There is a body of research that reports that diverse management teams and diverse engineering design teams — ones that include members of a mixture of different genders, cultural backgrounds, social classes, training, and degrees of experience — produce better solutions to design and management problems than teams that are homogeneous. That shouldn’t be surprising; a wider range of experience, views, ideas, and knowledge means more experience, views, ideas, and knowledge.¹
Has it been your experience that diverse gaming groups make for better RPGs? Do they solve mysteries and other problem-based adventures better and more reliably? That aside, do they make for adventures that are more varied and fun? Do the effect an amusingly varied set of approaches to conflicts and scenes?
I don’t feel that I have had enough experience of diverse groups to say. I have a suspicion that, unless the GM is uncommonly mindful of the issue and applies a little skilful effort to it, ideas and views that differ from what the GM has in mind are not as well-rewarded in game worlds as they would be in real worlds. I am put in mind of a sad incident in one of my games in which a woman with a background in primary teaching had her character persist in an approach to interviewing an NPC who was in great distress and vehemently denying facts, where I felt sure that he would respond with mounting and eventually explosive fury. The player is doubtless better at handling people than I am, and had better ideas than mine. But her knowledge of people and skill at handling them did not pay off as perhaps it ought to have.
- Are diverse groups more fun?
- Do character-players find themselves more effectual when they possess a marked difference of gender, generation, culture, class, field of training and experience etc. from the rest of the group? Or less?
- Do character-players find themselves more effectual when they possess a marked difference of gender, generation, culture, class, field of training and experience etc. from the GM? Or less?
- What do the GMs do who make their games more amenable to players who have different ideas and approaches from theirs?
- Whether this lesson ought to be applied to legislatures, cabinets, councils, campuses, and faculty is controversial, and off-topic for this discussion board. I think we would do best to avoid that tangent.