Can I be a girl with a big sword?

Argyle King

Currently, one of the gaming groups I'm involved in plays on Wednesday nights. With the way things work out, I usually have my children with me at the place we play. I'm friends with the group, and most of them also have children, so it works out. The gaming group games, and the kids play.

More and more; as the kids have been around during sessions, they sometimes are drawn toward the table upon which they see the dice and various other pieces of gaming paraphernalia. Sometimes they'll watch for a moment or two and go back to playing. Sometimes my little boy will sit next to me and watch for more than just a moment or two. Naturally, with curiosity often accompanying youth, they ask questions. At this point, my little boy and my little girl both have what I'd say is a pretty good grasp on the concept of how rpgs work -considering their ages (4 and 5 respectively.)

Tonight, as I drove home, they both asked if I would show them how to play. I take a little bit of time out of each day to work on their numbers, letters, shapes, colors, etc. I make it a point to work with them for about an hour each day. Anyway, I told them both that I'd make them a deal. If they do well during a day's lesson, I'll start teaching them a little bit about "the games I play."

After getting home and going through the normal process of getting them ready for bed and whatnot, I sat down to read my little girl a story. Afterwards, she asked me, "what kind of people can you make in the game?" "Well, pretty much whatever you want," I said. I then listed off a few things; knowing some of her interests and toys she plays with, I mixed a few things like "princesses" and "fairies" into the things I said. Little did I know; her answer would not at all be what I expected.

"Well, what about a big sword," she asked with a concerned look on her face. "Can I use a big sword?" "Yes," I then responded, "you can use a big sword."

She thought for a minute, and then she said, "even a girl?" She paused and then continued. "Can I be a girl with a big sword who beats up the monsters? Because I want to have a big sword and beat up the monsters."

I told her yes; she smiled, and then I gave her a kiss on the head before tucking her in. I smiled to myself a little bit as I left her room. I thought it was interesting because most people (gamers in particular) would stereotype a girl -especially one of her age (5)- as wanting to be a fairie princess or cast spells or something like that. I myself -knowing that I at times curse Netflix for acquiring My Little Pony, and that I have to buy everything with princesses and/or fairies on it- thought so as well. However, that was not the case.

No, she did not want to be a fairie. No, she did not want to be a princess. She wants to be a girl with a big sword who beats up the monsters.

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First Post

Now go hack'em up like Daddy taught you.

:.-( They grow up so fast.


First Post
I am not surprised, but only because of my recent experience, to wit:

When we wrote Hollowpoint, which is very much a macho, hyper-competence myth, the kind of thing you see in Magnificent Seven or any samurai tale, and like that, we thought we would be writing to a largely male audience.

We were wrong. The demographics for this game, which is only about violence, about being good at bad things, is heavily skewed towards women gamers. About three times as many women bought Hollowpoint as bought Diaspora.


First Post
No, she did not want to be a fairie. No, she did not want to be a princess. She wants to be a girl with a big sword who beats up the monsters.

When she gets a little older make sure to introduce her to Tamora Pierce. Almost all of her books feature heroic females, many of them using big swords to beat up the monsters (others use magic, guile, etc to beat up the monsters :)).


First Post
I used to play with my little sister and my cousins (a little girl and a little boy) when we were younger.
The boy´s characters were always the calm, thoughtful ones. The girls always played the violent, 'less talking, more punching' ones. So yeah, gender doesn´t define the kind of character someone likes to play with :)

Argyle King

Both of them still have a long way to go before being able to play and understand a rpg the same way I would, but -at the same time- I feel as though they've absorbed more of the game than I thought they would. They may not fully understand the math or what the words in the books are and such, but they get the general concept. Today (Thursday) was the first day of the 'deal.'

Both of them have pretty good imaginations, and they like to play pretend, so the concept of playing a character was pretty easy to explain to them. I didn't go into too much detail. Today was more of a feeling out process to see how much they understood versus how much I (as a parent) believed they understood. I was happy to find where they are in understand is around the area I believed they were.

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