12/11/2012 Feature: "The LPS and Creating Play Groups"

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This thread is for discussion of the feature article "The LPS and Creating Play Groups", which goes live Tuesday morning on magicthegathering.com.
Jennifer, congratulations on your success with LPS, and thanks for your hard work in building up the Magic community!
Spontaneous Cube sounds amazing. I'm gonna have to try that with some local players.
The end is always nigh.
The thought that struck me pretty much constantly throughout this article was...why women?

It helps that you allow people to take male players with them, but nothing written here sounds very gender-exclusive. There are probably enough male players that aren't looking to play competitively but would prefer to play very in a very much laid-back environment. Do you exclude these people and, if so, why?
76125763 wrote:
Zindaras' meta is like a fossil, ancient and its secrets yet to be uncovered. Only men of yore, long dead, knew of it.
This is awesome - congratulations on getting it all up and running!

There's a potentially controversial question I'm curious about: Does the LPS (or do you personally) have a stance on the question of WotC's art direction and diversity and inclusion in general? It's a somewhat frequently raised problem with both Magic and Dungeons and Dragons that a fair proportion of the art is sexist verging on soft porn. All the usual defences get trotted out every time this is raised, but I find it does leave women - particularly the sorts of people who might otherwise get on quite well with Magic - feeling as though they aren't really part of the game's target demographic.
This is awesome - congratulations on getting it all up and running!

There's a potentially controversial question I'm curious about: Does the LPS (or do you personally) have a stance on the question of WotC's art direction and diversity and inclusion in general? It's a somewhat frequently raised problem with both Magic and Dungeons and Dragons that a fair proportion of the art is sexist verging on soft porn. All the usual defences get trotted out every time this is raised, but I find it does leave women - particularly the sorts of people who might otherwise get on quite well with Magic - feeling as though they aren't really part of the game's target demographic.



I would like to add that it also makes male adults rather embarrassed about the game. It gives the entire game an air of teen male-ism.
76125763 wrote:
Zindaras' meta is like a fossil, ancient and its secrets yet to be uncovered. Only men of yore, long dead, knew of it.
The thought that struck me pretty much constantly throughout this article was...why women?

It helps that you allow people to take male players with them, but nothing written here sounds very gender-exclusive. There are probably enough male players that aren't looking to play competitively but would prefer to play very in a very much laid-back environment. Do you exclude these people and, if so, why?



Well, obviously I can't speak for Ms. Meyen, but since this is a discussion forum, here's my personal thoughts on why such a group seems like a fantastic idea:

To address your second question first, I notice a lot in the article about INcluding women, and nothing about EXcluding men.  ("Thirty to forty percent of the people who come play regularly are male...We are not an exclusive group outside of the community, but a subset within.")

But to answer your first question, "why women?" seems like a question with an easy answer: because the vast majority of Magic players (myself included) are male.  When a woman shows up to play at any of the game stores I've been to, she's the only woman there.  Which makes her "the woman."  On the other hand, if she shows up to one of these LPS events, she's just another new player--just like I was when I showed up to my first FNM and annoyed everybody by playing too slowly.

Also, a relevant percentage of men are sexist jerks, and having an environment that will keep that in check is likely to be a big help to our hypothetical new player.  (Note that this is seperate from my previous point--being the only woman in the room will more or less inevitably make her "the woman" regardless of whether people are jerks about it; obviously it's much worse if they are.)
I love the spontaneous cube idea and will try to implant that in our playgroup as well.

I am not really following dailymtg or so, is that actually you showing on the syncopate picture?
I suppose it wasn't just me thinking of it. 

i found the article extremely sexist ! Must all women "get together and fight this male oppression" when it comes to gaming !? We don't have many ladies playing in our local store but we treat them no different from the rest of the people ! We don't knuckle-punch, obviously, but we never make them feel out of place, so much that they're "forced" to create their own group.

Apologies to be blunt, but, what a terrible article!

 p.s. -- as far as your "creative writing" goes, I think you just fell a wee bit short 
The thought that struck me pretty much constantly throughout this article was...why women?

It helps that you allow people to take male players with them, but nothing written here sounds very gender-exclusive. There are probably enough male players that aren't looking to play competitively but would prefer to play very in a very much laid-back environment. Do you exclude these people and, if so, why?



Because there are not many of us. Because so often the women who come to play are people who show up once or twice. Because it's hard not to think, after you've seen it for years, that maybe some of these women are not staying because they were never interested -- but some of them are probably driven away. Because it gets boring and disheartening to go every week and see so few people who look like you.

Because, like the article mentioned, when you're the only steady female player and you're on a losing streak, it's hard not to feel like the guys around you will get the message that girls can't play or girls aren't good enough, even though you know that you don't "have" to be the best. Because sometimes you feel alone or like people see you as a joke even if you know it's not true.

Look, guys -- it's not about thinking you don't like us. It's not even about being angry with you. Would I go to play every week at FNM if I didn't like the local  male players? No, I would stay home! But it gets lonely feeling like I am the only one. Just like it gets lonely sometimes feeling like I am the only LGBT person, especially when the younger guys around are saying "That card is gay."

These are not bad people. Many are my friends! But they mess up sometimes, or say or do things that make me uncomfortable. It sometimes feels frustrating to stick around when that's going on.

I don't agree with every word of the article myself. But I am glad to see this initiative because it makes me feel more welcome and less "weird."

There's a lot of discussion in online circles going around about women feeling unwelcome in geeky circles in general, about some jerkish male geeks deciding that some women are "fake geek girls." Geeky women of all sorts want to be involved in fun stuff of all sorts, but we sometimes feel pushed away. I'm glad to see this initiative, and even more glad to see Wizards treating it as important enough to let us know about it.

We're not your enemies, guys. We just want to feel fully included, and sometimes we don't feel we are. I don't think most of us think any individual guy or shadowy cabal of guys is intending this. I think most of us think guys may not even realize this is going on, because they're not us.

I hope that explains things a bit more.

[And to answer the other people's questions in the thread: I don't feel bothered by the sexier-type art. But I think that different people have different opinions on that, and my opinion is not some overarching Voice of Everybody.]
Including women. There have been a number of noteworthy women in the game from the beginning, such as Elaine Chase, but the percentages speak for themselves—not as many women play 
Magic as men. I wanted to tackle this fact and try to overcome any obstacles women face, someday hoping to make this a fact of the past.


Do you believe that this is just a matter of obstacles? The game is intrinsically not as interesting to the avarage woman as it is to the avarage man, being about math, strategy, etc. So even if you would take out all the barriers, change the way the game is perceived, you'll never get an even split.

Of course the percentage of women playing can be increased by taking away barriers, so it's an awesome cause, just that 'wanting as many women play magic as men' is too much to be a realistic goal, unless of course you do believe we are all the same but for social conditioning. Basically the nature/nurture argument. Just interested in your view on it.
Jennifer Meyen wrote:
The Lady Planeswalkers Society (LPS) is an unofficial play group that has successfully built a welcoming, friendly environment for women to learn, play, and compete at 
Magic: The Gathering.

Must all women "get together and fight this male oppression" when it comes to gaming !?


You know, reading words is the first step to understanding them.

 

Goblin Artisans
a Magic: the Gathering design blog
The thought that struck me pretty much constantly throughout this article was...why women?



I agree I would've liked to hear some more in the introduction about what obstacles women face exactly, rather than just keeping them implicit, because I'm sure many readers won't be able to relate to this position.

I suppose it wasn't just me thinking of it. 

i found the article extremely sexist ! Must all women "get together and fight this male oppression" when it comes to gaming !? We don't have many ladies playing in our local store but we treat them no different from the rest of the people ! We don't knuckle-punch, obviously, but we never make them feel out of place, so much that they're "forced" to create their own group.

Apologies to be blunt, but, what a terrible article!

 p.s. -- as far as your "creative writing" goes, I think you just fell a wee bit short 



Readers like this one.

Not everything in this world revolves around men. Women getting together can be just about having a good time, doesn't have to turn it into fighting male oppression right away.

Denying that there are barriers for women to play magic is just a naive privileged view. Maybe your LGS doesn't need this, great! But maybe other communities do. Typical "Not an issue in my backyard, so not an issue". Look further than just your personal experience.

On the subject of personal experience, talk with the ladies in your LGS about this. I have no idea what they'll say, but maybe it'll surprise/enlighten you. Or at least reaffirm that you're lucky to have a great community.
Also, thank you, Jennifer, for creating the LPS and promoting a friendlier environment for Magic.  

 

Goblin Artisans
a Magic: the Gathering design blog
Getting more female players into the game sounds like a good project, keep up the good work!

The article was good, the only thing lacking was that I didn't get a good image of how a gathering of the LPS actually looked like.

Maybe I'll have to go and see for myself ;)  but I guess there isn't anything of the likes in germany right now.
Barriers I perceive, shorthanded as I can be:

1) It starts with the social gender divide. Our genders are still traditionally divided based on what we should "like". It abstracts and we are conditioned to want to be logical and independent as guys, or sensitive and empathetic as girls. Then it eventually gets to stuff as meaningless as colors like blue and pink...

IMAGE(http://www.smbc-comics.com/comics/20100807.gif)

 
2) Nerd culture is guy-dominant. It's kind of our area to be obsessed by some "hobby", it's the conditioning (although not the only reason). So there is a certain superiority to the high-level players. This can be intimidating by him making a girl feel like she's can't become that good while in-game. We get in our own groups as well, and don't exactly ask anyone to join. You have to have a reason to bother us, we're too shy and socially awkward to invite others around us just to trade or something.


3) So girls of course can be nerds or gamers or whatever, too. The biggest immediate issue, as stated before, is not that these girls hate us or anything, it's simply that they would like to see more girls play with them. This isn't shocking. The social gender divide makes us split. My friend groups have been guys since I was a kid, when I was a teenager, in high school, and now. That's just how it is. I'm sure girls feel the same way.

Why do we do the things we do? Most often it's because our friends are doing it. Our friends are the same gender. So there you go, this is a reason girls don't play: they're persuaded by their friends to do other things.

So if anything, any girl that plays this game has some amount of courage to put up with us, and love of the game enough to fight for what she wants to do.


The point of the LPS is like the gamer girl society of FragDolls: give the gender at least some way to connect with the others like them. They cross the social divide, we all want to do what we want to do, these groups' purpose is simply to let them do that-- connect and play.


4) This will be the final point, and I've already hinted at it: problems with guy nerds. There's a few topics to discuss that don't help at all to get girls to play:

a) The superiority, as mentioned before. This can go to our heads. I don't think this is a common issue, however. It's stastically true that the average guy player is more skilled and experienced than a girl player-- more of the guy percentage trains, practices, competes, actively is obsessed with getting "top-tier", etc. So there technically an inherent superiority there. But that doesn't give us the proof that we're better than girls. The social divide may give us advantages, but a talented girl can come along any time and beat us. Sometimes we don't think about this.

b) The social awkwardness is a big barrier... so big that it has multiple issues. The first is that even nice guys can act way too friendly to a new girl. I know a really nice guy, but I've seen him smother a new girl in attention way too many times. I realize there's many of us who would prefer to have girls play the game, but some of us make them feel uncomfortable by showering them with attention, and... it's embarassing.

c) Second, we cuss way too much. I mean, part of the nerd culture is freedom of expression. Hell, all nerds don't really mind cussing, guys and girls alike. But this relates to new players in general: new players who aren't used to the nerd culture step their foot in the water, and hear some of the most sickening, disturbing, gross stuff to exist in human language.

We are used to it, we are desensitized to it. We can tolerate it and/or participate. But for new players, both guys and girls, this has got to stop. Every game store I've been to makes a point to have a sign that implies the community is being too inappropriate by any standards. We need to be more sensitive to this fact.

d) Third, we stink. I don't actually understand why so many players don't value personal hygiene at all. Honestly, it's probably not that many. All it takes is one stinky dude to make us all have to go outside for some breathable air between rounds. Stores make the embarassing point now, too, that all players shouldn't stink. This is an issue for all players in general. But it applies even moreso to girls, who on average value image more highly. Some of us can tolerate it to some degree, but most girls won't put up with it for a second, and they shouldn't have to.

e) Some of us are pretend feminists to some level. Even the guy who smothers a new girl player with attention. We think we're doing them a favor and helping the cause. I believe this leads to the almost an aside topic of card art. Some of us think this article is sexist against guys (girls should fight the oppression of guys!), all guys are sexist (we should stop treating girls like kids!), and-- card art is sexist against girls (girl art is way too sexy!).

I'm just here to say this is a crap topic. Art, card games, video games, board games, film, etc., has an image to it, of course. But here's the rule: unless a human character makes sense to be ugly, plain, or empoverished, or whatever negative aspect of appearance, the character will be drawn good-looking. This is fantasy, where some look-deformity has meaning, it's not used willy-nilly. Guys look good, too. They don't look fat, weak, or lame unless there's some reason.

Our fantasy culture is simply not about reality (imagine that!). Our culture is full of powerful men and beautiful women. Master Chief isn't slender, Cloud Strife isn't puny, Ezio Auditore isn't a hideous prune, Luke Skywalker isn't some average guy you just see on the streets of Tatooine, and Chandra isn't just some greying woman in a wheelchair. There has to be reasons for these abnormalities.


Anyway, I just get fired up on this topic. I hope some of the rant reaches some of us who don't realize some of the flaws preventing girls from playing. 
Guys look good, too. They don't look fat, weak, or lame unless there's some reason.

Sure, but that's not really the point.

Look at the art on cards like Chandra, the Firebrand and Sublime Archangel. Whether they "look good" is not the point so much as the fact that they're both dressed and posed for the cover of a top shelf magazine. There are dozens - maybe hundreds of cards like this.

Male characters in Magic art are not sexualised in this way.

(To be fair to WotC, we do now get some female characters who aren't treated like this. Student of Warfare, for example - hopefully these can become the norm rather than the exception.)

Guys look good, too. They don't look fat, weak, or lame unless there's some reason.

Sure, but that's not really the point.

Look at the art on cards like Chandra, the Firebrand and Sublime Archangel. Whether they "look good" is not the point so much as the fact that they're both dressed and posed for the cover of a top shelf magazine. There are dozens - maybe hundreds of cards like this.

Male characters in Magic art are not sexualised in this way.



That is simply because male and female sexuality work in different ways. When men are sexualized in the same way women are sexualized that generally only attracts a gay male audience. 

On the other hand, overly muscular and tough men is just pandering to (hetero) males as well, an idealized self-image.

If Magic wants to pander to women more it needs more stuff like Gideon. (I believe he is generally found to be quite sexy)
Barriers I perceive, shorthanded as I can be:

1) It starts with the social gender divide. Our genders are still traditionally divided based on what we should "like". It abstracts and we are conditioned to want to be logical and independent as guys, or sensitive and empathetic as girls. Then it eventually gets to stuff as meaningless as colors like blue and pink...




It's not just conditioning, it's in our nature, the way our brains are hardwired. Even babies show sign of this. On avarage, baby girls are more interested in faces than their male counterparts, and vice versa for things like mobiles hanging above the crib. These are just avarages though, each individual can be different.

d) Third, we stink. I don't actually understand why so many players don't value personal hygiene at all. Honestly, it's probably not that many. All it takes is one stinky dude to make us all have to go outside for some breathable air between rounds. Stores make the embarassing point now, too, that all players shouldn't stink. This is an issue for all players in general. But it applies even moreso to girls, who on average value image more highly. Some of us can tolerate it to some degree, but most girls won't put up with it for a second, and they shouldn't have to.



Actually, this has a very simple biological reason. The female nose is generally stronger than the male one. So whenever a girl complains about a smell and a guy doesn't really smell much and think she's overreacting, she probably isn't.
To address your second question first, I notice a lot in the article about INcluding women, and nothing about EXcluding men.  ("Thirty to forty percent of the people who come play regularly are male...We are not an exclusive group outside of the community, but a subset within.")



Yet the mentioned men are always stated to be the boyfriends/fathers/brothers of the women. My simple question is: can I join this group even if I don't take a woman along? And, basically, the answer to that question determines if my misgivings about this idea are slight or huge.

But to answer your first question, "why women?" seems like a question with an easy answer: because the vast majority of Magic players (myself included) are male.  When a woman shows up to play at any of the game stores I've been to, she's the only woman there.  Which makes her "the woman."  On the other hand, if she shows up to one of these LPS events, she's just another new player--just like I was when I showed up to my first FNM and annoyed everybody by playing too slowly.



As I read more and more of the article, one thought struck me:

This sounds like the bestest play group ever.

It's a very casual group which aims to just have fun. I just don't see why one would have to narrow the target audience even further.

Also, a relevant percentage of men are sexist jerks, and having an environment that will keep that in check is likely to be a big help to our hypothetical new player.  (Note that this is seperate from my previous point--being the only woman in the room will more or less inevitably make her "the woman" regardless of whether people are jerks about it; obviously it's much worse if they are.)



While I agree that there are problems, I think the best solution would be to make gender a non-issue. By separating oneself from the rest of the group because one is different, one only emphasises these differences. In my store, the recent prereleases saw the number of women increase from one to three. When there was one girl, she was pretty unique. When there are three girls, it basically already becomes a non-issue.

To give another example: I am a huge nerd (wow, what a surprise that must be). I like Magic, I like math and physics and silly jokes about them (which is not exactly usual for an economist). Still, that doesn't define me. Most of my friends are decidedly unnerdy. I like engaging in sports (where being nerdy is generally frowned upon). When I'm at the club, I don't try to separate myself from the rest or find the nerdiest person there and only talk to them. I try to find whatever I share with them (which, in that case, would be sports) and talk about that. That generally makes things go a lot smoother.

And this has to come from both sides. I am not going to sit here and proclaim that male Magic players are the best at handling gender issues. But by completely seceding yourself from the rest of the community, you aren't forcing them to improve themselves, you are doing the males who aren't sexist pigs a disservice, and you're limiting your own experience.

Because there are not many of us. Because so often the women who come to play are people who show up once or twice. Because it's hard not to think, after you've seen it for years, that maybe some of these women are not staying because they were never interested -- but some of them are probably driven away. Because it gets boring and disheartening to go every week and see so few people who look like you.



I'm sorry, I just don't understand why you would feel so strongly that way. You go there to play Magic, right? I would say that makes you first and foremost a Magic player, at least while you're there. At that point, whatever someone looks like seems like a secondary interest at best.

I understand feeling sadness when people are driven away (I've seen that situation as both the one being chased away as well as the observer) and I agree that this is an issue that should be solved, but it is also an issue that is not exclusive to women. There are plenty of laid-back, non-competitive, adult (at least in behaviour if not in body) male Magic players that may feel driven away by hormone-driven, ultra-competitive Magic players and who would greatly enjoy something like this.

Because, like the article mentioned, when you're the only steady female player and you're on a losing streak, it's hard not to feel like the guys around you will get the message that girls can't play or girls aren't good enough, even though you know that you don't "have" to be the best. Because sometimes you feel alone or like people see you as a joke even if you know it's not true.



I don't really think there is any point in arguing against feelings, so I just want to state that if people see female players as a joke or somehow inherently bad, that says more about them than about you (and I honestly hope they get their behinds handed to them on a silver platter by the next girl they play).

Look, guys -- it's not about thinking you don't like us. It's not even about being angry with you. Would I go to play every week at FNM if I didn't like the local  male players? No, I would stay home! But it gets lonely feeling like I am the only one. Just like it gets lonely sometimes feeling like I am the only LGBT person, especially when the younger guys around are saying "That card is gay."

These are not bad people. Many are my friends! But they mess up sometimes, or say or do things that make me uncomfortable. It sometimes feels frustrating to stick around when that's going on.

I don't agree with every word of the article myself. But I am glad to see this initiative because it makes me feel more welcome and less "weird."

There's a lot of discussion in online circles going around about women feeling unwelcome in geeky circles in general, about some jerkish male geeks deciding that some women are "fake geek girls." Geeky women of all sorts want to be involved in fun stuff of all sorts, but we sometimes feel pushed away. I'm glad to see this initiative, and even more glad to see Wizards treating it as important enough to let us know about it.

We're not your enemies, guys. We just want to feel fully included, and sometimes we don't feel we are. I don't think most of us think any individual guy or shadowy cabal of guys is intending this. I think most of us think guys may not even realize this is going on, because they're not us.



I want to take a moment here to say something to all female Magic players:

Being a female Magic player does not make you unique. Having two X-chromosomes does not make you unique. It is the entire sequence of your DNA, every single pair of the 3.2 billion, that makes you unique and that makes you you. And every single person in that room playing Magic is as unique and as weird as you are.

Guys are not your enemies. We want to include you (or, at the very least, those of us who are worth knowing). Please don't let your image of us be clouded by those of us who don't know how to treat other people normally. Give us a chance and who knows, we might surprise you.

Barriers I perceive, shorthanded as I can be:

1) It starts with the social gender divide. Our genders are still traditionally divided based on what we should "like". It abstracts and we are conditioned to want to be logical and independent as guys, or sensitive and empathetic as girls. Then it eventually gets to stuff as meaningless as colors like blue and pink...



The thing I have always found funniest about this gender divide is that the colours distribution (pink for girls, blue for boys) used to be the other way around. Pink was seen as a stronger and hence a more masculine colour than blue, so it was the boy colour.

3) So girls of course can be nerds or gamers or whatever, too. The biggest immediate issue, as stated before, is not that these girls hate us or anything, it's simply that they would like to see more girls play with them. This isn't shocking. The social gender divide makes us split. My friend groups have been guys since I was a kid, when I was a teenager, in high school, and now. That's just how it is. I'm sure girls feel the same way.

Why do we do the things we do? Most often it's because our friends are doing it. Our friends are the same gender. So there you go, this is a reason girls don't play: they're persuaded by their friends to do other things.

So if anything, any girl that plays this game has some amount of courage to put up with us, and love of the game enough to fight for what she wants to do.


The point of the LPS is like the gamer girl society of FragDolls: give the gender at least some way to connect with the others like them. They cross the social divide, we all want to do what we want to do, these groups' purpose is simply to let them do that-- connect and play.



I may be heavily biased by my personal viewpoint here (I had almost exclusively male friends in elementary school, but a mix leaning towards females ever since), but I don't think focusing on this social divide and accepting it is a good idea. I prefer talking and playing with girls. In general, they are not as ultra-competitive or mind-boggingly boring as most boys, and in most games they tend to be better team players and less annoying.

I want to have fun with someone who wants to have fun in the same way that I do. Their gender seems utterly and totally irrelevant.

Guys look good, too. They don't look fat, weak, or lame unless there's some reason.

Sure, but that's not really the point.

Look at the art on cards like Chandra, the Firebrand and Sublime Archangel. Whether they "look good" is not the point so much as the fact that they're both dressed and posed for the cover of a top shelf magazine. There are dozens - maybe hundreds of cards like this.

Male characters in Magic art are not sexualised in this way.

(To be fair to WotC, we do now get some female characters who aren't treated like this. Student of Warfare, for example - hopefully these can become the norm rather than the exception.)



Well, they're starting to do the same thing to males. The Innistrad vampires are a good example (Rakish Heir and some others).

I, personally, hope to see more art like the Ash Zealot shown in the article. Her armour is still overly curvy, but at least it's somewhat practical. It is not overly embellished or stressed but still feminine. Things like Wild Beastmaster annoy me. It's armour, people, not a bra or a tank top (though some would consider a tank top to be armour, if you'll forgive the pun). I really wish we'd get Rebecca Guay back. I used to strongly dislike her art, but it has really grown on me over time. I also think she draws women very well. Elvish Piper is beautiful art, but it's not overly sexual. It's just beautiful.
76125763 wrote:
Zindaras' meta is like a fossil, ancient and its secrets yet to be uncovered. Only men of yore, long dead, knew of it.
There's an idea being tossed around that is you're a guy with no female companion you are for some reason barred from attending this group. While i don't see anything specifically saying "if you're a guy with no girl you can still attend" I'm sure you'd be more than welcome if you just asked. 

You know what, guys?

Coming back to this at the end of the day, I'm feeling like the conversation has proven my point for me. Here's why:
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />Several guys have said some things that are very insightful and interesting and I was really heartened to read them. (Dav1001 and Senyuno know whereof they speak!) But only one person engaged me at all.

And that's not notable really. I may not be making sense. I may not be being helpful. I may not be interesting today. But I think one thing might, and probably does, matter and make me unique for the moment:

As far as I can tell, I'm the only woman who's said anything. The rest of you are guys.

Which means that the conversation is, essentially, a bunch of guys talking amongst yourselves about whether this is a problem and what or what not to do about it -- instead of talking to the woman who chose to reveal herself and try to answer your questions.

Here is what I see:

Jennifer Meyen: Hi! I'm a woman who noticed not that many women play. That makes me sad, so I did something awesome for women players! Let me tell you about it!
Guys, variously:
Oh, cool.
Is this a problem?
I'm not sure I like this.
I'm glad this exists.
Me: Um, hi guys! *waves a bit embarrassedly* I don't usually talk about this, but now that someone mentioned it... I love this game, and I love my friends who play, most of whom are guys. But, yeah, I do sometimes feel like things are getting weird, or even feel kind of unwelcome. Here's how I feel about it.
Guys, variously:
Yes, it's a problem.
No it's not. Meyen's a sexist.
Math is the issue. Since when do girls like math?
Well, what do we do about it?
Here's some stuff I think we could do better.
One guy: [says various things about my post, some of which I agree with and some of which I don't, and then says...] Female players: We're not your enemies.
Me: ...........

I am not saying all of you have to agree with me. I'm not saying any of you have to talk to me. I'm just saying that I think that if there is a problem, you're not going to see it unless you listen to what women have to say about it. And you're not going to fix it if you talk to each other about it rather than to actual women about what they experience.

Again, I'm not everyone. Maybe I didn't make sense. Maybe my tone came off angry or really bitter when all I actually meant was "Yeah, sometimes I get sad about this. Not often, but once in a while." But I was excited to see this and hoped some of you would talk with me, and it's saddened me that I put myself out there and only one person did. (Thank you, Zindaras, though I think we disagree on a few things.)

To me, that feels a bit like this:

"Oh, why do you think some of those people might think this?"
"I don't know, let's ponder those people some more!"
"Uh, I'm standing right here..."

Again, just as I said in the other post, I don't think any of this stuff is happening because guys mean to be unwelcoming. (Well, some of the guys who've said more general stuff publicly about "Fake Geek Girls" seem to be actual jerks. But not any of you.) I think it's got to do with not realizing how some women might feel because the issue doesn't affect you.

So again, I'm not asking you to agree with me, or assume I'm right on everything, or not call me on it if you think I've been mean. But I am asking you to listen when someone says she's noticed this, and think about it. It's not like there are two extremes, where either there's no problem and women who say there is are Hysterical Amazons, or there is a problem and that means you have to feel like failures as decent human beings.

We're not saying we don't want to be around you when we say we'd like some things to be better. We're saying we'd like to see some things change, so we feel as welcome as you feel most of the time.
While I agree that there are problems, I think the best solution would be to make gender a non-issue. By separating oneself from the rest of the group because one is different, one only emphasises these differences. In my store, the recent prereleases saw the number of women increase from one to three. When there was one girl, she was pretty unique. When there are three girls, it basically already becomes a non-issue.


To give another example: I am a huge nerd (wow, what a surprise that must be). I like Magic, I like math and physics and silly jokes about them (which is not exactly usual for an economist). Still, that doesn't define me. Most of my friends are decidedly unnerdy. I like engaging in sports (where being nerdy is generally frowned upon). When I'm at the club, I don't try to separate myself from the rest or find the nerdiest person there and only talk to them. I try to find whatever I share with them (which, in that case, would be sports) and talk about that. That generally makes things go a lot smoother.

And this has to come from both sides. I am not going to sit here and proclaim that male Magic players are the best at handling gender issues. But by completely seceding yourself from the rest of the community, you aren't forcing them to improve themselves, you are doing the males who aren't sexist pigs a disservice, and you're limiting your own experience.

 
It's not about completely seceding. It's about having an extra option. Having a stepping stone. 

Until something is a non-issue, you have to emphasize the difference. If you try to hide the difference, try to fit in, you are just being untrue to who you are. So yes while emphasizing the differences is not an ideal situation, it's better than the alternative.

I'm sorry, I just don't understand why you would feel so strongly that way. You go there to play Magic, right? I would say that makes you first and foremost a Magic player, at least while you're there. At that point, whatever someone looks like seems like a secondary interest at best.



MaRo himself emphasizes often that one of Magic's strongest points is its community. It's not just 'a game' and you're not just 'a player'. The people matter.

I want to take a moment here to say something to all female Magic players:

Being a female Magic player does not make you unique. Having two X-chromosomes does not make you unique. It is the entire sequence of your DNA, every single pair of the 3.2 billion, that makes you unique and that makes you you. And every single person in that room playing Magic is as unique and as weird as you are.



Untrue. The avarage man has more in common with other men than with the avarage woman.

I may be heavily biased by my personal viewpoint here (I had almost exclusively male friends in elementary school, but a mix leaning towards females ever since), but I don't think focusing on this social divide and accepting it is a good idea. I prefer talking and playing with girls. In general, they are not as ultra-competitive or mind-boggingly boring as most boys, and in most games they tend to be better team players and less annoying.

I want to have fun with someone who wants to have fun in the same way that I do. Their gender seems utterly and totally irrelevant.



Except it isn't, as being not ultra-competitive, better team players, and whatever is your taste in 'not boring' are all skewed towards women.
So again, I'm not asking you to agree with me, or assume I'm right on everything, or not call me on it if you think I've been mean. But I am asking you to listen when someone says she's noticed this, and think about it.



Well I'm sure people have listened to you, it's just that in my case for example I don't reply to people I agree with so sorry for that =p 
Just to be clear, I really appreciate hearing your 2 cents in this discussion.

Looking at this thread it seems only Zindaras (and Luisspellcast, but he's in a wholly different ballpark) seems to be in disagreement with the article's/your standpoint to a certain extent, so it's no wonder that that's the one person that engages you in a discussion. 

I think what stifles this discussion a bit is that the article is aimed at women, it is not aimed at men, it does not call us into action or say what we could do within our own groups for a better community, which would probably have a much more fruitful thread. So you shouldn't get to exited about this one.

You are very right though with your point that the only way to get a grasp on the issue is to listen (not talk, but listen) to actual women about it. That's why I urged Luisspellcast to do so.
>snip<



I just want to say that I don't want to diminish or put away your experience. I think we disagree about many things, and while I may not understand your feelings (that's not my strong suit anyway), I do respect them, and I do respect your experience, even as I wish it were a more positive one. And, truly, if this LPS-incentive makes even one person have a more positive Magic experience (as it seems to have), I applaud it and wish for it to continue. My main gibe at this initiative has been the unclarity (in my eyes) of whether one needs to be a female or know a female Magic player in order to be allowed to play or that simply being a nice Magic player who also wants to play in a laid-back environment is enough.

Game on, fellow gamer.

Edit: and if you have any insights on other problems that girl Magic players specifically face, I would be most interested to hear them. I am always interested to learn more about the viewpoints of others.
76125763 wrote:
Zindaras' meta is like a fossil, ancient and its secrets yet to be uncovered. Only men of yore, long dead, knew of it.

It's not about completely seceding. It's about having an extra option. Having a stepping stone. 

Until something is a non-issue, you have to emphasize the difference. If you try to hide the difference, try to fit in, you are just being untrue to who you are. So yes while emphasizing the differences is not an ideal situation, it's better than the alternative.



Again, my main issue here is the issue of inclusivity. I think there is a general problem where Magic players are not very welcoming towards new or "bad" players. I've had experiences where people made fun of my very casual decks because they were bad. I think that if I had been a new player, that would've been an experience so negative that I would've stayed away (in fact, the main reason that experience didn't really affect me was that I proceeded to beat him with my "bad" deck). An environment such as the one described in the article sounds like exactly the kind of environment that would be very good for all kinds of inexperienced players. I would hope that it tries to include those people as well, because I think they are also driven away by a lot of people in the Magic community.

MaRo himself emphasizes often that one of Magic's strongest points is its community. It's not just 'a game' and you're not just 'a player'. The people matter.



Yes, exactly my point. People identify themselves as a Magic player. I would expect that to take some precedence.

Untrue. The avarage man has more in common with other men than with the avarage woman.



The average Magic player has more in common with other Magic players than with the average non-Magic player.

The average female Magic player has more in common with other female Magic players than with the average of the rest of the population.

The average Dutch female Magic player has more in common with other Dutch female Magic players than with the average of the rest of the population.

And so, we can go on and compartmentalise ourselves farther and farther until we are perfectly describing ourselves. And to what end? What's the point? Some of my best friends would fall outside of basically every compartment that I would fit in, while I know people that are very much like me that I can't talk to for more than a minute.

Except it isn't, as being not ultra-competitive, better team players, and whatever is your taste in 'not boring' are all skewed towards women.



As an aside, I just love the idea of having a taste in "not boring." It sounds like so much fun.

Again, my issue here is the question of exclusivity. If I read this article, the LPS seems to be about an experience. An experience that is interesting not just to females, but also to males.

As an interesting point of discussion, this reminds me of a discussion relating to insurances that is quite relevant here in Europe. The question is whether or not car insurance companies should be allowed to charge men more than women (because women are generally safer drivers). And while I understand the statistics that are behind it, I feel it is unfair to men that do in fact drive safely. And, in this situation, I understand the concept, but I wish it would also provide a solution to the problem of males that are being driven away by the Magic culture.

Edit: Since you put me together with him, I also want to make clear that I disagree rather strongly with LuisSpellcast on this issue. I don't think this article is sexist. I do not interpret this article as he does. I want to make that very clear.
76125763 wrote:
Zindaras' meta is like a fossil, ancient and its secrets yet to be uncovered. Only men of yore, long dead, knew of it.
Quick reply: Apologies for making it seem I put Zindaras together with Luisspellcast, that was not my intent (hence the 'to a certain extent' in my original post). The former seems like a very reasonable person with a different opinion than mine. The latter not so much =p

I'll edit this later with a full reply.

EDIT: seeing there are so many new posts, I'll just reply to it. 

First of all, I would like to say I appreciate the effort Jenifer (and Wizards) have been making, but I do have a few comments.

This is the first I've heard about it, which I find rather surprising.  If this is a growing movement, I'm surprised I haven't heard about it before.  Unless maybe this is the first official acknowledgement of said movement, which makes a little more sense.  Not sure where I'm going with this, but there you are.


Secondly, I like the approaches they're taking, but I was vaguely bothered by the tone in which it was presented.  I know that's hightly subjective, and my non-speciffic reply isn't really helping, but I'm just throwing that out there too.

Having said all that...


Including women. There have been a number of noteworthy women in the game from the beginning, such as Elaine Chase, but the percentages speak for themselves—not as many women play 
Magic as men. I wanted to tackle this fact and try to overcome any obstacles women face, someday hoping to make this a fact of the past.



Do you believe that this is just a matter of obstacles? The game is intrinsically not as interesting to the avarage woman as it is to the avarage man, being about math, strategy, etc. So even if you would take out all the barriers, change the way the game is perceived, you'll never get an even split.



I can honestly say, from experience at my FLGS, yes, there are some obstacles.  Social perception is one.  Self confidence is another critical factor.  

If a girl or woman walks into a male-dominated hobby shop, she WILL stand out.  Just the way it is.  Inevitibly, there will be some comments and some leering, which is probably not NOT something most women feel comfortable about (ok, I'm speculating here, but it's a fairly basic psychology thing.  Doesn't even have to be a male/female thing.  See above about self confidence.).

Eventually, she'll be accepted, but getting to that point can be difficult.  But once she's there, the next girl is probably going to have an easier time fitting in.


Feel free to argue, but I'll explain in detail.  Time for some Back Story!


High School

The social perception of geekyness has shifted draumatically over the last 10 years or so.  When I was in high school, I felt a subtle negative vibe about being one of those "nerds."  I never let it bother me or stop me from doing what I wanted, but I am very stubborn.  Bull-headed even.  

As I learned who my good friends were, I realized I didn't give two rusty nuts what was "normal" and relentlessly followed my interests.  I caught some flack for that once or twice, but basically said "screw you, I don't care what you think" and they believed me.  Because I didn't.  Self confidence again.

I can also attest to the fact that all the "smart girls" were in the "good student" group, which was distinct from the "nerdy smart" group.  Not that I really cared, but even back then I knew there was at least a perception of difference there.

Granted I went to a small school, but that's what sticks in my mind.



Hobby Shop

I started attending my FLGS about the same time (late high-school).  We've had a few girls swing by a few times, but never for long.  Mostly they were with a sweetie.

The few that did show an interest generally came in small groups, very rarely alone.  In the entire ten years I've been going there, only two have stuck around long-term.

Yet in the past 8 months or so, we've had an influx of new players, two of whom are young women.  What I found very interesting is that they came to the shop independently.  As in, walked into a hobby shop full of 15-30 year old guys (including a few stinkers), without a buddy, introduced themselves, and asked if anyone wanted to play.

Think about that.  That takes some stones.  I'm serious, I'm a fairly confident person, but I don't know if I'd walk into a room with 30 strangers and introduce myself.  

Strangers I'll never see again?  Sure, they'l never know me, so what do I care?  People I'll see on a regular basis, who will be judging me extra critically because I'm [insert sociological minority here]?  Much higher stakes.

But maybe it was just random chance?  
Maybe we just happened to get some confident women in our area who enjoy the game?
That may be part of it, but I think there's more going on here.



Social Adaptation

I'm kind of fascinated by culture, and how it changes.  I'm not an expert, by any means, but I pay attention, and have a number of friends much older/younger than me, so I think my exposure to other social circles is actually quite diverse.

Video games, social media, and computer literacy have skyrocketed in the past 10 years.  By my observation, so has the acceptance of other "nerdy" stuff.  

Just over 10 years ago, the Lord of the Rings movies brought fantasy to the average person in an epic embrace, and many people found they liked it.  Just look at the popularity of Twilight!  I hesitate to admit it did anything right, but it really did shift the social awareness of the whole "fantasy thing"

In addition, adults who grew up on this stuff are now introducing their kids to the playground.  And most of them encourage both boys and girls to do "nerdy stuff" if they enjoy it.

I've got a bunch of other half-formed ideas, but I'll stop there.


In Conclusion

I feel the recent overall goal of Magic to make the learning curve easier is probably another big factor.  

Most of the new recruits at our FLGS said they played DotP on X-Box and decided to give the real thing a try.  New players are walking in the door with a basic grasp of the game's mechanics, which is a change from 10 years ago.  I think that also means the turnover rate has dropped a bit (going on memory here, I never took notes).

All-in-all, I like the goal of encouraging players to find a fun and welcoming atmosphere.  I'm slightly irritated by the almost-feminism-sounding parts, but I admit there's a serious gender discrepancy here.  If drawing attention to it helps even the field a little, that's fine with me.  


Casual Magic player since 2003 (Onslaught Block). 60% Johnny, 40% Timmy. Want a free, graphics-based, collection database to inventory your cards? I made one! Feedback welcome. Program runs offline, includes powerful search options, art, Oracle text, data import/export, and a rigorously updated list of every card ever printed. Version 5.13 (Theros) now available!

So. Green needs an iconic creature type, eh? How about wurms!

One Billion Words - 1001 Fantasy Landscapes: Share DnD-ish landscapes for use in homebrew campaigns!

This is awesome - congratulations on getting it all up and running!

There's a potentially controversial question I'm curious about: Does the LPS (or do you personally) have a stance on the question of WotC's art direction and diversity and inclusion in general? It's a somewhat frequently raised problem with both Magic and Dungeons and Dragons that a fair proportion of the art is sexist verging on soft porn.



Really?  I'll give you a pass on the DnD stuff, some of the old art was just horrible about that, but I've always felt Magic did a pretty good job.  There's an occasional cheezecake pic, but most of it's very acceptable to me.

Casual Magic player since 2003 (Onslaught Block). 60% Johnny, 40% Timmy. Want a free, graphics-based, collection database to inventory your cards? I made one! Feedback welcome. Program runs offline, includes powerful search options, art, Oracle text, data import/export, and a rigorously updated list of every card ever printed. Version 5.13 (Theros) now available!

So. Green needs an iconic creature type, eh? How about wurms!

One Billion Words - 1001 Fantasy Landscapes: Share DnD-ish landscapes for use in homebrew campaigns!

While I agree that there are problems, I think the best solution would be to make gender a non-issue. By separating oneself from the rest of the group because one is different, one only emphasises these differences.



That pretty much summs up my thoughts.


I've had a theory for a while now, but it's kind of controversial.  

It's related, so I'll post it, but if it causes problems I'll remove it.  No flaming please, I'm just making an ovservation.


Volitile Thought


I think we need to start "shutting down" some minority-focused interest groups in the next 50 years.  Or rather, encourage them to shut down voulentarily, as they accomplish their purpose.

What I mean is, the groups have served their purpose, and now they are actually counteracting their own goals.

I'll use racism as an example, since it's the obvious one.  My grandmother was blatantly racist, to the day of her death.  Refused to let a black nurse help her.  Pissed me off to no end, but nothing I could do about it.

The racist generation is dying off.  Seriously, think about it.  In 50 years, the segregation issue will be ancient history.  I'm not saying orginizations like NAACP are bad.  They did some wonderful work.  And maybe they still need to exist for a while longer, possibly regionally.

But their mission is drawing to a close.  In the next two generations, I think racism, as we know it, will be a drawing to a close.  It may presist in some areas, but eventually it will go away.  As it does, the organizations that once defended the equality of the minorities now just draw attention to  the differences.  That does nothing but encourage discrimination!

There are laws that require school funds (scholarships, etc) be distributed differently based on minority status.

That's discrimination!  It may be good discrimination, at the moment, but there will come a time when it becomes a detriment.  And we need to be concincious of that, and be willing to react accordingly.



That's basically how I feel about feminism.  Don't mind women doing what they want to do, we just need to, as a culture, make sure we drift toward some middle ground, rather than make a bunch of Men vs Women groups.  

The line in the sand approach will just cause more long-term issues than respecting each other ever will.





Actually, this has a very simple biological reason. The female nose is generally stronger than the male one. So whenever a girl complains about a smell and a guy doesn't really smell much and think she's overreacting, she probably isn't.



Interesting tidbit.  ;)

Casual Magic player since 2003 (Onslaught Block). 60% Johnny, 40% Timmy. Want a free, graphics-based, collection database to inventory your cards? I made one! Feedback welcome. Program runs offline, includes powerful search options, art, Oracle text, data import/export, and a rigorously updated list of every card ever printed. Version 5.13 (Theros) now available!

So. Green needs an iconic creature type, eh? How about wurms!

One Billion Words - 1001 Fantasy Landscapes: Share DnD-ish landscapes for use in homebrew campaigns!

Guess I have to post here because the email to author isn't working... I hate to air out some Magic dirty laundry, but did I have a horrible experience at PAX and not getting any sort of response to talking about my concerns has left me feeling like quitting competitive MTG altogether.

I have played since Revised. Like many people I had to take a few years off for financial reasons in school, but I was sucked back in by friends I made post college. I know my stuff and, as someone with a techincal background, I'm used to being "the girl." So whatever. I have noticed in the last four to five years there have been less and less women at the events in my area. I understood it because I found the tone of the other players (as a group, not individuals, some are still cool people) had become largely uncomfortable. (Not taking me seriously, being extra rude, suggesting someone else had helped me or I was cheating...) At first I just stopped playing individual events, but I've slowly even stopped playing team/2HG events because even having my male friends at my side doesn't "protect" me.

Then I went to PAX for the first time this fall. In the MTG booth I was honestly openly ridiculed by two grown "men" when I inquired about what they were promoting. I just stood there in shock. Thankfully, a younger gentleman overheard and stepped in to pull me towards the 2013 Planeswalker demo before the guys said anything else to me. He was fun and we talked - a good "face" for MTG. However the next day, the very short version is I was ignored and then told to "Go away" by judges at the Annex MTG play area when I was trying to figure out where to sign up. I was so angry. MTG has strong female characters already included in cards and literature... we should be drawn to the game. It hurts to be treated so badly, even more so as a long time player. I have attempted to contact Wizards, but haven't gotten a response. Reading this thread I see more examples of why I feel I've already played my last event. My male friends comment how they've never faced off against a "mean" female player, but could do without many of the male players they see at events... and now I'll become one more female player that has left the table. 

Maybe this grassroots kind of movement would help, but the reactions here easily show how far it has to go to get to some sort of normal acceptance... which is really sad.
1. I am a straight, white, American male feminist Magic player.

2. Right now, this is how it is: Female magic players are still often thought of as "female magic players."  Gay magic players are often thought of as "gay magic players."  "Black magic players are often thought of as "black magic players." This works for any historically marginalized group.  BUT straight white male magic players are often simply thought of as "magic players."  Until this changes, groups like the LPS are needed.

3. Yes, most of you probably have female, GLBT, black or hispanic Magic playing friends who you just think of as your friend.  But, to put it in other terms, just because one person was prevented from committing suicide, doesn't mean suicide is no longer an issue in society as a whole.  Same goes here.

4. Notice I never said "all men" or "all women."  Or "men this" or "women that."  Generalizations don't work.  There are always exceptions.  

5. Finally, Patrick Chapin wins: fivewithflores.com/2012/12/words-mean-th...
Which means that the conversation is, essentially, a bunch of guys talking amongst yourselves about whether this is a problem and what or what not to do about it -- instead of talking to the woman who chose to reveal herself and try to answer your questions.


This is a problem. First, how do you know for sure everyone that posted here is a guy? Second, by using "reveal herself" it's almost as if you're implying that everyone else that posted or was going to post in this thread is waiting for a girl to show up to gang up on her so by "revealing" that you're a girl you're making a huge sacrifice and exposing yourself to the male sexist ****s. I have to say I feel slightly insulted.

IMAGE(http://i1.minus.com/jbcBXM4z66fMtK.jpg)

192884403 wrote:
surely one can't say complex conditional passive language is bad grammar ?
Guess I have to post here because the email to author isn't working... I hate to air out some Magic dirty laundry, but did I have a horrible experience at PAX and not getting any sort of response to talking about my concerns has left me feeling like quitting competitive MTG altogether.

I have played since Revised. Like many people I had to take a few years off for financial reasons in school, but I was sucked back in by friends I made post college. I know my stuff and, as someone with a techincal background, I'm used to being "the girl." So whatever. I have noticed in the last four to five years there have been less and less women at the events in my area. I understood it because I found the tone of the other players (as a group, not individuals, some are still cool people) had become largely uncomfortable. (Not taking me seriously, being extra rude, suggesting someone else had helped me or I was cheating...) At first I just stopped playing individual events, but I've slowly even stopped playing team/2HG events because even having my male friends at my side doesn't "protect" me.

Then I went to PAX for the first time this fall. In the MTG booth I was honestly openly ridiculed by two grown "men" when I inquired about what they were promoting. I just stood there in shock. Thankfully, a younger gentleman overheard and stepped in to pull me towards the 2013 Planeswalker demo before the guys said anything else to me. He was fun and we talked - a good "face" for MTG. However the next day, the very short version is I was ignored and then told to "Go away" by judges at the Annex MTG play area when I was trying to figure out where to sign up. I was so angry. MTG has strong female characters already included in cards and literature... we should be drawn to the game. It hurts to be treated so badly, even more so as a long time player. I have attempted to contact Wizards, but haven't gotten a response. Reading this thread I see more examples of why I feel I've already played my last event. My male friends comment how they've never faced off against a "mean" female player, but could do without many of the male players they see at events... and now I'll become one more female player that has left the table. 

Maybe this grassroots kind of movement would help, but the reactions here easily show how far it has to go to get to some sort of normal acceptance... which is really sad.



Wow that is some serious stuff =(
Have you tried mailing MaRo? He always says he'll take on any mails and gets it to the right people.
I can't believe Wizards hasn't replied to you about this, it seems very bad for business and something measures must be taken for.
Yes, exactly my point. People identify themselves as a Magic player. I would expect that to take some precedence.



No the point is that they are persons first, players second. 

Untrue. The avarage man has more in common with other men than with the avarage woman.



The average Magic player has more in common with other Magic players than with the average non-Magic player.

The average female Magic player has more in common with other female Magic players than with the average of the rest of the population.

The average Dutch female Magic player has more in common with other Dutch female Magic players than with the average of the rest of the population.

And so, we can go on and compartmentalise ourselves farther and farther until we are perfectly describing ourselves. And to what end? What's the point? Some of my best friends would fall outside of basically every compartment that I would fit in, while I know people that are very much like me that I can't talk to for more than a minute.



You're going the wrong way. You don't have to compartmentalise farther, you have to generalize farther. 
What it comes down to, is that the avarage man and the avarage women are different. And that influences our lives a lot.

Again, my issue here is the question of exclusivity. If I read this article, the LPS seems to be about an experience. An experience that is interesting not just to females, but also to males.



You improve the world one step at a time. The LPS is fulfilling a need and it is possible it can expand to fulfill more and greater needs, but the inability to do so should not prevent them from making their small steps.
...It would really help if we had some more info about the LPS' door policy...

Edit: Since you put me together with him, I also want to make clear that I disagree rather strongly with LuisSpellcast on this issue. I don't think this article is sexist. I do not interpret this article as he does. I want to make that very clear.



Yes, apologies for making it seem I was lumping you together.
While I agree that there are problems, I think the best solution would be to make gender a non-issue. By separating oneself from the rest of the group because one is different, one only emphasises these differences.



That pretty much summs up my thoughts.



Great. 

Now let's see what the actual women think about it.
I fully agree with AlexaM here that it feels a bit weird to have a bunch of, to paraphrase Patrick Chapin from that awesome link posted by Nomadkoorb, straight white American males figure out how to handle this minorities thing. 
(Although I guess the American part is already off the table)

That's basically how I feel about feminism.  Don't mind women doing what they want to do, we just need to, as a culture, make sure we drift toward some middle ground, rather than make a bunch of Men vs Women groups.  


The line in the sand approach will just cause more long-term issues than respecting each other ever will.


Hasn't feminism already changed in that direction? There certainly are different schools now, some more radical than others, but the new generation of women that did not have to fight for things the way their mothers had to have a different view on things.
Guess I have to post here because the email to author isn't working... I hate to air out some Magic dirty laundry, but did I have a horrible experience at PAX and not getting any sort of response to talking about my concerns has left me feeling like quitting competitive MTG altogether.



I'm sorry you had such a terrible experience. As Toby recommended, I would recommend asking MaRo, and he'll prolly forward your feedback to the right people. As to the actual tournament being run at PAX, I believe the tournaments are run by cascadegames.com/ I recommend talking with them about what happened and see if you can get this sorted out. Of course, just because one rogue tournament organizer was being rude doesn't excuse the Magic community in general. We should always be inclusive of people, regardless of gender, skill level, experience, or whatever other differentiator you might have.

I think a big part of the problem is that we, as men, are jerks. And we, as nerds, are socially awkward. And we, as nerdy men, just don't know how to talk to girls. Most of us aren't trying to exclude women. (Although a few of us are sexist asshats who prolly should be avoided.) We're trying to include more people, women or otherwise. We just really suck at it. We know we're supposed to just treat you like "one of the guys", but most of us also really suck at being gender-blind. No, it doesn't justify our behavior (perceived or actual, intentional or accidental). Yes, it is a problem.

Another part of the problem is that some of us are just downright unfriendly to beginners (or "noobs" as some of us call them). So what's really going on here is the double-whammy of egotistical nerdy guys who don't know how to talk to girls picking on noobs who happen to be girls, and things get even more awkward because we also don't know how to talk to girls. Again, it doesn't justify our behavior. And rather than softening the issue, it only makes the problem of women feeling excluded even worse.

I like primarily female playgroups like LPS are certainly a step in the right direction. Just as men are more comfortable talking with men, women are more comfortable talking with women. (And hopefully this doesn't end up as a segregated community with men on one side and women on the other. That would prolly be the worst possible outcome.)

But then again, what do I know? As AlexaM said, most of us are just a bunch of guys talking amongst guys. If the women on this thread think I'm wrong, misguided, ignorant, or just downright sexist, feel free to call me out on it and/or offer a differing viewpoint. (If you agree with me and want to let me know, that's awesome too.)
I will probably respond to some other posts later, but my feelings regarding the LPS are mostly determined by the following scenario:

Jennifer, what do you if you see a male player at your local FNM who is clearly new? He is losing, he is playing slowly, and it doesn't look like he's having a great time. Do you invite him to come over to play at the LPS or not?

If the answer is yes, then I really think what you have here is good (and I can actually understand and accept the slant towards women). If the answer is no, then, well, I think it should be yes.
76125763 wrote:
Zindaras' meta is like a fossil, ancient and its secrets yet to be uncovered. Only men of yore, long dead, knew of it.

Wow that is some serious stuff =(
Have you tried mailing MaRo? He always says he'll take on any mails and gets it to the right people.
I can't believe Wizards hasn't replied to you about this, it seems very bad for business and something measures must be taken for.



Actually, that was what my "male" friends suggested I do... I did... Now I've posted a short version here to show a point. It feels like losing faith in something you've been a part of most of your life when you experience people in authority single you out because of your sex. I have tried making excuses, but the long story really points to "No Girls Allowed" clubhouse sign and I wonder if anyone wants to really listen... It kinda feels like supporting groups like LPS might be too little too late.
I will probably respond to some other posts later, but my feelings regarding the LPS are mostly determined by the following scenario:

Jennifer, what do you if you see a male player at your local FNM who is clearly new? He is losing, he is playing slowly, and it doesn't look like he's having a great time. Do you invite him to come over to play at the LPS or not?

If the answer is yes, then I really think what you have here is good (and I can actually understand and accept the slant towards women). If the answer is no, then, well, I think it should be yes.



I think the point that is getting lost is there are a lot more opportunities and groups that will take on a new male player and show him the ropes. It is just part of the established culture - as been mentioned before MTG is mostly marketed to the teens/20s male gamer.
I think the point that is getting lost is there are a lot more opportunities and groups that will take on a new male player and show him the ropes. It is just part of the established culture - as been mentioned before MTG is mostly marketed to the teens/20s male gamer.



True, that. I mean, if my hypothetical guy is there with some other friends, then it's not really necessary to jump to his aid. But the point that I'm trying to make is that I think there is an overarching problem where there is a number of Magic players that behave boorishly towards any new player (if I face a six-year old new player at my prerelease, my first instinct is not to crush him and savour his salty tears, and I am disappointed by the fact that this does seem to be some people's first instinct). I would hope that the LPS does not actively exclude those new players. That's where I'm trying to go. I understand that it is not always that easy to be a girl in a guy world, but that doesn't mean it is always easy to be a guy either. A lot of the experiences described in the article are also shared by many male Magic players.

Of course, there are some experiences that are pretty much unique to the female Magic experience, such as the one you posted. I think that's absolutely disgraceful, especially since these are all people (both at the booth and as Judges) that are specifically chosen to represent Magic. These are not players. WotC is responsible for these people. Some action should be taken.
76125763 wrote:
Zindaras' meta is like a fossil, ancient and its secrets yet to be uncovered. Only men of yore, long dead, knew of it.