VIDEO GAME CREATION : Inhibitors and Enablers in Female Inclusion
Abstract: In 2012 and 2014, two hashtags, #1ReasonWhy and #GamerGate, exposed a highly sexist video game industry that was not welcoming female participation. This was affecting women working or wanting to work in it. Feminist technoscience studies explain this phenomenon by applying theories concerning the masculine domination of our society and the perception of women as “others.” Despite the numerous challenges and struggling for inclusion, women still create video games, many as independents, taking advantage of free game engines. Hence, my aim in this thesis was to understand the interconnections between technology, specifically in the video game industry, and its social impact. I focus on the balance of male and female participation in the video game creation, the role of game engines, and the enablers and inhibitors for female inclusion, as an important component of decision making for organizational change in this industry. I conducted an inductive qualitative research approach with eight semi-structured interviews with female video game creators from the Latin American region. My findings reveal that using free/affordable technology, such as game engines, is not enough to guarantee female inclusion in the video game industry. This industry is resistant to change and tends to reinforce male predominance by hiring only a specific type of worker that matches the perfect gamer, usually young males. The participation of women in the video game creation teams (which include developers, designers, artists, testers, among others) would bring balance, diversity, new voices and fresh/new ideas, as well as women empowerment to the table. In addition, eleven inhibitors and eight enablers were identified as factors for female inclusion in the video game industry.
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