Dear Gaming

Dear Gaming,

It’s been a while since I’ve talked to you. I’ve been busy these past few years. Yes, it was a bit lonely with just my phone, my laptop, and a PSP. Wow, time sure flies though. It only felt like yesterday when I was playing Monster Hunter on my PSP, having mischievous fun in Pokemon by using cheat codes, fighting my friends in Tekken (virtually and literally), and having fantasies about me driving all those cars I had collected in Need For Speed, but I think you get my point.

Now, what was that thing I wanted to have a talk with you about? Oh yeah. How could I forget? Since its Women’s Month, I’d like to say some words to you about a topic I rarely bring up, and that is about female characters, gamers and game developers.

To be honest with you, I’m not that fully equipped to give a deep analysis of this topic but there are things that are noticeable to me even in my ignorant state. You see, after reading all the harsh opinions you received these past years, I find that there are some things concerning females that you still haven’t given a proper fix. One of these issues is that they are mostly treated as secondary characters (not counting games where you get to choose or edit your player.).I n a lot of story-driven games, female characters aren’t playable as your main character. They are just in the storyline to fill some type of stereotypical niche and tend to come off as  generic characters with no admirable characteristics. If I have to pick one example, it would be the portrayal of Peach in the Mario Games. In gaming, I’m not denying that I like rescuing pretty princesses from a dragon-turtle hybrid by using only Mario’s stubby legs , which could never happen in real life. Why not release a Mario game where I get to play Peach as the main character, that has a good storyline mostly centered on her, and in which she would have some other character trait rather than just screaming for help every time she sees Mario? Do me a favor and send this message to Shigeru Miyamoto, thanks.

One reason why “damsel in distress” and “over-sexualized” types are oversaturated in your industry is because of the lack of female developers. Statistics show that females combined with the LGBT community only comprise 27.8% percent of the gender population in your industry. Talk about complete male dominance. If you deny that, just go ask the International Game Developers Association. They have a report about you called the 2016 Developer’s Satisfaction Survey. A huge increase of female developers can change the industry as a whole in the way they present new ideas for games.

However, at least you got some good stuff happening to girl gamers. Google Play and Newzoo joined forces to survey girls and it got good responses. An astounding 65% of women aged 10 to 65 in the U.S. play mobile games, outnumbering male mobile gamers. They say that it serves as an escape from reality, a tool to create bonds with other people, and a way to pass time.

Okay, I think that’s it. So, I hope that this letter finds you well and I hope that we can have a good conservation someday.


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