State of the Game

“Back in my day” I used to get dropped off at the local library so I can take part in the weekly Dungeons and Dragons meetup for 10-12 year olds.  The group regularly consisted of the same kids, from the über nerdy to the all American little leaguer/future high school jock, but never did we have a girl show up to spend an afternoon hacking kobolds.  Fast forward from 1980 to 2013 and you may be very surprised at today’s tabletop gaming demographic, I definitely am

This past weekend I attended my regular Pathfinder Society game at the local game store, a group of gamers that has grown from 6-10 regular attendees to a consistent 24+ dice rollers every week.  Among the membership we typically already have a surprising number of girl/women gamers, accounting for at least 10% of the group.  Sunday however was a first for me; a complete table (6 players, 1 GM), all of which were female except the GM, ranging in age from 11 to late 30s.  How cool is that?  In total we had four tables for the PFS event, in addition to the all-girl table the remaining three tables had at least one female player each.

I was already excited to see the number of roleplayers grow every week, especially the number of young gamers in attendance as we live in the world dominated by console/pc games.  To see people from all age brackets, genders and lifestyles coming together at the table is exciting and has me asking, “are we seeing the rebirth of tabletop?”

GenCon continues to record record numbers every year, D&D keeps popping up in the media and popular television shows – now full tables of female players?!  The sky is falling!  Seriously though, how cool is that?  I can’t convince my wife its cool, she can’t even begin to understand the hobby and is probably ashamed of me for being a part of it, but I can no longer deny my inner geek – nor should I.  I believe its a positive step, people leaving their televisions and game consoles to sit around the table with a group of people and interact for a few hours.  As I try to explain to my wife; its not only about the game, at least for me, its about hanging around with a group of people for an afternoon and socializing.

In a world (movie voice?) of email, text messages, instant messages, video games, NetFlix and all those other ways we lock ourselves in a room, its awesome to see gamers young and old, male and female, coming out to roll some dice and laugh together face-to-face.

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