[game_edu] Implications of students going into a male-dominated industry?
kblake at blitzgamesstudios.com
Wed Sep 21 06:44:03 EDT 2011
My main hobby is LARPing (live-action role-playing). Like game development, it is seen as, and largely still is, a mainly male thing. However, the group I play in has the largest proportion of women players in our system, and we retain them and regularly recruit more.
I *think* the reasons for this are twofold. One, the existing female players are welcoming to new players of either gender but do make a special effort to engage with new female players, so that they get involved in what's going on and don't feel lost or out of place.
Secondly, by and large our male players don't act like dicks. They too are welcoming and (mostly!) respectful of women. New players are actively encouraged to report being made to feel uncomfortable by words or actions, and this will be taken up with the person or people responsible.
Like Anthony, I think this is an approach we could profit from in our industry!
From: game_edu-bounces at igda.org [mailto:game_edu-bounces at igda.org] On Behalf Of Anthony Hart-Jones
Sent: 21 September 2011 11:25
To: IGDA Game Education Listserv
Subject: Re: [game_edu] Implications of students going into a male-dominated industry?
On 20/09/11 23:37, Johnnemann Nordhagen wrote:
> Just saying "well, it's society's problem" isn't ever going to help
> solve the issue.
I think it is a tricky one; we need to address our industry-specific
issues (Lara Croft, Dead or Alive Beach Volleyball, Duke Nukem Forever)
and our own social issues within game-dev society, but we do need to
look at both the help we can do in the wider world of STEM subjects and
how current solutions to the social issues can be relevant to our
If anything, I think we have two issues. The deeper pre-existing
issues with society, the assumption of girls that STEM subjects are for
boys, is the first part of the problem, as it stops girls from seeing
the games industry as viable in the first place. Quite simply, girls
don't look at our industry because it is full of smelly boys. The
industry-specific issues come into play once girls start to show an
interest; they play the games and visit the studios, they try to work
out where they fit, but they see an environment which is unwelcoming or
which treats them as second-class citizens who need special dispensation.
Here's the thing; I think the wider social issues are not something
we need to address. I strongly suspect that if we clean up our industry
and make women welcome, both by making studios better places for a woman
to work and by making game that don't rely on gender-specific design,
then we will already have helped to change society.
As the father of a girl, I just hope we can fix our issues before my
daughter falls prey to them. Strong-willed though she is, despite
growing up around technology and playing games, I still worry that
gender-expectations will drag her down.
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