James Mendez Hodes

is creating multicultural gaming resources

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Thank you for supporting diversity in gaming! As a token of thanks, I will help you figure out if things are puppies or not.

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Cultural appropriation is an important and confusing topic, and I can help with that. I will help you identify not only puppies, but also instances of cultural appropriation.

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About

I'm an ENnie Award-winning game writer, developer, editor, and cultural consultant, specializing in cultural and religious issues in pop culture in general and nerd games in particular. I write essays and interviews about identity in gaming: how to represent historical periods and non-Western societies, how to do right by demographics to which you don't belong, and what to do when you encounter racists in the wild. Your patronage funds the creation of more resources about these topics, as well as pro bono cultural consulting for deserving projects which can't afford it on their own.

Who are you?
I'm Mendez. I live in the greater New York metropolitan area, on traditional Lenape land. I'm Filipino American on my mom's side and European Jewish on my dad's. I have a bachelor's degree from Swarthmore College with a major in Religion and minors in Dance and English Literature; and a master's degree from St. John's College in Eastern Classics. I write, edit, develop, and cultural consult (see below) on analog games: tabletop role-playing games, live-action role-playing games, and even some board and card games. I also run games professionally, mostly for little kids. My extracurricular interests include hip hop and martial arts—mostly Bujinkan budō taijutsu and capoeira Angola these days.

What's a role-playing game?
They're games where you either sit around a table or move around a space pretending you're characters in a story and collaborating with the other players to tell that story. The rules and settings for these games usually come in book form. The most famous of these is Dungeons & Dragons; the ones I've worked most on are called 7th Sea, Scion, and Thousand Arrows.

What's a cultural consultant?
A cultural consultant advises content creators—novelists, game designers, filmmakers, whatever—on how their work can include and validate characters and perspectives other than their own, especially marginalized ones. In addition to my own consulting work, I train and work with a social justice league of cultural consultants spanning myriad demographics of gender, class, sexuality, ethnicity, nationality, religion, ability, age, and indigeneity.

What exactly are you making here?
I'm writing essays which apply to many different creative endeavors, starting with hobbyists who play RPGs. Do you want to learn about how to game or create fiction in historical settings? Or how JRR Tolkien based orcs on racist stereotypes? Or how to play a RPG as a character of a different race than your own? I got you. But these pieces take time and research. Time I spend on them is time I don't spend on paying work. Money or not, I'll keep writing them, because I think gaming needs them; but your support makes that process less of a slow spiral toward oblivion.

Didn't you have a different Patreon before? Some ancient Greek thing?
I did, but it's dormant—for now. If this thing goes well, maybe you'll see it again …
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At this level, I can pay for transit, incidentals, room and board at about one convention every month or two. You wanna meet me in person? Get it get it!
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By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 13 exclusive posts
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By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 13 exclusive posts
5
Links
4
Polls
4
Writings

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