Mary Flanagan Brings New Audiences to Board Games with MONARCH: The First Pro-Girl Board Game

World-Renowned Expert in Game Design Creates a Revolutionary Experience For All Players

SHORT Title: Mary Flanagan releases first pro-girl board game


BROOKLYN NEW YORK 9th February 2015 – Mary Flanagan, the contemporary artist and Dartmouth professor known also for her game research lab, brings her extraordinary creative insight to create the first “Pro-Girl Board Game.” Known for her thinking on why the ‘Pinkification’ of toys hurts women, Flanagan brings forth a new generation in board gaming for all.

Monarch® is a smart strategy game set in a mythical world. Players adopt the role of daughters of a dying queen who must prove their worthiness to rule by making their shared realm most prosperous. Blending ideas of past and present and images of East and West, the world of Monarch is a woman’s answer to the popular epics offered by the media such as Game of Thrones.

It shouldn’t be revolutionary in 2015 that all of Monarch’s protagonists are women. Among strategy board games, though, it’s common practice for publishers to cater to a mostly-male audience in their games, and refer to the players exclusively as ‘he’ in the rules. While some board games at least depict characters of different genders, few if any feature a cast of strong women protagonists who have opportunities for complex decision-making. In the sisters’ interaction, there is a mixture of joint responsibility through the narrative, as well as competition. In other words, it can appeal to many types of play styles.

“Board games have enjoyed a popular resurgence, and I think they are ready for strong female characters,” Flanagan says, especially given that other media have robust female characters from films like Frozen to detective shows like Castle.

Monarch positions its female characters have power and agency–a welcome break from popular culture’s typical princesses. The sisters in Monarch are challenged to take on strategies ranging from cultivating the land to mastering aspects of their culture.

“Game players regularly take on diverse roles– farmers, as in the game Agricola, to Jack the Ripper in the game Letters from Whitechapel. It is fun to get inside the heads of competing sisters for a change, especially in a rich pan-cultural fantasy world that Monarch offers,” says Flanagan. “Our research confirmed that players of all genders across a wide age range, and with different game experience levels, enjoy Monarch equally. Being pro-girl can be fun for male players too.”

Monarch offers an utterly unique concept that is close to realization. Flanagan is currently seeking crowd funding for Monarch on The game is categorized by early reviewers as a Euro-style game, a more engaging generation of board games exemplified by Settlers of Catan. High donors to the Kickstarter campaign will be able to become part of the game as ‘unwanted guests’ that sisters can send on to their rivals’ courts.

Support the game and learn more on Kickstarter.

Mary Flanagan
Game Designer/Inventor