What is the Genderplay program, the conference on role-playing games and gender roles? Who will be the guests of the evening of November 30th? What role-playing games can you try?

Although in recent years, here in Italy, inserting the word "gender" in anything is not exactly a good idea, given that the controversy from certain conservative circles is always lurking, in Bologna it feels the same.

Then at most you will read in the newspapers that we have been accused of GIENDER. Oh well, it happens, it's life, sticazzi.

However, it is neither easy nor obvious to interface gender studies with board role-playing games.

Partly because of the prejudices and stereotypes surrounding this discipline (“it's made only by feminists who hate men!” Or “it only serves to carry on the ggender ideology!”). A little bit due to the fact that it is always difficult to find a good meeting point between the academic world and the playful world: Often academics who analyze RPGs in a scientific way have never tried a game session, while often the players themselves don't have the skills to talk about such thorny topics.

We Seekers of Atlantis will try the same, however, and on November 30th we will participate in this Genderplay

Genderplay: what is it?

Meh, it is a bit complicated to define what Genderplay is, because it is an event that includes different activities, all however aimed at addressing the issues of gender roles in RPGs.

We start in the most traditional way possible, that is with a conference. Here, several guests will be able to meet on how gender roles are presented in the world of role-playing games, both from a mechanical point of view, and in the more narrative and descriptive aspects. Furthermore, the question will be asked whether gender (or sexual orientation) discrimination among role players is common or a spectrum that is now outdated.

The idea is to build a constructive dialogue and confrontation between various realities of the Italian recreational world, sharing their experiences and reflecting together on the problems that will emerge. Thanks also to audience participation, we hope to arrive at a series of solutions and tips on how to create the best possible gaming environment.

After the conference / round table, the most delicious part of the evening will begin: the four hours in which the participants will be able to try a series of role-playing games made available by the organizers. 

Role-playing games that explore challenging themes: Bluebeard's Bride
Role-playing games that explore challenging topics: Bluebeard's Bride

Workshop: which role-playing games will be tried?

In general, the organizers will make available a series of role-playing games that tackle the key topics of the conference, both in terms of themes and mechanics: gender differences and roles, discrimination, representativeness, sexuality, couple relationships and stereotypes.

In some cases, the game will be able to approach these topics in a way light, fun and easy-going; other RPGs, on the other hand, will address these issues by giving them a much more cutting edge gloomy, realistic and introspective. In short, choose carefully the game you want to try: these titles are not always for everyone!

If you want to impersonate a group of women who, in medieval Japan, have to seduce a samurai to convince him to stay and protect their village, Kagematsu it will do for you, as it explores the limitations imposed by gender roles. A similar experience is also given by Sagas of the Icelanders, Historical RPG in which the hard life and the iron social roles of Icelanders of the seventh century AD are experienced

If, on the other hand, you want to take the situation in hand and put yourself in the shoes of a group of Russian aviators during the Second World War, competing both with the Nazis and with the male colleagues of the other allied regiments, Nightwitches gives an experience that suits you best. If, on the other hand, you want to be part of an elite of warriors fighting against a disease that affects all people who identify themselves as men, The Watch it can be an interesting choice.

SexyTime Adventures is for sexy and highly articulated adventures!
Sexy Time Adventures it is for sexy and highly articulated adventures!

If instead you want to go deeper into the introspective, Bluebeard's Bride tackles the theme ofmarital abuse, putting you in the shoes of Bluebeard's wives, forced either to forgive and justify the violence of her husband to survive, or to rebel and die. Heavy topic, without a shadow of a doubt. This is why, if you prefer a psychological game but with less (perhaps) more sorceress, too Monster Hearts II can be a good choice: in this case you will interpret a group of teenagers and their difficult relationship with peers and adults, who perceive them as deviant and, therefore, as monsters, more or less literally.

For those who want to spend a more relaxed evening, there is also Big Gay Orcs, which explores the toxic machismo and the stereotypes that men face: you will face your last battle being yourself, showing your sensitivity, or you will continue to pretend to be Orcs MachoTM? If you just want to laugh at it, just sign up for Sexy Time Adventures, in which one of you will play the Macho HeroTM and others will experience the joys of being the Sexy Female CharacterTM, perpetually in danger or that can only be freed thanks to her talents as a seductress. And the ability to break the spine to make the pose tits + ass. That you will have to do, physically, at the game table.

Who will be the guests of the conference?

Taking into account that Genderplay was made possible by AICS Bologna and that is part of the project Mafald * - Workshop against prejudices and for gender rights, the evening will see a series of guests.

In choosing these guests, AICS Bologna tried to mediate between three factors: knowledge of role-playing games tabletop, competence in gender issues and studies and finally a certain presence in the Bolognese play world

For all these reasons, some playful reality based in Bologna were invited. First of all, Chiara and Giuseppe di Morgengabe, what are they doing disclosure of GdR and they brought many interesting role proposals. But also the de group The Guild, playful workshop born within the association LGBTI Center formwork, which will bring the point of view of a whole series of minorities.

To deepen the relationship between gender roles and role-playing games, some representatives of two feminine playful realities: the research team Women, Dice & Data and the discussion group Sisterhood of Evil.

Finally, a moderare everything will be there David Quartucci of AICS Bologna, longtime role player, e the undersigned Gloria Comandini de The Seekers of Atlantis, which deals with nerd information.

The boys of La Gilda at this year's Lucca Comics & Games. Source.
The boys of La Gilda at this year's Lucca Comics & Games. Source.

Genderplay program

After two long informative paragraphs, let's get to the point and talk about dates, times and methods of participation.

The Genderplay will be held on 30th November 2018, from 18.00 to about 24.00, at the House of Baraccano Associations di via Santo Stefano 199/2, Bologna.

The round table will be held from 18.00 to 19.30 on gender roles in RPGs, in which representatives of MorgenGabe, La Gilda, Donne, Dadi & Dati and Sisterhood of Evil will speak, moderated by representatives of AICS Bologna and The Seekers of Atlantis.

From 19.30 to 20.00 there will be a refreshment, because you don't play role-playing without something to munch on.

From 20.00 to 24.00 you play role to the titles listed above, with players divided into various tables.

To try a RPG, you need to bookotherwise we don't know how many masters to call and how many tables to bring! To book, just send an email to [email protected] and say what game you want to try and how many you are.

For the rest, if you just want to hear the conference, admission is free and free. You also pay nothing to try role-playing games.

Since someone (of whom we will not name) has worried, we also add that there is no dress code: if you do not come naked, you are all right.

In the coming weeks we will try to release other articles, so as to do some insights both on the participants in the round table, on the role-playing games that we will propose, and on the topics we will talk about.