It’s been a surprisingly fantastic season for videogames. The last two months have been chock full of solid, high-profile releases like “Mass Effect 2” and “BioShock 2,” the kinds of games that generally only come out in the “holiday” season. As an avid gamer, I’ve been in digital heaven.
However, one thing that’s always been tough for me to reconcile is the general “boys club” atmosphere that surrounds the industry (and a great deal of the games that receive critical attention). As a woman who has written extensively about games and attended a host of industry events, it’s always been something I’ve faced with a mix of humor and genuine curiosity. We know for a fact that most women play “videogames” of some sort (even if that means a few rounds of “Bejeweled” on the iPhone), so why is the culture so male-dominated? It’s a question that gets asked often, though there are few solid answers — other than “T and A sells games.”
Thankfully, Rhoulette of the Frag Dolls (a team of professional female gamers, sponsored by Ubisoft), has just put together a stellar list of “Game Industry Women to Know: 2010”, shining some well-deserved light on women who make games, teach design at top universities, and write about games and game culture.
It’s a very well balanced list, mixing lesser-known writers, professors, promoters and indie developers with the bigger names, like Naughty Dog’s Amy Hennig (who just released the mega-blockbuster “Uncharted 2” in December) and Jade Raymond, executive producer on the “Assassin’s Creed” series.
I’m particularly stoked to see Bonnie Ruberg and Jane Pinckard on the list. Both ladies bring seriously smart and savvy commentary into game journalism — a world that can be sorely lacking in all of the above.
It’s just too bad that Tracy and Angela from the Gay Girls Who Game and lesbiangamers.com didn’t make the list. Next year, ladies!
On the topic of badass women in games, if anyone here is playing “BioShock 2” right now, I’d love to hear (spoiler-free!) thoughts on main baddie Sofia Lamb and the “Big Sisters” in the comments. It’s a particularly woman-centric game (character-wise), something I am more than happy to get behind.