Four days remain to donate to the Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for the Pixelles Game Incubator 2015/2016. While the crowdfunding effort has already generated $8,716 CAD - well above its $5,000 CAD goal and beating all of its funding stretch goals - the money put towards the campaign will help Pixelles Montreal have even more resources to realize its goal: empowering young girls and women to "learn, love, and create games."
Intel isn't the only company working to get more women and minorities into the tech field. Apple is putting $50 million towards initiatives that promote and pursue that goal. The investment is the fulfillment of a promise Apple CEO Tim Cook made in 2014 after the company's diversity report was published. That report showed that Apple's workforce is mostly made up of white males.
A free batch of downloadable content over the weekend for Paradox Interactive' grand historical strategy game Europa Universalis IV had the unintended consequence of whipping some of its users into a frenzy over the plight of men. The content was released for free to celebrate International Women’s Day (March 8th) and adds 100 of the greatest women in history into the game.
Yesterday during the bittersweet #1ReasonToBe panel, Gamasutra editor-at-large Leigh Alexander and entertainment and culture writer (for publications such as Boing Boing, Wired, and more) Laura Hudson announced the launch of a new site dedicated to gaming with a focus on giving a voice to women and minority voices. The site, which you can find a placeholder for at offworld.com, is called Offworld.
A brief message on this placeholder site explains what it is all about and why it is so important that it exists.
In addition to announcing deals with Codemasters, Funcom and Ubisoft to use its technology in upcoming games and a new game developer friendly portal at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this week, Intel revealed a number of initiatives it is backing to promote more diversity in the video games industry.
Vox Media's video game focused site Polygon has hired The Mary Sue founder Susana Polo. The appointment shows that Polygon wants to ramp up its coverage of all things non-gaming, and perhaps bring a bit more focus to topics that women are interested in.
"We've been covering entertainment for a little bit," Polygon's Editor in Chief Chris Grant told FishbowlNY. "We've dabbled. There's a lot of adjacency. Batman isn't just a game, it's also movies and comic books."
We all get that sex sells, but there's a reason that parties involving strippers and other male-focused titillation might be looked down upon in this day and age. After all it's no longer the 1990s and people expect party organizers to show some sensitivity to the growing number of women that attend game industry trade events like the Game Developers Conference.
Developer NetherRealm will take a more realistic approach to the way it presents female combatants in its upcoming game Mortal Kombat X. In other words, female characters won't have gigantic breasts and other ridiculously overblown body features. This, says production manager Spiro Anagnostakos, is in the name of making Mortal Kombat X more realistic.
Legendary game developer Brenda Romero and outspoken writer Leigh Alexander will host this year's #1ReasonToBe session at the Game Developers Conference next month in San Francisco. Alexander is the Editor at Large at Gamasutra, while Romero is Program Director/Game Developer at UC Santa Cruz and co-founder of Romero Games.
Just a reminder: Tonight's episode of Law & Order SVU features a storyline dealing with video games, online harassment, threats, and a female game developer under siege by a group of gamers out to do her harm.
Here's the synopsis for the episode set to air tonight (9 PM ET) on NBC:
Yosuke Hayashi, the leader of developer Team Ninja and producer for Dead or Alive 5: Last Round, says that the controversy over the series' portrayal of women is likely a clash of cultures. Speaking to MCV, Hayashi said that any controversy over the series’ approach to female representation may be the result of a cultural clash.
Feminist Frequency founder Anita Sarkeesian will receive the Harvard Humanist of the Year 2014 Award on Sunday, February 8 at the Harvard University Science Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The annual award is handed out by the Humanist Community at Harvard University. The Humanist Community at Harvard (or HCH as it likes to be called) is "dedicated to building, educating, and nurturing a diverse community of Humanists, atheists, agnostics, and the nonreligious at Harvard and beyond."
Feminist Frequency has announced its plans for the new year and in addition to new entries in its Tropes vs Women series, it will also start two new video projects. The first is a new series that examines the representations of men and masculinity in video games and the second a miniseries presenting examples of positive female characters in video games.
Tropes vs. Women in Video Games creator Anita Sarkeesian has announced plans for Feminist Frequency 2015, which includes an expansion of the videos and topics the organization already makes that focus on the portrayal of women in video games. But what about how men are portrayed? Sarkeesian will introduce a new series discussing "men and masculinity" in video games in addition to a new miniseries presenting positive examples of female characters in video games.
During his keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said that the company will pledge $300 million to be used for scholarships aimed at bringing more women, African Americans, and other ethnicities into the tech sector. The company is partnering with a number of groups to do this including Feminist Frequency, The National Center for Women and Information technology, The Anita Borg Institute, UNCF, Girls Who Code, Society of Women Engineers, the IGDA, NACME, and many others.
Two new pieces of downloadable content have been released on Steam for the popular heist game, Payday 2. The first is called "The Diamond Heist" and offers a brand new mission where your crew attempts to steal a very precious diamond from a local museum. It also offers four new masks - Anubis, Medusa, The Cursed One, and Pazuzu.
Katsuhiro Harada, the man serving as Tekken 7's director reacted rather strongly to criticism of character Lucky Chloe. After the character was revealed, users responding in this NeoGAF thread harshly criticized Chloe as being a stereotypical sexualized Japanese female character that is more appropriate for the Dead or Alive series.
The latest Feminist Frequency video tackles the topic of "male privilege" as it relates to gaming culture and features a number of male developers like Tim Schafer from Double Fine and several journalists from places like IGN, GameSpot, and Polygon.
It is questionable whether or not it was a good idea for games journalists to appear in a video created by Feminist Frequency, mostly because it creates a conflict of interest should they need to report on the series in the future.
GamePolitics contributing editor (and co-host of the Super Podcast Action Committee) will join Kill Screen Daily's David Rudin, and NYMag.com Senior Editor Jesse Singal for an in-depth discussion about rating sexism in games on Huffington Post Live today at 4:23 pm ET.
In a recent interview with GamesBeat, Sony Computer Entertainment America chief Shawn Layden was asked about online harassment in general and gender equality within the video games industry.
While Layden wouldn't specifically address the social media movement GamerGate, he did offer an unequivocal answer on harassment - with some pressing from GamesBeat.
Jenny Richards-Stewart is the new CEO of Women in Games Jobs. Richards-Stewart previously worked as CEO at the Gremlin Group and as the chair of the board of governors at UK games industry charity GamesAid. Prior to that she worked for six years at the Paddington Academy. Richards-Stewart took on the position because she was keen to help the organization to promote equality within the games industry.
On the latest episode of Comedy's Central's The Colbert Report, Feminist Frequency and Tropes v. Women in Video Games creator Anita Sarkeesian gives her opinion on what the social media movement #GamerGate is all about. Colbert started the show with some jokes about GamerGate and gamers, ran several MSNBC clips, and then sat down to talk to Sarkeesian.
After the segment aired Sarkeesian tweeted the following:
If you haven't seen Leigh Alexander's recent XOXO Festival presentation, you can check it out to your left. Earlier in the month Tropes vs. Women in Games creator Anita Sarkeesian also gave a presentation, which can be found here.
A number of companies that are part of Sweden's game development community have signed on to a public petition protesting the harassment of female game developers over the last few months and reiterated that diversity is of paramount importance in the Sweden. Other developers outside Sweden have signed on to the petition as well in the spirit of supporting diversity.
Backpedaling a bit after recent comments about the pay gap between men and women in the tech industry, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella now says there is no pay gap between men and women at Microsoft. In an interview with CNBC, Nadella said that there is only around a .5 percent difference in salaries on a global basis within the company.
"So it's different than what perhaps is sort of normally felt across all industries," Nadella said.
Introduced by MSNBC host Ronan Farrow as "the woman who sparked 'GamerGate,'" Depression Quest developer Zoe Quinn gives her first television interview since the whole online ordeal kicked off back in late August.
In the video, which you can watch in its entirety to your left, Quinn emphasizes that, despite all the online threats and harassment, she and other women in the industry are here to stay because they love games.
It's a hashtag you may have seen on Twitter or discussed in countless news and opinion pieces at various websites, both enthusiast and mainstream. It's a movement, a collection of like-minded and passionate people banding together in order to achieve an end.
What end is that, you ask?
You tell us! Vote in this week's poll and tell us what #GamerGate is all about. If the true meaning is not among the response options, let us know your thoughts in the comments below.