[Updated to add the names of some women and enby game designers I had somehow failed to copy-paste from my spreadsheet.]
Once again, I review the list of games I played during the year we just said goodbye and good riddance to.
Despite having fewer health problems in 2018, the number of different games once again dropped, to only 28, down from 62 in 2015, 47 in 2016, and 44 in 2017. I had a lot of challenges this year again, plus little money to attend conventions (only Big Bad Con and one day at KublaCon), and no space to play at home.
As a result, I played only 7(!) different tactical and strategic games (board, card, and miniatures games), from 30 in 2015, 26 in 2016, and 18 in 2017. That makes up 25% of the titles I played.
On the narrative game front (role-playing games, story games, and live-action role-playing), I played 21 or 75% of my titles, compared to 32 in 2015, 21 in 2016, and 26 in 2017. Of these 21 games, I ran 7, or 33%: At the Stroke of Midnight, Blue Rose RPG, Fate of the Inquisitor, Misspent Youth, The Quiet Year, Threadbare RPG, and Turn.
Some 13 of these different games (46%) were new to me, I had never played them before 2018. And of these new games, 7 were playtests (43% of the new games or 25% of the year’s total.) Some 13 (46%) included at least person who was not a cis man among the designers (Avery Alder, Meguey Baker, Whitney “Strix” Beltrán, Stephanie Bryant, Misha Bushyager, Ash Cheshire, Carrie Harris, Bryanna Hitchcock, Marissa Kelly, Anna Kreider, Catherine Ramen, Sarah Richardson, Brie Sheldon, April Walsh, and myself) ; I remain unable to properly track other minority types. Like last year, at conventions I ran only games that included designers who were not cis men, in an effort to get them better known.
I also rated each game subjectively, from 1 to 5 stars:
- Among the 15 games I had played before, the average rating was 4.2 — there is a reason they were repeat games.
- Among the 13 new games, the average was 4.0; my favourite new games were Threadbare RPG, Pandemic Legacy: Season 1, and Dream Askew; and I did not end up playing warranting anything less than a 3. Another good year in new games.
I played with a total of 85 different people, 54 of which were new to me (64%), up from 89 people in 2017 (44 of which were new to me), and 46 different people (with 21 new) in 2016. It looks like my continued efforts to meet new gamers are working, particularly at Big Bad Con.
- Of these 85 people, 41 (48%) identified as women, trans men, or enbys, compared to 31 or 39% in 2017 and 23 or 50% in 2016, so somewhere in my usual range.
- Only 3 or 3.5%, however, presented as persons of colour, compared to 8 or 10% in 2017 and 1 or 0.5% in 2016. I am disappointed by this poor result.
- If we look only at the 31 people I already knew, we find 16 women and enbys (52%) and 2 POCs (6.5%.)
- Six (19%) of the people I played with were under 18, compared to 7 in 2017 and only one in 2016.
In short, I’m doing well in meeting new gamers and in gender balance; I don’t have a way to track disabilities (since so many are invisible) or orientation but anecdotal data, i.e., visible disabilities and the info some players volunteered suggest the gamers I played with were diverse in these respects as well. But once again I am disappointed in the whiteness of my game table compared to the gamers I know online and to the general population where I live.
Here is what my list of games looked like:
(Abyssal) (Ash Cheshire and Edward Turner)
At the Stroke of Midnight (Night Sky Games)
Blades in the Dark Co-op Game (Evil Hat Productions)
Blue Rose Fantasy AGE RPG (Green Ronin Publishing )
Bluebeard’s Bride (Magpie Games)
Demihumans (Robert Bohl Games)
Dream Askew (Buried Without Ceremony)
Dungeon World (Sage Kobold Productions)
DW: Land of 10,000 Gods (Dungeon World hack) (Edmund Metheny)
Fate of the Inquisitor (War of Ashes: Fate of Agaptus hack) (Sophie Lagacé)
Golden Sky Stories (Starline Publishing)
Leaving Earth (Lumenaris)
Legends of Andor (Fantasy Flight Games)
Marvel Heroic Roleplaying (Margaret Weis Productions)
Misspent Youth (Robert Bohl Games)
Monster of the Week (Generic Games/Evil Hat)
Nephews of Dune (homebrew) (Steve Pisani)
Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 (Z-Man Games)
Red Carnation on A Black Grave (Aviatrix Games)
Sentinels of the Multiverse (Greater Than Games)
Steamroller (Flatlined Games)
The Quiet Year (Buried Without Ceremony)
The Regulars (Nathan Black)
The Watch (Peach Pants Press)
Thirsty Sword Lesbians and Friends (April Walsh)
Threadbare RPG (Stephanie Bryant)
Tokaido (Fun Forge)
Turn (Daedalum Analog Productions)