From the Screamsheets: A Statement by RTG
Normally on the first Friday of the month, we post all the news about RTG and our games. Today, we’re doing something a little different.
R. Talsorian Games was founded in early 1980s by Mike Pondsmith.
Mike Pondsmith, as many of you might know, is black. RTG is, to our knowledge, the first major roleplaying company founded by a black man. It remains, in our opinion, one of the most prominent black-owned and operated tabletop game companies. Until just last year he was the only black person in the Origins Hall of Fame. And he’s aware of how public the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 video game has made his profile.
Mike’s spent a lot of time, in the past few days, reflecting on not just current events but a lifetime spent being a black person in the United States and a black person in gaming. Not to mention what it means to look out your window and see too much of the dystopian future you’ve made a career of writing become the dystopian present.
There’s a lot there. He doesn’t just want to just, as Mike Pondsmith or as CEO of R. Talsorian Games, release a brief statement condemning racism or offering support for those brave souls out there fighting for change and a better, less cyberpunk world. Mike is taking some time to pick the right words to express his thoughts and feelings, but he is picking them and he does have something to say about race, abuse of authority, and power.
In the meanwhile, R. Talsorian Games wants to be clear.
We don’t just condemn racism. We despise it.
People, no matter the color of their skin, their gender identity, their sexual preference, their ethnicity, their physical and mental differences, their age, or their religion have a right to live their lives without worrying about being harassed or beaten or killed by others, especially others with power and authority.
When power is abused, people have the right and, in fact, the duty to stand up, protest that abuse, and demand accountability.
In case we’re not being clear, we’ll use the hashtag.
Words are easy enough to type, of course, so we’re also taking action. To start with, we’ve donated $2000 to the Bail Project, which was so ably represented recently during the charity livestream helmed by Tanya DePass of I Need Diverse Games and so many others.
It won’t be the last action we take to help make the world a better place. We encourage you to do what you can as well and to look locally whenever possible. There’s probably things in your back yard that could use attention.
In the words of Mike Pondsmith: “Cyberpunk was a warning, not an aspiration.”
Thank you for the statement of support. This is an unfortunate timeline we find ourselves in, but hopefully we can forge a nicer solarpunk future instead of continuing down the road to a dystopian pre-apocalypse world. Be Safe. Be Well. Blessed Be.
People ARE lazy though, always link to projects you support. Here’s one to the Bail Project for anyone who reads this:
You are correct and we’ve added links to the post.
Thanks for posting this. I live in downtown Seattle and although I haven’t taken part in the protests here due to fear of contracting corona virus I have been following them very closely and subscribe to news networks like TYT and others to get the truth of what is going on. We are indeed living in a dystopian society. I never thought the game I played back in the 80s and 90s would be a world I actually lived in, at least all the bad parts, but it seems to have come to pass. In Seattle the entire block near the police station I live near is blockaded like an army post. It it truly scary. Buildings boarded up, windows smashed. Looting, flash bangs, tear gas, I don’t know what it going to happen next down here. Looking forward to Mike’s comments.
Do you have a link to a source where it shows when Mike said “Cyberpunk was a warning, not an aspiration.”? It’s a very true statement and I love what he’s done for the industry, I’m just trying to track down the date of when he said that. Thanks
It is something he’s said multiple times in conversation.