The Scratching That Itch series is where I randomly select and write about one of the 1741 games and game-related things included in the Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. The Bundle raised $8,149,829.66 split evenly between the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and Community Bail Fund, but don’t worry if you missed it. There are plenty of ways you can help support the vital cause of racial justice; try here for a start. Lastly, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

It’s now been three years since I started the Scratching That Itch series, randomly picking things from the 1741-strong Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. Last year, I was feeling pretty grim about our progress towards racial justice, as it seemed a backlash of racist, bigoted politics was sweeping America. At that time, the U.S. Supreme Court was poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, removing vital abortion protections; it has now done so. Shootings were on the rise, as were voter suppression laws. Hearings were being held on the January 6, 2021 insurrection in the nation’s capitol, but I was not confident they would amount to anything.

I may have been a little too pessimistic. The insurrection hearings found that former President Donald Trump and several of his associates violated federal laws and conspired against the United States, and recommended prosecution. That prosecution hasn’t happened (yet?), but Trump is facing multiple investigations and indictments, and I’m daring to hope that some of them may actually find him guilty. Beyond Trump and his followers, however, progress towards racial and social justice remains frustratingly stagnant in America. I have no reason to think things will improve anytime soon, and yet I find myself more hopeful this year. I don’t know why. The Inflation Reduction Act, passed into law last August, is a positive step towards clean energy investment, but I can’t reasonably expect it will have much social impact. Perhaps it is just that, where I feared discussions about racial justice would fade from public discourse, they have not. We have a lot of work to do, but I’m feeling cautiously optimistic that we can do it.

I also randomly picked and wrote about 37 games or game-related things from the massive bundle. That’s a slower pace than the first two years, which was somewhat inevitable as pandemic-related lockdowns lifted and in-person work largely resumed (and also just because I’ve been playing a bunch of other stuff, too). Still, that brings our total over 3 years to 163 bundle entries, which is more than 9% of the whole thing! I’ve highlighted some of my favorite picks from year three below.