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"You know what I see when I look at my wrist? My wrist! Where’s the watch!"
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This is a huge feature on women in gaming and the games industry that Electronic Gaming Monthly ran. It contains interviews, editorial remarks, and general cultural information from the time period. It carries a lot of “90’s opinions” (in all the resonances that phrase could have) about women, but I think it is a huge historical resource and I would encourage people to share it around. Publications writing about women in games is not new, and this is something to point to in order to make that case.
I still remember this feature vividly. It was the point at which I paused and realized — whoa, EGM was more than just dudes vomiting up hundreds of screen shots of Japanese games.
More importantly, this article made me really stop and think about gaming stereotypes and assumptions, something that stuck with me. I remember the few girls and women on the gaming forum I frequented at the time being really excited about this piece, and talking about how much they identified with it. Ever since then, many of my perspectives on the medium have been shaped in large part by women in my life — friends, family, online associates, colleagues, role models.
I never take part in the online shouting matches about gender and games, because adding to the noise won’t accomplish anything except to make like-minded people pat me on the back. I don’t need it. I’m a straight white dude; this discussion shouldn’t be about me. I try to use my place in the press to create a positive impact in less dramatic ways: Giving writing gigs and assignments to women, advocating for protagonists and characters who aren’t stubbly white guys, and constantly praising games that allow anyone to express themselves.
Anyway, Lauren Fielder’s EGM feature from more than 15 years ago helped open my eyes to all of this. A great and essential bit of work, here.