For the past seven months or so there has been a lot of talk about the number of women in the video game industry. A small group of very vocal radical feminists has tried to make the problem about men, claiming it’s men’s fault that there aren’t more women in game development. Interviews with senior female developers like Amy Hennig do not support this view, but their voices are ignored. The radfems have their Women’s Studies degrees that tell them they’re right, so they have no need for ”facts” or ”empirical evidence”, those two most powerful oppressive tools of the patriarchy.
This attitude mirrors a current ongoing discussion in Sweden, where men are blamed for the fact that there are few women on the board of directors of Swedish joint-stock companies.
This has nothing to do with patriarchy. This has nothing to do with men. This has everything to do with hard work and talent, and most of the time talent comes from hard work. Listen, women, if you want to be as successful as men, you have to work as hard as men. No one is going to hand you anything on a silver platter just because of your gender.
This is what men do to get the positions they have. If you want the same position, you have to work just as hard. That’s not discrimination, that’s true equality. These positions are not for everyone – that’s why I dropped out and never got my Master’s Degree in engineering and chose to be a cook instead. I figured I’d rather spend the rest of my life doing something I loved, even if the pay is pretty lousy.
You want to be a CEO, or be on the board of directors of a big corporation? Get an education, or an entry-level job in your preferred industry. Work 60-70 hour weeks for years on end, billing only 40, of course. Take no vacations. Never get sick. Choose not to have kids, or have kids and let your husband take care of them while you work and never get to see them. Have no social life outside of work. Always be available. Miss family get-togethers, birthdays, graduations and school plays. Never turn down an opportunity to take on more responsibilities.
You want to develop video games? Get an education, either from a college or on your own. Learn how to program, or make music, or art. Learn 3d modelling, learn how to develop a graphics engine. Build up a portfolio, showing your skills. It’s going to take time. Thousands of unpaid hours, thousands of hours spent staring at a computer screen instead of socializing with your friends or playing with your kids. Find others who like your ideas, and get a small team together. Spend the next two years working full-time in a menial, bottom-of-the-barrel job and spend all your spare time making your game. Eat ramen six days a week and drink nothing but tap water, so you can afford the commercial licenses and fees to get your game onto a good platform.
Then fail, and spend the next year doing it all over again, until you succeed. That is what men and women in the gaming industry have been doing for decades. If you truly want equality, don’t ask for special treatment. Just do the hard work.