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Video game makers grapple with need for diversity

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© 2015 AFP

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The tech industries are full of what I call, "alpha basement bois". Sex discrimination is the least of their disgusting charms. I've seen outright misogyny and many companies have been successfully sued because of it.

I've also seen the same behavior from women toward men who work in the industry.

Not everyone is like this, but there are enough to make it hard for everyone else.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Agreed, ArtistAtLarge. The open bigotry I saw people get away with when I worked in IT was shocking.

That said, regarding the article in general I go to JapanToday for news relating to Japan, not copypa from other news sites. I can already read far more detailed and more accurate breakdowns of the GamerGate phenomenon and what happened at GDC elsewhere. I would rather see something on JapanToday that can relate all of that to what it happening in the Japanese game development world. Is Gamergate even a blip on the radar? Do Japanese game developers have issues with misogyny and racism, and are those the same as what we see in Western game developers or is it transformed through the lens of Japanese culture? Do Japanese gamers harass and abuse women in gaming to the same degree as western gamers do? All of these questions are unanswered by the article.

Ah, for the good old days, when "news" meant "journalism", not "content reseller".

1 ( +4 / -3 )

We not need diversity we need the all FREMIUM games and DLC has to be burn in hell! All that AAA companies like Avtivition, EA, and more and is milking our money! We are paying a weekly fee for play video games ? This need be stop it first and later we talk about diversity shall we!

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Just don't mess with my zombie games. Diablo 3 got all WoW-ified. If that was the doing of women, I don't know, but please stay on your side of the aisle. Men and women are very different in many respects and our games can reflect that.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

If it has a growing fan base, which it does then that means females like the products that males are churning out? In that case why the need of diversity? Just because their is fan based diversity does not mean that video game developer rooms need to somehow "reflect" that. What if this diversity ruins the quality of the product which it most certainly will? I'd day if it is profitable and growing despite what ever lack of diversity then keep it that way.

I also agree with scipantheist, Diablo 3 was a total downer. Diablo2 was amazing.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

I don't know what is it with male game nerds that attack outspoken female players. They probably never had a girlfriend. On the other hand you give those feminists just the right grounds for battle. There are games that portray sexist schemes. So what? It happens in any other media. It's part of the culture. Feminists can't stand that women are portrayed like that. They feel they must be righteous for the whole gender while it's only them who have a problem with it. No man complains if a male is portrayed in a disadvantage situation, except maybe those furious game nerds who never had a girlfriend.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

I'm sorry, but when your gaming consists of Candycrush and other smartphone games, you are not a gamer. And we have seen how all the games trying to cater do SJWs have been embarrassing and obvious about it. There are loads of great female characters in gaming. The problem is, these gaming feminists don't, well, game. Anita Sarkeesian has even said that she used to never game (all though she of course says something else now). Zoe Quinn made Depression Quest. I have a hard time recognizing that as an actual game. Besides, this article is clearly biased - the so-called rant covered how she had used her connections (and body) to gain favorable reviews. How is that kind of corruption fair? I'm just sick of these feminists. I don't think they empower women, on the contrary, I as a woman feel they put me in a weaker position.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Good points and ideas, Katsu78.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

An International Game Developers Association (IGDA) study last year indicated that 22% of those working in the industry are women while about 49% of players are female.

The article brushes over this, but using that statistic without qualifying it is rather disingenuous. Females only make up 49% of gamers if you count literally anyone who has ever played a game on their phone. Think about how many people have played a game like snake on their mobiile phone but would be the last person to call themselves a 'gamer'. Now take into account that traditional game developer jobs are with big console game-makers, which is indeed has a male-dominated player-base, and you can see how that statistic is rather misleading.

Secondly, I would like to point out that there are several female developers who are highly respected by everyone. Jade Raymond and Amy Hennig, for example. You don't see vitriol being aimed at them. Most of the females who are trolled over Twitter and social media aren't really big names in game development. In fact, many of them aren't even game developers, such as Anita Sarkeesian who's a feminist critic.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Aren't they content enough with Candy Crush? Yes, thats right. Some "boys only" games are just that. I certainly wouldn't want my young daughters to b playing GTA 5 all day long now.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

Gamers have always just been gamers, and no one made much of a fuss until things started to get popular. Now that money can be made off of drama, here come people like Anita sarkeissen and zoe quinn to make cash money. Anita who steals other gamers game play to make on like she is playing games as well as not even being smart enough to plug in controllers duringn photo shoots because that turns on the lights that show its on and then zoe who makes depression quest which is little more than a "choose your own adventure" book on a monitor and gets surprised that she gets threats when she becomes a public figure. I've had a YouTube channel for 6 years and with only 22,000 subs I get daily threats that I'll get beat up and killed. That's just part of being a public figure and nasty part of the net. If you don't want it don't join it and don't put yourself out there. and don't suggest it's cause you are a "gamer girl." Gamers are "gamers" plain and simple no man calls himself a gamer boy no transgender calls themselves gamer trans. I thought JT was better than this and would stay out of this hashtag. Yet here we are hearing a super old story that is half baked. No mention of how zoe quinn attacked mundane matts videos, the secret letters between kotaku and how escapist raised two middle fingers and walked away. Also game makers and reviewers calling gamers "dead" because they wouldn't just sweep the BS under the rug. Seriously JT if you are going to half jump into a story a million years too late at least save face by covering it in full.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

The rise of casual play on smartphones or tablets has resulted in mobile games like “Candy Crush,” which was a hit with women, gaining popularity rivaling that of hard-core shooter titles.

People who only really play Candy Crush aren't "gamers". CoD, WoW, Destiny, GTA, etc players are "gamers".

The whole gamergate should have been all about ethics in journalism. Instead it has been twisted into a feminist cause. Check out the TL;DR videos on YouTube about it, and be educated.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSJ_QfposO0

and

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkX5U7mRNnA

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

These gamers are a sad lot.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Sad that the misogynists are popping up in the comments here at JT as well.

"These women aren't REAL gamers"

"Go back to your smartphone games"

You folks should be ashamed of yourselves.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

What's going on? I thought games are just for fun, guys.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Joshua DegreiffMar.

08, 2015 - 12:08PM JST We not need diversity we need the all FREMIUM games and DLC has to be burn in hell! All that AAA companies like Avtivition, EA, and more and is milking our money! We are paying a weekly fee for play video games ? This need be stop it first and later we talk about diversity shall we!

False dilemma. It's not as if you can't tackle multiple problems at once. And anyway, I find it interesting that you seem to value the respectul treatment of women less than you value your gaming experience.

@scipantheist

but please stay on your side of the aisle

I don't understand why you wrote this. Are you envisioning a seperate boys and girls section in game stores? Otherwise, I don't see the need to create sides at all. People buy a game because they like it. Their gender plays no part in it.

@AiserX

What if this diversity ruins the quality of the product which it most certainly will?

It most certainly will? See, claiming that the quality of a product will drop if more women are involved in its creation pretty much is sexism. As for the rest of your comment, the problem is that women are being prevented from engaging in video game community as ful members. As players and creators, they face barriers because of their gender. That's a problem

4 ( +5 / -1 )

What Scott Ackerman said, ten times over.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If money can be made off it, it will be made. There is no need for this "diversity i feel so righteous" shit.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Wow, didn't realize this gaming stuff was so.......................nasty!

Glad the last game I played was an early version of donkey kong LOL!! Gee I wouldn't want any part of what the current gaming seems like & also because I wouldn't have a hope in hell figuring any game out LOL!!

Pretty pathetic when the cyber world starts taking on issues like the real world, messed up!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I have a bachelor in game programming in various languages, it is also a major interest of mine. I am currently taking my master's in A.I.

However I am most of the time disgusted with the game industry and how it blatantly milks money in shameless ways from consumers. Day-one-DLCs, DLCs in general, premium, subscription models.

Some of these work, sometimes, for the gamer (they always work for the company). Just look at EA, regarded as the scum of the game industry, making money like never before. The problem originated in these companies, but are being fueled by the consumers will to buy. Unless we stop buying the crap they put out, they'll just keep making it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm the chick that plays all genres and can barely stand ANY smartphone games. FPS, MMORPG, 2D/3D Platformers, etc. (limit on the newer sidescroller simply because the market is over-saturated). I think I may be a bit of an exception, though, simply because I had my first controller placed in my hand when I was 3 years old. Games are part of who I am. I believe both genders can really bring a lot to ANY game- it depends more on the person than on the gender, race, etc. Remember, the classic horror story "Frankenstein" was written by a woman- women have twisted minds and wild imaginations, too.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I think I may be a bit of an exception

You're not the exception at all - I know a LOT of serious women gamers, fans of all genres.

It's only the mentally underdeveloped man-children who think women don't like games. Most women under 35 or so grew up with games, same as the men.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Aren't they content enough with Candy Crush? Yes, thats right. Some "boys only" games are just that. I certainly wouldn't want my young daughters to b playing GTA 5 all day long now.

@Wc626: Do you mean that you would let your young sons play it then? That's absolute hipocrasy. Why? Really, why? This makes no sense.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I find it interesting that you seem to value the respectul treatment of women less than you value your gaming experience.

If by respectful treatment of women you mean altering the game content, then yes, I value that less than the gaming experience. No one has given anyone the right to alter people's fantasies by force.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I'm female & a gamer. Started with Sega Master System, then Mega Drive, then PS1, then PS2, skipped PS3 to focus more on PC games, currently I have a PS Vita & PS4. I have to say though that I've grown to hate the term gamer even though I actually am one. I first discovered the sensitivity of gamers in High School when a male class mate of mine said he was most like Scorpion from MK. I responded honestly that he seemed more like Shinji Ikari from EVA (& everyone in class agreed) but whoa! I've never seen such a melt down, "I'm nothing like that p**y #^$&)@^&)*%@". I think getting more varied female characters in gaming would be great but I feel sorry for the females in the gaming business if they are dealing with guys like my Shinji friend - all the best & Gods speed ladies.

PC games appear to be more inclined to have variety, perhaps they truly are the master race ;)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@ShyDingo I assume you didn't know, but yeah comparing a guy to a boy that cries a lot, whatever the source, isn't going to go over well. Would you date a Shinji Ikari if he were grown up? I didn't think so.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The article really preys on people's ignorance. Claim that male gamers are evil misogynist harassers and people won't even bother to fact-check. They'll just take it at face value. As if even one thousandths of one percent of male gamers are sending death threats to anyone. And racism? At least keep the story straight, guys. Last I checked it was the feminists who had a self-admitted neo-Nazi on their side, Ian Miles Cheong.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@scipantheist. I don't see how whether I'd date a real life Shinji Ikari has anything to do with the comment I made. But I do have a mate of mine who was a lot like that character as a teen & he's punching well above his weight now married to a nice lady & has kids. So I guess there are those that would date a Shinji Ikari. I find people who bitch about women being involved in gaming to be far worse than a cry baby teen reacting normally to an abnormal situation though.

Anyway, that's my piece, I'm leaving it at that. Video game discussion never stays rational for long.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@ShyDingo: I, too, as a woman, think it would be nice to be more represented. The problem is that the modern games trying to be inclusive and politically correct, are ridiculously obvious about it. You can tell they make these changes just to pander to the loudest demographic - even though they aren't the ones buying most of the games. This happened with the new Dragon Age. It was so blatantly "politically correct," it was embarrassing. Just do it naturally. I think games like Portal or Kya: Dark Lineage does this really well without being so in-your-face about it. I want a game, not a political statement.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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