Coding Clementines: Black Girls Make Games, Too

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Coding Clementines: Black Girls Make Games, Too

There are organizations making a concerted effort to get young female African-Americans into the world of game programming at an early age.

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Maybe I'm just getting old in my mid-20s or something, but I'm kinda getting sick of all these divisions in the gaming community. The whole idea of the gaming community is to have a mix of people of all walks of life enjoying their passion for video games, yet people seem obsessed with dragging their personal lives into the fold and forming their own barriers around their respective "groups". Girl gamers, minority gamers, gaymers, etc. I'm not saying I don't get why they do it (fear of being ostracized from a community formerly dominated by white males), but we're never gonna make progress towards a truly diverse, inter-mixed community of gamers if we're constantly focused on splitting ourselves up.

It's one thing to insist on social progress with things like "more female protags" and the like (all of which is fair), it's quite another to be forcibly separating ourselves into exclusive gated communities like we do. Drives me crazy that, for all of the progress society as a whole made towards integrating people of every race, gender, creed, etc, modern society now seems totally obsessed with separating ourselves apart once again.

CriticKitten:

It's one thing to insist on social progress with things like "more female protags" and the like (all of which is fair), it's quite another to be forcibly separating ourselves into exclusive gated communities like we do. Drives me crazy that, for all of the progress society as a whole made towards integrating people of every race, gender, creed, etc, modern society now seems totally obsessed with separating ourselves apart once again.

I think the article is more of a baby-steps kind of approach to it though. It did take a long time for modern society to form the way it did, even now. Even then, some are still racist.

I don't mind this kind of thing as a whole, as long as it coalesces(if that's the word) into better acceptance for these people. I'm not sure how it could do it, but if they make games that sell well, I think they will be.

But I will agree that things are getting more echo-chamber-y for lack of a better way to say it.

Fantastic work. Giving opportunities to young people of color for education outside of a classroom curriculum is brilliant, especially something that relates to real skills and makes more career fields seem possible. And putting people that can be seen as role models into the leadership roles is so hugely important. This is a great project.

I guess all the poor white female children will just have to get by, they are not exactly represented in the games industry either. An end to racial divisions by ostracising the children at a young age and perpetuating that ''we'' are not like ''them'' . . . fantastic. I am not knocking the actual work he is doing with these children by any means but could it not have just been girls instead of just black girls. Does it not just send the wrong message.

Personally I would like the games industry to be taken out of the hands of the Bros that run it currently. A little less of Brodom would potentially open up new genres of games. That said I do hope that games are just being used as hook to get people into coding in general. The number of people that actually make to be games designers is very small and a working knowledge of PHP and SQL is more likely to pay the bills in the long run. Being a games designer is rapidly becoming like going to hollywood to be a movie star. There is nothing wrong with ambition but a certain amount of realism is needed as well.

It's an interesting article, and would actually benefit from not having such an aggressive race angle to it. The truth is that the industry isn't "unwelcoming to blacks" or anything of the sort. It's more accurate to say there aren't many Blacks who have sought careers within the industry. Something that applies to well... a lot of things.

Guys like Bill Cosby (who I reference frequently despite disagreeing with him on many things, but you should read his stuff on children's education and black culture) have tackled the subject on a few occasions. At the end of the day the problem is that black culture conditions black kids to think that becoming educated and working is in some way a failure. It's either noble to be part of the 1% if you have the talent, or to try and wind up there by force and working outside the system. Simply going to work and being like everyone else is in some cases portrayed as akin to slavery, except the bullwhip is replaced by a paycheck someone holds over your head. I've talked about it before, but Bill Cosby (who has donated tons of money to education, having a PHD in Children's Education, and having at one time invented things like "Picture Pages" and the like) furthermore goes on to talk about things like how despite people literally lining up to give things to black America, textbooks and computers by the truckload, the black youth tends to itself destroy these things as being tantamount to oppression. The so called "git rich or die trying" attitude, where it's considered more noble to wind up face down in a ghetto with a gun in your hand and drugs in your pocket than to work a 9 to 5 job.

I find it noteworthy in that kind of context that the children who responded were younger, probably because they had become less jaded by that culture and it's message already. But at the same time because they also haven't received a dose of reality yet. The bottom line being that for everyone who puts in the work to do something like become a game designer, and really, really, wants it, maybe .5% are actually going to get there, and that might even be too many. Rather the skills you learn in pursuit of a dream like that are likely to wind up making you employed as someone's secretary or working as a techie for something like "The Geek Squad" at Best Buy, if you get into the industry your more likely to wind up as a line coder than a Peter Molyneux or other big time game designer. Of course it DOES represent a practical, and employable skill set, even if you don't use it as you dream. Like most people you pursue one thing, and wind up doing something similar but lower on the totem pole, starting out doing it "temporarily" and then going "wow, it's been 10 years". Sort of like how I was a forensics major and wound up working casino security.

The thing is though that the way you tend to wind up with a serious racial representation in a given field is when people of a given type, whites, blacks, Asians, whatever, all wind up going after the same thing. Given enough time and interest some of them eventually make it through and with persistence over generations start to have more influence on given industries. A big part of it though is that a given group of people have to be willing to fit into society as a whole, and of course understand that in chasing the dream they are likely to wind up living 9 to 5 like everyone else. The point of Bill Cosby's writings and such is that by and large black culture doesn't encourage rolling those dice, and as a result you don't see blacks moving up in that many professions that people argue are "hostile". The culture largely being responsible for why most successful blacks tend to be in entertainment or athletics from natural talent or on the bottom rungs of society with limited representation in everything else in between... exceptions of course exist, but that's the general rule and it's self imposed. You don't see the level of conformity that leads to those "dice" being rolled and the success stories in various fields occurring. Limited representation in comics? Well how many aspiring black artists do you know who have put in the time and effort despite the probable failure (which is the case for everyone)? How many black guys that want to be game designers do you know, who again are of course likely to fail, but help fill out the ambition pool?

The point here is that it's a GOOD thing that these kids are being trained and being shown the potential in the profession, and are likely picking up skills that will serve them in some capacity even if it's not game design. If this happens enough you will see a few make it through to be game designers. HOWEVER saying it's the game industry that is closed or presenting a "hostile environment" is unfair, aggressive, and wrong. As Bill Cosby has pointed out (albeit in different words) the civil rights war is pretty much over, the major battles won, now is what everyone always said would be the hard part and to fit into society, and take those hard won opportunities. Equal rights wasn't about being on top, but to be like everyone else... and that means you try your best, and roll your dice like everyone else, some people get their dreams, most become cogs in the machine called society, but live on pretty comfortably and contribute to the whole.

Yeah, but what about obese black girls?

The thing about certain people not working in certain industries has a lot to do with a lot of different variables, not just what conditions meet the industry requirements. Its all about opportunity and interest and seeing how there is still a lot of differences to what part of the cities each race is predominantly raised no wonder you see more white people having more opportunities to enter the gaming industry if interested.

I dont think anyone would ever be suprised to see a black female coder as if it was an eclipse, they are certainly not many but no one is holding them back, the thing is that someone needs to go to them and tell them that if they want they can code games (something that needs to be told to every kid when they dont know what they want to be when they grow up) and see if they are interested (basicly what you did in that camp).

I for one am extremely happy to see these programs happening, and as a gamer and nerd that also moves in a lot of social justice circles I hope to see a lot more such camps and programs in the future.

Ok I have to say reading the comments I'm surprised. I expect more of a circle (you know what) about how group X is being picked on. Same well that bad an group Y is evil for picking on group X when Y having it's own troble and does not even care about group X because group why trying to keep it's self afloat. Then again I'm see more people find it easier to try and blame other then do any work on fixing the problem.

I dunno, I find it a bit offensive to refer to African-american girls as "Clementines".
That's like referring to to Asian men as "Jackie Chans"

Congratulations on being black and female and making games, I guess.

You're right up there with the hispanic, gay guys making games.

And the M->F trans albino asian bisexuals making games.

And the arab cis Hare Krishna males making games.

And the Indian a-sexual blind Sikh bearded 95 year old women making games.

... I think people would stop making race and gender such a thing if people stopped making it as though race and gender is such an important fucking thing.

Wasn't Clementine mixed anyway? She was even voiced by the talented Melissa Hutchinson, whose Walking Dead entry reminds us that she is Caucasian-American http://walkingdead.wikia.com/wiki/Melissa_Hutchison

Regardless, I do notice the disparity in video game character appearances but is there really a racial disparity in the game dev talent pool? And if so, are we certain it's due to a "harsh and discouraging world"?

I feel like a dolt for even putting it this way, but speaking as a college student, there's plenty of black people - and every other kind of people - attending courses for game design where I'm at, the environment couldn't be more fair or relaxed. Is there a serious lack of schooling in New Jersey? There shouldn't be. It's one of the richest states in the country, and Chicago isn't far behind. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_income

Is the author referring to some kind of economic disparity between specific students? Because most people at my school are here on student loans, including myself, and judging by her description of children being able to afford a summer camp and "iPads and 3DSs" they have more money than I do, and are getting more scholarships to boot.

I'm not convinced these black girls need help, I'm almost green with envy. They have a headstart and an opportunity I'll never have.

hickwarrior:
I think the article is more of a baby-steps kind of approach to it though. It did take a long time for modern society to form the way it did, even now. Even then, some are still racist.

Preface: I get what you're saying and don't disagree. But....

There will always be some who believe in stupid things like racism. Hell, some people to this day still believe the Sun revolves around the Earth, which is a mistaken scientific belief many hundreds of years old by this point. Ignorance literally never dies.

My problem with this article is that it acts as if the industry has been physically oppressing black children and telling them that they're not allowed to become game designers....which is patently false. Like I said, it's fostering and encouraging the organization of people into their own little gated communities. Here's where all the little white kids go, here's where the blacks go, etc. It's extremely backwards in a society where the Civil Rights battles have already long since ended, and anyone can choose to be whatever the hell they want.

I'm just sick of people making it sound they've been "oppressed" or "forced" into not going into a particular industry when there are absolutely no legal or social barriers to them entering the position whatsoever. The writer should perhaps consider that maybe the black community doesn't value the idea of a career in the game industry as much as other societies, and frankly, there's not really anything wrong with that. We can all be equal and still have our own values and preferences. It's not like each industry has to fulfill a bloody "quota" for each race, religion, and creed before we can truly declare the world "equal". Nor should we be giving "advantages" to certain groups because of their race, religion, or creed just to push them into particular career paths.

Heck, I'd argue the article itself is arguably more racist than the gaming community it's taking jabs at. I play MMOs with guildmates who live in basically every region of the planet, we pal around and crack jokes and make jabs at each other regularly. None of us would consider each other "racists" by any means, though we'll occasionally mock each other's nationalities for funsies because we know that none of us mean it. Compare that to this article: Who in their right mind refers to an entire group of people by one particular member of their race/religion/creed? When's the last time you saw an article referring to Asian girls who want to work in the industry as the "Knives Chaus" of our day and age?

Yeah....the writer seems to have a bit of a victim complex here. I have seen exactly zero evidence, both in this article and otherwise, that the gaming industry is unwelcoming to blacks. Why ruin a perfectly good article about bringing education to less fortunate kids with an unwarranted attack on the industry for perceived racism, and then proceed to provide no evidence whatsoever? Does it feel good to imply that others are racist if you don't have your way? Have you even bothered considering socioeconomic or cultural factors?

Also, what the hell is up with blanket-naming all black female programmers as Clementines? I guess the idea is to force racial identity onto that group, regardless of whether or not they want to use that as their identity. Have you considered that maybe they might just want to be identified as skilled professionals?

UberPubert:

I feel like a dolt for even putting it this way, but speaking as a college student, there's plenty of black people - and every other kind of people - attending courses for game design where I'm at, the environment couldn't be more fair or relaxed. Is there a serious lack of schooling in New Jersey? There shouldn't be. It's one of the richest states in the country, and Chicago isn't far behind. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_income

Speaking as one of its residents, New Jersey is actually kind of a shithole. It may be one of the richest states, but the cost of living is also higher and there's a large income disparity. New Jersey's inner city high schools are frightening to behold...

dyre:

Speaking as one of its residents, New Jersey is actually kind of a shithole. It may be one of the richest states, but the cost of living is also higher and there's a large income disparity. New Jersey's inner city high schools are frightening to behold...

Thanks for the post

But still, really? Even the median income listed is huge! Far and above the national average, at any rate. I can't even imagine what the rent would have to be like...

UberPubert:

dyre:

Speaking as one of its residents, New Jersey is actually kind of a shithole. It may be one of the richest states, but the cost of living is also higher and there's a large income disparity. New Jersey's inner city high schools are frightening to behold...

Thanks for the post

But still, really? Even the median income listed is huge! Far and above the national average, at any rate. I can't even imagine what the rent would have to be like...

Well, our cost of living is something around 30% over the national average (or at least it was a few years ago), which is pretty significant. And it's not that all of NJ is poor; there are some super wealthy suburbs...but a lot of the cities (Newark, Jersey City, Elizabeth, etc) are really in a sorry state. One can never underestimate the effects of income inequality and cost of living. I'm sure there are people in other countries thinking "what the fuck, the United States has poverty? But its median income is huge!"

I don't really know how this compares to the rest of NJ or the country so this is purely anecdotal, but right now the rent on my pretty-nice-but-hardly-luxurious two bedroom apartment (which I share with roommates) is $2000/month.

So wait.

Woman opens school to offer free programming classes to women: Bad because 'sexist' against men. Disregarding the massive swing of males to females in this stream, which the program attempts to mitigate.

Black man opens school to offer programming to black girls: Bad because 'sexist' against black boys AND 'racist' against whites. Despite the fact that not only is it encouraging more little girls to take an interest in programming, but engaging girls from a minority to get involved so we might have a better representation of ethnicities in our games in the future as well as fostering more women in gaming.

Forgive me, but...I don't see why anyone would have a problem with either of these.
And I'm a white male.

Please, give me a valid, well argued viewpoint about why as a first step towards balancing the playing field for those who on the whole are underrepresented and dissuaded from these roles by virtue of sex or colour, is a bad thing. Because I genuinely don't see how you can argue against any of these unless you're just pissed off they don't cater to the overwhelming white male majority too. Which seems pretty antithetical to the whole idea of giving minority groups a leg up to actually compete an a white male dominated market.

1Life0Continues:
Please, give me a valid, well argued viewpoint about why as a first step towards balancing the playing field for those who on the whole are underrepresented and dissuaded from these roles by virtue of sex or colour, is a bad thing.

You're right on the underrepresented front but entirely wrong about the dissuaded part.

Just because your particular race/gender is not represented in an industry in a proportional number is no cause for you to offer incentive programs/scholarships towards that particular demographic.

It isn't race or gender that defines you - it's money. What this program teaches you is that if you're poor you're better off being poor, black and female than being poor, white and male... and you don't fight racial/gender disparity by creating another one.

You shouldn't combat a perceived unfairness by creating a real one.

dyre:
I don't really know how this compares to the rest of NJ or the country so this is purely anecdotal, but right now the rent on my pretty-nice-but-hardly-luxurious two bedroom apartment (which I share with roommates) is $2000/month.

Alright, that's a little crazy. Without saying too much about where I live, with a quick glance over stuff in my area, 2k will get you something like three beds and two baths in a gated apartment complex with a nice pool.

I totally get that there's definitely going to be some poverty in even the richest states, but New Jersey just doesn't spring to mind. Maybe it's just a matter of me thinking these kinds of educational resources could be better spent elsewhere - and let's be completely honest, they probably could - but the racial overtones and hints at affluence in the article leave me unconvinced.

UberPubert:

dyre:
I don't really know how this compares to the rest of NJ or the country so this is purely anecdotal, but right now the rent on my pretty-nice-but-hardly-luxurious two bedroom apartment (which I share with roommates) is $2000/month.

Alright, that's a little crazy. Without saying too much about where I live, with a quick glance over stuff in my area, 2k will get you something like three beds and two baths in a gated apartment complex with a nice pool.

I totally get that there's definitely going to be some poverty in even the richest states, but New Jersey just doesn't spring to mind. Maybe it's just a matter of me thinking these kinds of educational resources could be better spent elsewhere - and let's be completely honest, they probably could - but the racial overtones and hints at affluence in the article leave me unconvinced.

Yeah, having looked over the article again, these particular students seem to be doing relatively well for themselves. If they actually own the gear that they're using, I must say I agree that this money could be spent better (elsewhere in NJ, even).

Back in high school I volunteered as a violin coach (I was rather good at violin) in an inner city youth orchestra and quite a few of the kids couldn't afford to buy their own instruments, which in most cases would have been around a $200 or $300 investment. Obviously a violin is a bit of a "luxury" good but if the kids were committing four hours a week for rehearsal in addition to practicing at home and they couldn't afford a violin, well, that seems like poverty to me. But perhaps it's just my aristocratic New Jerseyan sensibilities :P

Houseman:
I dunno, I find it a bit offensive to refer to African-american girls as "Clementines".
That's like referring to to Asian men as "Jackie Chans"

Or all middle eastern people as "Hadjis" (Hadji was Jonny quest's friend)

Abomination:

1Life0Continues:
Please, give me a valid, well argued viewpoint about why as a first step towards balancing the playing field for those who on the whole are underrepresented and dissuaded from these roles by virtue of sex or colour, is a bad thing.

You're right on the underrepresented front but entirely wrong about the dissuaded part.

Just because your particular race/gender is not represented in an industry in a proportional number is no cause for you to offer incentive programs/scholarships towards that particular demographic.

It isn't race or gender that defines you - it's money. What this program teaches you is that if you're poor you're better off being poor, black and female than being poor, white and male... and you don't fight racial/gender disparity by creating another one.

You shouldn't combat a perceived unfairness by creating a real one.

Really good point. I live in a country that is predominantly white and their is a huge level of disparity and it's all down to wealth. It's easier for you to get through college and end up on top if you start off middle class, it's a sad fact.

As far as I am concerned racism has been beaten, it is a thing of the past. Sure there will always be ignorant people but now any one from any race can climb to any position if they really want to. Racism was last centuries problem, class divide is this ones.

I'm in science research and their is a mix where I work, you name it and someone from that country does/has worked there. Are black females underrepresented sure (I can think of 2) but dissuaded not a chance.

Hixy:

Abomination:

1Life0Continues:
Please, give me a valid, well argued viewpoint about why as a first step towards balancing the playing field for those who on the whole are underrepresented and dissuaded from these roles by virtue of sex or colour, is a bad thing.

You're right on the underrepresented front but entirely wrong about the dissuaded part.

Just because your particular race/gender is not represented in an industry in a proportional number is no cause for you to offer incentive programs/scholarships towards that particular demographic.

It isn't race or gender that defines you - it's money. What this program teaches you is that if you're poor you're better off being poor, black and female than being poor, white and male... and you don't fight racial/gender disparity by creating another one.

You shouldn't combat a perceived unfairness by creating a real one.

Really good point. I live in a country that is predominantly white and their is a huge level of disparity and it's all down to wealth. It's easier for you to get through college and end up on top if you start off middle class, it's a sad fact.

As far as I am concerned racism has been beaten, it is a thing of the past. Sure there will always be ignorant people but now any one from any race can climb to any position if they really want to. Racism was last centuries problem, class divide is this ones.

I'm in science research and their is a mix where I work, you name it and someone from that country does/has worked there. Are black females underrepresented sure (I can think of 2) but dissuaded not a chance.

You know, it's thoughts like these that have me convinced that we don't get better as a society, even with all the knowledge at hand.

It's unbelievably easy to say that racism is over, but please don't act like you live in a historical vacuum. While I agree class divide (or rather wealth divide) is our current problem, it doesn't spring out of nowhere, nor does it end with 'last century'. Institutionalised racism (sounds more menacing, doesn't it?) has far more tangible effects on where we are now than blanket, individual perspectivised racism.

Your posturing over racial equality amounts to ignorance, really. Your factoid about whites experiencing wealth disparity is nothing new; hell, it's as old as any civilization of caucasians. The very fact that you CAN draw racial lines across the wealth gap issue should raise a flag to you, a history of institutionalised racism (that, speaking for the US, ended only around half a century ago, and only decades ago in some other places) might prompt you to start research.

But hey, this is the Escapist now. Quibbling over racial preference, when a guy taught kids that it could be awesome to make games.

But the self-congratulations over this opinion is the real SMH moment...

Well this thread is... disappointing.

People: just because this person is drawing attention to and working with one demographic does not mean they don't recognise that other groups also need help, or even that there are bigger problems that also need dealing with. They're just choosing to focus on this one. That is not a bad thing.

The sort of logic in this thread is what leads to people telling feminists that they should all be focussing on FGM all the time, or telling LGBT campaigners to stop banging on about marriage equality because being gay is still a crime in some parts of the world.

People can care about multiple issues at once. Choosing to focus on one (particularly one with which they have experience and maybe feel qualified and able to personally help with) doesn't mean they only recognise that issue, and criticising them for not dealing with the stuff you think they should be dealing with is not helping anyone.

Seriously guys, how about instead of criticising this guy we acknowledge that he's trying to help, and do what we can to encourage other such initiatives that also help other groups?

Fuck I thought Clementine was Mexican, shit I should probably get my eyes checked.

These article titles are becoming increasingly click-baity. Linking this to Walking Dead's Clementine (who was mixed-race at most anyway, surely?) is tenuous and trivialises what is actually quite an encouraging and positive article.

Programming skills are seen as one of the curriculum areas that are currently the worst taught and correspondingly an area where children have the lowest attainment. I can't find it within myself to feel negative about an initiative to improve those skills, even if there's an argument to be made that however broadly or narrowly the organisers pitch the event, somebody's going to feel excluded ("Waaah, what about upper-middle class otherkin Bronies called Samuel, look, I'm being oppressed!").

If anybody feels disappointed that this wasn't aimed at Native American girls or Pacific Islander boys or whatever, go ahead and do it yourself. The organisers of this event had no obligation to run the workshop at all, let alone for your chosen demographic; so it's a positive thing they did, and a fine example to follow for anybody else who would like to run something similar in their local area for whatever group they feel needs it.

Anyway, although race shouldn't be an issue, it is. Although I'm of the opinion that equality of outcome is something that shouldn't be forced, equality of opportunity is something that we can legitimately take steps to even out. And, if nothing else, initiatives like this prove wrong the claim that the STEM field isn't making efforts to diversify and woo women and minorities.

Wait, Clementine is black?

CriticKitten:
yet people seem obsessed with dragging their personal lives into the fold and forming their own barriers around their respective "groups". Girl gamers, minority gamers, gaymers, etc. I'm not saying I don't get why they do it (fear of being ostracized from a community formerly dominated by white males)

The problem with this logic is that assumes that all the dirty racism, sexism, homophobia and general bigotry in gaming and its audience has disappeared. Like, it's not actually a problem that deserves to be addressed anymore because it has been "solved."

It.

Has.

Not.

It's very nice to assume that racism, sexism, and homophobia has gone away because you don't notice it, or you don't feel it. Because I mean, walking down the street of a modern-day American city, you'd be hardpressed to actually see the results of such things; playing videogames, talking about videogames, it all feels like nothing's wrong, especially to people whom racism and sexism does not effect. If you're a white straight guy playing the new Tomb Raider you'd just be like "yeah, this is fine!" And that's cool. No-one wants to say you should feel guilty for liking stuff.

But not noticing it, not feeling its harm, does not mean others aren't noticing it; aren't being harmed by it. There would be no need for, for example, this group, if it was not made to actually combat a problem: there aren't enough opportunities for young, black girls to get into programming. It's an increasingly prevalent profession in a rapidly growing variety of industries, so it's pretty important to make sure black girls are given that heads up.

Don't ever think that the problem does not exist because you don't see a need for a solution; that you don't think the problem is there in the first place. Don't think that because it's important to someone and not you, that it isn't important. The line "check your privilege" has been used by many people for many reasons, but I can't help but notice that people dismiss it without actually taking the time to do so. Check your privilege. Take some time for introspection; look back on your life, what it was you may have been given that others weren't. Take a look at what might be invisible for you because you haven't the experience or the perspective. It's become so dirty to say but genuinely, check your privilege; do some soul searching, know how lucky you are.

You might be unlucky in a lot of places; you could be depressed, you could be fat, checking privilege is not the same as acknowledging you're better off than everyone all the time and you have no right to a voice when talking about minority issues, bullying. But gay men can be viciously sexist. Fat people can be horrifically body-shaming. I think it's just good advice in general to count your blessings, and try to understand that some problems may not be visible to you because... it's not a problem to you. That doesn't, though, make it not your problem.

tl;dr

poop

Andy of Comix Inc:

CriticKitten:
yet people seem obsessed with dragging their personal lives into the fold and forming their own barriers around their respective "groups". Girl gamers, minority gamers, gaymers, etc. I'm not saying I don't get why they do it (fear of being ostracized from a community formerly dominated by white males)

The problem with this logic is that assumes that all the dirty racism, sexism, homophobia and general bigotry in gaming and its audience has disappeared. Like, it's not actually a problem that deserves to be addressed anymore because it has been "solved."

Exactly. Avoiding acknowledging a problem isn't the same as fixing it.

People care about these issues because lots of other people won't let them not.

thaluikhain:

Andy of Comix Inc:

CriticKitten:
yet people seem obsessed with dragging their personal lives into the fold and forming their own barriers around their respective "groups". Girl gamers, minority gamers, gaymers, etc. I'm not saying I don't get why they do it (fear of being ostracized from a community formerly dominated by white males)

The problem with this logic is that assumes that all the dirty racism, sexism, homophobia and general bigotry in gaming and its audience has disappeared. Like, it's not actually a problem that deserves to be addressed anymore because it has been "solved."

Exactly. Avoiding acknowledging a problem isn't the same as fixing it.

People care about these issues because lots of other people won't let them not.

Man, I so wish that I could actually stop caring about sexism. That would be just great. Do you think feminists want to have to be feminists? Of course not! Of course not. That's ridiculous. The only reason there's anti-sexism is because there is sexism, and the only reason it counts as a problem is because it is a genuine problem that effects the lives of thousands upon thousands of people across the entirety of the earth.

And I guess it's not everyone's social responsibility to fix it or whatever? But it would be so easy for a lot of people to at least stop contributing to the problem. It's easier to just not be a part of the problem than to be actively a part of the solution... and no-one seems to bother trying that out.

Ipsen:

Hixy:

Abomination:
You're right on the underrepresented front but entirely wrong about the dissuaded part.

Just because your particular race/gender is not represented in an industry in a proportional number is no cause for you to offer incentive programs/scholarships towards that particular demographic.

It isn't race or gender that defines you - it's money. What this program teaches you is that if you're poor you're better off being poor, black and female than being poor, white and male... and you don't fight racial/gender disparity by creating another one.

You shouldn't combat a perceived unfairness by creating a real one.

Really good point. I live in a country that is predominantly white and their is a huge level of disparity and it's all down to wealth. It's easier for you to get through college and end up on top if you start off middle class, it's a sad fact.

As far as I am concerned racism has been beaten, it is a thing of the past. Sure there will always be ignorant people but now any one from any race can climb to any position if they really want to. Racism was last centuries problem, class divide is this ones.

I'm in science research and their is a mix where I work, you name it and someone from that country does/has worked there. Are black females underrepresented sure (I can think of 2) but dissuaded not a chance.

You know, it's thoughts like these that have me convinced that we don't get better as a society, even with all the knowledge at hand.

It's unbelievably easy to say that racism is over, but please don't act like you live in a historical vacuum. While I agree class divide (or rather wealth divide) is our current problem, it doesn't spring out of nowhere, nor does it end with 'last century'. Institutionalised racism (sounds more menacing, doesn't it?) has far more tangible effects on where we are now than blanket, individual perspectivised racism.

Your posturing over racial equality amounts to ignorance, really. Your factoid about whites experiencing wealth disparity is nothing new; hell, it's as old as any civilization of caucasians. The very fact that you CAN draw racial lines across the wealth gap issue should raise a flag to you, a history of institutionalised racism (that, speaking for the US, ended only around half a century ago, and only decades ago in some other places) might prompt you to start research.

But hey, this is the Escapist now. Quibbling over racial preference, when a guy taught kids that it could be awesome to make games.

But the self-congratulations over this opinion is the real SMH moment...

But this guy is making this a racial preference?? It's black kids only. So you think that is fine? In his own little way, no matter how well intentioned he is perpetuating a racial divide to young children. If this was for poor white kids only there would be uproar. Even though there are many whites just as impoverished and underpriveleged. That is a double standard. And you cant make up for past wrongs in what happened in the last century by carrying on with that mentality. Two wrongs don't make a right and if you want change you need to stop seeing a difference at all, children are just children.

I am neither posturing or ignorant, I firmly believe that anyone can make it anywhere if they want to badly enough. And you can't cry institutional racism because a field is predominantly white. That can stem from a certain cultures values not finding those jobs or skills high on their list of priorities. If you are talking about people who are at the top of their area (hence likely much older) they come from a time wheen there was a racial obstacle. That is gone now in my opinion and who is at the top in 30 years time will reflect that. The U.S. has a black president, do you not think that is a sign of change?

There is a correlation between wealth divide and race divide but that will even out as time goes on. That was perpetutated by racial obstacles to getting educated and getting good jobs. I think that obstacle is gone (why it is illegal now to discriminate against potential employees based on race??) so eventually things will even out. But there will always be those who have and those who don't as far as I can see and it won't matter what colour they are.

Andy of Comix Inc:
And I guess it's not everyone's social responsibility to fix it or whatever? But it would be so easy for a lot of people to at least stop contributing to the problem. It's easier to just not be a part of the problem than to be actively a part of the solution... and no-one seems to bother trying that out.

Not sure. I think the fence is very thin, you are going to lean one way or another.

And, in any case, that's a bit of an over-simplification. No matter how committed to fighting some form of prejudice someone is, they are going to slip up badly every now and then. You can't aim for "neutral", you have to try as hard as you can and hope for the best, that being you do more good than harm on average.

At least IMHO, YMMV.

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