Video game designer Kim Swift, best known for her work on Portal, Left 4 Dead and Quantum Conundrum, published a blog post today in which she encourages women who are in and entering the games industry to keep fighting for a diverse and fair industry.
In the blog entry, Swift talks about her participation in the #1ReasonWhy hashtag — a recent Twitter movement where women (and men) in the games industry spoke out about sexism — and why she was afraid to speak up.
"As a participator in the 1ReasonWhy hash tag, I am ashamed to admit that I am scared of sharing everything; I'm scared of sharing the worst of it," she writes. "I am fearful of delving below the surface. Talking about this subject in public is terrifying because frankly you never know when retribution is going to rear its ugly head and what sort of consequences will come about because of your words.
"To tell all, in many ways, either means having nothing to lose, anonymity or extreme bravery, none of which I possess."
Despite this, Swift says that she loves making games and working in the industry and, rather than delve into the worst of it, she hopes to use her public profile to help encourage young girls into the industry by showing them that "girls can make games too."
So here comes my point. This is a numbers game, people.
If you want diversity in gaming subjects:
If you want a more fair, unbiased workplace:
If you want the industry to just plain grow up:
Then we need to change the makeup of our industry, because games are a reflection of their creators.
So I see the solution to this problem coming not a year from now, not five years from now, but twenty. When this current generation of kids sees the good example that we should be setting now. And though we may not be able to tell it completely like it is just yet, there's still plenty we can do to help future generations of game developers.
So ladies, my call to arms is this:
Be everything that the younger versions of us could've pointed to and proudly said:
"Girls make games too."
The full blog entry can be read here.