Spot the odd one… oh wait, don’t bother

8 11 2010
This screenshot of the Develop conference newsletter was posted to a Girl Gamer group by a friend, with the question “Notice anything in particular?”

They do line up well to reinforce the stereotype, ticking the appropriate boxes for gender, age and general ethnicity. It’s the kind of thing that once pointed out is quite embarrassing to look at.
But I think it may look worse than it truly is – it’s quite misleading to put ‘very successful game developers’ then show the individuals – for example, Richard Hogg (top, second from right) would be representing ‘successful game developer’ Honeyslug, 1/3 of which is female. At Six to Start, Adrian and Dan always ALWAYS* represented us but (at the time I was working there) we were a 50% female/male company.
The reason this list is so disappointing to look at is because it presents the idea that 

‘successful games development = (male) individual’.

We all know that an individual pulling off a project alone is a one-in-a-million chance and therefore that equation can’t be right, more accurate would be

‘successful game = good game development team + (visible) individual’

and that adds potentially hundreds of invisible people, of potentially any gender, age, race or other variable. 

I wonder how many other girls are being hidden in this picture?


*Okay, so I did twice go speak at things.





2 responses

9 12 2010

I often feel apologetic for being male and Caucasian, if it makes you feel any better. 😉 In general I find there is plenty of eagerness to change the face of ‘games’, so much so that it /seems/ as though you’ve got a better chance to gain visibility if you’re not some vanilla ice-cream chap.

I don’t think it’s Richard Hogg’s fault that Nat doesn’t go to every event. If anything, shouldn’t you be calling out Nat for not being more visible? (I’ve met all three, they’re lovely!)

11 12 2010
Mink Ette

I didn’t mean to pick on Richard, I was just being lazy by not looking up the other people’s teams, and going for the one person I know anything about!
I wasn’t trying to attack the caucasian male, this was my attempt to defend them in fact! Somewhere something is wrong if games makers are being portrayed as only male when this is not the case – what is causing this error?
Is it that men don’t care about women’s opinions? That’s how it looks, but I’ve never met such a man.
Do women not want to speak at things?
I know that for World of Love, David found it hard to get as many women speakers as he did, maybe this is true for other conferences too.
I’m just as guilty of not pushing myself forward as all the other ‘invisible women’, I’ll happily talk for hours about games to people down the pub, but if an opportunity to talk at an event comes up, There is not a single thing I would feel comfortable talking with authority about.
But then there are guys who are the same there too. We need to find the flaw in the system if it’s to be fixed.

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