With the latest backlash from the IGDA over Game Developers Conference party involving dancers and with ‘women in gaming’ panelists sharing their #1ReasonWhy accounts and problematic issues of the lack of females in game development, it’s no wonder Sony wants to give a hug to the many women in the industry and female gamers and tell them “We support you.”
Chatting with Sun City, President and Group Chief Executive Officer of Sony, Andrew House, said he wants to have a more diverse group of developers working on more diverse games for a larger audience including women and ultimately families. With a slew of new features, accessories and announcements of games coming for the PlayStation 4, who isn’t excited?
But that’s besides the point.
I see a lot of figure heads in the game industry who just don’t get the type of gamers who play their games. Gamers themselves are a diverse group – not just different sexes but nationalities, financial backgrounds, religious backgrounds, and many more categories. Women play all sorts of games just like men do. We grew up playing in the same industry as men have. Men weren’t just creating games for themselves because video games originally is intended for FAMILIES to play. Who the heck do they think taught women from generations down about video games? THEY DID. Our fathers and mothers taught us how to play Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Metal Slug, etc. But now you have men, in charge of the development teams, who think it’s mostly men playing when it has been families playing all along.
Before the casuals and the hard-core split, it was just one community. Men just had a more dominant voice than women but women have always played games. I remember asking my mother what her first game was. She said it was Pong, back in the 1970s. That’s right, women played Pong…IN THE 70s! And they loved it too. My mother introduced me to Atari 7600 and Nintendo Entertainment System. I fell in love with Nintendo. I was forever their slave since. Then came the PlayStation One. I am Sony’s slave too (but still haven’t coughed up the dough to get the PS Vita).
Sony should of course provide a more diverse working force for game development. It’s always beneficial to the industry for more perspectives and art styles. However, Sony and other console manufacturers as well as development studios and publishers need to brainstorm further how to improve the gaming community by having not just women in games appear in monthly talks but also various nationalities and the LGBT community. Basically, a TEDtalks but just about diversity in gaming. If the gaming community sees this and responds positively then we can begin to break down barriers that keep us separate and from enjoying the medium wholeheartedly. This can also leak to other entertainment such as for Cinema and Anime – a global gaming TEDtalks.
Source: Sun City