Women and Nonbinary Board Game Designers: Notable Past Designers
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.
Notable Past Designers
Jennifer Schlickbernd | California@JenSchlickbernd
Jen co-designed Advanced Civilization (1991). She was one of the early US proponents of German games in the 1980s, and one of the first people to get a DCI number for Magic: The Gathering. She remains an active gamer and BGG user.
Elizabeth Magie Phillips
Lizzie self-published The Landlord's Game in 1905. Although she had patented the game, Charles Darrow began selling it as Monopoly in 1935 without crediting her or paying royalties. Parker Brothers paid both Darrow and Magie for the rights to the game.
Virginia won the Kinderspiel des Jahres in 1990 for her game My Haunted Castle. She had dozens of other published designs, including the recently re-released Mole in the Hole (Die Maulwurf Company Mitbringspiel).
In 1790, Elizabeth Newberry designed The New Game of Human Life, “the Most Agreeable and Rational Recreation Ever Invented for Youth of Both Sexes.” It sold over 12,000 copies. Milton Bradley's The Checkered Game of Life, which eventually evolved into The Game of Life, is effectively a descendant of Newberry's game.
Podcast: Biography of a Boardgame
Anne Abbot was a 19th century US game designer and author. In 1843 she published a wildly popular card game, Dr. Busby. It was followed by The Game of the Races and Master Rodbury.