Ever since I was little and proclaimed my intent to become a game designer, I’ve been told left and right that the gaming industry is a ‘man’s world’ and that it would be a difficult task. My response every time was to shrug and say, ‘Yeah, I know. But that isn’t going to stop me.’
It’s been years since then, and I know women have made great strides in the gaming industry since then. Still, in my spring semester of my senior year, one of my professors who is very pro-feminism and equality, read out the annual salaries between men and women in the gaming industry. It wasn’t very encouraging, unfortunately. He said that apparently women get paid less because ladies are expected to eventually have babies and take nine months off, or something like that. My good friend and colleague Kira looked quite pissed, and I have to admit that even I shook my head at the inanity of it all.
But was that an accurate reason? I’m not sure. He was reading from what was supposedly a legit magazine about statistics of the gaming industry, but I can’t remember for the life of me what it was titled. More importantly, is that just a problem of the gaming industry? I’d say no, not by a long shot.
I’m not going to go into a feminist rant because I’m the type of girl that laughs at ridiculous scantily clad women warriors, but understands that (at least in the society I was raised in) ‘sex sells.’ Am I a bad female for being okay with this? I hope not. If I were to accomplish my dream goals and become a multi-millionaire of some sort in the future, one of the first things I would do is establish a scholarship fund for women going into the gaming industry (because I personally couldn’t find a single scholarship when I attended college), and promote equality in the workforce, etc.
But come on, now — no matter your gender or sexuality, advertisements generally portray attractive people in order to appeal to their particular demographic. Even if that supermodel is airbrushed and 90% makeup, you’re going to be interested in whatever he or she is doing at least for the first three seconds before shrugging it off. That’s how I view the silly boobalicious ladies of gaming such as Bayonetta, Ivy, and Kasumi. The only thing I would get unbelievably angry at is if the gameplay attached to the floss bikini chicas has been downplayed in exchange for superior jiggle physics because then you might as well just do a nice long full motion video of them running on a beach and bending over.
Back on the game industry topic: I feel like women are becoming more prevalent in the industry, and we can only keep doing what we’re doing. Maybe as the older generations shuffle on out, newer generations that are more open to equality will come back in. Sure, there will always be some opposition or ridicule or exile that women will have to face — but girls, just think of those many obstacles as mini-bosses that you need to defeat in order to level up. When it comes down to it, gender shouldn’t and hopefully isn’t going to matter when it comes to producing the world’s next number one game. And hey, if nobody’s going to hire us we can always just start a company ourselves!