Girls on Games Tells Women's Tabletop Industry Stories

Girls on Games Tells Women's Tabletop Industry Stories

Kickstarter campaign for a book about women in tabletop boasts essays by designers from Paizo Publishing, Looney Labs, Lone Shark Games, Wizards of the Coast and more.

The Kickstarter campaign for a compilation of essays about women working in the tabletop industry has hit its $2,500 goal in less than 24 hours. Girls on Games collects essays from ten industry professionals, with topics ranging from how to break into the industry and games made "for girls", to advice for dealing with sexism and improving representation in the field. The money raised by the Kickstarter will pay the contributors and cover graphic design, layout, printing and fulfillment costs for the book. The funding campaign began August 27 and ends September 26.

"Girls on Games is a new book written by a compilation of female game industry professionals, with the aim to engage, entertain, and educate both seasoned gamers and game-makers as well as novice game inventors and those seeking positions within this amazing industry of ours!" writes project creator Elisa Teague, tabletop consultant and former Senior Director of Production and Design at Playroom Entertainment. "Girls on Games is for everyone. Seriously," adds Teague. "While our writers are female and our main target audience is female, all of the advice and tips for breaking into the industry, as well as the funny (and serious) stories are for everyone - not just women." The ten announced contributors work in all areas of the tabletop industry, including design, promotion, and production.

Contributor Peggy Brown has done design and development work for many major publishers, including Hasbro, Mattel, Warner Brothers, and Disney. Brown has contributed to the development of hundreds of games, and began her career as a staff designer working on the classic games Girl Talk, Outburst, and Pretty Pretty Princess. Kristin Looney is the co-founder and CEO of Looney Labs, best known for the chaotic card game Fluxx. Tanis O'Connor is a designer and organized play coordinator for Paizo Publishing's Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, and has previously worked for both Wizards of the Coast and Lone Shark Games. Gaby Weidling, currently at Lone Shark Games, has developed puzzles for Microsoft, Wired, and convention events including PAX and Gen Con.

On the business and promotion side of the industry, Rebekah Zetty, Director of Operations at Playroom Entertainment, works with factories to get games made. Model and artist Toni Darling has promoted several tabletop companies, including Calliope Games, Japanime Games, and Arcane Wonders. Illustrator and entertainer Satine Phoenix, who appeared in The Escapist's I Hit It With My Axe web series, is the creator of Celebrity Charity Dungeons and Dragons. Also announced as contributors are Jessica Blair, Trin Garritano, and Teeuwynn Woodruff.

If the project raises $3000, a foreword by game designer Mike Selinker will be unlocked. Nicole Lindroos of Green Ronin Publishing will contribute a chapter if the project raises $4000. Later stretch goals add additional, secret contributors.

Source: Girls on Games on Kickstarter

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We need more female voices that aren't screaming to tear down aspects of games and gaming. Hopefully this will show many outside that the 'boys club' is an oversimplification.
EDIT: **looks at chapter names** oh well i guess we can't have everything. I was hoping it would be a celebration of women in table-top gaming but it looks more like another finger-waving session. I hope one day we can actually have a positive discussion about this.

There is a lot of good crowd-funding going on at the moment. If you would like to support women in other areas of geekery like Video Games The Fine Young Capitalists are running an Indie-go-go campaign to make game ideas from women with no previous experience in games. Proceeds will go to the creators and charity. Check it out.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-fine-young-capitalists--2

Bolo The Great:
We need more female voices that aren't screaming to tear down aspects of games and gaming. Hopefully this will show many outside that the 'boys club' is an oversimplification.

There is a lot of good crowd-funding going on at the moment. If you would like to support women in other areas of geekery like Video Games The Fine Young Capitalists are running an Indie-go-go campaign to make game ideas from women with no previous experience in games. Proceeds will go to the creators and charity. Check it out.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-fine-young-capitalists--2

It would be better not to mention them right now. They are part of a serious and toxic controversy that's better to stay out of until the fallout becomes non-hazardous.

CaitSeith:

Bolo The Great:
We need more female voices that aren't screaming to tear down aspects of games and gaming. Hopefully this will show many outside that the 'boys club' is an oversimplification.

There is a lot of good crowd-funding going on at the moment. If you would like to support women in other areas of geekery like Video Games The Fine Young Capitalists are running an Indie-go-go campaign to make game ideas from women with no previous experience in games. Proceeds will go to the creators and charity. Check it out.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-fine-young-capitalists--2

It would be better not to mention them right now. They are part of a serious and toxic controversy that's better to stay out of until the fallout becomes non-hazardous.

That is why most sites are blacking them out. Because something does not fit a comfortable narrative does not make it unworthy of coverage and does not stop it being a cause worth funding. Judge the campaign on it's own merits instead of covering your ears and eyes. Why in the world deny publicity to a cause supporting women in games just because there is a shit-storm going on right now? They're running the campaign RIGHT NOW, if we wait for everything to become all nice again they will miss out on their goals.

CaitSeith:

Bolo The Great:
We need more female voices that aren't screaming to tear down aspects of games and gaming. Hopefully this will show many outside that the 'boys club' is an oversimplification.

There is a lot of good crowd-funding going on at the moment. If you would like to support women in other areas of geekery like Video Games The Fine Young Capitalists are running an Indie-go-go campaign to make game ideas from women with no previous experience in games. Proceeds will go to the creators and charity. Check it out.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-fine-young-capitalists--2

It would be better not to mention them right now. They are part of a serious and toxic controversy that's better to stay out of until the fallout becomes non-hazardous.

No one liked to talk about how Ubisoft didnt have any female protagonist in AC:U but for some reason no one shut the fuck up about it so lets not have the community pick what is and what isnt safe to talk about.

Is there a pledge level to make sure Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn are never brought up by anyone in the comments section of this project? Because if there is I'll donate to it like 10 times.

EDIT - Welp, I was gonna donate then I looked at some of the rewards and the planned chapters for the book. I'm not going to donate to a book that's going to be just another whine session.

Perhaps it's a stylistic quibble on my part, but I hate the color pink and the use of the term "fairer sex" coupled with the "girly" font. I would be interested in watching a documentary about women in the tabletop gaming industry but this one's hitting all the wrong buttons for me in terms of advertising based on that video thumbnail.

Bolo The Great:
That is why most sites are blacking them out. Because something does not fit a comfortable narrative does not make it unworthy of coverage and does not stop it being a cause worth funding. Judge the campaign on it's own merits instead of covering your ears and eyes. Why in the world deny publicity to a cause supporting women in games just because there is a shit-storm going on right now? They're running the campaign RIGHT NOW, if we wait for everything to become all nice again they will miss out on their goals.

josemlopes:
No one liked to talk about how Ubisoft didnt have any female protagonist in AC:U but for some reason no one shut the fuck up about it so lets not have the community pick what is and what isnt safe to talk about.

OK. If you have your radiation proof vest covered with anti-projectiles protection ready, be my guest.

Sounds like a good project, I hope they and their project are met with respect and fairness from the tabletop community.

I really, really hope. Hoping hard over here.

"Creating balanced game design for both men and women"

Do men and women play table top games that differently? This seems like the only chapter I would even consider reading in the whole book, because that sounds like a fascinating question.

Ehhh, it's probably just more bitching.

Jupiter065:
Sounds like a good project, I hope they and their project are met with respect and fairness from the tabletop community.

I really, really hope. Hoping hard over here.

I think it will be. The tabletop community is less volatile than the video game community in my experience, but, hell, I've been proven tragically wrong before.

OT, Backed.
Also, as a general response to the comments I've read so far on this thread...

DISCUSSING SOMETHING THAT MAKES YOU UNCOMFORTABLE ≠ WHINING OR PANDERING

These discussions are going to be opened up and examined at this point, and no amount of people pissing and moaning about how they're tired of them or summoning the specter of the "Feminazi" boogieman is going to change that. No one is coming to take the fun out of your games, and no one would still be having these discussions if they weren't still relevant. Period.

The comments on any website discussing feminism justify feminism.

scotth266:
Perhaps it's a stylistic quibble on my part, but I hate the color pink and the use of the term "fairer sex" coupled with the "girly" font. I would be interested in watching a documentary about women in the tabletop gaming industry but this one's hitting all the wrong buttons for me in terms of advertising based on that video thumbnail.

Not just you, my friend. I'm automatically predisposed to dislike anything that promises to tell the story of women in a male-dominated field that uses pick and curly letters; it seems to undermine any attempt to give weight to something.

OT: I like how Satine Phoenix is credited as an "entertainer" in the Escapist's blurb which in the same breath mentions that she hosted a show whose whole gimmick was "porn actors playing PNP RPGs".

Who needs women when so many of the male players are pussies to begin with?

(note to mods: that was a joke. Yes, it was off-color, but, if that garners me a warning like my hot dog joke then I'll again be disappointed in you and wonder how ZP gets away with it).

Thunderous Cacophony:

scotth266:
Perhaps it's a stylistic quibble on my part, but I hate the color pink and the use of the term "fairer sex" coupled with the "girly" font. I would be interested in watching a documentary about women in the tabletop gaming industry but this one's hitting all the wrong buttons for me in terms of advertising based on that video thumbnail.

Not just you, my friend. I'm automatically predisposed to dislike anything that promises to tell the story of women in a male-dominated field that uses pick and curly letters; it seems to undermine any attempt to give weight to something.

Same here. I saw that and immediately thought, "are they trying to break stereotypes or enforce them?" As tiny as it may be, it seems pretty dumb to me.

OT: This could either be something relatively interesting, or it could be something not worth talking about. I'll see how it turns out. If it works out well (i.e. it's released and is good) I might give it a look.

Harry Mason:
Also, as a general response to the comments I've read so far on this thread...
DISCUSSING SOMETHING THAT MAKES YOU UNCOMFORTABLE ≠ WHINING OR PANDERING

Thank you. Guys? This, right here.

While I am often the first to criticize Second Wave feminist comments about the patriarchy, the "glass ceiling" is a real thing. There are certain industries where it is difficult for women to find jobs. And I'm not talking 50/50 number splits here, I'm talking talented women who don't get the kind of attention or promotion they deserve. So yeah, maybe give the book a chance before you start assuming you know what the chapters are going to say on those topics?

Although, I will say one thing:

Booth Babes? Really? Isn't that more of a video game thing? This is supposed to be a book about Tabletop games. Did Magic: The Gathering have booth babes while I wasn't paying attention?

Bolo The Great:
We need more female voices that aren't screaming to tear down aspects of games and gaming. Hopefully this will show many outside that the 'boys club' is an oversimplification.
EDIT: **looks at chapter names** oh well i guess we can't have everything. I was hoping it would be a celebration of women in table-top gaming but it looks more like another finger-waving session. I hope one day we can actually have a positive discussion about this.

There is a lot of good crowd-funding going on at the moment. If you would like to support women in other areas of geekery like Video Games The Fine Young Capitalists are running an Indie-go-go campaign to make game ideas from women with no previous experience in games. Proceeds will go to the creators and charity. Check it out.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-fine-young-capitalists--2

How are they supporting women??

Their studio is 11 men...and 4 women (but they only show the women, of course).

They are just taking some womans idea and making a simple mobile game with it. Then, the PROFITS (after they pay their entire studio) are split up....8 percent going to the woman whos idea was selected...and 92 percent going to charity.

In what way is this about supporting women in "leadership roles' (as they claim).

It is exploiting women. Using them as token media bait to get funding to boost their portfolio and get publicity / some work.

I'd strongly recommend not to back it.

As previous examples, it seems entirely like professional victim playing, preying on sympathies of people that want to help in the geek community.
While this sounds harsh (and I know it does), you should consider the content of that kickstarter page of the project and read through the "Chapter Topics":

Anecdotes or stories about being a woman in the game industry
Advice for women on overcoming challenges women face in this field
Advice for men on how to make inclusion a reality in our great industry
Glass ceilings, male co-worker dealings, and general inequality of women in the field
Creating balanced game design for both men and women
Why games are important for girls
Dealing with "fake geek" or "real gamer" comments when playing games (or just existing) in mixed company
Two words: Booth Babes.
Female representation in games
Being taken seriously as a professional in a male-dominated category
Tips on getting your foot in the door at a game company
The pros and cons of Games "for girls"
and so much more!

There's a controlled narrative at play here where we have no idea what this specific industry is like. Unlike the video gaming industry, designers there don't act like mini rockstars and their products are rarely patched due to faulty or controversial content.
If this were exclusively a book for advice to women, I might back it myself, but this has feminist and social justice written all over it, especially in the chapter topics.

Glass ceilings in the board game industry: Unless specific large firms has a consistent issue with denying women equal pay (which is illegal), I sincerely question the existence of a glass ceiling there.
We have amazing opportunities for exposure and anyone with an idea can not only get heard, but publicly funded if their work is good enough and go independant.
This is not, and never will be, an industry where women must climb to the top to make a difference in the world. Personal ambition to make a career for themselves is not your problem or a social injustice for you to go in and start playing judge.

Dealing with "fake geek" or "real gamer" comments when playing games (or just existing) in mixed company: I have to call utter and complete bullshit on this. It's a social non-issue that appeared the second gaming became mainstream and more people joined in to belong to social groups, so they pose in order to fit in.
Again, this is controlled narrative that focuses on the victimization of (some) women for being called out for what they are: Posers. It's a response to a negative social biproduct, that makes light of hobbies and that has consequences.
"Fake" fans, posers, cling-ons and the like exist in every popular social group, whether it's poetry, motorcycles, skating, skiing or gaming. If a man is a poser, he is useless and considered pathetic, but women can and do exist in this niche group of people and have worth in and of themselves of just being there, because women are attractive elements to any social group. This is not a womans issue, it's an advantage. Do not feed this bullshit or eat it up.

Booth babes: As someone who's uncomfortable with the use of women for the sake of attention grabbing, this doesn't sound like an issue to me as much as the unfortunate result of marketing and the idea that it works. It's a whole separate issue that cannot possibly be covered by this book.

Female Representation in games: Originally I assumed this was games as in "boardgames", but I'm not sure this book limits itself to that. If it's not limited, then we're likely talking about an opinion piece project, not a meaningful book to help women.
If it's in regards to boardgames, it's getting a bit ridiculous. Apart from Mice and Mystics, I don't own a single board game that has defined characters or where gender representation makes sense.

Tips on getting your foot in the door at a game company: Just threaten them with upcoming gender quotas or accuse them of sexism if they don't let you in. I'm butthurt at this point and the more I read these topics and think about them, the more absurd it is...

--

Normally, I wouldn't have clicked the link but it's relevant to the ongoing debate right now with journalism and controlled narrative.

Again, please do not back this.
It's a product that plays on the social justice outrage that fuels the internet fires, it exists not because of sexism, misogyny or "glass ceilings in the boardgame industry" (christ), but because there are people who blindly accept these social injustices as major controversies. I promise you, they are not.
The people advocating this are not poor single mothers who just can't get a chance in this life. They are people trying to pressure their views on to others by telling them how the world should work according to them; By catering to women for what's between their legs and not due to skill, creativity, passion or actual contribution.

These so-called "progressive" initiatives do not exist to give women a fair chance in any industry or field of work, they are either agenda-driven in order to control the narrative or to prey on sympathies and unfounded guilt.

--

If you disagree with me (and I'm sure some here do), it's all good. I'm not here to tell you what to do, but I am encouraging people to take a critical stance to this and similar projects. Even if I say "do not back this", I do so with the underlying footnote "not without reading into it properly and considering the worth, consequences and results of it".
If you truly believe this is worth backing, especially reading what I've written, by all means go with what you know.

IvoryOasis:

Bolo The Great:
We need more female voices that aren't screaming to tear down aspects of games and gaming. Hopefully this will show many outside that the 'boys club' is an oversimplification.
EDIT: **looks at chapter names** oh well i guess we can't have everything. I was hoping it would be a celebration of women in table-top gaming but it looks more like another finger-waving session. I hope one day we can actually have a positive discussion about this.

There is a lot of good crowd-funding going on at the moment. If you would like to support women in other areas of geekery like Video Games The Fine Young Capitalists are running an Indie-go-go campaign to make game ideas from women with no previous experience in games. Proceeds will go to the creators and charity. Check it out.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-fine-young-capitalists--2

How are they supporting women??

Their studio is 11 men...and 4 women (but they only show the women, of course).

They are just taking some womans idea and making a simple mobile game with it. Then, the PROFITS (after they pay their entire studio) are split up....8 percent going to the woman whos idea was selected...and 92 percent going to charity.

In what way is this about supporting women in "leadership roles' (as they claim).

It is exploiting women. Using them as token media bait to get funding to boost their portfolio and get publicity / some work.

Literally all the woman did was give them an idea. The entire presentation of the idea, the art, programming and every single other thing is done by them. I really don't understand how 8% of the profits for an idea, something very solid to put on the CV for several women and a large amount of money going to a cancer charity is a bad thing...

I like the idea, and imagine it'd be an interesting read. I'm surprised the goals are so low to be honest, though I guess they're doing much of the work themselves considering their collective backgrounds.

I'm really irate that they're planning to put in a Forward written by a man rather than a Foreword written by a man. I'd shake my fist a bit, but my elbow really aches today for some reason.

And here I was thinking that board games such a DnD and Shadowrun where far more women friendly due to the whole "here are the rules, male and female have no stat differences, make your own protagonist."

Maybe an argument could be made about sexy armour on females, I don't know how the female community looks at that.

IvoryOasis:

Bolo The Great:
We need more female voices that aren't screaming to tear down aspects of games and gaming. Hopefully this will show many outside that the 'boys club' is an oversimplification.
EDIT: **looks at chapter names** oh well i guess we can't have everything. I was hoping it would be a celebration of women in table-top gaming but it looks more like another finger-waving session. I hope one day we can actually have a positive discussion about this.

There is a lot of good crowd-funding going on at the moment. If you would like to support women in other areas of geekery like Video Games The Fine Young Capitalists are running an Indie-go-go campaign to make game ideas from women with no previous experience in games. Proceeds will go to the creators and charity. Check it out.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-fine-young-capitalists--2

How are they supporting women??

Their studio is 11 men...and 4 women (but they only show the women, of course).

They are just taking some womans idea and making a simple mobile game with it. Then, the PROFITS (after they pay their entire studio) are split up....8 percent going to the woman whos idea was selected...and 92 percent going to charity.

In what way is this about supporting women in "leadership roles' (as they claim).

It is exploiting women. Using them as token media bait to get funding to boost their portfolio and get publicity / some work.

*slow clap**

Someone's been drinking the Quinn brand kool-aid. How about you stop tearing down efforts to give women a shot at making games. It's obvious you buy into the idea that these people are not completely on some 'side' therefore must be evil. It's this in-fighting, bickering, shit-talking and bitching that is keeping women out of games. Hysteria like calling it "Exploiting women! Tokenism!" is just silly. Read their campaign again instead of just trying to tear it down because someone told you what to think.

I want to support an initiative for women in games. You just seem to want to push a narrow ideology at the expense of that. But no, all we are allowed to do is sit around and write book complaining about the patriarchy not actually make games. Why would we want to actually give women an opportunity to pitch game ideas and have them made when we can sit around and collect 'male tears'?

Lots of people TALK about how women can't make games because of X,Y and Z. Trying to discredit an initiative to actually get a game designed by a women created because you want to push another agenda is just low.

IvoryOasis:

How are they supporting women??

Their studio is 11 men...and 4 women (but they only show the women, of course).

They are just taking some womans idea and making a simple mobile game with it. Then, the PROFITS (after they pay their entire studio) are split up....8 percent going to the woman whos idea was selected...and 92 percent going to charity.

In what way is this about supporting women in "leadership roles' (as they claim).

It is exploiting women. Using them as token media bait to get funding to boost their portfolio and get publicity / some work.

I dont have figures but I imagine nearly a third of the work force being female is quite inclusive in gaming. What percentage of gws workforce do you tink would be female?

Raising issues relating to women is a good thing.

 

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