Feb 22 2015

Why does TPV exist?

(Note: as TPV is an inclusive league that welcomes other gender identities beyond simply women, I usually use “non-masculine people” as shorthand to include women, people assigned male at birth who aren’t men, people assigned female at birth who aren’t men, and intersex people who aren’t men.)

Since pinball began, it’s been seen as the domain of men. Unfortunately this perception continues today; go to almost any pinball league or pinball event and what you’re going to see is man after man after man at the machines. This can leave non-masculine people – especially those who appear feminine – feeling uncomfortable, isolated, or even threatened at events. Feminine people have described going to pinball events just wanting to play, then having to deal with men trying to pick up on them or making unwelcome comments.

As I own my own arcade, I decided to start a pinball league specifically for non-masculine people, so we could have somewhere to go and relax and have fun. It’s a place to play pinball without having to worry that someone’s going to hit on us or harass us.

It sucks that we have to be concerned about things like this. It’s sad that I had to create a league where people who have traditionally been excluded or treated as tokens (“Hey guys, there’s a WOMAN here tonight!”) can enjoy themselves, because there’s few other places for them to go. But that’s the world we live in, so that’s why TPV exists.

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