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Over the last few days some news pages wrote about Twitter’s Hash tag #1reasonwhy and how bad the circumstances in the gaming industry for women would be. As I am a woman I read all of the articles and the hash tag with great interest.
Some American women were upset about how women get treated in the gaming industry and opened the hash tag on Twitter to make other people aware of the circumstances:
Cindy Gallop: „Women get treated like crap in the games industry. Follow this hash tag to learn extent of that crap. Sexism sucks!”
One of many examples on Twitter.
I asked myself after reading the article on that topic: Isn’t that statement different of the actual meaning?
That’s the Internet! It’s free and everyone can post his/her crap wherever he/she wants. To begin with I thought the article would be about the role of an employee in a gaming company, but while I was reading through the hash tag and the article I found out that several people misunderstood that meaning with the role of women in games.
Here an example:
Iain Reekie: “I tried the Need For Speed demo the other day and the female voiceover sounded like a sex line operator.”
Yay! So in games for girls the boys are shown as brainless idiots who can’t do anything else than being rude and stupid. No one complains about it, but why? It’s just a game…
In general there are two “main problems” of the discussion of the hash tag:
1. Position of women in the gaming industry and
2. Position of women in games.
(I’ll ignore the partly rude tone of the female posters towards the males in that “discussion”)
1.: There are less women than men in the gaming industry, but in my opinion they don’t have a real disadvantage – except they post on whatever social platform how bad everyone is to get the most amount of pity. There are a lot of girls in the industry who have actual knowledge and no problems at all with their male colleagues – as they don’t act as the biggest bishes on earth. The reasons why there aren’t so many girls as there are guys working in the gaming industry are simple: They don’t think about that option, see it as “low” work or get scared by the over-all image (fat nerds in sweaty t-shirts, etc)!
As apprenticed office clerk I never imagined to work in the gaming industry, but here I am: a Localization Specialist. I don’t want to miss the experiences I gathered in this job. If the gender is a credential point in job searching – I can’t tell, but there are jobs where companies are graphically looking for only females, i.e. for assistance of the only female community of game XXX (no, I will not say the name).
2.: Imagine we do not only play the demo (!) of Need For Speed, but the whole game. At some point the girl you never see but only hear gets annoying and you either mute her or turn the volume down – depending on which NFS game you play. In several other games which were made for boys you need to save attractive blond girls. Playboy-like. Normal. Why should we freak out about it? Sooner or later every man will know that sweet ladies with a lot of breast only exist on high-gloss paper. If you are a woman you can admire super awesome guys with sixpacks in magazines and games. Personally I think no one would ever touch a “Save the girl” game if the girl to save is an ugly, scary woman. That’s what games are for: Realize dreams! Not to satisfy the needs of individuals who aren’t even the target audience.
Conclusion: If you have fun with drama you should check out the hash tag. Else you can simply forget about it.