Dear Parents,

            I am writing to promote girl gamers!

            Game Lab has been a wonderful growth experience for my daughter.  She started attending as young as 6 and a half, and even at that age soaked in the rules to complex games I had to study rule books to comprehend.  Now at 9 she is an expert able to teach us to play and score, as well as advise on strategy.  She is proud to be an Irongate, and just last week she achieved Level 13.

            At Level 13 she became a clan lord.  Not immortal, not a deity or a legend, but a lord.  This brought me up short because the language is so clearly gendered.  Of course I understand that there is a specific historical reference, and that it plays a role in the larger role-playing game that knits Lab together (and even together with labs in Tribeca and possibly Nigeria). As a parent, a woman, an educator, a history teacher, a gamer myself, I’d still like to see the language changed. I believe that the organization that offers a free Great Women of Gaming club can do better.  Girls should be able to imagine themselves directly into any world, including the world of Game Lab.  I’m not exactly sure what the solution is, but again, as someone who loves both language and history, I think it would be a fun and worthwhile challenge to come up with nongendered terms for both Clan Lord and the Lord of the Lab merit.  And frankly the project is not just for girls, but for anyone who does not identify specifically as male.  

            I ask to join you me in this request made with love and appreciation for a place that has inspired and challenged children of all genders.  I mean this request to make a great place even greater. 

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July 23, 2019 8:04 pm

This is great, Leah! Your appreciation for GameLab shines through clearly, and your request comes across as completely reasonable and fair. Good for you for standing up for all of our children – because it’s important for boys to not think that “lords” means everyone, either.

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