Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Awesome blogs by awesome women
I've been putting together an article for dungeonsmaster.com for the past few weeks. It's about women in the role-playing game hobby, their thoughts, opinions, and ideas. Originally it was just going to focus on how guys could better encourage more women to play D&D, given that the hobby tends to be a sausage fest boy's club.
However, with every female player, gamer, dungeon mistress, and blogger I speak to, my article's scope keeps increasing. The more I learn, the more I want to draw attention to these awesome people.
If you've never been privileged enough to have a girl grace your gaming table before, you have my condolences. I've been lucky enough to DM for a party that was exclusively female (though some of their characters were the most butch guys you could imagine), and have always considered myself fortunate. Having played with groups of juvenile guys in high school (and juvenile adult men when DMing professionally), playing the game with women in the party usually adds a perspective that the game sorely needs. Girl gamers (especially those new to D&D) can make the game fresh and interesting in ways I wouldn't have guessed at.*
So here's a collection of some of the best, brightest, savviest, funniest, and most creative female role-playing bloggers I've come across. If you've heard of some of them before, fantastic. If not, I encourage you to give them a read.
Artist, Performer, and a girl who's hit things with her axe, Satine has become a more and more popular name in a lot of circles. Cutting her teeth on 3.5e, she knows what makes a good game and how to spark the interest of players. Currently, she's created a D&D meet up group in Hollywood, D&DMelt, which you should check out.
Being introduced to the game by Zak. S and contributing to Vornheim: The Complete City Kit, Mandy's often considered the most grounded and story-conscious player of the 'Axe girls'. Experienced with a number of game systems (D&D, Warhammer 40'000, Cthulhu, Al-Qadim, etc), she's also taken to being a DM, which you can read about here.
Better known as Sarah Darkmagic, D&D has been a part of Tracy's life for a long time. She's cited her true intro to the game as the Penny Arcade/PVP podcasts with Chris Perkins, and has gone on to blog about her gaming experiences ever since. She's a good judge of adventure design, and her blog hosts a number of downloadable delves. Plus, she's contributed to published works like Logan Bonner's 'Lost City'.
I firmly believe that this woman is one of the most positive "forces for good" in the DIY role-playing community. She pens the blog How to Start a Revolution in 21 Days or Less and almost all of her posts are both extremely inclusive of all types of gamers/people, and right at home with the 'Old School Rennaissance'. She's got the passion of a gaming grognard without any of the prejudices of the many self-described 'grognards'. Check out some of her posts. They're great.
Emily "Domino" Taylor
Domino has worked on a number of MMORPGs and writes about her experiences on her blog, Tradeskill Perspectives. Her musings provide interesting insight into the profession of game design, as well as how paper/dice RPGs and video games are growing more and more analogous. Also, she's got a great article over at G.I.R.L. (Gamers In Real Life) about growing up with D&D. Give her a read.
Celestial7 "Dungeon Mistress"
This is a fairly new blog I stumbled upon in a Google search. She might be new, but she's genuinely passionate about the game and its meanings outside of just the hobby. Her articles are thought provoking and, for more experienced DMs, nostalgic in that they're reminiscent of a lot of DM's first experiences with the game. Plus, she made this video, which is a lot of fun. I like D&D to be about fun.
Okay, maybe I'm biased, but I really dig Shelly Mazzanoble and her columns/books. I recently read an article about her and her work on 'Go Make Me A Sandwich', a stridently feminist blog about games, gamers, and game marketing. Normally my opinions are pretty much in line with theirs, though apparently we disagree greatly when it comes to Shelly and her stance on D&D. I'm of the opinion that anything that gets new people involved in the hobby is a good thing. Shelly's works at Wizards definitely draw in a new audience, and I'm all for it. Give her column a read.
Confessions of a Full Time Wizard
Now, I'd like to say that I've only listed seven people. Seven! This is predominantly due to my own ignorance of other noteworthy female role-players/bloggers, but also partly because these seven ladies were the only ones I came across after a few quick searches (diamonds in the rough, floating amid a sea of thousands of guy-centric gaming blogs...wait, I think I screwed up my metaphors there...).
The point is, if you know of any other women who're into role-playing games (and also blog/write about them) please list them in comments. Also, please provide links. I'm very eager to see my meager list grow.
*I understand that this assumption may be inherently sexist and exclusive. For that I apologize. Gaming blogs and the people who write them should be given attention based on their own merits, rather than just based on the sex/gender of the writer. Still, I stand by my position that most (though not all) female gamers bring a unique perspective to the analysis and commentary of the hobby. Also, all of the above mentioned bloggers/writers have made commentary that has its own value and merit, regardless of their gender. They are noteworthy not just for being female, but also for being exceptionally good at what they do.