The theme of Viticulture is that you have been gifted a vineyard by two people (presumably an inheritance from your family), and each player has different starting resources as a result. In the past we called these starting resource cards “mamas and papas,” as all red cards were women and all blue cards were men.
But there’s no thematic or mechanical reason for this vineyard gift to only come from woman/man pairings. My goal is to create games that bring joy to all types of tabletops worldwide, and the heteronormativity exhibited by the mama and papa cards is directly counter to that goal. I designed these cards in the first place, and it was my responsibility to find a solution.
So when Mihir and Francesco were working on the new starting resource cards for the Viticulture World Cooperative Expansion, I asked them to put all papas on the red cards and all mamas on the blue cards–a reversal from the cards in the core game.
If you shuffle these new cards into the original Viticulture red and blue cards–they are fully compatible, and there are no mechanically redundant cards (all of them offer new combinations of starting resources)–the resulting pairings will be a combination of woman-man, man-woman, man-man, and woman-woman to offer a more inclusive representation of society.
The red and blue cards in Viticulture World also feature much better ethnic diversity than the core game, where most of the people on the art self-selected by paying for the custom art (as much as I appreciated that early funding, because of the resulting lack of agency for Stonemaier Games, that was the last time we offered an open call for paid custom art).
The expansion functions just fine by using the original red mamas and blue papas by themselves; as noted in the Viticulture World rulebook, it also functions just fine by using the new red papas and blue mamas by themselves. But I definitely recommend that you shuffle all red cards together and all blue cards together for the greatest amount of variability and diversity.
Meanwhile, we are also updating the next printing of Viticulture to include some revised red papas and blue mamas (no mechanical changes, just switching faces and names to create more inclusive visibility). If you already own Viticulture, you can download and print these 8 revised cards for free.
Big thanks to Matthew Makak of Room 51 for inspiring positive change like this through their content and to Dan Street-Phillips for taking the time to have a great conversation with me about the future of inclusivity in Viticulture. Happy Pride Month!
For more information about ongoing efforts to improve our diversity, equity, and inclusion, please see these articles.
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