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Gaming as a Girl

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The Shadowy Mr. Evans

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Yay! The first dismissal of my personal experiences being completely unimportant!

*Puts a notch on her belt*
They're important to you, certainly. Important in a "that's a shame" kinda way. But you're implications are hyperbolic and there's no reason for you or anyone else to assume that other people have had the same experiences and they are simply indicative of being a woman and a gamer. The anecdote about your brothers in particular is not something that bears any relevance. you got teased/excluded by your siblings. Yup. Everyone has. It's nothing to do with RPGs. The "villain" in that story seems to be your mother with her intent on imposing traditional gender role values.

Over half of the role players I've played with have been women. These days female gamers are not "rare", that meme is a holdover from decades ago. Tons of girls game these days, and I've pretty much had exclusively mixed gender groups for over a decade.

If you didn't intend your post the way I've read it, then I am at a loss as to what response you are looking for?
 

DarkDungeons

The GM Is Your Friend.
Most of the groups I've played with have been almost 50-50 male/female or female dominant. I hear stories like the OP's and I just shake my head in shock. I can't imagine playing a game in that manner, ever, for reasons that have nothing to do with gender.
 
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Femme Firebird

New member
Banned
I think it's really easy to do--this stuff is pretty deeply ingrained in our culture. I've seen it happen and not happen; I've seen it sneak up on some people and be avoided by others with seeming effortlessness. I don't think the difference is that the former people (e.g., you) are immature or that the latter people are awesome.
Sure, and part of the problem is just overcoming lingering issues that are ingrained into our culture. Gaming is seen as a nerdy guy's hobby still, I think, by a lot of folks. A lot of guys may not have much experience gaming with girls, and there are larger social issues that contribute to some guys talking over women even without consciously meaning to. All these things mean that otherwise stand-up groups may have problems and may not even be aware of such problems unless someone specifically makes them aware of such problems. There are definitely bad eggs out there, but there are a lot of progressive, uh, eggs out there, too.
 

kagechikara

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Validated User
Agreed, although I think there are also other factors, that are more extrinsic to the hobby itself, that are present.
Oh absolutely. There's ways women are socialized, there's gender performance, there's a lot of different things. But I think it's interesting to look at the difference between things like freeform livejournal RPGs, which are often dominated by women and tabletop games, which are still mostly dominated by men.
 

Springaldjack

Mothman Analogue Diogenes
But you're implications are hyperbolic and there's no reason for you or anyone else to assume that other people have had the same experiences and they are simply indicative of being a woman and a gamer.
While, alas there is very little systematic study of the RPG hobby, I'm very comfortable in the position that women do tend to face gendered obstacles to their participation in the hobby.

Mind it would be very surprising if they didn't, given how much other stuff works the same.
 

Finaira

Totally a MAD scientist!
Validated User
Ah, yes, I see the scrambling to point out how this has nothing to do with gender has already begun. Thank you for sharing this, Finaira and serious vibes on that whole situation. I think these kinds of stories need to be shared so people will realize that there are still groups and barriers to women playing and there's a reason there aren't as many women in the hobby. And it has absolutely nothing to do with women not enjoying roleplaying.
These stories are all old stories. The lessons and the little things are ongoing. I don't think the people were even aware they're doing them. I've been gaming for over a decade so actually telling these stories has become more of a warning lesson to others. The biggest worry I have is of another young woman trying to get into gaming and being dismissed at the table. That woman is far less likely to ever come back. And I want her to come back. So maybe, just maybe, this will help that other woman feel welcome.
 

DarkDungeons

The GM Is Your Friend.
Actually, yes, it does tend to help. Not with everything, mind you. I still find that men don't notice that they are talking over women regardless of how many women there are.
Definitely not true in the groups I've played with. Guys almost always elect to be "support characters" to the female characters who make most of the big plans, so the girls usually do most of the talking.

Maybe the problem isn't that you're playing with men, but rather the caliber of men you play with. Rude people, of any gender, are not welcome at my table.
 

Jedira Dakhan

Double Vampire!
You LARPed, and then played Eberron with your SO (apparently for a long time if you're getting relics, turning into dragons, etc) and never really told him how you felt? Or did you tell him and he kept on doing it? Since you didn't mention telling him your feelings on the game all the way up until the marriage contract, was he just supposed to know how you felt without you saying it?

If you felt that way as a player so often, why didn't you DM? Have you tried DMing and how did it work out if you did?

In my experience, guys often view "let me do that for you" as a genuinely kind, friendly, and helpful gesture, not one of condescension, and were probably baffled by your anger after you asked for help and then were upset at how they helped. If you want to actually learn how to do something yourself, then ask more limited and focused questions than "how do I build a character". Instead, for example, choose 2 or 3 feats you are interested in taking and ask which do they think is better for doing X (whatever your goal in taking the feat is). Or, between this spell and that spell, which do you think will be more useful given the way the campaign has been going?

Finally, some of the things you're mentioning, like fighting for the GM's attention, or having brilliant plans rejected, are simply a part of gaming, and both men and women experience them all the time. I've seen many guys propose a plan only to have it shot down by the group, and it later turned out it would have been a wise course. That's life and group dynamics for you.
 

Finaira

Totally a MAD scientist!
Validated User
They're important to you, certainly. Important in a "that's a shame" kinda way. But you're implications are hyperbolic and there's no reason for you or anyone else to assume that other people have had the same experiences and they are simply indicative of being a woman and a gamer. The anecdote about your brothers in particular is not something that bears any relevance. you got teased/excluded by your siblings. Yup. Everyone has. It's nothing to do with RPGs. The "villain" in that story seems to be your mother with her intent on imposing traditional gender role values.

Over half of the role players I've played with have been women. These days female gamers are not "rare", that meme is a holdover from decades ago. Tons of girls game these days, and I've pretty much had exclusively mixed gender groups for over a decade.

If you didn't intend your post the way I've read it, then I am at a loss as to what response you are looking for?
So....are you comfortable with me putting you in the camp of believing that sexism in gaming is over? Because I disagree quite strongly.
 
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