I have played video games since I was three years old, when my mother brought home an Apple IIe computer, and loaded up Pac-Man for me. From there, I went from playing a range of games like Tonk in the Land of Buddy-Bots and the Monkey Island series, to console titles such as Grand Theft Auto, Assassin’s Creed and Halo.
But here’s one thing I’ve noticed: my favorite games will, more often than not, have a protagonist that looks nothing like me. Where games have a single playable character, that playable character is likely to be a man. A white man. Maybe he has a beard, maybe not. He’s probably also straight–perhaps he also has a wife or child or someone close to him who’s died or been kidnapped at the start of the game as a plot device, and he’s probably armed with some sort of gun or melee weapon or both. Continue reading →
I’m not a huge fan of Barbie for reasons that should be reasonably clear. That said, a few days ago the Mattel website listed something kind of interesting and possibly awesome:
Game Developer Barbie. Continue reading →
One of the biggest turnouts at GeekGirlCon ’15 was for a panel that was announced at the last minute. “In Conversation, Anita and Zoe” featured special guests Anita Sarkeesian (creator of Feminist Frequency) and Zoe Quinn (game designer and co-founder of Crash Override Network) as they discussed what it was like to be high-profile women in tech, online harassment, and what action we can all take to prevent online abuse.
Elizabeth Sampat, who moderated the panel, started by posing some questions to Sarkeesian and Quinn. “You are both successful women in the public eye,” she said. “What kinds of things do you have to do or put up with that men in similar positions don’t have to do?”
Quinn answered first: “I’m worried that people will see me in public and I look like crap.” With the amount of focus that goes into evaluating women’s appearances, she voices her concerns about how if she doesn’t look “acceptable,” she will find threads on Reddit the next day criticizing how she looks. “There are all the things that go into appearance. I got into game dev and writing so I didn’t have to see people but now with this public thing I have to use makeup. It’s easier now when I think of it as painting a Warhammer mini.” Continue reading →
So, as we all know, Halo 5: Guardians is coming out early next week, and there’s been plenty of press about that. The head of the studio, Bonnie Ross, is a woman. She’s a woman in a very unique position in the game industry–statistically, when women work in games, they’re usually more junior than their male counterparts. And, she’s also Corporate Vice President at Microsoft Studios, so that’s a LOT of high-leveled work going on there.
So when Bloomberg published this piece about Ross, I was super excited to read it. It’s not like you get a lot of news about women in the game industry. All in all, it’s not a bad piece. It talks about the Halo franchise, and about what her job is like. It talks about the scope of her work, when she’s in meetings and playtesting and meeting people at conventions, and how she has turned the studio around to make Halo continue to be a smash hit after so many years. These are massive achievements, and not anything to dismiss lightly. Continue reading →
Hayden Black is a writer, voiceover artist and the creator of Hulu’s Goodnight Burbank. He’s also the creator, writer and director of Gen Zed, an animated comedy about the adventures of four Millennial housemates. What’s notable about Gen Zed is that it is the first animated series with a transgender actress in the lead role—it’s about time! Here, he gives us a bit of background on his upcoming show and the importance of diversity in the media.
Tell us a little about Gen Zed.
It’s an anarchic comedy about growing up whilst immersed in tech. About finding out who we are whilst drowning in choices. It’s also about understanding and accepting each other no matter who we are. So buried in all that punk is a totally hippy vibe.
What are the main characters in the show like?
Real. The one thing I hope separates us from other animated series is that while we might have similar flights of fancy, the people here are real. They’re beautiful, they’re ugly, they’re spiteful, they’re loving, they’re pieces of shit, they’re wonderful. Just like you and me. Continue reading →
I have to say that I LOVE A-Force. It’s cleverly written and compelling and has TONS of women in it. I’m so stoked to see how the rest of the story pans out when it continues later this year.
But anyway, I was rereading A-Force #1 today when I noticed this:
I guess it makes sense. It’s an ad for some toy based on the Avengers: Age of Ultron, and I’m reading a Marvel comic, so it stands to reason that there’d be advertising for products that might appeal to people who read comics.
EXCEPT THAT A-FORCE IS A STORY ABOUT THE EMPOWERMENT AND REPRESENTATION OF WOMEN AND WHERE THE FUCK IS BLACK WIDOW IN THE AVENGERS HQ TOY ON THIS AD REALLY.
Continue reading →
There’s a social media movement happening right now as I write this. #WeWantWidow is trending.
There are Black Widow Flash Mobs–and it’s the first ever multi-city cosplay flash mob–appearing across the world. Why? Because fans (of all genders) want to see Black Widow get as much representation as her male counterparts. Continue reading →
Okay, to start, I am generally opposed to the institution of marriage. I think it’s archaic and ought to be unnecessary, except to gain a particular legal status that everyone should have the right to anyway. I’m definitely not the type of woman who has been planning her dream wedding since the age of five, and even if I had, I’m pretty sure my dream wedding would involve me riding a dinosaur, so it’s not like that was going to happen. However, there are specific reasons why I need to go through this stupid and outdated process, so here I am.
Anyway, we’ve been engaged for over a year, but it wasn’t until we started planning the actual event that I realized just how obnoxiously gendered the culture and language around weddings was. I already knew about the sexist traditions of a bride having her father literally give her away (although now there are several alternatives), the bride’s parents traditionally being burdened with the costs of the wedding (and even with the “modern” versions making the costs more equitable, they’re still predominantly for the bride’s family to cover), but once I told people that I was getting married, there was a clear shift in what they thought I would be interested in talking about, and many assumptions were made about certain norms I was apparently supposed to adhere to.
Continue reading →
You don’t say. Well, it should go without saying, but that hasn’t always been the case.
I’ve previously written about the importance of gender diversity for making comics accessible to a broader range of readers. Without having to rehash a lot of that, here’s some empirical evidence that shows that not only does gender diversity seem to morally be a good thing to have in comics, it also seems to have notable financial benefits. Continue reading →
Today, as you’ve probably noticed, is International Women’s Day. It’s a day to celebrate the achievements of women in a whole realm of different sectors, such as economics, science, literature and so on. It’s a day that the United Nations has adopted as a day to promote equality and recognize what has been done, and what still needs to be done to achieve gender justice. Continue reading →