So, the end has finally come. Today is the last day and I get to Thank everyone that made this month and a day of writing about tabletop roleplaying games (TTRPGs) possible.
First, I’d like to thank my family. Although I doubt any of them have read any of the words I’ve written this month, these entries wouldn’t exist without them. I’m lucky to have people who care about me and love me, and who support me even if they don’t understand what I’m doing most of the time.
Next, I’d like to thank everyone who has sent me an encouraging comment, either here or privately. I write this stuff for me, but I publish it for you. Believe when I tell you that, if I was sure that you didn’t exist, then I’d never make these words publicly available. A writer needs readers who value what they do like roses need the rain.
Thirdly, I’d like to thank David F. Chapman from Autocratik and Anthony Boyd from Runeslinger for organizing #RPGaDay2021, the eight version of this month dedicated to talk about TTRPGs once a day, every day, for the whole month of August.
This is the first time that I’ve done something like this and, as such, it was an exploratory experience that deserves some extra meditating, me thinks. Here are some disparate thoughts about #RPGaDay2021, how I approached it, what it meant to me, and what I obtained.
To say that I was nervous at the beginning of the month would be a huge understatement. I was preoccupied for weeks entertaining the idea of whether I’d jump on board this crazy idea or not.
Because one thing is to write drafts everyday for yourself, and something entirely different to write, edit, translate, and share what you’ve written almost immediately. I felt some pressure at the beginning, it’s true, but I was mostly relying on the notion that basically nobody knew or read my blog.
Once I started sharing the entries on social media, however, that changed dramatically.
Together with hundreds of readers came the infamous trolls and harassers. I’m glad to report that they are few and far in between, dinosaurs waiting to become extinct. Most of my audience is made up of respectful people who read and criticize what I write without any need to resort to personal attacks or shit-commenting.
Of particular note is the hate that I got for using inclusive language in the Spanish version of these articles. For those of you who don’t know, Spanish sadly doesn’t have a neutral pronoun like “they” in English and, more importantly, most words in Spanish have a gender. So, in order to make a text truly inclusive, you have to make sure to mark the neutrality of almost every single word, by exchanging the suffix that marks gender (usually “-o” or “-a”) for either “-e”, “-@” or “-x”. Since “-e” is the only one that I feel confident can be pronounced in every instance, I prefer to use that one.
The problem is that sadly, in Spanish, we have an institution that claims to regulate how people should (sic) speak and write in Spanish, the Real Academia de la Lengua (“Royal Academy of the Language”) or RAE. People often hide their privilege and ignorance behind the RAE’s refusal to accept that the “-o”—the suffix that marks the masculine gender— is not neutral in any way.
So, throughout this month, I’ve received more than my share of cis white heterosexual men harassing me on social media whenever I share the entries to my blog because it “hurts” their privileged eyes to see Spanish being used like that.
Of course, I’m not going to change my way of writing because of a few troglodytes, least of all because there’s a sociopolitical reason why I choose inclusive language (I’d probably write a whole essay dedicated to that in the future).
On the other hand, this month of writing about TTRPGs drove me back down memory lane, and I got to meet with myself at various ages and saw, with a clarity that I hadn’t experienced before, how important TTRPGs have been for me throughout my life. They were my first creative outlet and are still, to this day, my main way of socializing. It’s surprising to think that, at some point, I thought that I’d be better not playing or writing them. How different my life would be right now!
This was fun! Maybe I’ll do it again next year. Who knows?
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