This article in the Portland Mercury, “Dungeons & Divas,” talks about a gaming group for women hosted in Portland, Oregon’s Guardian Games. The Dungeon Divas also have their own website.
Gaming really has been a male-dominated hobby for most of its existence. A female game-playing friend of mine has remarked more than once, although usually in an amused manner, how surprised she was by the relative dearth of women at Carnage 11, which was her first large scale gaming experience. And her reaction’s no surprise, as the local board game event she’s most familiar with has about a 40% share of females, depending on the night in question.
The question remains how to make roleplaying more inclusive and diminish the popular misconception it’s a boys-only activity. Does that mean pitching to the presumed tastes of young women, with games like Witch Girls Adventures? Or is it more about activism on roleplayers’ parts to remove existing barriers?
As an aside, one of the things I liked best about Northeast Wars IX was the growing presence of female players. Quite a few of them, I believe, came as friends of people who’d been to the convention in 2008, particularly those in the Middlebury Mob, the affectionately-nicknamed group of young gamers who have become a fixture of the local game convention, no matter its current incarnation. Hopefully, those young women will bring friends of their own next year in 2010 and keep growing the younger gaming set, both in size and gender diversity.
[Originally sighted on OgreCave.]