I’ve played games as far back as I can remember, I’m almost finished with my 1st year of a Games Development course at the University of Chester, and I’ve obviously been a female since birth so I thought who better to add to the discussion of women in gaming then a woman in a Game Development course.
As a female gamer I’ve often been told from other women and the media that male gamers are sexist and want to keep women out of gaming. I’ve always found it very odd that I had never experienced this. Surely if all male gamers were sexist I would experience sexism at least once, right? So far my experience as been nothing short of a positive one. Every guy I have met since starting my course has been very kind to me. They are excited to talk about video games with me and want to hear my opinions. They have no problem with working with me. If anything, I would say I am treated better then my male counterparts. Often my male classmates are more understanding towards me and encourage me to do better. Over all, I have loved my experience in my Games Development course and I feel I could not have made a better decision to take this course.
With my experiences, I keep wondering why women believe men don’t want them in gaming. Perhaps there are few men that don’t want women in gaming and some women have experienced this but over all I feel it is a need to want to be a victim. As it is much easy to be a victim and complain there is not enough women in gaming than get a degree. To me, it seems that the only people that don’t want women in gaming are the women that claim all male gamers are sexist as this discourages other women from even trying to pursue a career within gaming. I feel Roberta Williams (co-founder of Sierra On-Line, designer of King’s Quest.and many other games) said it best in her 2006 interview, “No, I never experienced any problem with being a female in a so-called male-dominated field. They were happy to have me. It was just really up to me to actually ‘put’ myself there. If more women want to be a part of the computer industry today, they just have to do more to put themselves there. Nobody, in reality, is keeping them out… in my opinion, anyways”.
My advice for women (or anyone for that matter) that wants to enter the game industry is to just do it. Like Roberta Williams said put yourself out there. It wont be easy but anything worth doing rarely is. I hope that anyone that wants to enter the game industry does so, because so far for me the work I have put in as been well worth it and I’m excited to graduate and do something I both love and am passionate about for the rest of my life.