Geek Girls Gaming – Girls at the Table

In case you were somehow buried under a rock, you might not have noticed that over the last few years women in general, and geekdom in particular, are starting to be more vocal about their interests and their expectations of being accepted at the gaming table.  Well, they have.

Whether that table is at a convention or at your FLGS or in the back of the comic book store, women are becoming more vocal about their pastimes.  From Pros like Clare Grant and Felecia Day to Cosplayers to Gamer Girls, women seem much less willing to hide their enjoyment of all things geeky.

What does this mean for gaming?  It means you are going to see even more women playing in the Pathfinder Scenario Society, even more women at your FLGS picking up dice and looking at books, and even more women at cons cosplaying for a couple hours and then sitting down to play Magic: the Gathering.

Surprisingly, I’ve actually heard the question (recently)…so how should we treat women at the table?  The obvious answer: just like you treat the guys at your gaming table.  Well, okay, to play on a stereotype, maybe you don’t make quite as many, “Can I hit on the barmaid?” jokes.   However, if you are like most gaming groups, you treat each other with respect and you enjoy the game.  You play the characters, you roll the dice, you drink the Dew and go home.  That doesn’t change when a girl (or more than one) joins your gaming group.

Our regular gaming group is a pretty evenly split, 6 guys and 4 girls.  The GM role typically floats between two of the guys and one of the girls.

So what kind of expectations do we have at the table?

  • You are playing a character, not yourself. Try to remember that your character is not you… no modern politics unless you are playing a modern game.  Even then, try to keep it from disrupting the game.
  • No “Lone Wolves”; no backstabbing. These are big for us because we are such a large gaming group.  Play characters that want to be with others. If you are evil, have a reason to be with the good characters and not steal from them or kill them.
  • Keep it in character.  Sometimes disagreements form between characters.  We encourage folks to keep it there and to make it clear when it is character vs personal driven.
  • Play nice with each other.  Keep real life out of the game. Sometimes we get stressed and we use games as a release. The thing we need to remember is not to take out our stress on our fellow characters.
  • Other rules: take turns, share information, and don’t touch someone else’s dice

All of these expectations are the same if it’s a guy or a girl at the table, we don’t really differentiate.

And just for a visual. This came out in May of this year.

Dungeon Run Girl Gamer Comic

And this article recently came out in Time.

The Rise of Fangirls at Comic Con

So the next time a girl sits down at the table, be nice, welcome her to the group and to slightly misquote Wil Wheaton – “Girls play games! Get used to it.”