Black Lives Matter | Black Game Designers
Black Lives Matter.
We believe this is not a controversial statement. As our staff joined vigils and marches this week, we have been reminded of the importance to elevate the voices and experiences of those who are still fighting to be heard.
The gaming industry is beginning to see more diversity - but there is still a long way to go. We know as a female and Native American owned business that we are stronger together when we stand together. So without further ado, we want to spotlight just some of the black game designers and creators we love in the tabletop gaming industry.
Laura Simpson is a roleplaying game designer and User Experience Developer with a passion for creating interactive experiences. Her expertise optimizing the user experience comes through in her work designing roleplaying games aimed at opening up players to explore different perspectives while having fun. She is best known for creating The Companion’s Tale with her company Sweet Potato Games, and has also designed a LARP for the game anthology #Feminism, and a scenario for one of our customer favorite RPGs, Dialect.
Mike Pondsmith has truly made a name for himself in the roleplaying game community as a prolific and award-winning creator. As the chairman of R. Talsorian Games, where both his son and wife work with him, he is credited with the development of most of the major games they have created since they were founded, as well as contributing to the Dungeons and Dragons line. His best known work, Cyberpunk, has inspired an entire line as well as the highly anticipated video game Cyberpunk 2077. Mike doesn’t stop at just creating great games - he’s now educating the next generation of designers at DigiPen Institute of Technology.
Eloy Lasanta has over 20 years of experience playing roleplaying games, and began his career collaborating on other RPG projects. He has created several games including AMP: Year One and Part-Time Gods of Fate, and crafted systems such as Dynamic Gaming System, Pip System, and Chakra System. He eventually founded his own game company, Third Eye Games, and worked as the sole creator. Through his tireless work and dedication, Eloy has expanded Third Eye Games to include an entire team of creators.
Eric M. Lang
Eric M. Lang has created a bounty of board games across multiple companies, including Fantasy Flight Games, WizKids, and Cool Mini or Not. He has created multiple hit card games in the worlds of Star Wars, the Cthulhu mythos, Game of Thrones, and more. He also has created heavier strategy games such as Rising Sun, Blood Rage, XCOM, and Victorian Masterminds. Eric has received the Diana Jone Award and is now the Director of Game Design at Cool Mini or Not.
Damon Stone accomplished a dream many of us have - joining the creative team behind his favorite hobbies. His love for Netrunner and LCGs eventually coalesced into a career as an LCG and game designer. Transforming from a fan of Fantasy Flight Games into a designer there, Damon worked on the Call of Cthulhu, Legend of the Five Rings, A Game of Thrones, and Android: Netrunner LCGs - eventually becoming the lead designer for Netrunner.
Cantrip Candles have been an absolute favorite of our gaming community. These uncanny candles smell identical to their description - seriously, a whiff of Black Hound Tavern is enough to make you feel a little tipsy. Christoff Vissher, the owner and operator of Cantrip Candles, created these scents in the hopes of providing further immersion into roleplaying games. We have loved working with Christoff and adore all of his products.
How Can You Help
- Attend a March, Vigil, or Protest in your city.
- Participate in protest clean up - beautify major landmarks and march routes.
- Contribute supplies to local protests - waters, snacks, hand sanitizer, masks.
- Contribute to a bail fund to get peaceful protesters out of jail.
- Donate to the American Civil Liberties Union.
- Sign petitions compiled the Black Lives Matter movement demanding for justice and police accountability.
- Be a friend’s emergency contact and check in on them as they protest.
- Support Black-owned and small businesses in NYC, Brooklyn, and other cities.