2020 Tabletop Writers Diversity Initiative: Challenge One

Like most people, as an intensely curious and impressionable child, I idolized my older siblings. As someone only just starting out in grade school, I thought my two teenage brothers and their friends were some of the coolest people ever. They built forts in the woods. They had legendary room-spanning, furniture-toppling pillow fights. And they sometimes played games I had never heard of, which from afar were simply spellbinding. While they would later introduce me to this new game called Magic: the Gathering, it was the luck-driven space adventure title Shadowlord! that first truly opened my eyes to games besides the childhood staples. I was fascinated by that revelation and the potential it brought. And I was pretty much hooked ever since.

Greetings everyone, and welcome to the kickoff for the Tabletop Writers Diversity Initiative! My name is Ryan LaFlamme, Founding Editor of The Cardboard Republic and current President of the Tabletop Writers Guild. A lifelong gamer, I started writing about board games in 2012. Yet even all this time later I still vividly recall the palpable apprehension of introducing myself to others, the perpetual doubt over whether we were doing a good job, and unshakable sense of intimidation over whether we belonged alongside the other content voices out there. Those feelings are very real. You’re not alone in experiencing them. But don’t let them stop you either.

So before we begin this exercise, let me first reassure you this: your contributions absolutely are welcome, and don’t let anyone (even yourself) make you feel like your perspective isn’t a net gain for the hobby.

As for introducing yourself, that’s why we’re all here today…


Challenge One:

The Game(s) That Brought You Into The Hobby


For the first week, we’re keeping things fairly simple. This is a time of introductions and bonding over shared experiences. And in tabletop gaming, few experiences are more universal than your first steps into the hobby. That game that made you realize there was a world beyond Monopoly and Candy Land. That game where its theme or mechanics really clicked in an enjoyable way. That game which helped you establish meaningful friends and relationships.

Everybody has an origin story about the game (or games) that brought them into the hobby. And we’d like to hear about yours! We want to hear about which games they were, but also about yourself and why that game particularly resonated for you. But the details and style on how you’d like to share that we are leaving entirely up to you.

We can’t wait to hear your stories!


Additional Challenge Info
  • Aim for 500-1200 words
  • Once completed, post it to your site on or before Monday, September 14th at 9AM EDT. We’ll start sharing them out ourselves the next, but if you want to circulate it yourself too with the #TWDI2020 tag, by all means.
  • Also, when finished, be sure to claim your Week 1 Merit Badge below!


That’s it for now. Happy writing!