Shutting Down Gender Focus

by | April 1, 2011
filed under Feminism

Tie-Dyed clothing: one of the items to look for in Hornby Island Bingo

April Fool’s Post: It’s with mixed feelings that I write this post to let you know about my plans to stop writing/editing for Gender Focus. The site will remain up but I won’t be adding any new content after this post.

A couple of weeks ago I visited my family on Hornby Island, a popular BC summer vacation destination, where I came up with the game Hornby Island Bingo, where you get points for finding things unique to Hornby, in a twist on the classic road trip game.  My siblings and I played it mostly on Twitter, under the hashtag #hornbyislandbingo, taking pictures of items like tie-dyed pajamas and murals of environmentalists.

I didn’t think much of it at the time, but just a few days after coming back to Vancouver I was approached by Toronto-based Village Games, who said they might be interested in paying me to develop actual materials for a physical version of Hornby Island Bingo, with the potential for this leading to other projects in boardgame design.

If you’ve followed the blog for a while you might know that I’ve been really into board games for the last couple of years. Getting this offer made me realize that I have the opportunity to be more than just a casual game player and feminist game critic; maybe I could change the masculine board gaming culture from the inside. And have some fun while I’m at it.

So while I’ve really enjoyed working on Gender Focus and sharing my thoughts and opinions with you and hearing your perspectives for the past year and a half, I know enough about myself to know I can’t keep both balls in the air. I’m going to have to concentrate on the game designing in my spare time, and I’ve already got some ideas I’m really excited about.

First I’ll be building a website to help publicize my efforts, tentatively to be called These Foolish Games. I’ve also got an idea for a children’s game involving stacking hedgehogs, and a feminist trivia game for teenagers.

I’ll miss running the blog but I hope you’ll understand. I’ll still be checking comments on here if you need to reach me. And if you’d like to follow my progress on my game designing projects, feel free to follow me on Twitter at @jarrahsgames.

In sisterhood and solidarity,


P.S. I’m still following through on this week’s book contest. Will announce the winner this weekend.