March 8th is International Women’s Day!
In celebration, Twenty Sided Store would like to highlight 10 amazing women and femmes in game design.
This week check out the creators of Set, Menu Mashup, The Quiet Year, Number 2, and Heart Catchers.
Next week I will celebrate the women behind T.I.M.E. Stories, Mansions of Madness, Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, Punderdome, Eldritch Horror, Lazer Riders, and Spank the Yeti.
Marsha J. Falco | Set
Marsha’s discovery of the game Set is an excellent example of idea turned invention through unrelated interconnected events. Like the stories featured in the BBC TV Series, Connections hosted by James Burke, Marsha’s story connects the invention of Set the game to a mathematical tool she had created for genetic research on epilepsy in German Shepherds in 1974. Each symbol represented blocks of information relating to different genetic properties and traits for each dog.
She discovered the game when she used the cards to explain the mathematical properties behind the combinations to veterinarians. Realizing that there was a fun game in finding the different combinations making up a set, she began playing with friends and family. Set, as we know it today, released in 1990. Set Enterprises, Inc. was born, and Marsha continues to design a whole line of games.
Karen Hudes | Menu Mashup
Food writer, editor, and entrepreneur, Karen Hudes took notice of the cultural and social connection people have with food and games. Her love for both developed the desire for Menu Mashup. Mashup a bunch of seemingly random ingredients, create a masterpiece, and then share your stories. The Menu for success is usually the one where risks are taken and the impossible is made possible. A recipe for life, no?
Avery Alder | The Quiet Year
Taking the idea of cultural and social connection a step further, Avery Alder creates games that change the world one story at a time. The Quiet Year is a map-drawing game about a year of community revitalization after the collapse of civilization.
What is community? Those of us who throw this word around usually feel that we are part of one or have found one we want to support. But what about everyone else? Avery Alder opens up the idea that by sharing stories we create communities. Through playing storytelling games, we work out the struggles of maintaining communities, and by making choices as a community in a make-believe world we make change in our everyday lives.
Rachel Domm and Mary Voorhees Meehan | Number 2
Rachel and Mary created the game Number 2 to share a story about their concerns for elephant extinction. Each illustration depicts items of value, typically made out of ivory, created out of elephant poop! Their memory game helps us remember that elephant poop is a renewable resource, ivory is not. 2% of the proceeds of Number 2 sales are donated to the International Fund for Animal Welfare.
Emma Larkins | Heart Catchers
Spreading the love, Emma has created a game that catches the heart in every one of us. Heart Catchers, may be her first published game, but it certainly is not her last. Emma is constantly creating. She writes a weekly blog post sharing her daily practice for others to follow along.