Planeswalkers for Diversity and Lady Planeswalkers Society are all about changing the atmosphere where Magic is played to one that is welcoming to people of all kinds. Regular local playgroups are crucial to achieving this goal. The information below breaks it down into steps. Also check out our Building a Community article series which elaborates on different aspects of creating a new chapter.
STEP 1: Believe in the Planeswalkers for Diversity / Lady Planeswalkers Society Vision
We strive to create an environment in local game stores, at premier events, and on Magic Online where anyone can play Magic: The Gathering without fear of being judged or triggered. The only difference is essentially in terms of target audience with Planeswalkers for Diversity tending to focus on the LGBTQ community and Lady Planeswalkers Society tending to focus on women. Both groups are open to everyone though and we passionate about eliminating all forms of discrimination as barriers to playing Magic. You may even want to alternate nights and cross-promote under both banners.
STEP 2: Speak to Game Stores in your Area
– If you don’t know of a game store, use the store locator tool
– Speak to the store owner or manager. Show them the vision: a friendly, welcoming, fun place where anyone can learn and compete
– Get them as excited as you are. If it helps, explain that this has been successful internationally
– Become partners with the store. Find a time that works for both of you and plan your first event – it could be monthly or bi-weekly to start and demand may grow it to weekly but the key is to keep them regular
– Note: it’s not required that all p4d events be connected to a store but we recommend holding a regular meeting at an actual game store: these are the environments we want to improve.
STEP 3: Generate Interest
– Start with friends and anyone in the area you know that plays Magic even if you don’t “know” them. Show them the vision: a friendly, welcoming, fun place where anyone can learn and compete.
– Move to signs and internet advertising: Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, posters on college campuses or in coffee shops. Have handouts and fliers in the game store. Invite everyone!
– Feel free to use/modify this poster
STEP 4: Feedback
– Let us know how it’s going in the p4d Facebook group so we can add your playgroup to our international list, and if you need any support let us know.
– DON’T GIVE UP! Even if the first couple events aren’t very successful, KEEP TRYING!
How much product does it take to start?
– You can start with some Intro Packs or throwing together a few decks from your commons. Ask the store if they have promotional 30 card decks for use. You don’t need much. Just a couple decks to teach new players with and let those who don’t have their own product yet to borrow for the evening.
What should events look like?
Everyone should be welcome. There just needs to be an awareness and understanding that this event is in celebration of women/diversity and that every attendant contributes to the welcome, friendly environment and that every attendant understands and supports the roles.
Do you worry about skeezy people coming out because they are expecting to drool over Magic girls or creep out LGBT folks? Do you worry about players who do show up being patronizing in some way?
– Strongly encourage people who want to play to bring friends, particularly women, LGBT folk, or simply new players.
– Be sure to start every event with an announcement that everyone is welcome and any behaviour that would undermine that including sexist language will not be tolerated. A video of what is typically said is coming soon!
– Individually talking to everyone who comes to the events about the goals of the group also goes a long when. Some people who may just be in the store and not there for p4d end up excited and actually help with in future. The rare few who get defensive usually leave and that’s a good thing.
How do you make it particularly appeal to women and LGBTQ folk?
– Use language that sounds welcoming and pro-female (like mentioning ‘ladies welcome’). Be welcoming to beginners and take away the competitive pressure they feel from already existing tournaments. Not that competition is bad. You can hold one-off competitive drafts, etc. with prizes under the p4d banner. The regular events just aren’t the right place for hardcore competition.
– Be sure that when advertising the event/league-like-group that you are very loud about your goals in a positive way. For example say things like “A night to welcome everyone to learn and play Magic in a safe and fun environment” not (as an over-the-top example) “No rotten cis-gendered straight white boys allowed!” Don’t be too subtle, but also don’t be exclusive.