Best known for her work on the highly-acclaimed Portal series, Kim Swift wishes her fellow female game developers to make themselves more visible in order to inspire the next generation. In her recent blog post titled "1reason" which is a response to the twitter hash tag: #1reasonwhy, Swift explains that for the gaming industry to just grow up, we need to change the makeup of it which I find true.
Just incase you were wondering what the #1reasonwhy is all about, it was basically used on twitter some time ago for game devs to share their stories on why there aren't very many female game developers. Though the stories weren't horrifying per se, some of them were definitely incredibly inappropriate in terms of formalities -- Not hiring a dev or losing interest in them just cause they were not single, being paid a little less than the opposite gender, and mistaken for booth babes when representing their own games?-- For a hi-tech industry, we sure reside in the dark ages.
Still, Swift wants female devs to "be outspoken, be visible, [and] be strong." It's true what they say and even a lot of companies admit that females add that extra flavor games need especially in-terms of story and characterization. But the whole point here is for the female devs (some of which were scared to post on #1reasonwhy) to come out of their shells and inspire the next generation. Through experience, Swift says she "lucked out with insanely supportive parents" but still never had the person to look up to and say "she can do it, so can I."
After thinking about all of this, it makes me sad in the end. I've played with a lot of female gamers in my virtual ventures and not one time did I ever think to myself "girls play games!?" Yet those who only play a certain genre of games and stick to their friends, leaving themselves in such a confined location, generally become shocked and act to such a low level of maturity when they come across a girl schooling them in their own element. I guess Swift has a huge point here in wanted female devs to make themselves more known because they really just aren't known. Though there are some, like Brenda Romero, I have to be honest and say I didn't know who she was till she married John Romero and she's been in the industry for 31 years!
So I guess the moral of this story is if you're a female working in the industry, the gaming industry we all love, then step out of your shell and just stop caring what your colleagues think of you. I'm sure most of them don't even think about it and the ones that do understand your ideas help their games. It's true, our industry won't grow till everyone is treated fairly for the ideas they give, not some uncontrollable variable.
SO what do you guys think about on this subject? Do you think female game devs are not represented for what they do? How so? And also, before you leave, take the time to read Kim Swift's blog, it's very good.