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"The First Female Gamers" Topic

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Tango0125 Jun 2020 9:58 p.m. PST

"In the summer of 1974, a few obscure fanzines trickled out early reviews of a new game called Dungeons & Dragons. Jim Dapkus wrote one of these: he loved the game but expressed concern that it offered little by way of roles for female characters. He complained that a "witch or female counterpart to the magic user is not listed," aside from the lone illustration in Men & Magic of a "Beautiful Witch." This inspired Dapkus to contact the game's publisher, Gary Gygax: "I asked Gary what women's libbers think of the situation, and he told me that he will bend to their demands when a member of the opposite sex buys a copy of Dungeons & Dragons!"

Could it really have been so unthinkable to Gygax that a woman would purchase Dungeons & Dragons? His game went on to wild, unprecedented popularity, and women constituted no small part of its long-term audience. To appreciate the situation in 1974, we must understand the market Dungeons & Dragons entered, and the curious consumer group it targeted: gamers…."

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Yesthatphil26 Jun 2020 2:16 a.m. PST

Women were certainly already playing historical wargames back in 1974.


lkmjbc326 Jun 2020 9:49 a.m. PST

Fletcher Pratt had women playing in his naval games…that was in the 40s I believe.

Joe Collins

Thresher0126 Jun 2020 10:11 a.m. PST

The British Royal Navy had them doing that back in WWII, in "realistic" exercises, in order to develop tactics to defeat the German U-Boats.

Apparently, they were quite good at beating the men trained in naval tactics of the day, and helped develop new tactics for the convoy escorts in order to defeat the Germans in the Battle for the Atlantic.

Tango0126 Jun 2020 12:46 p.m. PST



Grelber26 Jun 2020 5:53 p.m. PST

Didn't one of the British glossy wargames magazines have a "Women's Page" back in the late '70s?


pellen16 Sep 2020 5:02 a.m. PST

"Oxford University students founded a scholarly but recreational wargames club in the 1880s"

Does anyone know what games they played or anything else about that club?

arthur181522 Sep 2020 12:49 p.m. PST

According to wikipedia, the University Kriegspiel [sic] Club, was founded by a group of students and teachers in 1873 at Oxford University. Its members played the 1872 Rules for the Conduct of the War-Game by E. Baring, an English translation of the later 1862 version by von Tschischwitz, which included rules for post Napoleonic developments such as railways and the telegraph. i

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