Female Gamers Find Magic in Growing Numbers

By Emily Steele
Herald & Review, Decatur, Ill.

Defeat was inevitable.

Krystle Callarman could only watch as her opponent laid out a combination of cards on the table that dropped her life points to zero.

But after a quick laugh, they shuffled their Magic the Gathering cards, redrew and got back to strategizing rapid-fire attacks.

“There’s still so many things I learn,” she said.

That’s the atmosphere owners Kevin Callarman and his wife, Krystle, hope to cultivate at their Warrensburg game shop Board Knight, open since June.

With geek pop culture seeing a resurgence through TV shows such as “Big Bang Theory” or “King of the Nerds” or social media Star Trek veteran George Takei the time has never been better to embrace your inner dweeb.

A naturally competitive person, Brea Morris has been playing board games since she was a child, and in the past few years she and her husband have latched onto strategic games such as Magic and her favorite, Settlers of Catan.

“It became addicting really quickly,” Morris said, pointing to their 2,000 Magic cards as proof.

On most Friday Night Magic games, she is outnumbered by male players four to one.

For any novice player, that intense atmosphere can be overwhelming.

That’s why Krystle Callarman hosts a Lady Planeswalkers Society every Monday, where women and new players can learn to play the game in a more relaxed environment.

“It’ a fun no pressure kind of night where it was just us ladies getting to play,” Morris said.

That’s not to say the shop and its customers are unwilling to explain the rules or welcome beginners.

The shop has demo games free to play and the Callarmans spend time talking to everyone and exposing them to new games.

“We definitely spend a lot of time getting to know everyone who comes in,” Krystle Callarman said.

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