Video Game Industry Needs Gender Balance (The San Francisco Chronicle)

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There’s a problem in video game land, writes Professor Mary Flanagan in an opinion piece in The San Francisco Chronicle. Although, as she notes, 97 percent of American youths play video games at least two hours a week, the gender gap among those creating the games is a big one.

“In 2013, women represented 13 percent of the industry, including business and legal positions,” writes Flanagan, a professor of film and media studies and the Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor in Digital Humanities.

This matters for many reasons, she says. Among them: “Innovation comes from fresh voices and new ideas. The Alien Game project shows games made by girls have broader appeal across both genders. It matters to women who feel excluded from a livelihood. It matters to kids who can’t grow up to be someone they want to be. It matters to all of us as we expand the role of games from entertainment to platforms on which classroom learning and everyday communication takes place.”

Flanagan is the director of Dartmouth’s Tiltfactor Laboratory and a Dartmouth Public Voices Fellow.

Read the full opinion piece, published 3/19/14 by The San Francisco Chronicle.