Podcasting is potentially the most accessible way to contribute to the global media discussion, which allows for the voices of many less represented groups to come through loud and clear, and be present in spaces that are largely dominated by white straight male voices. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the nerd fandoms, an age old battleground where marginalised and minority individuals, and white male privilege collide. There are podcasts taking big steps into increasing the diversity and safety of the spaces and below are a couple of our favourites...
Campaign is a hilarious actual play Star Wars Edge of the Empire RPG podcast, hosted by Kat Kuhl and featuring regular players, James D'Amato, Johnny O'Mara and JPC. Not only is the show GM'd fantastically, with rich world building and NPCs, but Kat is actively interested in increasing representation in the Star Wars universe - a historically very white, and very male universe. This aim is very intentional and she has spelled out as much in episodes of Never Tell Me The Pods - another podcast she features on.
Campaign has contributed a heap of multi-dimensional female characters, believable LGBTQ+ characters and loads of diverse fan art and fiction to the Star Wars universe, and in doing this, has helped to create a space where fans of the universe can find representation, and engage in important and safe discussions.
The Adventure Zone
Another podcast that is actively increasing media representation is, perhaps surprisingly, hosted by 4 straight white males - those good McElroy boys and their dad Clint. The Adventure Zone is another actual play podcast where different table top RPG games are played - currently Monster Of The Week, a Powered By The Apocalypse game.
In their first arc, a DnD 5E campaign, the boys introduced diverse and unique characters in a way that didn't feel at all contrived (see Taako & Kravitz), but when 'official' images of the characters were released - some people were concerned by the lack of racial representation in the characters. The McElroys addressed this head on, with sincere apologies and understanding, and have turned The Adventure Zone in to a hub of diverse fan fiction, and representative and collaborative story-telling.
Creating a more diverse world
What we're getting at is that roleplaying games are a great way of creating the diversity you want to see in the world, and podcasting is a fantastic way of sharing these worlds with each other. With the wide accessibility of podcasts, and the growing audiences that it draws, we can create the representation we want in the media, and be the change we want to see.