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Uproar And Outrage On Twitter, Why Do Men Dominate Game Industry?

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#1 cre8pc


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Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:57 AM

I saw some of this yesterday in my travels but didn't realize how one tweet exploded into a massive dialog, debate and participation by men and women.

What's sad to me is here we have another situation where women feel prevented from working in a tech field. I think any tech oriented company would want to hire the best talent, skills and expertise regardless of gender.

Here's the hoopla:

#1reasonwhy: the hashtag that exposed games industry sexism

The treatment of women in and by the video games industry has been a hot topic for most of the year – and for the last couple of days in particular. Hot on the heels of an Edge feature bemoaning and exploring the gender disparity in the video game industry, yesterday, women took to Twitter to talk about precisely why that might be.

It started out with game designer and Kickstarter games specialist Luke Crane, who asked a deceptively simple question on Twitter: why are there so few "lady game creators"? The responses ranged from the obvious to the oblique, and quickly spawned the hashtag #1reasonwhy, as dozens and then hundreds of women and men piled in with their own anecdotes and details.

Some themes emerged. Women talked about having their workdismissed and ignored, having designs for non-sexualised female characters rejected, their clothing and appearance being used to dismiss them on gender grounds, and, at the more extreme end, sexual harassment at conferences.

#2 DonnaFontenot


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Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:51 AM

I think this country is in for a big surprise and a big change. Women have had their eyes opened over the past year. Wouldn't surprise me at all if a decade from now, things look very different.

#3 iamlost


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Posted 29 November 2012 - 11:18 AM

Let's not get too carried away here. Twitter is but another name for tempest in a teapot. Of course it is a legitimate question, however a Twitter storm is almost always one sided. And while it is good that problems be aired publicly...

* given that there are more men in IT than women it is not surprising that:
---there are more men in programming
---there are more men in gaming development

* given that the most heavily targeted games demographic is young men it is not surprising that young men are more often involved in their creation.

Not withstanding the above there have, from the beginning as well as currently, always been women involved in all aspects of gaming, from top to bottom. Granted their influence (given that they make up ~12-14% of gaming development) is primarily seen in writing, i.e. Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Gears of War 3, or at the C-level. There are actually quite a few C level women in the gaming industry and have been for quite a while ...which rather begs a different question... or perhaps explains the changes that have actually occurred.

Women are about to become much more prevalent in game development for one simple reason: the successful symbiotic relationship between women and certain web based games, i.e. Farmville. Women gamers are now almost half the gamer market. And growing. Granted this is not as in-your-face as the first person shooter games advertised just as in-your-face but then those have always been the loud minority of the industry...

As more women play games, more women will be interested in making them. I see that originating Tweet more as a sign that change is underway, there being no reason for postulating something for which there isn't an audience. And there is an audience because the industry has and is changing, from consumer to executive suite.

#4 DonnaFontenot


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Posted 29 November 2012 - 11:58 AM

the most heavily targeted games demographic is young men

But it wouldn't be if men weren't controlling who to target.

#5 AbleReach


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Posted 29 November 2012 - 02:06 PM

The Guardian may not be the most balanced and level-headed source.

Check out this article citing Bonnie Ross and Kiki Wolfkill. Ross is the mom who runs Halo and Wolfkill is the executive producer.

Halo 4 devs speak out against sexism

"It can be dangerous to give adolescents a broadcast mechanism," Wolfkill added. "There are always going to be jerks out there, and if you give them a way to express that side of their personality without being seen, you're going to see this type of behaviour manifest itself."

For more background from the perspective of these two women at the top, if you're in the US you should be able to see this Nightline feature for the next few days. The first segment is an interview with Ross and Wolfkill.

Added - I googled for [kiki wolfkill twitter] to see if she had used the #1reasonwhy hashtag recently. I found an @k_wolfkill whop had tweeted this:

This is part of what can make Twitter such an amazing platform. #1ReasonMentorsWould love to help. You know where to find me!

Take a look at #1ReasonMentors. Lots of positive energy there!

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