Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement

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Erik Rutins
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Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement

Post by Erik Rutins »

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/202 ... ciples.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.
Erik Rutins
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RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement

Post by Kuokkanen »

Image

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.
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RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement

Post by 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
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RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement

Post by ThomasJay »

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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RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement

Post by Erik Rutins »

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

Post by ThomasJay »

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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RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement

Post by JWW »

ORIGINAL: ThomasJay

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- ... itiatives/ 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.

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RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement

Post by ThomasJay »

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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RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement

Post by JWW »

ORIGINAL: ThomasJay

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

I agree.
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RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement

Post by RangerJoe »

This is why one my posts was deleted with a quote that I don't think was offensive at all.[:(]
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RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement

Post by 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 [:D]
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RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement

Post by Don60420 »

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.
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RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement

Post by Aurelian »

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 [:D]
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RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement

Post by bayonetbrant »

Note, from DHP
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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RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement

Post by 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.
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RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement

Post by operating »

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.
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RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement

Post by JWW »

ORIGINAL: bayonetbrant

Note, from DHP
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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RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement

Post by bayonetbrant »

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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RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement

Post by bayonetbrant »

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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RE: Regarding the Derby House Principles Announcement

Post by 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...?
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