Well, I’m not an expert but there are some important things you can do. It wasn’t something I had the bandwidth to cover in this piece, but it is definitely something worth talking about. And even with all of this privilege, I’m still not on equal footing. Let’s take a look at the BGG Top 100. Thanks! We are a group of passionate individuals who share our love of board games through written and video reviews, articles, and humor, so that others can join us in our journey. . The next chapter of Indigenous representation in video games. Like you, I see this as quite important. You’re right that board gaming, in many cases (most? I’m hopeful this is a period where this kind of representation can and will shift toward equity. ): http://analoggamestudies.org/2018/12/assessing-gender-and-racial-representation-in-top-rated-boardgamegeek-games/, Thanks for reading! I’m used to not being represented in my area of expertise. One Deck Dungeon is a breath of fresh air in its depiction of capable and heroic women, and I for one want to see much much more of that. John Pappas, posted in Rants. The present invention features a dice game that is played with two standard dice 14, a game board or card 10 as shown in FIG. Before we finish, I want to end similarly to where I began. In short, someone like yourself. Thanks for bringing that up. Maybe stop looking for things to complain about in one of the most inclusive hobbies I’ve seen and make positive contributions instead of shaming people for who they are. But there was also a time where women couldn’t vote. These are the big board game names on YouTube, and they all have one thing in common… You guessed it, they’re all men. If a man fails at designing a game, no one will say it’s because he’s a man. I was writing in a similar vein a couple months ago (https://therewillbe.games/87910/7721-wingspan-and-women-in-gaming) at TWBG. Assessing Gender and Racial Representation in the Board Game Industry. Being one part TBLG representation and one part nerdy obsessions, Querdcast was an idea I had to fill a representation gap in the mass of board game media. If you ask any linguist, they’ll probably tell you there’s one very easy way to do it. From simple dice-based board games to intense strategy games, anything you’re looking for can be found at Amazon.com But men aren’t the only people who review games. But somehow it still does. Cherry picked stats. Today we are taking a look at some of the best cooperative board games, that you can play alone or with a crowd. This article is focusing only on the lack of representation of women in the world of board games. The sexualisation of women that appear in board game art (the fantasy tropes you are referring to) is definitely another frustrating truth. Why would you want to alienate a group of people just for your own ease? – Bruno Faidutti. I admit, this is one of my all-time favorite games and TV shows, so I am biased. I am a white, upper middle class, heterosexual, cisgender (male), educated, American; I couldn’t agree with you more. Once upon a time male pronouns were the default. Just four of the 211 marked companies in Board Games this year got the full two points in the question, which set a higher bar than the federal rules. Per Shaw, we understand that those who argue against representation believe that game worlds should be unbounded by (so-called) hand-wringing about recognition and reality. That’s a lot of privilege and something I’m thankful for. Best Female Representation in Board Games, "Unlike work, which needs some detachment and ought not to be taken too seriously, games need to be played with the utmost seriousness and dedication." I truly appreciate it. You are certainly right that historical war games focus on men (even though women were historically very important in research and manufacturing for war efforts). I love them a lot. I guarantee you that if it had been a game with only male characters, no one would bother to call it “One Sex Dungeon”. What I didn’t expect was for this to be an issue in my hobby. Consume content made by women, whether it’s reviews, discussions, or playthroughs. Compare this to the 3 games that don’t depict men. Free Quote Request Domestic Leader: Tabletop Card & Board Games Manufacturing We are an American manufacturer. The first player to successfully navigate all 3 of their frogs to the opposite side of the board wins the game! It’s 2020; this shouldn’t matter. The Pandemic board game by Z-Man Games is a board game where players are members of a team trying to overcome four deadly diseases that have become global pandemics. [, View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}}, Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition). (The terms in the Board Games question, including “Aboriginal,” are taken directly from the 2020 changes to the Canada Business Corporations Act, or CBCA.) How Many Card & Board Games Does the Average Gamer Own? Sign me up for Meeple Mountain's newsletter! But as you said, things change so my efforts haven’t gone to waste. Complete Card & Board Games Proudly Made in the U.S.A.! This was well done and it’s, unfortunately, hard to disagree with any of it. Meeple Mountain uses Amazon affiliate links to generate revenue. Representation matters for all marginalized groups, but today I’m going to talk about  something that creates little challenges that I have to face every day: I am a woman. Obviously I may be a little bias, but both of these writers create excellent reviews! When an industry is dominated by men, breaking into it as a woman can be nearly impossible due to discriminatory presumptions and preexisting loyalties to prominent male designers. That’s barely more than a third. I actually didn’t come across Tanya’s work until I had done my own counting of the Top 100, otherwise I might not have done it again. One reviewer called the game “One sex dungeon” and another called it simply, “sexist.” Reviewer Zach C on Amazon.com complained, “…only women characters. Representation in Board Games: 94 of BGG's Top 100 Games Are Designed By Men (And Other Uncomfortable Observations) Produces Great Memories. It just don’t feel natural at all and that’s pretty sad and depressing – I wish I wasn’t culturally trained to expect my gender’s pronoun as the default. Here are a few things that may seem small, but add up to a system that, intentionally or otherwise, excludes women. A Cooperative Whodunit Board Game for Kids 5+, Multi-Colored, Standard, Model Number: 418 & ueens 10th Anniversary Tin Card Game 4.8 out of 5 stars 2,268 $19.23 - $34.22 For example, The Long View podcast's episode on Food Chain Magnate discussed the fact that the majority of the game's employee cards have white males as their depiction. Thank you for writing this. In each project, I continue to work towards inclusiveness. If we look at the BGG Top 100 again, we have 94 games designed solely by men, 3 games with male and female designers, and 2 games designed by only women (1 game, Go, does not have a designer to credit). We are not brokers. Representation matters for all marginalized groups, but today I’m going to talk about something that creates little challenges that I have to face every day: I am a woman. This isn’t because women don’t like board games or because we aren’t clever enough to think up intriguing games. Board Games With Great Representation and Diversity Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn. Board James is the name of the main protagonist (and also hidden main antagonist) in the series of the same name. This topic, as it relates to board gaming, usually refers to art. {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}}, Thank you for helping us moderate the site. But the number of new games has exploded in the last several years as … K. David is right, above, in that things will only change if our little corner of the world works together to make it change. Kathleen's love of board games started at a young age, and has only grown over the years. Of course, that’s just my collection. If they make a version for me, or for both sexes, I may buy that.” (1). This means that, although you may not have felt the effects that were being discussed in this article, this does not mean that anyone who does is cherry picking data or looking for things to complain about. So for example,… It’s even less equal than my chart above. Meeple Mountain believes that board gaming is the gateway to building better relationships. If you’re teaching a game or just talking about one, don’t assign genders when you don’t need to. Clicking on these banners and making a purchase will result in financial compensation for Meeple Mountain. I tried to use inclusionary language to make this clear, but just in case: please don’t assume someone’s gender based on appearance. Apr 18, 2020 - Images of different board games to help students design their own. Kathleen’s only covering what she, and many other women have experienced. We are so used to men dominating board game art that we are surprised when it’s not the case. She is now part of the On the Radar team with Chaz Marler and Spencer Williams. But we are particularly excited about the new genre of cooperative board games, where players work together to win the game, instead of competing with each other. Positive representation of women in board games: Pandemic, Steam Works, Ashes, Legends of Andor, Scythe, Monarch, Bottom of the 9th. Asmadi Game ‘s One Deck Dungeon ‘s designer, Chris Cieslik, also made a … Final Thoughts. 1Tonya Pobuda, 2018. Sometimes rulebooks will say “she”, which is great, but I don’t see the need to gender players at all. Suffice it to say, the board game industry has a lot of work to do when it comes to representation. Board games have seen a huge growth in popularity in recent years, and certainly make our list of fun things to do at home. If we wanted to represent colonial-themed board games, we clearly needed an area control game (in which players have to establish their authority over a territory in the game) and/or a direct conflict game (in which players are encouraged to engage their game characters in battles). Battlestar Galactica. My stats only looked at games in the BGG Top 100 that had people on the cover, and from a quick glance I don’t believe that any of those games are historical war games. Of those, characters presenting as female are in 37. So many rulebooks give examples saying “he does this, he does that”. There’s no need to empty your wallet by always going out for entertainment when you have a variety of great board games to play indoors. Thanks for highlighting the names of non-male board game reviewers. In fact we’ve written extensively about community and the positive experiences that people have had with board gaming, including those of women. I haven’t even gotten into other minorities or marginalized groups; that’s far more than can fit into one article. This may be a niche market, but it is *our* niche market and it should be as inclusive and representative as it can be. An important and understated message, I myself as a white british man have gotten into board gaming only in the past few years and have been frankly appalled at what I’ve found on this front. Queer representation in board games. I’m a woman who works in STEM and obtained a bachelor’s degree in engineering. “This very popular modern board game is a great app that lets you play with friends around the world in a very faithful representation of the board game,” Garcia shares. So Kathleen has a page full of all her work here at Meeple Mountain. I will try harder! I am wondering if you could recommend where I can find more board game content (written content) produced by non-males? I am working on other projects now: follow-up material for Arcanum, a board-game (“The Conquest of Ironseed”), and so on. We mainly do written content, so if you prefer YouTube here’s a list of non-male video content creators you should check out: Here’s another thing that you may think is minor, but adds up and becomes exhausting. Copyright © 2015-2020 | Meeple Mountain. If I look through my own collection of games and specifically count the ones depicting humanoids that clearly present as male or female on the cover, there are 51. A game’s artwork is a collaboration, and it reflects the priorities of all parties involved – including consumers and fans. A lot of games are wargames, historically until very recently only men fought in war, that’s obviously going to skew things. Inclusion, Diversity, and Representation in Board Games and Beyond (guest post by Elizabeth Hargrave) 23 July 2020 | 142 Comments Wingspan designer Elizabeth Hargrave , with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working and learning from over the last 4 years, recently posted an incredibly insightful series of connected thoughts on Twitter. You can play all types of chess and checkers variations, including 3D and themed games. “The strategy is easy to learn for all ages, but is still challenging enough to keep the tension in the game, the art is great too.” Hi Josie, I’d like to take a quick moment to address your comment on the stats being cherry picked. If you’re reading this and thinking, “it’s not that big of a deal”, you’re both right and wrong. I will leave it to others to decide if I was successful. There are so many “little things”, also known as microaggressions, that women have to just accept on a daily basis, so I don’t think it’s too much to ask for a little representation in our hobby. One last point: this article is the very definition of a positive contribution. Of those 51, only 3 don’t show characters presenting as male, meaning there are 48 that depict men but only 28 that depict women. Hey, if you prefer written content I highly recommend two of our writers here at Meeple Mountain: Ashley Gariepy and Tiffany Leigh. I had already been following Paula Deming, whose YT channel mostly did video playthroughs (loved the series of her navigating Rise of the Tomb Raider) before focusing on boardgames. Hi, Editor here. While trans folks are making head roads in video game, tabletop RPGs, and even war games, not many of us have shown up in the board game space. I wanted to say something about this comment. This mainly stems from the idea of the #ownvoices movement in literature. There are many areas of life where women aren’t treated equally to men, and sadly this extends into the world of board games. I’m sorry that you had such a negative reaction to this article, but I assure you I didn’t skew the stats in my favour. What an insightful thought about the game breaking down some of the existing barriers to entry for new female players. These links are clearly indicated by the Amazon banner near the top of the page. The types of games I especially seem to love are the ones that have old white men on the cover. Hi, Kathleen. You are but a single datapoint. Read Representation in Board Games Matters to learn about the little ways women are excluded from the hobby. I will add is this: It is important to always remember that you are not the mean; and you are not the outlier. In a discussion on representation in board games on reddit, user plasmatorture commented on rulebooks that stray from the norm and use female pronouns in their descriptions: It’s always amazing to me how uncomfortable reading rulebooks that do that makes me.