Hello everyone! We wrote this blog in response to several of our male friends asking us how they could get their s.o. to game with them more. Which is why we took the approach of specifically asking for female gamers input on why they like to game. This is not a sexist blog in any way shape or form. We love the gaming community and would love to see more women in it. That is all. Enjoy!
Tessa (@boardgameduel)- from BoardGame Duel
I’ve grown up playing games with family, whether it be a rousing game of Great Dalmuti at Thanksgiving or classic card games with my mom on summer break. As I’ve grown older and been introduced to more strategic style gaming, it’s become an intellectual pursuit. I’m a mathematician but also a stay at home mom, so being able to work out my brain on a weekly basis is important. Gaming provides this outlet where I can think logically and problem solve.
I’m also very passionate about gaming in education, which I why I teach Board Game classes through a local homeschool co-op. Currently, I’m teaching a Board Game Design class to middle school aged students. Gaming can be used in every aspect of education, and can break some barriers to challenging subjects such as math or science. Games for me are a very academic and intellectual subject.
Of course, what would be gaming without the social and fun aspect? Gaming is a great way to bring family and friends together. My husband and I host many people to our house every year, and every party we play games. It’s a great way to build community and provides a way for people of all ages to interact with each other.
Board gaming is intellectual, social, and academic. I’m passionate about each reason for gaming, and how it can fit into everyday life, classrooms, and holiday dinners.
Rhiannon Ochs (@rhiochs)- from Spooning Meeples
Start simple. Put some little game floaties on your board game newbie and let them feel the water a bit before you toss them into the heavy Euro deep end. Sure. Beginners are going to take to different sorts of games, but no matter what game you choose for their first – make it easy and painless. I could recommend a few, but I really think the best ones come from yourself. You know the person you want to bring into the industry the best.
The main thing I think of when people ask me this question is that I wonder what the expected answer from me is. Should I suggest stereotypical feminine games? Should we go with lighter suggestions because they’re female? Should I go polar opposite? No. To all of those. We are all gamers, and while we are biologically different and might tend to conform to some stereotypical norms, I don’t use that as a template when trying to introduce someone into the hobby.
Now that I’ve said a little with a lot… I hope that we, as gamers, continue to enjoy our hobby and send positive and welcoming messages to those dipping their feet into the game pool.
Laura Ness (@2canplayLaura)- from Two Can Play at That Game
I love my boyfriend Jared very much but there’s nothing I like more than obliterating him in a game. The day I scored 115 points to his 65 in Tzolk’in the Mayan Calendar was one of the happiest days of my life. For me, board games are a perfect outlet because I am competitive by nature. One sure way for Jared to get me to do something is to make it into a competition. Board games provide a never ending source of competition; once you’ve mastered one game there’s hundreds more for you to choose from.
Besides giving me an excuse to beat all challengers, board games also allow me to think critically and strategize which a skill I need to keep razor sharp for my day job. They also help me about think about how to approach problems in an unconventional way; I am constantly changing or tweaking my strategy based on my opponent. This allows me to expand my mind and see other solutions I may not have found otherwise.
Five years ago I would never have thought that gaming would become my favorite past time. Because Jared and I found games early on that we connected with it is our favorite way to spend an evening together. While I realize board games may not be everyone’s favorite activity, with as many people as we introduce to the hobby I believe it is still something everyone can enjoy if you find the right game for the right person.
Try approaching your significant other to play a game like you would plan a special date for them; think of theirs likes, dislikes, how they think, their favorite pop culture references, etc. and try and pick a game that matches them. If possible play the game on the demo version (open hands, walk through the first few turns etc.) so they’re not overwhelmed by rules and components. And don’t be afraid to scrap it and try another game another time.
Lee(@leandralarge)- Happy Mitten Games
I like to game. I used to want to game like every single night when Jeff and I first got married (over 3 years ago), and then slowly it started to dwindle. There are a few reasons for that.
We started a board game publishing company, Happy Mitten Games. So naturally we started accepting game submissions, and we got a lot of them. A lot. We were playtesting almost every night. It was so much playing, which was fun in the beginning, but since a lot of them were broken mechanically or thematically, it wasn’t fun ALL the time. The MAIN reason I like to game is to have fun. I mean, sure I care about winning, especially when playing with my husband…who doesn’t? I can get SUPER competitive when playing games. But if I’m not having fun, why am I spending an entire evening doing it? It doesn’t make sense.
So for me, super heavy strategy games aren’t my thing. It’s too intense and stressful and I literally just don’t think that way, so I almost ALWAYS lose. Not. Fun. There are a few exceptions to this rule however. I really like Dominion, or I used to…before Jeff became obsessed with the online version and literally memorized every card in every set and all the best combinations. It no longer made any sense to ever play him again because I knew for a fact he would always win. We recently bought Dead of Winter from Plaid Hat Games, and I love it. It’s definitely one of my favorite games ever…yes, ever. Buy it. But that’s about as deep as I go for the most part.
How this all relates to wanting to get your wife/gf/s.o/whomever to game with you is that, like some of the other women have stated in their post, you have to know what she likes, her interests, and be interested in them with her. Jeff will ask me to look at a new KS he wants to back to see if I like it too. Or if we go to our FLGS he’ll pick up a game and ask if I’d play it with him before he buys it. He takes interest in the things he knows I like and is always on the lookout for games he’d know I’d play with him. Jerry Hawthorne designed Mice & Mystics because his young daughter loved mice. If she likes mermaids, dragons and horticulture, find a game about mermaids who transform into dragons whilst gardening. Wait, that sounds awesome! I want to play that game! Quick, someone design it for me! It’s never something you should force onto someone. If you take interest in their interests, they’re way more likely to take interest in yours. Also, a bottle of wine, a delicious cheese, and some lit candles never hurt either. Still talking about gaming.
Play games. Live Happy people.