Like KJ, I also thought I’d make my final response about our Scratch session today. My knowledge of computers and technology in general is, I will readily admit, pretty pathetic for someone in their twenties, so before today I cannot claim to have had any real idea of what is required in order to create a video game, or even how to program. After today though, I have a new found respect for computer and video game programmers. It is not that I had previously been under the impression that it would be an easy endeavor, it’s just something that I happily knew nothing about, and thus had no reason to form an opinion of. After spending an hour and a half trying to make a picture of a buffalo chase a two dimensional unicorn around the screen, however, the magnitude of time and labor involved in creating a real video game started to settle down on me. The kind of time required in order to create something as simple as a classic platform game would be ridiculous, while more complex games are honestly entirely beyond the scope of my imagination. Even with experience using these programs and the assistance of a team of fellow programmers, I find it absolutely incredible that something as detailed, realistic, and relatively seamless as a game like Call of Duty or any of the other most recent games could ever come to be created.
Above: my game (Catch the Unicorn)
Below: Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
Though I might not be able to fully comprehend large scale video game production, the remarkable amount of time that must go into such a project does help me put into perspective why the field of game production is still dominated mostly by men. When this point was brought up in class, I didn’t fully appreciate why there persisted to be more male game designers than female. I suppose I assumed that such was still the case because the field has traditionally been worked by men, and not enough female designers have yet entered the field to even out the numbers. However, with a better understanding of how video games are built and the tremendous amount of labor hours that must be logged in order to create a good one, I am beginning to grasp Professor Stabile’s point that the requirements for the job itself are very male centric. Across all demographics, the kind of person that would most likely have both the training and time in order to accomplish this work is the college-educated white male, ideally single. While the work is surely incredibly difficult and mind-numbing, what it ultimately comes down to is there just aren’t many people outside this demographic who even have the luxury of considering this work, the time requirement and bar to entry is set so high. I think playing Scratch was an excellent way to end the term, because at least for me, better understanding the actual mechanics of game making has put a better perspective on the related gender theory we have been discussing.