Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Video Game Brain Space Needs YOU!

 Today, Leigh Alexander over at Gamasutra made a characteristically excellent post called "In The Sexism Discussion, Let's Look At Game Culture" a post about handling the issue of sexism in the games industry. In it, she challenged people to work harder on taking down the social constructs and operations that make it so hard for women to be heard in the games industry. My favorite few paragraphs read: 
Despite all the snarking and outrage about booth babes at E3 this year, when I walked the show floor it wasn't the costumed women that let me know I didn't really belong here anymore. It was the content, and the attitude to content. 

Men reciting marketing lines about weapons and explosions. The question every trailer and presentation aimed to answer was who do you kill and how do you kill them. I thought of all the good, smart guys I know on dev teams and struggled to reconcile it with this numb, mean litany, devoid of much aside from the quest for dollars. Shoulder to shoulder, men marched proudly in their studio tees. The more money they have made off of shooters, the higher they held their heads.

We have a mainstream culture that doesn't represent what a mature, progressive audience wants to buy. It's not always a problem when this happens -- interesting, independent creation will always thrive on the fringe of any medium. But here we have a mainstream culture many healthy adults cringe at being associated with. It's not just good dumb fun: There's something sick about it.
 I'd just like to say that we need more women's voices in games. We need women everywhere; we need them at conventions, on podcasts, on Twitter- we need women who have a voice and something important to say. Not only that, we need homosexuals, we need bisexuals, we need African-Americans, Hispanics, Europeans, etc. We need to highlight the people who have something important to say. Don't share articles and content written by bigots because it is inflammatory, share articles that further our discussion and make us think. Stop letting people with important points be marginalized, and let the bigots get off easy. 
 We have some of the most understanding, hip people of any industry in ours; there is no reason why we should be known for marginalization and hatred. 

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