After my last blog post, I went into this class excited and with a new idea in mind – I was going to make a game worth talking about! One that had depth, and intellectual design, and all that jazz. And then there was reality (amazingly, it looked like a cat chasing a fish with an underwater background), staring me in the face, and it had a pretty clear message: this will not be easy.
Creating games is obviously not an easy feat, and I won’t be able to make the next Limbo or some of the games I linked in my last blog post (at least, I wouldn’t be able to do that any time soon). There are, however, greater challenges that I would face that most of those in our class would not. That challenge would be my gender, and this Scratch class helped to point that out and I think could serve as a basis for future discussion on the matter of women game developers. I realized that, while trying to create my own game, the reason why many games don’t convey the feelings I was talking about in my last post – isolation, discrimination, or for some even hate – are because many game developers don’t have the desire to describe them or don’t have a similar experience with them. Some may say that there is a lack of demand for such games, but I don’t think that’s true. It’s part of the human condition that we want to relate to people (but that’s a story for another time).
It was briefly mentioned in class, but I wanted to point it out to everyone once again. One Reason Why was a Twitter campaign meant to expose sexism in the video game industry. This is a realm that needs to broken into to make the kind of changes we talked about in class on Tuesday. I don’t necessarily think I will be making amazingly successful games, but I do think that making more of those games through venues like Scratch is a more meaningful form of resistance than we would originally think. The lack of game development from girls and women is something that, little by little, can make a big change. If more ladies make Scratch games, and more guys think that’s not weird, that could be the kind of grassroots revolution that would be effective in ways that are not in your face, but instead just changing societal norms.
That’s the unfortunate reality with the video game industry – it is part of the culture that it’s okay to be sexist, discriminatory, and hateful. That’s why, even though it’s not easy, learning things like Scratch is small, but important – not only will I eventually get better at making games, but it will make my gaming community better, too.