(Topic ID: 271202)

Backbox podcast: Let's Talk About Diversity!

By cait001

1 year ago

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  • Latest reply 1 year ago by poppapin
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    Post #105 Key posted, but no summary given Posted by Aurich (1 year ago)

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    #23 1 year ago

    When I stepped away from pinball some I went back to my first competitive love, the fighting game community. I press more buttons in Street Fighter than on pinball cabinets these days. Just a different facet of the arcade focus I've always had, I'm sure at some point something will excite me in pinball and draw be back in more again. Or not, see where the winds blow.

    In the meantime one thing I really enjoy about the FGC is how incredibly diverse it is. It's really night and day going to a fighting game tournament vs a pinball tournament.

    When we're facing off in a fighting game or taking turns on a pin I really don't care who you are. Love of the hobby and competition brought us together, and that's enough.

    But when we're not competing, and just being part of a bigger community? It's awesome to have so many more different perspectives. The discussions and the community are so much richer for it. I wouldn't have it any other way.

    I'm well on my way to becoming an old white man myself, I have nothing but love for old white men. But pinball would be a better scene if it was more than that. And even the old white guys would benefit from it, trust me.

    I regret that a thread like this is so controversial that it had to be locked, and re-opened under this approval mode. It's a real discussion stifler. I honestly probably won't try and swim upstream against that, and I don't blame anyone else for not wanting to either. But if you are reading this, just consider that anything that brings more diversity into the hobby brings new life with it.

    #30 1 year ago
    Quoted from robotron:

    i never ever went to an event and had a thought on the people that would be there. black, white, gay, male or female. i just go and get along with everybody. i dont have to split hairs on why certain people are not there playing thats the hill i am on.

    There's a couple things we can look at when it comes to your perspective.

    First, your initial response was a lot more vitriolic, and claimed that people who were looking for more diversity were looking to "destroy" things. It's interesting that being more welcoming, and more inclusive would be seen as destructive, it implies you really want to protect a certain status quo. If you actually "get along with everybody" why does the prospect of everybody including more diverse faces seem to frighten you? You can see why that sounds confusing if you stop and think about it.

    That really gets to the heart of the matter though, and this isn't just about you personally, you're just representing the viewpoint perfectly: If you're already benefitting from a system it's often hard to care about changing it.

    Throughout history there have always been people who are in the club who don't care about the people outside who can't get in. You're comfortable, you already have a table, what's the problem?

    This comes in a lot of flavors, from subtle to outrageous and ugly. Pinball doesn't have a Whites Only drinking fountain problem. There are no signs posted, and nobody is being turned away at the door.

    There's also no denying that pinball is Hella White™. Pinball has been Hella Male™ for a long time too, and we're slowly seeing that change. More women playing didn't just happen by itself, it took outreach and effort and speaking up, and it's very much an ongoing process. Again, there weren't signs hung that said Men Only. But it's been well documented how women could often be made to feel uncomfortable or unwelcome at events and leagues.

    If you're a man you might not even be aware of it unless it's explicitly pointed out to you. As cait001 says, that's privilege, when you're already comfortable, so you don't see how others might not be. I've been guilty of it myself, and have expanded my understanding by listening. And I enjoy having more women play, as far as I'm concerned we all win.

    This doesn't make men bad. And it doesn't make white people bad either in this situation. You don't have to be defensive, nobody is trying to destroy you, or take anything away from you. As I said in my earlier post about the fighting game community, as white guy I benefit from greater diversity in my community. It's better for it. You shouldn't be looking at anything being destroyed. These conversations, while often awkward and uncomfortable at first, actually benefit everyone in the end.

    You downvoted my post, so I don't really imagine you're listening. That's okay, I'm not here to change your mind. I don't actually get along with everybody like you claim to, I'm good with not spending my time with some folk. But maybe others are reading who find my thoughts on this interesting in some way.

    #36 1 year ago
    Quoted from robotron:

    fyi i grew up hanging at chinatown fair in mott street. there were many many fights. there were groups of people that were not inclusive like you say they are. most were divided into asian, white, black groups maybe it was back in the day but the group of fighting community was not an utopia.

    See, no one ever said it was a utopia, just that it's more diverse, and that's a really nice benefit when it comes to community. You get more viewpoints and experiences. You're putting words in my mouth that I never said. There are some real jerks in the fighting game community. There are racists, and sexists, and homophobes. Just like any other large group of people, you get the good and the bad. Pinball has those too, it's just that most of them are white, only real difference. All human. The good outweigh the bad in both communities in my experience.

    I have a lot of fighting game friends who came up playing at Chinatown Fair, they're good people. Your story about how they were all racially divided is a lie, sorry, sounds like you didn't know them very well. I could call up a bunch right now. Black, white, Asian, Dominican, all found each other through a shared love of play. All of them will have stories about fights and conflict, that's how arcade life was. None of them are out there scrapping now, they're raising families and grown up. Some people mature.

    Quoted from robotron:

    btw the people that fight for equality seem to be the most divisive. look in the mirror. if people dont agree with the utopia you are trying to create we are called all type of derogatory names and insults. guess what there will NEVER be a star trek type utopia ever anywhere. forcing agendas turns people off.

    I haven't called you any names. I just said you were lying about Chinatown Fair, you picked the wrong place to try and prove your point, I have way too many homies from that place. But where are the derogatory names and insults? What's the forced agenda? We're just trying to have a conversation. I merely shared my point of view that I found benefits as a white person from being in a community with more diversity.

    Quoted from robotron:

    btw i dont have “privilege” i worked very hard for everything i ever had and it disgusts me when people say others have privilege. i grew up in the gutter in brooklyn and had many of irish cop kick my ass just for being on the corner dont speak to me about racial equality. you really come off as a condenscending person when people dont agree with your utopian views.

    People with privilege often aren't even aware of it, it's a very common phenomenon. The first thing you see is how they find a way they've been wronged by life to prove that it doesn't exist. I might sound a little condescending to you, it's probably because you started the thread with "liberal progressives HAVE to destroy everything" and it made it hard to take anything you said all that seriously. Having privilege isn't something to be ashamed of, you don't get to pick how you're born. What matters is how you decide to live life and treat other people. Sometimes that means recognizing things that might make you uncomfortable.

    And yet, I still believe you'd benefit from this idea that you're afraid of. Maybe you wished you could have played with the other guys at Chinatown Fair and were nervous about their races, I don't know. Could be you'd be a different person now if you'd been welcomed better, who knows? Be that person who welcomes others now, and be that better future for some young players.

    #50 1 year ago
    Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

    There are many places to discuss what privilege is, who has it, and why it’s bad.
    What are some specific changes you want at pinball events?

    Events are probably just fine, it's the culture behind them that matters.

    It's good to remember that Pinside isn't all of pinball. Robin has built a big community here, through a lot of effort, but we really only represent parts of the hobby still.

    That said, let's say you're a young black man or woman, out with some friends at a bar, and find a pin. You've never played before, you give it a try, and you get hooked. We all know that story. You want to know how these rules work, how to find more games, all the usual stuff.

    You hop online to find out more, you find Pinside, and here's the diversity thread. You read the comments and come across "Its a hobby for well off white guys and that's not gonna change, nor does it need to." You read comments about how liberals are trying to destroy the hobby by just trying to have a discussion about diversity. It sounds like a good old boys white club.

    Be real, would that make you want to attend a show? Does that sound welcoming?

    It's not just a handful of people either who say these things too, it's a persistent undercurrent any time this topic remotely comes up. Anyone who's been here a while could predict these comments. There's a reason this thread is in "post approval mode" right?

    So right now, while there are no events to attend anyways, I think the focus should start where the discussion is. Most people only go to a handful of events a year at most, but many are here every day or every week talking. Any new people to the hobby are going to start on the internet now, that's just the world at the moment.

    Decide where you want to stand. You don't have to march in the streets, but you can be a part of the voices that reject those comments. Drown them out, be a positive force. Don't let it slide, not here, not on Facebook, not anywhere you're a part of things.

    People should feel embarrassed to post something as dumb as "pinball should stay white", but it takes social pressure to create that environment. Clearly right now it's seen as an okay thing to say. I appreciate Robin's comment, but it takes the village sometimes.

    #80 1 year ago
    Quoted from mrm_4:

    These topics always go down the same path, pointing out “white males”

    Are there a lot of these conversations in Mogadore, Ohio? I'd never heard of it, had to look it up. You live in a town with less than 4000 people that's 97% white, so I'd just be surprised if there were, that's all. But I've never been there.

    Quoted from mrm_4:

    No other gender or race will ever be publicly faulted without an online war.

    I've already pointed out a case where that wasn't true, but maybe you're not reading and just reacting. It's really obvious that this topic makes some people instantly defensive and emotional. See "inviting anyone else to the party will destroy it!" as the prime example.

    Guess what? Pinball is vast majority white males. So yeah, white men gotta answer for some things here, because that's who's in the room. You don't need a genius IQ to figure that out, just a pair of working eyeballs and the ability to leave your house.

    It doesn't make me defensive, because basic facts don't get under my skin like that. If anyone acts like being a white man is some aggrieved position they're living the most precious sheltered life. Does that mean your life is perfect and nothing bad ever happens because you're a white guy? No.

    Either way, the fundamental problem with your response, and every other emotional response in this thread, is nobody is asking anything to be taken away from you. Welcoming more people into the hobby doesn't hurt you.

    #93 1 year ago
    Quoted from Djshakes:

    No, they would start to eat each other bc often identity politics is all they have. We need to break it down to the individual level. Individuals being judged on their merit and what they do or do not contribute to society. Individual people being judged for their own actions. Instead we judge individuals by other individual's actions within their group. This is apparently accepted for some groups but forbidden for many others.

    My first post to this thread was about how much I appreciate the greater diversity of my other gaming hobby. And how much I personally benefitted from it, and felt that pinball would see the same upsides.

    There were no "identity politics". Or blame. Was simply relating how I saw the positivity of a more open community. It's better than pinball. Just how I see it. And I have a lot of friends in pinball, who are all wonderful, and I've met tons of cool people at shows who recognized me and said nice things. There have been jerks too, but so what, every group of humans has them. Pinball isn't bad, I just see how it could be better.

    Recognizing privilege isn't about tearing you down, it's about making you a better person. It's honestly not that terrible to grow as a human being. We all have places we can do it. I certainly do.

    The only politics I see here are from people being defensive or attacking "liberals". It's tremendously boring, and not worth engaging in even if Pinside didn't discourage it. We're talking about the hobby, and making it better and more welcoming. If that sounds like politics to you then perhaps you need to examine your own issues, and not pin it on others.

    #105 1 year ago
    Quoted from manadams:

    I'm sure it's because most of them are afraid they will experience sexism or have to deal with inappropriate comments. Keep in mind these would come from a select few and do not represent the majority on this site.

    This is the "few bad apples" argument, but you gotta finish the rest of the saying: "spoils the barrel".

    I believe that the bulk of people on Pinside are good people.

    But imagine telling someone "hey, come to this event, you'll only get harassed by a few of the people, the rest are cool". They'd probably look at you like you were a crazy person. Nobody wants that.

    Quoted from manadams:

    The majority do not want blamed or labeled for the select few morons that can't behave properly.

    For sure, that's fair.

    But I think if you don't want to be lumped in with morons you have to speak up when they act moronic. You can't be silent and just think people should assume you're a good person and not down with that nonsense. Call it out.

    Instead of saying "hey, come to this event, you'll only get harassed by a few of the people, the rest are cool" let's flip that around some. What if instead it was:

    "Hey, come to this event, the people are cool. And if anyone bothers you we're going to kick them the f— out and tell them they're never welcome again, we have your back at all times."

    That's what I'm down for. I'm not looking to label people, or have boring discussions about white burdens. I'm just saying hey folks, if one of us is acting like an ass, let's step up and show them the door so they don't make everyone look bad.

    As I've said before, when talking about the fighting game community, it has jerks too. 100% not perfect utopia, it's a community with struggles, and it doesn't always get it right. But it's pretty good about calling out people when they cross the line, say some racist shit or whatever.

    That helps a lot, I think it's something we'd benefit from emulating more. But you can't just rely on a couple people to be the gatekeepers ("white knights"), and get a rep for always complaining. Everyone needs to step up and back them up. Remove the rotten apples before they spread that rot to everyone else.

    Edit: fosaisu said it simpler than me

    #106 1 year ago
    Quoted from Inpw:

    I don't see the point in trying to raise the number of female/black/gay/whatever pinball players specifically. This does not make the community better.

    Yes, it does. It makes the community better. It's honestly that simple.

    #116 1 year ago
    Quoted from Inpw:

    We're just going to have to disagree. I think the only factor that influences the 'quality' of a community is the personality of the people involved, not their race, sexuality or gender. Ergo, a white male community is neither better nor worse than a purely black female or a mixed one.

    A community is built from people, and their experiences, viewpoints, and backgrounds.

    All white men are not the same. But you will definitely get a greater diversity of experience and opinion when you add other people who aren't that. Women have different life experiences than men. One man and one woman could have very similar interests, but if you were to take 100 men and 100 women you'd see a lot of things that don't overlap.

    That's the point, it's not about individuals, it's about what happens when you get larger groups together.

    A more diverse community has more to share. If all you care about it is being here to talk about playfield dimples every day then yeah, you probably don't care who you're talking to. I'm interested in more than that, because that's tremendously boring. Pinside is more than tech bulletins. Our stories and lives are part of the mix too.

    A more diverse community is better. A community that shuts down racists and sexists and assholes is better. I don't think these are particularly difficult concepts.

    Quoted from Inpw:

    If not, who cares.

    I care. If you really don't care then you won't have a problem with other people making the efforts to change things.

    #170 1 year ago
    Quoted from RWH:

    Some may have been but I know some where also bringing up real issues that happen to be contrary to your beliefs so you label them as racist is much more accurate assessment.

    I don't believe there are two valid sides to every issue, and that all opinions should be heard and respected.

    Some ideas are bad, and don't need a middle ground.

    So when someone says pinball is for rich white men and it should stay that way and then they get tossed from the thread I don't need to hear them out. F– that racist nonsense. You're saying we should hear that person out. Hell no.

    I've been I think pretty polite in this thread, I'm honestly not looking to tear people down, and I'm trying to share what I find positive about the idea of greater diversity in the hobby. But I'm not going to tolerate that kind of small minded stupidity. Are you really trying to defend that as an idea worth discussing?

    "One hand, let's try diversity, on the other hand let's keep things for rich white men, both valid!"

    That's why people downvoted your post, because you were advocating for that. The only people who have been "silenced" in this thread have had shitty ideas.

    #212 1 year ago
    Quoted from RyanClaytor:

    Hey, I've been getting some private messages from a few folks and it's come to my attention that there have been threatening PinsideMails being sent to participants in this thread.

    Bet I haven't gotten one because I've already put the people who'd be cowardly enough to do that on ignore.

    This is what we're up against though, let's be really clear. We can have a side conversation about white privilege and what it means. Some of it can really subtle. Here's an example people maybe don't think about: If you're white and you go to the movies you're guaranteed to have plenty of films with white leads, you're well represented on the screen.

    When robotron goes to the movies how many does he get to pick from with Puerto Rican leads? He sees them every day on the streets of New York, not much on the movie posters outside the theater.

    Hollywood is getting better that way, slowly. Because people have pushed and spoken up about wanting better diversity. And maybe it doesn't sound like a big deal, but if you're used to it you probably don't even stop to think about it. Everyone wants to feel like they belong. It doesn't mean we have to "force it down anyone's throat", but how about some chances for more people? Anyone remember the Prince of Persia movie, about an Arabic hero, starring ... Jake Gyllenhaal? Come on now.

    That's just one example in a sea of things that add up over time. It's a side topic to be honest, even if interesting in its own way. And it's not really what this debate is about.

    What it's about is what should have been a simple, friendly conversation about how to welcome more people into the hobby has threats being sent. Think about that. There's some hate in some hearts here. That means that we have work to do, and a distance to go still.

    I'm not trying to make anyone feel crappy, or guilty. Just want to know, are you standing with the people who want to welcome more, and grow the hobby, or the people who send threatening messages because they're scared of the idea?

    I know where I stand.

    #226 1 year ago
    Quoted from cait001:

    For shits and giggles, Google when most of the Confederate statues were put up, and why. It's pretty damning stuff.

    I don't have the google that one, I'll tell everyone who's too lazy to look it up. Most of them were put up by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in the 1900s. They're not really 'history', they're propaganda pieces. Want to know who else the UDC put up a monument to? The KKK. You can google that one.

    Can't say it's about history if you don't actually know the history.

    #242 1 year ago
    Quoted from flynnibus:

    well pardon me for not patting on your back for your journey...?

    flynnibus we've both been around Pinside for about the same amount of time. I know we've been in the same threads over the years, and we've never had a problem. So when I tell you that you're really sounding like an asshole right now it's not because I'm out to get you or trying to pick a fight. Come on, that's not at all called for. Let's not resort to trying to personally snipe each other like that, it's nasty and not necessary.

    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    I think that’s part of being welcoming. Sometimes you might have to bite your tongue now and then on an opinion or even a response. I’ve done it for sure.

    That's a bit of hard won wisdom for some people. I know when I was younger I still had to learn it.

    #312 1 year ago


    Life is definitely too short to watch a YouTube video 'debunking' BLM. Imagine being the sad sack who made that video in the first place, how many hours did they pour into that? Making charts and shit. Probably needed something to do after no one would engage with their tweets about how gamergate was really about ethics in game journalism anymore.

    I'm putting anyone who posts links like that on ignore, won't catch me getting baited. Next thing you know they're gonna be linking Candace Owens videos and my day will just be ruined. Gotta play it safe in these Pinside streets.

    #340 1 year ago
    Quoted from GTO:

    Women do have it hard when it comes to male-dominated activities. I am a member of a college sports forum and we have members there who are women and won't tell you about it for years. Some of them have said that it is easier that way, as their opinions get dismissed right away the moment other posters find out they are women

    There was a Twitter thread from a few years ago that recounted the story of a man and woman who worked together who accidentally got their email signatures crossed up in a shared inbox. The man was signing his emails as Nicole without realizing. Until he noticed how differently he was being treated and dismissed:


    Story ends with:

    Here's the real fucked-up thing: For me, this was shocking. For her, she was USED to it. She just figured it was part of her job.

    This is the reoccurring thread throughout this conversation. You don't know what you don't know. People are being offended because the privilege word is being tossed about, and being too defensive to listen, but the reality is people want to assume the world treats others the way they're treated, and it's hard for it to even occur to them that it's otherwise.

    My view on people is it doesn't make you a bad person to not know something, but when you've got a chance to learn and be smarter and you willfully choose not to? Those people tend to be assholes.

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