Interim Report Mutant: Year Zero

I don’t like long periods of radio silence and I know that a few of you are following my explorations. Not only am I a slow reader but I am also on holiday in Switzerland for 10 days so there is absolutely no chance I will get to play any games during that time.

Having said that there is one thing that struck me that I liked and it is not about game mechanics or settings at all.

Back in May 2017 I wrote, on my own blog, about gender representation in the new version of Rolemaster, currently under the acronym RMU. The post is here I know that it is perfectly normal to just pick one gender, normally ‘he’, for the rules but I expected a greater mix in the examples. I posted my thoughts on the beta forums  but I doubt if you can see that unless you are signed up to the beta test. Anyway, I was very surprised at the push back from some of the forum members who seemed resistant to the ideas.

On the other hand the M:YZ is using ‘he’ for generic player references and ‘she’ for GM references. There is a healthy mix of male and female examples throughout everything I have read so far.

I am a middle aged, British, white male and I do not think I am exceptional in any way and if I feel that the gender bias I a noticed was sufficient that I did notice then it is a problem. Like a sore thumb, once you are aware of it you cannot avoid hitting it on anything and everything. Now I have noticed this gender bias, I cannot read a rulebook without being aware of how women are treated or ignored.

I also liked the vignette that introduced the starter book. You can see it here, but the text reads “She had wandered too far into the Zone. Tula had walked through the dark forest, followed the old rail tracks between crumbling ruins and rusting train wrecks, towards the glimmering silver disks by the horizon. She wanted to reach them so bad.  Become a hero of the Ark. A famous stalker. Now, she would be a dead stalker. If the thirst didn’t kill her, zone ghouls or the rot would. That’s when she saw them. Scattered across the ground like metallic rag dolls. Machine beings. Dead for decades.Tula had heard stories of them. What had happened here? Suddenly she heard a noise. Growls. Voices. Tula drew her scrap pistol and got ready to fight for her life.”

So that is my ‘thought of the day’. Doesn’t really tell you anything about M:YZ apart from GMs being referred to as She.