Usually I try not to post about stuff like this, mostly because I dislike talking about anything that veers close to politics. It’s not because I’m not opinionated or do not feel strongly about it, but it’s mostly because I realize trying to convince certain people is about as worthwhile as slamming your head against a brick wall for about an hour.
That said, I talked to a friend of mine earlier and she was very upset by the current state of things. If for no other reason than that she and people like her will hopefully read this and realize that not everyone feels that way, and might take some solace from it, I thought I should write this.
Now I’m not talking about the way women are portrayed in games, that’s a whole other issue, although it is connected in its own way. I’m more focused at this point on the wholly misguided belief that games as a whole are an institution solely for the male gender. The idea that women don’t play real games, or that they don’t make real games.
What sort of civilization do we live in anyway that such an idea can not only exist, but be so prevalent? I suppose it’s not too surprising, after all there are people who still carry hate in their hearts for other races. There might be laws that protect the equal rights of races, equal rights of sexes, but they do not govern hearts.
I can’t understand it personally, I mean I can look at it from a purely psychological standpoint and attempt to pick out the personality of someone who would think like that. Who would believe that women cannot play or make games? Likely they are single and have not had much luck in relationships. Either they were incapable of speaking to women, or were capable of it but did not respect them even then. Either way they likely never actually got to know a woman, to see that they can love and enjoy a game as much as they can.
Carrying on with my little psychological profile here, obviously since they can’t seem to actually have a healthy relationship with a woman, they must see them as very different and incapable of understanding things the way they do. They don’t want women involved in their “niche”. The thing is though, gaming never has been a niche exclusively for men, nor has game development. Women have been playing and developing games since before I was born and I likely have a good few years on most of the people in the groups with these so misguided opinions.
Of course I suppose the worst part isn’t that they think these things, the worst part is how vocal they are in trying to force their opinions on others. How they lash out trying to protect something that doesn’t belong to them in the first place. They threaten women with violence making use of the impunity afforded them by the anonymity of the internet. Yes, I’m calling them immature and cowardly. What kind of person could say the sorts of things they do though and still be able to look themselves in the mirror the next morning? Does it make them feel powerful to threaten someone and make them afraid, hurt them?
All it is is hate-mongering, and they are not powerful, they’re just afraid themselves. You can’t keep women from gaming, you can’t keep them from developing games, they’ve been gaming all this time, and they’ve been developing games all this time, too. It’s not a recent development, if my mind isn’t failing me the first female game developer released a game in the late 1970s.
I would never want to exclude anyone from gaming. I love games and have loved them since I was young. I think it’s an amazing thing to be able to share it with someone. You can really tell when someone is passionate about games, when they really get into them and developing them. I love talking about them, and a number of my friends in development are female as well. One of the members of my current development team is female and she’s more passionate about game development and driven to actually do something than a number of guys I’ve known. That’s why I’m glad to work with her, not because she’s a woman, but because she’s passionate and driven.
Like I said when I started this, I don’t honestly expect my voice to create some massive change, but if I can make my friend feel better and maybe some other people out there, then I’ll feel I’ve accomplished something worthwhile at least.