Friday, April 25, 2008
Women's Gaming Community: Are We Being Heard?
1up.com has a great article up that discusses how online forums influence game makers and marketers. The idea is that important gaming folk have been discovered combing through gaming message boards and forums online in order to learn how gamers feel about certain games, marketing ideas, and game developers themselves. The article talks about several interesting examples of this phenomenon, which had me thinking about our neck of the woods. If game developers read through the typical gaming message board, do they read feminist gaming blogs as well?
Fortunately, I've had first hand experienced with that: after I wrote an article about ICED, the computer game focusing on deportation in the United States, the game developers Breakthrough left a comment under it:
Hi, We just wanted to say that we greatly appreciate your positive post. Reading comments like yours in response to our game helps us continue to do our work in an environment that doesn't seem to see that immigration is a human rights and due process issue.
Thank you again!
I had not contacted Breakthrough before or after writing the article, which indicates to me that they were actively searching for internet activity surrounding their game. They may not have come across Girl in the Machine primarily to read about feminist issues, but there are wonderful implications about this phenomenon: Breakthrough read what a feminist blog had to say about their game.
Who's to say Breakthrough is alone in this respect? Other game developers are more than likely Googling their own games to discover the public's opinion about them. There are feminist and women's gaming blogs sprouting up and discussing popular video games every day, providing a widespread, powerful voice for women's issues in video games. The more we women blog about women's issues in games, the more likely game developers will come across them and--hopefully--take our opinions into account. This is our chance to tell them what they're doing right and what needs to be changed.
So blog on, women gamers.
--Iris Directory Logo from the Iris Gaming Network
Labels: Getting it Right, PlasmaRit, The Industry