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Defending diversity

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Key note on diversity I gave as keynote at the women in games conference in Brighton UK

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Defending diversity

  1. 1. Defending Diversity Or Where do we go from here? Women In Games 2010 Develop July 15, 2010
  2. 2. • Started in the game industry in 1989 • Game designer for Origin Systems, Her Interactive, SOE, Cartoon Network, KingsIsle, CCP/White Wolf, Kraft Foods and more • Author of Gender Inclusive Game Design: Expanding the Market • Recipient of IGDA’s Game Developer’s Choice award for community • Hard Core Gamer
  3. 3. We’ve come a long way • 1993 - First round table on girls and games at the CGDC • 1995 - Her Interactive releases McKenzie & Co • 1996 - Mattel release Barbie Fashion Designer • 2000 - IGDA establishes Women in Games committee • 2000 – From Barbie to Mortal Kombat is published. • 2004 - First Women in Games conference is held in Portsmouth • 2005 - Women in Games International established • 2008 - Women in games estimated at 9-11% - up from > 3%
  4. 4. • 2009 – No non-IGDA sessions on gender at GDC • 2010 – WiG conference rescheduled due to lack of attendance • 2010 – Gender issues in games referred to as “old news”
  5. 5. Backlash
  6. 6. What is Backlash? • Angry white guys
  7. 7. Backlash is not just angry white guys • 75% of Hispanics feel there is too much immigration in the US* • 58% of African-Americans in the US favor the outlawing of racial and gender preferences* • 44% of non-whites in the US feel that affirmative action policies regarding college admissions cast public doubt on the achievements of minority students** * Los Angeles Times ** Newsweek Magazine
  8. 8. What Causes Backlash?
  9. 9. PROBLEM
  10. 10. NEWSFLASH! Women play games! ESA says 40% of gamers are women!
  11. 11. NEWSFLASH! Women play games! 76% of casual game players are women say Popcap Games and Spill Games! * http://suttree.com/2006/11/07/casual-game-statistics-2/
  12. 12. ?
  13. 13. We say: “This industry needs more women!”
  14. 14. The industry hears: “You have to hire women regardless of their qualifications!”
  15. 15. What can we do?
  16. 16. Remove the fear • Clear the confusion • Emphasize the positive • Claim business successes
  17. 17. Clear the Confusion • Be careful with statistics NEWSFLASH! Women play games! ESA says 40% of gamers are women!
  18. 18. FACT ~76% of all casual game players are women FACT ~20% of all traditional game players are women FACT Average of 76% and 20% = ~40% of all gamers are women FACT: This number cannot simply be applied to all games!
  19. 19. Emphasize the positive • Emphasize the business successes
  20. 20. Emphasize the positive • Do not tell horror stories!
  21. 21. Claim the Successes • Insist quality never be sacrificed for diversity!
  22. 22. Take Responsibility
  23. 23. Reframe the message What is diversity, really? • Diversity is about recognizing, respecting and valuing differences • Diversity is about diversity of thought
  24. 24. Where do I fit in?
  25. 25. Where do I fit in? • BE VISIBLE • BE POSITIVE • BE HEARD
  26. 26. Be visible • Mentor Net http://www.mentornet.net/ • IGDA gatherings • WiG, WIGI, WIG-SIG • Speak!
  27. 27. Be Positive • No horror stories • Frame all answers in “how can we solve this problem?” • Be proactive
  28. 28. Be Heard • Stay involved with WiG, WIGI and WIG-SIG • Never be afraid to speak up
  29. 29. Taking it to the next level • Reframe the Message • Stay Positive • Stay involved
  30. 30. We aren’t asking anyone to change the industry. We will change the industry.
  31. 31. Defending Diversity Or How To Piss Off Everyone Equally Women In Games 2010 Develop July 15, 2010 Sheri Graner Ray Studio Design Director Schell Games 8716 N. Mopac Austin, Texas USA 78759 sheri@schellgames.com 512.399.6400

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