#Feminism: A Nano-Game Anthology

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Description

We are feminists who believe that the culture we consume can help us begin to undo the harms of sexism. And yet, that is difficult when our culture and its consumption is steeped in it. In the literary world, there is an old adage that books about men speak to “humanity” while books about women are “for women.”

It’s true in the world of roleplaying games too. Scenarios about five men doing, well, nearly anything, get labeled as “great games,” while scenarios that focus on women’s experiences are “for women.” We want to expand the designation of “great games” to include works that speak to our own lived experience. Feminism belongs in analog game design because women are human too. We produced this collection to highlight feminist voices and to create space for explicitly feminist design.

Our designers had juicy ground to draw from. Game-wise, what could be better source material than a world that pushes people into unequal power relationships, regardless of their skills and interests? This collection highlights different aspects of that power dynamic, from situational comedy to high tragedy.

Our feminism is an inclusive and plural feminism. We welcomed participants of all genders and game design experience, and accepted all the games they produced. We asked each designer to write a game about an aspect of feminism that is important to them right now. Rather than culling the collection to fit our own ideology, we tried to help each author realize their own vision. With nearly three dozen designers, these games represent many different feminisms, reflective of their individual authors.

As legendary feminist bell hooks once wrote, “Feminism is for everybody.” We wanted to make these games accessible to players of all genders and ideologies. The barrier to entry is low. Our games require few participants, little in the way of prep or props, and last an hour or less. They cover a wide range of topics and moods.