During her time at UM, Perry was an English major with minors in game studies and design and non-profit studies. Photo by Jamie Haas
UM alumna Sara Perry ‘18 is a firm believer in the importance of amplifying marginalized voices.
Not coincidentally, this ideal permeates many facets of her daily life, from her job as program and grant-writing director at Bridge Builders Alabama, to her off-the-clock hobbies.
In particular, Perry’s most recent passion project, the founding of burgeoning online publication “A Seat at the Table: Diverse Voices in Tabletop Gaming,” or ASATT, captures the philosophy quite well.
“I’ve been wanting to do something that makes a tangible change for a few years now,” said Perry.
“So, I sought to focus my energy on a project revolving around the experience of women in the gaming community.”
However, it wasn’t long before Perry got to thinking about the several groups beyond women that lack a significant voice in the industry. According to Perry, people of color, players with disabilities and LGBTQ+ players are all without representation.
“It’s getting better, but on the whole, whether it’s publishing, designing or actual representation via characters in games, it’s not quite there yet,” said Perry. “I just felt that there needed to be a way for us to amplify those voices, so we can be heard and try to push that change.”
Perry counts herself lucky in that her personal gaming group is one devoid of homogeneity. Instead, the players are inclusive and receptive to others’ viewpoints.
However, it is those without the validation and support Perry is privvy to that ASATT can truly make an impact.
“My goal is two-pronged with ASATT. One is to share the experiences of marginalized gamers, and the other is to be a support system for those communities,” said Perry. “I’m hoping that having access to these stories will validate others’ experiences.”
Within its virtual pages, ASATT will include three sections, the first and predictably largest dedicated to the personal essays and narratives of minority gamers.
“When there aren’t a lot of women or people of color in big roles in the gaming industry, you don’t really get to hear their stories as much. So, I’m trying to use ASATT to make those stories visible,” said Perry.
The second section aims to celebrate existing creators, directing readers to potentially great projects, blogs and games they may not have found otherwise.
The third and final section is reserved for news and insights.
While Perry’s current goal is to assemble a summer issue of “A Seat at the Table” by June 2019, her long-term goal is to eventually get the magazine printed on a regular basis.
Submissions for ASATT’s first installment are open, and content can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org