Playstation 4 and Women – The Problem is Systemic to the Industry not the Press Release

Playstation revealed their new console, the Playstation 4, on February 20th and they revealed lots of new features.  The system looks well and good, but one of the things that was concerning for a lot of people was the fact that there were no women on stage during the entire press release.  The event was filled with tons of middle-aged men developing new software and games for the Playstation 4.  Game studios like Media Molecule (makers of Little Big Planet 1 & 2), Quantic Dream (makers of Heavy Rain), and Bungie (makers of Xbox’s famed Halo franchise) all presented what they can do with the power of the new Playstation 4.  With all of these big names presenting what we saw was a representation of the industry and a representation of who the industry focuses their marketing towards – middle aged white men.

The problem is that video game studios have neglected women in more ways than one.  Their focus in marketing has almost always been on men who play games.  Women in the industry tell stories where they are assumed to be peripheral rather than active in the game industry at conferences like GDC and E3.  Game studios also very infrequently make female protagonists for their video games.  While women make up nearly half of all gamers they are underrepresented in nearly all aspects of the video game industry.  Female gamers don’t have female role models in the gaming industry to look up to and don’t have female characters to relate to. Continue reading

Cultural Artifact – Crush Game Review

I’ve been absent for a while doing a whole bunch of things.  I started learning to program (I made a dice rolling game in Flash), starting a new job, ramping up my work out schedule, and writing this article for Gamers Against Bigotry.  As well, I’ve been working on my writing (even though I haven’t posted anything).  I wanted to start writing game reviews (something I’ve done a couple times in the past), but I didn’t want to write just some plain old review about graphics, sounds, or anything standard.

I came up with this idea: Cultural Artifact.  Cultural Artifact will be the header for all my game reviews where I look at not just gameplay, graphics, or music for their own sake, but looking at the whole of these things and how they work with culture, create culture, and/or are a byproduct of culture.  So here we go, the first Cultural Artifact Post: Crush Game Review.

SPOILER ALERT: Cultural Artifact focuses on games as a whole and their relation to culture (which culture depends on the game and its focus).  Cultural artifact will invariably contain spoilers for games.  I recommend playing through a game before reading Cultural Artifact if you worry about having a game spoiled for your.   Continue reading