Geek Women: A Short Ramble

Image copyright Kate BeatonI just noticed that my Geek Gals circle on Google+ has grown to 328 names, primarily met through common gaming interests but also reading, movies, and tech.

At the role-playing game table, women are often in the majority and rarely represent less than 40% of the group.  My husband has often found himself the only man at the table.

On my long work commute on public transit, women represent approximately 60% of the riders, and most of them are gaming on a phone or tablet to pass the time.  I often see well-dressed business women killing aliens, zombies or orcs on the way to work—but even more often from work…

(Because at works, it often sucks.  My company, for example: the only way to get promoted is to be an old white man.  I have seen many a young woman give up on the degrees she had earned and the tech career she had worked for to go do something else where it was easier to pay the bills.)

I guess this is also a good time to thank some of the wonderful people—of all genders—in the gaming hobby and other geeky pursuits that have worked hard to promote diversity in all forms.  Thank you, my many friends, for opening publishing, conventions, game design, etc. to become more like the diverse world I see around me and less like a gated community.


Credits: The image of the New Woman is from the wonderful Kate Beaton, of Hark! A Vagrant fame.

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6 thoughts on “Geek Women: A Short Ramble

  1. Yes! It’s so wonderful to have more women at the gaming table. I’m spoiled because I have a bunch of awesome women in my home group, but I almost want to have a rule at conventions that says “I’m not running this game if I’m only running for dudes…”

  2. Where are all these women you speak of? I’m currently only one of two among 10 in my three gaming groups!

    Eh, I’m mostly kidding. Our old group in the UK was about 50/50 on the gender front but we were seriously spoiled for awesome players of all genders, and while a lot of my female friends in the US play a ton of (online) games, comparatively few of them are currently tabletop gamers. I aim to change this. Slowly slowly catchee girlie…?

    1. I’m sure age and location have a lot to do with it — I’m 50, so I’ve had a good long time to meet friends, and I’ve lived most of my adult life in places that have strong gamer communities, like Seattle and San Francisco. I’ve also spent a lot of time in the last ten or twelve years trying to help build such gamer communities by organizing gaming events, meetups, conventions, and forum discussions, so I’ve had a chance to meet tons of great people!

      1. Absolutely. In contrast, I’m finally picking my tabletop gaming back up after a 15-year drought. And I’m an introverted hermit living in the middle of nowhere near a city not particularly known for its gaming scene (Albuquerque).

        That said, since September I’ve managed to start two VTT groups (one of which includes some of my old UK gaming & life buddies because some groups should never die) and join one live group in ABQ itself — so all things considered, it’s actually going rather swimmingly!

        As for 50, I’ll ding that particular level soon enough. 30 was awesome, 40 freaked me out. I have a couple of years yet to prepare for the half-century thing.

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