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Unity Promotes Women with Workshops

Unity Promotes Women with Workshops

CiLi4fcWEAAUzCxIt’s no secret that I’m a big proponent of encouraging more women to get involved in the gaming industry. While I lack the education and computer know-how to start making games myself, I applaud the women who are able to pull through the negativity of the media constantly telling them “it’s a man’s industry” and do what they love.

That being said, Unity has launched a series of free and open global workshops, called “Women in Gaming,” in an effort to empower women and encourage them to pursue careers in the video game industry.

These workshops discuss many of the issues women face when attempting to advance their careers in gaming. At the same time, they allow for the people in attendance to network with each other and learn from each other. Other topics covered in the workshop include organizational dynamics, leadership skills and strategic thinking.

The first two workshops have already happened. The first took place in Amsterdam on June 1st. The speaker was Fiona Sperry, the founder of Three Fields Entertainment. The second workshop was in San Francisco, CA, at UC Berkeley with Professor Dana Carvey.

The next three workshops are below:

  • July 28 – Shanghai, China. Special Guests: Amy Huang (AVP at NetEase Capital), Evelyn Liu (CTO at Firevale), and Yanyan Xiong (Founder of Shenzhenware).
  • September 22 – San Francisco, CA. Special Guest: Nanea Reeves (President and COO of textPlus)
  • Early November (date TBD) – Los Angeles, CA at University of Southern California. Special guest: Professor Tracey Fullerton.

1441576529unity-logoEach of the special guest speakers has been successful within the gaming industry. In the workshops, they will be sharing their experiences and insights with those in attendance.

While I wish we didn’t need to have initiatives like this within the gaming industry (and other “male-dominated” industries such as computer programming – see Girls Who Code), I applaud Unity for taking this step. As a woman myself, I can attest to how many times I’ve been told, “but that’s for boys,” in regards to video games or other nerdy things that I enjoy. Initiatives like this not only bring us just a little bit closer to eliminating that negativity in the world, but also gives young gamer girls strong women to look up to.

All of the workshops are free and open to the public. If you’d like to register for one, click here.

 

Women were a rarity, A Guest Post

Magic: The Gathering

Hi there, everyone!  I was asked by my friend Crymson Pleasure to write up a guest post about women in gaming. A little about myself first.  I have been playing tabletop RPG’s since around 1985-86, Magic: The Gathering from 1993, and MMORPG’s since 1999 with Everquest being the one I have played the longest.  

What are my feelings on women in gaming?  There aren’t enough!  Gaming of all types is lacking in female representation, and it shouldn’t be as it’s something that anyone can do no matter their sex, age, color, or any other factor.  There is no reason for women to feel excluded from gaming or made to feel like it’s for boys only.  If more guys would put an effort into welcoming women or getting them to try the games it would expand the amount of available players, and bring more creativity to them.  A great example is my friend Kate.  I met her through my friend Justin, and have introduced them both to Pathfinder and the wonderful world of tabletop RPG’s.  We ended 4 books into a 6-book module set, and they were both enjoying it greatly.  It was first time either one of them have ever played anything like it and she is having as much fun as he and I are.  She asked just as many good questions as he did, and got just as mad as any other player when the dice won’t fall in her favor.    

While I was growing up and playing Magic and early D&D games, women were a rarity, and I think that was at least partially the fault of gamers, and also of the companies making the games.  It wasn’t that we were purposely excluding them, but more that it wasn’t “accepted” as much for them to ask about, and join games.  The advent of online MMORPG’s helped break that mold as – unless you asked – you never knew if the persons you were playing with were guys or girls.  More women started playing games and taking their love of them to the outside world and into tabletop/LARP games.  

Pathfinder Table Top Game

When you look around today you can find women playing and running D&D games, and competing at magic tournaments.  Feline Longmore, and Jadine Klomparens are both women who play Magic at the competitive level and consistently get high placings at the tournaments they go to.  I hope to be that good myself one day.  I am sure there are many more that show up at the individual tournaments and Friday Night Magic in their local area, but there is still not enough.

All in all, we as gamers need to take it upon ourselves to bring more women into the games we play, as they are made to be fun and enjoyed by everyone.  We need to share our love of the games with our friends and loved ones.  Maybe they haven’t joined you in playing because they haven’t felt that rush of a critical hit rolled at just the perfect time, or pulling off the perfect play to a win a game of Magic.  All it takes is that one moment and boom you have them hooked.  

-Henry

Be your own block button

Hi, I’m Mike Knapp. Some of you know me as KarlDark or Hida Kenshiro. Crymson Pleasure asked me to write a guest piece for the Real Women of Gaming… and i forgot about it after two weeks of trying to figure out what i could write that hasn’t already been written. She recently pressed me again to finish the piece. She asked me, “Do you think women are treated equally when it comes to gaming in general?” My answer was, “No. Not very often. When they are main characters, they are all too often unrealistic boobtacular badasses that never evoke emotions other than lust or envy. Then, when they aren’t the protagonist, they are plot devices. True, every story needs a plot device and, while i dislike the ‘woman in refrigerator’ syndrome, it would be nice to see women simply exist in a game.”

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Thia the Bard interview with Frags and Beer

Thia the Bard, role player, gamer and singer shares her love of games.

Don’t stand in the green stuff and heal the tank…

When you first approached me about the topic the idea sparked a lot of immediate emotions. Both as a gamer and a game developer it kind of angers me a bit that women still aren’t really ‘meshed’ into the community just the same way men are.10514580_869880693025644_7412229315058129210_n

For a guy to come into any game room and start playing is no big deal, depending on their skill level. For a woman to pop into a game room, they are unfortunately faced with a vast array of reactions. Everything from neutral, ‘hey, sup?’ reactions all the way to the creepy stalker gamer who tries to follow them out of the game and onto Facebook and from there potentially in to real life. It’s a really scary thought process.

As a guy, when a woman comes into a game I even still do my own analysis. Primarily my reaction is to sit back and watch how others react. I of course offer a general greeting, but I’m automatically on the defensive FOR them. Not that they need it, but more so that I don’t want a community where I spend a lot of my time to turn into a sandpit of 2 year olds throwing dirt at the girl in the boys club – it’s ridiculous. Of course I’m assaulted with male reactions of, ‘oh wow, finally, a lady joins the fray of insanity!’. I think that the initial thought process anyone has when a male OR female joins a game is entirely naturally theirs, but how they voice it or express it – is a choice.

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Damsel in Distress

Awhile ago, I asked on our Facebook page if there were any blog posts that our fans wanted to see. One fan mentioned the representation of female heroes in video games. Considering that I made that post months ago, I’ve had a lot of time to think about it. I’ve kept it in the back of my mind. You see, this one particular thing stuck out in my mind so well for a very specific reason; a reason I haven’t shared with our fans or followers until now. Well, now I’m sure you are very curious as to that reason, so I’ll tell you. I’m 8 months pregnant and I’m going to have a baby girl.

So, now I am sure you were going to go into this post with one mind set, but shift gears with me for a moment. I love video games, obviously. I have played games where the female character wanted to be a supermodel or an actress. She was the damsel in distress. She was raped at some point in her past. Funny thing is, I’ve never played a game where a male character wanted to be a supermodel, an actor, was in distress or raped in his past.

Now, to point out how I think about it. I want to share my love and passion for this amazing art form with my daughter, eventually. As does her father. Do I want her think that the only way she can become a hero is if she wants to be a supermodel or an actor? That she needs to play the damsel in distress to win? I can’t even think of the last part.

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E3 for you and me

Crackdown 3

E3-2014Looks like awesomesauce! I was a huge fan of the first two. Well, the first one a bit more than the second, but that happens. I am really wondering what turn the storyline will take with this one. However, this game did give me achievement issues. As in, must have them ALL!

Halo Collection
Halo is the reason I got into Xbox in the first place. Well, that or Ghost Recon. I don’t remember that well. Anyway, I was excited to see that Halo was picked back up and beautifully done with Halo 4. I think I might have to pick this bundle up.

Halo 5: Guardians
SQUEE! Of course there is a beta with the purchase of the bundle. Damn it!

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