[game_edu] Implications of students going into a male-dominated industry?
whuber at ucsd.edu
Thu Sep 22 01:13:43 EDT 2011
PS. Oops, I mean: 2.7 + 2.7 is 5.4. Even higher.
On Wed, Sep 21, 2011 at 9:59 PM, William Huber <whuber at ucsd.edu> wrote:
> Ultimately, it is the narratives of LGBTs in the industry that matter.
> While I've used the 2005 IGDA survey for courses myself, we all know its
> problems. That said, if you add 2.7% L/G to 2.7% B, you actually get 5.2% -
> much higher than the reported incidence in the US (3.5% LBG : see
> http://services.law.ucla.edu/williamsinstitute/pdf/How-many-people-are-LGBT-Final.pdf which
> does some meta-analysis on the demographic measures.)
> From my courses, I see a lot of "boy's club" gatekeeping behavior and
> discourse. ("Mansplaining" being much too commonplace.) But I also think
> that I see a safe and welcoming environment for LBGT without need on my part
> to intervene. (I have to intervene much too often to keep women from getting
> drowned out by male gamer/geek "expertise," I fear) The problem which is
> greater - I think we'd agree - is the heteronormativity of content. I feel
> that the perception - and it may be accurate - is that the game market is
> much more homophobic and heteronormative than the industry is, and market
> imperatives are dictating content. And my perception is also that gay and
> bisexual men in the industry are frequently disappointed about that
> intractable heteronormativity, but attribute that to the problems of the
> market rather than thinking that this means they don't belong. But, I'm
> teachable on this issue.
> As far as transgender goes, I only know of this interview with Jamie Faye
> Fenton which names some transgender designers:
> http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/files/Next-Generation-Online-Game-Designers-Just-Wanna-Be-Girls.htm -
> but it seems much higher than the representation in other sectors by my
> impression (certainly, based on my impression for the various sectors I have
> worked in, higher than academia or software.) That interview - 12 years old
> though it may be - includes some speculation on the reason for this, but I
> think it would actually be a very interesting to discover more.
> William Huber
> On Wed, Sep 21, 2011 at 8:36 PM, Ian Schreiber <ai864 at yahoo.com> wrote:
>> Are LGBTs underrepresented in the game industry? Only data I have is from
>> the 2005 IGDA Diversity Survey (sadly the most current info we've got) which
>> shows 92% straight, 2.7% L/G, 2.7% B, 2.6% refused to answer, which is a bit
>> below LGBT incidence in the general population. So unless we've had a large
>> influx in the last 6 years, yeah, it's still an issue. (Other more subtle
>> clues would be the continued presence of an LGBT roundtable at GDC, and
>> general lack of believable LGBT lead characters in games, even moreso than
>> strong female or minority leads.)
>> I should also note that when Brenda and I were writing our "Breaking In"
>> book, one of the questions we asked to the industry was specifically
>> regarding LGBT issues. Of the three contributors, two specifically asked to
>> be anonymous. Out of 100 questions we wrote on, this was the only question
>> where we had such requests. Not scientific by any means, I admit, but it's
>> all the data I have.
>> I'm curious - you mention "some of the most noted game designers" being
>> transgender. Aside from Dani Bunten, who else? She's the only one who
>> regularly comes up in my design classes, would love to include more.
>> - Ian
>> *From:* William Huber <whuber at ucsd.edu>
>> *To:* Ian Schreiber <ai864 at yahoo.com>; IGDA Game Education Listserv <
>> game_edu at igda.org>
>> *Sent:* Wednesday, September 21, 2011 3:13 PM
>> *Subject:* Re: [game_edu] Implications of students going into a
>> male-dominated industry?
>> Most of this thread is taking a rather predictable course in response to
>> your post (if there's a record, and if I need to go on it, I'll just agree
>> with taking dramatic and effective measures to increase the representation
>> of the under-represented in all aspects of the game industry, and to create
>> a professional environment that is respectful of all its stakeholders) but I
>> do have two questions about one of the categories you mention.
>> Are gay men under-represented in the game industry? I actually think, on
>> this regard, the industry is doing alright. That many places within gamer
>> culture still feel like hostile places for LGBT gamers notwithstanding...
>> And, isn't the game industry, perhaps, something of a leader in providing
>> a good working environment for transgender men and women (especially the
>> latter?) It is my impression that some of the most noted game designers of
>> the past few decades have been transgender.
>> William Huber
>> On Sun, Sep 18, 2011 at 11:22 AM, Ian Schreiber <ai864 at yahoo.com> wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> This (long but worthwhile) article has been making the rounds on Twitter
>> recently, so I thought I'd bring it up here:
>> While it focuses primarily on the Magic:the Gathering player community (as
>> that is what the author is closest to), I think the sentiment can be applied
>> to just about any male-dominated industry, from video game development to
>> mechanical engineering to business.
>> Personally, in my industry survey class I make it a point to spend some
>> time talking about gender/minority issues. Students in these groups need to
>> be prepared for potentially unjust treatment. Students who are not, need to
>> not add to the problem. (I would actually just as soon make Women's Studies
>> or Minority Studies a required course for all game dev majors until such
>> time as the industry fixes itself, but so far I haven't had the power to
>> affect curriculum that much, so I'm left to just make a "strong
>> recommendation" that my students will go on to ignore.)
>> It makes me wonder though: the fact that the industry is predominantly
>> white, male and straight, and that this lack of diversity is a problem in so
>> many ways -- is this a problem on everyone's radar in the educational space?
>> How do different schools handle this (particularly trade/vocational schools
>> that are highly industry-focused)? Does anyone require students to take an
>> entire class in understanding unequal societal power dynamics... or do you
>> graft it on to a single class as an isolated topic, and hope it sticks... or
>> do you try to integrate these discussions throughout the curriculum (say, by
>> having game design students make games for target audiences other than
>> themselves)... or does the topic never see mention in the classroom at all
>> because it's seen to be outside the scope of game dev?
>> In short: where are we now, as a collective? Is that where we should be?
>> If not, what do we need to change to get us there?
>> - Ian
>> game_edu mailing list
>> game_edu at igda.org
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