Sony Online Entertainment announced today that it is now accepting applications and submissions for its 2014 Gamers In Real Life (G.I.R.L.) Game Design Competition. Through the G.I.R.L. scholarship program, SOE awards one winner with a $10,000 scholarship to be applied towards tuition, room and board, and other educational expenses at the winner's college or university.
In a recent New York Times editorial Naughty Dog user interface designer Alexandria Neonakis points out that most modern video games often portray female characters as damsels in distress or as "male characters" inside "female bodies." Neonakis' editorial takes aim at the NYT review of The Last of Us and their opinion on protagonist Ellie. She calls the character a "triumph in storytelling and representation" of female characters.
2013 was a challenging year for the organizers of the Penny Arcade Expo, mostly due to comments made by its founders that offended many in the community. To try and bring some goodwill back to those injured parties, PAX organizers plan on creating a special area at its events that promote "diversity."
Dustin Browder, who is the game director on Heroes of the Storm, has made a public apology for his seemingly terse comments during an interview with Rock, Paper, Shotgun about the sexualization of female characters in the upcoming online team brawler featuring popular Blizzard game characters.
The latest video in Anita Sarkeesian's Tropes vs Women video series explores Ms. Male characters. Called the "Smurfette Principle" by Sarkeesian, it is when developers create female counterparts with little or no difference based on strong male characters. The best example of this practice would be Ms. Pac Man, who - besides wearing a bow on her head - showed very little difference from her manly counterpart.
Here's more from the video description on YouTube:
The very first Games [4Diversity] Jam will take place from March 21 - 23 (2014) in San Francisco, organizers announced today. The goal of this unique game jam is for developers or teams of developers to incorporate feminine and LGBT aspects into games in a constructive way. Organizers believe that the game jam will show that "female, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues can enrich games in an innovative and positive manner."
Here's more from the organizers of the event:
Jennifer Ann’s Group has released the top award-winning video game from its 2013 Life. Love. Game Design Challenge. The first place winning game is Love in the Dumpster by Jean Hehn of Belgium-based developer Another Kind. Love in the Dumpster is the fourth video game to be released from the 2013 Life.Love. Game Design Challenge and is free to play to increase awareness about teen dating violence.
Halo designer David Ellis thinks the Hideo Kojima-approved "sexy" design for the Metal Gear Sold 5 Quiet is "ridiculous," and says that the industry is full of what he calls "man babies." Earlier in the week Kojima said that he had directed designer Yoji Shinkawa to make the sniper character Quiet more "erotic" so that more people would cosplay her during the Tokyo Game Show later this month. Today during a press conference Q&A, Kojima told Polygon that he meant to say "sexy."
At a Konami press conference today, Polygon asked Hideo Kojima about his Twitter comments that he wanted to make the Metal Gear Solid 5 character Quiet more "erotic" so that people attending the Tokyo Game Show later this month would cosplay her. He said that he had directed designer Yoji Shinkawa to make that happen and then posted a picture (to your left).
The reality of living under a government like Iran is never so apparent as when a group of gamers is trying to set up a competition that involves playable female characters. According to this Kotaku report, Iran's World Cyber Games is putting together a League of Legends tournament in Sept., but the government has demanded that most of the female playable characters be banned.
Last week we asked our readers if they thought adding a female solider into Call of Duty: Ghosts multiplayer was a good call on Infinity Ward's part. Overwhelmingly, our readers thought that giving players a female option in multiplayer is a good idea.
Around 297 votes were casts in the poll, with the majority of those votes - 89 percent (264 votes) - agreeing that the new option is a good thing. Around 11 percent (33 votes) thought that adding a female soldier to multiplayer was not a good idea.
In Andrew's latest video he talks about Call of Duty: Ghosts adding female characters into multiplayer. Chances are you can probably tell when he's being facetious, taking at dig at someone, or just engaging in overblown theatrics to make a point in the video. If you can't, then I recommend that you ask him forcefully about it in the comments.
If you enjoyed this video then you should probably check out Andrew's YouTube channel to find even more of his antics!
During a special reveal of multiplayer modes in Call of Duty Ghost at an LA event today, Infinity Ward revealed that it has added female models into the game. In addition to having the ability to play as a female soldier, the multiplayer offers dynamic events that affect gameplay and new moves such as knee slides, mantling, and contextual leaning. The game also adds 30 new weapons (including a new Marksman Rifle weapon class), 20 new killstreaks, 14 maps at launch, seven new multiplayer modes, and a new Squads mode that supports up to six players on a team.
Naughty Dog creative leads Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley expressed surprise at fan reaction to gender roles in its hit PlayStation 3 exclusive game, The Last of Us. In an extensive interview with GamesBeat, the duo expressed discomfort at the game they created being used as a jump-off point for criticism of the video games industry as it relates to gender roles.
On this week's show hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about the latest Tropes v. Women video, the Boob Jam, Australia's plan to make all upcoming consoles region free, the Xbox One's ability to stay on for ten years, the new community-policed Xbox Live system, and a whole lot more. Download Episode 63 now: SuperPAC Episode 63 (1 hour, 13 minute) 56.7 MB.
Boob Jam, a developer game jam inspired by journalist Jenn Frank, hopes to create games that take the focus away from breasts as sexual objects, and put it on the challenges (and importance) of women having them.
From Frank's tweet people began talking about breasts beyond jiggle physics and as sexual objects. This led to a novel idea: why not create a game jam that can explore breasts in a non-sexual way?
And so this Tumblr came to life proposing just that.
A new exhibit opening at the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) (co-sponsored by the Georgia Tech Digital Media Program) hopes to highlight the fact that women have a strong presence in the gaming industry and contribute to it greatly. The exhibition, dubbed "XYZ: Alternative Voices in Game Design," will be the first to highlight the work of women as game designers and artists.
Filmmaker Kristy Guevara-Flanagan, who is best known for her documentary ("Wonder Women! The Untold Stories of American Superheroines") about strong women throughout history and championing the empowerment of women, has made a new game called Wonder City.
Update #2: The video is back up!
Update: the video has been removed temporarily by YouTube. Visiting the link provides the following message:
"This video has been removed because its content violated YouTube's Terms of Service. "
We'll have more on this as information becomes available, but clearly someone related to one of the many games highlighted in the video has made a copyright claim.
An office prank to replace a framed picture of a scantily-clad female Hawken character with a scantily clad male character in the office of the CEO of Hawken publisher Meteor Entertainment has a surprising result. The prank, detailed over at The Hawkeye Initiative, explains how some Meteor Entertainment employees decided to replace a picture of a female character with a male character.
GTFO, a documentary about sexism and harassment in the video games industry and within the gaming community has surpassed its funding goal of $20,000. With four more days to go, the documentary has managed to raise $23,829 from just 882 backers on Kickstarter. The documentary is being put together by New York-based filmmaker Shannon Sun-Higginson, who describes herself as a casual gamer.
Four coding schools just for young girls and women are trying to change the number of females that program (and give girls more STEM-focused educational opportunities) in the United States - as highlighted in this ReadWriteWeb feature. The start-ups catering to women and girls aspiring to learn how to code include Girl Develop It, Black Girls Code, Girls Who Code, and Girls Learning Code/Ladies Learning Code.
Filmmaker Shannon Sun-Higginson has launched a Kickstarter campaign for a documentary on sexism and harassment in the video games industry called GTFO. The New York City-based filmmaker is looking to raise $20,000 to continue work on the film, with money going towards shooting expenses, travel costs, money to pay crew members, post-production expenses, licensing rights for any gaming footage or images appearing in the final film, and to create promotional materials.
Women in Games International (WIGI) and the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles (GSGLA) are now working together to create the first video game patch for Girl Scouts. Scouts can earn the patch by taking part in a special program put together by both the GSGLA and WIGIIGI using various tools to create a game.
According to data from the 2012 Game Developer Salary Survey (which was published in the March issue of Game Developer Magazine) the number of women working in the games industry is growing, but salary gap between the sexes is still apparent.
According to the data women only had higher salaries in one of seven categories: programming and engineering, but programming and engineering also has the smallest number of women working in those professions at four percent. Women were also hard to find in the audio sector of the industry at around four percent.
Media Molecule co-founder and studio director Siobhan Reddy has been named Australian Woman of the Year in the U.K. for 2013. The award is sponsored by Qantas Airways and the networking organization Australian Business.
Reddy was born in Sydney but migrated to the United Kingdom in the 1990s. She is in charge of the Guildford, U.K.-based studio that developed the LittleBigPlanet series and is hard at work on its latest IP called Tearaway. She was honored with the award last night in London.
On this week's show, hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight discuss the first Tropes vs. Women video, "Bronies" and if rights holders should be a little kinder to fan projects, and the nightmarish launch of SimCity this week. Download Episode 44 now: SuperPAC Episode 44 (1 hour, 6 minutes) 60.4 MB.
Women in Games International today announced its plan to present a panel at the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco later this month that focuses on the need to encourage more youth participation in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) subjects. The panel brings together leaders from video games, government, and media organizations to discuss the issue and to raise awareness. The panel is called "Responsibility to Youth and Staying Competitive in the Global Marketplace" and will take place Wed., March 27 from 2 - 3 p.m.