Recommend
1 
 Thumb up
 Hide
22 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » General Gaming

Subject: Women defined rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Ima Meeple
Denmark
Unspecified
flag msg tools
Avatar
... Sorry, no answers to what makes women tick in here, I just needed the audience.

First of all welcome to the BGG equvilant of Jerry Springer, Oprah or whatever half-arsed talkshows pseudo-psychological you like ...

*ahem*
I'm a relative newbie on BGG, and to the world of 'advanced' boardgaming (in lack of a better word, advanced is anything that isn't Ludo, Monopoly etc.), but in the few months I have been a member I have noticed a few things.

There are a whole lotta people out there looking for 2 player games, and many of these are games that they'd like to play with their significant other. That's great, and leads me to belive that many of my fellow BGG'ers are in the same boat as me -that means gaming is restricted to the few hours between dinner and bedtime, due to jobs, kids and other pressing issues.

The li'l boss (ie. my wife) and I have recently begun exploring this 2-player games world ourselves, and have used the many 2-player games recommendations on BGG extensively. While doing so, we've found out that there are almost as many threads with good advice or cries for help on how to get women interested in gaming, and that have left me to this question (finally a point of this thread);
Why is it apparently hard to get women interested in gaming ??
And even more importantly, isn't it almost always the women complaining about spending too little quality time with their husbands ? So wouldn't playing a game be considerede quality time ?? and if not, then what is ?? Ask your wife at your own risk. I take no responsibility for broken houewares, or sore backs from sleeping on the couch


Let's go over my own li'l check list of what quality time should be about:
Interacting - Check
Talking - Check
Laughing - Check
Time flies by - Check
Just the two of us - Check (feel free to sing that one out loud )

So what is it women want if none of these reasons for playing games are good enough for them ?
A Divorce ??

OK, I think it's time someone else took the mic.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kendrick Curtis
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
mbmb
My gf didn't like playing games with me because I played too aggressively (playing to win ie. 'stealing' fields in Carcassonne, blocking other people's roads in SoC). Now that I take a more laid back approach she finds playing more fun.

I guess my general point is twofold - firstly, that active confrontation within the game is fine if you're playing with your friends, but when it's just you and your SO then you have to play the game in the same way that they play it. That's not to say that you shouldn't be trying to win, but when your relationship is involved then I suggest being more honest/nice! At the same time, I can well imagine that this varies immensely from person to person. Just my own experience.

Secondly, my experience is that more women are more interested in eurogames like Catan and Carcassonne in which there's a sense of co-operation as well as conflict.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
George Kinney
United States
Bellefontaine
Ohio
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I don't think its a matter of women in particular being hard to interest in board games. I think that in general you'd face the exact same issues getting anyone interested in gaming. It just happens that wives and girlfriends are commonly the most available potential gaming partners a lot of guys have, and there seemingly being a majority of guy on BGG, it ends up looking very skewed.

I agree, kid's, work, life in general mean that a great many of us aren't going to be hanging around game shops, clubs, etc for any signifigant amount of time. And even even if we had the time, there's plenty of us who wouldn't be interested in those venues anyways. So friends, family, and signifigant others are the most likely to have to put up with our strange interests.

My wife and I share a lot of interests, and enjoy most of the same entertainments, including games. Lately she's been pushing me to finish reading the rulebook for DOOM or DESCENT so we can get one of them on the table this weekend. Gotta love a lady who's down for a good hack and slash.

I think most of those lists make it obvious that many of the women implicated are playing games as a way to spend time with their signifigant others, but not being really into gaming, prefer the lighter titles. They aren't into the strategy and conquest, but are willing to sit down and play something.

But all in all, I hardly think any of this is an issue that is particular to women as a group.


 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sue Hemberger

Washington
Dist of Columbia
msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I agree with George -- it's not a gender thing, it's about gamers trying to convince non-gamers to play games. Looks gendered here because the gamers writing about this issue are overwhelmingly men who have wives/girlfriends who were clearly chosen for reasons other than their interest in games.

I married a equally/similarly playful guy (and, not surprisingly, we've produced a playful child who in turn has found playful friends who often have playful parents), so it's a non-issue for me. In fact, in our social world, the women tend to be more interested in games than the men, but that's probably because they typically are spending more time with kids and therefore are on the lookout for mutually enjoyable age-spanning forms of play.

Wrt my 8 year-old daughter's peers, the boys seem more game-oriented than the girls, but the sample's too small to really generalize from (her friends are disproportionately boys and the boys tend to be older than the girls and to have older sibs).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ima Meeple
Denmark
Unspecified
flag msg tools
Avatar
Gecko23 wrote:
I don't think its a matter of women in particular being hard to interest in board games. I think that in general you'd face the exact same issues getting anyone interested in gaming. It just happens that wives and girlfriends are commonly the most available potential gaming partners a lot of guys have, and there seemingly being a majority of guy on BGG, it ends up looking very skewed.


Excellent point. Admitted I didn't even think about that aspect of this women-and-gaming question.

I did suspect that the competitiveness (is that even a proper word ?) was an inluence. Even if my wife don't mind direct confrontation games like Blue Moon, it's obvious from many of the wife-threads here on BGG, that she doesn't have that in common with a majority of the BBG'ers wifes.

I'm not sure people in general are hard to get to play boardgames. Maybe I'm just lucky, or have surrounded myself with playful people, since in my experience most people are more than willing to spend an evening playing a boardgame. It's a matter of finding a theme that sparks their interest.

As for the whole playful people generates kids, and surround themselves with playful people, that's a whole new discussion (which I'd gladly participate in, but that would really turn this thread into a pseudo-psychological diuscussion for real), but for now, let's just say that in large terms we agree Sue
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Stadel
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
A trend I've noticed in gaming:

Men generally like to advance themselves at the expense of others (direct conflict), whereas women generally like to advance themselves without directly impacting others (indirect conflict).

Choosing the right game (or non-aggressive tactics) might help ...

Just my 2 cents ...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe McKinley
United States
San Jose
California
flag msg tools
When I heard the learn’d astronomer; When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me; When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them; When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with
badge
much applause in the lecture-room, How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick; Till rising and gliding out, I wander’d off by myself, In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time, Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars. W.W.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
nico-dk wrote:
I'm not sure people in general are hard to get to play boardgames. Maybe I'm just lucky, or have surrounded myself with playful people, since in my experience most people are more than willing to spend an evening playing a boardgame. It's a matter of finding a theme that sparks their interest.


The issue at hand is is how to get someone (usually a family member) to play games routinely. Anybody can convince their husband/wife/daughter/son/grandmother/boyfriend to play a game with them once. The real question is how do you get them to play with you routinely, and hopefully have them enjoy doing so.

If you know that person well enough, you should be able to choose some initial games that suit their tastes in terms of theme, intesity, competition, etc. Cater to their tastes through proper game selection, proper playing style, and proper frequency of play. Just like with good food or wine, it takes some sampling experience and some time before anyone develops their palette. Slowly introduce new themes, mechanics, and playing styles. Don't shove a new game at them every week. (Let them decided when they would like to move on to a new game.) Be patient, don't set high expectations, and you may be pleasantly surprised in time.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Luke Morris
England
Faversham
Kent
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My wife wants to win but not if I don't fully try. That means I'm encouraged to play hard but WITHOUT being TOO aggressive (such as spiky Carc play, leading roads into unfinished cities etc).

It's a bit of a balancing act but when she wins a game she loves it and really crows over me!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Janet Linsey
United States
Unspecified
Unspecified
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think all of the previous poster's comments regarding playing style and nature of the conflict in a game are very insightful and are definitely big factors in developing SO's into gamers.

Regarding playing style, I have to mention my experience with the game Mille Bornes. I played it with my older sister growing up, and then again with my now husband when we were dating. His style of play was agressive...always stopping me and shutting me out if he could...and I told him how my sister and I used to sometimes "be nice" and not play the stopping cards on each other even when we could. My husband and I still laugh about this all the time. I guess you could say we each found the other's play style to be an eye-opener. Even though we both enjoyed games, initially it was in a quite different way.
Over the years...I've come over to his style of play but I think my mindset in a game is still more casual.
I guess this means couples should discuss their gaming background, play styles and likes/dislikes of specific aspects of the games tried, and factor all this in with the recommendations here on BGG to help find games both will like.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ima Meeple
Denmark
Unspecified
flag msg tools
Avatar
jlinsey wrote:
[...]I guess this means couples should discuss their gaming background, play styles and likes/dislikes of specific aspects of the games tried[...]

True. Then again communication is considered the 8th wonder

Actually the wife and I had such a discussion over Citadels. Turned out she didn't mind being assinated or having the warlord demolish her city, it was the tactics she was having some difficulties grasping, or more like, she wanted to play nice sometimes ... How I miss the days before that discussion, she was so predictable shake
Naaah, it's always nice to face a challenge
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Preston Fuller
United States
Ashland
New Hampshire
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
There is probably a PhD Thesis that can be written around this issue.

A few observations

1. Women have been into games big time, you just have to think beyond our generation.
My grandmother's generation would play weekly games of Bridge and Spades all the time. Towns, Churches and Civic organizations would have a vast amount of Bridge groups and leagues. The Bingo Halls are full of older women.
Women have always been into games and cards. It is a matter of the type of games.

Which brings me to

2. Who modern games are marketed towards.
Almost all games are aimed at children and men. How many women are going to be attracted to games about war, cowboys, pirates, railroads, power plants, knights, dragons, mechanized robots, race cars, Puerto Rican Colonization, Roman legions and Dutch revolts?

Not say there are not some women into these themes but they are certainly aimed at men. If Tigris and Euphrates was about building arboretums or flower gardens and packaged in a way that made it look like a book on gardening, advertised on Oprah and sold in bookstores, then you would have women bringing the game home.

3. Style of game.With some exceptions the women I play games with do not do well with games that require aggresive planning and future conflict through strategy. That is not to say they won't play cut-throat but the conflict has to be more up-front. They will shoot you dead in a game of Bang! but may not play aggresive enough in a game of Carcassonne or an Area Control game.

I do notice that my wife's victories are greater in games where you are building or doing your own thing like in Goa or Alhanbra.

Finally, There is a difference between social gaming when we speak of a party game vs. a Euro Game. In a party game the social aspect comes first and the game comes second. In a Euro it is all about the game first and talking second.

But all of point 3 is observations and I could be way off base.

My final point would be:

Yes, women do play games and even create gaming groups and clubs. However, modern Euro games will not find themselves in that mix until either women grow up playing those games or game companies begin to make products that are much more appealing to women in theme or are very gender nuetral like, abstracts.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sue Hemberger

Washington
Dist of Columbia
msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
In the US, at least, I think that part of the gender issue involves retail environment. If more Eurogames were in toy stores, I bet more women (at least more moms) would play them. In my experience, FLGS's are rarely places that women who aren't already gamers would want to venture into.

I'll be curious to see whether any of the online retailers in the US can (/will) find a way to reach out beyond the hobbyist niche. If so, I think that might be a female-friendly retailing strategy for Eurogames.

Preston's historical point is a good one. My mother, daughter, and I were just talking yesterday about how the gamer gene in our family seems matrilineal. My grandma was a card sharp/Bingo addict who retired to Vegas. I'd also be curious about cross-national comparisons. Are European gamers as predominantly male a group as American gamers are?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
フィル
Australia
Ashfield
NSW
flag msg tools
designer
badge
I've got an 808 and a 303 and a record collection like the ABC
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I don't think it's a gender thing, it's just goes with the territory of having a weird hobby. It doesn't matter whether it's gaming or skydiving or embroidering, the odds of your parter having the same enthusiasm for it are probably low.

Most people seem to repsond positively to more traditional games: cards, mahjong etc. You can start there then throw in the odd light Euro and see what happens.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robin
United States
glennallen
Alaska
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
While doing so, we've found out that there are almost as many threads with good advice or cries for help on how to get women interested in gaming, and that have left me to this question (finally a point of this thread);
Why is it apparently hard to get women interested in gaming ??
And even more importantly, isn't it almost always the women complaining about spending too little quality time with their husbands ? So wouldn't playing a game be considerede quality time ?? and if not, then what is ??


Gaming should be considered quality time!

Let me give you one reason why women may not be an interested in gaming.

It's all your fault! Yes, men, I'm talking to you. I'm talking to the sore winners that taunt opponents for three weeks after their win or the over controling gamers that try to play games by explaining to everyone how they should be playing or those men who throw tauntrums after they loss. I've seen men actually throw pieces of games across the room in a public gaming store. Men have actually stopped playing games because their own competitive spirit ran away with them and they can no longer enjoy gaming. I've seen men leave arguing about play, arguing about rules. I've seen rule lawyers hang over shoulders and misdirect players in games. I've seen newbie gamers get turned off games because the atmosphere they play in. I've gone to gaming events that felt so intense that I didn't want to return. Gaming is suppose to be fun and competitive, not only competitive. I shouldn't feel like I just failed a class when I lose a game. Men must be wired differently (teehee) because of this intense obsession with competition and being the best.

But not every male is like this, just as not every woman is like you've described.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ima Meeple
Denmark
Unspecified
flag msg tools
Avatar
Excellent, this thread has become everything I hoped for. I knew that my initial post lacked some insight and a greater diversity in regards to POVs, but that's to be expected from a newbie who's taking his first steps into the a larger boardgaming world.
Thanks for participating everyone, this has really given me some good info on gaming cultures in other parts of the world.

Robin; your reply had me in stitches, superb
I could really see myself with the guys after 2hrs of footie, that's exactly what happens; gloating galore. When with playing with my wife, the jokes revolve more around who's turn it is to file for divorce laugh
I know every woman isn't like I described in my first post. The first part of that post is the observations I've made in my short time at BGG; that there's a large group of men wnating to get their SOs hooked on games, but don't know how.
The last half is more to provoke, I actually expected someone to tear me a new one for that.

nextinline wrote:
Good luck!

Thanks I assume this good luck is for me as man wanting to get his wife to play boardgames, if that's not the case, then feel free to skip the rest of this post.

I'm not looking for ways to persuade my wife to play boardgames with me, this thread was merely intended to start a debate about women and gaming, based on some observations from the game recommendation forum.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Diane Close
United States
Twin Cities
Minnesota
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Prestonisnormal wrote:
1. Women have been into games big time, you just have to think beyond our generation....
2. Who modern games are marketed towards.
Almost all games are aimed at children and men.


I would go so far as to say that games, at least those most often discussed here on the BGG, are aimed at niche hobbyists, and are most often sold in the type of stores that niche hobbyist males frequent.

If my neighborhood is any example, and I do think it has a nice cross-section of the population living here, then no more men play games than women. On my street, not one of the men, except for my husband, could be convinced to play games, let alone on a regular basis, even if offered Bunsen Memo! shake If the game involved golf, a couple might be convinced to try, but only if the weather was too bad to play the real thing.

Among the women on my street, about half play games on a regular basis. Half of those are card-based, usually variations of poker or bridge. Another quarter are strictly lighter-than-air "party" game players (even Apples To Apples is a stretch). These particular women tend to have heavy thinking jobs and want no-brain activities and social experiences for their "fun". And the rest, including my very religious, home schooling, stay at home mother, next door neighbor, are into Axis and Allies and are ready for Euro or war games whenever I am.

The main complaint heard among the latter is how they can get their non-gamer husband interested in playing games once in a while -- the same refrain heard here on the BGG, with the sexes reversed. So perhaps the issue isn't non-gaming females, but rather a small population of niche hobbyist gamers seeking the same, but often encountering the larger population of non-gamers, male or female.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robin
United States
glennallen
Alaska
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
The last half is more to provoke, I actually expected someone to tear me a new one for that.


I figured as much but I thought just for fun, I'd take the bait anyway.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rick Monson
United States
Chantilly
Virginia
flag msg tools
badge
For over 40 years I've been enjoying gaming with great people.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ok here is a strange one.

Before my wife and I got married, we would play a few games almost every weekend. Big games we played and still have: Feudal, Dark Tower, Talasman, Facts in Five, Outburst, Trival Persuit, Pictionary, Cribbage, Spades, Amobea Wars, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, etc... The list was long and varied. Times were good.

Then Magic the Gathering came along. So we bought cards and played that almost every weekend with our friends. We would get together, have dinner and then play a few games (sometimes drinking). Times were still good.

We have a son 5 years old, who loves playing games. He plays Labrynth Jr, Sponge Bob card game, Memory, Coottie(sp), Domino's, Star Wars Attackix, Don't Break the Ice, Heroscape, Heroclix (sorta), Chutes and Ladders, Clue Jr, etc..

My son will play with my wife, or me. I have been using games to help teach him lots of different things. Domino's are great for counting and learning the difference between numbers.

If my wife is about to start a game with him, and I join in (just got home) she will drop out. So we never have a 'family' game. soblue

Yesterday I asked her if she doesn't like playing games anymore....
She just said: "It's not that I don't like games, it's just I like other things more. I don't make you read books with me."

Now... I has been 10 years since she played a game with me.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ollie Read
United Kingdom
Portsmouth
Hampshire
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
Following my recent break-up with my girlfriend, I feel compelled to post this link.devil

http://uncyclopedia.org/wiki/Sane_women
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sue Hemberger

Washington
Dist of Columbia
msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
EasyPickens wrote:
If my wife is about to start a game with him, and I join in (just got home) she will drop out. So we never have a 'family' game. soblue

Now... I has been 10 years since she played a game with me.


Has she been home with him all or most of the day? If so, my guess is that by the time you get home, she needs a break more than she needs a game and/or she's eager to give the two of you time to connect. If you really want some family games (or some gaming just with her), first find a way to get her some "me" time and then propose a game after she's had that time.

RE family games, look for some that are more fun for adults than your current crop (to increase the odds that she'll see playing a game as "having fun" vs. "entertaining the kid"). For adult gaming, if you have access to a sitter, look for stuff you can play in a cafe for a half an hour (maybe after dinner or a movie).

And take heart from the fact that, within the next 2-3 years, your son will be able to play all sorts of great games and either your wife will want to join in the fun or it'll be one of your special father-son activities.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.