Brianna Wu, the game developer who was chased out of her home by graphic and widely publicized rape and death threats issued by GamerGate supporters, is now speaking up about the incident. In an op-ed published this morning on xoJane.com, Wu speaks out about her experience, and defiantly refused to back down in the face of those threats:
If you don’t know what Gamergate is, my God do I envy you. Gamergate is basically a group of boys that don’t want girls in their videogame clubhouse. Only, instead of throwing rocks, they threaten to rape you. And, if that doesn’t work, they’ll secretly record your conversations and release the lurid details of your sex life in a public circus. From seeing the #gamergate mobs plan this on 8chan.co, it seems like they’re having a lot of fun.
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I was raised to play games. I was no good at being on teams and I wasn’t about to submit myself to voluntary cardiovascular activity, so it became clear early in my childhood that I wasn’t going to gain any skill for rule-following, cooperation, collaboration, brainstorming, problem-solving, or focus (much less any pleasure) from sports. So instead, I played games on the family computer, by myself or with my sister Sara or with my friends, and my dad and Sara and I played video games together at night and on the weekends.
My parents supplied us with a steady stream of educational computer games — Midnight Rescue! and Mega Math Blasters, the Carmen Sandiego games, games to help our typing skills and spelling; whatever subject they felt we needed help with at school, they got us a game. And I loved logic quests: Zoombinis was my favorite computer game, and when I played on our Nintendo systems with my sister and my dad, they fought the bosses while I figured out the side quests and puzzles. We got Myst when it came out when I was six and it was way over my head, but I watched while Sara played, read the official companion book, and drew landscapes based on its worlds. Keep reading »
Last week, the Penny Arcade Report interviewed Jean-Max Morris, creative director of the upcoming female-led game Remember Me. After going into the game’s cyberpunk roots, Morris discussed the publishers who wanted nothing to do with a female protagonist. “We don’t want to publish it because that’s not going to succeed,” he paraphrased. “You can’t have a female character in games. It has to be a male character, simple as that.”
As the article made the rounds, I couldn’t help but notice what gamers were getting excited about elsewhere. Tomb Raider had just slipped to number two in the UK sales charts, after two weeks at number one. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm had already sold 1.1 million copies in its first two days. Indie developer Supergiant Games, the folks behind Bastion, announced their new action RPG, Transistor, which features a leading lady. Their booth enjoyed two hour lines at PAX all weekend. I’m told that the lines for Remember Me were comparable.
I don’t think it’s gamers who have a problem with female protagonists. Read more…
The video game world, for all its mind-blowing technical innovation, can be a surprisingly traditional place. Earlier this month, Jeff Hickman, the executive producer of Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic, announced a major sign of progress: his team is working hard to create a same-gender romance option for game characters.
“I want to apologize that this is taking so long to get in the game. I realize that we promised SGR [same gender romance] to you guys and that many of you believed that this would be with a companion character… As we have said in the past, allowing same gender romance is something we are very supportive of.” Keep reading »
The Escapist’s Shamus Young recently penned a thoughtful article about Anita Sarkeesian’sTropes vs. Women in Video Games series, and how he believes the lack of female protagonists in games is a more pressing concern than the portrayal of secondary characters. There are plenty of points there worthy of discussion, but what particularly caught my eye was a series of open questions posed to the “average power-fantasy-seeking female player”: Keep reading »
What do All-Around Olympian gymnast Gabrielle Douglas, “Glee”‘s Diana Agron, and “Modern Family”‘s Sarah Hyland have in common? They’re just a a few of the celebrity names to appear in Nintendo‘s new female-targeted ad campaign for their 3DS and 3DSXL hand-held systems. The campaign, called “Play As You Are” is using talented, visible women to draw in players who might otherwise be turned off to gaming. Read more…