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August 08, 2005

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» Who is "gamer"? from Guardian Unlimited: Gamesblog
I'm at the Women in Games conference in Dundee today and while I'll leave the summaries to one more able, I do want to make a quick comment on what's emerged from today's fantastic sessions. Women don't play games because... [Read More]

» Who is "gamer"? from Guardian Unlimited: Gamesblog
I'm at the Women in Games conference in Dundee today and while I'll leave the summaries to one more able, I do want to make a quick comment on what's emerged from today's fantastic sessions. Women don't play games because... [Read More]

Comments

Shard

That's a very practical approach to the subject from Ernest. Any interesting post-lecture murmurs from the crowds Alice? What did you make of what he had to say?

Seb Potter

"Storytelling is mostly about people. Games are mostly about things, so far. It is easier to create mathematical sims about things than people. Men will not perceive a need for women in the business until they get past 'things' and to 'people'."

After spending over a year on a game design that's entirely about people and not a single bit about things, this kinda lecture makes me very, very happy. :)

madsax

I still don't get why Ernest gave the keynote at a women in games conference...?

ren reynolds

nice work A.

but
>The title references Ginger Rogers who did everything Fred Astaire did, except backwards and in high heels…
Oh come on, credit us with –some- cultural literacy.

Alice

No murmurs that I heard yet, Shard..
Thoughts come later, a) when my brain is less scrambled and b) when I have time to think :)

As for Ernest keynoting.. it's a good question, but why not? It's an open discussion, you don't have to be female to talk about women in games!

There are quite a few men here, really.

Jen

Ren: Alice does write *just* for you, yknow. ;)

Shard

I think I'm most interested in Ernest's point about how games development is an engineering industry, and how women shouldn't be applying if they're not prepared to work in that sort of environment.

Wondering how that will have gone down with the more radical of the attendees..

Pixel Kill

Alice how *do* your fingers hold up to all that typing? :)

Ashwin

Yikes... it's scary how this talk completely shoots itself in the foot shortly before the conclusion. Why does the speaker go out of his way to discredit developers?

How come they're "really weird" and "not normal"? Why are women developers "even more atypical" and can't they "speak for Western womanhood"? [double-yikes]

Is they're anyone I can call who can?!? Let's start dividing the ones who can from those who cannot! [...]

Bah. Talk about keeping the bloody, non-sensical stereotypes alive... Ah well... maybe I've had one too many.

Ernest Adams

I'll leave interpretations of this (very largely accurate) transcript of my talk to others, but I'd like to make one point. When I was invited to be the opening keynote at Women in Games, I myself asked the organizers if they really wanted a man for the job. They considered it and then said yes, they wanted me anyway. I don't know why, but perhaps they decided that the merits of my ideas were enough to compensate for the disadvantages of my sex.

Shard

I reckon it was the beard..

Alice

As ever, written notes can't substitute for the real thing, and there are nuances of tone and meaning that get lost.. I think Ernest's point was more that it is dangerous for anyone to believe they can single-handedly represent an entire gender, or culture; equally, programmers (who must be mathematically advanced, very intelligent people) of any gender or culture again are unlikely to be able to represent the masses.

The message at heart was: don't over-expect what women on the team can bring, it's not a magic wand: they will bring diversity and a different point of view but not an all-problem-solving panacea. That will come from having a healthy mix of *all* types of human.


Jimmy

"Woman as Man With Breasts:
Lara Croft."
A relevant bit of history from 1up's 'essential 50' write up of the game:

Lara actually began life as a man, but at some point in the development process designer Jeremy Heath-Smith decided that if he had to stare at someone's butt for hours on end while exploring, it might as well be a sexy butt.

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