Diversity in the Board Game industry


The Board Game/Tabletop industry has a reputation of being mostly made up of white males. Most tabletop games are designed by white males.  When I went to a few board game conventions and Board Game/Tabletop meet ups, most of the people are white males. However, you would be surprised there is diversity in the board game industry and it is growing. As an Asian board gamer, I celebrate it.

I would stress that I never felt intimidated nor experienced any racism when I went to conventions or meetups. In fact, the local conventions of Double Exposure is very open where bathrooms at the Hyatt are designated as gender neutral. Many LARPers (Live Action Role Players) and board gamers at these conventions are LGBT+. They call themselves Gaymers. 

Diversity should be celebrated and encouraged. I am not saying we should force others to buy or play games that are associated with designers and artists of diverse backgrounds. People should buy and play games they enjoy. We just need to be aware of diversity and be open-minded to it.

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

I did some research and want to share the many diverse people in the industry. I can't name everyone since there is so many, but feel free to share in the comments. They are not listed into any particular order.

Eric M. Lang - He is a living legend in the industry. He is African-Canadian and is CMON's Director of Game Design. He has designed games for CMON, Fantasy Flight Games, and WizKids. Many of the notable games he designed or co-designed are Blood Rage, Arcadia Quest, XCOM: the Board Game, Rising Sun, Marvel United, Cthulhu: Death May Die, and much more.

Elizabeth Hargrave - She is the designer of the game Wingspan, a bird-themed engine-building game published by Stonemaier Games that has won numerous awards in 2019. The game is so in demand, they can't seem to publish enough. Not only did a woman design this game, but the beautiful artwork was done by Ana Maria Martinez Jaramillo, Natalia Rojas, Beth Sobel.

George Chen and Hana Ihaya - These two Asian board gamers are half the team of the YouTube Channel, Inside the Box. Inside the Box is a comedy channel where they play their favorite board games to life with a mix of visual FX, cinematic presentation, and an alarmingly immature sense of humor. I have been a fan for a couple years. 

Hoby Chou and Vienna Chou - Hoby Chou loved the Stonemaier game called Scythe, but felt it was too complex for his daughter, Vienna. So he and his daughter designed and tested the game, My Little Scythe. He presented his prototype to Jamey Stegmaier of Stonemaier Games and he loved it so much, he published it.

Katie Khau - Katie Chau is a board game illustrator and graphic designer. She did the artwork for My Little Scythe as well as the graphic design for many games like Dead Man's Cabal and Mental Blocks. Not only that, she and Jessica Chu designed their own game called Heifer Heist.

Jonathan Ying - He is a game designer at Fantasy Flight Games who helped design the ever popular game, Star Wars: Imperial Assault. He is the sole designer of Doom: the Board Game and Bargain Quest.

Heather O'Neill - She is the CEO of 9th Level Games that publish small quirky card games. She helped designed games like Kobolds Ate My Baby! RPG line, the Schrödinger’s Cats card game, the Knuckle Sammich card game, and the Cthulhu for President RPG!


Isaac Vega - He is a Hispanic and openly gay game designer who works for Plaid Hat Games. He is most well known for designing the Dead of Winter series of games. 

Kwanchai Moriya - He is a prolific board game artist and well-known in the industry. He has done the artwork of many games. Most famous are Dinosaur Island, Bosk, Duelosaur Island, The Game, Pret-a-Porter and more. You can see his artwork here.

Grace Holdinghaus - She works hard for Fantasy Flight Games and is co-designer for The Lord of The Rings: Journeys in Middle-Earth which is a favorite game of mine and Mansions of Madness.

Omari Akil - He is an African-American designer of the new game, Rap Godz which will be available this year. He also founded his own tabletop game company called Board Game Brothas which is publishing his game.

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This list doesn't doesn't come even close to show how diverse the board game community is. I would love to see others point out some know designers, artists, bloggers, etc.

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