Frank Wu writes, "Brianna Wu, game developer behind Revolution 60, has been the epicenter of the #gamergate controversy recently. In this interview, she explains why, despite constant harassment and death threats, she stands up for the rights of women in technology."
The major issue that’s leading to women getting a lot of crap today is culture. Videogames have been developed by men for men for a long time. I remember being a child and seeing posters for Smash TV in the local arcade. They promised the “Pleasure Dome” where bikini-clad women would sit on the male player’s lap as he sat on the throne.
That culture pushes women away in ways the industry hasn’t bothered to think about. The truth is, women love games. Even though the culture is toxic, even though the representations of women are often demeaning, we’ve still shown up. And now we are 48 percent of all players. We’re asking the industry to grow to include us. We’re all gamers, and we’re not going to be relegated to Candy Crush and Farmville.
Giant Spacekat’s mission is simple: I want to make games by women for women, and I want them to be the best games in the world.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve played a pink sugar-coated game that’s been full of patronizing tropes about women, then gone and looked at the dev team to see it’s all men. There’s so much about these experiences that feel inauthentic. I think we need to have women in leadership positions to make that kind of content that speaks to us.
Right now I’m working with a female developer on new game type. She gave me the pitch, and 5 minutes into it, I’m like “Let’s do this.” It’s a ridiculously simple idea with a huge market no one is addressing. You have to ask yourself, “Why is no one doing this already?” And it’s because the men that make games don’t care about some markets.
They don’t care about women over 40. They don’t have much faith in teenage girls. They don’t represent mothers as anything but shallow stereotypes. And it’s like, if they won’t do this, we will.
Standing in the Firing Squad: An Interview with Brianna Wu [Katherine Cross/Feministing]