Renewed Push for More Women in Video Game Industry

Australian Politics, Feminism, Gaming, Identity Politics, Regressive Left, Rundown

One of the feminist lobby’s key goals is to enforce a gender balance in industries which have a majority male workforce. Women in science and STEM programs have been pushed not just by feminist organizations, but also industry groups and even governments.

Of course it is never accepted the women don’t choose to enter these industries because they are not professions that women naturally enjoy or are interested in, but it must be because women are shut out due to entrenched misogyny by the current male dominated workforce.

Interesting these feminist groups are not bothered with achieving gender equality in industries dominated by women such as nursing, childcare and teaching, nor it is alleged these industries have an misandrist workforce.

One industry the feminist lobby has been aggressive in not just pushing for more female employees, but to fundamentally feminize the industry’s products is that of video gaming. It is also the industry where the end consumers have been most ferocious in fighting back and not having their hobby ruined by the progressive and social justice agenda.

Gamergate is the term used to describe the backlash from the video gaming community to the push to have more feminized video games and the wholesale attack on video game consumer as male misogynistic loser. Violence in video games had historically been opposed by social conservatives who argued it created killers, now it was social justice warriors and feminists alleging they turned you into a rapist.

The backlash against this push and its leaders Zoe Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian was of course spun by the mainstream media as a prime example of cyber bullying and was incorporated into a push for more regulatory action against online internet trolls. But gamergate succeeded in pushing back against the feminist campaign in this industry.

But it hasn’t stopped the feminist lobby trying again and in Australia there is a renewed push for to have more women in the Australian video game industry. Of course this push is being supported by the technology media in Australia with Gizmodo promoting the first all-woman game “hackathon” in Australia this month.

The article features the story of Lisy Kane who co-founded the feminist game developer support group Girl Geek Academy and the twitter hashtag #SheHacksGames. Kane of course alleges that there is some of sort of patriarchal conspiracy which keeps girls out of STEM industries from ages as young as 6.

Kane then documents all the misogyny she experienced when entering the game developing industry “There’s also a toxic culture within the industry and gaming community itself. I have had a lot of bad experiences of verbal abuse just for being a female gamer” and that “At industry events, I’ve been mistaken for a developer’s girlfriend or a ‘booth babe’ so many times”.

Of course it could be that this suspicion of women in the video game industry could be because of the affirmative action push with the suspicion women are only promoted to achieve gender equality. Then of course as gamergate demonstrated it has led to male game developers viewing women who enter it as those motivated to destroy its culture and everything they like about gaming.

The article claims that the feminisation of the gaming industry is needed because women make up half of video came consumers yet eighty-two per cent of people currently working in Australia’s video game industry are men. Kane herself justifies her push by arguing “how ridiculous would it be if they are only being created by one sub-section of society? There needs to be a diverse mix of people creating technology or the products won’t reflect or suit the needs of all the people who coexist within our actual society”.

Kane also believes that a women only hackathon is needed to encourage female participation in such events. Yet despite her stories of rampant misogyny in the video game industry the reception to the hackathon has been “overwhelming, and incredibly positive”. Kane also still concedes during her career she has had “unwavering support” from her employer.

Of course nobody would claim women can’t become game developers or enjoy playing video games. But to claim that the gender disparity in the industry is due to male misogyny and video games consumers already enjoy need to be feminized is what people object to. It is not a story of simply angry males being threatened by females. This renewed push for more women in video game is likely to lead to more division among the sexes hence resulting in the feminists’ arguments becoming a self fulfilling prophecy.