About two weeks ago, we at Chip Theory Games released a statement in support of and solidarity with the protests and protesters who are fighting racism and police brutality in our communities and throughout the country. Since that time, we have been considering ways in which we can more substantially and meaningfully affirm that Black lives matter, both in our physical community and in the larger community of board games. As such, after careful consideration and conversations within the company, we have created a list of actionable steps that we want to take to help foster equity for BIMPOC and other marginalized groups.
We are a small company, currently staffed and operated by white people, and we know that we have made mistakes and will likely continue to do so. We have also taken small steps in the past to push for better representation and inclusion in board gaming, but those steps are not enough. We appreciate the many voices that have spoken out about racism and injustice in the board gaming community, the United States and the world at large, and we want to continue to listen as we seek to hold ourselves accountable on these issues.
We want this list to be as comprehensive as we can make it. While some of these items may feel small, we believe that for real change to happen, both short- and long-term actions must be taken. The small things are often the most tangible and help remind us of our bigger commitment to systemic change.
We are currently in the process of placing this list, along with data about our ongoing accountability regarding it, on our website. Thank you to everyone who reads this list, holds us accountable, and works with us to help build accepting, diverse and inclusive communities.
1. During each of our product launches and Kickstarters, we will work to ensure that at least 20% of new CTG products provided for overview or review (paid and unpaid) are sent to BIMPOC content creators. Overall, at least 50% of our review or overview products will go to content creators belonging to minority or marginalized groups.
2. We will do our part to support excellent BIMPOC content creators, contributing at least $2,000 per year to BIMPOC and other minority and marginalized groups on Patreon or other creator support systems.
3. We will work to expand our playtesting and game feedback community to include a greater number of BIMPOC. This is a less exact commitment, as we do not request personal information from our playtesters. However, there are still ways we can improve this process, including notifying our gaming communities that we are looking for a diverse range of playtesters and specifically putting out the call for BIMPOC to apply.
4. We will continue to work to share our games and the board gaming hobby with BIMPOC communities in our state who may not otherwise have access to the hobby, through both donations of product and events organized for this purpose. We have previously organized an event that shared our games with BIMPOC children, and we would like to continue that event and find other ways to increase the accessibility of board games.
5. We are altering our PTO policy and setting aside an additional 4 hours in paid time off for employees to engage in peaceful protest and other forms of social justice advocacy and volunteering.
6. We will be intentional in seeking out opportunities and avenues to add BIMPOC employees as CTG grows, recognizing that the traditional job advertisement process may not be enough.
7. Since our games and the worlds in which they’re set may intentionally or unintentionally intersect with important cultural topics, we will seek out and pay for sensitivity readers on future projects to help us make sure our games are inclusive and enjoyable for everyone.
8. We will invest 2% of all Kickstarter earnings this year and every year into local community organizations focused on fighting inequality and promoting equal rights and opportunity for BIMPOC and other minority and marginalized groups. To start, we will be supporting the Headwaters Foundation for Justice (a community-centered equity grantmaker), the Pimento Relief Fund (a fund helping black businesses damaged during the protests), and Migizi (a Native American youth development organization whose center was destroyed during the protests). We will also seek to find additional ways to aid these organizations; for example, we provided 300 masks to the Awaken The Suburbs protest on June 11.
9. We will work to make sure the worlds and the art of our games reflect the diverse nature of our community and world, featuring characters that people from all backgrounds recognize and identify with.
10. We feel specifics are important, as they communicate sincerity and invite accountability. Therefore, along with the efforts we’ve shared above, we are creating a space on our website that will provide an updated account of our progress on the action points above. This page will also include a place where anyone can submit further suggestions for how we can do better.