March 8th, 2019 marks International Women’s Day (IWD), and we’d like to honour and celebrate some of the female board game designers and artists that contribute to the games on our shelves. You might not have realised that some of your favourite games have some talented women behind them.
Sleeping Queens is one of our most popular small card games both in the shop and at Games in the Maine – it really is a hit with the whole family. But did you know that it was designed by a six-year-old girl? Miranda Evarts designed this game one night when she couldn’t sleep. With the help of her family, she brought this brightly coloured game to life.
In 1983, Dorothy Garrels was the first female game designer to win the prestigious Spiel Des Jahres award for her contribution to the design of Scotland Yard. This iconic game has sticking power – it’s still a popular play today.
Nikki Valens is the designer behind thematic strategy games such as Eldritch Horror and Arkham Horror Third Edition among others at Fantasy Flight Games. She is celebrated in the board game world for ensuring diversity and inclusion in her games – her playable characters include an even split of male vs female characters as well as diverse cultural representation. She also consulted on the second edition of Fog of Love, ensuring that all scenarios were just as suitable for LGBTIQA+ relationships. Look out for the upcoming LGBTIQA+ focussed Fog of Love expansion, coming soon!
Elizabeth J. Magie
You probably have Elizabeth J. Magie to thank for some of your earliest board gaming experiences. In 1903, she designed The Landlord’s Game – which was controversially ripped off by Parker Brothers and became Monopoly. To this day, she is still not officially credited as the inventor of the game (though she did go on to design two other games for Parker Brothers).
For those who know Dixit, you know just how dependent this card game is on its stunning artwork. Marie Cardouat is the artist behind the beautiful and interesting illustrations which helped secure the 2010 Spiel Des Jahres award for the game.
Elisa Teague has been part of the board game and tabletop industry for the past 17 years and has contributed to the creation of over 100 different games, such as Geek Out and Betrayal at House on the Hill Widows Walk expansion.
She’s also very vocal about inclusion and diversity in the industry, having a strong social media presence and has even published the book “Girls on Games: A Look at the Fairer Side of the Tabletop Industry”, a collaborative effort between herself and many other female members of the tabletop industry from game designers to reviewers and professional cosplayers and their stories of being a woman in what is often seen as a “boys club”.
We’re especially excited about this one! Elizabeth Hargrave is the designer of the highly anticipated game Wingspan and is contributed by three amazing female artists, it seems fitting that this game is released globally today for International Women’s Day.
In fact, the game has been so eagerly awaited by board gamers around the world, the first print run has already been completely distributed to retailers – with many stores already on backorder.
Wingspan’s hot anticipation has been contributed by it’s beautiful art and illustrations, such as 170 gorgeous and unique bird illustrations honoured by the works of these female artists: Ana Maria Martinez Jaramillo, Natalia Rojas and Beth Sobel, the latter of which is most notable for her artistic contributions to countless board games, including Lanterns, Arboretum, Lord of the Rings the Card Game, among many others.