Tabletop RPG games have always brought people together through collaborative storytelling and the way that players work in groups to defeat bosses. Prior to 2020, they were a way for people to connect with each other and have fun, whether it was as part of an active campaign with local friends or by joining the fandom for a streaming show hosted by celebrities. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, how we engage with these games and the fandoms for long-running campaigns has shifted to accommodate the ways that the world has changed, and how we’ve changed as a result. This means that many people are seeing and challenging how these fandoms and canons work for the first time, with streamers, podcasters, and a newer generation of fans coming together to make these spaces more accessible than they were in the past.
So much of global pop culture couldn’t exist without the contributions of Black Americans — especially TikTok, where some Black TikTokers took a stand this week by refusing to make dances to Megan Thee Stallion’s new song “Thot Sh*t.”
From streetwear trends to most of modern music, Black Americans are responsible for the development of what people across the world think of when it comes to pop culture. However, Black creators are often left behind once trends pick up speed; non-Black creators – especially young, white people – get the credit and media attention for things they didn’t create.
Normally, I’d write a whole huge thing about backstory and what inspired me in my work! However, I’m about to go start my little slice of weekend early (I have work to do tomorrow I think) and do some self care in the form of MOST OF THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS MOVIES.
So for now, I leave you with my gratitude.
I would like to thank Join The Party’s Eric Silver and Amanda McLoughlin for speaking with me for the D&D article – I learned so much from them and our conversation was delightful. Then, I would like to thank Dr. Matthew D. Morrison and Erick Louis for their insight in the TikTok piece. Their contributions were incredibly valuable for laying out the situation and I am honored to have cited them/their words in my piece.
Thank you all for reading, sharing, and engaging in good faith with my work. Please keep at it!!
July’s gonna have more good stuff too! I hope you’re excited!