Meritocracy vs Diversity for diversity's sake

Wasn’t sure how exactly to raise my concern here, but I feel it’s important to point out why I was so eager to find a competitor to roll20.

A good example of the concern I have is well-described here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZJHAywQFm0

To be clear on my stance, it’s not that I think the refused party in this video were entitled to get what they want or anything like that. It’s the indication of roll20 leadership valuing diversity for diversity’s sake instead of meritocracy. Had they just said that they weren’t interested in the idea at the time and ended it there, I doubt I would have even considered transitioning.

As a web developer, I can tell that the architecture of Astral tabletop is well engineered and definitely has the potential to easily out-perform roll20 on many fronts.

I want to continue to support this product and it would ease my concerns if the leadership on this project would provide a statement somewhere of a commitment to meritocracy.

I’d like to know that the people you decide to work with are there because you value their work and not because of what demographic they happen to fall in.

If you don’t agree, I’m perfectly fine with that as well. In fact, you’ll have saved me some time investment and will be rid of someone you probably won’t like very much anyway. Win/win! I’m also open to changing my mind on the subject if the arguments are strong enough. I definitely prefer to be wrong than ignorant.

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These events along with the “basically ignoring support and just banning that one dude whno was asking for support” reddit story were what drove my group and I to Astral.

From my experiences with Astral so far, I’ve seen nothing untoward or targeted in any particular direction.

Their staff is still small, but they’re expanding and from what I’ve seen of their hiring when they announce the hiring that they have done it is based on the merit of work and talent, and nothing do with personal background.

Some of their staff choose to share their backgrounds, others do not, and that’s perfectly reasonable.

Again, this is my personal experience, I don’t represent Astral themselves (though I’m happy to help people out when their staff isn’t around.)

From a business perspective I’m not entirely certain how a statement could be made that wouldn’t (by some) be considered “attacking” the competitor though. Again, this is me personally, I will admit I do have some jadedness when it comes to how people form opinions and in turn provide their actions/reactions.
So from my (probably a little jaded) perspective, unless extremely carefully worded, it may be best to remain “no comment” (in a purely literal sense) for now, of course everyone also interprets “no comment” as a comment too, so again, not entirely sure how to do it correctly and not be (to some) attacking simultaneously.

Just remaining silent on the topic specifically and continuing to develop their product to the best of their ability may just be the best option overall.

But again, this is all my opinion and what I have seen. Again, in no way representative of Astral or any individual member of the Astral team.

Sure, I suspected as much in regard to what would be considered the best response to my outlined concern.

If my post does anything to influence the leadership at all, I would hope that it provides proof that it isn’t just a matter of superior architecture and a feature listing that will help sell the system.

I wouldn’t have even considered Astral had Roll20’s leadership not drawn political lines. It now just feels dirty to pay Roll20 any money.

Here’s hoping I can feel glad to pay Astral instead.

So far I’ve been enjoying it :slight_smile: hope you will too.

To be fair, Roll20 DIDN’T draw political lines, you did. They didn’t take any action or issue any statements, or ban anybody from their products, all they did was decline to sponsor a YouTube series. They didn’t make any demands on (Save Or Dice), they didn’t attempt to change or alter what Cody and the rest of them were doing, they simply said “no thank you, that is not something that we would like to sponsor.” Also keep in mind that THEY did not seek that meeting, so it was up to Cody to sell Roll20 on the sponsorship, not the other way around. ALSO keep in mind that Roll 20 DID sponsor Cody and others for a long time(not sure what caused their breakup), they simply weren’t interested in sponsoring his live-stream project.

This argument is essentially: I don’t like charity X because they don’t support Y and I like Y.
Supporting diversity is good. Supporting small content creators who lack a following, but do good work is good. Supporting omega YouTube Celebrities might also be good, but getting angry because someone supports diversity, but doesn’t support already popular youtube stars who can do whatever they want anyway, and don’t even need the sponsors (cody’s own words from the video you linked) makes no sense.

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That’s really not accurate is it?

They didn’t just say, “no thank you, that is not something that we would like to sponsor.”

They basically said, “no thank you, we don’t want to sponsor 5 white guys.”

In case you missed it in my original message:

Therefore, your argument equation boil down isn’t accurate either.

Roll20 can absolutely go on being a racial diversity based company if they want. I just don’t like the idea of supporting racists (people who primarily look at your race to judge your quality).

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Hey everyone,

At Astral, we are inclusive to all people who work with us and who play with us. TableTop games are by nature inclusive and we strive to include everyone at our table. We do not go out of our way to push people away or bring them closer to us. There is always a seat open for everyone.

I am going to lock this topic as this discussion can quickly lead off-topic and this forum is meant to be focused on improving Astral.

Best,
Tom

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