CLUB LIFE: Planeswalkers for Diversity Make Magic More Inclusive

Led by Antonio Gil ’19, Planeswalkers for Diversity aims to create a more inclusive environment for Magic: The Gathering enthusiasts and newcomers alike.

CLUB: Planeswalkers for Diversity

WHAT: A club devoted to players of Magic: The Gathering—“the mother of all modern collectable card games,” according to club founder Antonio Gil ’19. “On the surface, Magic is a game about representing a fantasy world—its people, landscapes, relics, histories, heroes, and villains—on very beautifully inked pieces of cardboard. It combines the best aspects of fantasy novels with the technical work of a board game and little bit of the social interactions and luck you find in poker.”

WHO: The club welcomes anyone, regardless of identity or experience, with an interest in playing Magic in an inclusive and supportive setting. Says Gil, “I wanted to put together a Magic club, but quickly ran into the issue that the majority of members were unaware or unwilling to acknowledge issues of diversity within the Magic community. Refusal to do introductions involving pronouns, problematic discussions of racism, and other difficulties led to the space becoming hostile towards people of color, queer folk, femme-identifying individuals, and other minorities. This issue of inclusivity isn’t just a localized thing in my club, but also in the rest of the Magic community. With a sizable contingent of minority players clamoring for more representation in the game, the response of the larger community has been apathetic at best. My goal with the club is to change that mindset and to instead actively engage with issues of representation within the game.”

WHEN: Planeswalkers for Diversity meets on Fridays at 7:30 p.m. in the DC Basement 031, and occasionally weekday evenings during the week when the semester workload is light.

DID YOU KNOW? The name “Planeswalkers for Diversity” refers to a nationwide movement of Magic players with goals to make the community more welcoming. “The name of the club is not mine, but signifies the Haverford Magic club as a chapter of the larger organization known as Planeswalkers for Diversity. It’s a group that formed as an off-branch of an organization called the Lady Planeswalkers Society, which is dedicated to advocating for and creating spaces for women in the Magic world. Linking my small club to these larger organizations that have done a lot to broaden the community helps me assert my commitment to diversity in the smaller space of the club.”

GET INVOLVED: All are welcome at the club’s meetings, and Gil encourages folks who are interested in learning more to reach out to him personally with any questions or ideas.


Photo by Patrick Montero.