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Mikael Hasselstein

X-Wing Wives

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My GF doesn't mind the game, she thinks its dorky but she loves the nerdy side of it... She won't however, stop asking to use my miniatures to top her **** Star Wars cup cakes she bakes everytime the fellas get together for a game at the house... Every single time she asks, like my answer will change lol.

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Awesome! I'm so glad to hear directly from the 'X-Wing Wives'! Thanks for posting, Ominous Galactic Sunfish and Raikana!! :)

 

Given that you have 2 and 1 posts respectively, I'm really honored that you came into the woodwork, so to speak, to answer my thread. I really appreciate that.

 

Both of you said that competitiveness is an aspect of this, and Raikana, you even said that it wasn't so much the competitiveness itself, but the affect that wins/losses might have on social relationships. I take it that part of this might be the (alleged) shame you feel a guy might have if he is "beaten by a girl". Yes, I can see how that would be an issue in places where that's still a social concern.

 

Ominous Galactic Sunfish, you're saying that you're fairly competitive, but that you feel that being so transgresses the social expectation that you shouldn't be. (My wife, bless her heart, just doesn't want to lose, or, at least, doesn't want to lose big time, because she's afraid of looking dumb.)

 

In both cases, it sounds like you're saying that it might be a little about women's authentic desires for other enjoyments, but in some respects the competitiveness of this game, and the social expectations of what women are 'supposed to' be like, makes it uncomfortable.

 

Given that much of this is prior expectation on your part as well, how might we (guys) be more pro-active in making the game more inviting? I have a few ideas, but I'd like to hear your suggestions.

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Lol it looks like I triggered quite something with that one remark about my wife in the other thread!

My wife gave X Wing a try but found it too tedious with the maneuver templates etc. She has also watched the movies with me but doesn't see what all the fuss is about. I'm absolutely ok with that since she loves e.g. Lord of the Rings, board games and video games like I do. She's also a Tomb Raider geek and it was actually due to her that we went to the E3 in L.A. from Germany two years ago. We don't need to share everything to be happy with each other and I'm content that she supports me in my X Wing hobby. I also find it quite funny myself when she teases me about my 'toys'.

I've only met one female X Wing player so far and don't really understand why that is so. At the last tournament there was a guy whose girlfriend was sitting at his side the whole day and he just kept going "Hand me a focus token", "Target lock!" etc. That's the holy grail for some players I suppose.

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At the last tournament there was a guy whose girlfriend was sitting at his side the whole day and he just kept going "Hand me a focus token", "Target lock!" etc. That's the holy grail for some players I suppose.

 

Ugh... :(

Yes, I suppose there are guys for whom that is the holy grail, but I hope that that ratio is seriously diminishing. For me, I want to enjoy something with my wife, not have her be part of the furniture. (My wife is definitely not part of the furniture in my household. She's pretty much the trend-setter, X-Wing notwithstanding.)

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My wife is not a gamer at all.  But she will go to out of town conventions with me.  She just tells me to go enjoy my "Geek Time" and goes shopping.  She reasons that I don't drink, smoke, use drugs, run around with other women, so it could be a lot worse and why complain about playing some games.

 

She has however admitted to being taken out on a date at the age of 14 and the "party" turned out to be a D&D party.  That was a last date from the story also.

 

My 6 year old loves Xwing and has a nice fleet himself and my 2 year old just caught glimpse of a Lambda on the table last night and made a wide-eyed mad dash scramble to climb on the table to acquire it.  I think he is hooked already...

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Ominous Galactic Sunfish, you're saying that you're fairly competitive, but that you feel that being so transgresses the social expectation that you shouldn't be. (My wife, bless her heart, just doesn't want to lose, or, at least, doesn't want to lose big time, because she's afraid of looking dumb.)

 

In both cases, it sounds like you're saying that it might be a little about women's authentic desires for other enjoyments, but in some respects the competitiveness of this game, and the social expectations of what women are 'supposed to' be like, makes it uncomfortable.

 

Given that much of this is prior expectation on your part as well, how might we (guys) be more pro-active in making the game more inviting? I have a few ideas, but I'd like to hear your suggestions.

 

I find the looking dumb thing interesting, because that's definitely a problem I have, too.  I don't want to derail this into a psychology discussion, but there are some interesting things out there about being raised and being told you "try hard" versus "are smart" - and women are more likely to be told that they are smart - so they avoid situations where they might look dumb.  I can't think of a great suggestion from this, though.

 

One thing you might be able to impact: the feeling that (as the only female somewhere) you are representing your entire gender.  Again, the community I play with has been awesome about being super gender neutral. If possible - just avoid bringing up gender at all when chatting/playing with women who do come to tournaments.  Even something well meaning or positive can come off as feeling like all women will be judged by whatever standard you set.

 

See: http://xkcd.com/385/

 

Also, I find at least locally casual play tends to be in the evenings during the week and tournament play tends to be during the weekends.  I'd love to see the occasional casual play during the weekends.  Maybe this is just a personal request and not a gender thing, but maybe more casual play would be good for women trying to get into the game?

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Awesome! I'm so glad to hear directly from the 'X-Wing Wives'! Thanks for posting, Ominous Galactic Sunfish and Raikana!! :)

 

Given that you have 2 and 1 posts respectively, I'm really honored that you came into the woodwork, so to speak, to answer my thread. I really appreciate that.

 

Both of you said that competitiveness is an aspect of this, and Raikana, you even said that it wasn't so much the competitiveness itself, but the affect that wins/losses might have on social relationships. I take it that part of this might be the (alleged) shame you feel a guy might have if he is "beaten by a girl". Yes, I can see how that would be an issue in places where that's still a social concern.

 

Ominous Galactic Sunfish, you're saying that you're fairly competitive, but that you feel that being so transgresses the social expectation that you shouldn't be. (My wife, bless her heart, just doesn't want to lose, or, at least, doesn't want to lose big time, because she's afraid of looking dumb.)

 

In both cases, it sounds like you're saying that it might be a little about women's authentic desires for other enjoyments, but in some respects the competitiveness of this game, and the social expectations of what women are 'supposed to' be like, makes it uncomfortable.

 

Given that much of this is prior expectation on your part as well, how might we (guys) be more pro-active in making the game more inviting? I have a few ideas, but I'd like to hear your suggestions.

Yeah, I think that the whole "beaten by a girl" thing is kinda a big deal. Of course, I've only played with friends before, so I'm not the best to ask about it. My friends are really awesome about encouraging me and any other girls that pick up one of their hobbies. They express surprise still, every time I pick up something "non-girly." Since hanging out with these guys I've tried Starcraft, Planetside, X-Wing, Halo, Call of Duty, and probably lots of others. I've also gotten involved in Airsoft mil-sim games. Every time I try one knowing I may or may not like it, but I try it because my husband is into it.

 

So, I think what I'm getting at is that the competitiveness of various games is intimidating. The thought of trying these new games with strangers is pretty terrifying. But the friends that I have are good at encouraging me to keep trying to get better. The biggest thing that a guy could do, if I walked into a gaming event, is to encourage me. Tell me what I've done right first, then say what I might be able to improve on. Don't throw games for me, but do offer feedback during a game, attempting not to sound condescending. My biggest nightmare in playing this game with strangers is an environment full of stress and anger. Unfortunately, many guys I grew up with expressed frustration with anger, and that's scary to a girl. Or to me anyway.

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I find the looking dumb thing interesting, because that's definitely a problem I have, too.  I don't want to derail this into a psychology discussion, but there are some interesting things out there about being raised and being told you "try hard" versus "are smart" - and women are more likely to be told that they are smart - so they avoid situations where they might look dumb.  I can't think of a great suggestion from this, though.

 

Hm, I had not heard that about the 'try hard' vs. 'are smart'. I was certainly in the latter category, myself though I frequently doubted it. As a result, I became pretty obsessed with proving the case. However, at this stage, I do feel like I've proven the point to myself and the world around me, so I feel I can afford to look dumb on occasion. :blink:  It tended to happen rather often when I was just starting out with X-Wing, because there's so much of a need to build a routine and stuff to remember.

 

But, that brings the question: is there something about X-Wing that hits at this dilemma - at first blush - more than games that have less of a gender imbalance?

 

One thing you might be able to impact: the feeling that (as the only female somewhere) you are representing your entire gender.  Again, the community I play with has been awesome about being super gender neutral. If possible - just avoid bringing up gender at all when chatting/playing with women who do come to tournaments.  Even something well meaning or positive can come off as feeling like all women will be judged by whatever standard you set.

 

See: http://xkcd.com/385/

 

I do understand that feeling. When I lived in Europe for a while, I was the American ambassador, of sorts. I felt the weight of that representation.

 

Also, I find at least locally casual play tends to be in the evenings during the week and tournament play tends to be during the weekends.  I'd love to see the occasional casual play during the weekends.  Maybe this is just a personal request and not a gender thing, but maybe more casual play would be good for women trying to get into the game?

 

I also wonder if there's a way to 'package' the casual play - maybe make it more playful, maybe add narrative stakes rather than just bragging rights. That's certainly how I prefer to play it, but so many of the other guys take it a bit more seriously.

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My wife regularly plays games with me, just not X-Wing. She will play Power Grid, Masions of Maddness and all kinds of other hobby games. I know I'm fortunate to have at least that so when she tells me she's just not interested in X-Wing, I don't force the issue.

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I got my wife to play a few times. Like with all things that are new, you have to start slowly and be gentle. Ease it in. Talk to her, see what she doesnt like, find another way to do it. 

 

All innuendo aside, we really started off small. Just the core box. I gave her Luke and took two Ties. Made the game fun. Not about winning but about including her in the game. I threw a few games her way, hopefully subtly enough that she didn't realize, but even if she did, she has a competitive streak in her and likes to win.

 

But I never really got it to click. Then I learned about the Ottawa / Gatineau Xwing Group and started attending their meetings. My wife would come with me, as we live far from down-town and commute together. At the meetings we met the fiancée of one of the players (now his wife) and she actually played in a few tournaments.

 

That was the catalyst for my wife to begin enjoying the game. There was another woman playing who was cute, had her ship together, wasnt weird like the rest of us. They must have gone to the bathroom together, talked about the game, and concluded it was actually fun and not weird at all. All stereotypes aside, this is literally the process.

 

Now my wife has her own list: 2x Daggers with Advanced Sensors, 2x Reds. She hasnt reached the step of designing her lists, but she more or less flies this one well, and has taken it to tournaments, where she did pretty well for a noob. This has added some encouragement. 

 

Plus she was the only woman at the tournament so it became a bit of fem power (we can do it too), and appreciating the attention that boobs have in a gamer environment. She has come out to a few game nights and is planning to play in the tournament this Thursday. 

 

But I am lucky. She will do things to humour me, and then like them. (Like the time I convinced her to play DnD 4th ed, and we made her a bear shaman, but the only little miniature we had that fit on a 1 inch square and was sort of bear like (not really) was a pug! It became the Pug of Doom, that thing had more kill steals than everyone else in the party, and she grew to love DnD because of it. After 3 years, she was the only one left with an original character. 

 

 

So ya it take luck and patience. Dont force it on too quickly. Be gentle. Talk. Communicate. If all else fails, find another couple that does and let the other girlfriend/wife explain it. 

 

And that raises another point. Women explain games to other women completely differently to the way men explain games. 

 

This.  

 

Also, effective surface area of the two pertinent particles here is exponentially smaller. 

 

But an amazing point.  Must try that.  

 

My ex got to like Magic somewhat, and much more when it was her friends playing with more girls.  

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I find the looking dumb thing interesting, because that's definitely a problem I have, too.  I don't want to derail this into a psychology discussion, but there are some interesting things out there about being raised and being told you "try hard" versus "are smart" - and women are more likely to be told that they are smart - so they avoid situations where they might look dumb.  I can't think of a great suggestion from this, though.

 

Hm, I had not heard that about the 'try hard' vs. 'are smart'. I was certainly in the latter category, myself though I frequently doubted it. As a result, I became pretty obsessed with proving the case. However, at this stage, I do feel like I've proven the point to myself and the world around me, so I feel I can afford to look dumb on occasion. :blink:  It tended to happen rather often when I was just starting out with X-Wing, because there's so much of a need to build a routine and stuff to remember.

 

But, that brings the question: is there something about X-Wing that hits at this dilemma - at first blush - more than games that have less of a gender imbalance?

 

I don't think it's an X-Wing thing in particular. It seems like a general gaming thing - I see very few 1 vs 1 competitive games with significant female representation. Most of the games I can think of with less of a gender imbalance are not 1 vs 1 competitive.

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Yeah, I think that the whole "beaten by a girl" thing is kinda a big deal.

 

Of course, sometimes that's rudely expressed, and other times, you're left to wonder if that's going through his head.

 

My friends are really awesome about encouraging me and any other girls that pick up one of their hobbies. They express surprise still, every time I pick up something "non-girly." Since hanging out with these guys I've tried Starcraft, Planetside, X-Wing, Halo, Call of Duty, and probably lots of others. I've also gotten involved in Airsoft mil-sim games. Every time I try one knowing I may or may not like it, but I try it because my husband is into it.

 

Does that surprise annoy you because you were stereotyped, or do you actually like busting their stereotypes? Re: my American ambassador role, which I mentioned to Ominous Galactic Sunfish above, I actually really enjoyed crushing those stereotypes - e.g. being good at geography and history.

 

So, I think what I'm getting at is that the competitiveness of various games is intimidating. The thought of trying these new games with strangers is pretty terrifying. But the friends that I have are good at encouraging me to keep trying to get better. The biggest thing that a guy could do, if I walked into a gaming event, is to encourage me. Tell me what I've done right first, then say what I might be able to improve on. Don't throw games for me, but do offer feedback during a game, attempting not to sound condescending. My biggest nightmare in playing this game with strangers is an environment full of stress and anger. Unfortunately, many guys I grew up with expressed frustration with anger, and that's scary to a girl. Or to me anyway.

 

I really try to be really welcoming to anyone who wanders over to the X-Wing table when I'm playing at the FLGS. I remember when I was the one wandering over, I didn't feel quite as invited (one particular store being the exception). So, that's not just a gender thing, but maybe there's something about the presumption of gender exclusion, as well as a (well-deserved, in too many cases) presumption of misogyny.

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I don't think it's an X-Wing thing in particular. It seems like a general gaming thing - I see very few 1 vs 1 competitive games with significant female representation. Most of the games I can think of with less of a gender imbalance are not 1 vs 1 competitive.

 

Okay, so maybe encourage more 2 vs 2 set-ups! That's a great tip - not just for rebalancing purposes, but also to help any new person learn the ropes in a collaborative setting.

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My wife has no interest in x wing, which is great, cos I have no interest in shopping. For anything. Ever. If it can't be bought online, then it don't want it.

She gets to do her thing, and I do mine. Also,then she doesn't realise just how much mistakes have been made...

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I like Home Theater, and so does my wife, so I found these posts fun.

 

I don't have a wife, but I have a 50" TV,XBox One, Doulby 5.1 surround system and black out curtains.

 

Who's the real winner here? 

 

Why not both???  ;)

 

Nice setup by the way.

 

 

My wife's not a gamer, although she's played Carcassonne and Zombies!!!, and enjoyed them.  Just waiting for my daughter and son to get a little older before introducing them.

 

Until then, we've got the 65" TV, 5.1 Surround, PS3, and Star Wars on Blu-Ray to tide them over.

 

You've crushed me.

 

 

Oh, I get it, its like X-wing Escalation list building! That's the 90 point squad limit, the extra 30 points got the TV up to 65"...

 

 

 

I don't have a wife, but I have a 50" TV,XBox One, Doulby 5.1 surround system and black out curtains.

 

Who's the real winner here? 

I have a fiancée (why waste 10 000-20 000$ for a wedding when you can buy all kind of games with it instead?) that play games, a 60'' TV, PS3-PS4-WiiU, Dolby Suround 7.1 in my pitch black basement.... 

 

What did I won?

 

 

OK, +30 more points @120 now to get to 7.1! For the sake of forward progression I'll just assume that the 60" TV is a Pioneer Kuro so it's actually better than the previous 65".  ;)

 

OK, my turn! I'll add another "30 points" to upgrade the audio system and get us to 150 points, he he he. The TV is back to 65", but it's the flagship Panasonic from 2 years ago, so it's almost as good as a Kuro.  :D  Audio upgrades include 2x Paradigm Sub 15's, Paradigm Studio v.4 for the 7 speakers (100, CC-590, 60, 20, to be specific), and 6 wall mounted GIK 2' x 4' x 6" bass traps. And (obviously) sub EQ to smooth out some of the room resonances, which in this case aren't bad because the room is thankfully not rectangular. The room is (mostly) sealed, so in-room frequency response is pretty good, down below 15Hz. I'm kind of an audio snob because I go to the IMAX in Providence and the sound stinks compared to what I have at home. I would ask if I won a cookie, but I think I would rather just go watch a movie instead.  :D

 

maxell.jpg

 

Now watch, someone is going to come post with their "Epic" setup and one-up me too! Anyone got a 10' projection screen and a 20 speaker Dolby Atmos setup, with 4+ 18" subs in a sealed room? (If you do, PM me your address, because I want to come visit  ;) )

 

// off-topic.

 

My wife doesn't really play X-wing, but we love playing other games together, and obviously, watching movies.  :)

 

Edit: Oh and we are both professional nerds, just in very different fields. She actually prefers Star Trek over Star Wars, am I allowed to post that in this forum?  ;)

Lol! Alright I kneel! You deserve your internet cookie!

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My wife's not a gamer, although she's played Carcassonne and Zombies!!!, and enjoyed them.  Just waiting for my daughter and son to get a little older before introducing them.

 

Until then, we've got the 65" TV, 5.1 Surround, PS3, and Star Wars on Blu-Ray to tide them over.

 

You've crushed me.

 

 

Can I jump on the brag-wagon?

 

My wife is a gamer, but prefers Euro-games (Bang!, Ticket to Ride, Catan).

 

We also have a 60" LED 3D TV, surround sound, PS4, PS3, and blackout curtains.

 

Plus, she wants to go to GenCon next year with me.

 

My girlfriend was angry at me fo not wanting to go to the San Diego Comic Con... I had to show her that there was no ticket left, so even if we were to travel 3000km to get to the con, we would not be able to enter... maybe next year though...

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Today I learned I am one of a very rare breed.

 

Tournament winning female E-wing pilot here. My store I see a decent number of female players, but most of them do happen to be the "playing with the husbands" type. However, they tend to be as equally competitive and good at the game. (Like I said they seem to be playing WITH their husbands instead of FOR their husbands.) The big draw to them being around is probably that my local store is one of the friendliest out there. General misogyny and jerk gamer behavior is strongly frowned upon by the staff, and there's always plenty of staff there. 

 

Frankly, I play with a lot of female gamers. My malifaux group is actually something like 75% women. There are so many ways that women get turned off by an almost completely male group. The leering, groping, etc is thankfully shrinking rapidly these days, but there are a lot of gamers who feel that they aren't being misogynistic (SEE: "Nice guy" or "Not all men!"). Or - as an example - say a horrifically misogynistic gamer is there (wearing his "hilarious" go make me a sandwich woman! tshirt) and no one bothers to call him out on it. If people feel that the group is condoning such actions (even if only a small fraction actually are), it makes them want to be in said space a lot less.

 

tl;dr - It isn't a lack of female gamers, because there is NOT a lack of female gamers, it is a lack of environments friendly to female gamers or anyone outside of the typical "straight white guy" niche.

 

 

And as a final note: Reading chunks of this topic out loud, my boyfriend's shouting from the kitchen "yeah! And tell them I'm puttering around in here making tea and doing dishes! Let's REALLY blow up the stereotypes." (He actually plays as well since we started dating, being a big fan of TIE fighters. Just not a hardcore tabletop gamer such as myself.)

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My wife has no interest in games of any kind. She doesn't understand the attachment to stuff like X-Wing and she doesn't understand why I like going to all-day tournaments to play.

 

You win some, you lose some...

Edited by s1n

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Today I learned I am one of a very rare breed.

 

Okay, so where is this Nirvana of the gender-balanced gaming community? FRom what you're writing, it sounds like this might be a question of achieving critical mass - getting a group together that demonstrates that it's not just a male thing. Here in Portland, there was even a girls-only RPGing group, but despite Portland's progressiveness, I haven't seen it at the FLGS tables.

 

I'm glad that something happened in your community. Can you give us a hint about how that developed, or was it just always that way in your FLGS?

 

tl;dr - It isn't a lack of female gamers, because there is NOT a lack of female gamers, it is a lack of environments friendly to female gamers or anyone outside of the typical "straight white guy" niche.
 
I both hope and fear that you're right.
 
It just seems that the rest of us are at an initiation problem. How might we demonstrate our inclusiveness (presuming it's there), so that women will feel welcome and come?
 
I wonder if making an effort of the guys with wives/girlfriends maybe organizing a friendly table/matchup event to which their significant others are expressly invited... or is that just too artificial?

 

And as a final note: Reading chunks of this topic out loud, my boyfriend's shouting from the kitchen "yeah! And tell them I'm puttering around in here making tea and doing dishes! Let's REALLY blow up the stereotypes." (He actually plays as well since we started dating, being a big fan of TIE fighters. Just not a hardcore tabletop gamer such as myself.)

 

Tell him not to skimp on the dish soap. The good stuff matters.  (Yeah, I do the household stuff in my household as well. Actually, I need to go see to the laundry.)

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Texas! Well, Austin. Which isn't really Texas in some ways...

 

Unfortunately, I have a hard time with the HOW as well, since the groups around me have been in that critical mass stage since before I started, and I got into the gaming because I was inherently interested. It isn't something that can really be forced (you can't just go and say "I want more female gamers. Let's plot how to draw them in.") 

 

One thing that always pops up in topics such as this is how we can get more female gamers, but I always wonder if forums about something else (say knitting) have a "how can we get more male knitters?" Think about the last time you went to an equivalent event of your wife's hobby. And if you did, were you the one kind of uninterested and sitting there being boring? Heck, find out what your wife does, go there, take part, be engaging and fun to be around. Perhaps start up some nerd conversation (NOT "hey ladies! Nice knitting! Who likes Star Wars?!" More subtle...) and you may be surprised to find someone with equivalent interests who you could start chatting with, and present yourself as an actually fun person to play games with.

 

Something else I've seen with some pretty good results are "learn to play" workshops that, with proper advertising, can bring in a crowd that otherwise wouldn't. Some women may feel put-off when they're trying to learn from their significant other as the more experienced player can come off as condescending without meaning to be. It's not always intentional (just like it's not always unintentional) but it is something to also be aware of. So that might be an idea to float by your local store.

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