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Mikael Hasselstein

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

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Mikael I'm sorry I didn't contribute in the way you were looking for. I just personally can't relate with what ever made you ask the original question. My wife has played with me since day one when we bought a core set together. She was excited to play and I was excited to play. We have both played league games against other folks and have pickup games with others all the time. Gender has never been an issue or a topic of discussion for myself or for her with whoever we play with. To us its just folks playing a game together. Being inviting of a new player (or experienced player) regardless of their gender is just standard practice in my experience. As far as the ratio goes, I don't think it has to even out to be able to label X-Wing gender neutral, I think girls are just interested in different things than boys (fancy that). Also, I'm sorry if you took my post as dogging you that was definitely not intended. I just want to get my perspective out there to hopefully add some constructive feedback to what other have said in hopes of pushing the conversation forward. 

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What if the issue isn't men excluding women from this hobby, but women negatively stereotyping the men who participate in it?

I like the cut of your jib sir.

 

While this might not be the best answer, it's best not leave any stones unturned.

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What if the issue isn't men excluding women from this hobby, but women negatively stereotyping the men who participate in it?

I like the cut of your jib sir.

 

While this might not be the best answer, it's best not leave any stones unturned.

 

I mean, the discussion seemed to go like this:

"Why don't you guys want to play x-wing with girls?"

Which got a lot of the following responses

"I don't care what gender my opponents are,"

Which makes me think the issue is people outside the hobby, not inside it.

Edited by Breaking The Law

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The issue is most Women and Girls have zero interest in playing a game with toy spaceships. I play to capture a good part of my childhood. Most girls were not Star Wars junkies when they were young.

If a girl wants to play, I would say she wouldn't have any objections from the overwhelming majority of players. The way it is at my house my wife and daughter would much rather go shopping or read Facebook.

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Where I think we differ is the idea that - just like diversity in the tech sector - that the playing field is fair. If things were fair, I would entirely agree with you - at that point, let the free market run things. However, let's make sure that it approaches being fair to begin with.

 

To bring the analogy back, I see more than ample reasons to suspect that there are subtle barriers to women's inclusion into X-Wing. Maybe you don't see them, but it's clear to the rest of us that they're there. What are the reasons that you have to doubt their existence? Also, if you want the playing field to be fair, why are you arguing against me. I'm not trying to make the game different or advantageous to women player by giving them a leg up in the gameplay.

 

 

Would you please identify some of these barriers, especially the ones that have been created by FFG?  If you are unwilling to identify the problem, there's no possible way for those who don't see it clearly to help find a solution.  For that matter, some proposed solutions to use as starting points would change this into something positive.

 

So far all I've been able to glean is "Kick the men out of the store" (kmanweiss, post #12), and variations on get rid of stereotypcial gamer traits (hygiene, social norms, etc.) from a few different posters.  Neither of these has anything to do with FFG, nor do they have any way to act on them.

 

Personally, my preferred LGS runs 50%-80% female on the busiest night of the week.  There are multiple women present who like Star Wars, some of whom have played X-Wing (one of whom owns a small fleet). . . and none of whom have any interest in playing the game.  Most of them are categorically uninterested in games containing competitive elements (Interestingly, the exceptions tend to result in behavior even more cutthroat then the tournament WarMachine or 40K players).

 

From a business standpoint, I see any changes to bring in more female buyers as breach of fiduciary duty.  FFG is currently incapable of satisfying demand, as evidenced by the fast sell-through times and ridiculous ratio of in-stock to out-of-stock products.  Any money spent making changes to attract more female buyers is wasted because it cannot increase sales - there is effectively no additional product to be bought by the extra buyers.  Currently, in order to grow their market FFG needs to increase production to capture more of the existing unmet demand.  Expanding the pool of potential buyers without increasing the product available will actually hurt their reputation, both by annoying existing customers who like the current product and by creating a larger pool of customers who cannot buy the products they desire.

 

If they plan to increase production so that they can serve an expanded pool of buyers, then changes to help expand the pool of buyers would be a good idea - but we still need some suggestions on changes FFG can make.  If all of the viable changes are at the venue level, then this really isn't the right place for the discussion - GameTrade, or possibly BoardGameGeek would hit the target audience of people who can make a difference.

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Where I think we differ is the idea that - just like diversity in the tech sector - that the playing field is fair. If things were fair, I would entirely agree with you - at that point, let the free market run things. However, let's make sure that it approaches being fair to begin with.

 

To bring the analogy back, I see more than ample reasons to suspect that there are subtle barriers to women's inclusion into X-Wing. Maybe you don't see them, but it's clear to the rest of us that they're there. What are the reasons that you have to doubt their existence? Also, if you want the playing field to be fair, why are you arguing against me. I'm not trying to make the game different or advantageous to women player by giving them a leg up in the gameplay.

 

 

Would you please identify some of these barriers, especially the ones that have been created by FFG?  If you are unwilling to identify the problem, there's no possible way for those who don't see it clearly to help find a solution.  For that matter, some proposed solutions to use as starting points would change this into something positive.

 

So far all I've been able to glean is "Kick the men out of the store" (kmanweiss, post #12), and variations on get rid of stereotypcial gamer traits (hygiene, social norms, etc.) from a few different posters.  Neither of these has anything to do with FFG, nor do they have any way to act on them.

 

Personally, my preferred LGS runs 50%-80% female on the busiest night of the week.  There are multiple women present who like Star Wars, some of whom have played X-Wing (one of whom owns a small fleet). . . and none of whom have any interest in playing the game.  Most of them are categorically uninterested in games containing competitive elements (Interestingly, the exceptions tend to result in behavior even more cutthroat then the tournament WarMachine or 40K players).

 

From a business standpoint, I see any changes to bring in more female buyers as breach of fiduciary duty.  FFG is currently incapable of satisfying demand, as evidenced by the fast sell-through times and ridiculous ratio of in-stock to out-of-stock products.  Any money spent making changes to attract more female buyers is wasted because it cannot increase sales - there is effectively no additional product to be bought by the extra buyers.  Currently, in order to grow their market FFG needs to increase production to capture more of the existing unmet demand.  Expanding the pool of potential buyers without increasing the product available will actually hurt their reputation, both by annoying existing customers who like the current product and by creating a larger pool of customers who cannot buy the products they desire.

 

If they plan to increase production so that they can serve an expanded pool of buyers, then changes to help expand the pool of buyers would be a good idea - but we still need some suggestions on changes FFG can make.  If all of the viable changes are at the venue level, then this really isn't the right place for the discussion - GameTrade, or possibly BoardGameGeek would hit the target audience of people who can make a difference.

 

 

I don't think its about FFG at all.  Its about us as the community and GENERAL (USUALLY) majority group at game stores and various other venues.  

So, to answer your question:  It isn't about FFG at all.  Done.  

 

There's really nothing they do that is really pro or con to gender, but as a marketing specialist could tell you, its very obvious that the target market is 80 to 90% male.  

I guess the one thing is FFG's Webmaster likes to completely lock gender threads instead of deleting particular posts.  From their actions, I can defeinitely tell they are not particularly caring about gender equality when it comes to this forum.  

Edited by Blail Blerg

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Or, those threads are the ones that get the most reports. You are fooling yourself if you think that the Webmaster account is actively browsing all the forums on this site, in order to actively moderate the discussions. And they were completely right to delete the other thread. Do you really think Ribann was going to allow it to remain civil? It was 100% troll thread. And people were going to take his bait eventually.

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Thanks for the answer.  I really couldn't think of any changes FFG could make to the game itself that would help (I'd say trying to was giving me a headache, but that's more likely caused by staying up too late, again).  Knowing that the focus for change should be on the gamers, and the gaming environment means a better chance at productive ideas.

 

<u>If</u> story-driven play is more popular with women, promotion of that style of play is something FFG could help with.  I'm not sure how much they can create, given that they're only a licensor and Disney is trying to minimize the EU currently.  Even without creating any specific campaigns, they did release the scenario generator which we can use to build our own "unofficial" campaigns.  If the League kits can be used for something like this, we do have something to work with, at least.

 

I do know I'd love to see more use of the "Title:Subtitle" mechanic for determining uniqueness.  I'm not sure if/how much it could change things, but the idea of creating custom pilots for campaigns might help the campaign playstyle's popularity - even if the only changes are the photo, and my name on the card.

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Still waiting for an actionable declaration of what needs to be done to get more woman to play this game. After seven pages that at least should have been covered.

 

There were several throughout the seven pages. However, you'll also find them below.

 

The problem is that my question was how, but too many people seem to believe that inclusion if not a problem and therefore not necessary. So, most of what we had to deal with was the 'if' question, leaving the 'how' question mostly forgotten.

 

Would you please identify some of these barriers, especially the ones that have been created by FFG?  If you are unwilling to identify the problem, there's no possible way for those who don't see it clearly to help find a solution.  For that matter, some proposed solutions to use as starting points would change this into something positive.

 

I didn't say that there were any barriers created by FFG. Why does everybody think that I am attacking them?

 

I do think there is the barrier of the (accurate) perception that this is a male-dominated game, and that women are not all that welcome. I thought the last bit was inaccurate, but this thread has made me start to question that presumption, given the reactionary vitriol that has come out. In order to change that, I think we need to be explicitly welcoming and inclusive.

 

I also think that women suffer from stereotype threat when they play. The belief, for example, that - as women - they are not presumed to be as capable of spatial perception or probability calculation. We - male counterparts - do not have to actually hold that stereotype for the women to feel the stereotype threat. The fact that they know that the stereotype exists would be enough to trigger the stereotype threat. The solution would be for it to be made explicit that this game is one in which women do well. That is not a lie. I've heard plenty of anecdotal evidence that the women who do play, frequently trounce their opponents. Those opponents tend to be the boyfriends/husbands, because they tend to play in home environments.

 

 

From a business standpoint, I see any changes to bring in more female buyers as breach of fiduciary duty.  FFG is currently incapable of satisfying demand, as evidenced by the fast sell-through times and ridiculous ratio of in-stock to out-of-stock products.  Any money spent making changes to attract more female buyers is wasted because it cannot increase sales - there is effectively no additional product to be bought by the extra buyers.  Currently, in order to grow their market FFG needs to increase production to capture more of the existing unmet demand.  Expanding the pool of potential buyers without increasing the product available will actually hurt their reputation, both by annoying existing customers who like the current product and by creating a larger pool of customers who cannot buy the products they desire.

 

Surely you jest.

Edited by Mikael Hasselstein

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I believe by asking how we can be more inclusive people have interpreted that as you saying they are actively being exclusive. While this is not an accurate interpretation (at least I don't interpret you're meaning as such) of your intention, people are reactionary and behave defensively when they feel defamed.

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Part of it, I think, is that I touching a raw nerve. Well, good. I don't feel the least bit sorry about that, and if it's raw, then maybe it's crying out for attention. The fact remains that the gender ratio in the is about ten-to-none, and that should cause some concern in the community. The fact that so many guys are ready to shout me down, also says something about those guys, I think.

 

So if the quilting community is about 10-1 women to men, should they be concerned?  A low number of women isn't in and of itself a sign that we're doing something wrong.  We're talking about a sci-fi miniatures wargame.  I know a ton of women that love gaming, both tabletop and electronic, that just aren't interested in wargames, or miniatures, or even sci-fi sometimes.  Is that a problem?  No, I don't think so.  I do think we have an obligation to welcome female gamers that want to try or play X-Wing, and I think that from what I've seen, the community does just that.  What's more, as far as miniatures wargames go, X-Wing is probably THE BEST as far as how they treat women in the game.  Female pilots and crew (really really good ones too) and no cheesecake art or minis puts them ahead of pretty much anything else I can think of.  

 

I do think there are problems for women who want to get into this sort of gaming, but I think it's more the atmosphere and people at a lot of local game stores than a problem with the X-Wing community.  I'm sure there are X-Wingers that are a problem, but I've yet to see any in person.  As I said in the other thread, the female players I've encountered at events, from local tourneys to regionals, nationals, and worlds, have all been treated as equals from what I've seen and heard.

 

As for why no articles have been written by a woman yet, it's because we don't have any female National/World champs, or any well known female X-Wing pundits.  I don't think it's because there's a legion of lady-theorists or Tusken Tacticianettes out there that want to get their thoughts out but are being smothered by the men...  Hell, if you're a lady posting your thoughts on here or Team Covenant, how the hell is anyone going to even know?

 

As for development, I know there's a handful of female playtesters these days.  Pretty good representation considering how rare female players are I'd say.

 

I also think that women suffer from stereotype threat when they play. The belief, for example, that - as women - they are not presumed to be as capable of spatial perception or probability calculation. We - male counterparts - do not have to actually hold that stereotype for the women to feel the stereotype threat. The fact that they know that the stereotype exists would be enough to trigger the stereotype threat. The solution would be for it to be made explicit that this game is one in which women do well. That is not a lie. I've heard plenty of anecdotal evidence that the women who do play, frequently trounce their opponents. Those opponents tend to be the boyfriends/husbands, because they tend to play in home environments.

Seems to me if you go about making a huge deal about how, "don't worry, we know you are just as good at spatial reasoning and probability", and "women are usually GREAT at this game!", that's only going psych someone out even more than just treating them as an equal.  So when they lose, now they feel bad since this is a game which women should be excelling at!  Just play the game like you would with anyone else, be respectful and a good sport.  If a woman is interested in it, treat them as you would a man that's interested.  Show how the game works and play a round to teach the rules.  That's what I see people doing at least.  We're not going to end up with an even male/female split, or even close.  It's not a realistic goal, and it doesn't need to be.  Like I said before, quilt groups aren't freaking out that there's no men in them.  Different people have differing tastes, and it just so happens that for a lot of women (in my experience) X-Wing just doesn't appeal.

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Seems to me if you go about making a huge deal about how, "don't worry, we know you are just as good at spatial reasoning and probability", and "women are usually GREAT at this game!", that's only going psych someone out even more than just treating them as an equal.  So when they lose, now they feel bad since this is a game which women should be excelling at!  Just play the game like you would with anyone else, be respectful and a good sport.  If a woman is interested in it, treat them as you would a man that's interested. 

 

I'll acknowledge that there are very awkward ways to word that, and if you're going to be explicit about things, you have to know how to word these things.

 

 

So if the quilting community is about 10-1 women to men, should they be concerned?  A low number of women isn't in and of itself a sign that we're doing something wrong.  We're talking about a sci-fi miniatures wargame.  I know a ton of women that love gaming, both tabletop and electronic, that just aren't interested in wargames, or miniatures, or even sci-fi sometimes.  Is that a problem?  No, I don't think so.  I do think we have an obligation to welcome female gamers that want to try or play X-Wing, and I think that from what I've seen, the community does just that.  What's more, as far as miniatures wargames go, X-Wing is probably THE BEST as far as how they treat women in the game.  Female pilots and crew (really really good ones too) and no cheesecake art or minis puts them ahead of pretty much anything else I can think of.  
 
The notion that the quilting community is an equivalent only holds if you forget that society has a history of excluding women, that it does not have of excluding men.
 
I agree with you that X-Wing might be the best in terms of drawing women in (I've mentioned this several times during this thread), but that's still a best-of-three-stooges comparison. I think we can do better, but I'm starting to get the hint that the community doesn't authentically want that. I find that disappointing.

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What's interesting is that you having provided any answer which isn't in a "surely you jest", "history tells us", "less women than men play XWING, therefore, there is exclusion going on", and then the "we can do better", and when asked "how exactly if neither the game or the community excludes them?" you just backpedal to "marketing is probably the issue" withouth any reference which points out your argument as valid, just that "we must believe there is a problem within our range of action because less women than men are interested into Xwing".

 

Last thread i asked if this happened on women forums regarding men, somebody talked about ballroom, "would you say we are excluded from ballroom too since the majority of people who does it are women?" Or may you acknowledge that the world isn't equal, and the issues have to be treated from the root and not forced bandages ?

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Making yourself the victim won't lead to discussion. I thinking overwhelmingly people on this thread are communicating to you that they have no issue with women playing X Wing. They feel that X-Wing itself is an inclusive game. So here is the answer to your thread:

We can't. The game is already inclusive to any fan of Star Wars and strategy games. Any issues of exclusivity resides with specific communities and individuals.

There. You have an answer. Thread over, please lock.

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First off, props to Pyremius for framing this issue in purely economic terms. The alternative is to frame it as a political discussion...which I believe is completely inappropriate in a gaming forum. If Mike is surreptitiously trying to promote a particular political agenda here, I think he should stop mixing Port with his Pannekoeken. Furthermore, promoting politics in a gaming forum should be taboo prime, since most of us play these games to get away from the politics that we have to deal with on a daily basis. I'm really not sure what he's playing at, but Mike is not doing any service to the reputation that academics are elitist highbrows that enjoy patronizing 'ordinary' people. 

 

If it's disappointing that the community doesn't measure up to your standards and all of lefty academia, why burden yourself by sticking around? To continue just promotes the appearance of a herpetologist that rolls around in bogs so he can study his favorite newt. Are we newts to you!

Edited by Radzap

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I think we can do better, but I'm starting to get the hint that the community doesn't authentically want that. I find that disappointing.

 

But it means threads like this are even more important.

 

People, we need to be recognising what the core question is here. How can we be more gender inclusive [in the context of] X-Wing? If you are about to post and cannot honestly think of anything that this community could be doing to include or appeal to women more, then you should be questioning why you think that.

 

"Men and women like different things", "This community doesn't have a problem with gender inclusivity" or "Maybe it's women who are stereotyping us?" are doing a wonderful job at avoiding the question entirely. 

 

There are a couple of responses I would like to address:

 

Number of women involved in development/marketing at FFG

There seems to be a good mixture; which is great to see. But that's interesting. Why does the community not reflect that same proportion? Perhaps FFG could adapt their marketing to encourage a larger female player base. Women-Only gaming evenings at LGS was a good suggestion. Sending out more female FFG reps to conventions/events is another good one. What about attempting to draw players from other games which are already popular with women? Or advertising X-Wing outside of the traditional avenues in which they are currently doing?

 

Articles on the FFG website written by women

As predicted, there are few (if any). I understand completely that this is due to the lack of women at the upper ranks of the competitive circuit. But there have also been numerous suggestions in this topic that perhaps women aren't as interested in the tournament scene; most articles have so far been about the competitive aspect. Could one solution be too seek out a selection of women who play this game and ask them to write about the aspects of it they enjoy most? FFG released a mission creator. What about articles talking about the diverse, interesting and fun missions? Just examples. I came up with these in about ten seconds. I'm sure there are other ideas people could think of if they tried.

Edited by floof

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How can we be more gender inclusive [in the context of] X-Wing?

 

Is X-Wing not already inclusive? I really haven't seen anything here, or at my LGS, that would give me the impression that it's otherwise. Maybe, just maybe, if females wanted to be here they would be here already. One option might be to stop worrying about the gender of the people we're trying to recruit and just focus more on recruiting itself. Part of that responsibility falls on our shoulders, as a community, and part of it falls on FFG. We call that latter part 'marketing,' and it has everything to do with our respective interests.

Edited by WonderWAAAGH

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"Men and women like different things", "This community doesn't have a problem with gender inclusivity" or "Maybe it's women who are stereotyping us?" are doing a wonderful job at avoiding the question entirely. 

 

How is this a dodge, precisely? Are you saying that aren't people whom are included in this "excluded" class of people that wouldn't stereotype male gamers? Sounds like you need to do more bar hopping.

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Is X-Wing not already inclusive? I really haven't seen anything here, or at my LGS, that would give me the impression that it's otherwise. Maybe, just maybe, if females wanted to be here they would be here already. One option might be to stop worrying about the gender of the people we're trying to recruit and just focus more on recruiting itself. Part of that responsibility falls on our shoulders, as a community, and part of it falls on FFG. We call that latter part 'marketing.'

I'm not saying X-Wing can't already be inclusive. Neither is Mikael. Question was how can we make it more inclusive. It's already been established that a huge proportion of Star Wars fans are women already but the game doesn't seem to be tapping into that. You're absolutely right in that this can and will include marketing. I don't think we're suggesting otherwise. So, any marketing ideas that will just focus on recruiting more people (some of them women)?

 

"Men and women like different things", "This community doesn't have a problem with gender inclusivity" or "Maybe it's women who are stereotyping us?" are doing a wonderful job at avoiding the question entirely.

How is this a dodge, precisely? Are you saying that aren't people whom are included in this "excluded" class of people that wouldn't stereotype male gamers? Sounds like you need to do more bar hopping.

Are you saying that "some women out there stereotype men" somehow answers a question on improving gender inclusion? What does bar hopping have to do with this? That's why I called it dodging the question. I'm sure that some women out there stereotype some gamer men. Just like I'm **** sure some men out there stereotype gamer women. Does this mean we can't try and find ways to be more inclusive? No.

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Actually, "Maybe it's the women who are stereotyping us." is a very valid option to raise.

Before you can increase female inclusion you have to find out why they're not already playing. If you are not willing to explore any potential reason (regardless of how it may challange your preconceived notions of what the problem is), your claim to be serious about increasing female participation is ultimately a sham.

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How can we be more gender inclusive [in the context of] X-Wing?

 

Is X-Wing not already inclusive? I really haven't seen anything here, or at my LGS, that would give me the impression that it's otherwise. Maybe, just maybe, if females wanted to be here they would be here already. One option might be to stop worrying about the gender of the people we're trying to recruit and just focus more on recruiting itself. Part of that responsibility falls on our shoulders, as a community, and part of it falls on FFG. We call that latter part 'marketing,' and it has everything to do with our respective interests.

 

 

Or maybe its something that is causing them to stay away and think they don't want to come.  

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