Recently, allegations have arisen in the board game writing community regarding claims of plagiarism. Allegations which unfortunately have turned out to be true. As a result of this incident, the Tabletop Writers Guild wanted to reiterate our position on professional conduct in the written medium.
Plagiarism is a highly damaging act that can have wide-reaching and lasting effects. This includes not only the personal and professional anxiety to arise in those whose works are lifted but also the reputation of those committing it and the reverberating impact it can have within the public sphere itself. Perhaps most concerning, however, is that such an act is a breach of collegial trust that directly affects all of us who engage in tabletop writing – including every member of this Guild.
We at the Tabletop Writers Guild take the matter very seriously, and have done so since the group’s inception. The two most important things a writer has are their works and their name. Plagiarism robs them of both. As a matter of trust to one another, and to the public writ large, all members of the Guild are expected to adhere to our group’s behavioral Code of Ethics, which has specific mention of this issue:
TWG members promise that any written work published in their name, either individually or collaboratively, is their own creation and is free of any plagiarism and that any other accompanying words, pictures, or other materials included within it are properly credited.
While the person involved was not a member of this Guild, the impact of this incident has nevertheless heavily unsettled its membership. No one here takes this news lightly or happily, but neither do we have the slightest desire to profit in any way from the act itself or the inevitable fallout. From our vantage, the damage has already been done and there is little benefit continuing to re-litigate it.
Instead, our focus is more forward-looking. We hope that what restitutive efforts deemed appropriate by and to the affected parties are made in due time and that members of the community can approach this or any similar future issue carefully and compassionately.
-The Tabletop Writers Guild Board