In the wake of the recent Overwatch Contenders scandal/bullshit, I just want to talk about some of my experiences with online gaming as a female. Maybe this way, no one else will feel compelled to conduct a "social experiment" that could potentially set women-in-professional-gaming back years.
Though a minority of gamers are female, that minority is a significant one–and growing. There's no denying the facts and statistics. While women make up very little of the user base for sports-based video games like FIFA, their numbers are much more significant in other video game genres, ranging from adventure to fantasy to strategy and beyond. However, the industry still overwhelmingly caters to a male user base. Oftentimes, women are ignored by gaming companies, making some games unfriendly or simply ridiculous to some women. But on the other hand, there are just a handful of video games that are great for girls (and guys), for one reason or another.
It's no secret that gaming, on both the creation and consumption sides, have overwhelmingly been thought of as male spheres. With growing numbers of women pursuing their interests in gaming though, those numbers are changing. From the powerful and impressive veterans whose success paved the way for these changes, to the dedicated young women who continue to prove their place in the industry, understanding why women game developers matter so much cannot be discounted. Here are some of those impressive female video game developers who are helping to change the industry from both sides.
So I recently switched from Warframe on PC to Warframe on PS4 because Steam was having issues with my use of a PS4 controller to play. I had to log in and out five times to send/accept friend requests, squad invites, or just to chat via text or voice (actually I never got the voice chat to work at all).
As a kid growing up in the 2000s, I was subject to all sorts of games and consoles becoming more and more popular. I had an older brother who introduced me to all sorts of PS2 games like, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit or Lego Star Wars, and a father who introduced me to fantasy-inspired games like Spyro the Dragon and eventually World Of Warcraft.
Gender stereotyping and sexism, particularly in gaming, are two common problems throughout the gaming community. Most females within the gaming community have experienced such animosity when playing video games online. Consequently, there is major controversy over whether video games have a gender problem. I argue that video games do have a gender problem. Therefore, gamers, male and female, and non-gamers need to become aware and educated about the issues of harassment and sexism in online gaming. To address these issues, I will provide examples from my own gamer experience and those of other female gamers, as well as that of a game enthusiast. I will also provide statistics revealing the increase of online female gamers and the benefits of a male gamer.
The industry beginning to stray away from its old sexist ways has introduced new and more games with strong girl protagonists. Consequently, girl protagonists have made the gaming community more open to girls because of the less sexist representation and breaking of societally established gender roles.
Whenever there's a villain involved, they're oftentimes the highlight of the story. The stakes are high, the motivations are high, and the dynamic between the villain and protagonist is captivating - these are the tools that build a good climax.
So, to kick this thing off… I’m Brittany Regay! I play games by day, read comics by night, and run around tomb raiding on the weekends. I decided to start this column to provide a platform to discuss, ponder, and illustrate the complexities within the game community and industry. If there are any topics you’d be interested in reading about or seeing discussed, please don’t hesitate to reach out!
The Legend Of Zelda is one of the most well known franchises in the world of gaming. Almost everyone knows about the story of a young boy in green called Link who slays Ganon and saves Princess Zelda. That's the main jest of the game, but Zelda is a lot more than just a damsel-in-distress. Whilst Nintendo's Princess Peach defines the damsel-in-distress model, Princess Zelda breaks the mould as stated on her Wikipedia page.
Samus Aran is the original femme fatale of Nintendo. Often referred as the first playable female character in gaming, the intergalactic bounty hunter has been a character of great interest to me. I was first introduced to Samus as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Melee. I did not play the original Metroid game until many years later. So I always knew that Samus was female.
I've come across many articles and videos about feminism and video games mixed together, but they always seem to have a very bitter undertone to it. Instead, some of these great characters are being labelled as damsels in distress, fan service, or simple love interests, and I think that's a shame. There doesn't seem to be much about how female video game characters can empower and inspire women in real life. If there is, it's completely hidden.