20 February 2013

Feminist Game Design Explored

NYU Game Center recently announced an upcoming series of lectures on feminist game design. To kick off the series, game designer and researcher Jessica Hammer described the design process of a game intended to strengthen the emotional skills of Ethiopian teenage girls.

For more information on other lectures in this series, check the NYU Game Center blog.

13 February 2013

Reactions to female voices in FPS games

Over the weekend, Wai Yen Tang posted some findings from a study on how female voices are perceived in multiplayer FPS games.  Female voices received three times as many negative comments than male voices or mutes.

For the full analysis, see Wai Yen Tang's blog post.

04 February 2013

Women in Military Video Games

With the Pentagon's recent announcement that all combat roles would be open to women, it has led to speculation as to whether or not military shooters like the popular Call of Duty series will now feature women more prominently.  The lack of female protagonists in such games has not gone unnoticed. 

In "Games need to address women in military combat," Caleb Hale describes this lack of female protagonists as an example of the game industry's "male-centric mindset" and urges developers to address gender equality in video games. Hale does point out that futuristic, sci-fi games do feature female protagonists, perhaps an indication of a more enlightened society.

Jared Newman in the article, "Women in Combat Roles:Who Knew Video Games Were So Progressive?" expresses the opposite viewpoint, praising the industry for the depiction of capable female warriors in several of these futuristic games.  The mechanics of the games give the same abilities to males and females, alike.

But will we see these female warriors in more realistic shooters?  In "Games likely to follow Pentagon on women in combat," Derrik J. Lang reports that game makers are already thinking of scenarios in which women would appear in combat roles.