Sunday, May 22, 2011
Saturday, May 21, 2011
I’m tired of those of us who care in the game industry complaining that there aren’t enough female protagonists while those of them who make the money decisions keep responding, “Gee, we’d love to, but the market data is clear. They just won’t buy it.” I hear that from WOMEN in those money/marketing positions, too. And they say it while agreeing with the principle of the thing. Since when did it become okay to NOT do something we know is in best interests of our kids, just because our profits won’t be as obscene? I am all for obscene profits, but I want my daughter to see and play characters she can relate to. SHE wants that; nobody put it in her head.
I’ll freely admit, as sensitive a dude as I am, this didn’t become a concrete issue for me until I started seeing how much more excited my kid got when there was a girl onscreen she could identify with. She asks for “girl songs,” “girl movies” and “girl games.” Why shouldn’t she have that? I had that as a kid. She’s a consumer. We’ll buy it. I’ll MAKE it. We can’t be the only ones. I know we’re not. As I told @leighalexander for her article, I’m DYING to write more female protagonists. I do everything I can to make that happen.
I am less than successful. This angers me and, when I look at my little girl, breaks my heart. It’s not right. Forget the data. Scale down the budget accordingly if needed. We are not serving half our audience in the manner they want and deserve. Not good enough, gamemakers, dammit. Not good enough. Here endeth the lesson.
Friday, May 20, 2011
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
I actually want to surface some of the comments written on GeekFeminism:
I wonder if Randall reads Geek Feminism–maybe it just shows up on his Google Alerts when someone ’round here mentions him. There was a post a while ago praising an XKCD strip for passing Bechdel, and to me it seems like ever since then, Randall’s been making a concerted effort to include more women in his strips.
Of course, not that many pass the Bechdel test per say:
Skud points out strip 752, and counts back 400 strips to the previous Bechdel-passer (though there’s discussion in the comments about whether or not another intervening strip counted).
In the 144 strips since then, I count eight solid Bechdel passes (1.798 2. 813 3.816 4. 829 5. 865 6.872 7. 877 8. 896) and three Bechdel-maybes (1. 819: “thanks for the great night” momma joke, 2. 846: woman speaking to (but not with) Ke$ha about dentistry, and 3. 867 , in which one woman responds to another woman’s presentation.
But you know what? I don't care so much about that. Yes, having more than one (nerdy) female in a comic strip is great... but tons of Munroe's strips *actually have any*. And that makes me so happy.
I took the liberty of collecting some data on xkcd characters over the last 100 comics (#800-900). Below is a visualization of my findings. Note: for the purposes of this data characters with traditionally-female hair styles are presumed female. Those with no hair or traditionally male hairstyles are designated male.
For reference, women comprise 29% of the workforce working in computer or information science according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2006.
You'll note that not every strip contains human characters, meaning that fewer than 100 comics are represented in the following chart:
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
If you were not convinced by that, here is just one sample of the awesomeness:
You see, uterus, you are attached to my other organs and when you thrash around in anger, they become quite upset. Your little hissy fits prevent me from doing anything that cannot be accomplished while in the fetal position.
And another, because I can't help myself:
Thirdly, be nice to the other organs. They are more important than you. In fact, I could live without you completely if I so desired, so stop acting so godd*mn important. You are a floppy pouch of extremely stretchy skin - big f**king deal. Get over yourself.