Women Belonging in Video Games: #1ReasonToBe

Women Belonging in Video Games: #1ReasonToBe

At GDC 2014 this year, many game designers spoke out about what it means to belong in an industry that all too often judges or excludes them based on their identity or gender.

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I like that they present the idea as if it's not men's fault entirely like some kind of evil, diabolical plan. It's a general social fault.

Society decided women weren't good for this stuff. Social influences cause several women to think to themselves that their ideas aren't good enough. In turn, many men are influenced by society to believe women aren't good enough. So many men end up being harsher critics on women, even unintentionally being harsher critics. Women's creativity and talent end up limited by themselves and men alike, even though the great potential is there.

'There, another remarkable undergraduate, Jennifer Allaway, discussed how she wanted to examine the data behind the issue of sexism'

Does it bother anyone else when sympathetic articles go a little overboard in the unbridled gushing awe department and start patronizing women who perform jobs that women have been performing at for decades by referring to them as remarkable or brave for no particular reason other than them not being a housewife, like they've had to overcome some disability to leave the house. It's just weird and there has to be a better way of relaying the info without sounding so surprised by the existence of people who quite openly go about their business everywhere and everyday.

These affirmative action panels really are incredibly touching.

PirateRose:
Society decided women weren't good for this stuff. Social influences cause several women to think to themselves that their ideas aren't good enough. In turn, many men are influenced by society to believe women aren't good enough. So many men end up being harsher critics on women, even unintentionally being harsher critics. Women's creativity and talent end up limited by themselves and men alike, even though the great potential is there.

The hell does this mean? If it's not men but "society" then it's still men, only it's men AND women.

Does anybody in this enlightened age honestly believe that women aren't "good enough" in certain areas? Well, what areas are we talking about when we say "good enough"? And why would these oudated notions cause some men to criticize women more harshly?

rorychief:
Does it bother anyone else when sympathetic articles go a little overboard in the unbridled gushing awe department and start patronizing women who perform jobs that women have been performing at for decades by referring to them as remarkable or brave for no particular reason other than them not being a housewife, like they've had to overcome some disability to leave the house. It's just weird and there has to be a better way of relaying the info without sounding so surprised by the existence of people who quite openly go about their business everywhere and everyday.

To be honest I found the wording and tone of most of the article to be somewhere between confusing and unsettling. In one sentence it's reporting what happened at the panel, then a quote from the speaker follows, and then there's a line advocating what the person just said and then continuing to make statements where it's not clear whether it's from the author or the speaker, and all the advocacy comes off as more than a little over-the-top and cheesey.

I don't mean to disparage the panel or the women speaking there, I'm glad they discovered a common ground and found success in their own ways, but this over-enthusiasm seems to devalue - if not the greater industry at large - then certainly the women in it who have come before. "By gosh, how did they do it back in ye olden days of the nineteen eighties?" By being just as talented and hardworking as the people beside them, things haven't changed *that* much.

I've begun writing and rewriting this post four times now. I'm completely split on this topic..

I'm sympathetic to the situation that some people might be in, that they're completely ignored or underestimated because of their gender. That's just not alright.

On the other hand, the simple fact of life is that you have to earn respect.
"Imagine what I could have done had I been encouraged and not ignored!"
...Imagine what you could've done if you confronted your insecurities and didn't expect a workplace to hold your hand. I know that's harsh, but christ, in work situations I've been discriminated against all the time as well for all sorts of reasons; Age, the way I dress, what I drive, being bald...!

Everyone has to face some amount of stupid shit when they work, it sucks, but when you're dealing with being ignored, the only person who can help you, is yourself. You have to face your fears and insecurities, reach out and speak up. Not at a convention, but where you work.
I'm not saying a workplace can't be more considerate or welcoming, but I'm sensing some plea for handholding and my only reaction to that is tough fucking luck, try waiting tables or working in a place with ranks and see where that gets you with that attitude.

Again, I'm not unsympathetic, but I can't see where or what exactly the issues are, that need to be adressed in some way and this article didn't exactly help me understand it.
If anyone here is able to present and explain some examples of what's happening, I'm willing to try to understand and accept that there's an air of intolerance that's worth addressing.

I thought the lack of women in video games could be explained by two things: Lack of interest and lack of resources.

Lack of Interest: Women are just not interested in designing video games yet. Making or designing video games is still not seen as an attractive career that can provide a steady paycheck and health benefits. If women do show an interest in video games, then they must face their natural enemy: The family. How does a women successfully convince her parents and old Nana and Pepop that a career in video games is worth it? Her parents and grandparents don't video games and don't see what makes video games good. So if she tell them that you'll become a video game designer, they'll laugh and say become a doctor, lawyer, or something with business. Why? Because they think that you have a better chance getting a job after graduating from college if you go into those three fields than becoming a video game designer (If you did successfully convince your parents and grandparents that a career in video games is worth it, then congratulations. Also, please exchange tips with other aspiring game developers on how to convince family members that working in the video games industry is totally worth it.) To be fair, this attitude is slowly changing and more women are entering the industry.

Lack of Resources: Women don't have the resources to go to college to study the courses necessary to become a designer. They rely on financial aid, grants, scholarships, and student loans to pay for college. Those programs are usually in danger of being cut because the government doesn't know how to balance a budget, and some elected officials don't like the idea of providing government services to those in need of it. Some women have to go the extra mile and get a job to cover books, dorms, and food because they don't get enough money from the grant or scholarship. Assuming she clears that hurdle, then the woman has to face another obstacle: College itself. With the pricing of tuition rising every semester, degree requirements changing, the price of text books and supplies rising, is going to college to study video games really worth it? (I wish I can say something about the professors, but I can't figure out what's wrong with them. Their teaching styles I guess.)

Before we can even think about encouraging women to become game designers. We must provide a steady amount of resources and interest in the field. Develop scholarship, grants, and programs that'll prepare them for the job. The same thing applies to minorities as well. You can't just march into a business, and force them to make changes without providing the resources. You gotta change how people see video games and provide resources. (I wish I can say something about the businesses, but I don't know enough about the industry to comment about it. PLus, I'm really tired.

I get it but at the same time I dont get it. Things like this...

"Kipnis, who'd had ideas but never pitched, said she believed that she, and other women who didn't pitch, simply happened to not feel like pitching. "But if I'm honest with myself," she followed up with, "there was another reason I didn't pitch a game." There was a lack of confidence that her idea was good enough to be taken seriously. But the publicizing of the pitches helped her realize otherwise, when she spoke to her male co-workers. "I'd thought way more about my half-baked game than they had about theirs." So she made her pitch - and is now leading the development of Dear Leader. But this was more than just a personal story. Kipnis also gave strong, clear advice on how to give women and other under-represented people the space to express their creativity. These included office-wide creative days where everyone, no matter their role, is encouraged to discuss their ideas, alongside a general culture of giving everyone a voice."

... totally makes me not understand their point. First she is talking in behalf of every women in Double Fine while the problem that she had was lack of self confidence (something very personal), I have lack of self confidence too but Im not going to blame someone for it and then go all "But I'm better". You can be better but dont cross your arms and expect someone to agree with you, just prove it (she eventually did as it says in the story but its unfair to complain that you arent seen as something that you made no effort yet to achieve untill now).

Its all a shit load of mentality that for some reason no one wants any women near video games. Any women that gets shit for working with video games would just get different insults since people only complain after some actual shit happened, be it for women or men (there are women devs that dont get shit as there are male devs that do, its all about how well you do your work)

josemlopes:
I get it but at the same time I dont get it. Things like this...

"Kipnis, who'd had ideas but never pitched, said she believed that she, and other women who didn't pitch, simply happened to not feel like pitching. "But if I'm honest with myself," she followed up with, "there was another reason I didn't pitch a game." There was a lack of confidence that her idea was good enough to be taken seriously. But the publicizing of the pitches helped her realize otherwise, when she spoke to her male co-workers. "I'd thought way more about my half-baked game than they had about theirs." So she made her pitch - and is now leading the development of Dear Leader. But this was more than just a personal story. Kipnis also gave strong, clear advice on how to give women and other under-represented people the space to express their creativity. These included office-wide creative days where everyone, no matter their role, is encouraged to discuss their ideas, alongside a general culture of giving everyone a voice."

... totally makes me not understand their point. First she is talking in behalf of every women in Double Fine while the problem that she had was lack of self confidence (something very personal), I have lack of self confidence too but Im not going to blame someone for it and then go all "But I'm better". You can be better but dont cross your arms and expect someone to agree with you, just prove it (she eventually did as it says in the story but its unfair to complain that you arent seen as something that you made no effort yet to achieve untill now).

Its all a shit load of mentality that for some reason no one wants any women near video games. Any women that gets shit for working with video games would just get different insults since people only complain after some actual shit happened, be it for women or men (there are women devs that dont get shit as there are male devs that do, its all about how well you do your work)

I think I get it. I think it what happened to her had less to do sexism and more to do with lack of self-confidence. Anna don't speak up, or pitch her ideas to others because she was afraid of being rejected by others. It's technically normal to have ideas or pitches rejected, and it's usually up to the person to strengthen and improve their ideas so that it sounds good. I'm starting to doubt the whole sexism in video games thing. I don't see any discriminatory practices that would keep women out of the industry. At worst, it sounds like their ideas are being rejected for not being good enough.

More female devs and gamers? A good thing. Less sexism and more games that are for everyone? A good thing. This overly gushing and poorly written article? Not a good thing.

I'm going to come back to this article and read it again in the morning, fresh eyes and all - but honestly I'm having some trouble with it right now. Not the subject matter, but the presentation -- it's bouncing all over and I feel like I've gotten very incomplete and fragmented coverage of a larger thing given in piecemeal all mushed together. I know these get edited - is this something that got cut up for size and maybe parts are missing that would make this more cohesive? It's a pretty long article, but I'd rather have it longer and be able to follow it.

I'll post back when I've read it again in case this is just me being too punchy from a long day to be reading right, but this was a topic I'm interested in and so I went to read this but, yeah having a really hard time with it. Just putting that out there.

I wish I was there to see the panels, to be honest. It makes me feel good to see women come forward about their experiences (for good or for bad). I hope I get to meet them some day. Hopefully at a time when diversity in the industry can be seen as a natural thing and not as something that needs to be over-analyzed.

VVThoughtBox:
I thought the lack of women in video games could be explained by two things: Lack of interest and lack of resources.

Lack of Interest: Women are just not interested in designing video games yet. Making or designing video games is still not seen as an attractive career that can provide a steady paycheck and health benefits. If women do show an interest in video games, then they must face their natural enemy: The family. How does a women successfully convince her parents and old Nana and Pepop that a career in video games is worth it? Her parents and grandparents don't video games and don't see what makes video games good. So if she tell them that you'll become a video game designer, they'll laugh and say become a doctor, lawyer, or something with business. Why? Because they think that you have a better chance getting a job after graduating from college if you go into those three fields than becoming a video game designer (If you did successfully convince your parents and grandparents that a career in video games is worth it, then congratulations. Also, please exchange tips with other aspiring game developers on how to convince family members that working in the video games industry is totally worth it.) To be fair, this attitude is slowly changing and more women are entering the industry.

Lack of Resources: Women don't have the resources to go to college to study the courses necessary to become a designer. They rely on financial aid, grants, scholarships, and student loans to pay for college. Those programs are usually in danger of being cut because the government doesn't know how to balance a budget, and some elected officials don't like the idea of providing government services to those in need of it. Some women have to go the extra mile and get a job to cover books, dorms, and food because they don't get enough money from the grant or scholarship. Assuming she clears that hurdle, then the woman has to face another obstacle: College itself. With the pricing of tuition rising every semester, degree requirements changing, the price of text books and supplies rising, is going to college to study video games really worth it? (I wish I can say something about the professors, but I can't figure out what's wrong with them. Their teaching styles I guess.)

Before we can even think about encouraging women to become game designers. We must provide a steady amount of resources and interest in the field. Develop scholarship, grants, and programs that'll prepare them for the job. The same thing applies to minorities as well. You can't just march into a business, and force them to make changes without providing the resources. You gotta change how people see video games and provide resources. (I wish I can say something about the businesses, but I don't know enough about the industry to comment about it. PLus, I'm really tired.

...I don't get it. Why are these supposedly given circumstances any different for men? Are you telling me that men get more money for school than women? Why is it a given that women listen more to their family's opinions than men? I just don't see why these problems are problems for women only. Could you explain that to me? Because these circumstances you've listed all seem to be based on some admittedly rather sexist stereotyping, and I don't think that's what you were going for...

VVThoughtBox:
I thought the lack of women in video games could be explained by two things: Lack of interest and lack of resources.

Both of these points seem really sexist in a troubling way, especially when flipped. Men aren't looking for stable jobs with health benefits? Men don't have family expectations to live up to? Men don't have to pay for college? Even your closing statement is leaning on the side of troubling, "we must provide a steady amount of resources and interest in the field"...must we? Do women really need the leg-up that badly?

Jhonie:

VVThoughtBox:
I thought the lack of women in video games could be explained by two things: Lack of interest and lack of resources.

Lack of Interest: Women are just not interested in designing video games yet. Making or designing video games is still not seen as an attractive career that can provide a steady paycheck and health benefits. If women do show an interest in video games, then they must face their natural enemy: The family. How does a women successfully convince her parents and old Nana and Pepop that a career in video games is worth it? Her parents and grandparents don't video games and don't see what makes video games good. So if she tell them that you'll become a video game designer, they'll laugh and say become a doctor, lawyer, or something with business. Why? Because they think that you have a better chance getting a job after graduating from college if you go into those three fields than becoming a video game designer (If you did successfully convince your parents and grandparents that a career in video games is worth it, then congratulations. Also, please exchange tips with other aspiring game developers on how to convince family members that working in the video games industry is totally worth it.) To be fair, this attitude is slowly changing and more women are entering the industry.

Lack of Resources: Women don't have the resources to go to college to study the courses necessary to become a designer. They rely on financial aid, grants, scholarships, and student loans to pay for college. Those programs are usually in danger of being cut because the government doesn't know how to balance a budget, and some elected officials don't like the idea of providing government services to those in need of it. Some women have to go the extra mile and get a job to cover books, dorms, and food because they don't get enough money from the grant or scholarship. Assuming she clears that hurdle, then the woman has to face another obstacle: College itself. With the pricing of tuition rising every semester, degree requirements changing, the price of text books and supplies rising, is going to college to study video games really worth it? (I wish I can say something about the professors, but I can't figure out what's wrong with them. Their teaching styles I guess.)

Before we can even think about encouraging women to become game designers. We must provide a steady amount of resources and interest in the field. Develop scholarship, grants, and programs that'll prepare them for the job. The same thing applies to minorities as well. You can't just march into a business, and force them to make changes without providing the resources. You gotta change how people see video games and provide resources. (I wish I can say something about the businesses, but I don't know enough about the industry to comment about it. PLus, I'm really tired.

...I don't get it. Why are these supposedly given circumstances any different for men? Are you telling me that men get more money for school than women? Why is it a given that women listen more to their family's opinions than men? I just don't see why these problems are problems for women only. Could you explain that to me? Because these circumstances you've listed all seem to be based on some admittedly rather sexist stereotyping, and I don't think that's what you were going for...

You're missing the big picture. Men do go to college on financial aid, scholarship, grants, and student loans. Men do have have to convince their family members that their career choice is worth it. I'm trying to say that women need those resources and have to be convincing about designing game being worth it to family members. Video games are still a new medium. Grandparents and Parents didn't have Super Mario, or Halo when they were kids. You don't suddenly decide to become a video game designer, and apply to an expensive private college on a whim. You have to develop an interest first, research the field, research the college you want to a apply to, secure resources necessary, and most importantly plan.

How is this sexist stereotyping? If you were to ask a woman what's her chosen field? Do you hear most of them mentioning Game Designer? Or do you here a very diverse answer ranging from Liberal Arts, Nursing, Accounting, Criminal Justice, Child Psychology, Philosophy, and so on? Look, it's nice that more women are interested in video games, but the change isn't going to happen fast and suddenly. The movement is going to slowly build up momentum.

VVThoughtBox:

You're missing the big picture. Men do go to college on financial aid, scholarship, grants, and student loans. Men do have have to convince their family members that their career choice is worth it. I'm trying to say that women need those resources and have to be convincing about designing game being worth it to family members. Video games are still a new medium. Grandparents and Parents didn't have Super Mario, or Halo when they were kids. You don't suddenly decide to become a video game designer, and apply to an expensive private college on a whim. You have to develop an interest first, research the field, research the college you want to a apply to, secure resources necessary, and most importantly plan.

How is this sexist stereotyping? If you were to ask a woman what's her chosen field? Do you hear Game Designer being mentioned? Or do you here something diverse ranging from Liberal Arts, Nursing, Accounting, Criminal Justice, Child Psychology, Philosophy, and so on? Look, it's nice that more women are interested in video games, but the change isn't going to happen fast and suddenly. The movement is going to slowly build up momentum.

Well, the thing is, I AM a woman, and I am actually at this moment on the road to becoming a Game Designer. The thing about your post that I keep finding confusing and still do is that it seems you're trying to tell me that women have to convince their family to give their permission to pursuit such a career, while men do not need this permission/have a much easier time doing so. Implied, at least, since you're presenting it as a women exlusive problem. You're not saying it outright, but I can't help but see an implied "Women are less independant than men" and "Women consume more money than men" in your words, since they apparently have to convince their families to give their permission and have a tighter economy despite having access to the same base resources. One can also see it as if you're implying that men don't listen to their family and are irresponsible.

It's those implications that I find sexist and stereotyping. You probably didn't mean it like that, but it's what I keep seeing and I just can't see these issues as issues that actually exist, because these are issues that I myself, as a woman studying Game Design, have never encountered, so they just seem completely alien to me. Mind you, this might be because I'm a Swede and have grown up with different values and educational systems and all that, but still...

I am still not seeing why it's such a vastly bigger issue for women, though. :/

softclocks:
These affirmative action panels really are incredibly touching.

PirateRose:
Society decided women weren't good for this stuff. Social influences cause several women to think to themselves that their ideas aren't good enough. In turn, many men are influenced by society to believe women aren't good enough. So many men end up being harsher critics on women, even unintentionally being harsher critics. Women's creativity and talent end up limited by themselves and men alike, even though the great potential is there.

The hell does this mean? If it's not men but "society" then it's still men, only it's men AND women.

Does anybody in this enlightened age honestly believe that women aren't "good enough" in certain areas? Well, what areas are we talking about when we say "good enough"? And why would these oudated notions cause some men to criticize women more harshly?

Eh, I just took it as a nicer way of describing what I like to call the "exclusion gap", where women are excluded from doing things if there aren't enough people providing positive support and encouragement that they are permitted, capable, etc whereas men are only excluded from doing things by being told that they aren't allowed to or having some tangible consequence held over them (and sometimes not even then).

Hence why women are excluded from studying STEM fields because they aren't being encouraged enough (though no one is actually stopping them) but men aren't excluded from, say, studying early childhood education (despite people actively discouraging them and acting as though any man interested in that field is necessarily a pedophile) because no one is actually barring them from it.

Jhonie:
...I don't get it. Why are these supposedly given circumstances any different for men?

Because men are only stopped by being, well, stopped. Women are stopped if they don't receive enough positive feedback. I haven't quite figured out *why* this should be the case myself.

Jhonie:
Are you telling me that men get more money for school than women?

It's actually the other way around. There are numerous scholarships created when women were a small minority of college students whose goal was to help "even the playing field" (for example, "diversity scholarships") that are limited to only women. Men are a minority of college students now, but we still have special women's scholarships.

VVThoughtBox:

You're missing the big picture. Men do go to college on financial aid, scholarship, grants, and student loans. Men do have have to convince their family members that their career choice is worth it. I'm trying to say that women need those resources and have to be convincing about designing game being worth it to family members. Video games are still a new medium. Grandparents and Parents didn't have Super Mario, or Halo when they were kids. You don't suddenly decide to become a video game designer, and apply to an expensive private college on a whim. You have to develop an interest first, research the field, research the college you want to a apply to, secure resources necessary, and most importantly plan.

You are missing what she's getting at -- why is any of that woman specific? You say women need resources to be able to do it. What resources do the men have that the women don't? Why is it that women, specifically, need these resources in a way that men do not? Or are you saying that men already have these resources and women lack access to them? If the latter, exactly what resources and how are women cut off from them?

Jhonie:

VVThoughtBox:

You're missing the big picture. Men do go to college on financial aid, scholarship, grants, and student loans. Men do have have to convince their family members that their career choice is worth it. I'm trying to say that women need those resources and have to be convincing about designing game being worth it to family members. Video games are still a new medium. Grandparents and Parents didn't have Super Mario, or Halo when they were kids. You don't suddenly decide to become a video game designer, and apply to an expensive private college on a whim. You have to develop an interest first, research the field, research the college you want to a apply to, secure resources necessary, and most importantly plan.

How is this sexist stereotyping? If you were to ask a woman what's her chosen field? Do you hear Game Designer being mentioned? Or do you here something diverse ranging from Liberal Arts, Nursing, Accounting, Criminal Justice, Child Psychology, Philosophy, and so on? Look, it's nice that more women are interested in video games, but the change isn't going to happen fast and suddenly. The movement is going to slowly build up momentum.

Well, the thing is, I AM a woman, and I am actually at this moment on the road to becoming a Game Designer. The thing about your post that I keep finding confusing and still do is that it seems you're trying to tell me that women have to convince their family to give their permission to pursuit such a career, while men do not need this permission/have a much easier time doing so. Implied, at least, since you're presenting it as a women exlusive problem. You're not saying it outright, but I can't help but see an implied "Women are less independant than men" and "Women consume more money than men" in your words, since they apparently have to convince their families to give their permission and have a tighter economy despite having access to the same base resources. One can also see it as if you're implying that men don't listen to their family and are irresponsible.

It's those implications that I find sexist and stereotyping. You probably didn't mean it like that, but it's what I keep seeing and I just can't see these issues as issues that actually exist, because these are issues that I myself, as a woman studying Game Design, have never encountered, so they just seem completely alien to me. Mind you, this might be because I'm a Swede and have grown up with different values and educational systems and all that, but still...

I am still not seeing why it's such a vastly bigger issue for women, though. :/

Just because you are a woman and going to be a game designer, it doesn't automatically mean you know what other women are going through. Some parents aren't supportive of their son/daughter's career choices and might pressure their child into studying something else. Again, ask the average woman outside of the industry what her chosen field is? You're not going get a lot video game designers. Chances are, the answer would be different.

softclocks:

Does anybody in this enlightened age honestly believe that women aren't "good enough" in certain areas?

This merits a remarkably short answer.

Yes.

The entire reason for the #1ReasonToBe thingie is because you don't even need to look past your own interests (gaming) to find pretty much every flavour of gender discrimination imaginable.

Jhonie:

Well, the thing is, I AM a woman, and I am actually at this moment on the road to becoming a Game Designer. The thing about your post that I keep finding confusing and still do is that it seems you're trying to tell me that women have to convince their family to give their permission to pursuit such a career, while men do not need this permission/have a much easier time doing so. Implied, at least, since you're presenting it as a women exlusive problem. You're not saying it outright, but I can't help but see an implied "Women are less independant than men" and "Women consume more money than men" in your words, since they apparently have to convince their families to give their permission and have a tighter economy despite having access to the same base resources. One can also see it as if you're implying that men don't listen to their family and are irresponsible.

It's those implications that I find sexist and stereotyping. You probably didn't mean it like that, but it's what I keep seeing and I just can't see these issues as issues that actually exist, because these are issues that I myself, as a woman studying Game Design, have never encountered, so they just seem completely alien to me. Mind you, this might be because I'm a Swede and have grown up with different values and educational systems and all that, but still...

I am still not seeing why it's such a vastly bigger issue for women, though. :/

While his wording seems to be somewhat... unfortunate, I believe there is a two-fold point being made.

Firstly: conditions for entry, and career quality (pay, conditions, hours) make a career in game design relatively unattractive as it is - and even more so for women, as they'd be the ones facing all that along with possible gender discrimination.

Secondly, (and this is an argument I partially disagree with), he poses that in order to close the gender participation gap in game design, one would not only need to convince potential designers, but also their parents.
Most people will be influenced considerably by their parents when it comes to their career choice. The amount of influence will be rather independent of gender, but as it stands, parents are less likely to consider Game Design a valid career choice for a girl. (And are less likely to have encouraged interests developing in that general direction.)

You being a Swede also is quite likely to influence personal experience. Judging by how well Sweden is doing on gender equality you wouldn't be far amiss to assume that everyone else has it worse.
However, I'm pretty unqualified to give any indication of how much worse, as I'm a guy (check) living in another one of these highly progressive countries (The Netherlands, check), currently on my way to become a software engineer (roughly 10% female students, check).

Here we go again. Really not in the mood to go on and on about this so I will just sum up everything I would probably say in short hand. Nobody is keeping women out of games. We have equal opportunity in america but that should never mean equal outcomes. If people are discouraging you from entering a work maybe they just don't think its a good fit. Maybe they are just not cool people. I was discouraged from becoming a musician and from being a game developer and it ended up being for the better. The game industry isn't exactly a stable work position and I would probably discourage people in my life from entering it as it stands now. If it is in fact sexism that is keeping women out of desirable positions what sexism is keeping women out of the dirty and dangerous jobs vastly dominated my men that nobody really wants to do?

Men and women are in fact different. Gender is not entirely a social construct and on a biological level men and women are generally better at different things and interested in different things. There are exceptions of course but you can't really argue the science on differences in genders. Diversity can be a good thing but a lack of it is not always a bad thing and its presence does not always mean things will be better. Forcing diversity or trying to push for it will do nothing but create negativity because most people with common sense who live in the western world realize that we have the freedom to do whatever we want and if people can't overcome whatever social barriers they feel exist they are not cut out for it in the first place.

rehash, rehash, rehash just like this article.

Robert Marrs:
We have equal opportunity in america but that should never mean equal outcomes.

You don't honestly believe this, do you?

softclocks:

Robert Marrs:
We have equal opportunity in america but that should never mean equal outcomes.

You don't honestly believe this, do you?

Which part? The equal opportunity part of the equal outcome part? As far as equal opportunity goes I mean under the law. Obviously someone who is born into a poor family will not have the same opportunities as someone who is born into a rich family but those are not really standards you can measure its just the luck of the draw. Both the poor and the rich have the same opportunities in theory and have the same rights under the law. Same logic could be applied to men and women.

If you are referring to the equal outcomes part of course I believe that is bad. That is basically saying if we both go to school for the same degree with the same effort and grades that we would both end up getting jobs that pay well. This is not the case and it never should be. Maybe in a perfect world but in reality there are many more variables that will play into how successful you become regardless of what you did to try and become successful. Maybe I am a great student but an awful employee. Why should my going to school guarantee anything?

I can't speak on behalf of female game designers, but I haven't forgotten about what happened to Zoe Quinn with Depression Quest.

Now I CAN discuss the experience of being a female gamer who likes to play co-op games. I can't even count the number of times I've had to deal with sexist and rather disgusting attitudes and behaviors. Sometimes all I hear are comments about what I'd be like naked, how I should sex up my talk in chat, or that we women are the cause of every failure the team experiences. And no, I'm not talking about CoD, which I've never played and never will. But I HAVE played GTA Online and the sexism there runs rampant. It's almost like some men take the same attitude that cheap-shot and cowardly players take: "It's GTA so we're supposed to be nasty." I stopped playing that game (and others) for the most part because it was so hurtful, and now I only go on there when my respectful friends, all of whom are men, invite me to do missions with them because they believe in my abilities.

Don't get me wrong - this isn't about men in general, but about the situations I've experienced far too often. The guys I choose to play with have progressive attitudes toward women in gaming; however, I've actively selected those particular guys as friends, as well as people I truly like to game with. They invite me to everything and never degrade women or my performance.

There ARE plenty of guys like that in the gaming community, so again, please don't take this as a rant against guys in general.

PirateRose:
I like that they present the idea as if it's not men's fault entirely like some kind of evil, diabolical plan. It's a general social fault.

I can't think of anyone who says this aside from Strawman versions of Second Wave Feminists.

Even real Second Wave Feminists, when they talk about "the Patriarchy," just mean the massive history of male rule and ownership of women, not any sort of conscious evil conspiracy. It is always about society in general having the issue.

Anyway....

On the matter of the tone of the article, I think the issue with the tone (and there is one) has more to do with gushing than bad writing. This was clearly written "in the moment" shortly after the writer left the panel and was still feeling jazzed up about it. I think the weird (and inconsistent) tone is a reflection of the writer being in a moment of high emotion and not thinking all that clearly.

As for the weird paraphrases that sort of merge with the quotes... yeah, that was pretty off-putting. Again, likely caused by writing the article from memory just after the panel ended.

Tonight I got another lovely example to add to my collection.

I was playing Dungeon Defenders with my friends but the 4th person in the party was just some random kid who joined our party chat. He was horribly offensive and started to get nastier as my friends - all guys - chastised him for his behavior. Instead of retaliating against them, he went after me, calling me a bitch and a fat ass (which I kept laughing at because most everyone who meets me makes some comment about how skinny I am and that I need to eat). Never mind the fact that I didn't say a word to him regarding how he was acting.

One of my friends kicked him out of party chat after we finished up the final dungeon we were going to do with him. Well, the punk-ass kid kept threatening to quit in the middle of the run, saying he was going to go jerk off and eat toast (what...?).

Very shortly after he was kicked out by my friend, he sent me a voice message in which he sang this (direct quote):

Johnny jizzed in the bucket of chicken
bucket of chicken
jerking off with toast
Johnny jizzed in the bucket of chicken
go fuck yourself

He didn't send anything to my friends (again, who are all guys) despite the fact that it was THEM who kept chastising him and eventually kicked him out. The only thing I did was laugh at the nasty words he kept spewing at me (but didn't say such things to my friends).

See, this is what it's like being a girl gamer who enjoys multiplayer and co-op games. It happens to me at least once a week. Unfortunately, having a very thick skin is a must-have for us girls. For the most part, we don't have the luxury of being ourselves and simply enjoying a game.

To quote Tim Minchin.

We're all just monkeys in shoes.

Smilomaniac:
I've begun writing and rewriting this post four times now. I'm completely split on this topic..

I'm sympathetic to the situation that some people might be in, that they're completely ignored or underestimated because of their gender. That's just not alright.

On the other hand, the simple fact of life is that you have to earn respect.
"Imagine what I could have done had I been encouraged and not ignored!"
...Imagine what you could've done if you confronted your insecurities and didn't expect a workplace to hold your hand. I know that's harsh, but christ, in work situations I've been discriminated against all the time as well for all sorts of reasons; Age, the way I dress, what I drive, being bald...!

Everyone has to face some amount of stupid shit when they work, it sucks, but when you're dealing with being ignored, the only person who can help you, is yourself. You have to face your fears and insecurities, reach out and speak up. Not at a convention, but where you work.
I'm not saying a workplace can't be more considerate or welcoming, but I'm sensing some plea for handholding and my only reaction to that is tough fucking luck, try waiting tables or working in a place with ranks and see where that gets you with that attitude.

Again, I'm not unsympathetic, but I can't see where or what exactly the issues are, that need to be adressed in some way and this article didn't exactly help me understand it.
If anyone here is able to present and explain some examples of what's happening, I'm willing to try to understand and accept that there's an air of intolerance that's worth addressing.

Oh dear God, thanks for putting exactly what I was feeling into words. Every time I see one of these "Encourage women to get into gaming!" pieces, I always roll my eyes. It always sounds like a bunch of complaining about the industry being too hard to get into - but it's hard for everyone to get into it. It's not because you're a woman. You're just assuming it is because sexism been a thing before, so OF COURSE it's a thing here too!

Or, you know, the game industry is a notoriously tough, cutthroat sort of business where only a few make enough to pay the bills, much less roll around in cash. If you really want respect, if you really want people to listen to you, make them. Be so damn good at your job that they haven't got a choice. But if you're too hard on yourself and your ideas, if you're too afraid to pitch your concept to Schaffer, that's not the industry's fault. That's not the workplace's fault. That's YOURS. Own up to that. Don't blame others because you're too damn insecure to just take charge of your life.

Not to mention these things often ignore the fact that there are inherent differences between men and women, psychologically speaking. Men gravitate towards systems and facts (Which this article even acknowledges as a big part of games) whilst women gravitate towards socialization and interaction - of which screwing around on a computer contains very little of. It's got nothing to do with sexism. It's got nothing to do with gender roles. Most women simply aren't interested. You can't change that. People have tried, and it always, always trends back to the status quo.

VVThoughtBox:

Lack of Resources: Women don't have the resources to go to college to study the courses necessary to become a designer. They rely on financial aid, grants, scholarships, and student loans to pay for college. Those programs are usually in danger of being cut because the government doesn't know how to balance a budget, and some elected officials don't like the idea of providing government services to those in need of it. Some women have to go the extra mile and get a job to cover books, dorms, and food because they don't get enough money from the grant or scholarship. Assuming she clears that hurdle, then the woman has to face another obstacle: College itself. With the pricing of tuition rising every semester, degree requirements changing, the price of text books and supplies rising, is going to college to study video games really worth it? (I wish I can say something about the professors, but I can't figure out what's wrong with them. Their teaching styles I guess.)

Wait, what? Your argument is seriously "Women don't go into game design because they have trouble getting into college period?" You... you know that more women pursue higher education than men, right? We don't need more resources encouraging us to go to college - we've already got plenty, and they're working. It's something like... fifty-three percent of all college students are women. Why would you give more resources to a group that demonstrably doesn't need any more of them?

Ten Foot Bunny:

Now I CAN discuss the experience of being a female gamer who likes to play co-op games. I can't even count the number of times I've had to deal with sexist and rather disgusting attitudes and behaviors. Sometimes all I hear are comments about what I'd be like naked, how I should sex up my talk in chat, or that we women are the cause of every failure the team experiences. And no, I'm not talking about CoD, which I've never played and never will. But I HAVE played GTA Online and the sexism there runs rampant. It's almost like some men take the same attitude that cheap-shot and cowardly players take: "It's GTA so we're supposed to be nasty." I stopped playing that game (and others) for the most part because it was so hurtful, and now I only go on there when my respectful friends, all of whom are men, invite me to do missions with them because they believe in my abilities.

You know that these guys are displeasing to everyone, right? If you were a dude you wouldnt want to be around them because even without any female around they still act with disguting attitudes about some other things.

Ten Foot Bunny:

Don't get me wrong - this isn't about men in general, but about the situations I've experienced far too often. The guys I choose to play with have progressive attitudes toward women in gaming; however, I've actively selected those particular guys as friends, as well as people I truly like to game with. They invite me to everything and never degrade women or my performance.

And yeah, thats the key for online gaming, being a dude requires the same effort of finding some nice people to play with

josemlopes:

Ten Foot Bunny:

Now I CAN discuss the experience of being a female gamer who likes to play co-op games. I can't even count the number of times I've had to deal with sexist and rather disgusting attitudes and behaviors. Sometimes all I hear are comments about what I'd be like naked, how I should sex up my talk in chat, or that we women are the cause of every failure the team experiences. And no, I'm not talking about CoD, which I've never played and never will. But I HAVE played GTA Online and the sexism there runs rampant. It's almost like some men take the same attitude that cheap-shot and cowardly players take: "It's GTA so we're supposed to be nasty." I stopped playing that game (and others) for the most part because it was so hurtful, and now I only go on there when my respectful friends, all of whom are men, invite me to do missions with them because they believe in my abilities.

You know that these guys are displeasing to everyone, right? If you were a dude you wouldnt want to be around them because even without any female around they still act with disguting attitudes about some other things.

Ten Foot Bunny:

Don't get me wrong - this isn't about men in general, but about the situations I've experienced far too often. The guys I choose to play with have progressive attitudes toward women in gaming; however, I've actively selected those particular guys as friends, as well as people I truly like to game with. They invite me to everything and never degrade women or my performance.

And yeah, thats the key for online gaming, being a dude requires the same effort of finding some nice people to play with

Yeah gotta agree, your complaints are actually not a woman's issue but a gender neutral issue. Just like in real life you are not going to get along with everyone. There are going to be people you get along with because they hold similar views and others you don't. Which said views are personal life experiences which construct how we socialize as individuals.

The thing with online multiplayer is that most people go into these games solo. To which the onus is on the individual to find people who you want to play the game with. But that does not mean just because you have a negative experience with that one person should not result in their ability to keep playing a game. Because chances are, that person you had a negative experience with probably has people that gets along perfectly fine with.

Saetha:

VVThoughtBox:

Lack of Resources: Women don't have the resources to go to college to study the courses necessary to become a designer. They rely on financial aid, grants, scholarships, and student loans to pay for college. Those programs are usually in danger of being cut because the government doesn't know how to balance a budget, and some elected officials don't like the idea of providing government services to those in need of it. Some women have to go the extra mile and get a job to cover books, dorms, and food because they don't get enough money from the grant or scholarship. Assuming she clears that hurdle, then the woman has to face another obstacle: College itself. With the pricing of tuition rising every semester, degree requirements changing, the price of text books and supplies rising, is going to college to study video games really worth it? (I wish I can say something about the professors, but I can't figure out what's wrong with them. Their teaching styles I guess.)

Wait, what? Your argument is seriously "Women don't go into game design because they have trouble getting into college period?" You... you know that more women pursue higher education than men, right? We don't need more resources encouraging us to go to college - we've already got plenty, and they're working. It's something like... fifty-three percent of all college students are women. Why would you give more resources to a group that demonstrably doesn't need any more of them?

But how many of those women are going to college to study video game design? Also, out of the fifty three percent, how many of those women are able to finish college, graduate, and are able to find a job or internship in the industry after graduation? Just because 53% of women go to college, it doesn't automatically mean the we solved the complex problem that is gender inequality. There's still more work to be done. I also remember saying that working in the video games industry is still not seen as an attractive career choice yet. People still have low opinions about video games, but this attitude is slowly changing.

VVThoughtBox:

Saetha:

VVThoughtBox:
Snip

Wait, what? Your argument is seriously "Women don't go into game design because they have trouble getting into college period?" You... you know that more women pursue higher education than men, right? We don't need more resources encouraging us to go to college - we've already got plenty, and they're working. It's something like... fifty-three percent of all college students are women. Why would you give more resources to a group that demonstrably doesn't need any more of them?

But how many of those women are going to college to study video game design? Also, out of the fifty three percent, how many of those women are able to finish college, graduate, and are able to find a job or internship in the industry after graduation? Just because 53% of women go to college, it doesn't automatically mean the we solved the complex problem that is gender inequality. There's still more work to be done. I also remember saying that working in the video games industry is still not seen as an attractive career choice yet. People still have low opinions about video games, but this attitude is slowly changing.

Uh... first of all, if women are dropping out of college, that's their own fault - can't blame society there. Secondly, as a woman IN college, I gotta say, ain't seen any sexism yet. Thirdly, woman account for sixty percent of college graduates - the gap widens, it doesn't reverse, as college goes on (Source: https://collegepuzzle.stanford.edu/?tag=women-exceed-men-in-college-graduation ) And the wage gap's a myth too, more-or-less (Source: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/02/01/no-women-don-t-make-less-money-than-men.html ) As a matter of fact, for some demographics it's reversed: women in their twenties earn MORE than men, and this doesn't change until their forties. (Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2237196/Women-win-gender-pay-war-20s-earning-men-age.html )

So... no, it hasn't gotten anything to do with women being unable to access education. They have even MORE access than men do. No, I imagine many women AREN'T going to college to study game design, but whether or not that's really society's fault or not is also debatable - it could be that men and women are simply interested in different things (There's actually a good documentary on this I could link, but it's nearly an hour long and almost entirely in Norwegian with English subtitles. Still, if you're interested, go to youtube and look up "Brainwash - The Gender Equality Paradox" - and do watch the whole thing before commenting. The number of "That documentary doesn't say what you think it says!" that I get from people who stop half-way through is terribly annoying.)

As for video game designer being respected as an actual medium - I don't... see why that would concern women more than men. And frankly... well, frankly, I don't think it well ever truly be a respected career. At least, not to the point of, say, an engineer or doctor or lawyer. For all it's logical, technological basis, video games are a form of art and entertainment. Those sorts of careers are always sort of frowned upon. The people who succeed in them are praised, of course, but there's always that sense of "What, you want to be an actor/artist/director? You realize you'll just end up living on the street, right? Like, NO ONE succeeds at those things!" So... it's own of those odd careers that a lot of people want to be, but no one wants to take a risk on. And I'm not sure why that would discourage women more than men either. Unless you're arguing that women are more risk-averse.

Saetha:

VVThoughtBox:

Saetha:

Wait, what? Your argument is seriously "Women don't go into game design because they have trouble getting into college period?" You... you know that more women pursue higher education than men, right? We don't need more resources encouraging us to go to college - we've already got plenty, and they're working. It's something like... fifty-three percent of all college students are women. Why would you give more resources to a group that demonstrably doesn't need any more of them?

But how many of those women are going to college to study video game design? Also, out of the fifty three percent, how many of those women are able to finish college, graduate, and are able to find a job or internship in the industry after graduation? Just because 53% of women go to college, it doesn't automatically mean the we solved the complex problem that is gender inequality. There's still more work to be done. I also remember saying that working in the video games industry is still not seen as an attractive career choice yet. People still have low opinions about video games, but this attitude is slowly changing.

Uh... first of all, if women are dropping out of college, that's their own fault - can't blame society there. Secondly, as a woman IN college, I gotta say, ain't seen any sexism yet. Thirdly, woman account for sixty percent of college graduates - the gap widens, it doesn't reverse, as college goes on (Source: https://collegepuzzle.stanford.edu/?tag=women-exceed-men-in-college-graduation ) And the wage gap's a myth too, more-or-less (Source: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/02/01/no-women-don-t-make-less-money-than-men.html ) As a matter of fact, for some demographics it's reversed: women in their twenties earn MORE than men, and this doesn't change until their forties. (Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2237196/Women-win-gender-pay-war-20s-earning-men-age.html )

So... no, it hasn't gotten anything to do with women being unable to access education. They have even MORE access than men do. No, I imagine many women AREN'T going to college to study game design, but whether or not that's really society's fault or not is also debatable - it could be that men and women are simply interested in different things (There's actually a good documentary on this I could link, but it's nearly an hour long and almost entirely in Norwegian with English subtitles. Still, if you're interested, go to youtube and look up "Brainwash - The Gender Equality Paradox" - and do watch the whole thing before commenting. The number of "That documentary doesn't say what you think it says!" that I get from people who stop half-way through is terribly annoying.)

As for video game designer being respected as an actual medium - I don't... see why that would concern women more than men. And frankly... well, frankly, I don't think it well ever truly be a respected career. At least, not to the point of, say, an engineer or doctor or lawyer. For all it's logical, technological basis, video games are a form of art and entertainment. Those sorts of careers are always sort of frowned upon. The people who succeed in them are praised, of course, but there's always that sense of "What, you want to be an actor/artist/director? You realize you'll just end up living on the street, right? Like, NO ONE succeeds at those things!" So... it's own of those odd careers that a lot of people want to be, but no one wants to take a risk on. And I'm not sure why that would discourage women more than men either. Unless you're arguing that women are more risk-averse.

But the "Women Sprint Ahead of Men In College Completion" article in the College Puzzle points out that women from upper income families are graduating. Low income families are still having some trouble attaining a college education. So, if there was a study showing an increase in women graduating from college, how many women are coming from upper class families and how many are coming from lower class families? Let's break it down even further: Which group is seeing a sudden increase in women going to college and graduating? Is it European, American, Black, Latnio/a, Asian, or Middle Eastern?

https://collegepuzzle.stanford.edu/?p=2102

VVThoughtBox:

VVThoughtBox:
Snip

But the "Women Sprint Ahead of Men In College Completion" article in the College Puzzle points out that women from upper income families are graduating. Low income families are still having some trouble attaining a college education. So, if there was a study showing an increase in women graduating from college, how many women are coming from upper class families and how many are coming from lower class families? Let's break it down even further: Which group is seeing a sudden increase in women going to college and graduating? Is it European, American, Black, Latnio/a, Asian, or Middle Eastern?

https://collegepuzzle.stanford.edu/?p=2102

Does it matter if they're from upper or lower income families? (Well... yes, it does, in a larger sort of "Fix EVERYTHING that's wrong with society" sort of way, but within the context of the question "Why aren't there more women in the industry?" it's irrelevant.) Inequality among the genders may have risen, and yes that's a problem, but that doesn't really relate at all to why women aren't in gaming. Your claim is that they're aren't more women in gaming because they're aren't more women in college - this is provably untrue. Then your claim was there aren't more women in gaming because they're aren't more women graduating from college - this is also provably untrue. And now you're moving the goal posts to a completely unrelated question of "Why aren't there more minority women in gaming?"

So how does this relate at all? It doesn't really effect the fact that there's less women in the industry. How would having minority women in college change the fact that women in general simply aren't interested in the field? All it means is that, instead of having a bunch of white girls going to college to not major in game design, now you've got a bunch of black, Asian, and latina girls not majoring in game design too.

Like... I seriously have no idea what you're trying to argue here. How would this in anyway encourage more women to go into the game industry? The simple fact is that they're aren't more women in the industry because they don't want to BE in the industry. That's it. That's all. Case closed.

rorychief:
'There, another remarkable undergraduate, Jennifer Allaway, discussed how she wanted to examine the data behind the issue of sexism'

Does it bother anyone else when sympathetic articles go a little overboard in the unbridled gushing awe department and start patronizing women who perform jobs that women have been performing at for decades by referring to them as remarkable or brave for no particular reason other than them not being a housewife, like they've had to overcome some disability to leave the house. It's just weird and there has to be a better way of relaying the info without sounding so surprised by the existence of people who quite openly go about their business everywhere and everyday.

Agreed. It's really no different than homosexuality. Sexuality and sex itself are trendy attributes that enhance one's persona if they veer from the default straight male who is not unique in any way.

Yes there is a point to the remark: "celebrating", promoting and emphasizing minorities does nothing to change the culture in as much as it is a completely superficial response to a complex ethos. If you want society to progress, you can start by stopping what you're doing and understanding that you don't control change like a faucet mixing hot and cold pipes. The very idea is like yelling at a stoplight to go from red to green.

 

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