Hi there, everyone! I was asked by my friend Crymson Pleasure to write up a guest post about women in gaming. A little about myself first. I have been playing tabletop RPG’s since around 1985-86, Magic: The Gathering from 1993, and MMORPG’s since 1999 with Everquest being the one I have played the longest.
What are my feelings on women in gaming? There aren’t enough! Gaming of all types is lacking in female representation, and it shouldn’t be as it’s something that anyone can do no matter their sex, age, color, or any other factor. There is no reason for women to feel excluded from gaming or made to feel like it’s for boys only. If more guys would put an effort into welcoming women or getting them to try the games it would expand the amount of available players, and bring more creativity to them. A great example is my friend Kate. I met her through my friend Justin, and have introduced them both to Pathfinder and the wonderful world of tabletop RPG’s. We ended 4 books into a 6-book module set, and they were both enjoying it greatly. It was first time either one of them have ever played anything like it and she is having as much fun as he and I are. She asked just as many good questions as he did, and got just as mad as any other player when the dice won’t fall in her favor.
While I was growing up and playing Magic and early D&D games, women were a rarity, and I think that was at least partially the fault of gamers, and also of the companies making the games. It wasn’t that we were purposely excluding them, but more that it wasn’t “accepted” as much for them to ask about, and join games. The advent of online MMORPG’s helped break that mold as – unless you asked – you never knew if the persons you were playing with were guys or girls. More women started playing games and taking their love of them to the outside world and into tabletop/LARP games.
When you look around today you can find women playing and running D&D games, and competing at magic tournaments. Feline Longmore, and Jadine Klomparens are both women who play Magic at the competitive level and consistently get high placings at the tournaments they go to. I hope to be that good myself one day. I am sure there are many more that show up at the individual tournaments and Friday Night Magic in their local area, but there is still not enough.
All in all, we as gamers need to take it upon ourselves to bring more women into the games we play, as they are made to be fun and enjoyed by everyone. We need to share our love of the games with our friends and loved ones. Maybe they haven’t joined you in playing because they haven’t felt that rush of a critical hit rolled at just the perfect time, or pulling off the perfect play to a win a game of Magic. All it takes is that one moment and boom you have them hooked.