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Mikael Hasselstein

How can we be more gender inclusive in X-Wing?

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I'd be very curious what if anything women think FFG could do to be more proactive. Just more female pilots or something else.

Myself I'm not so sure there is anything FFG could do, but as I'm not a woman I don't know what they'd like to see added.

 

 

But even that skews towards an already capture demographic - female X-Wing players. We know those exist. I think the entire premise is flawed and as you said, 'not so sure there is anything FFG could do' - the issue of getting more female gamers isn't necessarily specific to X-Wing. There is nothing FFG could do to make my wife play or enjoy X-Wing. She isn't a gamer. I just think that females that like games like this and / or Star Wars will play. Those that don't: won't. That isn't bias or a flaw in the game.

 

Edit: I do agree with some thoughts though stated above that the ttg culture in general may be a factor to overcome but I am largely not in that community - X-Wing is the only ttg I play and I don't do tournaments or conventions or anything else. I fly casual with friends and none of their wives are interested although we've tried. A couple have some younger children and they enjoy it (boys and girls) - maybe it's just a generational thing that today's ttg parents can foster an interest in gaming with their girls and then, once that love is kindled, the female gamers will start to have more of a presence and start forcing culture change from within (but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't recognize and stop sexist or misogynistic attitudes and behaviors now)

Edited by nathankc

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Boys like the color blue and trucks and cars

Girls like the color pink and dolls

Baby rooms were the other way around a hundred odd years ago. Pink was seen as masculine and blue as feminine. It's pretty much all culture and upbringing, the mental hardware really isn't that different.

 

 

I think that the approach of "X-wing needs more women because I don't like the skew" is the wrong way to approach things. The proportions of X-wing's playerbase should be representative of the proportions that want to play it. If women who want to play X-wing are being turned away where men wouldn't then then I think everyone is in agreement that that needs fixing. However, our goal should be that any person who wants to play can regardless of gender, race, et cetera, rather than trying to shift ratios around so we can pat ourselves on the back for being more inclusive.

Edited by TIE Pilot

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I can't talk about how welcoming towards women the majority of gaming groups are (as I've only experienced a tiny number of them), but I've not personally seen any women being treated differently from men in that respect.

 

As a more general rule of thumb, I wouldn't want FFG to try to start overly focusing on women just to try and drag up the numbers. Sexism in favour of women is still sexism, and trying to use it in the name of equality is not the answer IMHO.

 

So, if we have a gender-neutral, all-accepting game for which there is a gender imablance of players, if FFG/the X-Wing community isn't putting the ladies off, I can only come to one other conclusion: For whatever reason, the majority of ladies do not want to play such a game/the female side of society itself is introducing any sexism into the equation that causes the imbalance. If this is the case we have 2 options: leave them to it, or try and educate them that X-Wing is just as such a woman's game as much as it is a man's game.

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Should we push for more males to play with Barbie dolls, more females to play with tonka trucks, etc?

Let kids and people play with what they want. Don't ram it down their throats or complain that everything isn't 50/50 and gender neutral.

 

 

While I agree with the idea of letting kids choose what they want, as a father of two I have to say it's not as easy as that. There IS pressure to play gender-specific games from advertising, other kids and relatives. It's one thing to say "let them choose", but another to really buy your son a barbie doll...

 

As far as X-Wing goes, I believe the problem is not with the specific game but with wargaming/tabletop gaming in general - they're boy games, a logical continuation of playing with toy soldiers and the like. I don't know if we can expect that to change overnight.

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The problem with this issue is the assumption that women should WANT to play a particular game in equal proportion to their number in the population, so then an outcome ("more women players") is expected.  I think very highly of women, my wife in particular, and I think they should be free to play what they want to play. 

 

Also, please point me to the thread where we are worried that more boys (aka "men") aren't playing with Barbies.  <<crickets>>

 

FWIW, my daughter loves to play X-Wing with me and my son. My wife would rather play the card game Love Letter (which, by the way, is a lot of fun). http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/129622/love-letter

 

In summary, not everything is a gender biased conspiracy.  Let people play what float their boat, and you'll have happy players.

 

And stop worrying about people's genitalia - at least at the game table.  

Edited by dojimaster

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There's some things girls like doing more than other things, and some of those things they don't like doing are things men like to do. Since this is the 962243rd thread on this deep and interesting subject, I asked a few 'gamer gurls' their thoughts on miniature gaming. Responses were along the lines of:

"Doesn't really interest me"
or
"lot of the guys who do it are weird and smell"

Which in no way should be a huge revelation. 

 

Another hobby of mine, powerlifting, is dominated by men. I find that the girls I know who are heavily into fitness, just don't care one way or the other about being strong. It isn't hard for women to participate in powerlifting, guys will treat them like any other guy in the gym, but it doesn't interest a lot of them.

In conclusion, still don't care, not everything needs to have equal gender participation ratios.

Edited by Breaking The Law

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The issue is less about the structure of the game, and more about gaming culture. My wife will rarely go into a gaming store without me because she doesn't feel comfortable. 

 

She thoroughly enjoys trouncing me at X-wing at home, but doesn't want to go to tournaments because male gaming culture tends toward the chauvinistic machismo side.

 

My wife also wasn't exposed to much beyond the generic board games she all played as kid. As WoW became more prevalent and geek culture suddenly became in, Catan, Ticket to Ride, etc have become far more mainstream and Xwing and similar games will likely move along that path, to some extent.

 

The issues boil down to gaming culture and market saturation. Both tend to be gender bias, though rarely for nefarious reasons.

 

 

The best thing Xwing can do is keep doing what it's been doing. The changes aren't up to the company, it's up to gamers to make the impact. 

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Should we push for more males to play with Barbie dolls, more females to play with tonka trucks, etc?

Let kids and people play with what they want. Don't ram it down their throats or complain that everything isn't 50/50 and gender neutral.

 

 

While I agree with the idea of letting kids choose what they want, as a father of two I have to say it's not as easy as that. There IS pressure to play gender-specific games from advertising, other kids and relatives. It's one thing to say "let them choose", but another to really buy your son a barbie doll...

 

As far as X-Wing goes, I believe the problem is not with the specific game but with wargaming/tabletop gaming in general - they're boy games, a logical continuation of playing with toy soldiers and the like. I don't know if we can expect that to change overnight.

 

Also, let's not forget advertising.  No toy company is marketing toy soldiers to girls and barbies to boys.  I imagine it would be really rough trying to fight that pressure as a parent (you don't want to give your kid a toy that they won't play with, and may resent you for even buying it for them).  .....Solution: destroy all TVs and computers in your home.

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There's some things girls like doing more than other things, and some of those things they don't like doing are things men like to do. Since this is the 962243rd thread on this deep and interesting subject, I asked a few 'gamer gurls' their thoughts on miniature gaming. Responses were along the lines of:

"Doesn't really interest me"

or

"lot of the guys who do it are weird and smell"

Which in no way should be a huge revelation. 

 

Another hobby of mine, powerlifting, is dominated by men. I find that the girls I know who are heavily into fitness, just don't care one way or the other about being strong. It isn't hard for women to participate in powerlifting, guys will treat them like any other guy in the gym, but it doesn't interest a lot of them.

In conclusion, still don't care, not everything needs to have equal gender participation ratios.

 

My weirdness is part of my charm! :)

 

I guess now we must turn our attentions to combating the stereo-type of the stinky male gamer that drops the BO bomb all over the place and perhaps that will fix the problem of getting women to play this game and/or miniature games in general. I say all this jokingly but with a hint of seriousness. Bottom line...bathe yo'self!

Edited by TheGreedyMerchant

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I think that the approach of "X-wing needs more women because I don't like the skew" is the wrong way to approach things. The proportions of X-wing's playerbase should be representative of the proportions that want to play it. If women who want to play X-wing are being turned away where men wouldn't then then I think everyone is in agreement that that needs fixing. However, our goal should be that any person who wants to play can regardless of gender, race, et cetera, rather than trying to shift ratios around so we can pat ourselves on the back for being more inclusive.

 

This is a valid critique. Maybe I should just get over my White Man's Burden. :lol:

 

However, I'm with Vorpal Sword - I don't think women feel included in our game for subtle reasons that are easy for us to overlook if we're not paying attention. Our ability to be more attuned to those subtle things will improve our game as well as our wider society.

 

 

As far as X-Wing goes, I believe the problem is not with the specific game but with wargaming/tabletop gaming in general - they're boy games, a logical continuation of playing with toy soldiers and the like. I don't know if we can expect that to change overnight.

 

We shouldn't expect it overnight. Still, our culture is changing very rapidly and we shouldn't be complacent and remain an exclusive zone because of obliviousness.

 

 

"Doesn't really interest me"

or

"lot of the guys who do it are weird and smell"

 

The latter is something we should change. I'll confess that my means of getting about town are on the bicycle, and that means physical exertion prior to arrival. However, I bathe every morning and wear clean clothes. Regarding the 'weird', that's something that should also bear examination.

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My daughter likes and plays the game.  She's a bit of a gamer.  My wife thinks it's silly and a waste of money.  I know and game with many women.  Most like RPGs, board games, but not so much miniatures.  Minis, including X wing, are a combat simulator.  Most women I know, including the gamers, have minimal interest in such things.  My daughter likes when I teach her to fight, and won female gym student of the year in her high school last year, largely for routinely taking down guys twice her size in floor hockey.

Beyond that, I do have a thought as to why women gamers are less likely to show up at tournaments and such.  It's the same reason I don't go.  Just from reading here, and watching games at my local store, it doesn't look fun.  Meta meta meta.  Don't play anything that can't beat fat Han and whisper.  Fool that's a crap build.  Statistical analysis of every combo, rejecting builds and ships out of hand because they don't give that critical edge.  Yeah, for the serious wargamers that's what it's about.  The rest of us?  Bugger that, it's a game, and we want to have fun.  Win, lose, whatever, I want to fly ships and have a fun couple hours.  Want more women, and more people in general, to show up for organized play, tournaments and the like?  Don't make more casual players feel like they have no place at the table

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Again I point that the lack of women playing Sisters of Battle lists in 40k as an example of more women pilots not doing anything.

If you look at the models for Adepta Sororitas you won't even find anything really in the way of chainmail bikinis. So I find the whole idea that there is anything FFG can do to make the game more inclusive a bit faulty logic wise.

If X-Wing was like RPG's back in the 70's and 80's where every bit of artwork featuring a woman was either a warrior in a chainmail bikini or less, or a princess chained up or otherwise helpless also wearing next to nothing, waiting for a man to save her... Then yes I'd say there is something that the company could do. But that is not the case for FFG. Look at the MMO's that have a large female population... It's games like WoW or Wildstar, rather than Linage or Tera. The reasons why a woman might not be attracted to the art style in Tera is pretty easy to see. Then again some women are, because of individual tastes and all that.

Because if there really was this large group of women who would love to play tabletop mini games, but want more female units... 40k is still the most popular game out there, so you should see that group playing SoB armies.

If there's anything wrong it's like VS said above, and the problem is with the groups of people at the gaming stores, and perhaps the gaming store itself. But other then trying to set a tone for our own group, there's little we can do about that.

But all of this is based on the assumption that there's an untapped market of women TT gamers just waiting to be be reached. Pointing at narrative based things like RPG's or video games as evidence of this is a bit flawed because you're really talking about apples and oranges. Especially when consider how broad the video game field is. Sure there's a lot of women in MMO's, but how many do you think play Call of Duty or League of Legends?

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I think this is a non issue with this game. Boys and girls are different and like different things. I don't know why people can't accept that.

There are a few exceptions and with ladies that do like this game I don't have a problem playing against. Unless they don't bathe but gender doesn't matter on that.AWWW

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My daughter likes and plays the game. 

...

Beyond that, I do have a thought as to why women gamers are less likely to show up at tournaments and such.  It's the same reason I don't go.  Just from reading here, and watching games at my local store, it doesn't look fun.

 

There's probably a generational aspect to this. You're socializing your daughter into the game, teaching her that she doesn't need to be limited by a gendered role in society.

 

Regarding your second point, I think you're on to something there. I do think that more narrative scenarios that create a closer tie to the SWU that women are attracted to in roughly equal numbers would be good. That's also something I want for its own sake. I'm a little tired of the 6a100pntDM.

 

 

Again I point that the lack of women playing Sisters of Battle lists in 40k as an example of more women pilots not doing anything.

 

Yeah, but Sisters of Battle is kind of its own parody.

 

 

I think this is a non issue with this game. Boys and girls are different and like different things. I don't know why people can't accept that.

 

Because it's just not that easy. 'What boys want' and 'what girls want' is not fixed. It's changing. I don't know why you can't accept that.

Edited by Mikael Hasselstein

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I think it's important to either not get side tracked, or perhaps redirect the conversation, depending on how you look at it.

I think we should all agree and accept that the lack of women in X-Wing or TT Miniature games in general isn't necessarily a sign of something wrong. That just because 51% of the population is female, doesn't mean 51% of every activity should be female... That's just faulty logic, because there are things men enjoy that by and large women don't. That may be nature or nurture... but is also really out of our control.

What we can do is consider what if anything may keep those people (either gender) who might be interested from trying the game in the first place.

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I think we should all agree and accept that the lack of women in X-Wing or TT Miniature games in general isn't necessarily a sign of something wrong. That just because 51% of the population is female, doesn't mean 51% of every activity should be female... That's just faulty logic, because there are things men enjoy that by and large women don't. That may be nature or nurture... but is also really out of our control.

 

You're painting extremes here. Obviously 51% isn't expected, but what we have right now is just too awkward to not suspect that something is wrong.

 

Also, this is nurture. Men didn't evolve playing with little plastic toys anymore than women did. Also, it's not out of our control. We do have the capacity to speed up the degree to which our culture adapts to changing society.

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Wow, just wow.

The misogyny here is thick.  No wonder women don't get into games like this.

 

No one indicated that the game isn't inclusive.  No one said that, no one hinted at it.  The game itself is not repulsive to women.  The attitude shown by people in this forum is why women are not joining in.

The sexist belief that women just aren't into gaming because it's not a girl thing is sad.  My 9 year old daughter is very into Star Wars.  She likes X-Wing and is very much looking forward to IA.  Women do and would like to play X-wing if there were introduced to the game.  Sadly, if there were introduced to this forum, they'd want nothing to do with it.

The reason boy stuff and girl stuff is such a prevalent attitude in our culture is due to the innate sexism you've all grown up in.

 

I've lost a lot of respect for this game, related hobbies, and the culture they apparently breed (along with several people in this forum).  To exclude 51% of the population because of close-minded ideals is just idiotic.  To not want to find ways to include groups of people based on gender makes as much sense as basing it on color.

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My daughter likes and plays the game. 

...

Beyond that, I do have a thought as to why women gamers are less likely to show up at tournaments and such.  It's the same reason I don't go.  Just from reading here, and watching games at my local store, it doesn't look fun.

 

There's probably a generational aspect to this. You're socializing your daughter into the game, teaching her that she doesn't need to be limited by a gendered role in society.

 

Regarding your second point, I think you're on to something there. I do think that more narrative scenarios that create a closer tie to the SWU that women are attracted to in roughly equal numbers would be good. That's also something I want for its own sake. I'm a little tired of the 6a100pntDM.

 

 

Again I point that the lack of women playing Sisters of Battle lists in 40k as an example of more women pilots not doing anything.

 

Yeah, but Sisters of Battle is kind of its own parody.

 

 

I think this is a non issue with this game. Boys and girls are different and like different things. I don't know why people can't accept that.

 

Because it's just not that easy. 'What boys want' and 'what girls want' is not fixed. It's changing. I don't know why you can't accept that.

If this is the case the this is a non issue. People are going to do the things that they want to.

I have 4 kids of my own and coached, mentored, and cared for hundreds of other kids over the last 25 years. I'm sorry but boys and girls aren't that different now than when I was a kid. At least not as different as as some people would like to lead us or want people to believe.

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I think this is a non issue with this game. Boys and girls are different and like different things. I don't know why people can't accept that.

 

I think the reason behind this particular problem is that "Men and women are different" or "White and black people are different" or other similar reasonings have been misused before now as justifications for discrimination. As a result a fair chunk of society have now swung too far in the opposite direction and now think even acknowledging any differences between the genders is sexism.

 

I suspect that part of the problem also lies in how bad most people are in understanding statistics. If we take for example the studies that have suggested that on average males have better spatial awareness (we won't argue whether or not they're true for the moment, but for the sake of example let's give them the benefit of the doubt):

- Some people have taken this to mean that all men are better than all women at tasks that require spatial awareness (and therefore claim that women can't drive, etc.)

- Some people claim that such studies are sexist, and that men and women can't possibly be any different from each other in such a way.

- Someone with a grasp of statistics would understand that if these studies are true, all it would mean is that the "average man" has better spatial awareness than possibly 51% of women, that the "average woman" could still have better spatial awareness than 49% of men, and that at the end of the day if a woman is still a better driver than a man they should be recognised as such.

 

 

Relating this to the game, it may be that less women are interested in this style of game than is the case with men. My answer to that is that there will still be plenty of women who are interested - as far as I'm concerned they're just as welcome to play the game as any guy, I'll try to beat them just as hard as I would any male opponent, and I'll accept my ass-whoopings off them just as graciously as I would from any male opponent.

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Here's the part that really concerns me....

 

No one was asking for changes to the game.  No one was demanding girl only content, more female pilots (there are some already), or some kind of bizarre 'women always get initiative' rule.

 

People were just looking for ideas for ways to get a larger fan-base of a game they love playing and would like to see more people playing.

 

Yet many of you seem to actively be opposed to that very idea.  It wouldn't encroach upon your gaming.  It wouldn't change your habits.  It wouldn't change the balance or the tournament scene.  It would just increase the player base.  It would increase the demand.  It would make the game a stronger and more dominant IP in the market.

 

Yet many of you don't want that, or are actively campaigning against it based on the location of one's reproductive organs.

The idea of Jar Jar in a X-wing as an official expansion would get more support around here than the very concept of women playing the game.

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We do have the capacity to speed up the degree to which our culture adapts to changing society.

I let my daughters play with whatever toy they wished to, and the same for my sons. I've done what I can. I have given demo's at my LGS and once one of them was a woman. I treated her exactly the same as I would any other person.

I fail to see how we can do anything more. If treating people with basic respect and courtesy isn't enough then there's nothing else we can do to attract them.

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Here's the part that really concerns me....

 

No one was asking for changes to the game.  No one was demanding girl only content, more female pilots (there are some already), or some kind of bizarre 'women always get initiative' rule.

 

People were just looking for ideas for ways to get a larger fan-base of a game they love playing and would like to see more people playing.

 

Yet many of you seem to actively be opposed to that very idea.  It wouldn't encroach upon your gaming.  It wouldn't change your habits.  It wouldn't change the balance or the tournament scene.  It would just increase the player base.  It would increase the demand.  It would make the game a stronger and more dominant IP in the market.

 

Yet many of you don't want that, or are actively campaigning against it based on the location of one's reproductive organs.

The idea of Jar Jar in a X-wing as an official expansion would get more support around here than the very concept of women playing the game.

 

Too be fair, the OP placed the burden on FFG. And FFG can only really change the game and/or marketing (which is dedicated to niche markets). Luckily, it seems to have moved on beyond that for most posters.

 

This ad still makes me think...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XP3cyRRAfX0

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