Ladies at the Table — Board Gaming resources by Women Gamers
“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.” — Einstein
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending Geekway to the West in beautiful Saint Louis, Missouri for the fifth year in a row. In addition to being one of the fastest-growing board game conventions in the country, its regularly reviewed as one of the friendliest. And as this Con’s attendance grows, so does the percentage of women of all skill levels (from seasoned veteran to enthusiastic newbie), dice rolling, tile laying, card flipping, and resource trading.
Like video gaming, the tabletop gaming community often relies on additional internet resources, whether its a video tutorial, a review, or a Q&A forum. And as more women come to the gaming table more of those resources are being produced by women gamers. I’ve rounded up some of the best to share.
Our Turn Podcast
About a year ago Cathy Ford noticed a gap in the board game podcast community. While there were many, many gamer podcasts, the female voice was missing. She reached out to her gaming friends and Our Turn Podcast was founded. In their words, “We are a group of women who are pulling out the chairs around the table and inviting everyone to sit down and join the game and conversation.” Episodes cover everything from favorites lists and con reviews to inclusivity and portrayal of women in games. The podcast updates every week or so, and usually covers a few topics per episode.
Board Gamer Girl
If Ashlee Cramb’s gorgeous gaming Instagram can’t get you excited about a game, you might be a lost cause. This gamer couples beautiful action shots of the games she’s playing with her likes and dislikes of the game on her blog thread at Board Game Geek. In particular she frequently delves into the components and artwork of the game and how that ties into the theme. While you usually can’t judge a book by its cover, I’ve found a few previously overlooked gems (Potion Master, Burgle Brothers) browsing through the images on her site.
The Rules Girl
This channel was probably my favorite discovery of the Con. Few people like to sit through a long, kinda monotonous, detailed explanation while waiting to dive into a fun-looking new game. Enter The Rules Girl! Her concise, detailed videos with graphics that help identify all the bits and bobs give you a complete overview of a game in about five minutes. This terrific youtube channel saved us a lot of time, which meant more games played! I’m definitely looking forward to seeing her add even more game guides. (Hardcore gamers — be sure to check out the special April’s Fools edition!)
Real Women of Gaming
“Real Women of Gaming was created in July of 2013 to celebrate women in gaming and to combat the “Fake Gamer Girl” stereotype. RWoG boasts a Twitch channel, hundreds of game-related youtube videos, and articles about everything from women game designers to game reviews. Additionally, they host a yearly Anti-Bullying campaign. There isn’t a gaming type (from board to mobile app) they don’t cover and their social accounts are buzzing with game-y goodness. (Also, they’re soundly responsible for my Viridi addiction.) In a recent article a guest author discusses board gaming vs video gaming.
Board Game Geek
It’d be hard to have a conversation about board gaming without including the largest board gaming community online. The BGG site is a wealth of knowledge: gameplay tutorials, publisher info, opinions, Q&A, you name it. If you have a question about a board game, you go to BGG. As it turns out, the BGG forums has a LIVELY Women and Gaming section. Conversations range from Favorite War Games and How to get Kids into Gaming to Show off Game Library and Experiences in Game Stores. This forum is a great resource for gamers AND a vocal community of women.
As our community grows, so does the number of women in gaming. I’m thrilled to see so many ladies not just pulling up a chair, but making their own tables full of dynamic women that love a little competition as well as a challenge. May the dice be ever in your favor!
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