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Old 08-08-2008, 01:12 PM   #11
jillduffy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MessiahSimple View Post
it's a product of what she brings to the table from perspective, not some benevolent form of sexism. I have the same card to play; I have extensive real life experience in military conflict and black ops, so hopefully the next big "super soldier black ops rambo clone" sees the value in hiring someone like me. But it's not reverse classism, that I am a 'soldier in games' versus someone who never served. It's an offering of my perspective.
I agree about perspective. Perspective is precisely what people do have to offer when their identities are acknowledged.

I also agree with some of the other respondents that pieces of one's identity, such as gender or class, do not have to be paraded around -- but they should be acknowledged. Acknowledgment and flag-waving are not the same. (Then again, if we never have any flag-wavers, we hardly ever see much progress...)

This is a very big topic, and we're only exploring one part of it here, so feel free to parse it out into separate threads if you would like to discuss it from another angle.
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Old 08-08-2008, 02:18 PM   #12
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Adrir - The answer to most of your questions is actually in Sheri Graner Ray's book Gender Inclusive Game Design
Thanks, I'll check that out when I get an opportunity!
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Old 08-08-2008, 04:48 PM   #13
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I think the issue of Brenda being a game designer and a woman is a Who Cares. But there are issues that have to do with women in game development that are not a Who Cares.

For instance, a recent study claimed that women are turned off by common user interfaces in computer software... is that a possible reason why qualified women who know math and could program just aren't majoring in computer programming?

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Old 08-08-2008, 04:56 PM   #14
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That's still not a subjective, judgment based issue of who is this, who is that, Ms. Chen. It's an objective dynamic that should be recognized and dealt with, but it's outside the context of people interacting via prejudices.
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Old 08-08-2008, 07:28 PM   #15
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I've been thinking about this all day.

There is a gender gap in the video game industry. This is a fact. As for myself, I find this disconcerting, and shrinking it (obviously there is no equilibrium) is something that should be worked for.

What I feel is that shrinking said gap is being gone about the wrong way. Brenda Brathwaite's Op-ed was mainly about interviews asking females in the industry about being a female in the industry. Interviews with industry vets are interesting, and quite a few of them appear on Gamasutra. There is enough difference between gaming companies that interviews with a member of one company are interesting to a member of another, which is why they appear on Gamasutra. If there is that much difference between the companies, and, needless to say, there is a greater difference between people, than questions about being a female in the industry mean very little. I can't read an interview about so-and-so's experience as a woman in the video game industry, and come away with anything that expands my knowledge of why the gap exists. All I come away with is her personal story. On the other hand, and interview with a Sociologist, a paper by one, or statistics about women in the video game industry do help. What I'm trying to say is that I really don't care on an individual level, and I don't think one should care, but issues like this are important on a population level.

On a side note, I just noticed my favorite editor listed as Editor/Research on the 2008 State of Game Development Survey. I plan on going through as much as I can without paying 2,495 USD (edit: which is disappointingly little, given the size of the beastly thing :P), but it would be nice to see something on GCG about your findings on women or minorities in gaming.
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Old 08-09-2008, 08:22 AM   #16
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I apologize if my previous post sounded somewhat harsh. I do see your point about perspective. And true, the statistics are there to back it up.

Essentially, I've gone to an all girls' school since first grade. Women are underrepresented! Women earn less than men! Women are oppressed! Has pretty much all I've been hearing for the last 12 years, not just for games. So I've been whacked over the head with it probably more than other people have.

I remember one assembly we had around 5 years ago, where a few successful businesswomen came in to talk about their careers. One question they were asked was "As women, tell us about the glass ceilings you've encountered. Did you find that men were less willing to deal with you?" or something along those lines.
There was a slight pause, then finally one of them spoke up "uhh...from my experience men actually like talking to women." It was almost as if because they were successful women, they were required to have had to deal with sexism, overcome it, and offer advice to the next generation as if they were female reincarnations of Gandhi. I just don't think that expectation is really all that fair, and I think that was the point Ms.Brathwaite was trying to make.
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Old 08-09-2008, 10:26 AM   #17
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I've never asked a girl this question. I always expect the answer would be:
Q: What's it like being a woman in the industry?
A: Exactly like being a man save for getting asked what it's like being a woman.

It's a dumbass question to begin with. If there's to be animosity in a company, I would hope that people had better things to base it upon than gender.
What does gender have to do with talent?

Edit: Frankly, if it has anything to do with quality games, than Jade Raymond has my vote amongst the top game producers.

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Old 08-09-2008, 12:42 PM   #18
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I agree with Brenda about Women in games-- who cares.

As a female game designer (with a BSC in Comp Sci), all it comes down to, to me at least is whether or not my coworkers are accepting of my ideas and value me as part of their team. I work with great people who love games and who love to make games and I'm grateful that they do value me as part of the team.

It doesn't really bother me that I'm the only female game designer here, and I don't know that many. What I do hate are people who think that women have it easy because they're women. I worked my ass off to get this job, and I deserve it, much like my male coworkers.

Or, I also hate that when I was at VFS for Game Design, one of the females in a class after me said that it would be easy for us to get a job because we're women. A few of my other classmates thought so as well. I guess we just want to be recognized for our talents more so than just being a women in Games.

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Old 08-13-2008, 07:31 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LizC View Post
Adrir - The answer to most of your questions is actually in Sheri Graner Ray's book Gender Inclusive Game Design.

And I haven't read the op-ed piece yet, so I cannot really say much about it. But I agree with Roxanne and Messiah, to shrug and say "Who cares?" is dropping any separatism, which means you can actually get to know people for who they are, their true individualism, rather than any stereotypes they could be placed in.
I'd like to offer a couple of words of caution about Sheri Graner Ray's book. She does raise various issues so it is worth reading, but the problem is that she adopts an argumentative approach and attempts to draw generalized conclusions, usually using essentialist views to support her views. For information about why essentialism has been generally rejected by modern feminist philosophers and scholars, please refer to the following summary: Women and Society - Essentialism. It's interesting that Professor Brathwaite and Sheri Graner Ray are friends and colleagues in the industry; I'd love to discuss this topic at great length with both of them.

I also think it's important to note that Sheri Graner Ray and many other people tend to approach the issues with an ethnocentric, usually EuroAmerican-centric, viewpoint without considering the roles of women in markets such as Asia, particularly Japan. One of the responders on Gamasutra's site points out quite correctly that girls and women have made major contributions to Japanese games for many years; of course, this is also true for related storytelling fields such as manga and anime, or simply other media in general. In fact, when Comic Market first began, it was estimated to be roughly 80% dominated by girls and women (according to one article on Japan Times, at least). The boys played catch-up. Of course, this is also true for companies and genres; id Software may have established the FPS genre, but the genre has never really been embraced by the Asian markets, nor have their adventure, visual novel, and simulation genres been embraced by the European and American markets. Even media such as manga and anime were rejected by English markets a couple of times before they finally gained general acceptance in the mainstream.

Finally, it's probably worth pointing out that the term "gender" is often used incorrectly when referring to sex or sexual identity because gender and gender identity is actually emotional/psychological/mental rather than physical. Gender encompasses a spectrum of nonphysical identities. In fact, modern biologists and others in the medical sciences are learning that even physical, sexual identity is not dualistic, male-female, but actually encompasses a similar spectrum of possibilities (see the books As Nature Made Him, She's Not There and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Middlesex for further reading about these topics).

I think that the ultimate point is made quite well by Professor Brathwaite both here and in her own book, Sex in Video Games (which is pretty much strives to just be informative, not argumentative). Specifically, as has been noted, I think that creativity or skill in other areas is best valued based on ability, not on one's sex, race, or other arbitrary categorization, and accepting our diverse nature means that broad generalizations as well as arguments based on them should be avoided.
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Old 09-08-2008, 01:41 PM   #20
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This was a totally refreshing op-ed to read. For some reason until now I only seem to have read about the 'struggles' of being female.
I'm not even sure if it's really about a struggle, I can't quite put my finger on what women complain about (rather than games development I'm reffering to female game players).

What a great read. I felt compelled to join this forum to pass my sentiments on!
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