[Featurama] Women in Games: A Community Collaboration

 

We at Twinfinite believe that everyone with a voice should be heard. Everyone. Lately, a huge social issue has been the focus of a significant amount of the industry. That issue is, of course, the role of women in video games. We’ve all heard about it and we all have opinions about it, so we thought that maybe it would be a good idea to compile not only our opinions on the issue, but the community’s, as well.

If you would like to contribute to our collaboration, we would love to publish your thoughts. Either post a comment on this post or, if you would like an extra layer of anonymity, e-mail responses to me: tyler@twinfinite.net. We only ask that you keep your responses somewhat brief — we do have several of them to compile, after all — and proofread to the best of your ability. Deadline for submissions is tomorrow at midnight, EST.

We truly care about our community and would love to give them a place to cast their voice.

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  • Andres Ruiz

    I was actually playing Vindictus the other day and some girl made her motto something like “GAMER GIRL FOR EVER I PLAY GAMES TOO.” You know, that shit. I instantly thought of Yami when I finished groaning.

    But anyway, does this have to do with women characters in video games with issues like sexualization? Or is this referring to women as being a part of the video game industry?

  • Tyler Humphrey

    More about women in the industry as a whole. Whether it’s playing, making, or actually /being/ in it.

  • manwithnoname

    I will say this: the problem with women in games is a lack of diversity in portrayals. If we had a more diverse variety of how women are portrayed, everything would be fine.

  • Andres Ruiz

    That’s one thing I enjoyed about Lightning from the Final Fantasy series. In many video games, female protagonists are often exploited as either a sex symbol or a damsel in distress. This Lightning character is actually very cold, calculating, serious business, focusing primarily on the objective. While some may call it boring, I actually found it to be a relief to see some variety in the portrayal of a female as manwithnoname pointed out.

    In regards to this though, it’s hard to find some ground that has not be previously covered.

    Although, you don’t hear very often about female game developers. We can name people like Tim Schafer, Katsuhiro Harada, Gabe Newell, Jonathan Blow, Dan Paldin, Tom Fulp, Shigeru Miyamoto, etc. as the men behind some of the best games in the industry, yet I can’t say I can name any one female game developer off the top of my head. Now, that is not to say that there aren’t any. Maybe they just aren’t publicized as often, but even then, why would that be the case? I doubt it’s some innate factor that makes females less inclined to participate in the video game industry, other than to be booth babes. I can believe that there just happen to be less. Honestly, so many blockbuster games that are released are made with two thirds programming and one third testosterone.

    It has simply become a matter of basic appeals and gender roles in society that leads me to believe that there will usually be more male hardcore gamers. I love it when games cater to anyone in particular, which is partly why I have such a soft spot for Nintendo. Their family oriented games really don’t discriminate. I probably know about as many girls that enjoy Super Smash Bros. as I know guys that do too. I also probably know more girls than guys that play Animal Crossing. Speaking of Animal Crossing, that’s a good example of something being targeted toward a specific audience. Now, I think it’s one of the most addictive, fun, and long-lasting games out there. Most games you play and dissect in about a month, but AC games have lasted me months to even years. A lot of guys might disregard a number of games like AC, LocoRoco, and even Portal 2 (yes, I had one friend who thought it would suck because he saw the adorable robots being adorable and not killing everything) because there isn’t a gratuitous amount of manliness on the cover. I know a lot of girls that might pick up a game because it looks cute, but then actually getting into it because it’s badass (You’re damn right Animal Crossing is badass). But I digress.

    I can’t say it’s a huge problem, but that also goes with saying that we just don’t see enough of it to really determine that anyway. I wouldn’t know if women have it tough making it in the video game industry because I don’t hear about many at all. Although, I wouldn’t expect it to be any more difficult. When you create games, you’re more anonymous than someone like a movie star. Maybe women have been the masterminds behind the greatest games of all time and we didn’t even know it, but it really doesn’t matter how much they are put out there.