Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Voices in the View

Q&A with Anthony "Razmith" Quintana

Tell us a bit about yourself.  What is your background?

Hello, My name is Anthony Quintana. I was born and raised in Chicopee, Massachusetts (Westie Land). I am Puerto Rican and African on my fathers side, and French Canadian, Scottish, and Seneca (Native American) on my mothers side.

How did you get into gaming/LARPing and specifically how did you end up being a part of Realms?

I got into gaming young playing Sega with my uncle and brother, and kept playing video games. My freshman year was the first time I played DnD in games club after school. In junior year I met Andrew Karcz who later introduced me to Kyle Greenough, and Kenneth Crowley and the Realms.

Are there aspects of your background that have informed or impacted a character you play?

Not really is the short answer. Could I have subconsciously chose for my character Razmith to be a half demon so that he would be looked at as different? Possibly, but I chose for Razmith to be a half demon because I thought it was cool and my first DnD character was a half celestial. I thought it would possibly lead to cool/interesting character interactions, which it has with things like the Angel/Demon duels between Guilliam and myself, or the cool interactions my character had in hell. My character Zoh'Ken is a Djinn because I thought the mythology behind djinni was cool. My other characters are human as far as I remember (though I think I may have a nephilem character that I played for one event) and I never factored in race in their creation.

Are there any difficulties you’ve encountered in LARPing/gaming communities in regards to your
background/identity that you are okay with talking about?

Wearing a chain mail coif with my long curly hair isn't the greatest, but other than that not really. Most if not all the people I've encountered have never made my race a big deal, which I'm glad about. I prefer to just be seen as another person at an event than to be the {insert race here} person at the event. Its never come up playing video games like WoW or table tops like DnD or Exalted.

What is something you think EH’s/GM’s could do to make our games more inclusive?  What is
something they should avoid?

I don't know what they could do to make our games more inclusive. From what I've experienced, when someone find things like fantasy, video games, anime, LARPing, or comic books interesting there usually are not any race or gender barriers to entry coming from the community, the only barriers I've seen are to know what your talking about and usually there are plenty of people happy to teach you about the subject you're interested in if you don't know too much about it. The biggest barrier I faced was my own worry about perception of being seen as a nerd/geek for liking these sort of things, which I mostly got over after I started playing DnD. But I remember when I started playing Realms and I was somehow even more shy and awkward than I am now Ray/Radstar told me something that helped me open up a bit. Which was that every one in the game no matter if they are a knight of this or king of that or how cool they seem, every one is a bigger nerd than you because they have been LARPing longer. As far as things they should avoid I would say they should avoid making a deal about people's real life background or bringing in real life current events/politics to games where people make up backstories countries and politics.

Is there anything else you’d like the opportunity to say to the community?

I believe most people are too sensitive nowadays about race and being politicaly correct. I've 
started to notice more and more people stopping themselves and wondering if what they said could be taken in a racial way even when the context make it clear that wasn't the case and that the intent wasn't racially driven either. I've seen conversations in other LARPs where people are accusing/questioning fantasy races like Drow or Orcs of being racist or racial stereotypes. Personally I like that LARPing and gaming is escapist fantasy and I would prefer it to stay that way. Context matters, if we were to see someone show up in actual blackface and start acting in black racial stereotypes, we would all be able to recognize it for what it is and I believe would take action accordingly, but if some one shows up wearing fancy or gothic clothes, drow face paint, pointy ears, and a silver wig and acts snooty and better than everyone else. Then we all know they are playing a drow. Basically I would like people to stop being so overly sensitive about these sort of things and return to just seeing people as people playing a game with them.