Watching the #1reasonwhy tag explode on Twitter over the past day has been both heartening and disheartening.
I’m a gamer. I love video games. I have in my collection a Play Station 1, 2 and 3. But not a large collection of console games.
Because out of the games I own, there is only 1 game where there’s a lead female character. Now this maybe because I like action, role playing games. I may have limited myself genre wise (Sims maybe? pffft), but I’m not into ‘fit’ games or ones which are family friendly.
But it took Square Enix thirteen installments before there was Lightning (aka Claire Farron) and Fang. The two kick arse, strongest characters in the latest edition of the Final Fantasy (FF) franchise. I’ve been playing FF games for over a decade. There have been notable female side characters, but none who were driving the story.
I wish I could pick up a game where a character like Sarah Connor out of Terminator 2 or Ripley from Alien were featured. A fully clothed, capable, fighting, unapologetic, non-sexually assaulted (ahem, Lara Croft?) lead character. I wish they were the default option. Where someone who I can identify with and am represented by actually does the world saving, instead of being the prize or catalyst for the adventure.
The #1reasontobe feed is inspiring as even though the #1reasonwhy shows the dark side, the shit women put up with - the #1reasontobe show WHY they do what they do.
The numbers add up - even though the industry is dominated by misogynistic boymen (read some of the verbal and physical assault stories from #1reasonwhy and I feel sick. Assault happening at events like E3 - not to mention the dismissal of women designers, journalists and creatives) - if you ignore 47% of your buying market then no wonder AAA game studios are on the decline.
- The average game player is 30yrs old and has played games for 12 yrs
- The average age of the most frequent game purchaser is 35yrs old
- 47% of all game players are women. In fact, women over the age of 18 represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (30%) then boys aged 17yrs or younger (18%)
The myth of video games being only for boys has had light shone on it and I’m hoping the industry wakes itself out of its adolescent phase. I hope the industry grows, becomes more inclusive and recognises the game playing market is older, gender diverse, colour diverse and smart.
The Geeks have grown up, so why can’t the industry?
For further reading check out -
Discovered yesterday though Alison Keene at Collider you can watch Star Wars in a completely different order than the original cinematic release, or chronologically.
Its called Machete. Its a revelation.
As Alison says “[Machete] suggests the watch order should be IV, V, II, III, VI (and leave out Episode I). Ignoring the brush off of Episode I (which I think you might as well watch just as part of the canon)“
I hadn’t thought about the big reveal in Star Wars. How watching in an order other than what I’d grown up with or what was conventional could actually add to the story.
Rod Hilton gave it a LOT of thought which essentially removes one of the most loathed characters in the Star Wars universe - Jar Jar Binks. Taking out Ep 01 also removes the midichlorian explanation (feel yuck just thinking about it), and no immaculate conception of Anakin.
I’m yet to try out the Machete sequence. I’m intrigued enough and the thought of loosing most of Jar Jar Binks is reward enough to give it a go…. hope you will too