August 29th, 2008

PAX '08: Pretty pretty Princess Peach cosplayerGreetings from the 2008 Penny Arcade Expo! As we speak, I’m missing the Ken Levine keynote (how is it, everybody else?) to listen in on a panel called, “Girls in Games: the Growing Role of Women in the Industry.” So far, the panelists — a developer, a game publicist, a quest writer — are covering pretty basic ground: how they got into games by climbing out of their brothers’ shadows, how we can encourage more girls to get interested in programming, whether or not women in the industry should aim their games toward girls. There have been a couple interesting points though:

– Girls who’ve already made it into the boys’ club can be just as catty and unwelcoming to new girls as the boys themselves. As a girl who makes a living in the boys’ club, I totally agree. All you other women, stay away. Just joking. Kind of.

– Being a girl on a forum, explains one panelist, “is like walking into prison. You have to beat up the toughest guy there, then you’re okay.” Amen, badass, homemade-tattoo sporting sister.

Predictably, everyone seems to agree that pink girl games make women want to gag. Also, the question “Can we get armor that isn’t hot pants and high heels?” roused a round of distinctly female laughter and Oprah-style inspired clapping. The important thing to remember (and the thing that’s hard for cynical me to keep in mind) is that, even if this is a conversation we’ve had before, even if we sit around and say the same thing again and again, hopefully we reach someone new every time. Right? Right?

See my PAX photos here.

Tags: events, gender

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