I've read a Twitter thread that talked about how a lot of the early video game fandom in 80s were quite egalitarian and were even open to women joining, but that changed during the 2000s where a lot of game studios closed and the rise of online services allowed young children and teens that didn't understand complex games to enter the gaming fandom. From your experience, do you agree and think it's true that 2000s was a turning point that culminated the toxic community that we see today?

I’ve read a Twitter thread that talked about how a lot of the early video game fandom in 80s were quite egalitarian and were even open to women joining, but that changed during the 2000s where a lot of game studios closed and the rise of online services allowed young children and teens that didn’t understand complex games to enter the gaming fandom. From your experience, do you agree and think it’s true that 2000s was a turning point that culminated the toxic community that we see today?

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Nah. I was there. I was working in the industry during the 2000s and there already weren’t a lot of women in the industry back then. No, it actually goes back even earlier than that – back to the mid-80s, when the higher-ups decided to market games only towards boys.

After the video game crash of 83-84 and subsequent revival by Nintendo in 1985 with the NES, video game marketing was retargeted towards boys in the West.

Before then, you had some really big name developers who were women – women like Roberta Williams, Jane Jensen, Dona Bailey, Anne Westfall, and Joyce Weisbecker. 

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Since game marketing was laser-targeted at boys, it pushed the boys who played the games in the 80s to become the next generation of game developers in the 90s, and that inertia has been an influencing factor in the industry ever since. That led to games becoming even more boy-oriented in the 90s – your Doom, Street Fighter 2, Mortal Kombat, Tomb Raider, Resident Evil, etc. There were outliers though – one of the biggest games of all time was Myst, which was marketed towards everybody that had a CD-ROM. Japan also hadn’t pushed as hard on the marketing towards boys and Nintendo was still dedicated to the family-friendly entertainment they’ve always been.

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The 2000s actually brought a lot more women (and their money) into video gaming. Casual gaming exploded onto the scene with Facebook and mobile devices. Huge hits like the Guitar Hero and World of Warcraft pulled women into the hobby like a gravity well. That’s been fantastic because it’s also come hand-in-hand with an expansion in the kinds of games we’re making and an expansion in the sort of ideas and insights we come up with. That’s led us into the 2010s where we’ve seen an overall industry-wide trend towards inclusivity and diversity in games. 


The FANTa Project is currently on hiatus while I am crunching at work too busy.

[What is the FANTa project?] [Git the FANTa Project]

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Source: askagamedev
I’ve read a Twitter thread that talked about how a lot of the early video game fandom in 80s were quite egalitarian and were even open to women joining, but that changed during the 2000s where a lot of game studios closed and the rise of online services allowed young children and teens that didn’t understand complex games to enter the gaming fandom. From your experience, do you agree and think it’s true that 2000s was a turning point that culminated the toxic community that we see today?

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