• Dear Gaming as Women: Convention Games

    by and  • July 27, 2012 • Dear GAW • Comments Off on Dear Gaming as Women: Convention Games

    Welcome to the third installment of our new feature: Dear Gaming As Women! We invite our readers to asks us anything – and we’ll do our best to offer informative, thought-provoking, and entertaining answers. Without further ado, here’s today’s letter:

    Dear Gaming As Women,

    When you sign up for a convention game, what things are you hoping for in the character that you’re going to play? What things are you hoping to avoid in a convention game? Is the gender of the character a factor in your selection? Do you feel that character options are more heavily weighted towards one gender or does it depend on the game? If you could improve one thing about convention games, what would it be?

    – Darren


    Elin – Gender can be a factor in a convention game, but it differs between players. Some players have strong preferences for character gender, but this can be both be preference for the opposite gender, and for the gender they identify with. Personally I default towards playing my own gender if I play with strangers during a convention game because it is already hard to remember who is who when playing with strangers.  At the same time, it important to me that every time I get handle a female character at the convention to not always be cast as “the sexy one” or “the love interest” or “sexy AND competent!” because that get kind of boring and they are quite worn stereotypes and cliches.

    Vivian – I’m usually the one GMing at conventions, so I rarely get to play in tabletop games.  When I do, I’m not very picky about which pre-gen character I get, as long as they look like they will be reasonably fun to play.  I actually prefer a character that doesn’t have a lot of background or personality written in, because I can then add that myself.  I’m fine playing either gender, but if all of the pre-gens are male, I will usually ask the GM if I can change the gender of a character, just to provide some variety and balance (and also to encourage other players who want to do the same).  I occasionally run into problems:  there was a D&D game where the GM gave me the sexy, evil, dark elf, dominatrix character that was much more powerful than the other PCs.  I’m not playing the game to play out your sexual fantasies, bud.  Although, to be fair, I did end up playing that character and used her to totally break his game :)


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    Elin Dalstål is a game designer, larp and convention organizer living in Luleå, Sweden.



    I am a gamer, a lawyer, and a mom. Not necessarily in that order.

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