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BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » Women and Gaming

Subject: Imagine my surprise... rss

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Alex Treacher
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It might seem that I'm trying to be controversial here, but be assured that I'm not...

As a newbie to BGG I was poking around the forums to see what I could find and I was really surprised to see the "Women and Gaming" sub-forum. My initial reaction was that it seemed very discriminatory (we all know the gaming community is very male-oriented, thus it concerned me that this sub-forum might be "the back of the forum bus"; however I don't like leaping to conclusions so did some reading of the topics within it.

A couple of the things I read make it apparent that the sub-forum was created as a response to the requests of female BGG members - which obviously blows the initial concerns I might have had out of the water! What remains though is a fair bit of puzzlement on my part... so I'd like to ask the simple question; "why"?

Being a proponent of equality (I don't mean I'm a screaming banner-waver, just in favour of giving everyone equal treatment regardless of race, colour, sex, religion, sexual orientation, height, baldness, hairy ears, etc etc) I have obviously missed the point of why the forum was requested. I'd have thought gaming topics would have been discussed in the relevant gaming sections of the forum, and the non-game stuff would have ended up in the 'chit-chat' sub-forum or similar.

Without wishing to stir up a storm, anyone care to shed some light for me?
 
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Pedro Quaresma
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I'm new around here, but my interpretation of this forum was the following: from my experience, board games seem to attract more male players than female players - perhaps this occurs because women are more practical than men.

Therefore, just as there is a forum for kids (in which members ask about which games they should try with children), there is a forum for women, where members try to find out & share games that their partners/wives/gfs/female friends/etc enjoy playing.
 
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Robin
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There is another thread that discusses this issue here:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/1564666#1564666

Men are not forbidden to post here. There are actually some very well recieved posts by men about their wives. Women are allowed to post of other forums then here.

I once heard from a female comic book artist that when a woman is in a male dominated hobby, the women tend to form a sisterhood. I think that may be why this forum was suggested.

I think too that women new to gaming may feel more welcomed in this forum than others, but I may be wrong. When I was new, I felt pretty welcomed with a few exceptions here and there, of course.

I think its nice to realize that there are more women than I originally thought and some posters on BGG are female but I would never have known had it not been for this forum.
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Liz Rizzo
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I, too, am ambivalent about the existence of the women's forum. But I read (previously) the thread that Robin linked to in its entirety, and I'm trying to embrace the positive aspects of having a women's forum.

For one thing, I find the occasional blatant sexism at BGG really off-putting. (In particular, the thumbing up of sexist content is extremely creepy to me.) I know many other women BGGers (and women I know who still decline to be involved here) have felt discouraged, too. So it is my personal hope that the Women's Forum can be somewhere where women can feel more comfortable participating, even as they do or do not participate in other parts of the site.

I don't know though, because the minute you post a thread here, men still jump all over it. Not to discount the value of these male voices, but in the case of guys coming in and being jerks even in the Women's Forum when the thread clearly addressed women, then I'm not sure if there's still a point to having one.

I don't know, when sexism comes up on BGG, the energy that rises up to attack anyone who's concerned, the energy that rises up to defend the right to be sexist on this site and to silence and discredit anyone who's concerned - Well, I'm off-topic perhaps, but it's discouraging and disheartening and creepy. To me.

The one thing that *is* really good about the Women's Forum is that it is often a place where more women participate in a thread, and we can better see one another. That's pretty cool.
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Colleen
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I have no idea why we have a women's forum. But I enjoy the weird demands that men can't post in it, or men have the right to. Men ask permission to post here. LMAO> It's hiliarious. So it does satisfy my warped sense of humour on a small level. Stop posting in here men! hehe
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Alex Treacher
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colleens wrote:
But I enjoy the weird demands that men can't post in it, or men have the right to. Men ask permission to post here. LMAO> It's hiliarious. So it does satisfy my warped sense of humour on a small level. Stop posting in here men! hehe


Heh... call me anarchic if you will, but asking permission to post isn't something that I'd have considered for a split second!
 
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William Boykin
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colleens wrote:
I have no idea why we have a women's forum. But I enjoy the weird demands that men can't post in it, or men have the right to. Men ask permission to post here. LMAO> It's hiliarious. So it does satisfy my warped sense of humour on a small level. Stop posting in here men! hehe


THAT is the funniest thing I've read on this site since Skelly Belly got banned for his usual same old same old.

BTW- Can I post that here?

Darilian
 
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Colleen
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Prodromoi wrote:
Heh... call me anarchic if you will, but asking permission to post isn't something that I'd have considered for a split second!


If your name isn't Alexandra, you're gonna hafta get out!
 
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christine belsom
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OK, I'm gonna drop in my $0.02 here. I don't contribute to the forums here as much as I'd like to, namely due to large demands on my time by graduate school, but when I do log in I have begun to check the Women and Gaming topics first.

Why? Well, because often, not ALWAYS, the content here tends to be more relevant to my gaming habits/style/etc than some other areas of BGG. A "forum for women, where members try to find out and share games that their partners/wives/gfs/female friends/etc enjoy playing" is not necessarily aimed at women gamers themselves - although I have used it to find games my non-gamer hubby might like. This may change as I move into a locale with more gamers, and namely more serious and diverse gamers, but right now I am mostly interested in getting two player games that my husband (a non-gamer who prefers less-complicated games, but who is also very competitive) will play with me, and also getting other non-gamers to play with us. I have found a lot of discussions here in the "women's area" on these topics.

That doesn't mean that I don't check out other threads at all: I love to read about Starcraft, but I know that in my current situation there is NO CHANCE IN HELL that I am going to get ANYONE to play that game with me.

I think that because women gamers tend to be a relatively small subset of gamers in general, like other subsets of gamers (wargamers, miniature gamers, abstract gamers, etc), then it's okay and useful to have a "Women and Gaming" section. I hope that makes sense. I've been the "only girl" in a lot of situations since, well, probably forever: neighborhood football, AD&D and Warhammer groups, Linux user groups, IT employees, social gatherings... That's started to change in the past few years. The "gamer girl" stereotype has begun to change too - I remember someone asking me in 1995, "You play Magic with those guys? But... you're hot!" Yick. I think it's awesome that things are changing, mostly for the better. But I also think that it's still necessary to have a group in which content is specifically aimed at women and women's concerns - general gaming content is often not very relevant for females, or in some unfortunate cases, blatantly ignorant of or insensitive to women's interests.

Okay, that was more like $2 instead of $0.02. Sorry. I guess I had more to say that I thought.
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Femke S
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I've also just gotten into gaming and I thought it was nice to have a space to chat to other ladies about what sort of games they like and what they recommend. Not because guys opinions are rubbish, because they're not. But because sometimes girls are into different things.

I've tried to word that as diplomatically as possible... I've seen the sort of hornets nest that gets stirred up when ladies and gentlemen feel they are being wrongly targeted!!

For me, I live with a guy who is lovely but will not play boardgames unless they're like monopoly and who tells me I'm a nerd for playing games (I am nerd, always have been but I think its a good thing) and then spends lots of money on Magic the Gathering cards and goes to tournaments to play. Not that I'm bagging out Magic - I can play it, I just choose not to.

Coming onto this site for the first time in the last couple of days, and not having too much experience with the whole forum thing, it is nice to see what the other girls are saying and to have it mostly in one place.

And I'll get to what the boys are saying, eventually... meeple
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JessA
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My take on it was:

When the Guilds were started someone wanted to start a Female Geeks Guild.

The powers that be didn't want that because.......uh, I'm not sure why, I think because they didn't want to split people up that much, I guess.

So, to compensate they made a Women's sub-forum.

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Lady Masha
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When I first got here, I thought this forum was for gamer guys to figure out how to pick up gamer girls. I'm not even joking.

Now that I've explored, though, it's sort of like having a Women's Gaming Night to me. Because gaming is so male-dominated, having a place where women can feel comfortable helps to take away that daunting feeling that you get when you go to a new store for the first time, or whatever.

On that note, I'm going to an FNM in a new city for the first time tonight and I'm really nervous. Not only have I not played seriously since 2005 and need a SERIOUS brush-up on the new cards, but it's likely I'll be the only girl AND i won't be playing because i won't be able to make it for the beginning. Par for the course, I guess...

arrrh masha
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Lori
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Quote:
I'm new around here, but my interpretation of this forum was the following...
... just as there is a forum for kids (in which members ask about which games they should try with children), there is a forum for women, where members try to find out & share games that their partners/wives/gfs/female friends/etc enjoy playing.


That's depressing. What does it say that someone's first assumption on seeing a Women & Gaming forum was not that it was a place for women to discuss things, but that it was a place for men to discuss women? (Apparently he was envisioning a sort of Gaming With Non-Gamers forum.)
 
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Sal A
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I have to say I like the idea. As a new female user of the forum, I've been reading geeklists and reviews for years, I have found the women's section a good place to dip my toe in.
I'm sure my interest will spread to other areas of the forum quickly, but it is a good start point.
Like someone else said I suspect it will be my starting point each time I read in the forums.
IF it gets more people posting and talking about game it can't be a bad thing. meeple

sally
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