Over the past week, I have been inundated with responses to last week’s issue. I must say, as an editor, this is absolutely thrilling. Many of you have called for some manner of response to several articles from the “Girl Power” issue. Others just wished to express distaste or agreement with a writer’s words. Thank you to all those who wrote, both to me, and on your own blogs and sites, about our issue on women in gaming.
As a female gamer myself, I understand well that there are a bunch of us out there. I also understand that despite this, the percentage of women gamers is much lower than the percentage of women in the population as a whole. This tells me that something is going on to keep women at a distance, be it game design itself not appealing to women or the gaming community as a whole not being a very female friendly place (to borrow some ideas from the articles, letters and blogs I’ve received).
What makes me especially happy about this past issue is that people all over the web are having intelligent, reasoned discussions about that “something” – about why more women are not involved in gaming. This is surely a good step in the right direction, toward balancing the scales of the gaming population, at least in the realm of gender.
This minor rumbling among gamers and developers as a result of this article is a very positive thing. Philosophers and notables over the years, from Aesop to Thomas Edison, have commented on the dangers of complacency. I sincerely believe that it is crucial to examine the beliefs we have, to have them challenged. We cannot truly defend our own beliefs unless we have learned to do so by study, discussion and introspection. And if last weeks’ issue has led you to any of these, then from my perspective, and I daresay our writers’, it has served its purpose. To quote Nobel Prize-winning playwright, Eugene O’Neill:
“A man’s work is in danger of deteriorating when he thinks he has found the one best formula for doing it. If he thinks that, he is likely to feel that all he needs is merely to go on repeating himself. […] so long as a person is searching for better ways of doing his work, he is fairly safe.”
In an effort to continue this ideal of eschewing complacency and studying new viewpoints, this week’s issue of The Escapist, “Otaku,” looks east. Pat Miller ponders his experience at the university with Japanese foreign exchange students and what it means to be “otaku.” Allen Varney looks at a handful of foreign, in all senses of the word, games. And, returning this week is John Tynes with his Contrarian Confession. Find these articles and more in this week’s issue of The Escapist.