Friday, November 30, 2012

#1ReasonWhy

Oh. Well if CNN is writing articles, then I guess I have to talk about it.

Sometime during the week there was an explosion on the Twit-sphere. It started with a question: “Why are there so few lady game creators?” And then someone started the hashtag #1ReasonWhy. Which developed into #1ReasonMentor.

This year has been about women standing up against sexism in the gaming industry. Most of it has been focused on how women are treated amongst men. I can’t even call them counterparts or peers because most of the time, they don’t treat us as such. We have boobs so we’re the enemy. Oh no! A peer would see you as an equal.

This is one of the few times where the discussion is involving creative decisions being made at gaming companies, along with the sexual harassment that we typically receive by working with/being involved with the gaming industry.

Several women have commented via twitter that their creative input is limited. One even commented that she was given confused looks when she was asked why a female soldier she was creating was dressed like a porn star. Another noted that at every trade show or event she’s groped at least once. (Seriously, men? Ok. You’re not men at that point. You’re boys. The laws of social decency and, well, logic, are not excluded when you start working in the video game industry. Grow up.)

A few people have commented that the industry has always been male dominated and if more women were involved, it wouldn’t be like this. Well that’s part of the problem too. Girls are always encouraged at a young age to be moms, nurses, kindergarten teachers, or any profession that deals with children. Boys are encouraged to be police officers, firefighters, and math and computer geniuses. When boys and girls flip the roles, people spaz out. I can’t begin to tell you the number of times I get weird looks when I would pick up a camera on set. As if I was going to break it. That camera is worth more than my life, 3 times over. But yes. I know how to compose a shot just as well as any man, if not better. So chill out, and let me do what I’m being paid to do.

It’s a social stigma to think that women can’t do certain things. And it works both ways. How many times do you give the o_O face when you see or hear about a male nurse, or a male nanny? We need to stop labeling professions and divisions as male or female only, and begin to encourage all children that they can go after any profession, any of their dreams. Gender should not limit their choices. As such, we need to help change the culture to be accepting of both genders. Gamers come in all ages, sizes, races, and genders. Characters need to reflect this too.

My two cents for the day~

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