Saturday, March 31, 2018

The Joy of Gaming: Women Game Designers - Conclusion

Women's History Month: 

A Joy of Gaming Tribute to 

Women Game Designers


This entire two-month-long process has been very illuminating for me. Throughout the whole thing, my husband kept saying that designers just aren’t recognized like the games or the publishing companies or even the artists (sometimes). I reminded him over and over that I get it, but having come out of a background in film criticism, it is difficult to wrap your head around not being able to find information on creative people! I could look up all sorts of people who were part of a film and find loads of information. With this series, it turned into detective work. I’d have to crib off of this source or follow this trail down the rabbit’s hole. 

I don’t understand why I feel so strongly about acknowledging designers. Maybe it’s because I want to be acknowledged for the hard work that I do when I create something amazing. Or maybe just when I work hard, period, I thrive on the acknowledgement as confirmation that I am doing a job that is worthy enough in my field. I feel that way about game designers as well. You made this thing that has brought so much joy to people and you should be acknowledged for it. I get that the creation involves so many people, but the idea started somewhere.

As the years progressed, though, it became easier to find information. The rise of the use of the internet with social media and even the popularity of have helped. It was so difficult, though, that I was lucky with some of the designers to even find if they are even married to one of the other game designers, as many of them do not share the same last name. I can understand this particular conundrum as I kept my maiden name due to the timing of my marriage and my post-graduate publications. I now, though, go by my married name since I have settled into my professional career and find my combined last names to be a bit frustrating when working with children. 

I think the whole point of all of this, beyond the scoffing and “who cares what the gender of the designer is,” was to empower future women designers. I want some of my students to go on to create games that inspire and maybe even teach people something. I want them to see that there are so many women out there doing amazing things with games: the mechanics, the art, the vision of something new. We push to inspire and engage girls in the fields of Science and Engineering and Mathematics by showcasing prolific women in those fields, so why not do it for the tabletop gaming community? 

Here's a look back at the women designers who were covered this month:

  1. Laura Robinson - Balderdash (1984)
  2. Eleanor Abbot - Candyland (1949)
  3. Virginia Charves - Inner Circle (1981)
  4. Leslie Scott - Jenga (1983)
  5. Elizabeth J. Magie - Monopoly (1933)
  6. Marsha J. Falco - Set (1988)
  7. Hazel "Skip" Bowman - Skip-Bo (1967)
  8. Suzanne Goldberg - Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective (1982)
  9. Dorothy Garrels - Scotland Yard (1983)
  10. Carol Wiseley - Loopin' Louie (1992)
  11. Sylvie Barc - Elixir (1997)
  12. Kristin Looney - Fluxx (1997)
  13. Doris Matthäus - Frank's Zoo (1999)
  14. Claudia Hely - Santiago (2003)
  15. Rosanna Leocata - Terra Nova (2006)
  16. Susan McKinley Ross - Qwirkle (2006)
  17. Karen Seyfarth - Thurn & Taxis (2006)
  18. Colleen Skadl - Red Dragon Inn (2007)
  19. Inka Brand - Village (2011)
  20. Sydney Engelstein - The Dragon & The Flagon (2016)
  21. Agnieszka Kopera - Exodus: Proxima Centauri (2012)
  22. Dr. Erika Svanoe - Marrying Mr. Darcy (2014)
  23. Judy Martin - Quilt Show (2014)
  24. Carla Hoger - Thunder Alley (2014)
  25. Stefania Niccolini - ZhanGuo (2014)
  26. Liz Spain - Incredible Expeditions: Quest for Atlantis (2015)
  27. Anne-Marie De Witt - The Village Crone (2015)
  28. Sophia Wagner - Noria (2018)
  29. Brenda Romero
  30. The Future

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