Year in Review: Year One

by Frances Moritz and Marinda Darnell

Marinda's take on the past year

A year has come and gone. While it seems like it was just a month ago that Frances and I were attending the GAMA Trade Show (GTS) in Las Vegas, it has actually been six months. Six months before that, a year this month actually, we rolled out the first issue of The Lady Gamer. Stopping to look back now, I am still amazed that this will be our twelfth issue, and that we are still here.

Sometime during the summer of 2004, Frances sent me one of her numerous e-mails (we chat via e-mail). This e-mail was different though. She wanted to start a webzine based on women gamers. The thought was to more prominently show the viewpoints of women gamers, and hopefully encourage more to join the hobby. My initial thought was that Frances was crazy. Where were we going to find writers? I knew that Frances would be the web designer, given her skills. Not only would we need more writers, but also proofreaders, article ideas, and the time to do it all. All of the women gamers I knew were very busy either with work, actual gaming, or their families. Before I knew it, I had said that this was an interesting idea, and Frances was running with it. She sent a link to a sample website, and we initially did all of the discussion using a private LiveJournal community. As the staff and scope of the webzine grew, we moved to better platforms for secure communication. Throughout the year, we've added more staff, to our current twelve, and our readership has expanded.

Frances and I attended GTS back in March. While we were there, the scope of what we were undertaking really hit me hard. Entering the press room, we saw people representing magazines on & offline with readerships in the thousands a week. It was somewhat intimidating. All the people, with the exception of one company, were genuinely happy to see us attend, and were very encouraging. Leaving Las Vegas that week, I felt like we were on the right track for most things, and had a definite idea on what we needed to change for others.

Overall, I think we've had a good start. We've made some mistakes, learned, and grown from them. For the next year, I know I will be focusing on improving my individual writing, and hopefully expanding our staff to share the burden and joy of what we do. The future looks bright, and will only get brighter.

Frances's take on the past year

Having presented the idea to Marinda over e-mail, I took the next step on August 2nd and showcased the idea to various lady gamers via LiveJournal. The original name I was contemplating was Gaming Ladies; we went through several other possibilities, including Diamond Dice, Gamer Ladies, and The Lady Gamer. The general consensus was that The Lady Gamer best reflected our purpose, so we went ahead with that as the name. We spent the next couple months planning the layout, the types of articles we'd have, getting our gamer biographies written up, and rolled out on October 4th.

The initial plan was for a bimonthly magazine. But we received such favorable feedback when we rolled out that we immediately switched to monthly. There's certainly no shortage of inspiration in the gaming industry to inspire a monthly (or more frequent, but we're not there yet!) magazine. And when it comes down to it, that's who we have to thank for our success this first year: the gaming companies that inspire us and the conventions that brought many of us together (mostly in the game room, of course).

And now I'm going to take advantage of my position and pick on people. For starters, if you see someone in our staff list who you haven't seen an article by, they're probably one of our proofreaders. We wouldn't want to be here without them. As for our writers, I'd like to highlight some articles that stand out in my mind as worth reading again:

Of course, we have a lot more great articles in our archives; these are just a few that stand out in my mind. Take a look, enjoy them, and I hope you'll enjoy our second year just as much, if not more.

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