Collecting Data on the Representation of Women in Cover Art

For the love of data collection I went through my collection.

On the covers of my games I have:

Games with both men and women: 12
Games with only men: 19
Games with only women: 4
Neutral: 26

Who would like to offer up their own collections for comparison? Methodology advice is welcome. No prizes for the most representative collection unfortunately.

Pie charts are also welcome.

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Hi @CorBlimey and welcome!

In terms of Neutral are you talking about characters without a suggested gender, or that contain no characters?

Edit. I’ve just found out the the Cragheart uses the pronoun ‘They’.

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Both: 35
Men: 30
Women: 4
Neither: 49
Uncertain: 7

Not a complete list, and I included some expansion boxes. At a quick estimate I probably have another 100 or so that I didn’t add to this list because of time/effort, but I think this gives you a pretty clear trend.

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Does “games” mean board and card games, here, or RPG books? I have a handful of the first and lots and lots of the second (even if you only count physical copies).

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Aha yes good point, these are mostly games without any humanoids. But also whenever I wasn’t sure, I wasn’t prepared to define the gender of the cat on the cover of Parade for example.

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Also a good question, these are only board and card games, I would love to get into RPGs, perhaps when the lockdown lifts in Amsterdam I can find a group.

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Presumably a popular game will get counted multiple times? Though this does give you data on “how prevalent is this in people’s collections”.

Welcome, btw!

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Both: 56
Men: 49
Women: 3
N/A: 39
Could be Either: 8

Pretty sure I got all my stand-alone games. I did not include expansions. N/A means there is no humanoid characters on the cover. And, of course, both means that there was an identifiable male and female character on the cover, but the prominence of each may vary greatly (say The Resistance prominently has a female with others in the background, Chinatown prominently has a male, with other in the background). Could be Either involves games like The Crew, where the characters depicted are in space suits and cannot be identified as male or female. Also anthropomorphized characters like Shadows: Amsterdam where it is not obvious as one or the other.

EDIT: Looked at Sheriff of Nottingham again and realized that the various merchants are shown in the background, one of which is a woman, so -1 to Men and +1 to Both.

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Welcome to the forums. A quick check through my bgg list paints a sorry picture and I have been generous in sorting anything I couldn’t quite recognize to neutral or both.

  • women only 3 (two of those are Coup and The Resistance, forgot the third right now)
  • men only 34
  • both represented 39
  • unsure or neutral representation 19
  • neither (abstract covers, animals etc.) 80
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And see, I categorized The Resistance as Both, because in the background you can see other people, men and women. Coup is one of my Women only covers. The other two were Hanamikoji and Super Munchkin (sad, but true).

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I have Jixia Academy instead of Hanamikoji :slight_smile: I did this on my tablet and so felt inclined to qualify the big picture over the shadowy background. In any case it is one with more female representation than male. Rare enough it seems.

Edit: High Society has a woman on the cover.
I qualified Faiyum as neutral and Concordia Venus as both. Spirit Island is weird the only human looking spirit on the cover seems to be female I think I counted it in neutral.

Women only: 14
Men only: 34
Mix: 27
Unknown: 9
Neither: 73

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Men: 21
Women: 20
Both: 56
Unsure: 27
No characters: 62

Notes:

  • I went with only figures that were anthromorphised in some way. So the alpaca on the front of Altiplano doesn’t count, but the bunny on The Mind does.
  • They also still had to be “people”, so no points for the statue of a woman on Bring Your Own Book (or the male lion), and nothing for the Statue of Liberty on New York Zoo.
  • There’s still some wishy-washy entries though. As LOTR Trivial Pursuit got included in “all male” for having the Eye of Sauron. Similarly Sanctum just has the face of the demon lord on the cover, but the rules use he/him pronouns, so that got counted.
  • Cindr wins in the “unsure” category for having two clearly identifiable characters on the front, but them being specifically ungendered by the rules.
  • Mystery of the Temples has an unidentifiable character on the front, but it’s kind of in a series with Realm of Sand and Trial of the Temples, which both have the same woman on the cover. So … ??
  • Discworld: The Witches and Broom Service both lost out on being all female thanks to tiny identifiable men.
  • Well done to Mafia de Cuba for having a woman on the cover who is only in the expansion.
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I went and had a look at the photos of your collection bruitist, it is the friendliest looking collection I have yet to see!

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In my case: one with both, none with only men, none with only women, three with neutral (one skeletal figure, two cartoony apples to which I can’t assign a gender, and one array of somewhat abstract microbiota).

At a quick glance of my collection on BGG (see what I did there, @pillbox :wink: :wink:)

Male only: 6
Female only 1, Love Letter
Both male and female: 12
Neutral: 2 ( One being Battle for Rokugan, although the armour is traditionally male in Japanese style, Rokugan has more female representation in the warrior class, and you cannot tell features of either gender)
None: 13

I included Rex : Fall of an Empire as male only, as all the clear facial features are male looking. I was not sure about Android, as the investigator is female, the corpse looks male, and the guards on the back are neutral looking, so I counted it as both (I’d say a corpse still counts for a gender).

Edit: one more neutral with The Crew, that I had not included in my BGG collection file

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I went through my collection

Both: 13
Men: 8
Women: 3 (Love Letter, Millions of Dollars, Secrets)
Unsure: 4
None: 31

Of the 13 with both, 6 have equal amount of women and men, and only Dead of Winter features more women than men on the cover.

Belratti and Hippo count as men only, I think Belrattis pronoun in the rulebook is he, while it is Mr. Hippo. Cat Lady has a cat, however I think the players are the cat ladies, since we have to collect the animals.

Rail Pass has a hand, if I had to choose, I’d say it’s a male hand, but it made my unsure list.

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Including expansion boxes, but not Arkham Horror: The Card Game mythos packs:

Both: 23 (+1)
Men Only: 8 (+1)
Women Only: 1
Neither: 8 (+2)
Unsure: 4 (+1)

Numbers in brackets are board games for which I own a digital implementation but not a physical copy.

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  • Women only: 9 (6%)
  • Men only: 21 (13%)
  • Both represented: 36 (22%)
  • Uncertain: 10 (6%)
  • N/A: 85 (53%)

My most reluctant inclusions under "Both"

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Ooh, I put Mr. Jack under Men only. I actually did not look at it close enough to see that. Hmm, that is a troubling one. Understandable considering the theme, but not really sure it counts for representation.

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