Women Play Computer Games
In the article below, it is revealed that Minecraft will soon have a female protagonist. Instead of always having to play a male, a player can choose either sex.
Apparently the video game world just realized that there are women who play video games. So, let’s see if I have the chain of male cluelessness down – males were surprised to learn that women could talk, write, speak in public, choose their own husbands, control their own property, vote, drive cars, work, operate machinery, play sports, etc. What’s next?
Don’t worry. I’m sure there is a great number of things people in various industries are confident that women don’t, can’t or won’t do. I remember reading a magazine from back in the fifties. They were interviewing this guy who was a chef and they asked him if it bothered him to do what was traditionally women’s work. He explained that he wasn’t a cook, he was a chef and his job was tough and no woman could do what he did.
For many males, maybe all males, being identified however distantly with the female other is frightening and demeaning. Zones of apparent all male participation are comforting if wickedly unfair and ridiculous.
If we are going to practice business ethics, women are not the other – women are part of we, we the decisionmakers, the players, the consumers, etc. etc.
It’s obvious from reading about this mini-revolution in gaming of having female video game characters, that the designers were men who felt that the players in the games they made were also men.
How many times do we in the business of educating people have to see this pattern before realize that it might be better and easier to work on how our students construct a comfortable narrative based on yesterday’s gender identities? If we teach them that males and females are opposites but different perspectives on humanity, we might make better professionals – and better human beings as well.
Minecraft, Temple Run: Video game characters don’t have to default to male.
Fans of Minecraft—especially girls—have long felt frustrated that the only default character available in the popular building game is a man. Now, the game’s programmers have announced that players will get a lady option. The Washington Post describes this new character, Alex, as “a seemingly female character with thinner arms, pinker lips, and a swoop of hair around her neck,” in contrast to default character Steve, “a bulky man with short, dark hair and a 5 o’clock shadow.” Owen Hill of Mojang, the game studio that created Minecraft, explains that this move will better “represent the diversity of our playerbase.”