Slitherine's statement, I have no problem with it. I do have problems with some things being done today in the name of equity, or inclusiveness, or diversity, or whatever the word of the day is. I think that is what draws the legitimate concern of some people. For example, racially segregated sessions, whether voluntary or not, fall into that category. There is never a legitimate justification for racial segregation today. It divides us instead of uniting us, no matter what proponents claim.

I grew up as a white kid in the segregated southern United States and was a junior in high school before our school district integrated. I've seen and lived racial segregation. It was evil then. It is evil now, no matter what the justification is. I was introduced to inclusiveness my last two years of high school, but my real education in inclusiveness and unity came in the US Army, starting with my black drill sergeant. I learned a lot from him and the young men of all races in my infantry basic and advanced training platoon in 15 weeks in 1973.

I support Slitherine's goal of working for more diversity. It is good for the wargaming hobby and industry as a whole.



< Message edited by jwarrenw13 -- 10/1/2021 6:54:21 PM >

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Post #: 7
RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement - 10/1/2021 7:35:43 PM   
ThomasJay

 

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I don't see where they either confirmed or denied the photo was real they didn't mention it at all, merely addressed the misinformation being spread around the internet about their staff training. The same misinformation that was inadvertently being passed along in Kaukannens post.

To me, the type of segregated listening sessions they had seem ridiculous and if anything counter-productive, like most ideas outside personnel consultants come up with. But none of us know the full context of what happened in that particular case. Did they split into mixed groups afterwards? Fistfight?

And in the end whatever happened at the Seattle library, and c'mon it's Seattle after all, doesn't have any bearing on Matrix/Slitherine and the Derby House Principles. I trust Matrix/Slitherine to rationally pursue these to all of our benefit
















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Post #: 8
RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement - 10/1/2021 8:07:33 PM   
jwarrenw13

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: ThomasJay

I trust Matrix/Slitherine to rationally pursue these to all of our benefit



I agree.

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Post #: 9
RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement - 10/1/2021 11:26:50 PM   
RangerJoe


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This is why one my posts was deleted with a quote that I don't think was offensive at all.

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Post #: 10
RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement - 10/2/2021 12:13:31 AM   
gamer78

 

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When I've read it first I've thought "diversity" more about international not about US politics. Not a US citizen myself (many wargamers around the world) I would like more about 16 to 19th century European conflicts wargame designs. Maybe latin America independence during Napoleonic Wars. At least Japan RUS (1905 conflict) could be cool

< Message edited by gamer78 -- 10/2/2021 12:15:41 AM >

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Post #: 11
RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement - 10/2/2021 1:18:46 AM   
Don60420

 

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I trust that intellectual diversity will also be welcome, along with diversity of pigmentation and sex.

Personally I could care less about the diversity of people I am playing against so long as they observe the rules and give me a good fight.

< Message edited by Don60420 -- 10/2/2021 1:21:51 AM >

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Post #: 12
RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement - 10/2/2021 1:21:08 AM   
Aurelian

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: gamer78

When I've read it first I've thought "diversity" more about international not about US politics. Not a US citizen myself (many wargamers around the world) I would like more about 16 to 19th century European conflicts wargame designs. Maybe latin America independence during Napoleonic Wars. At least Japan RUS (1905 conflict) could be cool

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2138349923

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Post #: 13
RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement - 10/2/2021 2:38:44 AM   
bayonetbrant

 

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Note, from DHP

quote:

As professional gamers we are committed to the Derby House Principles



Unless any of you guys are working in the DoD / NatSec / academic space where you're dealing with wargaming for policy, training, or analytical purposes, the Derby House Principles are outside your range fan

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Post #: 14
RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement - 10/2/2021 2:58:13 AM   
Karri

 

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If you want more people to play your wargames, drop the prices (there's a reason why the player base is aged, they've got the most disposable income). Or at least introduce regional pricing. Paying lip service to American politics isn't probably of interest to anyone at all. Or you know, maybe upgrade the forums, do some marketing. Just saying, I don't think the reason more people aren't flocking to play these games is that the existing player base is full of racists, chauvinists etc. I assumed it's quite welcoming already...? There are one or two persons in these forums who always have a bad attitude in general, but that's about as far as those sins go.

And it's 2021. These sorts of statements were the rage like two decades ago. Coming out with these bulletpoints now is like you've been living under a rock or something.

< Message edited by Karri -- 10/2/2021 3:08:39 AM >

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Post #: 15
RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement - 10/2/2021 3:14:47 AM   
operating


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Karri

If you want more people to play your wargames, drop the prices (there's a reason why the player base is aged, they've got the most disposable income). Or at least introduce regional pricing. Paying lip service to American politics isn't probably of interest to anyone at all. Or you know, maybe upgrade the forums, do some marketing. Just saying, I don't think the reason more people aren't flocking to play these games is that the existing player base is full of racists, chauvinists etc. I assumed it's quite welcoming already...? There are one or two persons in these forums who always have a bad attitude in general, but that's about as far as those sins go.

And it's 2021. These sorts of statements were the rage like two decades ago. Coming out with these bulletpoints now is like you've been living under a rock or something.

When all else fails start dealing out the pc flash cards.

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Post #: 16
RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement - 10/2/2021 3:58:05 AM   
jwarrenw13

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: bayonetbrant

Note, from DHP

quote:

As professional gamers we are committed to the Derby House Principles



Unless any of you guys are working in the DoD / NatSec / academic space where you're dealing with wargaming for policy, training, or analytical purposes, the Derby House Principles are outside your range fan


Actually Erik connects Slitherine's commitment to the Derby House Principles to the wargaming industry and Matrix and Slitherine and gamers who play their games in his original post.

"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."


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Post #: 17
RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement - 10/2/2021 12:15:53 PM   
bayonetbrant

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Karri

Paying lip service to American politics isn't probably of interest to anyone at all.


The Derby House Principles were initiated by a Canadian and named after a British WW2 initiative.

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Post #: 18
RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement - 10/2/2021 12:17:17 PM   
bayonetbrant

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: jwarrenw13


Actually Erik connects Slitherine's commitment to the Derby House Principles to the wargaming industry and Matrix and Slitherine and gamers who play their games in his original post.

"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."



Not denying that Erik is motivated by expanding the player base as a whole - something the industry everywhere would benefit from. But the Derby House Principles were originally developed by and focused on the professional / NatSec world.

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Post #: 19
RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement - 10/2/2021 12:23:23 PM   
Freyr Oakenshield


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So... er... how do the Derby House Principles relate to the censoring and closing of my thread about the Power & Revolution wargame, pray tell...?

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Post #: 20
RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement - 10/2/2021 3:20:43 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: RangerJoe
This is why one my posts was deleted with a quote that I don't think was offensive at all.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Freyr Oakenshield
So... er... how do the Derby House Principles relate to the censoring and closing of my thread about the Power & Revolution wargame, pray tell...?


I can't speak to any specifics on that, but before I put this post up our moderators were acting on previous instructions. When I saw what was going on in general, I realized while this could become political, it deserved clarification and a fair discussion.

As far as post in other threads unrelated to this, I don't see that those would be related to this discussion. There are forum rules about avoiding political discussions or subjects in general.

Regards,

- Erik


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Post #: 21
RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement - 10/2/2021 3:21:51 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: bayonetbrant
Not denying that Erik is motivated by expanding the player base as a whole - something the industry everywhere would benefit from. But the Derby House Principles were originally developed by and focused on the professional / NatSec world.


Yes, but the statement was not limited to that, despite its origins and therefore the community here where you originally copied that announcement deserved a chance to discuss it and understand my point of view on this.

Regards,

- Erik


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Post #: 22
RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement - 10/2/2021 3:25:40 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Karri
If you want more people to play your wargames, drop the prices (there's a reason why the player base is aged, they've got the most disposable income). Or at least introduce regional pricing. Paying lip service to American politics isn't probably of interest to anyone at all. Or you know, maybe upgrade the forums, do some marketing. Just saying, I don't think the reason more people aren't flocking to play these games is that the existing player base is full of racists, chauvinists etc. I assumed it's quite welcoming already...? There are one or two persons in these forums who always have a bad attitude in general, but that's about as far as those sins go.

And it's 2021. These sorts of statements were the rage like two decades ago. Coming out with these bulletpoints now is like you've been living under a rock or something.


I don't see this as a particularly constructive reply or one that characterizes the point of view I expressed in the original post accurately.

We are unable to do regional pricing in our store at present. We do have some of that via Steam.

No lip service was being paid, the forums are in the process of being upgraded, marketing is ongoing daily - we have multiple full-time marketing staff that do nothing but marketing.

I made no negative claims about the existing player base, but I think there's more we can do to expand it.

As for living under a rock, well there you may have me. Given that I spend so much time focused on history, there are definitely times when I feel that I am a bit of an anachronism.

Regards,

- Erik


< Message edited by Erik Rutins -- 10/2/2021 3:27:02 PM >


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Post #: 23
RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement - 10/2/2021 3:35:02 PM   
OldSarge


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins


quote:

ORIGINAL: bayonetbrant
Not denying that Erik is motivated by expanding the player base as a whole - something the industry everywhere would benefit from. But the Derby House Principles were originally developed by and focused on the professional / NatSec world.


Yes, but the statement was not limited to that, despite its origins and therefore the community here where you originally copied that announcement deserved a chance to discuss it and understand my point of view on this.

Regards,

- Erik




Thank you, Erik. I understood the intent of the original statement and am a bit surprised that it got misconstrued. As the Bard of Avon might say, much ado about nothing! Time to dust off the old Kenneth Branagh collection.

I've always tried to follow the Golden Rule so there isn't much to fuss about here. The old Bard must be having a good laugh!

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Post #: 24
RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement - 10/2/2021 3:53:16 PM   
Karri

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins

I don't see this as a particularly constructive reply or one that characterizes the point of view I expressed in the original post accurately.

We are unable to do regional pricing in our store at present. We do have some of that via Steam.

No lip service was being paid, the forums are in the process of being upgraded, marketing is ongoing daily - we have multiple full-time marketing staff that do nothing but marketing.

I made no negative claims about the existing player base, but I think there's more we can do to expand it.

As for living under a rock, well there you may have me. Given that I spend so much time focused on history, there are definitely times when I feel that I am a bit of an anachronism.

Regards,

- Erik



Re-reading my post I can see why it's not constructive criticism, though my pessimism and personal gripe about and with such announcements stands (doesn't matter if it's Matrix Games or any generic brand celebrating the pride month to grab some of that cash). Obviously, there is nothing wrong as such with becoming more inclusive.

However, might I direct your attention to threads such as these:
https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=3083586&mpage=371

If I was a woman and wandered to a strategy game forum, I might wander off somewhere else if the most popular thread in there is about objectifying women.

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Post #: 25
RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement - 10/2/2021 5:22:17 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Karri
However, might I direct your attention to threads such as these:
https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=3083586&mpage=371

If I was a woman and wandered to a strategy game forum, I might wander off somewhere else if the most popular thread in there is about objectifying women.


It's a fair point, although it technically violates no forum rules. Personally, I would be happy to have a forum where we also had a thread where our many female wargamers also posted pictures they like, but I can see that it is not a great first impression and would fit within what I discussed above about unintentional barriers.

Regards,

- Erik



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Post #: 26
RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement - 10/2/2021 5:28:45 PM   
Orm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins


quote:

ORIGINAL: Karri
However, might I direct your attention to threads such as these:
https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=3083586&mpage=371

If I was a woman and wandered to a strategy game forum, I might wander off somewhere else if the most popular thread in there is about objectifying women.


It's a fair point, although it technically violates no forum rules. Personally, I would be happy to have a forum where we also had a thread where our many female wargamers also posted pictures they like, but I can see that it is not a great first impression and would fit within what I discussed above about unintentional barriers.

Regards,

- Erik


I will not argue this. I understand the reasoning.

I will only say that it is sad that we can not post pictures of the sort that are commonly found in magazines that target women.

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(in reply to Erik Rutins)
Post #: 27
RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement - 10/2/2021 6:37:40 PM   
Kuokkanen

 

Posts: 3497
Joined: 4/2/2004
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Karri

However, might I direct your attention to threads such as these:
https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=3083586&mpage=371

If I was a woman and wandered to a strategy game forum, I might wander off somewhere else if the most popular thread in there is about objectifying women.


Are you sure thread in question is objectifying women instead appreciating them?
Okay, I might not understand the difference between the two

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You know what they say, don't you? About how us MechWarriors are the modern knights, how warfare has become civilized now that we have to abide by conventions and rules of war. Don't believe it.

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(in reply to Karri)
Post #: 28
RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement - 10/2/2021 7:24:53 PM   
Karri

 

Posts: 1133
Joined: 5/24/2006
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Kuokkanen

Are you sure thread in question is objectifying women instead appreciating them?
Okay, I might not understand the difference between the two


I dare say that if you are just concentrating on physical qualities you are objectifying. If you don't understand the difference between objectifying and appreciating you should definitely question yourself a bit.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins

It's a fair point, although it technically violates no forum rules. Personally, I would be happy to have a forum where we also had a thread where our many female wargamers also posted pictures they like, but I can see that it is not a great first impression and would fit within what I discussed above about unintentional barriers.

Regards,

- Erik



Yeah, I'd agree, thing is that I have never seen such a thread (or say, women posting about women, or men posting about men) on any forum really. Apart from some really weird fanfiction/groups, and that strange Japanese Manga subgenre that is apparently very popular with women. I find them all equally cringe though, which doesn't really mean they are wrong. As said, doesn't break forum rules, but does set a certain tone.

< Message edited by Karri -- 10/2/2021 7:29:51 PM >

(in reply to Kuokkanen)
Post #: 29
RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement - 10/2/2021 7:36:19 PM   
DD696

 

Posts: 950
Joined: 7/9/2004
From: near Savannah, Ga
Status: offline
So it begins.

The threads containing pictures of women must be locked. How about the one on all things football next. It does contain pictures of women exposing their legs, and men also.

In the same vein, all pictures of men must be vilified, for they may be considered to glorify the masculinity of man. Especially those of men in uniform, without a shirt, or petting cats. Photographs or illustrations that glorify the art of warfare are especially heinous and many object to them, particularly women.

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(in reply to Karri)
Post #: 30
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