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Any Women or Girls on itch.io? Opinions?

A topic by LilacRoses created 26 days ago Views: 235 Replies: 14
Viewing posts 1 to 8
(Edited 1 time) (+3)

Hello Everyone :) 

I go by LilacRoses here, I'm black, 16, and from New York City. And I LOVE to code and make games (obviously or I couldn't be here :P)

Something that I noticed on itch.io is how there aren't really that many girls or women on itch.io. 

That's not a problem, or an issue. Girls just don't tend to take on or take interest into things like these. And that's okay! We can be interested in whatever we want to be interested in, but that's my opinion. I just wanted to say that because I find it annoying when people try to use the "women are oppressed" card to justify the fact that most of us just aren't interested in it. 

But I am! ;) And this topic is just so I can meet other female coders out there who have this interest, BUT THIS DOES NOT EXCLUDE MEN FROM COMMENTING HERE ALSO!! If you are a male and want to express your opinion on this subject (because it seems to be pretty common among coders) or just say a little hello feel free :)

Have a nice day everyone! :)

            ~L.R

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Hey, it's really cool that you're getting started in game development! Good luck.

I'd be very careful about making sweeping generalizations about how "women aren't oppressed" or "just aren't interested," though. There's a lot of systemic, cultural garbage out there that you might not be aware of yet, even though it's probably affected your outlook in fundamental ways you haven't realized. There's a lot of stuff to unpack.

You might try watching Feminist Frequency, and reading about the history of the early games industry. Wikipedia has an article worth reading, as well as a list of notable women in the games industry.

Makes sense.. I'll look into it :) and thank you! 

Just a guy I'm afraid good luck with making games! if you haven't already seen it the youtube channel extra credits does some amazing videos on game development, can't recommend it highly enough Extra Credits 

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yes I have and I absolutely love them :D one of my favorite gaming-related YouTube videos so far. Thanks for commenting :)

I never really know what people's genders are on itch.io because no one talks about it much. I am indeed a girl, just not really fitting into I guess what a typical society would define a "girl." I make games, or at least try to haha.

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Hello!  Another female here, and I agree with your point about "oppression."  Just because certain types of people (gender identity, race, nationality, etc.) aren't heavily involved in something doesn't mean there's a problem.  It's a big world and there's lots to do in it.  However, when it comes to a single website, like itch.io or any other, it's hard to know exactly who is using it and in what way.  Not everyone has a gender-specific username (intentionally or not), and many people visit but aren't visible in the community.  Also, the user population can depend on the company's marketing strategy, which may slant things quite a bit.

On the plus-side for female involvement, you can't ignore the offline presence of female friends, girlfriends, spouses, team members, and so forth who assist and support the devs who come to the site, but may not have an active account of their own.  Whether they advertise it or not, there are plenty of guys who probably couldn't or wouldn't do what they do without us (and possibly vice versa). ;-)

Anyway, nice to meet another lady game dev here.  I mostly work in Unity with C# (some 2D, some 3D), and make offline games and game assets, as well.  Feel free to reach out anytime.

(+2)

There are many, many systemic forms of gentle suppression that lead people to believe and internalize things that aren't true.

As a 39-year-old transwoman who has been in the industry, and who studied in STEM in the first place, I couldn't help but notice a lot of gender policing that subtly and not-so-subtly discouraged women from taking technical roles. There's a deeply-ingrained belief that "women aren't interested in programming" which leads to any woman who tries to be a programmer being judged way more harshly than her male peers, leading them to become discouraged and feel that they're not cut out for it.

Meanwhile, my own gender identity was always being put into question because of my love for programming and video games; the fact I was good at programming and wanted to make games made me automatically "not a real woman." And I saw this happen to my cisgender female peers as well! Any woman interviewing at a studio would automatically be assumed to be an artist, or "just" a tools programmer, or whatever, and after working 3x as hard to prove herself she'd be told that she's "almost good enough" to be "one of the guys."

This all starts very young, too. There's a lot of background radiation that's easy to internalize and difficult to separate out. And this goes both ways as well - look at the huge gender disparity in "feminine" vs. "masculine" roles, even in the same field; dentists are men, hygienists are women; doctors are men, nurses are women; game programmers are men, game artists are women. It goes on and on, and all of it is due to a lifetime of self-reinforcing beliefs.

Biases are hard to look past, especially when it's hard to even tell where those biases are in the first place.

Fortunately, things are (slowly) changing. We're seeing a lot more encouragement of kids of all genders going into whatever fields they are interested in, and attitudes are shifting away from a gender-essentialist worldview.

(Edited 1 time) (+1)

tbh the only people I know personally (avatars are avatars in the end- may not reveal gender) on itch.io are women...

Also unfortunately your games may be seen as subpar just because you're not a man- it's hard to notice unless you submit the same game maybe with different stereotypical woman and man's name, and get different comments. Also, from my childhood I didn't know that it was odd or something for girls/women to take  interest in games- we all played together on multiplayer games before the online stuff was popular. Then all of sudden I was introduced to a strange culture of women apparently not being interested in games...like what (even my grandma plays something...)

make what you like, play what you like, and remember, avatars are avatars (don't tell people all your info and be careful- this applies to everyone).

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I agree that it's not good to tell all about yourself online - there are some jerks and creeps out there.  However, I wouldn't go so far as hiding your gender like it's a liability or something.  That might feel safer, but does nothing to further the cause of getting female game devs/players seen as equals.  You can't shine if you hide your light.  The more visible and confident (but not arrogant) women are in what they do, the sooner it will be seen as normal, and the better for all women, regardless of the industry.

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The reasons behind Joanne Rowling using "J.K. Rowling" and "Robert Galbraith" range from sexism to creativity (maybe they're intertwined somewhere in there too, idk), but she still shined very brightly. I'm not sure if this is truly a fact, but the consensus was that male readers would not enjoy works from female authors (which is ridiculous, but moving on-) so her publishers (?) asked her to hide her gender. I think at the time "J.K. Rowling" was used, she wanted to secure the paycheck associated with unfeminine names (her financial situation was unstable if I remember correctly). While I hate the circumstances that made this something she even had to consider, I respect her grind as a writer to publish her books and be successful. This was not a form of cowardice; it was a smart move to put food on the table.

Now, as far as the reading community, I am not sure if they changed their mind about female authors. If they still haven't, it remains to be a community problem, not hers to fix. She did what she loved and adapted to the community that may have judged her work differently. Even if they didn't have that kind of mentality in the first place, she still might have wanted to separate her personal and professional egos, like with "Robert Galbraith".

Arrogant is a tricky word...that may be the reason why female game developers and players are not seen as equals. Their confidence might be "corrected" and toned down because it may seem "arrogant" to someone else. (Bruce Lee was arrogant but he could back it up so have at it if you got it!) As some people pick up on these subtle things, they might take the "Joanne" route, the "J.K. Rowling" route, or the "Robert Galbraith" route. However, one thing I noticed is that the industries usually don't put themselves into the equation.

If half the population is looked down upon and they are not visible in the industry, it's cutting off stories that need to be told, or games that need to happen. I'm grateful Rowling didn't reject to publishing Harry Potter series under "J.K. Rowling", because it's possible the series would have never landed into my hands (the publishers were the reason I could read the books but could have easily been the reason why I couldn't).

TL;DR
I would say there is a sort of liability when you reveal your gender. It's not necessarily bad- I've seen a kind of "fathering" phenomenon happen- which still can be annoying I guess. Whether or not the industry changes, the truth is female game developers and players are equals- unfortunately they are not treated as such.

Fully agree, and thanks for commenting :)

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I don't care what a game dev has between their legs. I like good games.

As a solo dev it's hard for me to imagine how one could be opressed.

The best way to deal with male-centric ("sexist"?) games is for girls/women to make own games how they like them.

You can't change the male-centric past where we come from, and you can't force instant equality. It takes some time for things to level out naturaly. Maybe a generation or two.

(+2)

Woman here, been coding for a long time. Live your life like you want, it's yours and you only got one. No respawn. =)

Nice and simple... and I fully agree :)