One Reason Why…November 28, 2012
Right now, if you go to Twitter, you can search the hashtag “#1reasonwhy” and see a lot of discussion about sexism keeping women out of creating games (and larger, participating in game culture).
This came out of a discussion where Luke Crane asked, “Why aren’t there more women game designers?” and Filmina Young and other women rpg designers started breaking down the fact that women face more hurdles that men do not – ranging from the difference between criticizing someone’s design vs. attacking you, to being groped in gamer spaces to simply the lack of support.
This was, initially, speaking about tabletop rpg design and publishing, but of course, when it went viral, it mostly shifted to videogames, which are the bigger market. That said, it’s full of thousands of examples (both women talking about their experiences, and misogynistic men so kind as to provide examples of exactly what they’re talking about…) and even then, as Elizabeth Shoemaker Sampat pointed out – the videogame industry has been much more open and kinder to her than the tabletop social space.
These problems are NOT NEW. Go look, listen, and consider these questions:
– What women voices are in your gaming circles?
– If any of the problems are news to you, why? How did you manage to not hear about this for so long?
– What conversations have happened in the past, and what issues did women bring up? If women were absent from the conversation, what does it say about the participants deciding the discussion about women would work without actually having women participate?
– What changes can men make, individually, and as groups – organizations, conventions, companies or forums that would STOP this behavior?