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.”