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America's Got Gender • 2018 rpg

Samara Hayley Steele • samarahayleysteele.com

The year is 2334 and there are hundreds of officially recognized genders, and new genders are being launched every year. Gender isn't about who you date, but how others recognize and encourage you.

The players are a group of friends trying to launch a new gender. Lots of folks from their hometown identify as this gender, and now they're trying to launch it nationally. They must compete with teams from around the country in the reality TV show _America's Got Gender_. After each episode, viewers can pledge to switch to a gender from the show. The winning gender needs 500,000 pledges.

Events may include a fashion show, a poetry slam, dance-off, martial arts competition, a cooking match, a discussion/debate. It isn't about winning, but showcasing your gender's norms. Players co-create the norms as they go.

Between each event, players play a round of a cooperative board game like _Pandemic_ or _Hanabi_. How they did in the game is an indicator of how viewers responded to that week's episode. If they if they win the board game, their gender gets launched! It'll be federally recognized, and hecka clubs will host celebrations for those coming out as the gender!

Author Comments

Special thanks to Cathy Podeswa, Mark Marino, and Rob Wittig who collaborated with me in the creation of Thermophiles in Love (2016), the five gender dating game for microorganisms. The experience of creating and running that game was a huge inspiration for America’s Got Gender! Also, my huge thanks to the players of every run of TiL, whose insightful comments and feedback contributed to the design of this game! I’m really excited that this game is about a non-binary society of humans. Here is a fantastic article by Christine Prevas expressing the need for more portrayals of non-binary characters that are human: https://electricliterature.com/we-need-more-non-binary-characters-who-arent-aliens-robots-or-monsters-6b93639f7bf2

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