Women and Nonbinary Board Game Designers: the Americas
In 2018, only 7 games of the top 200 on Board Game Geek had a non-male designer involved. (It's now up to 10.) I got tired of being called "one of very few non-male board game designers," so I started compiling a list and ended up with over 200 women with published games.
Western North America
Rachel Simmons | California
Rachel (who continues to work under her former name, Bowen) is a wargame designer whose titles include Napoleon's Triumph and The Guns of Gettysburg. She has twice been a finalist for the James F. Dunnigan Award for outstanding achievement in historical wargames.
Brenda Romero | California@br
Brenda is a widely-acclaimed, award-winning video game designer. She has also designed analog games in a series called The Mechanic is the Message, all exploring difficult experiences through the medium of games.
Teeuwynn Woodruff | Washington@EvansVanished
Teeuwynn was a game designer at Wizards of the Coast for over a decade. She has worked in RPGs, puzzles, trading cards, miniatures, and board games, including Pokémon, Magic: The Gathering, Duelmasters, Dreamblade, AngelQuest, and Betrayal at House on the Hill.
Calli Wright | California@CalliWrights
Calli is a co-designer for MathMINDs Games -- storybook board games that combine math, history and literacy. Her first solo design is Moonshell: A Mermaid Game. She's also a content creator with Unfiltered Gamer, where she does a video series called Calli's Corner.
Dani Hedlund | Colorado@DMHedlund
Dani Hedlund published her first novel at age 18, founded an international literary nonprofit (Tethered by Letters) and an art and literary collection (F(r)iction), and a board game company (Bad Hipster Games). Her first game is Brexit: the Board Game of Second Chances.
Jenn Sandercock | Washington
Jenn is an Australian game designer living in the US. She has worked primarily in digital games, but recently had a successful Kickstarter for a cookbook of edible analog games.
Rebekah Bissell | Colorado
Rebekah started out by designing games for her own children, and then graduated to designing for print-and-play contests on BGG. That led to three published games: The Livestock Market, Reindeer Races, and Knock Your Blocks Off.
Central North America
Becca Lafair | Illinois@MapmakerGame
Becca and her brothers designed Mapmaker: The Gerrymandering Game after they saw the crazy boundaries of their hometown Congressional district. Arnold Schwarzenegger backed their Kickstarter and paid to send copies of the game to all the members of the Supreme Court.
Eastern North America
Mary Ellroy | Connecticut
Mary starting working in the game and toy field in 1990 when she sold her first game to Mattel, and she has more than 30 published toys and games. She works as a consultant and agent who will show your games to Mattel and Hasbro if it meets their criteria.
Naomi Clark | New York@metasynthie
Naomi is a game scholar and designer at the NYU Game Center. Her 2014 card game Consentacle explores sexuality and consent. She is also author of the book A Game Design Vocabulary: Exploring the Foundational Principles Behind Good Game Design.
Colleen Macklin | New York@colleenmacklin
Colleen is a game designer and Associate Professor at Parsons School of Design . She is a founder of PETLab, which develops games for experimental learning and social engagement, and of Local No. 12, a game design collective. She is co-author of the books Games, Design and Play and Iterate: Ten Lessons in Design and Failure.
Nashra Balagamwala | New York@nashrabalagam
Nashra worked at Hasbro before designing the indie game Arranged -- a commentary on arranged marriage that received extensive press coverage -- and several other games drawing on her experiences as a Pakistani and an artist.
Bonnie Neubauer | Pennsylvania@NeuBon
Bonnie is an author, writing teacher, grief coach, and game designer. Her first published game will be ADJitation from Breaking Games.
Allison Parrish | New York@aparrish
Allison is a computer programmer, poet, and game designer whose teaching and practice look at the intersection between language and computers. She codesigned Rewordable, a word building game where the units of play are cards with sequences of letters.
Jessica Creane | Pennsylvania@IKantKoan
Jessica designs infinite tabletop games (Schrödinger's Cat) and game-theater experiences (Chaos Theory, R&J), including collaboration with the National Parks Service and teaching game design at Drexel University.
Tanisha Hall | South Carolina@inallseriesness
Tanisha made Hillman the Game after playing The Game of Life and wishing there were Black characters. She created a game that riffs on favorite characters from 80s and 90s tv shows, and started the company In All Seriesness to publish it.