Gamasutra have just posted their "The Game Developer 50": a list of the most exciting games people to Gama right now: "the most important contributors to the current state of the
game industry -- from indies to AAA, from business to art, design, and
beyond. Naturally as it's an American publication, there seems to be a bit of a skew to American people. But all of them seem to be men.
Not one woman. Not even one?
So obviously I have to post something about this. Lists are a wonderful and terrible thing:
magazines do them for precisely this kind of response: ATTENTION.
Discussion. Shouting, complaining, agreeing, etc. It's magazine crack. But I have
to stick my oar in, because having 0% women on that list is straight up appalling (and I adore Gamasutra).
Off the top of my head, without doing any research, here's a handful of women working in games who I think Gama could happily have included in that 50. And I could actually add a whole bunch more ladies doing amazing things with games (Jen, Diane, Cat, Sophie, Robin, Heather, Sarah, Claire, Rita, Susan, Merci, Regina and Tracy, for instance and for starters).
Meggan Scavio. Runs GDC. Runs GDC. Gama are probably being modest or something because Meggan's an employee of its parent company.
Rhianna Pratchett. Wrote Mirror's Edge, and Heavenly Sword, and Overlord.
Like I said, I could go on, and on.
If it were up to me, in creating any list, I would take a number - say 50, and a field - say games, and then pick out the top 25 men and the top 25 women, highlighting whatever it is they're doing. Because that's called fairness.
The reason women aren't currently making up 50% of every field is not an intellectual issue, but a cultural issue, and the longer we continue to publish lists containing all-men or nearly-all-men, the longer we propagate the broken image and insulting idea that women aren't as good, or as important, as men.
Many women just haven't had the chance yet: they haven't had the encouragement, the education, the freedom, the support, the role models, the contacts, the friends in high places, the opportunities and the finances that their male counterparts often get by default, by tradition and by homophily.
It's not right and it needs to change. Monocultures are evolutionarily a dead end: game people, take note.