A couple months ago, I discovered a video that was being shared among a circle of game developers I follow on Twitter. The video was the first part to a new video series created by Anita Sarkeesian and called “Tropes vs. Women in Video Games” (youtu.be/X6p5AZp7r_Q)
. Finding her video to be interesting and informative, I've decided to see how professionals in the field felt about it. Upon posting the video in the International Game Developers Association LinkedIn Group for additional commentary and feedback, it was an immediately hot topic. It remained the most popular topic for about two months and did not start reducing in popularity until comments were closed. Ultimately, my post about Anita’s video resulted in 208 comments of hot debate about not only the role of women as characters in video games but also as game developers in a predominately male industry.
At the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, a new advocacy track made its premier. One of the sessions from this new track called #1ReasonToBe (www.gdcvault.com/play/1018080)
, was arguably the most talked about session of GDC. The origin of this panel has its roots in Twitter hashtags #1ReasonWhy and #1ReasonToBe. #1ReasonWhy encouraged women game developers to speak out about their difficulties of being in the video game industry. The result was numerous tweets that were full of upsetting, troubling, and negative stories about being women making games and gained a lot of publicity by the media. A number of women game developers wanted to counteract this negative movement through the hashtag #1ReasonToBe, discussing instead why women are a part of the industry and should continue to be a part of it. This Twitter discussion culminated into the session at GDC, and resulted in a powerful message that inspires women to remain strong and pushes the industry forward in embracing gender equality.
This is the inspiration behind my 8-part piece, “Your Princess Is in another Castle.” I hope it is something that can help spread the message of #1ReasonToBe.
*Originally designed to be on display as an exhibit. Each image is a separate 11x17 piece, displayed at eye level in a row.