warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/buckman/public_html/neo/modules/taxonomy/ on line 33.
Matt Barton's picture

Making Better Games for Women: Or, No Binary Ever Made Love to a Woman

Why are so few women interested in gaming? The answer is simple: It’s the binary, stupid.

Every six months or so there's a little flare up in the media about how the videogame industry has failed women. The usual argument is that 99.9% of games are designed for and marketed exclusively for young males, and women (as well as gay players) are ignored. Game developers and publishers don’t care about women because women don’t care about videogames. And so it goes. While this argument is ill-informed (it totally ignores the amazing success of Her Interactive's Nancy Drew series, which has been a hit among pre-teens as well as adult women of all ages), I’m the first to admit that there is a problem when the few games that do feature women use them primarily as sex objects. However, rather than blame the game industry and give the same old tired statistics and claims, I think it's time someone pointed out that the true problem is the hardware: or, more specifically, the architecture of the computer itself. It is my belief that the computer's architecture was itself designed with and for a particular mindset, one most comfortable in the world of "binary," or simple either/or decisions--in short, the masculine mind. This fact has made it especially difficult for women to become proficient in programming and, by extension, the computer industry as a whole, since all programs (applications as well as games) have been built on this masculine framework.

Retro Computer Gaming World Issues Online!

Though their selection is random and incomplete, Find Articles features over 10,000 magazine and academic journal articles archived online, many of them for free. Surprisingly, one of the magazines featured is Computer Gaming World, which was once one of the best written computer gaming magazines out there.

Other gaming magazines featured are Xbox Nation, Game Now, and Electronic Gaming Monthly.

Retro Gaming Hacks is Worth a Look

I just finished reading Chris Kohler's new book Retro Gaming Hacks and I have to say I enjoyed it a good deal. Topics range from how to run a variety of emulators on your PC to how to do introductory level programming for the GBA. While a lot of the information is rather basic, I learned a few things about older consoles and PCs from the book.

The writing in here is noticeably better than in Kohler's other book, Power Up!, though part of this might be because large portions of the book are written by other contributors. Kohler's writing is more confident and has a nice playful tone that is not unlike the style of writing done for this very site.

Syndicate content