The Melbourne Freeplay 2011 games festival did what it does every year: encouraged gamers, developers and writers to think deeper about the medium they love and the issues that surround it. So when a panel titled "The Words We Use"--originally intended to be a forum to discuss games criticism and writing--was derailed to the subject of gender in games writing, it drew attention to an important and contentious issue.
Here, two female game journalists weigh in on some of the ideas raised in an email correspondence about the role of female writers and critics in the games industry.
Laura Parker is the Associate Editor of GameSpot Australia, a finalist in the Walkley Foundation Young Australian Journalist of the Year Awards in 2009 and the winner of the IT Journo Game Journalist of the year in 2010.
Tracey Lien is the Acting Editor of Kotaku AU, a winner of the Walkley Foundation Super Media Student Award and a finalist in IT Journo Best New Journalist category in 2010.
From: Tracey Lien
To: Laura Parker
Subject: B**ches Ain't S**t
I was at Freeplay this year. I sat in the audience during the "Words We Use" panel, in silence, as the chair of the panel said that he felt that there was a divide in gender in video games, and that he didn't "tend to get a lot of critical, serious comment or articles from females in games". I sat there as a member of the audience suggested that we move off the topic of female games writers because "the problem would solve itself naturally as the industry matures". I sat there and I said nothing.
I said nothing for the same reason I have said nothing since I started writing about video games (unless we count the odd angry tweet). And that reason is fear.
At Freeplay I was afraid that had I said something I'd have been dismissed or ignored. I was afraid of being on the receiving end of sexist comments. I was afraid of hearing someone say (or tweet) that I should just suck it down and deal with it, that I'm making a big deal of something that means nothing to them, that no one cares, that my kicking up a fuss was just a sign of my weakness. As a woman, I felt that my gender somehow made me less qualified to speak about gender issues that directly affected me; that people, especially those who needed their views challenged, would be less willing to listen to a woman (yes, I see the irony). As a writer, I had long held the belief that if I worked hard and tried to not think about the gender imbalance in the games writing industry, I would eventually earn my credibility and be able to have an opinion and speak out, sans fear, about an issue so close to my heart. And there I was at Freeplay, quiet, still feeling crippled by my own gender.
When you contacted me about writing this, I hesitated for a moment, but ultimately decided that now is a good a time as any to stop being silent, and maybe even stop being afraid.
You've now listened to the recording of the panel and read the Freeplay tweets; I'm curious to know: what made you get in touch with me about this?
From: Laura Parker
To: Tracey Lien
Subject: Re: B**ches Ain't S**t
When I first heard about what happened at Freeplay I was amused. Female game writers are the minority. That much is true. So we're used to this sort of thing by now, aren't we?
I've always maintained that the majority of people in the industry have no issue with women, be it female writers or developers or gamers; as with any other part of society, minorities will struggle. I can see how getting drawn into yet another debate about sexism in the games industry is not a worthwhile venture. It's all been said before. Much like the "are games art?" question, most people are tired of talking about gender imbalance in the games industry..
My personal take on this is that gender will stop being an issue when we stop acknowledging that there is a divide.
But then I asked myself: "How would I have reacted if I had been present at the 'Words We Use' panel?" Would I have rolled my eyes and shrugged it off? Or would I have grabbed the microphone and shouted: "Excuse me? I'm right here!"
I know what you mean about being afraid to speak. The majority of gamers are not forgiving. We haven't yet learned how to deal with the growth and change of our industry; we haven't learned to accept difference of opinion or shifts in ideology. Minorities are not given the freedom to speak without the threat of suppression. You can blame a large part of that on the medium's naiveté. But how long do we go on excusing this?
You mentioned that someone in the audience said that things will change with time. This is true: in time the industry will grow, diversify, and learn to accept change. But this cannot happen without us driving this change. It cannot happen if people like you and me remain silent when things like this happen.
So I've chosen to speak up. The fact that not a single person on a panel discussion about games and the games industry could name a female games writer is not acceptable. This isn't about asking for special treatment because we're female; it's about making sure the issue is addressed and corrected.
From: Tracey Lien
To: Laura Parker
Subject: Re: B**ches Ain't S**t
We're not asking for special treatment, we're asking for equal treatment. When a male writer is criticised for his work, how often do people use gender-specific terms to put him down? How often do they talk about his physical appearance or blame his masculinity for his bad writing or the ideas that he expresses? We're asking to be given a fair go. Being a woman is not a handicap.
Ignoring female game writers--as some people clearly do--means ignoring what the other half of the population has to say. We break news, write thought-provoking pieces of criticism and reviews that contribute something to the field of games writing, investigate stories that no one else is looking into, and have ideas worth sharing--just like our male counterparts.
What I'm trying to say is that we're not different from male writers; some women write absolute drivel in the same way that some men write absolute drivel. But you also have some really, really good female writers in the same way you have really, really good male writers, and if you choose to ignore female writers then you're ignoring the voices of the people who make up the other half of the population. Diversity in opinions is important and the more types of people we have writing about games the more ideas we'll be exposed to, and I can only see this as a good thing.
You've worked your way up to be associate editor of GameSpot Australia, which is a pretty big deal. I can imagine that some people might argue that being a woman hasn't stopped you from getting so far... so how would you respond to those who might say that you have nothing to complain about?
From: Laura Parker
To: Tracey Lien
Subject: Re: B**ches Ain't S**t
Well that's the thing: we're not complaining. This is simply about exercising our right to speak on an issue that directly concerns us.
When I first began writing about games I couldn't shake the thought that I had to prove myself. Coming into a male-dominated game journalism industry, particularly one as small and insular as Australia's, I felt the onus was on me to show them that even though I was a girl, I could write about games just as well as they could. After three years I feel like I have successfully proven myself, but the fear that people read my work differently because I'm a woman is still there, and it will probably remain there until this is no longer an issue.
Let's talk video journalism for a second, since we both have experience in that area. How worried were you, when you first started, about how people would react to seeing a girl talk about video games on television?
My work also includes a lot of on-camera video presenting. At least in writing I know I have proven myself enough to no longer be judged by my gender but by the quality of my work; in video, I am never judged on the quality of my work. I am constantly judged on how I look. "Laura, you know you would look a lot better if you cut your hair"; or "You should wear more lipstick"; or "Can you wear a shorter dress next time?" It's been three years and the comments have not changed. Comments that actually critique what I am talking about in the video, either in a positive or negative way, are few and far between. So what's the incentive for me to keep going? Why should I care about the stuff I'm talking about, researching and presenting, if all anyone else cares about is how short my dress is or how much lipstick I'm wearing?
If gender continues to be a problem in disciplines like theatre and literary criticism, which have been around for a lot longer than games criticism, shouldn't we find ways to ensure that our industry learns from past mistakes? Should we continue talking about this to make sure people understand that it is a problem?
From: Tracey Lien
To: Laura Parker
Subject: Re: B**ches Ain't S**t
Oh man, video journalism. If I thought I was up against a tough crowd in my print and online work, I certainly was not prepared for the dismissive comments that followed each of my video stories. The short answer to your question is that I was quite worried about how I would be received when I started working in television was incredibly conscious of my gender. The more detailed answer is that the worry never really went away and it became increasingly frustrating having people ignore my work and critique my physical appearance instead of the stories themselves. I often found it unfair that the male presenters on the show were rarely criticised for their appearance - if someone took issue with an opinion they had expressed or disagreed with them, the comments and discussion would be reflective of that. This wasn't often the case when it came to female presenters.
The attitude that if we don't talk about it it will just go away, or that gender is only a problem because we make it a problem, is such an ignorant way of looking at things. I understand that this is a widespread problem and gender issues aren't exclusive to the games writing industry, but just because something is widespread doesn't mean it's okay, and just because other industries are experiencing the same issues doesn't mean we can't lead the charge to bring about change. I agree that we have to talk about it, and that it's definitely a problem--when people like you and I are still afraid of being judged on being female instead of the merit of our work, how can it possibly not be a problem?
I don't know what the solution to this is, but an open dialogue, one where we don't feel afraid to speak up, seems to be a good start.
From: Laura Parker
To: Tracey Lien
Subject: Re: B**ches Ain't S**t
I think a lot of female game writers are just tired of the same old arguments, and more importantly, the same old reaction. It seems there's little point in speaking out or maintaining this open dialogue if no one is listening.
Personally, I have never liked discussing this issue. This is the first time I have really done so publicly.
As we've both said during the course of this conversation, we don't believe females in this industry deserve special treatment because of their gender; this is not what we are asking, nor what we are advocating.The whole reason we're having this discussion is because someone chose to ask the question: "Well, what about female writers?" Someone chose to separate male writers from female writers. Someone chose to make this an issue.
There are times when the differences between a man and a woman are relevant. But this was not one of those times.
I asked Alison Croggon, a revered Australian theatre critic, fantasy author and poet who sat on the "Words We Use" Freeplay panel discussion, to give me her thoughts on how the discussion surrounding gender in the games industry compares to similar discussions in the literary and theatre world.
"There's obviously a whole lot of issues simmering beneath the surface and the panel worked as a
catalyst for these things to explode."
"I've been reading the follow-ups on the web with deep interest. It seems to me that there's a bunch of intelligent discussion out there, working against some entrenched attitudes that are equally present. We
can't pretend literature or theatre are any better, given the figures, but it's rare to come across the raw sexism that you see in some comments. Addressing endemic prejudice is a deeply complex matter,
which can only happen if there is the will and intelligence to address it. The first step, as always, is acknowledging that there is a problem."
best person for the job.if your body of work is good enough that is how you will be noticed and in return judged.ive only started takin notice of who was writing the articles so if i liked it could follow the writer.so far its only a female writer im following she wrote a good review or more to the point an honest and non-bias review on a game so decided to follow her work.depending on the article might follow more writers or not.
It should be talked about when the problem appears. Don't believe that Morgan Freeman thing, that the way of stopping racism is talking about it. While a problem persist it should be dealt with. If someone thinks less of you because of gender, sexual orientation, race and etc, you have the right to speak up your mind. I agree that some problems persist because people pay too much attention to small details. But most problems persists because people just choose to ignore it, the world is full of good people who are absent to the problems of the world. Today with the internet, tv and radio, we don't lack vehicles to fight prejudice. Today is the time to be brave.
The solution to all of it really is stop complaining and do the very damn best you can do despite what anyone tries to do to stop you. Yes there will always be sexists, racists, bigots, etc. The point is, labeling yourself a victim so openly, front and center, you do nothing to solve the issue.
Rather, you become the issue by bringing unneccesary attention to yourself. To expect people to be civil and refined on something as anonymous on the internet is like expecting grass to stop being green. The solution is combating it as a strong individual, by caring on with your life, regardless of what "happens" to you.
I have been bullied, intimidated, discriminated, EVERYTHING you mentioned, and it never stopped me from achieving what I have so far, and what I continue to set out to achieve, DESPITE the fact there are still people that dislike and envy/hate my success. That's the attitude that should be taken. Not "woe is me, I'm a poor white/black/male/female/whatever journalist. I am so sick of these self righteous, pandering articles that do nothing but reassure the insecurities and falsehoods of reality of the writer.
I'm not sure there is a solution to the problem you raise. If you are a woman, and you are presenting something to a predominately male (and mostly teenage) audience, you are going to get a majority of sexist comments. It doesn't matter what the subject is. You could be talking about baking cookies, and they are still going to first look at you sexually, and then (and only maybe) look at the content of what you are saying. This does not mean that the majority of cookie eaters are sexist pigs. I'm not saying this is good, simply that it "is". And by the time these boys grow up and realize that they are being immature, they are likely also going to stop spending time criticizing game reviewers in any way at all, and a new generation of boys are going to take their place. So I think that it is more important to realize that you are in an industry that is not only predominately male, but also predominately young. And I think that this problem will only go away if boys magically start becoming more gentlemanly at a much younger age (which is very unlikely, especially in an anonymous situation like the internet).As for your fellow game writers and others on the industry side of the gaming industry; if they have an issue with your gender it is likely their own personal bias (such as in any industry) and will never completely go away. And hey, at least you won "Game Journalist of the year" and not "Female Game Journalist of the year", and so are already a step ahead of even the most renown actresses, as they will likely never be awarded for "best overall acting".
i dont know where you get this from, but a writer is a writer, and its the person own fault that they get bad reviews from readers. like if i see a video game review of a woman, im not going to say " oh look its a female she must not know anything or "oh look a female im not going to care what she says."
no it doesnt work like that like Morgan web, gamers respect who she is and what she does, she plays games shes a geek, nerd, whatever you want to call it. but she knows her stuff, why? because she PLAYS games like everyone else and and knows what she is talking about.
its like you ask a hot girl and she says, oh i play Modern Warfare, well guess what 50-50 she never plays any other games, and maybe she plays that game because thats the only game everyone talks about. same with female writers.
if you throw up a female up to review a game and never seen her before and looks like she does know what she is talking about then YES she will get bashed. in your case you been writing so yeah i dont care because what you write seems to have enough information to get news.
This article has certainly opened my eyes to the female perspective on this topic of female game writers. Being the brother of a female film director currently going through much of the same experiences as you mention has helped to make me aware of the hurtles regarding gender in certain industries. If I might impose some of my opinions on the matter.
I don't know if the answer is pretending not to aknowledge your gender. You cannot deny that you're either male or female. Someone didn't, "chose to separate male writers from female writers." You are female writers. That's not the problem it's just a fact. The problem is that there are people who are going to treat you differently because of that fact.
It wasn't that long ago that woman were even given the right to vote. It was less than 150 years ago "in 1893 New Zealand was the first country to give women the right to vote on a national level." And The US didn't do the same until 1920. It's a mindset that's been passed down since the beginning of human existence on a prehistoric level when being physically stronger literally meant life or death and therefore dominance.
As a species we're definitely moving towards the point when men and women will be viewed as equals, both by law and by society. We're just not there yet.
As a female author for www.nerdacity.co.uk, I have never encountered any sexist comments. However, I have encountered sexist comments in-game! I do my best to stay off of mic to escape sexist comments and also to distance myself from the mass of 'female gamers' who honestly only log in FOR the attention of sexist comments. It's really a shame how a lot of us are treated and how I'm more than happy to have other gamers assume me to be male, simply because I don't want people begging me for my number, or telling me I'm 'probably' a fat, gothic, basement dweller or a 12 year old boy. I honestly believe more and more girls are getting interested in games, and that this problem will slowly dissipate over time. In the mean-time, people like Laura and Tracey just need to keep doing their job, and ignore the derogatory remarks of sexist men. The jokes on them, really, I can't think of too many other ways you could announce yourself as a pig faster than to be sexist towards people who really don't give a shit, and just want to write about games.We're all gamers, gender shouldn't be an issue.
I think the solution is that Gamespot fire all their nerdy, uncomfortable to watch (even uncomfortable to see their stupid picture at the end of their posts, beside Van Ord who appears professional) and just hire a bunch of really hot Australian women. Not based on their writing ability but just because they are women, and the industry NEEDS MORE WOMEN.
Someone who is more sociable and comely(voice-wise specifically) is always better to listen to than someone who isn't, even if they play more video games or fit a certain role.
Just think of all the guys on GW2 right now pretending to be women. Just sayin... Gaming is mainstream now but sites like these still attract more men than women. And men like women. (not all, not that there's anything wrong with that)
(If you haven't gotten my sarcasm by now then just ignore this post)
Seriously though... You are an Associate Editor. You are also a woman. How did you get there?
This is what you should be writing about. Not complaints about an industry that doesn't revolve around women.
I think that many casual members of sites like Gamespot and IGN rarely take notice of whether an article is written by a man or a woman.
To me, it makes little difference, as long as major points are made regarding the game itself. A sh*tty article is a sh*tty article, regardless of which sex has written it.
I've always found comments made by both female journalists and game developers alike to be just as insightful if not more so.
They're not journalists but if you take the examples of Melissa Miller at 2K Marin when it was developing BioShock 2, her knowlege of what gamers expect from the Steampunk genre was spot on which was largely due to the world that she was working with. Perhaps the female gender benefits from a hightened emotional involvement with art forms. I've always felt the ability to recognise arresting and affecting game worlds, stories and characters is something that requires an empathetic outlook and Bioshock 2 was a perfect example of the female gender doing with the struggles of motherhood which was at the core of that game for me. I'm not saying this is something unique to women but in cases like this it can be an advantage and there are some issues in games that benefit greatly from it.
Another example is The Sims 3 which had an incredibly strong female developer presence surrounding it's release and deals with similar issues albeit in a different setting.
As for those in game journalism, there are those old fashioned gamers who feel that the industry is and should be male dominated. Perhaps they want to keep it for themselves and the increasingly strong female presence in the industry is something they're threatened by. If they are, who cares? They'll be left behind one way or another. As the industry develops and evolves with the inclusion of more female talent like Miller's, we're going to need more female journalists who can not only relate to what they try to present in their games but apply that unique outlook that comes with being a specific gender in order to make the message of the game clear and thereby reach both males and females alike. After all, sometimes we males need help reaching our feminine sides, unfortunately. So if nothing else, female journalists keep the industry virbant and healthy and if those two games are anything to go by, my advice for those feeling threatened or timid among a male dominated press conference would simply be to speak louder. Make yourself heard even if it gets under the skin of every male in the room. Because there's nothing more powerful than the voice of one being louder than those of the many.
If you want to be taken seriously STOP labeling yourself as a GURL,girl, woman or female gamer. Just define yourself as a gamer leave gender aside and others will follow.
Male writers can be discriminated against too. I told someone I was going to try writing a romance novel, and she told me not to bother because women won?t buy it if there is a man?s name on the cover.
I hate prejudice, considering that everyone is different it is pointless squabble based on the stereotypes portrayed in the media of the era.
Our female pioneers
Roberta Williams - Made text games with graphics, then co-founded Sierra, made 30 games before retirement.
Dona Bailey - The first woman to design an arcade game in 1980 and we still play it today! The famous Centipede. She didn't work in gaming again until 2007 because of pressure and criticism from her male counterparts (b*strds). She now teaches other women to pressure their dreams in the gaming genre.
Jade Raymond - Assassin's Creed
Amy Hennig - Jack and Daxter series, Uncharted, Legacy of Kain.
I could go on forever but I'd need a lot more room than I have.
While "The first step, as always, is acknowledging that there is a problem," a huge number of people forget about the steps that come after. Don't forget people!
Gees I hate feminism. If you have a point, make it. And let's not pretend that you don;t have the opportunity to do so. Once made, let it be We can all chime in with whatever discepanices, discrimations, or hard ships we've faced in life. You want to argue your point that women haven't had as much opportunity to succeed in the world of gaming as the millions of men that haven't had their chance, then you go do that to the women that are getting shot in the back for being accused of adultary.
My point is, find a valid cause before becoming an advocate. What's your point?
Gees hate chauvinism.
What about the fact that men get paid more money than women?
And if you can't figure out her point I suggest reading the entire thing.
Welcome to earth, yes people are sexist, yes people are racist, and yes people are prejudice.
I've been discriminated against because of the colour of my skin, because of my gender, and my sexual orientation.
I think by seeing it as this incredible issue that absolutely needs to be discussed at every possible opportunity is adding to the problem.
Everytime someone treats me a certain way because of my sexual orientation, race, and gender I don't write a couple pages about whats wrong with it. You say the first step is acknowledging the problem, sure if that problem hasn't already been acknowledged.
What I can't stand about posts like this, its like you are begging for attention, saying you get discriminated against because of your gender. Well guess what honey, thats the society we live in. There is no point in getting upset about it, because you are just making the problem larger. Its like you believe the solution is to go on a rant on the internet about it, and that'll make things better.
There are so many things wrong with this blog post.
"it became increasingly frustrating having people ignore my work and critique my physical appearance "
Trust me, its more frustrating for the people who have to have their work critiqued. What a joke, "my life sucks because I'm attractive" Oh you poor thing. No wonder you work in an industry dominated by males, you're self esteem is so low, you struggle to get laid.
"Why should I care about the stuff I'm talking about, researching and presenting, if all anyone else cares about is how short my dress is or how much lipstick I'm wearing?"
Of course more of looking at only the negative, I mean even positive comments are good enough. Guess what you are a female in an industry dominated by males, you are going to get comments specifically because the males are attracted to you. You should care about the stuff you are talking about, because thats your job. Last time I checked your job wasn't to b*tch about how the comments aren't positive enough.
Isn't it interesting how much you talk about how men don't get comments about their appearance, when they do. Wouldn't that make you sexist?
I've seen plenty of comments about how certain male presenters look like "f*gs", "fat", etc.
"My personal take on this is that gender will stop being an issue when we stop acknowledging that there is a divide."
So you are part of the problem? I mean you didn't you just say that males don't get comments about their appearance?
I don't even want to continue commenting, these women are sexist. They believe only women are judged on their looks. They believe trolls only attack them. When will men be treated with the same respect women are? I'am constantly baffled at how poorly my male friends are treated, just because they are male. But no one cares, because the only people who can be treated with sexism is women.
Its brutal, how we always have to give women all the attention, we always have to change things to spoil women, and then men get nothing. And of course, everyone who's posted a comment is afraid of thinking for themselves. Treating you extra special because they know you are female. If this was about males treated with sexism, written by a male, with males responding to it, their would be so many troll comments.
There is nothing dysfunctional, useless, or dim-witted about raising awareness concerning the mistreatment of anyone... whether it?s a gender, culture group, ethnicity, nationality, etc etc. By vocalizing inequities, people spread the word and incite conversation about whatever wrongs linger on their brains. 23 people commented on this; I?m number 24. As a result, there are 24 who (hopefully) have read this and intrinsically compared the tone, the content, the anecdotes and backgrounds and whatnot of these women?s messages to their own sense of the discourse. Its nature and prominence shifts as personal experiences, temporary attitudes, lessons learned, etc come into life and affect interpretation too, so the conversation never gets old or becomes white noise. So, yeah. Blaring the horn over and over again is never not useful. I think this stuff should ONLY go away when the issue is actually resolved for those who have ever raised issue and who raise issue now ? and especially for those who remain closeted in the way that Tracey described. And, given the whole amount of human progress in the last 500 years, I?m guessing that it will only not be talked about in a contemporaneous context when it is solved.
I do not feel that the issue perpetuates itself either, because I know that we make progress this way. There are people, whether young or unsure about their opinions, open to ideas or especially moved by this particular exchange who may reach a more enlightened position on the condition of gender equality in gaming. That is hopefully where these two writers are coming from; I doubt it is simply to ?complain? about how they are not idolized for their writing contributions. This doubt stems from two sources:
First, this is their job. The demographics of any industry or art form is fundamentally tied to the nature of its content, to its distribution, to its reception, etc. They're critics, reviewers, commentators, etc. Obviously this is gonna be something worth talking about, because the definition of gamer is changing. It's still aging, it's diversifying in gender, its life functions are spreading, its intellectual capital is increasing, its prominence is obviously at an all-time high, etc. I'm sure Laura and Tracey have been required to recognize some of these, Personal association with an issue actually is an important factor that should be considered when discussing the authority of journalists' works, but their content is not filled with false assumptions, and I can't detect any solely self-serving motive behind sharing their experiences.
Second, I suggest you refer to my first paragraph. This is the stuff of progress! I do agree with you about one thing, in part at least; your point about the unfair treatment of men in culture is real and an important topic. I?d suggest though that the two issues are not mutually exclusive and are actually very much related. One should not drown out the other by any means or devalue its expression ? but, although this format is messiest and least efficient, a rising tide does lift all boats.
Good luck swimming with the cynics; so far, the dreamers have it.
@CondorCalabasas I an new to gamespot comments, and i've had a few to drink tonihgt, but can I say that I really appreciate ur comments there. Hope to see more of them, I guess the key points are thet ur rational and u express urself clealry. I don;'t mean that to be patronising towards urself
This blog raises so many thoughts it is hard to put them all into a concise comment. One thing I think it is wrong for Tracey to say is that men and women are the same, from any point of view. We are different, and will always be, but diversity is a good thing.
Nobody (who's opinion matters) is questioning your journalistic integrity just because you're a woman. That said, in all things in life, we are all judged, consciously or sub. That is especially true for our looks, like it or not it's an evolutionary response to finding a fit mate to propagate the species, finding a weak target to feed on, or watching out for a fit predator that we should be avoiding.
When you do video journalism, the message is just as clear, but people are subconsciously judging you visually as an animal, a woman, a journalist, and probably a host of other things.
The unfortunate bit is when their comments make you want to stop doing it, or question your own validity. The internet holds almost no consequences for these people, and so they will never stop spewing out the first thing that comes to their minds; but that doesn't negate the message you have to bring.
Take it as a compliment, take it as an insult, but don't take it as a reason to quit or slow down. You're doing a good job, and you're opinion is no more or less valid because of your gender.
I'd argue that it's not anti-women, it's just against what isn't considered the ''norm''. Just like the rest of society.
You both mention how male video reviewers don't have their appearance criticise - that's because it's ''normal'' to have a male talking about games. Now, if you got a fat bloke doing the exact same video, there'd be a lot of criticism of how he looked -because fat people, despite many would argue being the template of "geek", are not the norm.
You should experiment, same script, 1 fat male. And you. Release 1 on AU and 1 on UK and see the comments. Then flip a week later.
You'd get the same kinda responses, only the poor fat bloke wouldn't have any self esteem left.
Sexism is still prevalent in society, but it's increasingly men who suffer. Conscription only effects males, males typically get a bigger prison sentence for the same crime, there's an assumption that a child will be better off with the mother. These are just a few examples.
You can argue you find more men at the very top of the chain but you will also find many many more at the very bottom.
In reading over your blog concerning this issue I have to say that you are the first and only staff member I follow at Gamespot. I didn?t decide to do this because you were female, but because of your journalism. However, let us address the issue that the video game industry and market remain dominated by male society. Thus there is a gender issue, but it is simply numbers. The audience to which is being written is in majority male. You are a trailblazer whether it was by choice or not, but it would be foolish to think that there would be no obstacles. It should be said that you are very good at what you do and you are succeeding. You have my ear as a gamer, who happens to be male and has been playing longer than you have been alive. That is impressive since it is usually my friends who come to me concerning games. Consider this according to your profile you are playing Red Dead Redemption which you should write review. Review it as a gamer, but also add why it is and isn?t appealing to a female gamer. The industry doesn?t need another objective female voice it needs an opinionated one. Excuse the pun, but a ?Gamechanger? so to speak.
It's great to see more women getting involved in the gaming industry. More people means more ideas and hopefully a greater variety of games. If people want to be haters then I guess its there choice, even if it is based on ignorance. I for one welcome their input and only wish they were a part of it earlier. Then perhaps my friends and I may have been a bit more popular with the ladies in school...LOL.
Yes, you can right. Now in every era of the industry you can see the women who is working with the man. Also they can do their work more honestly and that's why in many industry they are in the top position. Now they are capable to work in every era of the industry.
I agreee with milsvaard, females are perfectly capable persons (in my experience, even more than men) and their skills are not dependant of their gender. I know lots of women that are better than me in lots of stuffs (yes, even lifting heavy stuff).
What matters is how good you are, the effort you put into your work and how you deal with the obstacles you have in-front. You both have awards that support your capabilities, remember that the next time you come across any hater comment about your gender.
Personally, I love the idea of more females entering the games world (it was a lonely place) and female authors give us a fresh point of view in games, wich is a very important thing to always have. Do not fear nor hesitate, be part of the proud pioneers that will change the world.
I read your piece on Diablo and Torchlight, I found out a girl had written it until I reached the end of your article. I usually don't care about gender when it comes to authors, if the subject is of my interest I read it, it's as simple as that. If a girl starts writing about my little pony or barbie, I won't read it. Gender is irrelevant, subject is all that is important.