40k ASKEW: Girls, Girls, Girls


Between the board games and the cash register you might spy one. Sometimes you or a friend is quickly dropped off by one. There are even times when you see their eyes peering inquisitively at the Land Raider you so painstakingly built and painted.

In the great circle of all that is gaming they have never out numbered us, still they play an important and growing role. Back in the far mists of time (80s) only 1 in 8 D&D groups had one. Then, came the rise of Renfaire and Vampire LARPs and the drive to sew and wear hot clothes, combined with interactive storytelling drove them to enter our circle in ever greater numbers. Finally, the Sims and World of Warcraft crystallized everything which brought them ever closer.

There is still one place they rarely traffic and that is the realm of Wargaming. If they do appear they commonly come in these three forms.

  1. The first form is that of the dutiful and respectful companion; having a passing interest in our little hobby, often giggling at what they call “Boys with Toys”. These individuals take pride in knowing enough to hold a conversation and be supportive to those they’re fond of. While they understand why we play the games we play, they have no interest in joining us.
  2. The second form joins the hobby for a specific aspect of it– typically painting. They are drawn in by artistic possibilities and want to create great masterpieces like the rest of us. They live off the challenge of proving that they’re at least our equal and more often than not they’re our better.
  3. The third form has come to infiltrate and capture one of us to do with us as it pleases. Often it is a sick game where they feign interest often luring us with questions and help. We gladly oblige, entranced by the mere fact they walk among us. We teach them how to play and sometimes we let them win in the hopes they will come back for more, but that is when they strike!

No matter how they arrive, it is us that that has shown them Wargaming.
Why aren’t there more of them?

At first I thought it might have been because I smelled funny. Was it the blocks of dice? Then, I thought the idea of tediously moving little plastic or metal models around should be a complete turn off. Could it be the main protagonist of 40k are sexless devout super soldiers? Maybe the fiction just doesn’t have enough “sparkle” or Cedric Diggory?

Could the answer be blinking at me with a fleur de lis shoulder pad and smoking bolter? Maybe its the name: Warhammer 40,000, it just does not sound as friendly as Diner Dash or Daisy Fuentes Pilates.
Our hobby revolves around War. Reenactments of historical battles to the epic sci-fi/fantasy we play out– there is only War. Combined with the little to no corporative game play, makes a recipe that the largest segment of the population is bound not to enjoy. Not to mention at times we are a surly bunch.
My XX might never let me know the answer. I am sure though that some game developer and marketing guru are hard at work trying to figure out the age-old question: How do I get a woman to play with little army men voluntarily?

Why do Wargamers seem to have the least amount of women players? Let me here from any girl Wargamers on why you play and what got you interested? What do Wargames need to do to bring in more women gamers?

For my harmless misogyny visit me at http://www.bloodofkittens.com/

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