Greater In Action

Maggie's picture

Hello everyone, welcome to the first post in a series of blog entries by the women of Greater Than Games. We decided to expand upon our “Greater Together” video topics in individual blog posts.

Greater Together Video

My topic is Greater In Action. I came up with this topic and chose it for myself for because it means a lot to me. It means seeing a problem and working towards a solution; it means not just questioning the status quo, but actively working against it. A lot of my early life was spent being told that I should be happy with what I have. Stop being so eager, stop being so ambitious, stop questioning the world around you and just be content. Well, I’m not content and plenty of other women in this world are even further from content, so I became Greater In Action.

I helped organize and attended my first political protest when I was 18 years old. Since then I have been a part of more protests, more sit-ins, and more movements than I ever would have imagined. Now, I don’t think that protesting is the only way to take action, but it is the most actiony action that I could describe. Please don’t think that I’m advocating for everyone to put down their board games and pick up their picket signs. There are about a zillion other ways that you can create change in the world and I’m going to give you a bit of advice on a few of them.

 

Boycott

If you are a consumer and you want to see diversity in the board game industry, stop being okay with less than representative games. Boycotts have been successful throughout history, and trust me they are still effective. If a product is not up to your par when it comes to diversity in the game characters or the creative team then don't buy it. And don't be afraid to tell people why you aren't interested. 

I would even venture to say that the "telling people why you aren't buying it" part is more important than the act of not buying it. Designers and publishers can only be so aware, and educating them is 1000% your job as a consumer. Tell them- they want to know.

The same can be said for any other industry. If you don’t like the product or the company- don’t buy it, and then tell everyone else why you aren’t

 

Educate your fellow humans

Educating people is the first step to making any sort of change a reality. Let them know what’s happening: why you are not buying those things, why you are using #girlsbehindthegames or #greatertogether, why should they know about this issue and care. There are loads of ways to educate others now that internet and social media exist. Share an article and write a description of what is important in it. Boom! You potentially educated a human. Create a blog post. Boom! You educated someone. Make a video! Boom! Educated!

Other ways include: organizing public speeches, panel discussions, lectures, etc. There are resources online for how to organize such events, and plenty of community-based organizations (in most areas) that will allow you to organize them.

Organize and/or attending a protest

Like I said at the beginning, I am not advocating that people take up protesting, but if you should choose to do it you need to be safe and smart. The first thing anyone should do when organizing a protest is pick a location, or route if it is a march, and look up the proper permitting for the area to see what you need to be legally allowed to protest there.

After you’ve secured a location, create an event on social media. I would probably use Facebook, but there are other event platforms as well. Start inviting people and getting the word out. Try to get an interview with a local newspaper or something along those lines. Free press coverage is great for getting people involved.

In your event you should set an agenda so people know a) why they are there, b) how long they will be there or how far the walk might be, and c) who’s speaking if there are speeches and why.  Also, let everyone know that you have secured permission to go forward with your protest. Give them guidelines to follow as well, e.g., no throwing things, no signs with profanity on them, etc.

From this point forward, your mission should be to get people involved. Maybe come up with a clever phrase to use. This is essentially where “Black Lives Matter” was born. People were protesting the death of unarmed black men and they used this as their slogan. This slogan caught on with the general public and led more individuals to get involved.

Throughout the protest, it is important to keep folks engaged. Have a few chants lined up, and have a clear call to action. For example, tell them why you are gathering and what you want them to do after. It could be writing to their Congressional Representative, signing a petition etc. For chants or rallying calls, a big crowd pleaser that I have seen is having the speaker say “Show me what democracy looks like” and the crowd responses with “This is what democracy looks like”.

If you are attending a protest, try to go with a friend. This isn’t because all protests are scary or violent, but they are crowded usually. If you can’t bring a friend tell people where you are and when you plan to be done. Wear comfy clothes and shoes. Usually, you are either walking or standing for an extended period, so trust me it’s important. Be prepared for anti-protesters. These are people protesting the protesting, essentially, and they will be angry. They might say mean things to you and others, but try not to engage with them. There’s no point in giving them the satisfaction of a reaction.


The End

There are more things you can do to be greater in action, but I think that covers a fair amount for now, and you may have noticed a reoccuring theme, education. Help people learn about what your cause is, explain why they should care, and then tell them the plan for solving it.