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.

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Notable Past Designers

Dorothy Garrels

Dorothy was a co-designer on Scotland Yard, winner of the 1983 Spiel des Jahres.

Suzanne Goldberg

Suzanne was co-designer of Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, winner of the 1985 Spiel des Jahres.

Ann Stambler | Massachusetts

Ann is one of the co-founders of Gamewright, and co-designed many of their popular games in the 1990s, including Rat-a-Tat-Cat, Go Away Monster, and Frog Juice.

Jennifer Schlickbernd | California


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.

Linda Mosca

Linda Mosca was a staff member for SPI in the mid-‘70s. She published Battle of the Wilderness, Rocroi (a Thirty Years War “quad” game), and Gondor.

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.

Eleanor Abbot

Eleanor was a schoolteacher who contracted polio in 1948, when she was in her 30s. She created Candy Land as entertainment for the younger occupants of the polio ward. It still sells a million copies per year.

Stephanie Rohner

Stephanie designed dozens of games from the 1980s until about 2010. Her co-design Klondike won the 2001 Kinderspiel des Jahres.

Virginia Charves

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).

Carol Wiseley

Carol designed Loopin' Louie, winner of the 1994 Kinderspiel des Jahres.

Elizabeth Newberry

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.

Anne Abbot

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.