Now that I’ve gone on a rant spanning multiple posts about the state of women within different video games I want to turn my attention to the current state of women who create games. I’ve been speaking at length about male game developers and how they have so much time invested in the gaming industry and it’s age old gender stereotypes, that it makes it near-impossible for them to consider creating games where women are more realistic and more conservative.
In order for this to happen I’m afraid, we are going to have to get more women interested in becoming game developers themselves so that like they have made a statement in the world of playing games, they can make just as big a statement in the world of creating games.
Torrie Dorrell, the Senior VP of Global Sales and Marketing for Sony, said in a 2008 interview with CNN: “Women are out there in significant numbers playing MMOs, action games, first-person shooters,” Dorrell explains. “What is lacking in the equation are women behind these games” (West).
To try and balance out the equation and get more girls interested in video game developing Dorrell has created, along with Sony Online Entertainment, a scholarship program called G.I.R.L or Gamers in Real Life. The name is a play on the fact that many more women are gamers in real life than are portrayed in various media. The scholarship program is giving out a $10,000 scholarship to one female who is currently enrolled at an art institute in the US and currently studying game development.
This is a great idea and all and should help increase the number of women who are interested in video game development some, one scholarship worth $10,000 is hardly going to get women out in droves to join the industry. Surely a company as big as Sony could afford to shell out a little more cash and maybe get 3 women a scholarship? That would be a little more mutually beneficial in my opinion.
Anyway the point that I am inching towards is that until more woman are involved in the development of games, both social and console, there is going to be a disconnect between the millions of female gamers and the men who create all of the games that they play.
West, Matt. “Wooing women gamers–and game creators” (2008)http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/ptech/02/28/women.gamers/index.html