Omaha family brings diversity, inclusion to the world of board gaming

A metro family is helping diversify board games and broadening their appeal to all players.
Published: Feb. 10, 2023 at 5:36 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - An Omaha family with a passion for board games is working to get more diversity into the activity they’ve been enjoying with thousands of others for quite some time.

For Mik and Starla Fitch, board gaming is a lifestyle. They said they’ve tried every possible game there is to play and have a collection of over 700 games of their own.

“It’s some great games. Strategic games that really get your mind going and having fun and laughing and having a great time with family and friends,” said Mik Fitch.

The pair decided they wanted to bring the hobby to others, so in 2018 they started Our Family Plays Games.

Every Sunday, more than 22,000 subscribers tune in to their YouTube show that goes by the same name.

Along with their son, Grant, Mik and Starla cover it all — from how to play new games, to reviews, to how to simply be good to others.

“One of the segments on our OFPG Voices show, I talk about good humans, because we want people to be good humans when they come to the table. We have experienced negativity in the past, and we don’t want other people to experience what we’ve experienced,” Starla said.

Mik and Starla say there were many times they were the only people of color at board game conventions. They also said when playing games, they noticed a big lack of diversity in the stories and game pieces.

“Most games don’t have but maybe one character of color. They try to put in one. But the newer games, again, now that there’s an awareness about this lack of inclusion and diversity, publishers are making those changes,” Starla said.

Mik and Starla are leading that charge for change by consulting with game publishers.

“We know that staying in that box is going to eliminate a lot of people. But if you open it up and think more broad-mindedly, more progressively you’re going to bring more people in which is ultimately what they want to do,” Starla said.

According to the Fitches, they hope to continue to expose more people to what they love.

“We might have our biases, and we might have our issues. But at the table, we can all join in and play a good game and have some fun,” Mik said.

Later this month, Our Family Plays Games is partnering with The House of Afros Capes and Curls to host a community game night. It’s set for Feb 25 at the Urban League of Nebraska.