Hi EoFF! I've been given an unexpected project at my new job, and I'd love your input - it's been so long since I've regularly played games; help a n00b out please.

My workplace (a university library) has a large gaming collection and some designated gaming spaces, and I have been tasked with thinking about how to make it a more inclusive space for women (although I am extending that mandate to push beyond the gender binary, and to be more inclusive of people of colour) and to promote the gaming collection as empathy-building and a collaborative learning tool. It has been observed that women are just not using the spaces at all, they are disproportionately and consistently dominated by men.

People can borrow games and peripherals to take home, or they can use our gaming spaces. The spaces are enclosed and you can probably comfortably have up to ten people in them, but one of them is a bit dark and hard to find. It also appears to me that you have to kind of already know that it exists, it hasn't really been promoted as well as it could have.

The systems that people can use or borrow include: STEAM, PS3, PS4, Wii U, X Box 360, X Bone, Vive, Hololens, Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear, Google Cardboard, and a bunch of other stuff I can't even identify yet.

I've thought of some obvious ideas to increase equity of use - buying a wider variety of games, organizing a conference or symposium to talk about women/genderqueer folks and STEM (like Geek Girl Con), inviting Anita Sarkeesian or like-minded scholars to come lecture, hosting a monthly gaming drop-in specifically for women/genderqueer folks, and marketing the hell out of all the cool toys we have.

With so many self-identified "Girl Gamers" here, I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask - what might make you interested in gaming at your library? Do you see any value in being able to try out new tech/games in a "safe space"? Do you ever feel particularly intimidated or empowered when you discuss/purchase/browse games? Do you have a dream gaming space?

I'm going to force myself to stop thinking about this for a while, it is quitting time, after all