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Pixelles Postmortem: How to Increase Game Creator Diversity NOW
by Tanya X Short on 03/20/13 04:38:00 pm   Expert Blogs   Featured Blogs

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

Rebecca Palacios and I just finished hosting the first iteration of “Pixelles” Montreal, a six-week course that helped a handful of women become first-time game makers. Hopefully they will continue to practice this new craft, and inspire others to do the same. Rebecca herself is a graduate of a similar program, proving its potential for pay-it-forward viral effects.

The goal for us was to increase the diversity of people who make games, on a grass-roots level. Although it lacks any commercial ambitions, some call it an ‘incubator’ because it is intended to be a nurturing environment for otherwise unlikely games. We focused on women because it’s our particular interest, and the interest of our funding source, but whether you’re interested in increasing the diversity of game creator race, sexual orientation, whatever, this workshop series format could work for you and your community. It’s pretty simple. 


Please note: I came up with neither the idea nor the implementation! The good folks over at the Hand Eye Society ran the first such workshop series (the “Difference Engine Initiative”), funded by Feminists in Games. We based almost everything we did on their templates. You can read more about their passion and purpose in a previous Gamasutra interview.

The amazing thing about this program, to me, is that it comes incredibly cheap by charitable standards. We’re in the beginning of a bright new era in which game-making tools come by the dozen, usable by anyone with a computer, no technical experience required.

As a result, you don’t need much. You’ll need one or two passionate people who are willing to give a few hours a week for a few months, and a couple thousand dollars. Each participant will also need access to a computer with an internet connection -- personal laptops are ideal, but not necessary. Ready?

 

What was it?
Six weeks from start to finish. No previous technical experience required. Each participant mades one game each, whatever game they wanted to make. We encouraged 2D games for ease of use, but we also supported 3D/Unity games for those that wanted it (2 did). We met once a week for 3 hours, and had workspace available for use 24/7.

We provided (in descending order of importance) deadlines, guidance to resources, and a place to work. We explicitly did NOT use a classroom setup. Each participant was informed early and often that it was THEIR responsibility to be proactive and find tutorials, learn their tool, fix their bugs, and make their game themselves. If they didn’t do the “homework” or missed a meeting, they might receive a bit of playful scolding, but it was their own loss. Our role as coordinators was to encourage and provide helpful materials, not to teach.

If you want to see more about the curriculum and logistical details, see our website: http://www.pixelles.ca

You can also play their games!

 Pixelles at work

The Budget
We did it on the cheap! This is the budget we worked with, kindly provided by Feminists in Games.

 

$500 snacks & honorarium*

$250 for mentor travel to the project site

$150 for transit subsidies for the participants

$50 for printing costs

$300 final honorarium*

 

* Honorarium: It’s tempting to think “I’m willing to do this for free! I don’t need to be paid, and neither should any other passionate coordinator!” However, you and everyone else are much more likely to take their responsibilities seriously when paid even a nominal amount. It creates the mindset of an employee, instead of a volunteer.

 

What Went Right?

Participant Selection

We had 60+ applicants. Our only real criteria for selecting applicants were:

1 - Is she a female that has not made a game before?

2 - Do we think she can finish a semi-grueling six-week project?

3 - Select as many differently-interested women we can, so that we end up with as wide a variety of games made as possible.

The original “Difference Engine Initiative” supported 6 participants. We chose to accept 10 participants because our facilities would support it without any added expense. However, we felt this was the maximum number that would still offer a personalised experience.


Aside from basic contact information, we primarily asked about their favorite games to play and any “crazy” game ideas they’ve had. Note that we explicitly did *not* discriminate based on intention to join the games industry, technical experience, race, charisma, socio-economic status, native language, etc. We simply wanted 10 very different women with 10 different passions, who we could be reasonably sure would all finish what they start.

It worked! We ended up with quite a variety of games, from platformers to puzzlers to arty educational experiences. We also happened to choose a good mix of ethnicities and nationalities, as an accidental bonus.

Comparing ideas

Group Work-time

Towards the end of the six weeks, it was increasingly beneficial for the participants to have time allotted during meetings for knowledge transfer. One participant had an unlockable door working and the other struggled for some time to solve the same problem. If she hadn’t been able to solve it, the game would need massive re-designs. Luckily, they managed to help each other before the end; all of the internet forums and distant experts won’t help as much as someone over your shoulder just looking at what’s going on, even if that person isn’t much more experienced than yourself.

 

Follow-Along

We had so much interest and so many applicants we had to disappoint, Rebecca came up with the idea of creating a sign-up for people who wanted to follow along from home. We would blog our progress/resources/focus and email out the homework assignments. Follow-Alongs wouldn’t have access to the meetings or the workspace, but they could still follow the deadlines and hopefully make a game.

It was something of an experiment, but it worked better than we expected. Out of the 30+ Follow Along signups, 4 successfully made a game during that time. We recognised their extreme dedication by displaying their games alongside “normal” Pixelles participants at the final Showcase.

 

Mentors

Montreal happens to be rich with game-making studios and professionals, so it wasn’t particularly difficult for us to find 6+ women of varying expertise who were not just willing but excited to come in and speak to the Pixelles participants. They described their experience making games, a bit about what they particularly specialise in and are passionate about, then took questions. Feedback from the participants was very positive.

In less studio-rich settings, video-conferencing might have been a more feasible option.

In the future, we’d like the mentors to actually teach a small part of their skills to the participants, not just serve as inspirational role models. One of the mentors, the irrepressible Stephanie Bouchard, works part-time as a professor of game design and her contribution of “Game Design 101” slides was warmly received.

 

Concept Document Template

Although it’s a game design classroom (and industry) standard, previous iterations of the workshop series did not provide a concept document for the participants to use as a template for creating their own coherent game idea. We did, and it did seem to help the ideas come together more quickly. You can use ours if you like, which is based on one used at the Guildhall at SMU, but encourage more illustrations and diagrams:

* Word doc: http://pixelles.ca/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/ScoutConceptDoc.doc

* PDF: http://pixelles.ca/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/ScoutConceptDoc.pdf

 

 

Playtesting

Playtesting was another “best design practices” implementation that seemed to help the participants. We brought in a handful of people who had never seen or heard about the game ideas before and had them sit down, without allowing the participants to defend or explain their game, or correct playtesters’ mistaken behaviors. As always, this was extremely useful, even if we had to inflict it on the playtesters slightly before they felt “ready” for it.

 

Snacks

SNACKS! We met on a weekday from 6 to 9pm, and although some people brought a microwaveable dinner, most chose to eat afterwards. If we hadn’t provided a decent array of crudités, chips, cookies, cheese, chocolate, etc, everyone would have been much more impatient, grumpy, and generally less productive.

 

Game Industry Workspace

Funcom Games Canada kindly allowed us to use part of their office, one of their meeting rooms once a week, and also lent us 3 desktop computers for participants who did not have laptops. We could potentially have used the facilities at an art-community studio or a university technology lab, but we think that the game development surroundings added to the sense of responsibility and professionalism throughout the program.

 

Twitter

We didn’t utilise it as much as we could have, but Twitter was both an easy-to-use PR platform and a community builder. Both the Pixelles and Follow Along folks could keep us and post encouraging updates on their progress all throughout the program, especially outside normal meeting times. We will probably use it more next time, if the program is repeated.

 

 

What Went Wrong?

Technical Basics Needed

Some of the participants had practiced programming previously, but most had not. No technical experience was required to be accepted, and the tools we suggested were mostly visual. However, without an understanding of concepts like if statements, global variables, and other fundamental logic structures, some participants’ progress was massively slowed. We could have offered some optional resources for the participants to do some basic code exercises, or even included a small amount of actual teaching in one of the early meetings.

 

Mentors Dropping Out

It’s tough to have any leverage with volunteers on a weekday evening, but it was really unfortunate that a few of our mentors couldn’t come to meetings that they signed up for. Maybe we could add pressure by profiling them on the blog beforehand, making it feel more official and beneficial to their visibility.

 

Advertised Time Required

Initially, when recruiting applicants, we advertised “4 hours a week” as the weekly time commitment, not including meetings. This was reported as being quite low, compared to the actual amount of time most participants felt obliged to spend in order to complete their homework and game to a minimum acceptable quality. It might have been more honest to say 6 or 8 hours a week should be expected, outside the meeting.

 

Follow-Along Exclusion

Because we based our Follow-Along signups on the rejected applicants, we naturally created an all-female mailing list, which wasn’t really necessary. There’s no reason to ever restrict resources and inspiration from someone who wants to make a game; in the future, we will allow anyone at all to sign up for Follow-Along updates, deadline notifications, and encouragement.

 

Conclusion

Pixelles Montreal met or exceeded all of our goals. As such, we consider it a great success. Due to the overwhelming interest in the first series, we find it likely that we will hold second and third series.

This workshop series format, or some variant, should be a standard in all major cities, perhaps on an annual basis, for all under-represented groups in the game-making medium. Everyone draws pictures or writes poems and stories in elementary school, and most people make films in high school. I believe humanity would benefit from everyone also making games as a normal part of their lives, whether or not they are interested in joining the industry.

Anyone interested in hosting their own such series is absolutely welcome to contact me or Rebecca at any time. We are willing to share our application materials, curriculum, and even more nitty-gritty advice to help you make this happen. Good luck!


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Comments


Ben Serviss
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Programs like this are awesome to see. It's one thing to bemoan the lack of diversity in the industry; it's an another thing entirely to do something about it. Great work.

Now, when can we play the games? :)

Tanya X Short
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Thanks!

And actually, Rebecca just put up most of the games just now! We're still waiting for links for some (we want the women to host the files themselves), but here's a bunch: http://pixelles.ca/blog/2013/03/21/play-the-games/

Andrew Williams
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That was really a most interesting postmortem. Thanks for sharing it. I would also be interested in seeing the games if they are available anywhere.

Kaitlyn Kincaid
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Great postmortum, I really hope that you are able to run several more of these in the years to come.

Yong Wu
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Great work, very interesting and I hope that many more programs like this one start showing up.

Ken Kinnison
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Definitely, more of this. :D

Tricia Skinner
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I'm not surprised to learn you did this, Tanya. You're an amazing woman and I love your commitment to diversity in games!

Eric McVinney
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This is really good to hear, as we need more female game designers in this industry. BTW, have you thought about using Stencyl? It's free with limited use, but throw in that $79/year you can publish on iOS, Windows, and get early access to some cool shtuff. I'm using it currently and it's been a God-send for someone like me who has had only a bit of programming learned :P

Tanya X Short
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Yes, actually, a majority of the Pixelles decided to use Stencyl. A couple used Game-Maker, two used Unity (one with the Playmaker plugin), and one used Processing.

[User Banned]
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This user violated Gamasutra’s Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

Justin Sawchuk
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Have you ever seen the so called egalitarians ever say we need more men in a particular field, lets encourage more men to become teachers, or more men to become nurses. We need more white players on the professional basketball teams.

Eric McVinney
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To have a different perspective or ideas, of which are currently being created in a male dominated industry, perhaps.

EDIT: I can not type today. I have the dumb.

Chris Proctor
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Stencyl is terrible for collaborating, great for solo use. That was a dealbreaker for me.

Eric McVinney
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@Chris - Yea, I do agree with you on that. I don't know much about v3.0, but hopefully it'll be more team friendly.

Christian Nutt
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Andrew -- Why not?

Ken Kinnison
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Actually I've heard a lot about bringing more men into teaching. It especially helps in disadvantaged communities because it gives any students with single mother households a strong male figure to look up to.
The reason it matters so much for games is because as media, its really more than just a diversion it says something about our society as a whole, and if 50% of your population is put off by the existing demographic, I can't possibly think of how that is a win.

Adam Bishop
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"Have you ever seen the so called egalitarians ever say we need more men in a particular field, lets encourage more men to become teachers, or more men to become nurses."

I've heard both of these things many times, but I wouldn't expect to hear them on Gamasutra because this isn't an education or health industry web site. It's a gaming industry site so we talk about labour issues in the gaming industry.

Wylie Garvin
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@Andrew, who asks why we need more female game designers in this industry.

The answer should be obvious: our tradition of mostly-male designers leads to mostly games designed for typical male gamers. We need more female game designers so they can teach the industry how to build game experiences that are more appealing to the large audience of female gamers. Women make up about half of the potential audience for games, so why should they be so under-represented on design teams?

Obviously any designer can try to make their games more appealing to a particular audience segment if they want to, but many developers are best at making games that they themselves would want to play, and some male developers seem to be insecure about putting anything 'non-macho' into their designs. Or sometimes they get a bit tone-deaf and put overtly sexist things into games without even noticing.

We've had a male-dominated industry for a long time, resulting in a long tradition of testosterone-filled game designs targeted mostly at young adult male players. Getting more women into the ranks is one of the many things the industry can do to help balance that out, and in the end the entire gaming audience will be better served.

Christian Nutt
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Honestly, "why not" is a serious question. Is there a good answer for it?

Eric McVinney
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Only responding to Michale's comment: It's a great program for peeps like me who had little to no experience in programming and being able to do so with such a great tool set. I am keen on learning more programs, as I have with both Stencyl and GameMaker Studio.

[User Banned]
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This user violated Gamasutra’s Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

Wylie Garvin
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@Andrew:
If you look at the AAA designs that get green-lit and actually shipped, most of them are designed to appeal to adolescent or 20-something male gamers who just want to run around and blow things up. Most of them feature male playable characters, and female characters are often eye-candy or love interest. You get stuff like the Hitman Absolution trailers featuring a macho male lead gunning down a bunch of sexy, latex-wearing assassin nuns. As I recall, a lot of gamers were offended by the content of that trailer and some of the marketing stuff after (and I was one of them, and avoided buying the game because of it). If their development environment was not inherently sexist, and their designers were not all male, they might have noticed they were setting out to offend a large segment of the audience before actually doing it. Instead, it seems like they were surprised and bewildered by the reaction they got.

Anyway, I work at a big studio which has mostly male employees. There are a lot of women here too, but nowhere near 50-50, and all of the designers here that I've met personally are male, and I think it probably does affect the kind of content that goes into our games. It would help, not hurt, to have a more diverse bunch of people doing the brainstorming and picking game mechanics and creating character backstory and the thousand other things that go into a game's design.

So I guess I'm not saying that male designers _can't_ design great games that appeal to the entire target audience. I'm just saying that empirically, it seems that they usually don't. They focus on the segment of the audience they think is the most "hardcore" and will spend the most dollars on the game, which _just so happens_ to be the segment of the audience which is most like them. It feels a lot like TV producers a few decades ago, even as late as the 80's, thinking the star cast had to be all-white and the males had to have hair, etc. even though the demographics of actual TV watchers (i.e. everybody) were far more diverse. I honestly think that if we want to get more diverse ideas and characters and perspectives and dilemmas into our games, the easiest way is to get people from more diverse backgrounds and with every perspective, onto game design teams. When everybody comes from the same background (male, white, middle-class etc.) they can easily fall into groupthink and the result is an endless succession of bland games repeating the same themes and ideas, and nearly always starring a male, white protagonist or some other tired stereotype.

Where are the games where I get to play as a college intern volunteering overseas who gets swept up into some kind of violent conflict and has to escape/survive without any special skills or training and without tons of guns and macho takedowns etc? How come Mirror's Edge is the only game I can think of in the last 5 years that is primarily about _running away_ from bad guys instead of gunning them down in droves?

Wylie Garvin
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@Michale Karzay

I shouldn't feed the troll, but...

>"Why is sexy sexist?"

I didn't say that. What I said was, Hitman Absolution's nun-slaying trailer offended people, and some of the followup marketing stuff offended people.

>"What's wrong with making sexually attractive females?"

There's nothing inherently wrong with this, unless they are empty objectified characters who just exist to titillate male players. (Like approximately 80% of all female characters in games, it seems.)

>"If a woman designs a sexy male character, is she sexist? Are you offended by such males?"

I don't know if she is sexist, and who cares? I'm not saying all male artists are sexist. And no I'm not offended by sexy male characters in games, although it doesn't exactly appeal to me. But if there is in fact an audience for that (and there might be) then shouldn't the industry try and cater to that audience, at least a little bit?


>"Are you offended to walk into a museum and see a statue of David nude? Does that fact that David is only partly clothed offend you?"

No, and no. You're way off on some kind of weird tangent here, projecting your own weird biases onto what I'm saying to give you an easy strawman to attack.

>"Why is sexuality wrong?"

I don't know, ask the fundamentalist Christians. I don't think there's anything wrong with it, in games or in other media. I do think there are better ways to use it than the cheap exploitation we mostly seem to do.

So yeah. A bunch of questions that had almost nothing to do with my posts, or with the topic at hand.

Michale seems to think I'm some kind of "affirmative action" crusader trying to get more women into games because its the politically correct thing, or something. But thats not what I care about at all. In case anyone is still reading, let me summarize my _actual_ opinion right here:

I think the demographics in the game industry are _not very representative_ of the demographics of the game-playing audience, and I think that's a bad thing. The industry is male-dominated, and white-middle-class males are overrepresented compared to the audience (among both developers and publishers, and especially among the senior decision-makers, people who greenlight things and veto things). I think that influences the kind of games that get made and the kind of content that ends up in them, more than we realize. I specifically want to see more women getting into game development, because I think they will bring very different perspectives to the process, and the result will be better games and games that appeal to a wider audience. This idea seems to be threatening to some male gamers or developers, but I'm not sure why.. there will still be plenty of men in the industry. But there should be room for _everyone_ in the industry, and to make the great games of the future, we should draw our design talent from the widest possible pool of experiences and perspectives, and that means we need to get more women onto design teams. Not because it's "politically correct" (and no it doesn't have to be 50-50)... but for the pragmatic reason that it will result in better games.

Wylie Garvin
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@Michale:

>"If you post anything in a public forum, then you should be prepared for someone to reply and maybe even disagree with you. That's the purpose of discussion. That doesn't make anyone a troll."

I agree that me posting in a public forum does not make you a troll. You're doing a pretty good job of that on your own. :P~

>"You did say it offended you and you brought up the topic of sexism, so I connected the two. I asked the question to see if you would elaborate on what you found offensive."

Ah, okay. I don't think I was specifically offended by the portrayal of nuns in that trailer (I'm not religious). However, a lot of people apparently were.
http://gamasutra.com/view/news/172047/Hitman_Absolution_director_
on_controversial_trailer_We_didnt_mean_to_offend_anyone.php

The later marketing misstep that DID offend me, and caused me to not buy the game (after having bought all of the previous Hitman games in the series) was the facebook app that they launched and then immediately pulled:
http://www.pcgamer.com/2012/12/04/hitman-absolution-launches-then
-pulls-offensive-facebook-promotion/
http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/182835/Square_Enix_cans_eyebro
wraising_Hitman_Facebook_marketing_campaign.php

Maybe it wasn't the best example, being more an example of "developer does something STUPID and offends audience", rather than specifically something sexist. It was just the first example I thought of and a widely-known one.


>"My position is sexual objectification is a matter of personal perception, an attitude against the opposite sex, and not the product of how sexual someone is."

Even if for the sake of argument I accept that opinion, I think its still consistent with my opinion that an overwhelmingly-male industry often portrays female characters in a way that titillates male players even at the risk of disturbing or turning away potential female players. http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/173227/Opinion_Video_games_and
_Male_Gaze__are_we_men_or_boys.php

I think its fine to put some eye-candy in a game for the benefit of one particular demographic. But its dumb to do that in a way that offends another large section of the potential playerbase for your game. If developers portray women in their games in a demeaning way, or if they simply make all of the playable characters male and make all of the female characters sexy-princesses-needing-rescuing or whatever, then it shouldn't surprise them when most women end up not liking that game, thus further perpetuating the "game players are mostly 20-something males" stereotype. I think developers should try to design content that will appeal to as much of the entire audience of gamers as possible, and that dictates that we should try to put realistic, compelling, appropriately-dressed female characters into games. I might be wrong, but it seems to me that there hasn't been much progress on this front in the past ten years, and thats why I don't trust the current male-dominated industry to figure this out. I do think that improving the gender balance within the industry, and on design teams specifically, will probably help the industry progress on this front.

>"The questions were rhetorical and related to the conversation. The idea that sexualizing women is some how offensive, yet sexualizing men isn't is doesn't make sense."

Again, as far as I can tell, this is not an idea that is present in my posts. It appears to simply be a strawman you set up so that you could knock it down. The sexualizing of female characters in games doesn't really bother me. It probably bothers a lot of female players though, so the designers of those games appear to be unnecessarily limiting their appeal when they emphasize the T&A for the benefit of their male players. I do however, want to see the best possible games get made, and that means we need to make games that have a broader appeal, and we need to make games that don't offend or turn off a large section of the potential gaming audience because e.g. they portray women in a demeaning way, or a way that appeals only to male players. I think the industry currently has a problem--a weakness--with the way it portrays female characters in games. I think part of the solution is to get more women onto design teams, where they will be able to create the kind of characters they are interested in seeing in their games, and where they will have the power to object to sexist or demeaning content before it gets put into the game.

>"You're making the conversation more than it is. I just wanted to understand "why [is sexuality wrong]?" If you don't know, that's all you had to say."
You persist in assigning to me a belief that "sexuality is wrong". I've tried to make clear that I never said that, that was a strawman you erected all on your own.

Anyway, I think I have been reasonably clear about my opinion here, so I'm done responding to this thread now. Thanks for the conversation.

To Tanya and everyone involved with Pixelles:
Congratulations again, ignore the naysayers, what you are doing is inspirational and is a great thing.

Todd Boyd
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Frickin' awesome. Keep up the fantastic work.

Chris Proctor
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Great idea!

Ali Afshari
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Very cool! I'm happy that the workshop was successful enough to warrant more of them. This is vital to getting more women involved in game design.

James Yee
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Hmm... is there any way to do this kind of thing in an online setting? For instance my wife might be interested in such a thing but we're in the middle of nowhere and we have two kids. So yeah doing things from home helps a lot. :)

Rebecca Cohen Palacios
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Oh, yes, definitely! That's where our "Follow Along" program came in (http://pixelles.ca/follow-along/). We posted online summaries of each session, listed resources, gave homework, and encouraged Follow Along'ees to get in contact with us for any reason (feedback, questions, etc). For added support, we put up a forum system to our website.

There were three games that came out of the "Follow Along". One of those games came out of France which was really really cool!

Joseph Elliott
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Michale: Don't be a dink. There's nothing sexist about encouraging women to make games. The ratio of male to female developers in the industry is absolutely absurd.

All sorts of people play games, so it makes sense that all sorts of people ought to make games. Take a quick look around (North America, anyway) and it's a pretty white male environment right now. Shaking that up is only a good thing.

Joseph Elliott
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And if you want a program that men can join, go make it yourself instead of expecting other people's work to fit your agenda.

Joseph Elliott
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The insult was unnecessary, but it was in response to you being, at least in my opinion, rather obnoxious and obtuse. Poor play on my part and I apologize.

What I'm saying is you're framing this all wrong. This isn't discriminating against men, it's encouraging for women. This kind of action has been historically pretty helpful, no? A shift like this could use a little kickstart.

If I had the gumption, knowledge, time and funds, I'd love to start a program like this where absolutely anybody could join (so long as they have no game creating experience, of course). But I'd wager, and I'd love to be wrong about this, that it would be almost exclusively men who signed up.

Wylie Garvin
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@Michale Karzay:

So many strawmen, so little time. I wouldn't bother to reply to your posts at all, except that I think the opinions you are posting are so disgusting, that I feel compelled to retort.

You imply that Joseph "ha[s] an emotional response and feel[s] the need to lash out when [his] ideology is challenged".

That's bullshit. He lashed out because you were being an asshole. Your reply to his post shows that you either _didn't understand_ or _didn't care_ that you were being an asshole, because you are _continuing_ to be an asshole.

>"One requirement of Pixelles is that you have to be female. That is discriminating against men, which by definition is sexist. That is fact and is not refutable. You are wrong to think otherwise."

Oooh, the poor men! They only make up like 90% of the industry, they are so discriminated against! I guess we better get rid of the other 10% so that the poor insecure men stop feeling threatened.

>"It's my belief that equal numbers of gender isn't the same as gender equality, and this is the wrong approach if equality is what you are after. Equality being equal rights. It's not productive to fight inequality with inequality. It's adding fuel to the fire. And if it's not equality you are after, then I question your motivations."

Believe whatever you want, but don't expect other people to act according to your own political beliefs. The creators of Pixelles are simply women who like to make games, trying to help other women who want to get into making games. Your attempt to paint this as a bad thing would be laughable if it wasn't so pathetic.

>"I have no problem with women in the industry, I encourage it, but how can we work effectively together in our industry when we are segregated from the beginning?"

Another nice straw-man. There is no segregation here. Pixelles is an incubator that gives some women an opportunity to get a few weeks of self-taught experience and help them build confidence by completing a self-motivated project. If they want to try and get into the games industry, this experience might help with that.

[Edit: I can tell I was angry when I wrote this. So yeah, I'm "having an emotional response" and "lashing out", and I hope Michale got some satisfaction from his successful troll.]

Rebecca Cohen Palacios
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@Michale: It's not about being sexist. There were plenty of male mentors who came in to help and lend their support. Being sexist would be to reject their aid altogether. Pixelles is an initiative geared towards getting more women to make games. You could substitute "women" for any other diversity cause of your choice but we chose women because it is our area of interest.

As for the Follow Along portion of our program, we will, as Tanya said, open that up to everyone: "Because we based our Follow-Along signups on the rejected applicants, we naturally created an all-female mailing list, which wasn’t really necessary. There’s no reason to ever restrict resources and inspiration from someone who wants to make a game; in the future, we will allow anyone at all to sign up for Follow-Along updates, deadline notifications, and encouragement."

Shannice Singletary
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Great Read, made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I can easily think of quite a few people who would be interested in another opportunity like this, including myself. Where do we sign up for the next one? :D

Tanya X Short
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Rebecca just added a sign-up form for our newsletter to our website! Please do join. We promise not to spam you. We'll just notify people when a new "season" of Pixelles has started and when it's over, to invite you to the showcase. :)


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