Women in wargaming

From : Feb/Mar 1975 Moves magazine.

So what has changed as far as this article below is concerned with your view of where the female wargamer is in todays wargaming Golden Age?

6 thoughts on “Women in wargaming

  1. A very good article. A number of years ago; A woman at a 4th of July Party asked me ,Where could a woman go ,besides a bar to meet men. I suggested a war game club or convention. I mentioned the men out number women 10-1. She later decided she was against that. Too bad. But it is true that men out number women at these outings. I do not think ALL MEN go to war games clubs to meet women, but at least the odds are in favor of the women.

  2. Fantasy miniatures wargames are a visually striking medium, with lots of beautiful miniatures brings the gaming space alive. It’s attractive to look at, so it follows suit that it attracts people to watch and play.

    OTOH, you have standard wargames which largely deal with simulating historical events which many people don’t find engaging to begin with, and may feel behind the curve due to a lack of knowledge about a games historical component. Wargames like this look to be bland and dry to an outsider. They see just a bunch of older men pushing cardboard pieces around with strange symbols and numbers on them. With all the charts and tables, it looks like a giant math problem rather than a game. Add in larger rule books than standard euro/family games, and people can be scared off (both men and women) due to the assumed complexity. Plus, they’re long and don’t feel like social events. Most wargames are just two-player games and some women and men both may find a turn off, because that feels very confrontational, which it very well is. There is a clear winner and loser, there’s no insulation to not winning by being in a group where other people have also lost in a multiplayer game. Where things can and will change, are with the newer style wargames (i.e. COIN, Academy’s Birth of America series). Merging euro-style mechanics with wargame feel opens the appeal and it’s easier to draw people in. Maybe they can be turned onto other games in the genre from there.

  3. IMO we are maybe a few clicks north of the article. I have been playing war games since I was 16. I think the reactions in person from other female and male friends are the same as the male / male counterparts. “wow that’s kewl” “I don’t like games” etc.
    I do not have many face to face meetings to play but I have played ASLK with an all male group. A little awkward at first but after a few minutes, we were off to the races. I think they were silently questioning my ability to understand rules, tactics,strategy,etc. That was quickly brushed out of the way. Game on.

    I believe the internet has certainly opened up the opportunities for women to play but its not the majority of the pairings.

    It is a male dominated venue. Personally I don’t care. I want to learn, improve and enjoy playing war games. If you take offense to my presence at the board, move on. I don’t need to understand your motivations. I do not push gaming on anyone regardless or sexual orientation. If they have an interest, I would be more than willing to make suggestions to start them in the hobby.

    So relative to the main question, not much. It just important to know that I, as a woman, enjoy gaming regardless and will not ever stop playing because a few chosen males feel that war gaming is for men. I believe that if a female player asked the majority to play or teach them to play, the offered would be accepted.

    “The foolish old man” Removes a mountain.

    1. Thanks for commenting first of all. Im fortunate to know several female gamers and no men who frown upon the practice ;). If you have an interest in history this is a great way to explore it.

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