Teen creates world’s first gender-neutral playing cards

Teen creates world’s first gender-neutral playing cards

The young player has dreamt of seeing playing cards become more diverse – and made her dream a reality.


Today, we live in a world where it’s important to make everyone feel included. Gender roles are proving to be more and more complex and as the world strives to become a better place for those struggling to adapt to generic gender roles, people like Maayan Segal is changing the world one small step at a time as the 16-year-old has created playing cards that are gender neutral.

The young adult has just released the the second iteration of her playing card deck, 'Queeng' - a deck of cards that embraces both diversity and gender equality.

The new edition comes three years after the first deck was released, which saw the king and queen become equal, two of the standard four jacks became princesses, and a female joker was introduced. The idea became a massive success, selling 50,000 decks around the world.

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However, feedback revealed that Segal’s playing cards weren’t fully inclusive.

"Though we got a lot of great feedback, we also heard from some supporters that our cards were not actually totally equal," Segal wrote on her Indiegogo campaign page. "I realized that a diversified representation of ethnicities wasn't there, like it doesn't exist. This doesn't actually represent the people of the world as we really are, and if we are going to give kids these cards to hold in their hands and play with, don't we want them to see an accurate depiction of the world?"


Segal admits that the idea for the playing cards came after she was enjoying an afternoon playing cards with her father when she asked him why the queen card is worth less than the king.

She admits that both she and her father couldn’t come up with an answer and that the question opened a bigger conversation about gender equality.

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"When my daughter began to have questions about not only gender equality but also when we were playing card games as a family, the importance of educating young kids that men and women are equally powerful was apparent," Uri Segal, Maayan's father and co-founder of Queeng, said in a statement. "Instead of brushing it off and explaining it was just a game, I knew that it was actually so much more than that and it would be impactful to create something that would accurately represent gender and racial equality."

In Segal's deck, ‘Monarch’ cards, which can be male or female, replace the value of former king cards. ‘Dutchess’ or ‘Duke’ cards replace queen cards, and ‘Prince’ or ‘Princess’ cards replace jack cards.

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Now, as she prepares to launch the second edition of Queeng, Segal explains that this time, the cards are not only gender neutral, but racially and ethnically diverse as well. "We went back to the drawing board and started from scratch," Segal wrote. "We wanted to make a deck that truly represents our world and celebrates our beautiful range of cultures and appearances!"

Image courtesy: Queeng

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