Woman and gaming in the 80ies

Hi Guys,

I still have the impression, the majority of you gus are males so I’m curious to find other like me: Women that played adventure games in the 1980ies.

Judging from the European event pictures, the people there were mostly male. I so wanted to go to the Berlin event. Had my tickets and hotel booked and then had to drop out due to health issues the day before the event. I was devastated. I would loved to have met other women that share my passion and talk about their experiences.

I was born and raised in Switzerland and none of my friends were even remotely interested in games or even computers. It was a pretty lonely exstinance until the Internet came along.

When I went to the computer departement in Stores I was looked at weirdy: Do you want to buy something for YOURSELF was a question I often heard.

So, are there any other women out there ? What was your experience ? And for the males that have played all those games, did you have female friends that played games ?


I’m a guy, but I can tell you there were definitely women at the fan meetup in Berlin, and also two kids, one of them a girl. Aaaand she won the card deck, much to the disappointment of my son (what he doesn’t know, though, is that a pack of trading cards is on its way from FanGamer, heh!)


FYI, I have received the pack from Fangamer today! So, I think yours could arrive very soon, too!


I had a girlfriend who had played a few adventure games, before we met, but beside her I don’t remember any other woman in the circle of my friends who enjoyed playing any kind of videogame.

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Its such a shame boys and girls have such a siloed education, a topic masterfully explored in Tim Schaeffer’s Broken Age, including an horrifically correct interpretation of the reasons why it is the way it is (<blink>Major Broken Age / Real Life™ Spoiler</blink>, please play the game before reading this: Society expects people who were born with a uterus to sacrifice their comfort, health, and put their life at stake in order to ensure the survival of the group. Little girls must be conditioned from birth to comply to these expectations. Meanwhile, little boys swim blissfully in imaginary adventures, oblivious to the predicament of their female counterparts, and to the fact that they will be complicit to putting their life in danger).


Yap, those are great. I got a few at Gamescom last year and had no idea how I would be able to complete the set … bought them as soon as they were availble at fangamer.

Now I have a few duplicates.

I’m female and I’ve been playing games since we got our Atari 2600. :slight_smile: Though I never did play a point-and-click adventure until recently; we were more into platformers and shooters, which my brother and I would usually play co-op. And of course Final Fantasy and Zelda were in my collection. :slight_smile:

So, while I didn’t play specifically PC adventure games in the '80s, I did play games a lot in general. I wasn’t able to buy my own games at the store until I was much older, though, and by that time I think female gamers were more common and I don’t remember getting any strange reactions. I did used to frequent this one particular Gamestop near where I lived and I heard secondhand that I had a reputation there for being one of the only “female gamers.”


My sisters loved adventure games back in the 80ies and 90ies.

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My sister played at least Maniac Mansion and Monkey Island.

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Guy here as well, but my cousins (3 girls my age and up) were into gaming a lot. They had a huge library of Atari 2600 games I envied them for (I only ever had 3!) and the eldest had a PC long before I did. She was more into Sierra games, though :wink:. Watching her play Kings Quest, I decided those weren’t for me.

Unfortunately, my wife isn’t much of a gamer at all, computer or no, and while she does appreciate some computer games she sees me playing for the visuals, they simply don’t interest her enough to play them together. Mostly, she finds them too tedious and troublesome, and perhaps a bit childish too.

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My girlfriend tries and largely fails to play point-and-click adventures.

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Been playing games (I even made a few) since my old Commodore 16. But not adventure games sadly, I discovered those later. I was always the weirdo who was interested in sci-fi, robotics, computers, programming, fantasy… it was pretty lonely (it still is)

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Well, I don’t know if it answers your question, but I have a daughter who seems to be interested in videogames :stuck_out_tongue: the only problem is, she can’t read yet. I’ll wait until she learns and then I’ll make her play Monkey Island.

She already knows the plot, since I told her as a fairy tale, and she loves it.


I’ve been into adventure games since I was about 12, when my uncle gave me a floppy disk with Space Quest II on it. I had an Amstrad with a keyboard but no mouse. Like you, I don’t think I had a single female friend who liked computer games, until later into the 90s when consoles were a big thing.

I’m also an only child so spent hours of my day sat at my computer, splitting my time between playing games, writing stories and, later, nerding out in chat rooms. I wasn’t lonely though, I loved it :nerd_face: I hung out with friends a lot too, but computers were for my Me Time.

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Thanks for all your answers.

Interesting to see that others have similar experiences.

I’m glad that I have a few online friends now with whom I can talk about games. RL is pretty mush still the same :smiley:


I started playing adventure games around 1987 or 1988, when I was 9 or 10. In my experience, it wasn’t considered strange for girls to play games. I played a lot of adventure games, SimCity, and educational games (Oregon Trail, Number Munchers, Carmen Sandiego) on the Apple IIGS and Mac. A lot of my (girl) friends had the original NES and I remember playing Street Fighter and Mortal Combat with a friend who had N64 and Sega Genesis.

I can really relate to Delores, because in the late 80s and early 90s my dream job was to work at Sierra Online. There wasn’t a perception then that I couldn’t do it because I was a girl, just like there isn’t a perception in Thimbleweed Park that Delores being a woman would hold her back from working at MMucasFlem.

This is a very interesting article on the topic: https://www.polygon.com/features/2013/12/2/5143856/no-girls-allowed

The takeaway from the article is that the concept of games being “for boys” was driven by marketing in the 80s and 90s. In the late 90s I dated a guy who lived with male roommates and they had a Playstation. I didn’t recognize it as a shift at the time, but by then the idea that games were for guys had really taken hold, because when I played with them it was seen as concession (in other words, I was never going to be as good as them in Street Fighter). The attitude seemed to be that this was because I was a girl, but considering I didn’t have a Playstation to practice on and they played that game all the time, it was really just because I never had a chance to get good at it!


Oh my. I’d love to read it, but the background colors used in that article are making my eyes hurt. :cry:

If it’s OK for you to get just the text, you can read the text-only public Google cache of that page.

Yeah, tell that to my best man :stuck_out_tongue: this friend of mine has a wife who ALWAYS wins at Fifa against him.

Now that I think about it, my wife was also into videogames, just not adventure games or platformers. But she played all Sim games and Theme games.

But this “for boys” aura is not just for videogames, the whole computer science is cursed. Everywhere I went, from the University to the companies I’ve been working at, we had no more than 10% women. I don’t know why, computers are so cool, they should appeal to anyone regardless of gender!

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