Good Game's Women In Games Special Was Really... Special.

Over two years in the making, last night Good Game ran a really well-made feature in women in gaming, and it's an absolute must watch. It might be one of the best segments I've ever seen on the show.

The topic: women only make up 8.7% of developers here is Australia. How can we change that? How can we get a broader stream of representation in the gaming space?

Bringing in interviews from local Australian female developers, academics, overseas developers, it's a really well put together piece. My favourite part? Hearing Giselle Rosman talk about the need for female role models to make themselves visible coupled with images from some of history's best known games made by women. In that sense it was part informative, part inspirational. From feedback I've heard, many young girls were watching the show with their parents and found themselves inspired to try and make games. That's pretty powerful.

I strongly encourage giving it a watch.


Comments

    It was pretty great. Also nice putting faces to names I follow on Twitter. <3

    Last edited 08/04/15 1:14 pm

    Australians get things done.

    Well done ladies.

    One speaker talking about female discrimination and pay inequity wouldn't actually know from experience, as they have their own minority category.

    What a fantastic feature, Good Game should be seriously proud of themselves.

    It touched on the main problem that doesn't seem to be being said enough by people who want more women in games in that there seriously isn't enough women in the industry, and if we can get more women in it, then it will help with a lot of the misrepresentation in games that exists now.

    If you have a passion for games, and want to change how women are seen then join the industry! The best way to fix games is from the inside!

    This also applies for gay/transgender people as well, there's not enough representation for you guys too.

    but yeah, good job GG.

    Last edited 08/04/15 1:31 pm

    There was a feature on the ABC about 2 days back about religion and faith in gaming too that was quite exceptional, I can't recall its name however. It had both sides of the story, the addition of emotional as a theme and so on and even managed to bring up GTA without also dusting off the torches and pitchforks. I was pleasantly surprised.

      Is that the one which featured Hex talking about it? Think that I watched that some time ago, but it was pretty well done.

        seemed pretty recent, had footage from TLoU and the Bloodborne trailer. Might have been the one though

          It was probably the God in Games episode by Compass :)

      That sounds really interesting... any idea as to what it was called or when it aired? I missed it, and I'd love to find it but I can't see anything relevant on iView.

    Hearing Giselle Rosman talk about the need for female role models to make themselves visible coupled with images from some of history’s best known games made by women.

    I think this is key. People know who Hideo Kojima, John Carmack, Gabe Newell, Tim Schafer etc are. When you ask someone today to name a woman in gaming chances are it'd be Anita Sarkeesian rather than someone who actually creates games. There's no denying that if female developers were more apparent in the industry that more girls/women will maybe want to enter the industry. That's not to say studios should actively seek to employ women just to get their staff ratio up, still employ the best person for the job, but if more women were drawn to the industry in the first place then the talent pool will increase and greater games for everyone.

      I would have gone with Roberta Williams who co founded Sierra and literally created narrative games. Heck she and her husband received an industry award at the Game Awards last year.

        She was shown several times within the video, which was nice

      Roberta Williams, as mentioned below, who then leads to Lori Cole, the co creator of the Quest for Glory games. Phantasmagoria 2 had a different lady heading it up after Roberta did the first, and the Legacy of Kain series was another notable one headed up by a female Dev.

      Both the Producer of the Hyperdimension Neptunia series of games, as well as Tsunako, the character designer and artist of HDN, are two examples of female game developers in modern JRPGs.

      Mangagamer did an interesting series of interviews with female staff involved in VNs

    I watched this last night and thought it was really good. Noticed a sneaky @markserrels cameo about half-way in, too!

    I think its would also help if us guys were more welcoming and encouraging too. My neice came to visit me after christmas and a few of my mates came over for beers n games (no beer for neice, only 14) and we all played 4 player terraria. She mentioned that she wished the game did this or that etc. and my buddy said "well why not make your own? I mod dawn of war and theres plenty of easy to learn programes out there". She said her father n brother told her a girl wouldnt be tough enough to survive in that industry. After some "persuasive" discussion with dad my neice is now enrolling in a dev course soon, is teaching herself unity and im taking her to her 1st game jam later this year. So fkn proud of her. So guys if you know someone with potential (boy or girl) give em the support they need to make us new games!

      What an awesome story, good on you for being so encouraging :-)

    A very good piece overall with a few small "myths pushed as facts" and "shifting balance in the opposite direction equals balance" making a little less sense than it should. Heck comparing "an artist is making $20,000 less than a programmer"... Ummm Apples vs Oranges much? You're comparing two different parts of the field and using that as a basis for a difference in a separate matter. If it was "as a female programmer I make $20,000 less than my male programmer counterpart" then I'd be right there with you saying there is a wage gap and it's not right. But two different jobs have two different pay scales, there is no logical comparison to make.

    Overall, a much better piece than I've seen in a lot of media (including Kotaku) over the past couple of years to be sure.

    *Prepares for flood of down votes, and "you're wrong" comments*

      Things were a bit muddled, to be sure.

      A production like this that has to fit into a tv show's allotted time has to - as you probably know - be constrained and massaged to fit, and some points are better made than others.

      It prompts a discussion like any modern aussie tv does these days

      I did feel that argument was indeed a little weak, and did not need to be made when you're already talking about a like-for-like gap of $10K. I'm a programmer and know that my skillset is very different to that of an artist, even though we may find ourselves working on the same product.

      Agreed, the whole artist vs programmer debate is another story.

      What gets me though is that people act as if getting more women into the industry will somehow mean more games. It is a bit simplistic to say that. Sure, you might get more indie games made on a shoestring budget, but unless the market for games increases commensurately with the extra devs coming into the industry, there will be a general diminution of wages due to oversupply of job candidates. This isn't to say that women getting into the industry is wrong, just that it might not be all sunshine and lollipops, which I think the GG show failed to address.

      Still, getting more women involved can only be a good thing. After all, the greatest works of the Age of Legends were achieved by males and females working together.

      Once we've gotten the industries gender discrepancies sorted, maybe we could take a look at that artist to programmer pay gap too.

      Last edited 08/04/15 5:10 pm

      Pretty good segment with some great insight/ideas, but I agree that the bit about artists vs programmers didn't need to be included. Also where does the $10K gender pay gap come from? Is it comparing the exact same role i.e. entry level vs entry level or senior programmer with 10 years of experience vs senior programmer with 10 years of experience, both working full time?

      I've seen these stats thrown around before and while I'm unsure of this specific example, I know they're used incorrectly in other industries where for instance they compare people on full time pay with those on part time and then equate that as a pay gap, or in some instances people across completely different industries.

    Just read a tweet from Hex saying how the comments on the FB page are a bit of a letdown. I'd have to agree from a quick glance. Plenty of the old "why do we need reverse-sexism" chestnut ignorance going on.

      Point her this way. We're all pretty awesome!

      Some people are confused by affirmative action. For them it is a zero-sum game. The reality is slightly more complex (see my comment above). That's not to say their fears are baseless, but in a perfect world it would be those less skilled male candidates that would be missing out in favour of more skilled female candidates. Ideally we'd be looking at an improvement in the quality of game devs across the board.

      I just saw her post on her Facebook page about it. She seems more about the numbers more than things like education and personal reasoning. While I agree we should be encouraging more females into games development at every level, it's not like we can force them into something that they don't want to get involved in.

        While I agree we should be encouraging more females into games development at every level, it's not like we can force them into something that they don't want to get involved in.

        Mase, I think this argument was covered quite well in the article. The way I read it is that due in part to the evolution of games marketing in the 90s, male dominance has made it a very inhospitable place for women to work. Plenty of evidence is cited to back this up, for example male / female representation in comparable industries, and drop-out rates for development courses.

        I think that if people are going to come back with the argument that the best developers should be chosen for jobs, regardless of gender, then we need to be asking, why are women not represented equally? It's an incredibly important question. That's what I took away from the GoodGame article.

          I think that if people are going to come back with the argument that the best developers should be chosen for jobs, regardless of gender, then we need to be asking, why are women not represented equally?

          And this is where I put over the idea of "personal choice and interest". While it was covered in the article, it seems that a lot of people are boiling it down to a overly simplistic numbers game. Shouldn't we be celebrating the fact that women in games development is on the rise, instead of complaining that there isn't a perfect 50% ratio in the industry? We'll get to the 50% (or probably higher) ratio with time.

          There is no magic bullet or instant fix solution here, we need to keep pushing encouragement to pursue the careers for the future. This country has a long way to go, and it's not going to be an overnight fix that a lot of people believe it is.

            I'm with you as far as the fact that there isn't necessarily an overnight solution.

            But in answer to your question about "celebrating" a rise of female participation in gaming development, you need to come back to the basic fact put forward by Good Game - that there are less than 9% women working in gaming development in Australia, and that this gender inequality isn't reflected in other similar industries. They are not just complaining, they are asking a perfectly valid question.

              No one will want to work in a job where they feel threatened or are treated like shit by the consumers of the product on the regular.

        But the reason they don't want to get involved is because it's seen as an unwelcoming and male dominated industry, and because there's a systemic issue with how women have been dissuaded from STEM roles.

          And how do you know this? How do you know what goes on in every female brain? What gives you the right to speak for the female gender as to what they are or are not interested in?

          I don't seem to understand your objection to me advocating a woman's right to choose or not choose an industry based on her own skills and passion.

          I'll agree that STEM fields do have some unwelcoming nature to them; but name me a closed circle career based environment/workplace that is welcoming to new comers of any gender. If you think you know one, then think again. No place is welcoming ever. You have to earn you place and acclimate yourself to the work environment in order to fit into the social culture, not expect the work environment to change itself to suit your personal tastes.

            I think @redartifice is referring to the reasoning in the article, not pushing a personal position.

              I'm also questioning this of the article too. There was a lot of the "big meanie male boogyman" being thrown around in the article. While I agree to some degree (in the terms that there is some unwelcoming work environments out there) I think we shouldn't be dismissing things like personal choices and passions, which has been pushed aside in order to point out "Look at these numbers, we need more in favor of this percentage".

                The point, and I think @tailspinner is making this too, is those "personal passions" are in part dictated by the perception of the fields they're entering. I don't claim to speak for women- they are more than capable of doing that for themselves- I am coming from working in skills and employment focused roles in industries that have identified this as a problem- perhaps not as acute a problem as a 91% skew, but still a skew- in gender disparity.

                Look at school science participation- here's a document from the American education system, but I can tell you it tracks pretty closely here in Australia : http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/gender-equity-in-education.pdf

                In high school science classes, participation by girls is (roughly, but not quite) equal, yet only 30% of university graduates are in those fields. that's a huge difference.

                Look at STEM choices in South Australia: http://www.statedevelopment.sa.gov.au/upload/science/Female%20participation%20in%20STEM%20March%202013.pdf

                I can tell you right now, there is something discouraging women from moving into fields like Engineering, like Computer programming (what that paper calls Prime STEM). Look at the number of graduates versus the number of employed. Figures like that show that there are women who want to enter careers in STEM fields, including gaming- but they're either not getting the jobs (doubtful) or they're entering the industry and leaving. Again- that's not a personal passion thing, that's systemic. Look up Women in STEM for much more reading on this topic.

                THat's why lots of industries are putting in place programs to support women in their industries, because they're grossly underrepresented.

                And as to your comment on "earn your place and acclimate," there are plenty of work environments that could use a shake-up.

      I was just about to say how pleasantly surprised I am by the comments here compared to there.

    I don't mind stuff like this. I know I talk a lot of shit about Good Game (deservedly), but I generally really enjoy Goose's segments, and this is no exception.

    I appreciate stuff like this, because it is well researched and presented in a serious way, and thoroughly engaging and enjoyable, as opposed to two f*ckheads just screwing around in a childish manner.

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