Queeng playing cards (Indiegogo)

Indiegogo works a little different than Kickstarter. For one thing they have their own in-house “preorder” system called InDemand that continues the momentum built from a funded campaign. Queeng funded in March and has stalled out in Pandemic Production Hell but one look at the numbers and you can see it really exploded after that point. The upside to the delay is that it gives you more time to get in on this unique update to the traditional deck of cards.

International variations exist around the world, but the Queeng deck is based on the English language 52 card deck. In that deck, the “court cards” are usually ranked with the male King as the highest value card, followed by the female Queen, and the male Jack. There was a time when that sort of paternalistic hierarchy was normal and accepted, but those days are long gone. Remember, the “modern” deck of cards is still hundreds of years old.

The name Queeng is a blending of QUEEn and kiNG. In the same way, The Queen and King cards have been renamed as the Monarch, with two female and two male Monarchs. The second court rank has been changed to Duke or Duchess, and the third rank has been changed to Prince or Princess. With both ranks also having two females and two males. The art on the Joker cards also feature a female and male. Because the actual hierarchy of the cards remains the same, a person can play any game that can be played now. It would be functionally no different than playing with a French deck which has the face cards labeled as Roi, Dame, and Valet.

The pledge levels are pretty straight forward: $15(USD) for a single deck, $28 for two, $34 for 3, $50 for four, or $100 for ten.

There have been two main complaints in the comments of this campaign (and its social media ads). The first is that there should be better communication regarding fulfillment. A little over a week ago there was a status update, and the original fulfilment date of April has been updated to July. The line between not enough communication and posting too many updates with no information to actually update varies by person.

The second is content. There are people who are upset that the face cards are all still white, or that there is no gender-neutral art. These are important issues, but they were never part of what this project set out to do. The cards are still based on French/English courts but wanted to acknowledge that women are not worth less than men, even in the structure of modern royalty. Maybe when this is fulfilled there will be new designs that address those concerns, but for now, this is a giant step forward.

The issue of content has also been brought up in a less productive manner. When I watched the video on social media I made a horrible mistake. Yes, THAT horrible mistake. I read the comments. I read the comments and was simply disgusted. The concerns I mentioned above were usually being expressed in a tone of disappointment more so than anger. But the number of people screaming at the young girl who created Queeng, that this was unnecessary or worse that women have no business being equal to men… just… No.

No way will I stand for that. So to those misogynistic regressives, I say thank you. Ordinarily, I would have nodded approvingly, but probably wouldn’t have shone our CrowdFUNding Spotlight on a funded project this close to completion. As a straight-presenting white male, I acknowledge my privilege in the views I hold. Both personally and professionally, I try to maintain a policy that acknowledges problematic material, and that also supports efforts to move away from it. What young Maayan has done in creating Queeng is taking those steps towards a more inclusive and equitable future. I applaud her efforts, and look forward to seeing where her path leads.

You can still back the Queeng deck of playing cards on Indiegogo right now.

Queeng playing cards are on Facebook, and there are even some work-in-progress peaks at the second edition there, which appears to be addressing some of the (legitimate) concerns people have brought up surrounding the first edition.