The Seven-Sided Die

Women as players and characters

Posted Saturday February 07, 2009 at 09:43 PM

Back in August of last year ravyn linked to an excellent article on women in gaming in her post about contradicting player expectations for fun and profit, inspired by her own real-world experience of being mistaken as male on the Internet. (I must admit I made the same mistake at one point. For what it's worth I think it's an Internet-culture affliction rather than one specific to RPG blogging, though.)

The article mostly covers how to include convincing female PC and NPCs and how to recruit and make women gamers welcome in a gaming group. It also—almost incidentally while accomplishing that—talks about why women gamers aren't more common and why women often give up on gaming. Unfortunately the original link is dead, but I was pleased to find a copy in the Internet Archive: Saving Throw for Half Cooties: Gaming and the Femininely Advantaged.

It's a great article because the thorny politics are almost absent, and it just focuses on good advice for anyone's game. It's far more accessible (i.e., far less inflammatory) than anything I could write on the subject.

Comments (4)


Monday February 09, 2009 at 07:05 AM

I had a similar post on my blog a while back. All of my players were first timers and women.

Theron’s last blog post: McSlaughter Industries: Reach Out and Touch Someone...With a Sword...In the Spine


Tuesday February 10, 2009 at 05:53 PM

Cool. The closest I've gotten was a group that was 2/3 women with all female characters.

Do you have a link? I can't find it in your archives.


Tuesday February 10, 2009 at 11:19 PM

Cool. I ran my then-girlfriend and her dorm-mates through a 3.0 game back a few years, and it was the first time for all of them.

It went pretty well, but none of them play regularly anymore.

My little cousin (girl) and her DM (girl) are running/playing in a game for nine high school students, girls and guys.

Girl gamers are out there, and possibly represent a growing demographic with 4E being so gamey and approachable.

RPG Ike’s last blog post: Brief Diatribe on WotC


Tuesday February 10, 2009 at 11:34 PM

Yeah, I think the mainstreaming of roleplaying is doing a lot for women becoming gamers. I've noticed that there are a disproportionate number of women among indie designers and gamers, too. I suspect that the broader kinds of play that the field of indie titles adds to the standard Adventure & Explore genre is at least partly responsible.

Mainstreaming is good for bringing in more women gamers simply because the mainstream is more demographically balanced than gamer culture. (I'm suddenly picturing osmotic pressure diagrams. Membrane permeability isn't a bad metaphor for cultural barriers to entry, at that.) I think that both the "more accessible" mainstreaming that 4e is spearheading, and the "more types of game play" mainstreaming that indie games like Primetime Adventures are doing are great trends.

(I just wish I could like 4e more...)