Women in Games: A Good Game Report
Posted on April 9, 2015
This week’s episode of Good Game featured a excellent story on women in games; specifically, women in the games industry, the problems, and some of the solutions. I can’t recommend it highly enough, so if you haven’t seen it yet, just watch it:
I can’t resist making one comment though to add to the discussion. At around the 10 minute mark you’ll see some discussion of proposed solutions to the problem, and most speakers support a form of affirmative action to redress the balance. The criticisms of such schemes are well known, but I heard a compelling response to such criticisms from Julia Gillard in a talk she delivered recently at the University of Adelaide (the following is a loose paraphrase).
A common criticism of affirmative action policies is that they are not based on merit, i.e., the most qualified or best person should get the position. But if you believe, as I do, that merit is divided equally between the sexes, then why is there is a disparity in representation between the sexes? It follows that there is some structural reason why women are excluded from participation, and some redress needs to be made to even up the balance.
So if this situation can be addressed by ‘wage gap discounts’, women’s only game jams or code clubs, and scholarships for women, then let’s do it. It can only make games and the broader culture a richer, better place to be.