Chainmail Bikini: The Anthology of Women Gamers is a very enjoyable read that showcases the gaming experiences of a diverse group of women.
The gaming world isn’t exactly female friendly. For a lot of male gamers out there being female is considered a weakness. I personally know players who would never select a female character in a game because they think they aren’t strong enough. I also know a few people who haven’t come close to playing the Tomb Raider series because of Lara Croft. There is just a lot of negativity when it comes to women playing games in general.
However, Chainmail Bikini looks at the positive experiences of a group of women and what they learned from playing games. A total of 40 queer and non-binary cartoonists have contributed to the creation of this book. All of the stories are quite short which can be a good as well as a bad thing. If you don’t like a particular story then you won’t have to worry about it as it’ll end after a page or two, but if you enjoy a particular story then you’ll want to read more of it. Due to different people contributing to the book you might not like all of the art styles. Some even come across as doodles.
Chainmail Bikini: The Anthology of Women Gamers has content everyone can relate to. Whether you’re into D&D, Sims, Pokémon, or even LARPing, you’ll find something that’ll speak to you. A few of my favorites from the book are Let Me Do It, Reticulating Spines, Dream Suite, Achievement Unlock, and Hermia.
There aren’t a lot of books that focus on the female gaming experience. That is why I’m glad to see that the Kickstarter was successful and Chainmail Bikini was created. It has been nominated for the Annual Autostraddle Comic And Sequential Art Awards. So, go ahead and vote.
Have you read Chainmail Bikini yet? What did you think of it? Let us know!
Note: I received a review copy of Chainmail Bikini.
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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