MemberMarch 24, 2022 at 1:14 pm
Hi Jamie! Being a cultural consultant is interesting. It doesn’t mean that you speak for the entire culture, like some people might think; it means that you have ties to the communities and have lived experience to draw on. You also know enough to know what you don’t know while having access to people who do. You have the trust of the community because you’re a part of it and so when you go asking questions, you are greeted and welcomed instead of being looked at suspiciously.
It’s funny – I’m Chinese-Canadian, but we still hired other cultural consultants for Jiangshi: Blood in the Banquet Hall, an RPG that I wrote with another Chinese-Canadian designer. Why? Because neither of us had tons of experience with restaurant life – we had family members that owned restaurants, but we needed more detailed information than we’d be comfortable asking our relatives for – so we hired people to tell us what we didn’t know or couldn’t find out for ourselves from strong primary sources.
In terms of games that I’ve had impact on, I’m working on one right now that is going to be revamped. It’s based on a Chinese game, but never gave any credence to its origins, so that could be problematic to a large number of people in the world as it could seem appropriative. My work is helping it to recognize the roots while celebrating the differences.