Games of all sorts are a fantastic way to connect with people whether they’re old friends or you’ve just met. Whenever my partner and I move to a new area our first priority is finding a local game group, and a few of those folks always wind up becoming good friends. For women this can be a little intimidating – sometimes game spaces seem very male dominated, or one or two of the members can be unintentionally (or intentionally) creepy. In the past decade gaming has seen the rise of girl-friendly or girl-only groups both to build positive space for established lady gamers and to create a welcoming environment for new ones. I caught up with Board Game Grrrls facebook group founder Saille Warner Norton this week to talk about games, grrrls, and the importance of inclusive game spaces.
Why did you start Board Game Grrrls?
I did it on a whim after Yet Another Awful Thread on another FB board game group. I’ve always been community orientated, and I am one of the admins on another female focused geek group, so it was an easy jump for me to create. I thought I’d maybe get a handful of other female gamers to chat with about gaming. I used “Grrrl” because I came of age during the Riot Grrrls movement of the 90’s, and I think that history and meaning is suitable for us today.
I would love to be able to reach each and every woman gamer out there. Because you do not have to go it alone. We have had a number of members meet up in person at this point, and I absolutely love that BGGG has been a part of women finding other local women gamers. I have hopes that someday we’ll be able to do that on a larger scale, and be a recognized force for change within the wider gaming community and industry.
Board Game Grrls has grown in just six month to over 1200 gamers. The group is always abuzz with chat ranging from game suggestions to rules mechanics. The Grrrls are quick to answer questions and always welcome new gamers. Join the conversation at Board Game Grrrls on Facebook here.